Here Are the 6 WWE Newcomers You Need to Know

Once WrestleMania 35 wraps up, the months that follow should be owned by these six individuals

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If there is one event that wrestling fans look forward to more than WrestleMania itself, it’s the Raw After Mania.

This Monday-night staple has produced some of the most shocking and unforgettable moments in wrestling history. The Rock and John Cena announced their WrestleMania 28 matchup a whole year before they finally locked up. Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE and proceeded to flatten John Cena with an F5. Dolph Ziggler cashed in his “Money in the Bank” briefcase and captured the World Heavyweight Championship from Alberto Del Rio. And just last year, Bobby Lashley came back to the WWE to remind the wrestling world of his in-ring domination. Add the hype-inducing debuts of NXT talents on the main roster and you’ll end up with even more standout Raw After Mania memories.

Once WrestleMania, Raw and SmackDown Live come to a close, we usually get a glimpse at the individuals who’ll own the spring/summer WWE season. New faces, returning stars and veteran talent tend to get placed into better positions and are given the chance to stake their claim as the very best. WrestleMania 35 has placed the spotlight firmly on the most talented superstars from both main roster brands. But we’re far more interested in the men and women who can be trusted with keeping fan interest high during the warmer months of the year.

These six WWE talents need to own the top spots on their respective main roster brands and give us all a reason to keep tuning in.

Drew McIntyre

WWE’s Scottish-born machine has been excelling ever since he resurfaced in the company. A solid run in NXT led to McIntyre making his way to Monday nights and fully embracing his heelish ways. He’s notched plenty of big wins and given fans a reason to take him seriously as one of Raw’s biggest threats to the rest of the roster.

If Seth Rollins can manage to do the unthinkable and defeat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, then he’ll need to lock up with a proven talent for his first few PPV title defenses. McIntyre is the perfect man for that position: He’s recently been involved in some of Rollins’s best bouts, plus his domineering presence screams “future Universal Champion.”McIntyre should own Raw’s top heel position in the coming months. And once SummerSlam rolls around, let’s all hope that McIntyre has built up enough steam to get a run with Raw’s top prize by that time.


The tag-team duo of Ricochet and Aleister Black is immensely entertaining. But we should all know by now that most good things eventually come to an end. And in the WWE, good tag teams are one of the elements that tend to fall by the wayside far too often. But when talking about Ricochet and Black, their future breakup won’t be cause for disappointment or concern. In Ricochet’s case, his high-flying repertoire can be tested against anyone and deliver in-ring magic.

Ricochet’s abilities create so many dream match scenarios for him on the Raw brand. Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Apollo Crews, Drew McIntyre and several others present an interesting dynamic when Ricochet comes to mind. And if Ricochet ends up plying his main roster trade on SmackDown Live instead, he’d be the perfect opponent for guys like AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, Mustafa Ali, Daniel Bryan and countless others. Ricochet has all the talent in the world, and WWE should tap into it even more by letting him flourish as a main roster mid-card act.

Aleister Black

And now we’ve arrived at Ricochet’s tag-team partner and polar-opposite ally, Aleister Black. The dynamic gimmick that Black represents easily makes him stand apart from the rest of the WWE field. His kickboxing mastery, unique look and occult-driven characteristics present WWE with the opportunity to craft some intriguing story lines for the spring/summer season.

The prospect of Black’s ideologies clashing with those of a returning Bray Wyatt is exciting. Witnessing an MMA-inspired clash between Black and Samoa Joe sounds like the front-runner for match of the year. And the idea of a feud between Black and Daniel Bryan over their approaches to life could gift us with one of the most thought-provoking promo battles of the year. Black’s character-based work and in-ring prowess should be put to the test in a major way post-Mania.

Kofi Kingston

No one could have imagined how over Kofi Kingston would become in 2019. For those of you who were let down by his fall from grace after his 2009 feud with Randy Orton, this is simply a dream come true. The New Day stable mate is finally contending for the WWE Championship, and the crowd is backing him up every step of the way. WWE has been given a golden opportunity here: Kofi is a supremely over babyface who’s morphed into an unexpected main event player (not a “B+ player,” by the way).

If he claims the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan, Kingston should get the run of his life. This may be wishful thinking, but I personally envision a scenario where Kingston gets to hold the WWE’s biggest prize all the way up until SummerSlam. The “Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion” experiment has legs, and it should be given ample time to develop into something worthwhile. Even if WWE chooses to keep the title on Bryan at ’Mania 35, Kingston should still be involved in the championship picture and continue to reign as an A+ babyface.

Nikki Cross

You know what’s an absolute crying shame? Nikki Cross being relegated to nothing more than a backstage presence on SmackDown Live. Her off-kilter promo delivery and zany gimmick should be put to better use. NXT gave us a glimpse at how she can be utilized as both a lovable babyface and an insane heel.

The SmackDown women’s roster is severely lacking in star power and needs a shot in the arm. Asuka’s mistreatment makes me fearful that WWE won’t tap into the hot commodity that is Cross. But I’m still holding out hope that she gets a chance to wreak havoc and climb up the women’s ranks over on the blue brand. If there’s anyone who’d make an incredible women’s “Money in the Bank” holder for 2019, it’s the lovably wacky Nikki Cross. Let’s not continue to make her as invisible on Tuesday nights as her former Sanity brethren, WWE…


I’m guessing everyone figured that Andrade would be the one taking on Rey Mysterio for the U.S. Championship at ’Mania 35. All signs were pointing to them continuing their feud since it didn’t come to a full conclusion during their two-out-of-three-falls match. Sadly, he’s been shoved into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. A talent of his caliber certainly deserves better, right?

Once Andrade overcomes this minor speed bump, WWE should finally put a rocket on his back. If Mysterio claims the U.S. title, he and Andrade should kickstart their beef once more. Imagine the shock and awe that would follow if Andrade defeated Mysterio for the title just mere days after Mysterio beat Samoa Joe for it! This proposed post–Mania SmackDown Live moment could be the catalyst for a huge spring/summer run for Andrade. And hey, “Mr. Money in the Bank 2019” looks real nice next to Andrade’s name. Here’s hoping that he gets the mega push he deserves real soon.

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