With 2013 now done and dusted it’s time to look ahead to 2014. 2013 was a successful year for WWE and they will be looking to build on the success of some of their more established stars from 2013 as well as those who are on the fringe of having that break out year. But the question as always remains, who’s time is it this year? In this article I break down the superstars I think are going to shine in 2014.
I may as well get the obvious one out of the way now in Daniel Bryan. We know that Bryan had a huge and successful 2013 (In the words of Richard Gray “He’s over like a Rover”) and I expect Bryan to continue to build on that success in 2014. While 2014 has seen Bryan begin the year as part of the Wyatt Family I expect that once Bryan is out of this story he will be back in the WWE Championship hunt. While I have seen a mixed reaction to Bryan being part of the Wyatt Family I have every faith that he will do just fine. He has been given a fair bit of crap in terms of his gimmicks over the years so far with WWE but he has hit a home run every time, and this will be no exception. I see Bryan getting a run with the WWE Championship at some point this year, something he has more than worked hard to earn. There is also talk of him facing Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 30, which I would love to see as it will be a match of the year candidate for sure, however we will see what happens over the next few weeks.
Another man I expect to see continue his hard work and have a strong year is CM Punk. The start of 2013 wasn’t exactly kind to Punk, we saw his historic 434 day WWE Championship run bought to an end by The Rock, he was beaten by Undertaker at Wrestlemania, lost to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, and was pinned by Paul Heyman at Night of Champions. However since then he has not lost a Pay Per View match and it appears Punk is due to have further involvement in the angle with The Authority in 2014. Punk is probably the most over superstar, other than Daniel Bryan, with the WWE crowd right now and deserves to be back in the main event. He put on a great match with Roman Reigns to end the first Raw of 2014, which will no doubt be overshadowed by a great moment when Jake Roberts returned to the WWE (Still can’t get over the fact I just typed that and saw it).
Someone I see on the fringe right now of being a breakout star is Roman Reigns. When The Shield had their debut match at TLC 2012 there were a lot of people, myself included, who wondered how Reigns would get on considering he did not have the seasoning of Ambrose and Rollins. He certainly proved something to everyone in 2013 by having high quality matches and showing that he really can wrestle a good match with anyone. I expect 2014 is going to see the demise of The Shield, potentially before Wrestlemania where we will likely see Reigns face off against his former stable mates. From there I expect WWE to push Reigns hard and he will certainly be having a United States Championship reign in his future. Main eventing is probably a bit too soon for him as a singles star but I have faith he will do just fine if WWE chose to go there.
My next choice is a man also on the fringe of being something big, Big E Langston. While I am not personally a fan of Langston, it’s clear to see he has the right in ring skills to get him high up in the company. His mic work and personality leave something to be desired but right now it seems WWE officials are very high up on this young man, who has support from the companies biggest star John Cena. 2014 will undoubtedly see Big E lose the Intercontinental Championship before Wrestlemania, but I see his push growing stronger from this point onwards. Like Reigns I think it’s too early for Langston to be involved in the main event picture, but WWE will use 2014 to push him as a powerhouse and I hope they will develop his character and mic work. I have every faith Langston will turn me from a doubter to a supporter in the next few years but 2014 is going to be the telling year for that to start for me.
2014 will also no doubt mean call up’s from the NXT roster to the main WWE roster. Right now for me there is nobody hotter than Sami Zayn in NXT. This man is having some of the best matches I have seen on a constant weekly basis. He has made watching NXT an absolute delight and I expect his call up to the main roster to happen probably just after Wrestlemania. No question for me Zayn is ready to take on the challenge of a spot on the main roster and I expect his to be very much like Daniel Bryan in that whatever he is given in terms of gimmicks and story lines he will turn them into gold. Zayn may not be seen by many as a WWE Champion but I believe this guy has what it takes to go all the way in WWE. 2014 will be the start of something truly special for Sami Zayn. If you haven’t seen this guy wrestle then get out from under the rock you’ve been hiding under and watch the matches he had on NXT with Antonio Cesaro . They are easily up there as some of the best matches of 2013 and put the majority of the main roster to shame.
WWE isn’t all about the male stars of course, they do have a Divas division too. While 2013 was clearly the breakout year for AJ Lee, there is one lady in particular I see being bigger than any Diva since probably Trish Stratus or Lita, and that lady is Paige. The NXT Women’s champion, known as the ‘Anti Diva’, has proven on NXT that she is by far the best female wrestler not only on that roster but in the whole of WWE in my mind. 2014 will be Paige’s biggest year in WWE to date and I expect her main roster call up sooner than later. Right now AJ Lee is on top of the Divas division and does not appear to be coming down from that perch any time soon. That is until she faces off against Paige, who for me is the only female capable of defeating AJ. Paige will show a lot of people that the Divas division isn’t just about having attractive women, it’s about wrestling, and I expect she will increase the level of wrestling competition in the division for the better. 2014 is the year the Divas division for me finally becomes more about wrestling when Paige makes her mark on the main roster.