Five years ago, Kenny Omega was teaming with Kota Ibushi in DDT, and tearing up PWG, as the future Best Bout Machine in exceptional performances that slowly informed a persona he had not yet marketed nor perfected.
Johnny Gargano was generating buzz on the U.S. Independent scene as a standout technician, but hadn't yet began the emotional, circuitous NXT arc that saw him become the bleeding heart of the brand. Will Ospreay's breakthrough PROGRESS arc was well underway, but the incredible raw talent was years from the refinement of his current form as a spectacular talent with genuine depth.
Tomohiro Ishii was firmly established as a performer of impeccable selling and pacing, but hadn't quite developed his mastery of the New Japan epic; his matches in 2014 were brutal, exhilarating sprints, but in 2019, he can sustain attention with the very best at the main event level. Daniel Bryan had perfected his interpretation of the broader WWE style, but was on injury-enforced hiatus; now, after an improbable, outstanding return, he is on such excellent form that his more nuanced work draws as much - if not more - effusive praise.
Now, they comprise the elite class of professional wrestlers.