Editorials

WDKW100 Honorable Mentions Part 4

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.

Moving on to 299-275. We start getting more into the nitty gritty and more match recommendations are going to crop up. Someone look interesting? Please take a look. Use this as a resource to discover your new favorite wrestlers.

  1. Leo (1 ballots, 56 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (45)

Recommended Matches:
w/Centvrion vs. Metaleon & Mr. Leo (LuchaRama, 2/27)
w/Centvrion vs. Drastik Boy & Rocky Lobo (WMC, 4/23)
vs. Centvrion vs. Fly Warrior (WMC, 8/7)
vs. Mike vs. Rafy vs. Teelo (Innova Azteca Power, 9/4)

  1. Murder One (2 ballots, 56 points)

High Voter: Fray (48)

Recommended Matches:
w/Chip Day vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (Universal Independent Wrestling, 1/9)
w/Chip Day vs. Chris Hero & JT Dunn (Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, 8/7)

“Team with Chip Day has been on point this year having quality matches with everyone from DIY to IOU to Death By Elbow. He’s a vet and works that way which isn’t an insult. Deceptively athletic given his size. Very fun wrestler to see live.”

“I may be the high vote on him and there’s a good chance his team with Chip makes my top 3 for Tag Team of the Year in the WON Awards. Just a super fun guy to watch live and can do everything from crowd brawling to working the modern indie style match with a Hero.”

  1. Jinny (1 ballots, 57 points)

High Voter: Timothy Robert Buechner (44)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Pollyanna vs. Toni Storm vs. Dahlia Black (PROGRESS, 1/24)

  1. Mephisto (1 ballots, 57 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (44)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mascara Dorada (CMLL, 2/19)
w/Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Dragon Lee, Mistico & Rush (CMLL, 10/7)
vs. Titan (CMLL, 9/20)
vs. Volador Jr. (New Japan Pro Wrestling & CMLL, 1/22)

  1. Bobby Roode (1 ballots, 57 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (44)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Tye Dillinger (NXT, 11/19)
vs.  Andrade Almas vs. Roderick Strong vs. Tye Dillinger (NXT, 11/30)

  1. Guerrero Maya Jr. (2 ballots, 57 points)

High Voter: Mayafacetico (64)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Dragon Rojo Jr (CMLL, 6/14)
w/Dragon Lee & Mascara Dorada vs. Euforia, Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja (CMLL, 10/14)

“Compared to 2014 or even last year, he was a little bit disappointing, but he’s still the best tecnico trios worker (Lee and Dorada were close, but neither of them could have had those amazing exchanges with Hechicero) which is something I really appreciate and that’s enough to get him in my ballot.”

“Another person I thought about nominating but in the end I’d have to run dry pretty quick on to vote for him. He just hasn’t had enough chances to stand out. Love him most of the time and to me is one of CMLL’s better overall talents.”

  1. Yoshiko (2 ballots, 58 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (69)

Recommended Matches:
w/Nanae Takahashi vs. Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto (JWP, 7/24)
vs. Meiko Satomrua (Sendai Girls, 7/30)
w/Nanae Takahashi vs. Leon & Rydeen Hagane (JWP, 11/3)
w/Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Aja Kong & Meiko Satomura (Oz Academy, 11/13)

  1. Ethan Carter III (3 ballots, 59 points)

High Voter: Dan Rice (76)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mike Bennett (Total Nonstop Action, 6/12)

“I really liked his EVOLVE run. It was short but the brawls were fun. Plus, I really like the Slammiversary match with Miracle Mike.

He’s good at wrestling.”

  1. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (1 ballots, 60 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (41)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Atsushi Aoki (All Japan Pro Wrestling, 1/3)
w/Yuma Aoyagi vs. Takahisa Matsumoto & Takuya Wada (HARD HIT, 2/28)
w/Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Don Fujii & Masakatsu Funaki (Dragon Gate, 7/24)

“He had like 4 aired matches this year, but one of them is borderline great (vs Aoyagi), and then you have the really good tag from Dragon Gate vs Fujii/Funaki and the two fun New Japan appearances. That’s enough for me.”

“Want to put him Top 50 for his interactions with Cheeseburger alone.”

“Wada and Matsumoto are two guys who I assume don’t have much pro style experience, so you get really fun Fujiwara vs. legit guy matchups. Aside from the grappling which as a step above everything else on the show you also get Fujiwara acting like a dick and smirking. My favorite bit was Fujiwara locking in different armbar variations on the guy in the gi who was desperately contorting his body in order to avoid getting tapped by a geriatric.

Plus the fun Atsushi Aoki match.”

  1. Emma (1 ballots, 61 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (40)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Paige (WWE, 4/5)
vs. Asuka (NXT, 1/27)

“Violence is fun.”

  1. Space Monkey (2 ballots, 61 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (66)

Recommended Matches:
w/Robert Anthony vs. Ethan Page & Kobe Durst (Freelance Wrestling, 8/26)

Space Monkey is a monkey that no matter where he goes he puts on a hell of a performance and by his character gets over instantly with indie wrestling crowds, and primate that will bottom out my list and wanted to have him available for other people when it comes to voting time to watch.”

“An interesting guy for the bottom five of a list like this. His gimmick seems ridiculous and perfect for the Chikara Factory on the surface but he does have an innate charisma that really draws the live crowd in. It feels less like someone performing a goofy gimmick and a more immersive performance. This counteract his limitations in the technical sense as a wrestler that he currently has.”

  1. Aero Boy (3 ballots, 61 points)

High Voter: Gagne West (71)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Black Terry (Tulacingo Lucha, 6/10)
vs. Xtreme Tiger (CILL, 5/21)

“I know next to nothing about him other than he’s good at beating up and being beaten up by Black Terry, but as the Black Terry brawl is possibly the wrestling decade’s best sub-subgenre, he’s worth considering. In the apuesta match in particular he simply stiffed Terry and took the old dude’s best shots in return. He’s a good diver, takes big bumps, and finds ways to work in vicious chair (and beer bottle) spots naturally. Doesn’t seem to be technically fancy, but does that really matter?”

“He let Black Terry beat the shit out of him 3 times last year. That in of itself is worthy of making the list. He also had a couple fun singles vs Flamita and Xtreme Tiger.”

  1. Emi Sakura (1 ballots, 62 points)

High Voter: Mark (39)

Recommended Matches:
w/Nanae Takahashi vs. Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto (ICE RIBBON, 5/4)

  1. Yuji Hino (2 ballots, 62 points)

High Voter: Tanner (61)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Minoru Tanaka (Wrestle-1, 2/10)
w/Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Go Shiozaki & Yuji Okabayashi (Fortune Dream, 6/14)

  1. Jimmy Lloyd (3 ballots, 63 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (72)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Qefka The Quiet (CZW Dojo Wars, 7/13)
vs. Frankie Pickard (CZW Dojo Wars, 7/27)
vs. Wheeler YUTA (CZW Dojo Wars, 8/31)
vs. Maxwell Jacob Feinstein (CZW Dojo Wars, 10/5)
vs. Josh Adams (CZW Dojo Wars, 10/12)

“CZW Dojo Wars standout Jimmy Lloyd is in his first year I think and in that year he has proved he can stand out. He puts in a hardworking performance every time, he is eager to learn and he has a couple of big matches coming up including one with BBoy at Dojo Wars tonight and as well as his first singles match on a main CZW show against Frankie Pickard. Again another guy I don’t think will make most peopels list but he will be a guy that will bottom out on my list come voting time.”

  1. Jay Lethal (3 ballots, 63 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (51)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Lio Rush (Ring of Honor, 4/1)
vs. Kyle O’Reilly (Ring of Honor, 6/25)

  1. Momo Watanabe (1 ballots, 64 points)

High Voter: Mark (37)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Io Shirai (STARDOM, 8/27)
vs. Jungle Kyono (STARDOM, 9/11)
w/Jungle Kyona vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani (STARDOM, 11/11)

  1. Hikaru Shida (1 ballots, 64 points)

High Voter: Scott C (37)

Recommended Matches:
w/Syuri vs Aja Kong & Cassandra Miyagi (Sendai Girls 9/19)
w/Syuri vs DASH Chisako & KAORU (Sendai Girls, 10/16)
w/Syuri vs Kaori Yoneyama & Tsubasa Kuragaki (Oz Academy, 9/11)

  1. Aaron Epic (2 ballots, 64 points)

High Voter: Fray (52)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Ethan Page vs.  Sugar Dunkerton

“Another one that will be controversial for obvious reasons, but he seems like someone AWE fans like YellowMan or Fray might consider so he should at least have a thread. As a worker he’s someone I never thought much of one way or the other until I started seeing him live this year, but I have to admit he’s had a good year in AWE. Always works hard and stiff, will take crazy spots and deliver them, has a real presence in that setting. Best in sprints, but that’s hardly a knock. I like his team with Martin Stone, but it’s telling that I prefer him as a single. One of three guys I’ve seen have a good singles match with Chris Crunk and the other two were Jimmy Rave and Fred Yehi.”

“I’ve got Epic in the 50s. Like Dylan, he’s another guy I didn’t think much of until I saw him live multiple times this year. And in more than one show, I came away thinking “THAT GUY HAD THE BEST MATCH ON THE CARD”. He’s a real shooter. There’s been matches in which I thought he or his opponent had literally killed the other. There’s more stuff on YouTube that I need to watch before voting time.”

  1. Toru Yano (2 ballots, 65 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (46)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Naito (NJPW, 3/12)

“What if a wrestler was built from the ground up to be the living embodiment of a shitpost?”

  1. Chase Owens (2 ballots, 66 points)

High Voter: Mike W (61)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Isaias Velazquez (Freelance Wrestling, 8/26)

vs. Will Ospreay (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 5/22)
vs. Jimmy Rave (TSW 3/6)

“He’s had some misses, but Chase is another guy who has really improved a ton and it would be hard for me to leave him off my ballot at this moment. He didn’t have the great matches some other guys did in BOSJ, but I thought he provided some much needed diversity to the cards and worked exceptionally hard. Didn’t have a disappointing match the entire time and was very fun in that role. In the States he’s had some great matches for PWF and NWA-SM especially his match with Damien Wayne. Really loved his match v. Isaias Velazquez at Freelance as well. He’s tightened up a lot of the holes in his game and now feels like a guy you could put in there against almost anyone and get a solid match which is something I value highly.”

“Very good in New Japan this year. Looked great in BOSJ, will go out of my way to watch his stuff with Omega in the Tag League.”

  1. Naoya Nomura (1 ballots, 68 points)

High Voter: Skylar (33)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Takuya Nomura (All Japan Pro Wrestling, 11/27)

“I like rookies being punished and he is the best for that stuff, and if that isn’t enough, the rivalry with the other Nomura is really interesting too.”

  1. Ayumu Honda (1 ballots, 68 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (33)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Kazuhiro Tamura (K-DOJO, 1/10)
vs. Hikaru Sato (K-DOJO, 2/25)
vs. Ayato vs. Yoshida (K-DOJO, 6/19)

“Better than Okada.”

“His matches against Tamura and Sato were hot little bangers. Haven’t seen much else this year on that same level.”

  1. Johnny Mundo (2 ballots, 68 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (50)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Ricochet (PWG, 9/4)
vs. Fenix (Lucha Underground, 1/30)
vs. AJ Styles (5 Star Wrestling, 1/13)

  1. Alberto del Rio (5 ballots, 68 points) [LOWEST RANKED 5 BALLOT WRESTLER]

High Voter: John L. Pingel III (59)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Kalisto (WWE, 2/21)

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