Ronda Rousey Is WWE’s Breakout Star of 2018

 In Pro Wrestling, WWE

Oh hey – another year-end recap piece. How about it? You think this is bad? Just wait – I still have to get through my matches, tag teams, and superstars of the year. If only these weren’t so fucking popular, maybe you wouldn’t have to put up with incessant ‘Best of 2018’ content. Nonetheless, here we are. We’re a growing media company, so every pair of eyeballs we can get, we’ll take. Let’s get to it – here’s my list of WWE’s breakout stars of 2018.

WWE’s Breakout Stars of 2018

5. Lars Sullivan – I don’t know what it is, but I love Sullivan. I like that he’s ugly and hairy as sin. He’s not too bad in the ring, and he legitimately looks like a sideshow freak. In 2018, he finally transcended to the main event scene in NXT, where he feuded with Aleister Black for the NXT Championship. He had a good showing in the six-man ladder match at TakeOver: New Orleans. As it stands here in December, he’s set to debut on the main roster any week now, and if they use him right, the guy could become a blue chipper.

4. Kairi Sane – Feels weird to call Kairi Sane a ‘breakout superstar’ as she’s carried a wealth of popularity with her for a while. But, it seems like everything started to click in a major way with the WWE audience this year. She had an awesome program with Shayna Baszler and captured the NXT Women’s Championship in the process.

3. Buddy Murphy – Man, talk about an A+ reclamation project. Murphy was languishing on NXT, so they decided to put him on 205 Live, and the Cruiserweight Champion has been an absolute breath of fresh air on the purple brand. He’s routinely stole the show with whoever he’s worked, and deserves a lot of recognition for the underrated year he had.

2. Shayna Baszler – I’ll admit it. I slept on Shayna Baszler. But, man – she has evolved in a major way over the course of 2018. Women’s division aside, she’s just plain become one of the biggest heels on the NXT roster. Her matches are solid, her promos have improved immensely, and she delivers some of the stiffest strikes and submissions in the game. She has ‘superstar’ written all over her.

1. Ronda Rousey – We’ve written about Rousey a lot on this site, but she truly is one of the most intriguing figures to come along in wrestling for quite some time. I think a lot of folks were nervous about how she’d translate to the squared circle, but so far, so good. Hell, better than that – I think her matches at WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and Evolution are some of the best matches of the year. I feared a bit of ‘Brock Lesnar Syndrome’ at first, but the people have responded well to her. She’s been a big ticket commodity for the WWE this year, but they’ve worked wonders together. Can’t wait to see how she continues to evolve.

Previous Honors

2015 – New Day
2016 – Braun Strowman
2017 – Jinder Mahal

More WWE ‘Best of 2018’

Top 5 Rivalries of 2018
WWE’s Breakout Stars of 2018
Top 10 WWE Matches of 2018
WWE’s Top 10 Tag Teams of 2018
The Top 10 WWE Superstars of 2018

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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