Editorials

WDKW100 Honorable Mentions Part 6

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.

Here we are with 249-225. Time flies when you are extremely stressed by the overwhelming workload that life presents. Sorry Hana Kimura but you have received the “no recommended matches” honor since I have received no suggestions for your good stuff. Unfortunate. Fortunately though most entrants have at least a couple matches for you to seek out. Do that. Seek them out. SEEK OUT THE MATCHES! SPREAD THEIR GOSPEL! One more Honorable Mentions after this this week and next week is 200-100

  1. Hana Kimura (1 ballots, 87 points)

High Voter: Mark (14)

  1. Rey Horus (1 ballots, 89 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (12)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Prince Puma (Lucha Underground, 1/30)

w/Prince Puma & Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo & PJ Black (Lucha Underground, 1/17)
vs. Dragon Lee (Lucha Memes, 3/6)

  1. Chicano (1 ballots, 90 points) [HIGHEST RANKED 1 BALLOT WRESTLER]

High Voter: Tim Evans (11)

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

vs. Ray Gonzalez (World Wrestling Council, 9/17)
vs. Mr. 450 (World Wrestling Council, 10/15)

“This is the PR version not the guy from IWRG. Besides Mr. 450 and possibly Ray Gonzalez Sr., he’s the best guy in Puerto Rico right now. Had multiple good to great matches with Thunder, Lightning, Mr. 450, Ray Gonazlez, Precious One Gilbert and others. One of the better brawlers in wrestling these days.”

  1. Yasafumi Nakanoue (4 ballots, 90 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (34)

Recommended Matches:
w/Ryota Hama vs. Hideki Suzuki & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 5/5)
w/Yuji Okabayashi vs. Hideki Suzuki & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 5/30)
w/Yoshihisa Uto vs. Hideki Suzuki & Daichi Hashimoto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 6/29)

“Just let Hideki Suzuki beat the shit out of you in every match and I’ll rank you highly in this gimmick.”

  1. Daichi Hashimoto (3 ballots, 91 points)

High Voter: Mayafacetico (46)

Recommended Matches:
w/Jun Akiyama vs. Yuji Okabayashi & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 4/29)

w/Hideyoshi Kamitani & Kazumi Kikuta vs. Hideki Suzuki, Takuya Nomura & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 11/6)
vs. Jun Akiyama (All Japan Pro Wrestling, 5/21)
w/Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Hideyoshi Kamitani & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 4/9)

  1. Dan Maff (3 ballots, 91 points)

High Voter: Andrew Shillinglaw (34)

Recommended Matches:
w/Monsta Mack vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (Beyond Wrestling, 1/31)

w/Monsta Mack vs. Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois (Beyond Wrestling, 5/29)
w/Monsta Mack vs. Hanson & Ray Rowe (Beyond Wrestling, 10/2)
vs. The Big Guy (WrestlePro, 10/15)

  1. Luke Gallows (4 ballots, 91 points)

High Voter: Heikki Oinonen (64)

Recommended Matches:
w/Karl Anderson vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 1/4)

w/AJ Styles & Karl Anderson vs. Roman Reigns, Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso (WWE, 5/9)

“Like Anderson except even better punches.”

“I love Gallows. May be on the higher end with him than others. Hate the way he (and Anderson, to an extent) have sort of fallen off the radar after the brand split. Probably will do better on Smackdown in 2017 if they get drafted over there. He and Anderson would make excellent opponents for American Alpha/Beauty & The Man Beast.”

  1. Zack Ryder (2 ballots, 92 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (39)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust vs. The Miz (WWE, 4/3)

vs. The Miz (WWE, 4/4)
vs. The Miz (WWE, 4/5)
vs. Tyler Breeze (WWE, 3/18)

“According to my WWE obsessed youngest brother, he was the star of the C-show circuit for the early portion of the year, consistently putting on good matches with a bunch of different people. The Mania win was a great moment live and one of the highlights of that show. Enjoyed his work with Miz which in many respects is what kickstarted Miz as a player this year. He can come across a bit awkward, but there probably aren’t five guys on the WWE roster who try as hard as Zack does on a night to night basis. Could see him ranking toward the tail end of my ballot.”

  1. Monsta Mack (3 ballots, 92 points)

High Voter: Andrew Shillinglaw (35)

Recommended Matches:
w/Dan Maff vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (Beyond Wrestling, 1/31)
w/Dan Maff vs. Mathieu St-Jacques & Thomas Dubois (Beyond Wrestling, 5/29)
w/Dan Maff Mack vs. Hanson & Ray Rowe (Beyond Wrestling, 10/2)

  1. Kyle Matthews (4 ballots, 92 points)

High Voter: SLL (69)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Jimmy Rave (NWA Smoky Mountain, 4/16)

vs. Chris Hero (Scenic City Invitational, 8/5)
vs. Gary Jay (Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment, 12/27)

“Kind of a weird year for Kyle in that he’s had a bunch of good matches pop up, but not the handful of bangers you expect from him. His match with Hero from SCI night was very good, probably even borderline great, but didn’t quite hit the level of a couple of other matches on the same show. Still sells as well as anyone and does some fun mat spots that few guys in the region will touch. Match with Jimmy Rave from SM Cup is still one of the great miracles of 2016 as they took a no interest crowd and got them hot for the only time on the show.”

  1. Negro Navarro (2 ballots, 94 points)

High Voter: Gagne West (54)

Recommended Matches:
w/Trauma I & Trauma II vs. El Hijo del Pantera, El Pantera I & El Pantera II  (IWRG, 1/17)

“The only 2016 singles I’ve seen him in is a long YouTube clip from his match with Blue Panther in LA. Solid enough to get the crowd throwing money, but from what’s shown they don’t seem to be quite in sync so that they never hit that next level. Still, he’s consistently excellent when teaming with one or both of his sons, and was the best performer in my six-man of the year, the 1/17 match against the Panteras, where he plays the dual roles of maestro and rudo as only he can. Likely to make my list for many years yet.”

  1. Dragon Kid (2 ballots, 95 points)

High Voter: Dylan Justin (49)

Recommended Matches:
w/CIMA vs. Jimmy Kagetora & Jimmy Susumu (Dragon Gate, 11/3)

w/CIMA & Peter Kaasa vs. Bxb Hulk, Flamita & Kzy vs. Akira Tozawa, Masato Yoshino & T-Hawk (Dragon Gate, 7/24)

“Dragon Kid has been one of the most consistently entertaining pro wrestlers in the world for going on twenty years. He’s not in the position he was once in, he’s slowed down a bit in his older age, but he never fails to deliver and has had yet another great year. Good singles matches with Masaaki Mochizuki in May and Tozawa in August, some very good tag matches with Eita, and a number of multi-mans, which he’s always a huge part of.”
  1. Go Shiozaki (2 ballots, 95 points)

High Voter: Mark (45)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Takashi Sugiura (Pro Wrestling NOAH, 5/28)
w/Yuji Okabayashi vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Hino (Kenta Kobashi Produce, 6/14)
w/Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya & Maybach Taniguchi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 8/14)
vs. Takashi Sugiura (Pro Wrestling NOAH, 11/4)
vs. Katsuyori Shibata (Pro Wrestling NOAH, 10/23)

  1. El Lindaman (2 ballots, 95 points)

High Voter: VilinskiKonjic (44)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Masato Yoshino (Dragon Gate, 5/22)

w/Yosuke♡Santa Maria vs. Naruki Doi & brother YASSHI (Dragon Gate, 8/14)

“Amazing year of progression from the kid. This was his first year of not being treated like a young boy, and it’s painfully obvious that he’ll be a star one day. Great match with Masato Yoshino on 5/22. That’s still his biggest singles match to date. He teamed with Maria for the tag league – Doi & YASSHI vs. Linda & Maria from 8/14 is a great tag match. Linda has an awesome babyface comeback.”

  1. Xtreme Tiger (2 ballots, 96 points)

High Voter: Another Spammer (25)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Aeroboy (CILL, 5/21)

vs. Mascara Dorada (LLE, 3/30)
vs. Dragon Lee vs. El Hijo de Dos Caras vs. Laredo Kid vs. Mr. 450 vs. Willie Mack (The Crash, 9/24)

“Feels like a second-rate Mascara Dorada in a way. Always good for a zany spotfest every time he goes out”

  1. Matt Tremont (2 ballots, 97 points)

High Voter: Andrew Shillinglaw (42)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Matt Riddle (Beyond Wrestling, 11/20)

vs. Isaias Velazquez (Freelance Wrestling & Combat Zone Wrestling, 7/8)
vs. AR Fox (Beyond Wrestling, 7/31)

  1. Rocky Romero (2 ballots, 98 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (29)

Recommended Matches:
& Beretta vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 1/4)
w/Beretta vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 4/10)
vs. KUSHIDA (NJPW, 5/23)
w/Beretta vs. ACH & Taiji Ishimori (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 11/5)

  1. Joey Lynch (3 ballots, 98 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (35)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Ray Fury (Scenic City Invitational, 8/5)

vs. Gunner Miller (Scenic City Invitational, 8/6)
vs. Anthony Henry vs. Ryan Taylor vs. Tony Deppen (CZW, 9/10)

“Has the potential to be a real break out year for Joey thanks to his showing in the SCI where he had a very fun opening round match with Ray Fury, and a great in some respects tournament saving sprint v. Gunner Miller which ranks as one of the most selfless performances I’ve ever seen at a wrestling show. His team with his brother Matt has had some fun matches on the Southern indie circuit, he’s made debuts in PWX, CZW and Freelance, and he’s generally gotten good marks everywhere. Has arguably the prettiest moonsault in wrestling. Match v. his brother from this year on YouTube is good and people should check it out. Empire matches v. Drew Delight and Bobby Hayes (both vets with a style vastly different than his) were good, and I’m still holding out hope we get the Tank match which was said to be great.”

  1. Alexa Bliss (4 ballots, 98 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (15)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Becky Lynch vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella vs. Carmella (WWE, 9/11)
vs. Bayley (NXT, 6/24)

“Alexa Bliss has really came into her own this year, splitting away from The Aussie Ravers to become a sound professional wrestler. With that comes her 100 inclusion case with matches vs. Bayley, Nia Jax and Carmella in a triple threat, Becky Lynch, the Backlash and SmackDown multi-woman matches plus misc. tags, etc.”

Bliss wouldn’t fall in line with a quantity argument but she definitely has put on quality performances this year. She excels most at the little things. The faces she makes are usually entertaining & maybe her best attribute. She’s got a nastiness & aggressiveness that most of the women on the WWE & NXT rosters lack. Add to the fact that she has some unique offense that fits into a no nonsense style. All of these things make up her best quality which is character portrayal. I believe in the Alexa Bliss character when I watch her matches. I think that’s a huge plus to have in an environment where most wrestlers suck at character work in-ring. She’s also very athletic when considering her big spots. I think she lacks enough good matches to be seriously considered for a list like this but she’s someone who’s definitely improved this year & could be worth a closer look for 2017.”

“Alexa is probably the best at acting in WWE and, as said, can unleash some nasty offense on her opponent when she’s in the mood. She should stay away from any semblance of mat wrestling for the near future tho.”

  1. Yoko Bito (2 ballots, 100 points)

High Voter: Mark (29)

Recommended Matches:
Kairi Hojo vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani (STARDOM, 11/11)
vs. Io Shirai (STARDOM, 10/30)

  1. Kazuhiro Tamura (2 ballots, 100 points)

High Voter: Mike W (44)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mineo Fujita (HEAT-UP, 4/16)
vs. Koji Iwamoto (HEAT-UP, 8/31)
vs. Yohei Nakajima (All Japan Pro Wrestling, 6/9)
vs. Minoru Suzuki (HEAT-UP, 10/31)

“The God of Heat Up Kazuhiro Tamura will easily make my top 100 list.All his HEAT UP stuff is really good and his tag team with Takao Omori is one of my favorite things in AJPW.”

“Yeah, he’ll probably make the list. In addition to some of the better HEAT-UP matches, I enjoyed his shortie against Ayumu Honda in K-DOJO.”

“I thought his match against Watanabe in May was his best but the Iwamoto match from August was pretty good, too.”

  1. GPA (3 ballots, 100 points)

High Voter: Matt Rogers (56)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Isaias Velazquez (Freelance Wrestling, 12/9)
vs. Skayde (GALLI, 8/28)
vs. Mustafa Ali (Freelance Wrestling, 8/26)
vs. Chase Owens (Freelance Wrestling, 1/8)

“A guy that emerged rather quickly to become a fan favorite and top guy in the Chicago company Freelance. He has put on one of arguably Prince Mustafa Ali’s best matches in the company. Not only Ali he had a great i Quit match with Kenny Sutra, a bunch of great performances in the traditional Freelance Scramble matches, and a good match with Nick Brubaker. Not only does he wrestle in Freelance he grinds it out across the Chicago scene most notably he is the Underground Wrestling Champion which the match he won the title in is aviaible for free on youtube, he also wrestles for Galli Lucha and Proving Ground Pro. He is one of the most underrated guys in the Chicago area”

  1. DJ Z (4 ballots, 100 points)

High Voter: Dan Rice (40)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Trevor Lee (TNA, 10/2)
vs. Andrew Everett vs. Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards (TNA, 6/12)
vs. Mustafa Ali (Freelance Wrestling, 9/18)
w/Matt Cross & Laredo Kid vs. Gringo Loco, Skayde Jr. & Steve Pain (AIW, 7/22)
vs. Alex Daniels vs. Flamita (AIW, 6/17)
w/Bandolero vs. Gringo Loco & Skayde Jr. (AIW, 4/30)
w/Mustafa Ali vs. Skayde & Skayde Jr. (GALLI, 5/15)

“One of the best and most explosive flyers in wrestling today. I’m not really sure how it happened, but he’s sort of having a breakout year with several good, well regarded or even great performances in TNA, AIW and even Freelance. Kind of comes across like the ultimate mix tape wrestler, where you could watch a highlight video of him doing crazy stuff for 20 minutes and never get sick of it, but he doesn’t seem quite as complete in a more traditional format. That said, I’m not entirely sure that’s fair, and he’s someone who I am looking forward to tracking going forward.”

“I’ve loved him in AIW and TNA this year. Still haven’t seen any Freelance graps, but his match with Ali is the first one I’m going to check out. I think he should be a much bigger deal. He’s as well-rounded of an “X Division” guy out there. Top 50 guy at the worst.”

“Seen him live a bunch this year and he’s also a highlight and one of the hardest workers on the show. The AIW lucha tags and the three-way vs Flamita and Alex Daniels are worth going out of your way to see.”

  1. Tony Nese (2 ballots, 101 points)

High Voter: Fray (29)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Lio Rush (House of Hardcore, 12/16)

vs. Sammy Guevara (Wrestle Circus, 10/16)
vs. Drew Gulak (EVOLVE, 8/19)

“Tony Nese is someone I see getting on a lot of ballots in *some* type of position due to his in-ring improvement and ongoing impressive list of matches. The six way scramble from CZW BOTB, Matt Riddle, Fred Yehi, CWC Flashpoint, Sabre Jr., Drew Gulak, Rey de Voladores, Chris Hero, subsequent other matches you may have seen live, etc, and the Brian Kendrick CWC match all add to the evidence that Nese is one of the 100 best in the world. Possibly. Maybe. Add the ongoing Raw cruiserweight things to the mix too.”

  1. CIMA (4 ballots, 101 points)

High Voter: Dylan Justin (63)

Recommended Matches:
w/Dragon Kid vs Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kagetora (Dragon Gate, 11/3)
vs. Akira Tozawa (Dragon Gate, 5/8)

“One of the biggest faces of Dragon Gate. He somehow gets better with age. One of the most consistent old guys in a region filled with great old guys.”

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