The 2010s are over and the year 2020 is here. 2019 was a very crazy year for WWE. Many backstage moves, the birth of new competition, and the addition (kind of) of a “third brand”. With that being said, we wanted to look at some superstars who we believe will have a great 2020! There will be a total of 6 superstars, 2 from each brand. So without further delay, let’s jump right in!
(Note: Andrade was not US Champion during writing this article)
Andrade came from NXT in April of 2018 and his “main roster” career hasn’t been anything like his NXT career. He held the NXT Championship for over 100 days and won Match of the Year for his match against Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Philadelphia during NXT’s Year-End Awards.
I believe Andrade is one of the best wrestlers the WWE has. He can tell stories in the ring and has an incredible moveset that he has perfected. Add Zalina Vega into the mix as his manager, and you have the makings of a top star. He could be poised for a huge run in 2020, possibly with a mid-card title before transitioning into the WWE Championship picture.
Aleister Black kind of had two debuts on Raw and Smackdown. The first one came when NXT sent 4 wrestlers up to red and blue brands for a couple of weeks. Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano were also a part of the group. When Black came back to Raw (originally Smackdown) in the draft, and we started seeing him appear in dark backstage promos begging someone to “pick a fight” with him.
After matches with Cesaro and an incredible match against Buddy Murphy at TLC, Black seems to be finally getting the attention he deserves. When it comes to strikes, not many are better than Aleister. His kicks and knees look devastating and his “Black Mass” finisher, in my opinion, will be considered the new RKO; quick and from out of nowhere. Black has main event status, and I believe (and hope) 2020 is the year of the Black Mass.
The seeds have been being planted for the past couple of months. Mandy Rose is the type of woman the WWE has always loved. Beautiful looks with a great body and can actually cut a half-decent promo. Rose was on the sixth season of Tough Enough before joining the WWE in 2017 as a part of Paige’s Absolution. After Paige’s unfortunate retirement, Rose teamed up with fellow Absolution member Sonya Deville, and the two even competed in the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match.
Rose was also in the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match and was one of the last competitors in the match. Rose has seen her name brought up more since being put on the Smackdown brand, and I see Rose turning on Deville and eventually becoming a big part of the Smackdown Women’s title picture in 2020.
I promise it’s a complete coincidence that I listed Mandy Rose and Heavy Machinery both for Smackdown and it has nothing to do with the fact that Rose and Otis are entering a storyline. Once the call was made to take Heavy Machinery out of NXT, I knew they would eventually be big. They’re kind of a gimmick team but only by name, and the fact that they sometimes mimic the Bushwackers. But besides that, they are a really good team that connects with the crowd in a fun way.
The Smackdown tag team division has a couple of names like The New Day and the Revival, but other than those two there aren’t that many great tag teams. And no matter how much WWE pushes New Day vs. Revival down our throats, it will eventually grow stale. I expect Heavy Machinery to come into 2020 with momentum and will capture the Smackdown Tag Team Championships.
Keith Lee is a star in the making and it’s happening extremely quickly. Since joining NXT in 2018, Lee has proven to the NXT executives and more importantly the NXT fans. Lee is a 6’3” 350-pound man that moves like a cruiserweight and delivers great match after great match. When NXT invaded Raw and Smackdown, Lee was a big part of it. Then at Survivor Series, Lee gained the respect of the entire WWE Universe when he stood toe to toe with Roman Reigns and looked absolutely phenomenal.
Lee put on a trilogy with Dominik Dijakovic that is one for the books, where both men showed their incredible athleticism and wowed the NXT faithful, showing just what Keith Lee can do. He’s already being primed for a main title shot, and I truly believe he will become the NXT Champion in the year 2020.
Damian Priest joined NXT late 2018. Prior, he wrestled in Ring of Honor under the name Punishment Martinez. Since joining, Priest began a feud with former UK Champion Pete Dunne which turned into a three-man feud when Killian Dain was added. Dunne, Dain and Priest were in an NXT Championship number 1 contenders match at NXT WarGames, however Dain and Priest were on the losing end.
Priest has a great look for NXT and dispite being 37 years old hasn’t been wrestling that long. Some would see that as a disadvantage, but I call attention to someone like Shayna Baszler who is 39 years old and had one of thee best years for any woman in the WWE last year. The future is bright for Damian Priest, and with potential excellent feuds with Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa or Finn Balor, I see 2020 as a potential break out year for The Archer of Infamy.
Photo Credit – Mike Rosa/GCSN
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