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7 Wrestlers That Will Join WWE This Year, 7 To Impact And 7 To New Japan

It should be an fascinating time for pro-wrestling followers over the course of the subsequent yr. With WWE and NJPW staying afloat on the prime of the ranks, the unbiased scene is beginning to warmth up, and consider it or not, so is Influence Wrestling, which has had a tumultuous few years – to say the least. With a brand new TV deal and a brand new regime doing the most effective they might with what they have, Impression continues to be arguably the quantity two model in North America, and that could be as a result of they have tv slots, pay-per-views, and a roster that retains getting barely higher yr after yr.

When it comes to NJPW, the enormous is making an attempt to make waves within the western market, and has already hosted a lot of exhibits in California, to not point out an upcoming present co-promoted with Ring of Honor at Madison Sq. Backyard throughout WrestleMania weekend. With stars comparable to Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho and Jay White bridging the hole for followers that don’t converse the language, its exhibits at the moment are simply accessible for all with an English commentary group and options on AXS TV.

WWE continues to be the primary promotion, and it’s all the time trying to develop, amidst studies that they need to be the one huge present on the town. With wrestlers having extra choices that earlier than when it comes to jobs, WWE often snatches up indie expertise when it could, as we noticed with the signings of a number of UK wrestlers to construct the NXT UK model. Nevertheless, they are not strangers to seeing wrestlers depart, and that would imply that a number of rivals might be on the lookout for work elsewhere ought to they select to take their careers elsewhere.

With that stated, let us take a look at some wrestlers who could be heading to WWE, Influence or probably NJPW throughout this upcoming yr:

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21 WWE – Trevor Lee

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You must marvel why Influence Wrestling did not make Trevor Lee a much bigger star. He was considered one of their brighter stars these previous few years, and regardless of being unable to interrupt out of the X-Division onto the heavyweight title scene, Lee all the time placed on high quality matches for TNA when he was summoned. Additionally a veteran of the Los Angeles-based and revered Professional Wrestling Guerilla, Lee is stated to be heading to WWE, already collaborating in a tryout and impressing, in accordance with the dust sheet pundits. If that is true, anticipate the teenager to show some heads, as he’s as brash as they arrive, however may also work a technical or high-flying-based type with whoever he’s matched up towards.

20 Impression – Mike Kanellis

by way of tpww.com

Mike Kanellis might have the perfect theme music in WWE, and that is all his WWE run goes to be remembered for ought to he exit the corporate in 2019. Kanellis hasn’t been all that nice for WWE, and perhaps that is as a result of he does not get the proper alternatives to showcase his expertise. Why he went straight to SmackDown and did not hone his craft in NXT is a thriller, however he could possibly reintroduce himself in TNA ought to him and Maria Kanellis be confronted with departures within the coming months. They’re an excellent couples act, and contemplating they’ve historical past with each TNA and ROH, do not be stunned in the event that they find yourself there sooner moderately than later – contemplating the discharge request stories.

19 NJPW – Hideo Itami

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The Hideo Itami experiment has been an enormous disappointment in WWE, and the identical might be stated for lots of stars that enterprise off to the States from Japan. WWE cannot fairly seize the identical magic lots of Japanese wrestlers are recognized to supply of their place of birth, and to be truthful, it is because of plenty of causes. Having been mediocre in NXT resulting from damage points and fairly good in 205 Reside, Itami has been with the WWE for almost half a decade and hasn’t damaged into the primary roster on a everlasting foundation.

We did see him return to his former residence Professional Wrestling Noah for a one-off match a couple of months in the past, and if Itami chooses to go away WWE for Japan, he must make his presence felt in NJPW which can cement his legacy in his homeland.

18 WWE – ACH

by way of tpww.com

ACH is quickly to be a former ROH, PWG, NJPW and TNA star since he is rumored to be on his approach to the NXT grooming service generally known as the Efficiency Middle. For followers who aren’t acquainted with ACH’s work, his physique is spectacular, he is lightning-quick, and he is greater than snug with taking to the air each match. For followers who’re impressed with the work of Will Ospreay and Ricochet, they’ll love ACH, and since he hasn’t actually been featured completely for a type of aforementioned promotions, it is easy to see why he hasn’t gotten the respect he deserves as the most effective excessive flyers on the planet.

17 Influence – Daisuke Harada

by way of wrestlingwithwrestling.com

There are going to be some wrestlers on this listing that many aren’t acquainted with, however somebody like Daisuke Harada is not actually a stranger to these acquainted with the artwork of puroresu. Harada, who has solely actually been featured in america at Chikara, is considered one of Professional Wrestling Noah’s greatest skills, at present holding the GHC Junior Heavyweight title. It is his third reign as champ, and Harada has additionally gained the promotion tag title 3 times as properly.

With Taiji Ishimori leaving Influence to turn into the Bone Soldier in NJPW’s Bullet Membership, that left a void for Impression’s overseas expertise, which the corporate is understood for that includes. It is probably not whereas Harada is champion, since title holders do not often transfer throughout the pond to wrestle, however we might find yourself seeing Harada on U.S. soil as soon as he is able to introduce followers to his fast-paced, hard-hitting type.

16 NJPW – Kaito Kiyomiya

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One other Japanese expertise who is probably not the preferred amongst Western followers, Kiyomiya wrestles for Professional Wrestling Noah on the tender age of 22. Drawing some similarities from wrestlers reminiscent of Katsuyori Shibata and Kazuchika Okada in terms of the potential that they had at his age, Kiyomiya seems like he has a vibrant future in Noah, so it’s unlikely he’ll leap ship to NJPW. Nevertheless, NJPW holds a Better of The Tremendous Juniors event each summer time, by which wrestlers from a number of promotions lock horns with New Japan expertise for the higher a part of three weeks.

With the Younger Bucks now gone, and some different rivals having made their strategy to WWE over the previous few years, somebody like Kiyomiya could possibly be featured, particularly since he just lately gained Noah’s International League in 2018.

15 WWE – Shane Strickland

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A former Evolve champion and MLW wrestler, Shane Strickland has had a really profitable 2018, the place he introduced forth depth in his matches and seemed just like the standout product he might all the time be. A match with Matt Riddle acquired a lot reward within the wrestling world earlier this yr, and contemplating WWE has ties with the indie promotion, Strickland should definitely be on WWE’s radar. He is the right expertise to hitch NXT and be groomed for WWE success, contemplating NXT is a wrestling faculty and Srickland should work on a number of changes to really adapt to the WWE type the promotion expects all their wrestlers to grasp.

14 Influence – Dolph Ziggler

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You could assume this can be a step down for Dolph Ziggler, and it is exhausting to consider it will occur, however studies are circulating that Ziggler has despatched in a request to be launched from the juggernaut that’s WWE. This is not the primary time that Ziggler has been within the information when it comes to leaving WWE, but this time, WWE might not choose to resume the previous champion’s contract. It’s believed that WWE provided him a backstage position, which he declined. With all of the information about AEW, you’d assume that Ziggler might need to go there, but till that firm establishes itself, Ziggler might transfer to Impression and turn into the highest man very quickly. He would have a lighter work schedule, and he can be on TV much more than he’s as of late. Plus, TNA have working partnerships with different promotions, so this might be an enormous plus for him.

13 NJPW – Daisuke Sekimoto

by way of twitter.com

One other huge star in Japan is Daisuke Sekimoto, who has truly wrestled towards a handful of present WWE stars up to now, together with Keith Lee, Walter, and Hideo Itami, to call a couple of. Sekimoto befell in a Lion’s Venture present in 2018, making his NJPW debut towards Shota Umino. Sekimoto, who’s loyal to BJW (the promotion recognized for insane demise matches which have occurred through the years), has the physique of an Adonis, and he appears like the kind of man that Vince McMahon salivates over. The previous Zero-1 wrestler might present up for an additional Lion’s Undertaking later this yr, or higher but, in a event such because the G1 Climax or within the World Tag League as a shock participant.

12 WWE – Will Ospreay

by way of twitter.com

He is presently a NJPW star but when there’s something we find out about WWE, it is that no one is actually untouchable if the New York firm needs to rent them. Ospreay is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, and he’ll have his arms full with Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in a dream match for the ages, however after that, what’s subsequent for him? Being arguably the most effective excessive flyer within the enterprise at this time, Ospreay can be an enormous signing for the WWE’s NXT UK model, immediately turning into its largest star ought to the Aerial Murderer be a part of the large league. It is solely going to be a matter of time earlier than Ospreay joins WWE, and all of it relies upon what else he needs to perform (maybe a transfer to heavyweight in New Japan) earlier than he strikes out west.

11 Influence – Mikey Nicholls

by way of wwe.com

WWE lately let go of NXT star Mikey Nicholls, higher referred to as Nick Miller of tag staff TM-61. Whereas they stored his companion Shane Haste (Shane Thorne), it resulted in the long run of a well-liked tag group that glided by the identify of The Mighty Do not Kneel in Professional Wrestling Noah. Nicholls was granted his launch because of eager to spend extra time together with his household in Australia, so it does not seem like he will need to return to the ring any time quickly. Nevertheless, as soon as he will get the itch to return to competing, there is a good probability he’ll return to Noah the place he and Haste have been extremely popular, and on prime of that, Noah has a working partnership with Influence. Meaning Nicholls might present up for Impression each few minutes for an enormous PPV or some tv episodes.

10 NJPW – Bandido

by way of superluchas.com

Whereas WWE did have some critical talks with Bandido about becoming a member of them just some months in the past, it appears the enigmatic luchador might be turning up in New Japan sooner relatively than later. Bandido simply signed a deal for Ring of Honor, after it was pressured to rebuild with the exits of Cody Rhodes, the Younger Bucks and Adam Web page. Since Bandido is now an ROH star, that signifies that he could possibly be featured for New Japan since they’ve a working relationship and often have NJPW stars compete on ROH exhibits and vice versa. Bandido might very properly be working the G1 Supercard present in NYC come April, and we may see him in both the G1 Climax or Better of Tremendous Juniors (relying on his weight) tournaments in the summertime.

9 WWE – Timothy Thatcher

by way of youtube.com

Should you’re accustomed to the UK or Germany’s wrestling scene, you in all probability know of Ringkampf. The secure, led by WWE-bound Walter, excels in conventional wrestling and adapts extra of a Pancrase fashion. Timothy Thatcher, a member of the group, has additionally held titles in Evolve and is a daily at PWG, amongst many different promotions. He works extremely stiff, and does not care how fairly he or his work seems to be. He actually is old-fashioned. Now that Walter has joined WWE, it will be fascinating to see Thatcher comply with go well with, since one other member of the group, Axel Dieter Jr., now wrestles for the NXT UK model as Marcel Barthel. Additionally, an alumnus of the group is on WWE’s most important roster – Alexander Wolfe of Sanity.

eight Influence – Massive Cass

by way of wwe.com

The previous WWE huge man won’t return to that promotion, and though you need to by no means say by no means, it isn’t going to occur any time quickly. Cass must work on a number of issues, and whereas he’s hitting the unbiased scene and enhancing, he’s nonetheless a type of guys that promotions do not need to cross up as a result of his measurement and appears. Whereas he wasn’t nice within the ring, he has the facility to vary that now that he’s away from the grueling WWE schedule. It was all the time anticipated that somebody like Cass would present up within the Influence Zone, and if he’s prepared to take his profession significantly within the subsequent few months, that could possibly be a finished cope with the Impression brass.

7 NJPW – PAC/Neville

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Neville is working in Dragon Gate proper now, and has just lately signed for the brand new AEW promotion, which suggests he is somewhat tied up. With no plans to return to WWE, Neville might proceed his dominant run as a junior heavyweight and show he’s one of the best on the planet in that weight class. Whereas NJPW and AEW aren’t going to work collectively proper at this second, it stays a risk, and somebody like Neville might present up for one-offs in Japan and compete within the Tremendous Juniors event. It will be a win-win state of affairs for each promotions, since AEW will get additional publicity by having Neville there, and New Japan income off the assured barnburners Pac would have towards a few of its expertise.

6 WWE – John Morrison

by way of 24wrestling.com

He is obtained a half dozen of names that he might go by, but WWE followers know him greatest as John Morrison. The Impression wrestling standout has turn into a family identify for Influence followers, and the standard of his matches has improved drastically over the previous decade. WWE is seemingly fascinated by bringing Morrison again, identical to they’ve finished with EC3, a former Impression World champion that honed his craft after being launched by WWE. There is no phrase on if Morrison needs to return, or if there’s a suggestion in place, however one thing tells us that Johnny Influence will possible need some huge cash to return. Plus, he is a prime man in Impression and in addition works in Mexico, so who is aware of if he will need to give that up for the rigorous WWE schedule.

5 Impression – Jonathan Gresham

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With regards to up and coming expertise in ROH, you by no means actually know who’s going to be staying or leaving. Dozens of wrestlers have left ROH over the previous few years for quite a few causes, which embrace reserving disputes, eager to carry out elsewhere, and even the will to point out the world that they’re higher than being a mid-carder. Jonathan Gresham is a type of gems that ROH cannot afford to lose, but they could not be capable of hold him if they do not give him a prime spot within the close to future.

Whereas he has been with the corporate for some time and grew right into a technical powerhouse, somebody like Gresham might need a broader attain when fascinated by his future, and if WWE do not snatch him up, Influence has extra alternatives in terms of TV and PPV.

four NJPW – Naomichi Marufuji

by way of twitter.com

Marufuji is a legend, and somebody who hasn’t actually eclipsed his standing in Japan over in the USA. He has been on Influence tv prior to now, nevertheless it’s not like he had an enormous run with any singles titles or an enormous feud that followers caught on to. He competed in Japan’s G1 event a couple of years in the past, and now that Kenny Omega’s future is unsure and NJPW is rebuilding, so it would not be shocking if Marufuji both enters the G1 but once more in 2019, or comes to assist the great guys within the feud towards the Bullet Membership – which occurs to be the primary tussle in Japan between the Membership’s new chief Jay White and Okada. Marufuji is a pleasure to observe when wrestling, and for followers that are not conversant in his work, there’s a lot to go round on YouTube if you wish to familiarize your self.

three WWE – Dalton Fort

by way of twitter.com

With Juice Robinson beginning a brand new faction in ROH, it seems as if he can be on prime in that firm within the distant future. They undoubtedly want new blood and with their current signings, ROH appear to be on the suitable foot following the departure of the Elite. One wrestler who can also depart ROH is Dalton Citadel, who has apparently impressed officers over at WWE. Fort could be very charismatic, and he is acquired a newbie wrestling background which permits him to own sheer power within the ring.

ROH has gotten behind Citadel as the highest man up to now, however with Jay Deadly now the present champion and the measuring stick for all in that firm, it is exhausting to think about that Fort might be on prime as soon as once more any time quickly. He ought to be anticipated to hitch WWE someday later this yr.

2 Impression – Dana Brooke

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When Dana Brooke arrived in NXT, she was inexperienced however taking a look at her physique, it was evident that she had the physique and muscle that the promotion notoriously seeks in rivals. Brooke jumped to the primary roster fairly shortly, however has failed immensely in garnering any type of reward and hasn’t had a very good match towards anybody. Whereas she could also be suited greatest for a task as a valet who might additionally deliver forth a beating on anybody, if Brooke ought to depart WWE this coming spring, the one place for her to proceed her wrestling profession can be the Impression Zone. Brooke would not need to work the indies and journey across the nation extra so than touchdown someplace with a WWE really feel, regardless that the model is miles forward of Influence when it comes to, nicely, the whole lot.

1 NJPW – Shinsuke Nakamura

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Whereas there are not any plans for WWE to surrender on Shinsuke Nakamura, you must assume that his time could also be operating out within the promotion. Not too distant from his 40s, Nakamura has had perhaps one or two nice matches in WWE, and aside from profitable the 2018 Royal Rumble and a forgettable United States championship run which ended courtesy of Rusev, Nakamura must be trying to return residence to NJPW in 2019.

It feels as if WWE has no concept what to do with him and his heel flip has been very underwhelming. Nakamura is a legend in New Japan, and will he grow to be tired of WWE, there are many dream matches in Japan to maintain him motivated to proceed his profession, together with bouts towards Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, and his former stablemate, Kazuchika Okada.

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