It is, excuse the pun, a new day in World Wrestling Entertainment as of the spring of 2016. The WWE has gone out of the way to bring in talents and performers who have, in the past, been ignored by the company. AJ Styles, who made his name working in companies such as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor, is going to be part of WrestleMania 32. Shinsuke Nakamura will make his official debut working for the WWE when he faces off with Sami Zayn at the NXT Takeover: Dallas show. Austin Aries is also scheduled to wrestle at the NXT Takeover event that may end up being better than WrestleMania when all is said and done.
Such signings, along with the acquisitions of Kevin Owens, Zayn, Samoa Joe and others seem to indicate that the WWE is as interested in the independent scene as the company has been since the 1990s and the days of the “Attitude Era.” Raiding New Japan Pro Wrestling for talents such as Styles, Nakamura, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and others is a solid start for the WWE, but the company could complete several other noteworthy transactions before the end of 2016. Such proposed deals could help build up the main WWE roster, and they could also allow NXT to turn into a true touring brand on its own.
10 Jay Lethal
7 Will Ospreay
6 Prince Puma
4 Brian Cage
3 Taya Valkyrie
2 Young Bucks
1 Kenny Omega
There are so many directions that the WWE could go if the company chose to sign the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega before 2016. The company could keep the trio together as “The Elite.” There could be one large faction, or we could see a Balor Club versus Bullet Club feud. News of Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson joining the WWE understandably excited fans, but there is something missing without the Young Bucks and Omega being included. We can all hope that it is just a matter of time before we are seeing Omega and the Bucks working underneath the WWE umbrella.
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