10 Wrestlers With The Most Breakout Star Potential Right Now

9. HOOK

Paige VanZant
AEW

HOOK isn't just a meme, though AEW is potentially flirting too heavily with that aspect of his popularity by programming him alongside Danhausen.

Of course, Danhausen's presence acts as a deliberate contrast to HOOK's, who is meant to look even more like a serious, ass-kicking proposition stood next to the comedy act. Regardless of your perspective on the development - too cute, or fun and undeniably over - it is a temporary diversion designed to deepen HOOK's babyface appeal and slowly flesh out his character. The fans want to cheer him. They are now being encouraged to cheer him. It makes sense, even though it's also a weird continuation of a slightly wonky AEW device. Within the stable-heavy narrative framework, certain wrestlers barely appear alongside their stablemates (FTR, HOOK, Danhausen etc.)

HOOK is more than a meme because he isn't enjoyed ironically for a brief period of time before everybody moves onto the next thing. People don't invest in memes, and HOOK at one point late last year out-sold record seller CM Punk on Pro Wrestling Tees. Another strong indication of HOOK's staying power lies in those Rampage reactions. These crowds are exhausted, so much so that AEW has taken the bleak option of sweetening their reactions - and they still go opening-match apesh*t for HOOK.

So athletically gifted and fast that he seems to glitch into phases of awesome judo-inspired offence, HOOK has fused that with his smouldering pin-up disposition to become wrestling's next big thing.

Contributor
Contributor

Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71