Editorials

WDKW100 Honorable Mentions Part 5

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 273-250 and the hits keep coming. Puerto Rico represents well here. Territory to watch in 2017 perhaps? Building narratives in the intro no one reads. What a gift I am?! Moose doesn’t have recommended matches because I have no knowledge of him having good to great matches as of typing this. As always, use #WDKW100 when discussing the results for shameless RTs.

  1. Lightning (1 ballots, 69 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (32)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Chicano (World Wrestling Council, 9/3)

w/Thunder vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 7/16)
w/Thunder vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 12/3)

  1. Ryo Kawamura (1 ballots, 69 points)

High Voter: Sam DiMascio (32)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (HARD HIT, 2/28)
w/Amigo Suzuki vs. CHANGO & PSYCHO (HEAT UP, 5/14)
vs. Shunpei Ota (HARD HIT, 12/29)

vs. Minoru Suzuki (Ryo Kawamura Produce, 6/19)

“Ryo Kawamura probably rates a little TOO high for me but I have come to terms with the fact that if you work a shoot type style in this day and age I will pop for you many times over. There are two Kawamuras. One is the junior version of Minoru Suzuki. This version is an incredible pro wrestler. The other is a Rocky Balboa tribute, which while a hindrance, he still shines performing. The Suzuki match probably is his most notable, a wonderful match, but his Takayama match is just as good. Each showing off his different characters. Tremendous pro wrestler in the year of 2016”

  1. Andrade Almas (2 ballots, 69 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (56)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Bobby Roode vs. Roderick Strong vs. Tye Dillinger (NXT, 11/30)
vs. Cedric Alexander (NXT, 9/15)

  1. Candice LeRae (2 ballots, 69 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (55)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Deonna Purruzzo (Ring of Honor, 10/29)

vs. Cheerleader Melissa (SHIMMER, 4/2)

  1. Hallowicked (2 ballots, 69 points)

High Voter: Andrew Shillinglaw (53)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Heidi Lovelace (CHIKARA, 10/8)
vs. Ophidian (CHIKARA, 2/6)

  1. Ronnie Mendoza (1 ballots, 71 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (30)

Recommended Matches:
Ronnie Mendoza vs. Flamita vs Negro Casas (DTU, 12/15)
w/Drastik Boy vs. Flamita & Johnny Idol (DTU, 5/29)
vs. Brian Kendrick (CWC, 6/23)

  1. Thunder (1 ballots, 71 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (30)

Recommended Matches:
w/Lightning vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 7/16)
w/Lightning vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 12/3)
vs. The Mighty Ursus (World Wrestling Council, 10/16)

  1. Titan (3 ballots, 71 points)

High Voter: Steven Graham (72)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Will Ospreay (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 7/20)
w/Angel de Oro vs. Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 10/21)

“One of my favorite luchadors. Good matches with Ospreay in the Super J Cup, with Dragon Lee against Psicosis and Histeria in Cara Lucha, and with Ángel de Oro against Roppongi Vice in New Japan. Another guy I’m nominating because I just want him on my ballot. Will finish on the back-end.”

  1. El Hijo del Fantasma (1 ballots, 72 points)

High Voter: Scott C (29)

Recommended Matches:
w/Pentagon Jr, Fenix, Ivelisse, Johnny Mundo & Taya vs. Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio Jr, Sexy Star, The Mack, Son of Havoc & Texano (Lucha Underground, 1/16)
vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Fenix vs. Ivelisse vs. Johnny Mundo vs. Taya (Lucha Underground, 1/16)

  1. Jimmy Susumu (3 ballots, 72 points)

High Voter: Antony Lusmore (71)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate, 2/14)

vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate, 3/6)
vs. Eita (Dragon Gate, 6/2)

w/ Saito & Horiguchi vs. T-Hawk, Tozawa & Yoshino (Dragon Gate, 4/24)
w/Kness vs. Mochizuki & Kanda (Dragon Gate, 3/2)

“The man. Always criminally under appreciated in the grand scheme of things so I have no doubt I’ll be the high vote for him. Someone that I think everyone should check out. He’s so good in so many different situations. Everyone that votes should at least watch the match via Eita from 6/2.”

  1. Adrian Armour (4 ballots, 72 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (54)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Donovan Dijak (Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, 8/7)

vs. Starr (Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, 6/5)
vs. Martin Stone (Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, 5/1)

“Armour is probably not known to many people outside of the Georgia indie scene, but if I was putting together a ballot today he’d make it. Hard hitting guy, with some size to him who is actually one of the better big spot sellers in wrestling. Has improved a ton just in the last eight months, and now has added little touches like nuanced facial expressions and body language to his game that he didn’t really have as recently as January. He’s mainly an AWE and UIW guy which in theory works against him because of footage issues but A. I have seen him a bunch of times live and he’s been in some of the most unheralded strong matches I’ve seen this year and B. He’s one of the few AWE guys where several of his best matches are available on Youtube including both David Starr matches and his match with Martin Stone (matches v. Dijak, Sylar Cross, and the four way v. Owen Knight/David Starr and JImmy Rave aren’t but substantially add to his case for me). No reason not to watch those at minimum and he’s someone who i think would appeal to fans of several different styles/types of wrestling.”

“He is someone I am going to try to fit in. I think what hurts him is the lack of avaibility of his matches and this is not his fault. More fault to the company that uses him the best which is AWE, he is one of the guys that suffers the most of their lack of releasing their shows”

  1. Don Fujii (1 ballots, 73 points)

High Voter: Mark (28)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate 5/22)

w/Akira Tozawa, YAMATO, Cyber Kong, & Stalker Ichikawa vs. Shingo Takagi, Masaaki Mochizuki, CIMA, Gamma, & Jimmy Kanda (Dragon Gate 1/13)

  1. Dr. Cerebro (1 ballots, 73 points)

High Voter: Gagne West (28)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Hechicero (Lucha Libre GH, 4/9)

vs. Caifan (Lucha Memes, 5/15)

“He doesn’t have an outstanding match like the Virus one from last year, but he had good/great matches against Hechicero and Caifan and cool trios with Cerebro Negro and Terry as los Terribles Cerebros. Maybe top half worthy.”

  1. Taiji Ishimori (2 ballots, 73 points)

High Voter: Scott C (62)

Recommended Matches:
w/ACH vs. Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 11/5)
w/ACH vs. Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 8/21)

vs. KUSHIDA (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 7/20)

  1. Kongo Kong (6 ballots, 73 points) [LOWEST RANKED 6 BALLOT WRESTLER]

High Voter: Dan Rice (58)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Chris Hero (AAW, 10/7)
vs. Chris Hero vs. Shigehiro Irie (IWA Mid-South, 10/6)

“Still totally awesome and in some ways the most spectacular wrestler in the business. I think AAW has kind of missed the boat on him in some ways but at least it’s been a fun missing of the boat with him crushing dudes with epic big guy/strong man offense. The Hero match from the AAW tourney was pretty great. Probably a bottom tier guy on my ballot at the moment, should be higher really.

“I also have Kong as a bubble candidate. He doesn’t have bad matches which should really be a huge plus, but he hasn’t had standalone great matches. That being said I do want to see his handful of IWA matches from this year including the one with Hero and Irie (probably butchered spelling) as he’s so close that the 3 way alone could probably plant him in my list if its around the ***3/4+ range. I just need to find that one match that leaves me in the Kongo Kong euphoria I knew in 2014 and 2015.”

  1. Cuervo (2 ballots, 75 points)

High Voter: Mark (42)

Recommended Matches:
w/Mike Mendoza vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 9/17)

w/Mike Mendoza vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 9/3)
w/Mike Mendoza vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 6/25)
w/Mike Mendoza vs. La Revolucion I & La Revolucion II (World Wrestling Council, 5/28)

  1. Moose (2 ballots, 77 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (49)

  1. Roy Wilkins (2 ballots, 79 points)

High Voter: Brock Jahnke (30)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Trevor lee (CWF Mid-Atlantic, 2/27)

“I won’t have him on my ballot,but here on WWW it feels ridiculous that no one else has nominated him as he was in the most highly touted match in the history of this website.”

  1. Mr. 450 (2 ballots, 79 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (29)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Damien Wayne (AWA, 5/26)
vs. Ricochet (Wrestling Superstar Fight Forever, 8/7)
vs. Joey Lynch (Freelance Wrestling, 8/26)

“Mr.450 is not only one of the most underrated guys in the midwest but one of the most underrated guys in the world. Mr.450‘s work spans from lucha shows around the U.S, Freelance matches with Joey Lynch, scramble matches, etc… He had a match with Ricochet in Chile which is on youtube, indies in mexico but most notably the bulk of his work is in Puerto Rico which someone else can probably speak more on. But for such a well traveled wrestler he is someone hardly anyone has ever heard of, but I advise everyone to check out at some point during this voting process.”

“No wrestler on the planet this year has had a year like Mr.450. He manages to be one of the most diversified schedules and roster of opponents without being featured prominently in any promotion with a large online following. That might not be fair since we are all pretty much in a bubble but I think the point stands.

Recommend the Damien Wayne match and Ricochet matches on YouTube. Probably my favorite Ricochet match of the year as the dropped what I think hurts a lot of “HIGH LEVEL INDIE MATCHES” since they go for great matches and don’t deliver. Here it was just fun wrestling.”

  1. T-Hawk (2 ballots, 80 points)

High Voter: Dylan Justin (56)

Recommended Matches:
w/Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, & Shachihoko BOY vs. Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Naruki Doi & Kotoka vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Big R Shimizu & Kzy (Dragon Gate, 2/4)
w/Shingo Takagi, Cyber Kong, Naruki Doi & brother YASSHI vs. Akira Tozawa, Big R Shimizu, Masato Yoshino & Shachihoko Boy (Dragon Gate, 10/12)

  1. Kohei Sato (2 ballots, 81 points)

High Voter: Skylar (31)

Recommended Matches:
w/Shuji Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 11/6)
vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (ZERO-1, 11/6)

“The ace of Zero-1! Secretly the MVP of a lot of the Strong BJ/Twin Towers matches! Will make my top 75 at the very least.”

  1. Mighty Ursus (1 ballots, 82 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (19)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Ray Gonzalaez (World Wrestling Council, 5/28)

vs. Lightning (World Wrestling Council, 9/17)
vs. Thunder (World Wrestling Council, 10/16)

“My favorite wrestler in Puerto Rico right now. He’s kinda like Kongo Kong in that he’s a huge 350+ guy that beats up people in the old 80’s wrestling monster style. Had some really good brawls this year with Ray Gonzalez Sr. Chicano, Thunder and Lightning and Carlito. Had a fire match with Carlito last year that is a great spectacle. Lost his mask earlier this year but still wears it cause people won’t make him take it off. That’s wrestling as hell. Wish he wrestled on the mainland some.”

  1. Joe Coffey (3 ballots, 83 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (42)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Rampage Brown (PROGRESS, 4/24)

vs. Matt Cross (ICW, 10/9)
vs. Matt Cross (ICW, 11/5)
vs. Matt Cross (ICW, 12/11)
vs. Josh Bodom (ICW, 10/29)

“He’s someone I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this year as his matches rarely fall outside the ‘solid’ to ‘great’ range. I can’t point to any blowaway amazing stuff, but his top end matches include a great 15 minute draw with Rampage Brown in Progress, a fun power vs flyer series against Matt Cross in ICW, a wild hard hitting brawl with Josh Bodom in ICW (which I was front row for) and a bunch of matches in Discovery (notably Hero, Lethal and especially Ciampa)

If this was a favourites of the year list he’d be in my top third, as it is he’ll probably fit in somewhere in the lower third.”

  1. Dezmond Xavier (4 ballots, 85 points)

High Voter: Timothy Robert Buechner (71)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shane Strickland (Combat Zone Wrestling, 9/10)
vs. Ricochet (AAW, 8/19)

“Probably going to be one of the next big things in indie wrestling, and almost certainly the next big time flyer. Crazy smooth and spectacular as a flipper, his match with Ricochet got him a lot of attention but he’s been fun in CZW and other places for a while now.”

“With the Ricochet match, the Strickland match, and other multi man matches where’s been allowed to shine, he’ll make my list somewhere. Next year will be the real breakout for him I’d say, but this was a good year to grab some attention.”

  1. Puma (3 ballots, 86 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (55)

Recommended Matches:
w/Tiger vs. Trauma I & Trauma II (Cara Lucha, 6/24)

“That’s Felino’s kid, not the Prince. Looked like CMLL’s breakout star of 2016 early in the year, winning the Copa Junior and holding his own against the likes of the Traumas, until CMLL remembered they couldn’t make breakout stars and he was left teaming with his brother and third wheels of varying compatibility in random trios. Still feels like he should end up somewhere mid-list.”

“Puma makes hating CMLL easy.

I feel like if you imagined the idea of the Young Bucks prior to becoming self-aware but with more character then you get Puma and Tiger. Would consider Puma the better of the two based on always looking more confident in his ability.”

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