In the immediate aftermath of WrestleMania 32, the WWE has seen an influx of new talent. Members of the company’s developmental promotion, NXT, and new signees have established themselves as real players in the main brand. Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca of Busted Open Radio are loving the new blood on the WWE roster.

A.J. Styles debuted earlier this year at the Royal Rumble and is now the number-one contender for Roman Reigns’ world heavyweight championship. Two of his stablemates from his days in New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of the Bullet Club, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, also were signed and brought a sense of havoc when they appeared on Monday Night Raw two weeks ago. NXT alumni Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, the Vaudevillains and Enzo & Cass have all debuted following WrestleMania and gave the main roster a much-needed shot of life.

But the addition who has the most potential is Sami Zayn. Zayn is arguably the most popular NXT wrestler ever and he’s been very well-received by the WWE universe since he became a fixture on the main brand.

“Zayn fits into that Daniel Bryan mold,” Mortman said during Tuesday’s broadcast of Busted Open. “He’s a guy that doesn’t need to be all-star on the microphone for you to feel something about him when he’s in the ring, for you to fall in love with him without him saying a word.”

Zayn has put on some incredible performances recently, holding his own against Styles and Chris Jericho. He’ll be facing former NXT rival Kevin Owens at WWE Payback on May 1. Both of them have been around the block, competing for multiple organizations over their careers before making their way to the WWE. Now we get to see them reignite their famed rivalry in the biggest promotion of them all, deservedly-so, and it’s very exciting.

“These aren’t spring chickens, they’re not youth so-to-speak,” LaGreca said. “But there’s something about having new faces that can go, and it adds to the product to the point where Sami Zayn, who hasn’t been on the main event roster long, is a main-eventer on this main roster in a very short time. Kevin Owens is a main-event player, A.J. Styles is a main-event player. These are guys that have not been on the roster long.”

But the caveat that comes with this injection of talent is that the stars who used to be part of the main-event picture are now falling to the wayside. Of course, that comes with the territory as it’s usually necessary for established superstars to get new talent over with the fans. It’s just unfortunate when stars who’ve been stellar performers for years are relegated to “jobber” status, regularly losing to new stars and not really advancing their careers.

“For some of the talent on this roster, time has just passed them by,” LaGreca said. “Certain guys, like a Dolph Ziggler, I don’t know if they’re ever gonna be able to reach the heights again of where they were before, much less be at the top of the card.”

Something else that the WWE has done recently is remember the past. The company used to be criticized for pulling stories out of thin air or ignoring its stars’ past history with one another. When Anderson and Gallows debuted, NJPW, their association with Styles and the Bullet Club were referenced. With Zayn and Owens, they mentioned their history in NXT together, letting the fans feel that their feud is a much deeper rivalry than others.

“That’s another good sign of what we’re watching and how we’re having a bit of a wind of change here, that they’re actually recognizing the past and the fact that you don’t have stupid convoluted storylines,” LaGreca said. “All you have to do is keep it simple. The WWE is doing that, and guess what? It’s working.”

Hear more from the Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca on the latest shift in WWE programming:

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