There may not be a more qualified opinion in professional wrestling that John Cena's. So when he singles out an up-and-coming star from NXT, it's time to buy some stock.
During a Q&A session at MegaCon Orlando, Cena was asked if he'd rather have a match with Adam Cole or Velveteen Dream. With little hesitation, Cena made his decision.
"My answer is going to upset some people, but I’d rather face Velveteen Dream. You know in the Star Wars movies, the old Jedi can look at the young rookie Jedi and be like, ‘I think that’s the one.’ I get that weird, odd medical feeling about Velveteen Dream," he said.
Velveteen Dream in real life is 22-year old Patrick Clark. Channeling a mix of Prince and Dennis Rodman, Dream has become one of the most eye-catching acts in NXT history.
“I think there’s something special there," elaborated Cena.
After WrestleMania, there were rumors implying that WWE was ready to call up Dream, but instead, they elected for a long-term feud with Ricochet. Their storyline will culminate in a highly anticipated match at NXT TakeOver: Chicago on June 16.
Clark made his WWE introduction during the sixth season of Tough Enough. He didn't win—or come close—but clearly, he made an impression on WWE officials. He signed with the company just a few months after the show ended.
Ever since Dream has enjoyed a steady climb in relevance and now is arguably the most imminent name NXT has seen in quite some time. It's hard to put lofty expectations on such young wrestler, but the character that is Velveteen Dream one that has longevity written all over it.
Here's a shot from NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, where Dream hit his inevitably iconic Purple Rainmaker off a ladder that may be 100 feet tall.
Velveteen Dream is one of the few times WWE has ever *needed* an NXT star. pic.twitter.com/i0tZnTKXP5— WWE on PopCulture (@WWEonPopCulture) April 15, 2018
Cena vs. Dream is a fantasy worth holding onto. In the same interview, Cena expressed a genuine interest in making an NXT cameo one day.
“I would love to be on the television show. I’ve been around the Raw and SmackDown Superstars for a long time and I recently went to the WWE Performance Center and spoke to the NXT Superstars for over six hours in a forum like this to answer their questions. I was so inspired by how hard they work and how hungry they are that it made me want to perform with them. So, I hope one day that I actually perform on an NXT television show.”