The Spare Room: 30 Under 30 For 2020

I could not tell you how it started, but for as long as I can remember, I've always had my eye on the future when it comes to sports.

The NFL Draft is my favorite sporting event of the year (unless my 49ers or Lakers are playing for their sport's championship), and I spend all year studying prospects and doing research on who should go where in the Draft and who will go where in the Draft, leading up to me live tweeting the entire event, giving my analysis of every pick, often before the experts on ESPN or the NFL Network get to. I even do the same for the NBA Draft, albeit on a much lesser scale.

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In the last decade or so, I've focused my attention on the future of wrestling. Ever since I first began watching Ring Of Honor, I would always look at different wrestlers and try to figure out who had the brightest futures, who had the best chances of making it to a major promotion, and who would probably become a World Champion someday.

That's where the birth of my 30 Under 30 lists comes from. If you're new to the game, it's my list of the people in wrestling under the age of 30 that I feel have the biggest and brightest futures. It could be people in WWE that I feel are going to be main event players before too long. It could be independent talent that I think will be signing with a major promotion sooner than later. Whatever it is, the only criteria that I have is that the people listed have to be under the age of 30 as of January 1st of that year. It's a pretty simple concept. As always, I list them in order of age, from oldest to youngest, just because it's easier to read, so don't start freaking out because so-and-so is listed "higher" than such-and-such.

Get it?

Got it?

Good. Let's roll.

Jordan Devlin (Born on March 15th, 1990): I wish I would've had this article posted sooner. Then I could've bragged before Devlin won the NXT Cruiserweight Title at the Worlds Collide event. Once you get beyond the comments and the jokes about Devlin's body type, head size, etc, you find an incredibly talented wrestler. All of the "Finn Balor Junior" comparisons actually make sense, too. He was trained by Balor, comes from the same town in Ireland as Balor, and followed Balor's path of wrestling in the United Kingdom before heading to Japan. You can see a lot of Balor in Devlin's matches, and when you consider the success that "Prince" Fergal Devitt has had in his career, that's not a bad formula to take on. With his new Cruiserweight Title reign, you have to assume Devlin will be working a lot more in North America, which only means more eyes will be on his work, and he'll have a larger variety of opponents to square off against. He really could blow up in 2020.

Io Shirai (Born on May 8th, 1990): Like a lot of people, I didn't know what to expect when I found out that Io had signed a WWE contract. She was a legend in the world of joshi puroresu at such an early age, becoming the top wrestler for the STARDOM promotion, but it's not like WWE has a long track record of handling Japanese talent properly. While she wasn't pushed to the top from day one, I have been pleasantly surprised by how she's been used in NXT. She has come across like an absolute star. The only hiccup on her record is that she came up at the same time as Shayna Baszler's dominant reign as NXT Women's Champion. Not counting house shows, Io is 0-3 in title matches for the gold brand. With Baszler looking like she's main roster bound, and with a possibility of Rhea Ripley heading for the main roster before Io's return from a knee injury, that could leave the NXT picture wide open for the gold brand's "Genius Of The Sky" in a couple months.

Montez Ford (Born on May 31st, 1990): I went back and forth over Ford's inclusion here. On one hand, he is, arguably, the most gifted athlete on the WWE roster right now, and possesses the type of natural charisma that makes legends out of pro wrestlers. On the other hand, what have Ford and Angelo Dawkins done in their time on the WWE main roster that would give anybody reason to be hopeful for their futures with the company? They're used for silly "Weekend Update" skits more often than they're used to wrestle, and when they do get the chance to perform in the ring, it's pretty much a toss up on whether or not they're going to win. I still think there's money to be made with the Street Profits tag team on Raw, but beyond that, if the group were to split up at some point, there is potentially a lot of money that can be made with Ford as a singles talent. If he keeps improving in the ring like he has been, the aforementioned traits of his are enough to make him a star. I'm talking future main event star, folks. It's all on Vince McMahon, though, and we know how iffy that can be.

Fénix (Born on December 30th, 1990): In last year's 30 For 30, I mentioned that Fénix was being referred to as a "new age Rey Mysterio" by people who have opinions I greatly respect. A year later, and I see nothing to change that. He went from being one of the independent scene's biggest and brightest stars to being one of AEW's biggest and brightest stars. With more of a spotlight on him now, he has done nothing but shine in AEW, and you have to figure it's only a matter of time before he and his brother, Pentagón Jr, win tag team gold there like they have everywhere else they've wrestled together.

Shotzi Blackheart (Born on March 13th, 1991): When it comes to Shotzi, "unique" is the word I'd choose to describe her. Nobody in the business looks like she does. She has her own type of charisma that helps her to stand out from her peers. She is one of the toughest women in wrestling today. She makes you pay attention to her, which is a rare trait for someone that doesn't have a whole lot of experience. She isn't even five years into her wrestling career. Seeing her out there is like a breath of fresh air. Like I said, there just isn't anyone like her right now, and that's why she has such a tremendous opportunity to get things done in NXT. The crowds are going to get behind her more and more, and then it'll be time for Vince to swoop in. In the meantime, she can grow into a great "midcard" option for NXT, while Rhea Ripley and the like handle the "main event" for the women.

Mandy Rose (Born on July 18th, 1991): Let's forget the fact that she was born on the absolute best day of the year. Beyond that, she's a blonde in WWE, so she's automatically on the track to success. Right now, the story she's in with Otis is a very important one for her career. She still has heel tendencies when she wrestles, but is more of a face with the Otis segments. Will she turn on the crowd favorite, giving her more heel heat than she's ever had? Will she stay face and work with Otis, showing more diversity than she's ever had? No matter what direction WWE goes with this, it could (should?) allow Mandy to rise through the ranks and get more of a push.

"Hangman" Adam Page (Born on July 27th, 1991): With new horizons come new accomplishments for "Hangman" Page. After winning me over with his work in Bullet Club, he has continued to show me a lot during his time with AEW. His character work is becoming a lot more well-rounded, and as one-half of the current AEW World Tag Team Champions, success has already found him. As a member of The Elite, you know that means he's going to have some sort of major role with AEW, whether he's a heel or a face, singles or tag, title picture or not. That's the kind of job security that most people envy. Don't be surprised to see a World Title push for him sooner than later.

Alexa Bliss (Born on August 9th, 1991): When she first turned face, I wasn't sure how to react. She played the heel role so, so well. On top of that, everybody was expecting her face run to last for nothing more than a week or two before she "swerved" Nikki Cross. Here we are months later, though, and the oddball pairing of Bliss Cross Applesauce is still going strong. Alexa's character is so strong that she can always remain important and involved in angles that get television time. As a face, she plays off of Cross and her character really well, which makes me want to see more of their team. We'll see how long their team lasts, and whether or not Alexa goes back to the world of singles matches, but I'm thinking we see more success from her one way or another.

Ben-K (Born on October 19th, 1991): Ooh, my first real "out of nowhere" selection for the year! One of the reasons I started watching less and less Dragon Gate as the years went by is the promotion's lack of young stars they wanted to push. They've been pushing the same group of people from the time I first heard of them, and it was getting tiring to me, even though I'm a fan of guys like YAMATO, Cyber Kong, BxB Hulk, Shingo Takagi, Masaaki Mochizuki, Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, CIMA, and some of the other top guys Dragon Gate has had over the years. I started to take notice of Ben-K in early 2017 when he won the Open The Triangle Gate Championship with Big R Shimizu and Naruki Doi. He was still really early in his career, becoming champion less than a year after making his in-ring debut, but as time went by, he was impressing me more and more. He wasn't always successful in his big matches, but he continued having great showings, even in defeat. By the time 2019 rolled around, he had built up a ton of momentum. After a good Open The Twin Gate Championship reign (again with Big R Shimizu) and a very impressive undefeated run through the King Of Gate tournament, I was ready to see if Dragon Gate would pull the trigger on giving him a major push. Sure enough, he would defeat Pac to win the Open The Dream Gate Championship, which is the promotion's top title. A five-month reign ended to close out 2019, but he had arrived, and I'm excited to see if the company remains dedicated to the youth movement, especially considering one of the "old guard" (Naruki Doi) defeated him for the title. His in-ring work is improving at such a rapid rate, and if Dragon Gate takes him seriously, he has all the potential in the world. With the recent news that Dragon Gate was entering a working relationship with Major League Wrestling, and a talent exchange being part of that relationship, North America could be on the verge of being introduced to Ben-K, blowing his profile up tremendously.

Otis (Born on December 21st, 1991): I'm glad I was wrong about Otis, and about Heavy Machinery, in general. I just didn't think anything about their gimmick and their work would translate well to the main roster, and they would end up as yet another in a long line of NXT call-ups that flamed out in a major way. To my surprise, not only have they been received well, but Otis is getting some of the best and most consistent face reactions of anybody on Raw or Smackdown. Crowds love him. Now, that's not saying he will, or should, be competing for the Universal Title anytime soon, but guys like Otis have been able to carve out very nice careers for themselves in wrestling. He can handle the comedic side of pro wrestling, is a sympathetic character that people are rooting for (specifically in his angle with Mandy Rose), but he can actually go in the ring because of a successful amateur wrestling background. That last part is important here, because he's a big boy (Hi, Brock), and that makes things believable to the WWE Universe. Say what you will about people like Santino or Heath Slater, but their in-ring work, while solid, wasn't always bought by crowds, who were used to seeing those guys be goofy. When Otis flips the proverbial switch, he's still a 330-pound bowling ball that was a good enough amateur wrestler that he almost made the 2012 Olympic squad for the United States. Fans won't have a problem seeing a guy like that beat people up. Like I said in the Mandy Rose section, this angle is huge for Otis because we could see the sympathy for him go through the roof if she turns on him, or we could see them become an entertaining "couple" that gets regular television time. We'll have to see how it plays out for him.

Sasha Banks (Born on January 26th, 1992): I'm always cautious about being too optimistic about Sasha's future. Obviously, she's one of wrestling's biggest stars and has a great track record of angles and matches she's been involved in. That's not the problem. The issue I always have with her is her health. She has had a lot of nagging injuries, and those types of things add up on a "regular" body in the business. Can you imagine what they do to a petite frame? Sasha, to her credit, has always had no problems putting her all into her matches, but I always worry that will catch up to her sooner rather than later. This new version of her character returned to WWE about six months ago, and she is currently in her second stint on the shelf with an injury in those six months. If she can get healthy, and stay healthy, we know that she's always going to be in the mix for titles and major television time. The WWE women's scene simply isn't the same without her.

Kay Lee Ray (Born on August 11th, 1992): You wouldn't expect it by looking at her because of how small she is, but Kay Lee Ray is one of the toughest women to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. Whether it's diving off of balconies, wrestling in death matches, or just working a stiff hard-hitting style, she's been through a lot on her way to WWE. 2019 was a big year for her. She worked her way to the top of the NXT UK brand, defeating Toni Storm to win the NXT UK Women's Title, and she appeared on the flagship NXT brand, participating in matches leading up to the big Survivor Series weekend for WWE. With more eyes on her after her NXT cameos, maybe she can start getting the attention she deserves in 2020.

Jay White (Born on October 9th, 1992): "Switchblade" really has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. His rise to the top of New Japan has been amazing to see. The fact that he won the IWGP Heavyweight Title is still incredible to me, because I never would've been able to predict that. While his reign wasn't all that long, he proved that he belonged in the main event conversation with New Japan. His in-ring work has improved tremendously. His character work is smooth now. He just seemed to reach a point where everything started to make sense. That's a beautiful thing to watch, you know? You can just see a confidence in him that you couldn't really see before, and he appears here to stay.

Darby Allin (Born on January 7th, 1993): "The new Jeff Hardy" is something you'll read or hear a lot when it comes to discussing Darby Allin. It's an easy comparison to make, from the "alternative" look to their absolute lack of fear in the ring. People are drawn to their looks, but they're "cool" and not "pretty boys", so it's not just about whether or not they're attractive. You just can't help seeing the similarities. Allin is on the verge of being something very special for AEW, in my opinion. Should he be the one to defeat Chris Jericho for the AEW World Title? No, not necessarily, but I think giving the title to him at some point would be a good idea. Representation matters in pro wrestling, and Darby Allin represents a portion of viewers and crowd members that nobody else represents at the moment. If you don't think that's important, look at how viral Naomi is going on social media right now simply because she is a strong black woman wrestling with her natural hair, not looking like anyone else ever has. I'm not saying a Darby push would have the same results, but something is there, and it would behoove AEW to understand that.

Pete Dunne (Born on January 31st, 1993): He just turned 27, but I swear it feels like we've been watching him wrestle for NXT for a decade now. In reality, Dunne and Tyler Bate shook up the wrestling world a little more than three years ago when they feuded over the brand new United Kingdom Title, putting on a classic at the title tournament and then another one in front of more viewers at an NXT Takeover event a few months later. Dunne hasn't changed his style since then, but he hasn't needed to. The "Bruiserweight" thing still works for him, and it helps him to stand out. Yes, he's on the smaller side, but that doesn't mean he needs to perform a bunch of aerial moves to flip, flop, and fly around the ring. He's going to go toe-to-toe with his opponents, and that's just fun to watch. With his return to the flagship NXT brand and a shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles that may have already happened by the time you read these words, it might be time to see him get more of a focus on him this year. Nothing against the NXT UK brand, but he'll definitely have more people watching him if he's performing on the black-and-gold at least semi-regularly. He deserves it.

Mayu Iwatani (Born on February 19th, 1993): In building this list every year, I have to make a bunch of cuts and leave people off for one reason or another. That's just how list making goes. Last year, the final name cut was Mayu Iwatani. In 2018, the final name cut was Mayu Iwatani. In 2017, one of the final two names cut was Mayu Iwatani. Finally, in my fourth year of doing this for Fightful, she made the list! Really, there's no reason she failed to make the cut in previous years. Hindsight being 20/20, I definitely should've included her over a handful of names that have made it in the past. She is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in joshi history, racking up 12 total title reigns for STARDOM, working in the first women's match in the history of New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom, and coming to America to win Ring Of Honor's Women Of Honor Title while also performing in Madison Square Garden for RoH. One of the more consistently entertaining wrestlers alive today, my only worry for her is what I like to call Briscoe Brothers Syndrome, where she'll stay close to home and work for the same promotion her entire career, winning all there is to win and doing all there is to do, all while people keep calling for her to go elsewhere and do something different. I would love, love, love to see her in AEW or NXT one day, but this isn't about fantasy booking. Her future is going to remain bright, no matter where she goes, or doesn't go.

Will Ospreay (Born on May 7th, 1993): It wasn't all that long ago when the internet was going nuts over Will Ospreay's in-ring work, but not exactly in a positive way. He was doing more dance choreography than wrestling. He was a one-dimensional performer. He was reckless in the ring. He was going to end up crippled with his style. You name it, and those negative opinions came ringing in. In the last year or two, we've seen something of a transformation in his style. When he began working with more of the heavyweight division in New Japan, he began using wrestling a bit more like a heavyweight in New Japan. Don't get me wrong... he's still Will Ospreay, and he's still going to dazzle with spots that only a select few in the business can pull off, but you could say that he's maturing in the ring. If he continues the path he's on, would it surprise anybody if he won the IWGP Heavyweight Title at some point? It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Sammy Guevara (Born on July 28th, 1993): When it was announced that Guevara had signed with AEW, it was a move that didn't exactly "move the needle" for many people. That's not a knock on him. He just wasn't a huge name in the business yet. The fact that he was placed in such a prominent role from the start of the "Wednesday Night War" shows what the shot callers in AEW think of him. Thus far, Sammy has been perfect in his role. He's got that heel persona that makes the average fan hate him and want to see him get his ass kicked, and that's the entire point. As a heel, your job is to make the fans want to spend their money (and use their television time) to see you get your comeuppance. He's in the right spot for the right company at the right time. With AEW getting regular viewership victories, you have to think the company's profile will only continue to grow, and with that, Sammy should continue to rise through the ranks and become a bigger star for them.

Sonya Deville (Born on September 24th, 1993): Honestly, I don't get why WWE hasn't used her more to this point. You want good looks? She's beautiful. You want toughness? She's got plenty of that as a former mixed martial artist. You want a "story" that can get attention from the mainstream media? She's the first openly gay female wrestler in WWE history. You want in-ring skill? She's getting better month-by-month, and with only four years of experience in the business, she has plenty of room to grow. She brings just about everything you could ever need to the table, but she often gets put on the back burner in her own team with Mandy Rose. If it were up to me, I'd have Mandy really end up as a face with Otis, while having Sonya turn on her, putting her in a relatively high profile singles feud that she could really use to showcase her skills. With Ronda Rousey gone for an indefinite amount of time, and with the rumors and innuendo saying Shayna Baszler will be on Raw for a WrestleMania feud with Becky Lynch, Smackdown could really use a woman with that type of in-ring style. Just my two cents on the matter, anyway.

Lio Rush (Born on November 11th, 1994): He's had quite the roller coaster of a WWE career already, hasn't he? Prized NXT recruit to seemingly on the verge of being released due to "heat" with the roster to being the "hype man" for Bobby Lashley to seemingly on the verge of being released due to "heat" again to becoming the NXT Cruiserweight Champion. That's a lot of ups and downs for someone who has only been under WWE contract for two-and-a-half years. On pure athletic ability, there aren't many on the WWE roster that can match up with him, and when you throw in his natural charisma, he can be a star for the company. He's proven that he can be successful as a face or as a heel. If that pesky "heat" can be controlled, there's no reason he couldn't be a fixture on Wednesday nights for a long time.

Flamita (Born on November 30th, 1994): If you've known me for a bit, you'd know that some of my favorites in wrestling have been all over the world, picking up bits and pieces of in-ring style along the way. Maybe they started with a Strong Style background, but worked in Mexico and picked up some Lucha, followed by a stint or two in the United Kingdom and picked up some more mat-based submission skills, etc. That's exactly what Flamita has done in his career to this point, working in different countries and being successful at just about every stop. He is currently shining in Ring Of Honor, where he is teaming with Rey Horus and Bandido to hold the promotion's World Six-Man Tag Team Titles. With RoH looking to have a strong bounce back year after a down 2019, you have to hope a focus on the younger, exciting talent is in the cards, giving guys like Flamita more attention.

Bandido (Born on April 17th, 1995): Hey, while we're on the topic of the RoH Six-Man Champs, let's talk about Bandido for a bit. In last year's 30 Under 30, I talked about how absolutely insane Bandido's 2018 was, and that his momentum would carry him to some kind of championship in Ring Of Honor in 2019. I was wrong, but only by 11 whole days, as his team won the Six-Man Titles in January of this year. He did earn himself a couple different title shots there during the year, though, both teaming with Flamita and as a singles wrestler, so it's not like his 2019 was a dud. He's too talented, too exciting, and too unique to keep down for long. As I said, with Ring Of Honor making changes and looking to get back some of the glory they've lost in recent times, hopefully that means more of a focus on the talented workers like Bandido who deserve that opportunity.

Tessa Blanchard (Born on July 26th, 1995): Look, I've already said what I had to say about why Tessa got herself into trouble recently, so I won't go on and on about that right here and now. Part of me thought about leaving her out of this year's list, but then I realized that would only be necessary if she started getting blackballed by promotion after promotion. That would probably only happen if more stories came out about her backstage reputation, this time with more concrete evidence. As it stands, she still has an insanely bright future ahead of her. As the Impact World Champion, and in the aftermath of the initial allegations, all eyes are on her now. She is one of the best women in the business today, and she can continue to show that as her title reign gets longer. If she stays away from any further issues, she's going to make wrestling rumor sites go nuts this summer when her Impact contract is supposedly set to expire. Just think of all the "Tessa should go to NXT" and "Tessa should go to AEW" tweets, message board posts, columns, and podcasts we're going to witness.

Velveteen Dream (Born on August 19th, 1995): I've said it a million times before, but it's worth repeating... there might not be anyone in wrestling with more dedication to their character work and development than Dream, and the fact that he's only 24 years old makes that pretty mind blowing. He just understands all the little, subtle things that makes character work, and specifically his character, great. He was out of action for the last few months with a back injury, but now that he has returned in a high profile spot, it really is a matter of time until he's working in the main event. 2020 could very well be the year we see Dream reach the peak of NXT by becoming NXT Champion.

Toni Storm (Born on October 19th, 1995): When she first signed her WWE contract, I was really excited about the potential for her future. WWE's roster wasn't exactly loaded with women that have wrestled for different promotions all over the world, adding bits and pieces of in-ring work from other countries to create a diverse profile. Toni Storm has wrestled all throughout Japan and the United Kingdom before coming to WWE, and it shows. She has been successful everywhere, and that success continued with her newest stop, as she has already won the Mae Young Classic and the NXT UK Women's Title. As I said last year, everything she touches turns to gold. With her making a few appearances for the regular NXT brand recently, I'm wondering if that gold streak will continue in 2020. There is a lot of potential for her to feud with the likes of Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Dakota Kai, and the rest of the women of Wednesday nights.

MJF (Born on March 15th, 1996): The internet seems split into two even groups when it comes to opinions on MJF. On one hand, you have the people who feel he is the best heel in the business today, completely dedicating himself to the craft and not being afraid to make fans angry enough to want to fight him. On the other hand, you have the people who feel that his heel work is nothing more than the lowest common denominator stuff that any middle school kid can come up with... so-and-so is fat, I slept with this person's mom, these people stink, etc. Honestly, whatever side of the fence you're on doesn't matter much, because he's still getting pushed by AEW as if he's a big deal. The heat he gets is second to none, and it's smart of them to take advantage of that. He isn't a "cool" heel that still gets face pops because he has funny catchphrases. He isn't a heel that only commands a reaction occasionally. No, people really want to punch this dude in the face, or at the very least watch someone else do it. As AEW continues to grow as a company, you can expect MJF to be very prominently featured in that growth.

Kaito Kiyomiya (Born on July 17th, 1996): Another "out of nowhere" name for a lot of people, but that's the beauty of lists like this. It's just like the NFL Draft, where you can find future stud players at the top of the first round, but you also find future stud players in the later rounds, when names aren't as familiar to the majority of fans. Kiyomiya is the youngest person to ever hold Pro Wrestling NOAH's GHC Heavyweight Title, winning the belt at the age of 22. This is a title that boasts some of the most legendary names in the history of Japanese wrestling in its history, from Mitsuharu Misawa to Kenta Kobashi to Minoru Suzuki to Takeshi Morishima to Kensuke Sasaki, and many more. After a rough stretch of business, when it looked like NOAH would no longer be able to exist, the promotion is beginning to bounce back, and it is largely because of new talent like Kiyomiya, who recently saw his 384-day reign with the aforementioned GHC Heavyweight Title come to an end. With business growing at a rapid rate for the company, Kiyomiya is prepared to carry them on his back, recently stating in an interview that it was time for NOAH to compete with the current top Japanese promotion, New Japan. I admire that level of confidence in himself and the rest of the NOAH roster. The "ace" of a promotion should feel like their company is the best, whether it really is or not. If they keep growing like NOAH is, though, you can expect to hear a lot more about Kaito Kiyomiya in the years to come.

Rhea Ripley (Born on October 11th, 1996): When you really stop and think about it, the run that Rhea Ripley has been on over the last three months is incredible. She was already looking dominant in NXT UK, and then she moved to NXT, where that dominance continued. Then she went to Smackdown and was teamed with Tegan Nox to defeat Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, before going toe-to-toe with Becky Lynch in NXT. Then it was back to Smackdown, where she defeated Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat. Next, she helped her team win at NXT Takeover War Games, followed by helping her team win at Survivor Series. Then, she ends Shayna Baszler's incredible record breaking reign as NXT Women's Champion. Finally, it looks like she's going to get a mega match at WrestleMania against Charlotte in a one-on-one for the ages. She is becoming an absolute star for WWE, and appears to be someone the company can build around for the future, especially with women like Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Baszler, Natalya, Nia Jax, and Naomi currently in their mid-to-late 30's. Just imagine what a win at WrestleMania would do for her.

Tyler Bate (Born on March 7th, 1997): Since Bate and Pete Dunne arrived on the NXT scene, only one of them really seems to get any sort of push at a given time. Right now, Dunne is getting the spotlight, being involved in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and, along with Matt Riddle, earning a shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles. However, don't let Bate fade from your memory too much just yet. His match against WALTER at NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff was one of the best matches on the planet in 2019. He is still capable of having a great match whenever he steps between those ropes. He just has to wait for Dunne's push to die down, though, apparently.

Austin Theory (Born on August 2nd, 1997): Last year, I mentioned how surprised I was that Theory wasn't already signed to a WWE contract. I said he was a 21-year-old (at the time) bodybuilding champion with more abs than anyone should own. Does that or does that not sound like someone Vince McMahon would fall in love with? A few months later, lo and behold, and he is now an official member of the WWE roster. It was a "down" year for him in 2019, but only because he had to lose the EVOLVE and WWN Titles after signing with WWE. He only has two televised matches with NXT under his belt, but the first of those was a very strong showing against Roderick Strong that went nearly 20 minutes, so it's clear that someone sees something special in him. You're going to start seeing a lot more of this guy on Wednesday nights soon.

With that, we have come to the end of this year's 30 Under 30 list. The names mentioned here have already achieved so much, but their futures look to be brighter than something really, really bright.

Got any thoughts on these 30 people? Is there someone you think I should've included? I want to know what you think. Hit me up on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage) or in the comments section below and tell me what's on your mind.

Until the next time... put your family first and the rest will endeavor, stay focused and forever we can get this cheddar.

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