WWW Editorials

WDKW100 Honorable Mentions Part 7

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.

Staying up extra late (you don’t care by the time you read this) to deliver 224-200 of the WDKW100. Our first 7 ballot AND 8 ballot wrestler pop up here. The further we get the more people you need in your corner. That’s life. There is a strong female precence with this part of the LIST which…I actually have no idea why. That’s how it crumbles I suppose? Anyway, your niche wrestlers continue to go off the board. When tweet about the list please use #WDKW100 so I can shamelessly RT you.

  1. Christopher Daniels (5 ballots, 102 points)

High Voter: Timothy Robert Buechner (73)

Recommended Matches:
w/Frankie Kazarian vs. Lio Rush & Moose (Ring of Honor, 4/30)
w/Frankie Kazarian vs. Hanson & Ray Rowe (Ring of Honor, 6/5)
vs. Bobby Fish (Ring of Honor, 4/1)
w/Frankie Kazarian vs. Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (Ring of Honor, 9/30)

“I know ROH hasn’t been a buzz worthy thing this year but I do think Daniels has been great so far. How much of that resides in him having more power with the pencil remains to be seen. He gave the best performance of his career in the Ladder War match. The title change vs. War Machine was weird but that was a fun mini feud that had a really strong match at the Road to Best in the World: Columbus show. He also mixed in well with the likes of Moose and Lio Rush. I don’t think he will be extremely high but he is a shoe in for my list and ROH still has the best consistent tag wrestling I have seen in 2016.”
“He also has that ridiculously entertaining match with Bobby Fish from Texas.
I think The Addiction is Bad, but Daniels is still capable of being very good. I see him being a bottom 20 guy off of the Fish match and the Ladder War performance alone.”
  1. Nikki Bella (3 ballots, 106 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (60)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya (WWE, 9/11)

vs. Carmella (WWE, 12/4)

  1. Masato Yoshino (2 ballots, 108 points)

High Voter: Dylan Justin (38)

Recommended Matches:
vs. El Lindaman (Dragon Gate, 5/22)

w/Akira Tozawa & T-Hawk vs. Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Susumu (Dragon Gate, 4/24)
w/Akira Tozawa, T-Hawk & Shachihoko BOY vs. Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Naruki Doi & Kotoka vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Big R Shimizu & Kzy (Dragon Gate, 2/4)

  1. Rosemary (4 ballots, 108 points)

High Voter: Charles Dulaney (42)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Jade (TNA, 10/9)
vs. Allie (Smash Wrestling, 8/21)
vs. Allie (SMASH Wrestling, 10/22)

“Started the year as Courtney Rush in Smash and is now Rosemary in TNA. The Allie feud is enough for me to consider her, but I do love her work in the Decay group.”

“Loved her involvement in the Hardyz feud. Great character.”

  1. Karl Anderson (5 ballots, 109 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (60)

Recommended Matches:
w/Luke Gallows vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 1/4)
w/AJ Styles & Luke Gallows vs. Roman Reigns, Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso (WWE, 5/9)

“I liked the Samoans-Club enough that it doesn’t really matter what he does for the rest of the year, should rank for me….somewhere.”

  1. Kzy (3 ballots, 110 points)

High Voter: Mark (47)

Recommended Matches:
w/Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid, Big R Shimizu vs. Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, T-Hawk & Shachihoko BOY vs. Shingo Takagi, YAMATO, Naruki Doi & Kotoka (Dragon Gate, 2/4)

vs. Shingo Takagi (Dragon Gate, 5/28)
w/Flamita & BxB Hulk vs. Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa & T-Hawk vs. CIMA, Dragon Kid & Peter Kassa (Dragon Gate, 7/24)

“No one nominated this guy? Man, Kzy has had the year of his life. He was incredible in the current DG MOTY (2/4 main event) and while he hasn’t had a ton of opportunities since then, he’s killed it whenever he gets the chance. His quality stuff has all been so high-end. His match vs. Shingo Takagi on 5/28 has one of the best finishing stretches all year and is a standout DG match for 2016. Looked awesome at World in the big cluster.”

  1. Daisuke Sasaki (3 ballots, 113 points)

High Voter: Mayafacetico (51)

 Recommended Matches:
w/Shuji Ishikawa vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Tetsuya Endo (DDT, 3/21)

w/Tetsuya Endo vs. HARASHIMA & Yuko Miyamoto (DDT, 9/25)

  1. Masa Kitamiya (4 ballots, 113 points)

High Voter: Dylan Harris (48)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (Pro Wrestling NOAH, 12/24)
vs. Takashi Sugiura (Pro Wrestling NOAH, 9/23)

“Looked great in the Nakajima match, awesome throwback offence, hulk ups and so on.”

  1. Shigehiro Irie (7 ballots, 114 points) [LOWEST RANKED 7 BALLOT WRESTLER]

High Voter: Cam Donahue (32)

Recommended Matches:
vs. HARASHIMA (DDT, 12/25)

vs. Shuji Ishikawa (DDT, 6/26)
vs. Eddie Kingston (Absolute Intense Wrestling, 8/26)
w/Daniel Eads vs. Corey Hollis & John Skyler (Resistance Pro Wrestling, 9/10)

“He gets forgotten now, but I actually think Irie‘s U.S. excursion is interesting and worth talking about in the context of something like this.

He was stateside for quite a while, but worked exclusively in the Midwest. That said he worked for nearly every Midwest fed that’s any good, and a lot of those matches made tape, including matches v Ace Perry, and a tag match v Skyler/Hollis that almost no one talks about. I think the general impression is that he was good in the U.S., but didn’t hit homeruns against his best opponents (Good matches with Hero and Williams, but not sure either was really great), but on the other hand I’m not sure how many have dug into his IWA-MS run, and the Eddie Kingston match from AIW is outstanding, probably the top singles match in that company in 2016, and the best Kingston singles match in ages (I love The King for the record). I usually don’t award gold stars for effort, but there is something about Irie working small shows in Indiana and working hard that does feel romantic and special in a way. I watched the Harashima match Alan4L loved and thought it was another in the “good but not special” camp, but I still am drawn to the idea of including him in my 90s.”

  1. Hideyoshi Kamitani (4 ballots, 115 points)

High Voter: Quentin (45)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shuji Ishikawa (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 4/10)

vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 7/24)
vs. Atsushi Maruyama (Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, 3/31)

“When he’s on, he’s on and he’s had a couple of hot matches this year, including the Strong Climb final against Ishikawa and his title win against Okabayashi. He’s also had some solid Strong Climb tournament matches (against Maruyama) and a few fun six-man tags prior to the Okabayashi match. Hasn’t been quite as enjoyable since winning the title but he’ll definitely make the list.”

“Will make my list in a pretty good spot. At his best he’s one of the top 3 babyfaces in all of wrestling and that was on full display against Ishikawa and Okabayashi. Since he’s actually won the belt he’s cooled off, I didn’t care for the Kawakami match, but his top 2 matches are on par with anyone else’s from this year.”

  1. BUSHI (8 ballots, 116 points) [LOWEST RANKED 8 BALLOT WRESTLER]

High Voter: Cam Donahue (69)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mascara Dorada (CMLL & New Japan Pro Wrestling, 1/22)

vs. KUSHIDA (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 2/14)
vs. Gedo (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 5/21)

“My favorite of Los Ingobernables de Japon, though that’s largely because we’ve reached a point in puro history I never expected where New Japan juniors style is less annoying than the heavies — it lets him work in his highspots without compromising his heel status. The KUSHIDA bouts got the snowflakes, but my 2016 highlight for him is actually the wonderfully bullshit-filled Gedo match on the BoSJ opening night. KUSHIDA and Taguchi are far and away my top two NJPW juniors, but Bushi might be a (distant) best of the rest.”

  1. Yuji Nagata (4 ballots, 117 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (53)

Recommended Matches:
w/Jushin Liger vs. Katsuyori Shibata & KUSHIDA (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 4/27)

vs. Katuyori Shibata (New Japan Pro Wrestling, 6/19)

  1. Jimmy Uso (4 ballots, 118 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (33)

Recommended Matches:
w/Jey Uso, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan vs. Big Cass, Enzo Amore, Sheamus, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Primo & Epico (WWE, 11/20)
w/Jey Uso vs. Chad Gable & Jason Jordan – WWE (9/20)
w/Jey Uso vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno (WWE, 9/11)

“The rules for this are stupid.

I apparently like the Usos way more than anyone else in 2016.

I thought they had a very good run against “The Club” in the summer months. And the heel turn once drafted to SD Live really gave them life.

One of them is really fat now so I have no idea what they’re doing in 2017 other than recreating Three Minute Warning.”

  1. Eddie Kingston (5 ballots, 119 points)

High Voter: Cam Donahue (46)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shigerhiro Ishii (Absolute Intense Wrestling, 8/26)

vs. Silver Ant (CHIKARA, 2/28)
vs. Pinkie Sanchez (CHIKARA, 3/19)
w/Homicide vs. Sami Callihan & Dave Crist (AAW, 6/17)

“Match with Irie was amazing and one of my favorite “why aren’t people talking about this” indie matches of the year. Loved seeing him brawl live at AAW. Can’t justify it at this point, but if I discover a few more gems before voting he will be in because I see that Irie match as a huge plus.”

  1. Nia Jax (4 ballots, 122 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (32)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Asuka (NXT, 12/3)

vs. Bailey (NXT, 6/24)
vs. Bailey (NXT, 4/28)

“Count her out she’s dead.”

  1. Nixon Newell (2 ballots, 126 points)

High Voter: Mark (27)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Kay Lee Ray (Southside Wrestling Entertainment, 10/2)

vs. Katey Harvey (PROGRESS Wrestling, 11/27)
vs. Kimber Lee (Fight Club Pro, 10/23)

  1. Tajiri (4 ballots, 126 points)

High Voter: GOTNW (50)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Dean Slater (CWC, 6/23)

vs. Gran Metalik (CWC, 7/14)
w/Akira Tozawa vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (NXT, 12/3)

“I haven’t kept up much with his japanese indy run since WNC folded, but I watched him in the CWC and it’s clear he still has it. He just keeps doing nifty stuff that makes him more interesting to watch than anyone else. The 2nd round match vs. Metalik (Mascara Dorada) was such a well put together junior’s match. Tajiri‘s mat stuff made me want to see him vs. Dr. Cerebro. Also loved how he would just non chalantly nail Metalik with kicks whenever the young guy tried to string offense together. Tajiri‘s offense is still insanely sharp. And he was just a total pro during the whole thing, knowing exactly how to sell and position himself.”

  1. Kazusada Higuchi (4 ballots, 126 points)

High Voter: Dylan Harris (42)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Shuji Ishikawa (DDT, 9/25)

vs. HARASHIMA (DDT, 4/24)
w/Suguru Miyatake vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Zeus (DNA, 1/8)

“If you look at his two World Title matches against HARASHIMA & Ishikawa you (first of all see him working in two way different manors) can see that a great big match worker is already here and a lot of his undercard & DNA work has been very strong too. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll rank him and it probably won’t be crazy high but there’s no doubt he belongs on my list.”

“He’s getting better and better with each match but still needs some fine tuning of his execution and general psychology. Loved his match with Ishikawa though.”

  1. Jey Uso (5 ballots, 127 points)

High Voter: Tim Evans (31)

Recommended Matches:
w/Jimmy Uso, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Mojo Rawley, Zack Ryder, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan vs. Big Cass, Enzo Amore, Sheamus, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Primo & Epico (WWE, 11/20)
w/Jimmy Uso vs. Chad Gable & Jason Jordan – WWE (9/20)
w/Jimmy Uso vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno (WWE, 9/11)

“The rules for this are stupid.

I apparently like the Usos way more than anyone else in 2016.

I thought they had a very good run against “The Club” in the summer months. And the heel turn once drafted to SD Live really gave them life.

One of them is really fat now so I have no idea what they’re doing in 2017 other than recreating Three Minute Warning.”

  1. Imposible (2 ballots, 129 points)

High Voter: Dylan Harris (31)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Rey Misterio Heredero (IWRG, 9/18)

vs. Emperador Azteca (IWRG, 7/13)
vs. Freelance (IWRG, 5/22)

“His title reign in IWRG has been the non-Trauma highlight of the promotion, good to great defenses with Rey Misterio Heredero, Emperador Azteca and, most importantly, his feud with Freelance. Add to that a fair share of fun performances in tags and you got a really solid candidate.”

  1. Kay Lee Ray (3 ballots, 129 points)

High Voter: Mark (35)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Nixon Newell (Southside Wrestling Entertainment, 10/2)

vs. Io Shirai (STARDOM, 9/22)
vs. Maya Iwatani (STARDOM, 1/17)
w/Nixon Newell vs. Hunter Brothers (Southside Wrestling Entertainment, 11/25)

“Probably the MVP of the Stardom 5 * Star GP. She delivered throughout the tournament and wished she got the Stardom contract instead of Toni Storm. Still haven’t seen her matches from the U.K. though.”

“She wrestles really smoothly. Her GP was very good – I don’t know if I agree about her getting the contract over Storm, but that’s way more how highly I think of Storm. Ideally it means we’ll see her in the Women’s Classic or some such, though.

The matches with Mayu, Io, Toni, and Yoko were her best, and she had good bouts with the rookies as well.”

“Just watched her vs. Kimberlee from PROGRESS and was impressed with her. I need to seek out her Stardom work as Stardom along with Beyond are the two biggest blindspots I have in 2016 wrestling.”

  1. Jay White (4 ballots, 130 points)

High Voter: Mike W (22)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Mark Haskins (Revolution Pro Wrestling, 8/26)

vs. Josh Bodom (Revolution Pro Wrestling, 8/12)
vs. Marty Scurll (Revolution Pro Wrestling, 8/7)
vs. Donovan Dijak (Revolution Pro Wrestling, 11/20)

“I’m basing this mostly off his UK work at the moment, i need to go back and rewatch some of his NJPW and ROH matches. He had 3 matches for Revolution Pro over the space of a month, and all 3 were good to great (Scurll, Haskins and Bodom). Also saw him win round an ambivalent crowd at ROH against Donovan Dijack. Lower tier candidate, but definitely someone I’d like to find room for”

  1. El Ligero (5 ballots, 130 points)

High Voter: VilinskiKonjic (50)

Recommended Matches:
w/Nathan Cruz vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Zack Sabre Jr. (PROGRESS Wrestling, 3/27)
w/Nathan Cruz vs. James Davis & Rob Lynch (PROGRESS Wrestling, 5/29)

“The UK’s most prolific wrestler? He tweeted on 8th October that he’d already had 232 matches this year. A lot of them are in the holiday camps and so don’t make tape, but he’s incredibly consistent, whether he’s working as a gobshite heel in Progress or as a face elsewhere. I’ve not seem many blowaway great matches from him, but I’ve also not seen him be bad in a match. Need to catch up with the WCPW stuff but I’m sure I’ll find a place for him in the lower part of my list”

“Someone I just thought was there watching PROGRESS, but when PROGRESS came to Toronto and had those PROGRESS vs SMASH shows I was blown away.

Ligero, apparently, is a great Memphis heel. I may need to rewatch him more on tape, because live he is tremendous.”

  1. Gunner Miller (6 ballots, 131 points)

High Voter: Devon Hales (67)

Recommended Matches:
vs. Joey Lynch (Scenic City Invitational, 8/6)

vs. Chris Hero vs. Anthony Henry vs. Jimmy Rave (Scenic City Invitational, 8/6)
vs. Logan Creed (Platinum Championship Wrestling, 7/4)

vs. Geter (Platinum Championship Wrestling, 9/17)

“He’s still coming into his own and he’d be the first to tell you himself, but the Judas match at SCI was really an aberration. His serious with Logan Creed was solid, match at Sacred Ground with Geter was great, had had a bunch of fun squashes, literally tore down the building in a great emotional brawl in front of 500 fans at the Empire send off show in a tag match, did well against Anthony Henry, et. I also loved him v. Joey Lynch and the Final at SCI. Still a work in progress and probably not going to make my final cut, but he’s been in some really strong matches this year.”

“He looks like a jacked Bobby Roode to me but wrestles matches that are way more fun”

  1. Suge D(4 ballots, 132 points)

High Voter: Matt Rogers (45)

Recommended Matches:
vs. DJ Hyde (Freelance Wrestling & Combat Zone Wrestling, 7/8)

vs. Craig Mitchell (Freelance Wrestling, 1/8)
vs. B-Boy (Freelance Wrestling, 2/5)

“One of the most improved guys in wrestling over the last few years, he’s emerged as a guy who can go toe to toe with anyone in a compelling fight which is not something I would have ever imagined. This has been most evident in Freelance where he has had legitimately dramatic and savage fights with Craig Mitchell, B Boy and DJ Hyde of all people. He’s managed to do this without losing the “fun” side of Sug D that made him appeal to Chikara fans others of that ilk and I think that’s especially impressive.”

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