In a recent interview, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle took some time to name the younger wrestlers he believes to have the most potential to become big stars in the company in the coming years.
Speaking on the most recent episode of Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo, Angle talked about how he sees the current WWE landscape three months after the company released him as part of COVID-19-related budget cuts. While he touched extensively on the low ratings of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown and how he believes empty-arena shows have led to this drop in viewership, he admitted he still enjoys the product and has a number of favorite wrestlers he likes watching.
You can watch Angle’s complete interview here.
“I love Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, Andrade,” Angle said at the 19-minute mark of the interview. “Some of the talents coming up through NXT. Matt Riddle is going to do an excellent job. There are a lot of young talents right now [like] Angel Garza. There are a lot of them who are gonna step up and really produce.”
With the exception of McIntyre, who currently reigns as WWE Champion, all the names Angle mentioned are mid-card superstars who have recently gotten significant exposure on either one of the promotion’s two main brands.
Angle’s mention of Riddle as someone to watch out for was notable, considering he had refereed his NXT farewell match against Timothy Thatcher and was previously offered a chance to manage him upon his call-up to SmackDown.
In addition to the aforementioned main roster wrestlers, who are all 35 years old and below, Angle also noted that there are “so many great talents” in NXT who could one day become bigger names once called up to Raw or SmackDown.
“The company is well prepared for the next 10 years. They have the best talent in the world and they’re gonna continue to train that talent to be the best talent in the world.”
Angle’s latest comments came close to a week after it was reported that his former boss, Vince McMahon, is now planning to start pushing new stars, due to the fact that a number of top-tier competitors are indefinitely out of action due to coronavirus-related concerns, injuries, and other factors. However, it was noted that the chairman had previously been reluctant to give bigger pushes to these superstars and had felt that some of them — particularly those that were prioritized by former Monday Night Raw executive director Paul Heyman — were too young.