Welcome back to The Sideys! The first ever Squared Circle Sideshow year-end awards. Today’s award is…
The Brightest Future Award
The Brightest Future Award goes to the wrestler who is best positioned to reach the promised land in 2011.
…and the nominees are:
Alberto Del Rio
Since debuting this past Summer, the former Dos Caras Jr. has been featured on Friday Night SmackDown! as a future star. His feud with Rey Mysterio is still going strong, and he’s notched some other impressive wins along the way.
When he first debuted as a part of the British Invasion, it seemed as if Doug Williams was going to be used as the lesser of the three members. Now, though, he’s the breakout star. His undeniable skill between the ropes has pushed him into TNA’s top tier, leading to a TV Title win over AJ Styles.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes
Much like Williams, Cody was initially viewed as the weak link in his introductory faction. Admittedly, he’s still nowhere near Randy Orton, but he’s light years beyond Ted DiBiase. The Dashing One has spent 2010 steadily climbing the ranks on SmackDown! and looks to continue that rise through 2011.
He was the face of the TNA fans in 2010. Jay Lethal got to live out his (and all of our) childhood dream when he went face-to-face against the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. He’s back in the X Division now, but TNA has showed that they have a decent amount of faith in him.
At the time of this writing, John Morrison is the #1 Contender to the WWE Championship, set to face The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the title on RAW. It’s not a PPV main event, but it’s a step in the right direction. This time next year, the Palace of Wisdom should have permanently moved to the top of WWE.
…and the Sidey goes to:
Alberto Del Rio
As unfortunately true as it is, Del Rio’s spot on SmackDown! makes him a much more likely recipient than Morrison on RAW. History has shown that it’s easier to break through to the top on the blue brand, especially for heels. Brands aside though, WWE has clearly been grooming Del Rio for the main event since his first vignette aired. In today’s environment of NXT and the impending Tough Enough reboot, debuting superstars are nothing new. The fact that airtime was committed to Alberto Del Rio’s video speeches told you that there were big plans in store for this guy. So far, that’s been exactly the case. He’s already been in a PPV main event. He’s the top heel on SmackDown! just behind Kane, and he is first in line to get the next shot at Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship. As we enter 2011, Alberto Del Rio is in the perfect position to force his way into the WWE’s top tier.
Check back tomorrow to see who will take home the Promo of the Year!