Predicting the next Big 4 from NXT
If you were to ask me who the biggest names in NXT today are, I'd tell you Johnny Gargano, Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Bad Ass, and Johnny Takeover. My bias opinion aside, when Vince McMahon requested the four best superstars NXT has to offer, he received NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa, NXT North American champion Johnny Gargano, the "One and Only" Ricochet, and the "Man from Amsterdam" Aleister Black. These are the four pillars of NXT, the four men who are always featured on TakeOver and always steal the show.
In the past two years, there have been at least ten superstars you could claim to be among the top five in the eleven-year history of the yellow brand. This is a show, mind you, whose inaugural champion was Seth Rollins and whose first episode featured Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho.
NXT's roster is more stacked than it has ever been, but these men moonlighting on Raw and SmackDown this week served to remind us that they will not be here forever.
These are the four superstars primed to slide into the main event scene and fill the voids that will be left behind by Ciampa, Gargano, Ricochet, and Black when they are inevitably called-up.
#4 Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle is a blue-chip prospect that many believed would never come to WWE. He has spent ten years fighting in the MMA and wrestling on the Indies, but it seemed as though WWE would never take a chance on him. That was until he was spotlighted in the crowd of TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
Ever since then the WWE universe has been enamored with the King of Bros. He has had a handful of matches including a clash with a debuting Punishment Martinez, a technical and physical masterpiece with Drew Gulak, and a trilogy with Kassius Ohno. At TakeOver: War Games II, Riddle had an impromptu match with Ohno that saw the original bro KO the knockout artist with a running knee in six seconds.
In longer subsequent matches with Ohno, Riddle has been very impressive, including literally elbowing Ohno into submission at TakeOver: Phoenix. Riddle is technically sound, can brawl, is laid back but also has a fire burning inside of him. He has a natural charisma and connection with the audience that can't be taught, and will definitely be headlining future TakeOvers once the Gargano-Ciampa fairy tale is over.