Last week, I looked at two of WWE’s big-money superstars, Randy Orton and Sheamus, and I evaluated who I thought could potentially replace them. This week, I look at two cruiserweights; the high-flyer Evan Bourne (pun very much intended) and masked luchadore Rey Mysterio, and see who out of NXT could fit right into their roles.

Evan Bourne’s heir-apparent: Adrian Neville 

Evan Bourne last competed on RAW on January 16, 2012, when he and Kofi Kingston lost their tag title rematch against Epico and Primo. Apart from a one-off match against Sami Zayn (the former El Generico) in March of this year, he’s been injured or on WWE’s naughty list for violating the Wellness Policy. If he does eventually return, expect a diminished role for him. The two violations and the lengthy lay-off due to his injured foot won’t have gone down well with the WWE higher-ups. It’s likely that WWE signed Adrian Neville to replace him.

Adrian Neville, formerly known as PAC, is an independent wrestling darling from Newcastle, England (howay the lads). Neville has everything Bourne has, and his bigger stature is likely to appeal to Vince McMahon’s bodybuilding fetish. If you haven’t seen any of Adrian Neville or PAC’s matches, just watch a clip of him performing his finishing move, British Airways. It’ll make Air Bourne look like a bottom-rope elbow drop in comparison. Put simply, Adrian Neville is probably the most ready out of all the NXT competitors to be put straight into the roster.

Rey Mysterio’s heir-apparent: Samuray del Sol

Rey Mysterio is getting old. It’s the elephant in the room. He can no longer move with the grace he showed over the last decade, and his injury lay-offs are getting longer and longer. Just like Randy Orton, Mysterio hasn’t seen a really meaningful feud for a long while. He still gets the crowd reaction and he probably sells more merchandise than most, but his star is fading and it probably won’t be long before he hangs up his mask.

Recently, WWE signed independent star Samuray del Sol, maybe as a replacement for either Mysterio or the botch-prone Sin Cara. Although he has yet to surface in NXT, many believe that he is ready and waiting to take Mysterio’s spot. Mysterio’s once-impressive high spots have gotten less and less impressive as performers on the independent circuit continue to invent new ways to dazzle the audience.  He recently won Brian Kendrick’s King of Flight tournament, defeating Ricochet, AR Fox and former WWE tag champion Paul London, in three separate, very athletic matches. Samuray del Sol has all the athleticism, charisma and potential that Mysterio once had.  When Mysterio decides it’s time to call it a day, it won’t be Sin Cara that WWE replace him with. It’ll be Samuray del Sol.

Next week, I bring you the final installment of my three-part article looking at current WWE superstars and their heir-apparents. Since it’ll be the final edition and I like to treat my audience, I’ll be looking at a whopping four superstars! The first three slots are already filled – I’ll be looking at CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. However, I want YOU, yes YOU humble rambler, to choose the fourth superstar. Leave your suggestions in the comments box and I’ll filter through them and pick my favourite.

You can follow me on Twitter – @willdotcom.

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