This year has proven to be the year of the underdog in WWE. Many unheralded stars are getting their time to shine since Wrestle Mania 35. It’s inevitable for Seth Rollins to surpass Roman Reigns as Raw’s top dog seemed to be inevitable. But Becky Lynch taking her rightful spot as the face of WWE’s women’s division was something not expected a year ago. 2019 is almost coming to an end, but there’s still enough time for roster members to step up and grab that proverbial brass ring. The following are the ten talents expected to be prominently featured over the remainder of the year.
Even though Kelvin Owens was unsuccessful in taking the title from Kofi Kingston earlier this year, that was not the end of him. Owens is still capable of carrying the show on his back going in 2020 considering his level of popularity and skills in the ring and on the mic.
Owens went from being left off the WrestleMania 35 card to being pushed aggressively as one of the faces of SmackDown Live within a matter of months.
Tuesday’s SmackDown showed that fans are ready for Owens to move on from this feud and take his rightful place in the WWE Championship picture. For Owens to have a quality match, he must start working with Superstars, and he can only do this if he first escapes his rivalry with Shane
Wyatt is among an elite few stars that will go out of their way to check out on Raw or SmackDown to see what he’s wanted. Wyatt is sure to have an exciting and prosperous rest of 2019 and beyond. He has everything it takes to be wearing world title gold around his waist before the end of 2019. Neither Seth Rollins nor Kofi Kingston is safe from his reign of terror. But for now, Wyatt should continue to annihilate everyone who stands in his way of taking over WWE.
Andrade is riding a wave of momentum heading into the King of Ring tournament, and even if he doesn’t win, he should at least make it to the semifinals. After the Superstar Shake-Up, he has come close to capturing the Intercontinental Championship and beaten Rey Mysterio on back-to-back episodes of Raw. SmackDown Live is the perfect place for him to thrive and evolve into the world champion-calibre competitor he has the potential to be.
Drew rose as Raw tag team champion in the second half of 2018 and scored various victories over future universal champion Seth Rollins. His losses to Roman Reigns didn’t help his cause, either, but winning King of the Ring would unquestionably be a game-changer for him.
McIntyre is fresh off an impressive outing with Cedric Alexander on Raw, where he successfully showcased his skills to the WWE Universe and, more importantly, the powers that be backstage. With every tool necessary to go far in WWE, he is bound to be holding singles gold by the close of 2019.
Most people would automatically expect greatness from Charlotte Flair based off her impressive resume on WWE’s main roster though 2019 has been far from her best year. It seems like Flair is on the right trajectory for a feud with champion Bayley because she followed up that career-defining victory with a win over Ember Moon on SmackDown Live.
Then again, she’s been off WWE TV for the better part of the past three months and feels fresher than she has in a long time. She and Bayley should have an impressive series of matches with each other. This is if their feud from 2017 on Raw is anything to go by. Flair clinching her 10th title at some point in 2019 is all but a lock.
Sasha came off like a bigger star than anyone else on the Raw roster when she made her highly anticipated return Monday night. Banks became the most talked-about talent on the show in one segment when she laid out Natalya in brutal fashion. She then carried out a similar act of violence on Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch, cementing her heel turn in the process.
It’s safe to assume that Banks will be Raw women’s champion again before long unless Ronda Rousey returns sooner than expected. She’s the top heel the division needs and should breathe new life into the women’s evolution, which has been on the back-burner in recent months.
Aleister defeated Cesaro in a highly physical and entertaining affair at July’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Their rematch two nights later on SmackDown Live was equally excellent. He has yet to be beaten one-on-one, so clearly, the promotion sees him as a top prospect and not someone it will forget about in two weeks.
He doesn’t need to contend for the Intercontinental Championship anytime soon. But a feud with a notable name such as Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler or Daniel Bryan would do him wonders. While this wouldn’t be in 2019, is it too soon to call Black an early dark horse to win the 2020 Royal Rumble?
AJ Styles’ move to Raw, as well as his recent heel turn, was precisely what he needed to rejuvenate his old persona and return him to relevance. The good thing is that he has the most powerful entity on Raw by his side, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. In the meantime, Styles is doing incredibly well for himself right where he is.
He’s the King of the Midcard scene and can have a ton of fun feuds with everyone from Rey Mysterio and Cedric Alexander to Braun Strowman and The Miz. He’s in his element as a heel and is one of the top reasons to tune in to Raw every Monday night.
Kingston won’t be WWE champion forever and is likely closer to the end of his reign than the beginning. But there can be no doubt he has cemented his status as a leading event player. He will be a fixture toward the top of the card on SmackDown Live for the remainder of 2019.
It will be interesting to see how he’s handled once he inevitably drops the title. Though the chances of him returning to Midcard purgatory after the success he’s had as WWE champion are slim to none. Expect him to continue competing at the highest level on Tuesday nights for as long as the fans want to see him there.
Seth’s reign as a universal champion coming out of the Show of Shows didn’t light the world on fire properly. That was because his feud with Baron Corbin dragged on far longer than it should have. He abruptly dropped the title to Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules via a Money in the Bank cash-in. WWE must rectify its wrongs with Rollins by giving him credible competition.
Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Samoa Joe and Ricochet all come to mind as potential opponents who would make for exciting matchups. It’s virtually a guarantee that Rollins will remain the face of the flagship show through the rest of 2019 at the very least.