There’s nothing worse than seeing a wrestler underutilised in WWE, and knowing that they’re tied down to a weighty contract normally means there’s no chance they’ll be breaking free and joining a promotion where their true potential will be realised. One such talent is Neville aka PAC – a high-flying superstar that disappeared back in October 2017, apparently after walking off Raw due to his unhappiness with the creative direction of his character. He was due to lose clean in his rematch for the Cruiserweight Championship to Enzo Amore on the October 9 episode of Monday Night RAW but never showed up to do the deed leaving the company to potentially freeze his contract. It’s unclear whether he had a no-compete clause in his contract or if there were negotiations underway between Neville and officials to try and find a way to overcome his frustrations with World Wrestling Entertainment.
He’s been silent ever since, and after seldom reports from WWE officials about what was going on behind closed doors in relation to his future within the company, it’s now been reported that he’s finally free from the wrestling behemoths to do whatever he wants. Firstly, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported his contract was done, followed by Dave Meltzer saying he was now free to wrestle wherever he wanted. This is a huge deal, mainly because the former NXT Champion can choose where his future lies within professional wrestling, and the potential matches Benjamin Satterley could be having in the near future makes fan’s mouths water profusely.
Give. Me. PAC.
— ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) August 25, 2018
No end of interest in Neville has been a constant source of entertainment on social media channels like Twitter, with everyone from Will Osprey expressing interest to Stu Bennett from WOS Wrestling tweeting about him, but where will Neville end up now his time under WWE is officially over? Will he return to the independent scene and spread his wings under multiple promotions, or will he find a home under the likes of Ring of Honor or New Japan? Only time will tell, but there are plenty of opportunities for the respected in-ring performer, and entertaining those possibilities is something the world will be doing until he makes his decision public. With this in mind, we take a look at some of those possibilities and throw in some dream matches for the man that gravity forgot.
This may be too early to see Neville return to the squared circle, but a booking for the biggest show outside the WWE to sell 10,000 tickets since 2001 (and discounting this WCW show, it was 1994), seeing him wrestle in Chicago could be huge. The fact Flip Gordon is yet to be booked for the show could mean a dream match between Flip and Neville finalising the card and making it one of the most exciting shows in recent memory. We already have Cody vs Nick Aldis for the NWA World Title, Kenny Omega vs Pentagon Jr., and Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada, so the addition of Flip Gordon vs Neville would be phenomenal.
We’ve already seen him in 2012 Best of the Super Junior tournament where he advanced to the semifinals, eventually losing out to Ryusuke Taguchi, but a return to the revered promotion could definitely be on the cards, specifically as a top guy within the company. Who wouldn’t want to see Will Osprey’s wish for the two of them to enter the ring together, and for it to happen at say, Wrestle Kingdom 13 in the Tokyo Dome in January would be a match made in heaven. There are plenty of other options for Neville in New Japan, with guys like Kota Ibushi, Sanada, Bushi, and Zack Sabre Jr. being potential opponents. He could even make his mark in the Super Jr. Tag Tournament this October, with a nearer return to wrestling being a much more exciting prospect.
The Indie Scene
If you’ve ever seen PAC wrestle El Generico or Kevin Steen in PWG, you’ll know just how he lit up the indie scene in his time before he was even a twinkle in Vince McMahon’s eye. A return to indie promotions such as PWG or Dragon Gate would be welcomed, but there are other promotions where Neville would fit in very well. PROGRESS would be a great start, seeing Neville in a match with Osprey could even take place in the Electric Ballroom as opposed to in Japan. There are plenty of other guys within the company that’d make his return impactful on the smaller circuit, such as the psychopath Jimmy Havoc, or guys like Walter in a PROGRESS Championship match certainly makes sense. However, the ties they have with WWE might mean it won’t happen, but we can dream, right? There’s always Rev Pro or EVOLVE; a Cruiserweight Championship match with Josh Bodom would be glorious, and now Matt Riddle has left for NXT, there’s space for him to be the top dog in EVOLVE as well.
The Best of the Rest
We can fantasise about seeing Neville in every single promotion outside of WWE. Appearing on IMPACT Wrestling could see Rich Swann get his revenge, and matches against Matt Sydal or Austin Aries would be a lot of fun to watch. Lucha Underground might be a viable option, especially with the amount of high flyers on the roster. Seeing him against the likes of Fénix or Johnny Mundo amidst the dramatic spectacle of the promotion would be awesome. CMLL would also be a good choice, and with the 85th Anniversary Show just around the corner, a match against Rey Mysterio could go down as one of the best ever.
There are so many options for Neville, and most of the possible scenarios would be great, but only he knows where he wants to go. He’s always been a wrestler who wants to put on the best match he possibly can, so I doubt he’ll be going where the most money is. Moving between the different independent promotions would be the ideal outcome because we’d get to witness so many fantastic matches without him being tied down to any one company, but the way certain promotions conduct business these days would mean we’d get to see him compete in different ones anyway. ROH and Revolution Pro have deals with NJPW, so cross-continent matches would be on the cards for Neville. Whatever happens, Neville is free from the shackles WWE constricted him with. Let’s all just be thankful that we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of one of wrestling’s greatest in-ring competitors very soon.