As 2023 rolls to a close, this year has been a fantastic one for so many in the wrestling business. While the obvious names like Roman Reigns, Will Ospreay, Rhea Ripley, Bryan Danielson, GUNTHER, and MJF have all continued to cement themselves as modern-day greats, there are those other names who maybe didn't have quite the same name value, recognition or reputation heading into 2023, but who have managed to quietly - or not so quietly, in some cases - boost their stock immeasurably throughout this calendar year.
For some wrestlers, 2023 saw them finally start to maximise their vast potential. For others, a character tweak or outright gimmick change saw everything finally click in ways like never before.
And in the case of certain others, their sheer lack of experience belies the high quality of work they've put together across the year, be that between the ropes or in terms of character work and presentation.
With that in mind, then, here are ten wrestlers who have shown immense improvement over the past 12 months and should find themselves being significant players in 2024 and beyond.
10. Big Bill
Due to his sheer size, Big Bill has always been a captivating, intriguing presence dating back to his early Colin Cassady days in NXT. When his entertaining pairing with Enzo Amore finally came to an end in 2017, it looked like the powerhouse was in line for a significant push as a monster heel, but that was unfortunately curtailed due to certain personal issues Bill himself has been very public about.
For those who watched the big fella in IMPACT as W. Morrissey, there was plenty of promise shown as he'd clearly got his life and career back on track, and that promise was expected to be capitalised on when Bill signed with AEW in August 2022. And then, well then he was just a generic goon-for-hire for Stokely Hathaway and the Firm.
Thankfully, and possibly surprisingly, Big Bill clicked extremely well when teaming up with Brian Cage, and Bill's lollipop-sucking, ass-kicking ways made for a whole bunch of fun. Even better than that pairing, though, has been Big Bill joining forces with Ricky Starks.
Starks himself has had a stunning second half of 2023, becoming a genuine main event player, and he and Big Bill have been one of the most must-see acts of the year's final few months; Bill and Absolute being two of those who've made the most of the opportunities and TV time created by the launch of AEW Collision.