The WWE is still the top wrestling promotion that is around. But how does a company that has been around for years and been run by the McMahon family still have the capability of being the top of the wrestling world? It is very simple, the independent wrestling scene that is becoming the breeding ground for future WWE stars. Some of the more notable ones include Ring of Honor, EVOLVE, and Combat Zone Wrestling. There are others like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Chikara, and Dragon Gate that have produced future WWE superstars.
This is shown on both NXT and the WWE main roster over the last few years. However, it has gone up a lot in the last two years. It should be noted that independent wrestling has been around for years, however, before CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, it was not an ordinary thing for an independent wrestler to make a successful transition from the independent wrestling scene to the professional wrestling scene. If you look at the current main roster of WWE, there are a ton of wrestlers who have made the transition. They include Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and AJ Styles just to name a few.
If you look at the landscape of NXT, the WWE development system, and it is shown there as well. In NXT, you have Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and others who have signed with NXT but have not debuted yet. In that area, you have Eric Young, Rodrick Strong, Tommy End, and others who have made it successfully on the independent scene and are waiting to debut on NXT. It goes without saying that we are entering an era where WWE can pick stars that are succeeding on the independent scene and offer them a contract.
However, this gets interesting because many wrestlers who have done pretty well for themselves are not in WWE. Some names that come to mind are Prince Puma, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and others who have done well and are not in WWE. But I have a good feeling you will see many of them in WWE at some point. A few weeks ago, Ring of Honor’s Adam Cole was asked about if he would want to be in the WWE and just like other successful independent wrestlers have said, “never say never.”
Overall, WWE is in a good state of mind in the sense that they will probably never run out of potential wrestlers who they can offer a contract to as they continue to scout the independent scene. In the last few years, WWE has signed a deal with EVOLVE wrestling, and there has been a recent influx of wrestlers from that independent wrestling promotion. So if you go to a Ring of Honor show or just a regular independent wrestling show, you never know if you are going to see a future successful wrestler in both WWE and outside the WWE.