Editorials

WDKW100 Honorable Mentions Part 3

First year ever for the WDKW100! Are you excited? You probably should be because a fabulous countdown is about to unfold. Earlier this year I talked to my We Don’t Know Wrestling co-host at the time, Tanner, about what was going to be happening here. We were saying how it would be cool if we could do something that was like the WKO100, a list I loved watching unfold for years, but make it a bit more inclusive while still maintaining some sort of barrier to entry. The idea being that we cared more about people putting some sort of effort into their list rather than a bunch of people listing some of their favorite wrestlers of the year real quick. I stuck with the idea and had the backing of Trask and Al to get a forum set up for this project (we should be having a 2017 section going up soon to help kick that off but we are likely being attacked by evil bots).

Let’s get down to what this is, the WDKW100 is a fan voted list of the best in-ring pro wrestling performers of 2016. Your ability to gab doesn’t mean much in these parts. Each ballot consisted of 100 pro wrestlers. We used the Pat LaPrade weighted voting system which works as follows:

1- 125 pts
2- 115 pts
3- 110
4- 105
5- 102
6- 99
7- 96
8- 94
9- 92
10- 90

The more points you scored the better you ranked. Ties were broken by who received the most votes and then who ranked highest on an individual ballot. In any other case there was a tie.

On to 350-301. This will be the last WDKW100 post of the week and still many notable names left on the board with this batch checking off some more under the radar talent. Actually quite a few of these wrestlers are good bets to make a splash in next year’s list. As always, use #WDKW100 when discussing the results for shameless RTs.

**THERE WAS AN ERROR IN THE VOTING! THE CURRENT ORDER IS CORRECT BY RANKINGS WILL BE ADJUSTED AT A LATER DATE**

  1. Ace Romero (2 ballots, 29 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (86)

“I like Keith Lee a lot, but Romero kind of comes across as the New Keith Lee in that he’s a giant dude, who is super impressive in work rate sprints, but his largely unknown outside of his region. Was pretty much the only guy I saw at Tier 1 who delivered at a high level, and has had some incredibly impressive matches this year for Limitless v. AR Fox and JT Dunn. Not entirely sure he’d make my list at this moment, but any guy this fat who does diving apron sentons to the floor on people has a decent shot.”

  1. Silas Young (1 ballots, 30 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (71)

  1. Chet Sterling (1 ballots, 30 points)

High Voter: Dylan Hales (71)

“One of the better underdog sympathy sellers in wrestling, Sterling is basically Ricky Morton with chops and a Zack Ryder signature offensive spot. For those who are stupid that is a high compliment. Dude is so good garnering sympathy working underneath that you almost don’t want to see him make his comebacks even though he is fine at that as well. I like him especially in tags, but he’s had some on point singles matches this year as well, especially the match v. Cedric Alexander from CWF.”

“CWF has been so refreshing to watch on a weekly basis and Chet is one of the focal points. He has consisted of the year mainly working TV title programs with Smith Garrett and Aric Andrews. He has branched out in the past month or so becoming the Ultra J Champion in a really strong match vs. Cedric. A wonderful mechanic for the Worldwide programming and someone that has a lot of babyface potential.”

“I think I liked Chet’s singles work better last year but he’s still great at everything you want a pure babyface to be.”

  1. Johnny Kidd (1 ballots, 30 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (71)

“Absolute treasure to watch this year in matches against Quackenbush and Jack Gallagher. Decided that he was going to remind you of a better time on his retirement tour”

  1. Murphy (1 ballots, 31 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (70)

  1. Mike Quackenbush (1 ballots, 31 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (70)

“Popped up twice but made the most of it. One of the most fitting sendoff matches last year against Gulak.”

  1. Allie (1 ballots, 32 points)

High Voter: Steven Graham (69)

“The former Cherry Bomb has had another great year.

She is one of the best wrestlers on the planet on working her character into the matches. She is much like Alexa Bliss in that regards of just being a hateable character you want to get beat.

Most of what I’ve seen of her this year was from Smash, where she feuded with Rosemary (of TNA as well) all year and it ended with a **** 1/2 old school cage match.

All around great performer and will make my list.”

  1. Atsushi Aoki (1 ballots, 33 points)

High Voter: Mark (68)

  1. Dave Crist (3 ballots, 33 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (77)

“One of the most polarizing guys on the indies, but I think he’s had a very solid year and he’s likely someone I would include with one of my last few spots if I was voting today. No doubt helped by the fact that I saw him busts his ass with Callihan v. Kingston and Homicide at AAW in a match a lot of people were lukewarm on, but that I thought perfectly fit what they were going for. He’s one of these guys who isn’t really great at any one thing but is good at a lot of things. His stuff v. David Starr in CZW this year was awesome, including a great ultraviolent match, and Crist stirring huge amounts of shit at the CZW show in Ohio a few months back.”

  1. Ryota Nakatsu (1 ballots, 34 points)

High Voter: Mark (67)

  1. Syuri (1 ballots, 34 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (67)

  1. Peyton Royce (1 ballots, 34 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (67)

  1. Missile Assault Man (1 ballots, 35 points)

High Voter: Mark (66)

  1. Brad Attitude (2 ballots, 35 points)

High Voter: SLL (76)

Recommended Match:
vs. Trevor Lee (CWF Mid-Atlantic, 12/30)

“Pretty much a one-match wonder, but goddamn, what a match it was. Tremendous working heel who gave us one the best and most memorable bouts of the year, and he’ll get recognition from me for that.”

  1. Jurn Simmons (1 ballots, 36 points)

High Voter: Timothy Robert Buechner (65)

  1. The Drifter (1 ballots, 36 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (65)

  1. Frankie Pickard (1 ballots, 36 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (65)

“Kind of the ace of Dojo Wars which is legitimately one of the better weekly products in wrestling. Pickard is an extremely rootable babyface – almost Garganoish – who mixes a sneaky degree of athleticism and solidly on point selling. He’s a guy who I always thought would excel more in the fundamentals first setting of the Dojo, but the Dojo has changed and Pickard has done very well in his CZW main roster appearances.”

“Dojo Wars is a weird and wonderful product and Frankie Pickard was arguably the center point for that idea throughout the year. The main man of Dojo Wars throughout the later part of the year (at least). Was given a variety of opponents in a 2 out of 3 falls champion role. He often wrestled longer matches than the rest of the card, as you would expect, but at a pace and style others aren’t doing.

Plus he has Jimmy Lloyd matches which are indeed hot fire.”

  1. Triple H (2 ballots, 36 points)

High Voter: Brock Jahnke (70)

  1. No Way Jose (1 ballots, 37 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (64)

“Has a shot of being my 100. Super infectious and entertaining guy in a live setting that can make a very pedestrian match fun almost entirely due to schtick. Having said that he can turn it on and deliver beyond that level as well. Liked his Takeover Brooklyn match more than most. In terms of working a crowd he’s top class.”

“NWJ should be the obvious next “chosen one” in NXT but he’s been put on the backburner so much the second half of the year that he probably would have to get cut off the list”

“Didn’t think much of him at first but man, is this guy entertaining. His gimmick may scream “midcard”, but his style, presentation, everything about him is just so infections. His upside as a worker is also incredibly high, as he had Aries’ best match this year at Brooklyn after a series of very disappointing matches for the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. It’s a shame that he’s being used to put over the TNA/ROH signing of the month, because not only could he become a top star in NXT, but he could translate very well on the main roster.”

  1. Tessa Blanchard (1 ballots, 37 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (64)

  1. Big Cass (3 ballots, 37 points)

High Voter: John L. Pingel III (72)

Recommended Matches:
w/Enzo Amore vs. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson(WWE, 3/12)
w/John Cena & Enzo Amore vs. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (WWE 7/24)
vs. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns (WWE, 8/29)
w/The New Day, Sheamus & Cesaro, The Shining Stars, Gallows & Anderson, Enzo Amore vs. Jimmy & Jey Uso, American Alpha, Breezango, Heath Slater & Rhyno, Hype Bros (WWE, 11/20)

“The search function on this board sucks, and I can’t find if a proper BIG CASS thread has been made yet, so here we are.

He’s my #100.

Improved a lot in 2016.

He’s due a big singles push in 2017, but I’m sure the goal early on is to get him and Enzo a tag title run. This is fine.

[…]

To be fair, his participation in that 4 way Universal Title match is what gets him into my Top 100, but he proved he could hang with the top guys.

So, congrats.”

  1. Freelance (1 ballots, 38 points)

High Voter: Dylan Harris (63)

  1. Fuego (1 ballots, 38 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (63)

  1. Pierroth (1 ballots, 39 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (62)

“Yes, I am nominating Pierroth, but come on, based on his awesome trios matches with Rush and Escorpión as the New Ingobernables he deserves to be somewhere on my list.”

  1. Masao Orihara (1 ballots, 40 points)

High Voter: SLL (61)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Daisuke (GUTS, 2/23)
w/ Dick Togo & Ryan Upin vs. GUTS Ishijima, CHANGO, & Michio Kageyama (GUTS, 11/15)
w/ Dick Togo & Ryan Upin vs. Mr. Gannosuke, CHANGO, & Michio Kageyama (GUTS, 12/3)

“One of the happiest developments in wrestling in 2016 was Dick “Tha God” Togo coming out of retirement, and perhaps the most surprising side effects of that was that somebody else was able to sneak into his spotlight alongside him: the definitive Japanese indy scum legend of the 90’s and early-00’s, Masao Orihara. He’s mostly working the GUTS World) promotion, something I probably would’ve gone my entire life without ever hearing about had Togo not showed up there for some awesome six-man tags (which is to say it’s exactly the kind of place you’d expect to find Orihara in 2016…or anytime, for that matter). Orihara teamed with Togo in some of those matches, and his brand of scumbucket heel brawling is as entertaining as ever. Here’s hoping 2017 has an Asian Cougar comeback.”

  1. El Terrible (1 ballots, 40 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (61)

  1. Aerostar (1 ballots, 41 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (60)

  1. Masa Takanashi (1 ballots, 43 points)

High Voter: Mark (58)

  1. Kaji Tomato (1 ballots, 44 points)

High Voter: Mark (57)

  1. Ty Dillinger (1 ballots, 45 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (56)

  1. Manabu Nakanishi (2 ballots, 45 points)

High Voter: Heikki Oinonen (78)

“Likely to be my #100 based on the sheer fact he’s one of the most enjoyable “everyone thinks he’s terrible at this stage” wrestlers in the world. He hardly does anything. He’s so likable. I’ve enjoyed him a lot more than everyone else for even retro stuff. He’s always bare minimum good in nearly every tag he’s in. He’s entertaining, insanely strong and versatile as a hoss or mini high flier or comedy guy for his age. He gets it done in whatever he’s placed in except a Bone Soldier match. From teaming with da’s to double suplexing juniors to shooting with reDRagon, he’s still a gem and someone that needs to be on my list.”

  1. Ricky Starks (1 ballots, 46 points)

High Voter: Francis Adu (55)

  1. Ryan Smile (2 ballots, 48 points)

High Voter: Dylan Justin (69)

“Only really breaking into the higher profile UK indies now with RevPro finally using him more regularly but he’s been a mainstay for OTT since day one along with Pete Dunne. Amazing babyface which to people who only know his more high profile mainly heel UK work would probably be a big surprise.

Has been involved in at least half a dozen really good to downright great matches in OTT this year with single ones vs Charlie Garrett and Marty Scurll to a triple threat against Ospreay and Dunne to two insane tags with Ospreay and an extremely fun fatal four way against End, Haskins and Scurll. Has Hero and Scurll in singles matches next week which can only add to his case. Will probably make my top 50 for sure.”

  1. Seiya Sanada (1 ballots, 49 points)

High Voter: Mark (52)

Recommended Matches
vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (BJW, 3/6)
vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW, 7/18)
vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW, 8/8)

“Seiya Sanada deserves recognition for his 2016. Not only the high end matches he’s had in NJPW, but even more so for his matches in Big Japan earlier in the year. Seiya Sanada vs. Daisuke Sekimoto from the Strong Clamb was an awesome match. His match with Tanahashi in the G1 was awesome too. Sanada works hard in every LIJ vs. CHAOS multi man match that makes tape too.”

“I just love NJPW gave him a hand picked feud designed to get him over and YOSHI-HASHI stole all of his shine. Liked him in BJW, had a swell match against Tanahashi but besides that he’s not someone who stands out to me much at all. I won’t say there’s no chance but he’s probably on the outside looking in at this point.”

  1. Fabian Aichner (1 ballots, 49 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (52)

  1. Steve Corino (2 ballots, 50 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (62)

“I loved the Whitmer match as it was totally unique and distinct from anything in wrestling today. I also loved his performance in the Ducklings v Extreme Horseman match even if he slightly oversold it on Twitter. I wouldn’t rate anyone highly off that, but I suspect we may get another strong performance before the year is over.”

  1. Ikuto Hidaka (1 ballots, 51 points)

High Voter: Mark (50)

  1. Rampage Brown (2 ballots, 51 points)

High Voter: Antony Lusmore (62)

“Maybe not my favorite year for Brown but any year where he gets opportunities with Allmark he’s likely going to be on my list.”

  1. Jack Evans (1 ballots, 52 points)

High Voter: Tom Ray (49)

  1. Brian Fury (3 ballots, 52 points)

High Voter: Brock Jahnke (55)

“Definitely a case for him in his final year as an active wrestler. He’s had a really strong year in Beyond, from a superb match with Sabre in January to possibly the best singles match Chris Dickinson has had all year, and what sounds like a stormer of a match with Chris Hero this past week. Can’t speak for his work outside of Beyond this year, but if that and his Dijak match coming up are both strong contests he could definitely be worthy of a good place.”

  1. Yukio Sakaguchi (1 ballots, 53 points)

High Voter: Mark (48)

  1. Mike (1 ballots, 54 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (47)

  1. Bo Dallas (1 ballots, 54 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (47)

“Well turn heel; become more aggressive seems to work.”

  1. Eddie Edwards (2 ballots, 54 points)

High Voter: Andrew Shillinglaw (59)

  1. Tank (2 ballots, 54 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (59)

“If the Joey Lynch match that was allegedly taped every shows up he’ll probably end up making the tail end of my ballot. No one else stalks Facebook pages for video content, but I do and Tank’s tag match at Dragon Con, death match v. Stryknyn from Empire, and match v. Ace Rockwell all showed up there. The first is fun, and the second two are very good to great matches worked in very different ways. Tank v. Rockwell actually has my favorite fighting spirit spots of the year. I also loved his match v. Geter from PCW. Someone get that Lynch match online because I heard it was outstanding.”

  1. Tyson Dux (2 ballots, 54 points)

High Voter: Steven Graham (50)

“One of the most complete wrestlers on the indies, but mostly stays in Ontario.

He did get a match in the CWC with Zack Sabre Jr., but was handicapped based on the agents and the rematch in Smash was a great match.

No matter the opponent or the position he is in he delivers.”

  1. Rafy (1 ballots, 55 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (46)

  1. Ryback (2 ballots, 55 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (49)

  1. Curt Stallion (4 ballots, 55 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (82)

“While I don’t think most people will have him on their lists I think he should be at least in consideration for his dedication. This guy drives long distances by himself on shows he is not even booked for just to get some type of spot and get some experience and not only that he puts in a hard working performance every time. He has won a couple belts along the way and you should youtube him!”

“I consider brother Curt a good brother and have enjoyed what little I’ve seen of him this year. He’s definitely dedicated to the cause, I’ll give him that much. With that said, I sincerely doubt he’ll make my list this year BUT if he continues to get his name out there and gets higher profile bookings, I could see him as someone we’ll all be talking about this time next year.”

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