WWE NXT: Is Kevin Steen The Next CM Punk?
The WWE has been on a roll as of late with their new talent acquisitions. They’ve essentially hit the indie wrestling jackpot by picking up the likes of KENTA, spelled simply as Kenta in WWE , Prince Devitt, so far being referred to by his birth name, Fergal Devitt, and Kevin Steen, who they announced earlier this week.
It’s almost absurd how much talent WWE has brought into the fold in the last few weeks, vastly improving their NXT roster by leaps and bounds. While it’s not expected for any of these three stars to remain in developmental for long, one or two of them should be expected to win the NXT Championship in the near future. It may not be seen as fair to some of the talent that have been down in developmental for quite some time, but these are three next level stars ready to be competing on the Raw and Smackdown rosters pretty much immediately. They need to go through the motions, compete on WWE’s terms and learn the things that WWE wants them to do. Watching a WWE match is immensely different than any other wrestling promotion, because they have their own style, so it’s necessary to be in NXT for several months.
It had been rumored for months, if not years, that Devitt would be heading to WWE when his contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling ended; part of those rumors said that when he did sign, he would go to NXT for a very short amount of time and be bumped up to the main roster within six months or less. That’s an unusual contract for sure, as most new talents stay in developmental for years at a time before being called up; for reference, Konnor of The Ascension has been in WWE’s developmental system for a decade. I would assume that Kenta’s contract is similar to Devitt’s, while Steen’s I think may be a little more lengthy.
Steen is the darling of the indie wrestling scene because of his brash nature, quick wit, normal-guy looks and innovative in-ring style. He looks like practically any guy on the street, but under the surface, he’s so different than your average Joe. When Steen gets into the ring, he’s either dropping a Pipe Bomb a la CM Punk or he’s getting ready to destroy someone in a uniquely brutal way. I was tentative when I was first told to check him out — mainly because of his looks, honestly — but was pleasantly surprised by his ability to perform. When I watched his insane ladder match against El Generico – Sami Zayn, before becoming Sami Zayn — I was practically jumping for wrestling joy.
I honestly think that he’s going to have a rough time finding a way to fit into the WWE mold, only because of how violent his merch/promos tend to be. When one of his schticks is “Kill Steen Kill” coupled with a shirt that has El Generico’s decapitated head on a chair, you’re not what WWE would promote. What I think is about to be his purpose in WWE is replacing CM Punk’s role as the outspoken, brash, give no crap, “I believe I’m better than everyone else and I’ll show you why” type persona. He’s without a doubt the type of guy who would call out Triple H on his mistakes and revel in the punishment that would soon follow, because he would believe he could take it or turn it around on The Authority. I can fully picture this being the intention that the higher-ups have for him and want to move towards, so they have that persona back on their production without having to rely on Punk second guessing his departure.
If you’re losing interest in WWE right now, look to NXT, where business is about to pick up big time.
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