Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breakout Stars of 2011

Wanted to take a second here at Two Spot Monkeys and look at possible break out stars for 2011.  Now, I think it’s important that we first look at what I mean by “breakout star” as each person may have a different definition for that term.  In this case, I am looking for stars who have the chance to become a regular part of the main event picture in their particular company.  For instance, Jon Moxley was a breakout star to me in 2010 because he was elevated to the main event level in both DGUSA and potentially Evolve.  So, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at it! 


John Morrison – They seem to have been ready to pull the trigger with him a few times in the past, and I think that 2011 will be his year.  Morrison reminds me a ton of a young Shawn Michaels (though HBK was a better promo guy than Morrison is at this point).  Morrison has crazy agility, and does seem to have the crowd behind him.  Hopefully he wins Money in the Bank either at Wrestlemania, or at the Money in the Bank PPV (if they do that PPV gimmick again) and can be elevated into the top of the mix.  I think he’d be a fresh face who can have some great matches. 

Dolph Ziggler – This one is kind of already happening, but I think Ziggler will stay in the top mix going forward.  I don’t see him as just a placeholder to get to Wrestlemania.  Along with Morrison, I see Ziggler as one of the favorites to win Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania.  With Vickie Guerrero by his side, and her willingness to abuse her power at every turn, I would be surprised if Ziggler isn’t World Heavyweight Champion by the time the end of summer roles around. 

I would LOVE to add Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston to this list…but just don’t see them breaking through unfortunately.  Also, I considered Alberto Del Rio to already be in the top mix, so not eligible for this category at this point. 


Honestly…the top of the card is so oversaturated in TNA right now that I just don’t’ see any new names making it there.  I wish D’Angelo Dinero would get there…I wish Samoa Joe would make it back there, but I just don’t see it.  For that reason, I’m going to take a pass on trying to predict anyone from TNA, as I just don’t think we’ll see any. 


Chris Hero – Now wait just a moment before you rip my head off and tell me that Hero has main evented a ton of shows.  He has…but his only main event level runs (outside of an occasional title shot) have been as a member of the Kings of Wrestling.  I believe this is the year that Chris Hero breaks out and up to the top of the pack as a singles competitor as well.  Hero has all the tools and would make a GREAT ROH World Champion, so I can only hope they put him in the mix with Strong, Daniels, Richards, and Homicide. 

Kyle O’Reilly – I’ve been a fan of this guy since I saw his match in DGUSA vs. Adam Cole.  Definitely reminds me of a cross between Davey Richards, and perhaps a really early Bryan Danielson.  Now, before you rip me a new one that he isn’t on Danielson’s level, of course he isn’t.  But, he could get there.  He just might have a shot.  I look forward to the matches  he’s in on any ROH show almost as much as any on the card.  Definitely a guy to keep an eye on in ROH. 

Mike Bennett – I’m not sure that the fans will let him break out, because it’s obvious ROH is strapping the rocket to this guy.  But, if they do accept him in his role, he could have a big year with the company behind him.  He’s got some skills, and is good in promos it seems…so, I’m willing to give him a shot. 


Ronin (Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann) – These guys have already been pushed to the top of the card and are the top babyfaces in the company right now it seems.  They have a ton of charisma, and are a great mix of high flying and technical wrestling.  I’m really excited to see what these guys do together as a unit, and am really looking forward to being in Atlanta live for their six man against Blood Warriors in April.  That should be amazing! 

Akira Tozawa – Another “after the fact” prediction kind of here as it seems he broke out in the January shows, but I think the rise will just continue.  I think Tozawa will be the one to take the Open the Freedom Gate title from YAMATO later this year.  Tozawa is on the rise big time, and could become one of the very best in the world before long.  He’s great in the ring, has amazing facial interactions, and also knows how to use comedy.  This guy has ‘it”, and he has it in bunches. 

So, do you agree?  Disagree?  Who do you think breaks out this year?  Who on my list do you think doesn’t have a shot? 


  1. I've got no idea what's happening in DG USA because frankly it's so confusing, so I'm not sure. I think Ronin are faces, or at least intended to be.

    Ziggler is fantastic, same with Del Rio. I personally think Morrison is very athletic but that's about it. Not a big fan.

    TNA is well TNA. Joe, Dinero, Styles, Roode, and Storm are all so great. But again, with a booking team full of knuckleheads and a locker room full of egos there's no way we'll ever see any of them on top.

    For ROH, Bennett and O’Reilly are great. I'm also a huge fan of Adam Cole and Andy Ridge. It's amazing how in seven years or so of Gabe there was never any real young guys who came in with no major rep and exploded. I think Bennett and O'Reilly along with Cole & Ridge can really be the next foursome of guys to become headliners.

  2. Jeff - to say that no one came in as a young guy and exploded is something I can't agree with. Nigel McGuinness, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Alex Shelley, heck, even CM Punk and Colt Cabana weren't household names before ROH. I'm sure there are more as well.

  3. I guess I should have been a little more clear on my point. Jim, you're totally correct on those guys all being young and breaking out. Maybe it's just me but I had no idea who O'Reilly, Bennett, or Cole was before they got their ROH spots. So essentially until he debuted, I had never heard the name Mike Bennett, let alone seen him.

    It very well could be that my lack of viewing of indy wrestling nowadays prevented me from knowing them before ROH. But back in the day with Nigel, Aries, Roddy, Shelley, Punk, and Colt I had seen them pretty regularly in IWA Mid-South, CZW, or even some of the local places here (for Nigel).

    But no doubt you're right as young guys they did break out huge. For me personally, I guess for good or bad, times have changed as far as my viewing habits.