Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley) is the current WWE Executive Vice President (Creative, Live Events, and Talent) and is also NXT’s head honcho. He is NXT’s Senior Producer, the founder of the brand and he gets the last say, so to speak. With plenty of experience as an executive for WWE, he’s been at it since 2013. His words are wisdom for budding wrestlers who want to make it big in the business and get to the next level, the next brand, and the big stage.
Triple H is no stranger to the big stage, he also had his share of new and humble beginnings in wrestling. His career started in 1992 with IWF (International Wrestling Federation) and after two years he went to WCW (World Championship Wrestling). At the start of 1995, he was wrestling for WWF (former WWE, World Wrestling Federation) and did it until about 2011. By 2011, he started doing executive tasks for the league and appeared sparingly in the ring.
Almost 20 years performing in the ring and seven years in the background, that’s 27 years worth of valuable experience. Experience worthy of any wrestler’s respect, new or veteran, and worthy of any organization’s inputs and decision-making. A big part of that is promoting wrestlers, here’s a list of 10 wrestlers that Triple H would promote.
10. AJ Lee
AJ was already a champion even before she stepped in WWE. She was FCW Divas Champion in 2010 and Queen of FCW while it lasted, FCW is Florida Championship Wrestling. She was also Tag Team Champion in WSU (Women Superstars Uncensored) with Brooke Carter in 2009. Her real last name is Mendez and is of Puerto Rican descent. She started wrestling at just around the time she turned 20, and her first trainer was Jay Lethal (read about him in this list, too). She earned experience in FCW, NXT, and WWE in seven years. Currently, she is retired and has a book, a memoir titled Crazy is My Superpower. The book did really well, it made the New York Times Bestseller list. She shares things about her book in this interview with IGN.
What’s stopping AJ Lee from going back to wrestling is the lawsuit between WWE physician Chris Amann and CM Punk, with the latter being her husband. If her husband thought and said those things out loud, what could she be thinking and wanting to say? Well, her showmanship and skills outweigh that particular thought, and Triple H will surely pounce at the opportunity once he learns that AJ is considering to get out of her retirement. An NXT contract to get her bearings and her feet under her would be a good start and a good comeback for the Black Widow.
Batista might be the biggest name in this list (in the first part of the list, at least) as most of the wrestlers here are ranking amateurs who have little or no experience at all with WWE. David Michael Bautista Jr. was with WWE for about 12 years, he was popularly known in the wrestling world as Batista. He was 4-time WWE World Heavyweight Championship and had the WWE Championship twice. With Ric Flair, he won World Tag Team Champion twice, and once again with John Cena in 2008. He’s also one of only six people who won the Royal Rumble two times, Stone Cold Steve Austin won it three times. The peak of Batista’s career came in 2008 when he won the World Championship four times. For a brief moment, he was the face of the WWE.
It seemed Batista’s heart is really set on filmmaking. His film career started to gain ground in 2010. He was having an average of one film per year, but his best role to date was in the Marvel Universe depiction of the Guardians Of the Galaxy. He played the bulky and brawny member of the group, Drax The Destroyer. It was said that the reason he is not with WWE now is that he strongly and constantly criticized WWE and that might be the reason why he is not coming back, or it’s because of his film career. Sportskeeda clears up his thoughts and his desire to come back. The chances he has of coming backrests on Triple H. If there is someone close to Batista who can say he still believes in him, that man is Triple H.
8. Briscoe Brothers
The Briscoe Brothers probably are the most famous and most successful tag team in the history of ROH (Ring of Honor). They won the ROH World Tag Team Championship 10 times and are the current champions. Every outfit they go to, they take the tag team championship. Here’s a running list of their tag team champion quests and victories: Combat Zone Wrestling, Full Impact Pro, New Japan Pro Wrestling, NWA Wildside, Pro Wrestling Unplugged, Real Championship Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling, and USA Xtreme Wrestling. The only missing name in this list is WWE, let’s start them with NXT.
It’s no doubt they are a hot commodity, Triple H would want them. They work hard, and even though they have a bad boy, heel-type persona, it does not compare to the professional behavior they exhibit on and off the ring. NXT should offer these brothers a nice contract, and do what WWE has not done yet before, get to sign the brothers to a contract they can live with. It’s only the comfort of the familiar and the fear of change that’s stopping the Briscoe Brothers from stepping into WWE. Triple H could bridge that gap. Oh, what a huge asset these boys would be for NXT. Exciting news if it ever comes true!
EC3 is Ethan Carter III, but his real name is actually Michael Hutter, and he returned to WWE at the start of this year. He spent three years with NXT back in 2010 up until 2013. Then, he journeyed from independent circuits, Impact Wrestling, TNA, and back with WWE again. He had decorated careers with the outfits he’s been with but is yet to snag a title in WWE, except for his FCW Tag Team Championship in 2010 with Johnny Curtis.
A wrestler since 19-years of age, EC3 started his career with Pro Wrestling Ohio, where he shaped his career for four years. He then spent two years with Ohio Valley Wrestling before joining WWE in D-League FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). He worked under mentor Daniel Bryan in NXT for a season and had good matches, but none were spectacular and memorable to take him to the next level.
But now that it’s 2018 and he’s gotten valuable experience over the past six years, EC3 might just be ready for the next stage of his career. Here’s what Triple H has to say about EC3 in NXT taken in an interview with Wrestling Inc. He has the potential, the work ethic, the look, all he needs now is an opportunity, let’s hope Triple H gets him that, and hope that he makes the most out of it.
6. Jay Lethal
NXT was created and built, initially, to nurture and develop fresh new faces in the wrestling industry. The most excellent and most promising wrestlers from the amateur world, the best in their towns and their own circuits. But lately, NXT has been catering to experienced wrestlers, not only for enhanced training and preparation but because they can help in training and develop the younger wrestlers as well. Take Samoa Joe, a wrestler as great as him had a stint in NXT to mentor the young ones and to promote the brand at the same time, too. In truth, NXT needed Samoa Joe more than he needed NXT. The same goes true with Jay Lethal.
Jay Lethal is a superstar outside WWE. He is a living legend in ROH and TNA, having won major championships in both outfits. He is the third in ROH history to be Triple Crown Champion, a six-time TNA X Division Champion, and the only African-American to win the ROH World Championship. And just like his former mentor Samoa Joe, NXT will be very lucky to have him. Draw up the papers Triple H, draft the contract because Jay Lethal is one big asset for NXT. Maybe he could train another A.J. Lee. At least he is not closing his doors on the possibility of joining WWE, check out this article by Sportskeeda on an interview with him.
5. Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega is a current champion in NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling). He is in his first reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He’s had amazing matches that showcased his talents and endurance and was hailed by some as one of the best professional wrestlers in the world today. He’s probably won everything there is to win in NJPW, the United States Championship, Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, Intercontinental Championship, Junior Heavyweight Championship, and his current title. Kenny, we think it’s time for you to close that chapter of your career and call it My NJPW Reign, and then open a new chapter called My WWE Story.
A Canadian wrestler, he’s young at 34-years old with all his achievements to date. He gave up ice hockey and then college to concentrate on wrestling, he started looking to the future as a wrestler at age 17, and never looked back. With a contract set to expire between him and NJPW, it is in Triple H’s best interests to seriously consider offering him one, make one that sets him up as the face of NXT, carry the brand on his shoulders, and move up to the next level once everything runs smoothly, which they will for sure.
4. Matt Riddle
Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Dan Severn, and Ken Shamrock, what do they all have in common? Easy, they’re all WWE superstars who were MMA fighters too. Incorrect. Okay, they were WWE stars who were MMA champions too. Wrong again. Hmm.. they were both UFC champions and WWE champions. Now that’s correct! Wait, Ronda Rousey is not a WWE champion. Correction, that’s a not yet. Everybody knows that she will be champion, it’s only a matter of time. Together with wrestlers like Bam Bam Bigelow, Bobby Lashley, and a few other fighters, we think it’s about time Matt Riddle changes his favorite shape from the octagon to the squared circle.
Matt ripped it in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) with four consecutive wins before transitioning to Bellator, Titan FC, and then professional wrestling. He started his wrestling career in 2014. He’s performed in independent circuits such as WWN (World Wrestling Network), PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) and Revolution Pro Wrestling. We’ve known WWE to have a soft spot for MMA fighters wanting to make it big in WWE. Riddle may not have the credentials that Rousey, Lesnar, Severn, and Shamrock had in UFC, but he is a young talent and has many years ahead of him in wrestling. He’s just getting started and heating up, better for Triple H to catch that heat and blow it up to erupt all over NXT.
3. Michael Elgin
A fellow Canadian like Kenny Omega, Michael Elgin started wrestling school at 14-years old. When he was younger he used to live in Oshawa, Ontario but had to relocate to Toronto where there are more opportunities for his chosen profession. He started with independent promotions mainly in Toronto Canada but was also jumping to and from the United States for some matches. He did well with Great Canadian Wrestling and stuck with them for four years. He journeyed to ROH, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and NJPW where he is currently in contract with. He’s won championships in all these promotions as well.
A tank of a wrestler, Michael stands only 5’11” but is a bulky 245 pounds. He is like a walking refrigerator. His nicknames are “Unbreakable” and “Big Mike.” He has a character all over him and is a good fit for a brand like NXT. It would be a shame if Triple H does not sign this kid and try him out. At only 31 years, this kid could go places, wreck places, and has a bright future in wrestling. We haven’t seen a wrestler like him an quite a while, and a little change could do NXT good, something fresh in the eyes, something like Big Mike.
Just like EC3, Ricochet just signed with WWE under the brand NXT. And just like EC3, Ricochet signed at the start of the year. Born in 1988, Ricochet’s real name is Trevor Mann. His other wrestling aliases were Cameron Locke, Helios, King Ricochet, and Prince Puma. Those are good nicknames, but Ricochet is kind of still the best one. His girlfriend is Impact Wrestling’s Tessa Blanchard, a talented and beautiful wrestler. Ricochet and Tess make a very handsome couple, but recent news state the couple has officially broken up. Check out this article by Wrestling Rumors about the break-up. Before NXT, he appeared in Lucha Underground, NJPW, Dragon Gate, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla from 2010 to 2018.
Many fans and critics have long been clamoring for Ricochet to join WWE. That time is here now. And no one is happier than Triple H. He knows he got a gem of a wrestler in Ricochet, a great acquisition indeed. Ricochet is a high-flying athlete, a new-age wrestler this generation of fans seek and cheer on emphatically. As Ricochet makes his name and his presence known in NXT, every fan hopes he makes it big and would move on to Raw or Smackdown sooner rather than later.
1. Will Ospreay
Will Ospreay is only 24-years old. Here’s what he’s done in his career so far. Two-time Lucha Britannia World Champion, MCW (Melbourne City Wrestling) Inter-commonwealth Champion, two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and ROH World Television Champion. He is currently in contract with NJPW and is their current Junior Heavyweight Champion. One of the rare English wrestlers, Will Ospreay was born in Havering, London in England. He journeyed far and wide from his motherland to Revolution Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Ring of Honor in America.
To show how skillful and exciting Will Ospreay is, here’s a list of his accolades from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Every year he has a fight that’s rated as a Five Star Match (from 2016 to 2018). He was awarded in two consecutive years the Best Flying Wrestler award, an award only the likes of Ricochet, Kota Ibushi, Rey Mysterio, and Owen Hart has achieved more than once in their careers. Ospreay has been in recent forums, talks, and interviews regarding a possible signing with WWE in the last 2-3 years. Here’s a 2016 article by SEScoops covering an ESPN interview with Triple H about Will Ospreay. A lot has happened in two years, we are sure the tides have risen and fallen, decisions changed and turned around, and Ospreay will, one day, be a WWE wrestler.