AEW: Six Sleepers That Will Become Future Stars

All Elite Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling /
3 of 3

Lee Johnson

“Big Shotty” has come a long way in a short time in his AEW career.

Starting as enhancement talent that was doing nothing more than racking up losses on Dark, Johnson continued to keep his head down and work hard, believing in his ability.

And it didn’t take long before the young, athletic grappler got his recognition.

Johnson would join the Nightmare Family and under their tutelage, “Big Shotty” would start to gain a lot of momentum.

Since becoming part of the Nightmare Family Johnson has been winning matches with more regularity, so much so that he was recently given a shot at Miro’s TNT Title.

While Johnson would come up short, he was extremely impressive throughout the match.  So much so that he will carry the Nightmare Family flag into battle with Malakai Black on the go-home episode of Rampage, leading into All Out.

Johnson has that combination of athleticism and fearlessness that can make a star.  He is extremely smooth in the ring and executes his offense seamlessly, while also showing a penchant for being able to sell his opponent’s offense with the best of them.

I am so torn about what I want to see out of Johnson’s match with Black on Rampage.  While it is smart to keep Malakai Black looking like an untouchable savage, Johnson deserves to be able to hold his own as well.

No matter what these two warriors have in store for us when they meet up on Rampage, one thing is clear.  Lee Johnson is starting to be recognized as an up-and-coming talent that will continue to shine in big spots in AEW for years to come.

Ricky Starks

Ok, I get it.  This may seem like even be more of a cop-out answer than Jade Cargill, but let me explain.

It is true that Ricky Starks is a well-known commodity in AEW.  He is the current FTW Champion, has been a key part of a high-profile program with Darby Allin and Sting, and he even had a shot at the TNT Title when Cody was doing his open challenge.

But what makes Ricky Starks a sleeper is not what he has done, it is what he is capable of.  And we haven’t even scratched the surface of what that is.

While Eddie Kingston gets all the praise as the best in AEW on the microphone, one could argue that Ricky Starks is just as good.

Starks has a level of charisma that not a lot of wrestlers are able to achieve.  His belief in himself is apparent the moment he walks into a room.  And that plays with the fans, as we saw when as a heel he received a loud ovation after underhandedly defeating Brian Cage for the FTW Title.

There is not a lot that Starks can’t do in the ring, and there is nothing that he can’t do on the microphone.

And while he may find himself mired in the mid-card at the present time, his abilities will at some point start to carry him to the top of the card.

And I think that may happen sooner rather than later.  After we have been treated to the CM Punk and Darby Allin matchup at All Out I think a Punk-Starks feud would give us another set of amazing promos and matches as well.

Just like fellow young wrestlers, Darby Allin, MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks is going to be a major player in the future of All Elite Wrestling.

Dante Martin

If you like super agile, high-flying wrestlers then make sure you keep tabs on Dante Martin.

One half of the Top Flight tag team (with his brother Darius) and the youngest man on the roster, is somebody that may just wear singles and tag team gold in AEW before all is said and done.

Anyone that has ever watched a Top Flight or Dante Martin match already knows how talented Dante is.  But he opened up the minds of wrestling fans everywhere on the August 11th episode of Dynamite.

On that night, Martin teamed with the Sydal brothers to take on the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in six-man tag team action.

And while the Elite would eventually be too much for the Sydal brothers and Dante Martin, there was no doubt that Dante Martin was the star of the match.

And at just 20 years of age Martin is just getting started.

At this point in his career, Dante Martin is pure athleticism, heart, and ability.  As he matures and starts to understand ring psychology and how to put stories together the sky is indeed the limit for this member of Top Flight.

Next. Shannon Spruill passes away. dark

For more opinions, news, and all things professional wrestling, stick with Daily DDT.