As we approach the second half of 2019, there are several wrestlers who have had a great first half of 2019.
People like Kofi Kingston, Jon Moxley, Seth Rollins, Shayna Baszler and Cody Rhodes have already had a great year so far, with the promise of more to come.
This article, however, will focus on people who will have a huge second half of 2019 and set the wrestling world alight as 2019 draws to a close.
1. Darby Allin
The former skateboarder from Seattle, Washington has already generated a lot of buzz due to his appearances in EVOLVE and AEW. However, its towards the back end of 2019 that Allin will really set the world alight, due to AEW debuting on TNT this fall, and his appearance in the Battle of Los Angeles tournament for PWG in September.
With a weekly audience at his disposal in AEW, Allin will finally get a chance to shine on a worldwide stage. Having already stolen the show at Fyter Fest due to his daredevil antics, Allin will have the opportunity to do crazy antics much more regularly and to a wider variety of opponents than he is used to. Expect the name Darby Allin to be trending worldwide on social media a lot throughout the back half of 2019.
2. Tessa Blanchard
Not only one of the best female wrestlers in the world, but one of the best anywhere in the world. Tessa already created headlines at Slammiversary when along with Sami Callihan, she had the first Intergender PPV main event on American soil. Following this, expected Tessa’s stock to rise even further as we head into 2020.
She’s bound to generate interest from WWE and AEW. She’s already worked with WWE before, competing in the first Mae Young Classic and appearing a few times on NXT. She also (kinda) has previous with AEW, appearing at All In, defeating Britt Baker, Chelsea Green and Madison Rayne in a Fatal 4 Way. At just 23 years old, her future is very bright. No matter where she goes, she’s bound to be spectacular, so expect the back half of 2019 to be even more amazing than the first half for Tessa.
3. Bray Wyatt
Until a few months ago, you would be forgiven for forgetting that Bray Wyatt actually existed. His star had faded a long time ago, and no one really cared. It wasn’t all his fault. A combination of injuries and bad booking had rendered Bray pointless, and it looked like he would become the latest victim of WWE’s creative team.
However, vignettes started appearing in April, showing a new, (supposedly) happier side to Bray Wyatt. As the weeks progressed, the vignettes became darker and more menacing, as Bray begged us to ‘let him in.’ He appeared on RAW last week, attacking Finn Balor, and it looks as though we have the menacing Bray Wyatt that first debuted in 2013.
WWE cannot mess Bray up this time. This new ‘Fiend’ character is too good. He already has a fantastic feud lined up with Finn Balor, who will no doubt bring out his ‘Demon’ character when these two collide. If they are smart, they’ll have Wyatt absolutely destroy Finn, letting him have some time off and immediately showing the menacing and more powerful side of Bray Wyatt. Then they should let him destroy half of the RAW roster. This will let everyone know that this Bray Wyatt is a different one, a much more sinister one than usual. This is Bray’s last chance to show that he could be a superstar, and this time, WWE won’t let him down.
4. Killer Kross
In an Impact roster that has been quietly putting out great matches for over 18 months, Killer Kross stands out. He’s a genuine star. He’s just got something about screams ‘Superstar’. He can also cut a menacing promo and unlike most big men TNA have had (Mahabali Shera anyone?), he’s actually a very good wrestler.
He’s too good a wrestler for bigger companies to ignore. According to internet rumours, he has already asked for his release from Impact Wrestling, which hasn’t been granted. Even if he ends up staying there, expect his worth to skyrocket as the year goes on. This time next year, Killer Kross could be a megastar. He’s that good.
5. Io Shirai
The ‘Genius of the Sky’ is destined to skyrocket towards the back end of this year. After coming up short against NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler on more than one occasion, she finally snapped after losing to Baszler again in a Steel Cage match on NXT a few weeks ago. She viciously attacked her friend Candice LeRae, who has come down during the match to support her. She absolutely battered her with a Steel Chair, before leaving and proclaiming that she doesn’t need anyone to get by in NXT.
This new change in direction could be exactly what Shirai needs to become a megastar in WWE. After she’s finished with LeRae, she could move on to challenging whoever is the NXT Women’s Champion after Takeover (hopefully it’s not Baszler) and prove why she is regarded as one of the very best that NXT has to offer.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!