Thoughts from an Indy Power Rankings Voter
Every week I’m going to try to give my thoughts on how the Indy Power Rankings and the Tag Team Top 5 turn out. I’m 1 of 9 voters with the unique distinction of being able to break any ties (I created the Indy Power Rankings…at least give me that power!). The other 8 voters are listed on the Indy Power Rankings Greetings Page. One of the voters are “The Fans” which is a reference to the online poll, so if you see me reference “The Fans”, I’m talking about the voters who turned out, clicked a name on our online poll, and made their choice for #1. This is your chance to shoot one of the messengers! Don’t like my votes? Tell me why! I am @PhenomenalTLD on Twitter and you can also email me at PhenomenalTLD@Gmail.com.
Coming into this weekend, we had Christian Rose at #1 for the first time in 2014 and quite honestly, with only one show, I figured it might very well be possible that he could end up with that one win and stick around, sort of like Matt Cage and Shane Hollister had done previously. Little did I know, Ricochet was going to find a way to sweep the weekend and go 10-0 on this Dragon Gate tour so far. Not an easy task.
Anyway, here’s what my singles ballot looked like this week:
1. Ricochet-He was 10-0…that to me was enough to jump him up 2 spots AND the fact that I had him at #2 on my ballot last week.
2. Christian Rose-I only had him dropping one spot. He is 7-0 over the last 3 weeks and USUALLY, I wouldn’t drop someone without a loss, but this was an exception due to Ricochet’s ridiculous 3 weeks.
3. JT Dunn-I had him at #3 last week and had him there again this week. Went 2-0 and the NEFW 4 Way win was big but the RWA Tag Team win wasn’t the most memorable. 5-0 over 2 weeks is still fantastic though.
4. Caleb Konley-A 2-0 weekend at DGUSA for a Double Champion who was #7 last week? Yeah, to me that’s plenty to move him up 3 spots.
5. Michael Elgin-1-0-1 on the weekend. That AJ Styles Time Limit Draw did nothing to help Elgin’s chances in the Top 10. While he had a big win vs. a former #1 in Raymond Rowe, he couldn’t capitalize with a monumental victory that would have moved up much further. The fans saw fit to drop him a spot.
6. Jake Dirden-2-0 week. While he may not be beating the big name guys that everyone looks for, he was #8 last week and the guy never loses. Our first criteria for voting is win-loss record and he passes that test with an A. The fans didn’t help his case and he stayed at #8 this week.
7. Johnny Gargano-Why so low? The DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Champ went 2-0 and had maybe the best weekend of anyone with wins vs. Trent ? and Roderick Strong, BUT look a little closer. He hasn’t had the most dominant 2014 and that, to me, affected how I voted this week. He was unranked last week and I put him on my ballot, just not as high as other people did.
8. Jay Briscoe-He went 2-0 this week and for the second time over the last few weeks he scored a pinfall victory over PWG/ROH World Champion Adam Cole. I pretty much stood alone in voting for him as no one else really supported him this week.
9. Kevin Steen-Again, why so low? As far as I could tell, he was off last week and though he was ranked before, for me, that week off hurt. He got a win over Cliff Compton, but Cliff isn’t ranked often, so was it a big win? Not to me. He also got a DQ win over Homicide, but again, not as big of a win as it once would have been. The fans, predictably, disagreed.
10. Tommaso Ciampa-The ROH TV Champion is dominant at ROH but every time he stops over at Chaotic Wrestling, he loses. This week he got 2 wins so that was enough to sneak him into my ballot. He was another that the fans (and other voters) strongly disagreed with me about in our ballots.
The biggest thing to take away from my ballot vs. how it ultimately ended up is that I didn’t have Hercules Gomez in my Top 10. I recognized what he did and hell, I give him props on taking over the state of Florida, but for me, what had he done previously and really, who could I have taken out of my Top 10? He came out of nowhere this week and made a big impact and got more votes from the fans than anyone… EVER. It was insane. THAT is what got him the #10 spot this week. I think the other official voters pretty much agreed with me. Yes, it was a fantastic weekend for him, but let’s see him build on that and then I’ll be more willing to put him in my Top 10.
One last thought on the singles Top 10. I try to vote like I’m an Associated Press voter in basketball or football since our goal is for wrestling to be thought of as a sport when it comes to the Indy Power Rankings. The wins for Hector Gomez were fantastic, but if let’s say Niagara has a couple of HUGE wins in college basketball and they’re nowhere near the Top 10 (or Top 25) originally, would that really be enough to jump them into the Top 10? They’d need to do a little more over the span of more than just 2 games. That was my thought on Gomez. He needs to prove it to me in more than just 2 matches. I really hope he does, personally.
Here’s my Tag Team Top 5 ballot:
1. The Decade (Roderick Strong, Jimmy Jacobs, & BJ Whitmer)-I ranked them at #1 as a unit. They are 4-0 together (2-0 in tags and 2-0 in 6 man tags) and to me, an undefeated tag team in a big indy promotion like ROH, was enough to make them my #1. Fans disagreed. Other voters agreed for the most part.
2. Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David Delorean)-They are double champions, honorable mention last week, #3 a few weeks ago, and haven’t lost since that time. What’s to explain? They retained their Dynamo Pro Tag Titles again this week and that was plenty for a #2 vote from me. They ended up #3 in the fan voting at the deadline (and after the deadline they passed the Hooligans for #1).
3. The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter)-Another team with multiple tag team titles. Their record hasn’t been GREAT in 2014 but they’re wrestling more than almost any tag team. 5-3 over the last 3 weeks wasn’t terrible and they were #5 last week. A big win over Zero Gravity at PGP in a Double Dog Collar Match was enough to get them a #3 from me. Their fans love them. They ended up #1 in the fan vote. They seemed satisfied with that for now.
4. reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)-You’re probably asking yourself why they’re so low on my ballot. The loss to Adrenaline RUSH in Texas and their inactivity in 2014 put them low for me. Yes, they beat two teams this week in Adrenaline RUSH and Brutal Burgers, but are those really the type of tag teams that are going to push them to a top spot in the Top 5? I know how great they are and I love them, but they haven’t built themselves up in 2014 enough for me just yet.
5. Arrogant Basterds (Ric Ellis & Devin Sparks)-I’ll be honest. This was a crap shoot at #5. I could have selected any of 5-7 teams. I picked them because they beat an established tag team to win the SCP Tag Team Titles when they defeated Anchors Away. Again, this was a flat out crap shoot. The fans didn’t help them out much and they ended up being an Honorable Mention this week.
ROH fans were baffled as to why anyone wouldn’t have reDRagon at #1. Just remember, this isn’t a list of who the best “workers” are. This is a list based on win-loss records, strength of competition, and overall prestige of the wrestlers. THIS week they covered all 3 of those criteria, but before this week (and I like to vote cumulative and not just one week in a vacuum) they weren’t as dominant as they were in 2013. Keep in mind as well, we reset everything after 2013 so aside from overall prestige, everyone was working their way up from the bottom again. Their 2013 was irrelevant to how we rank them in 2014 aside from how big of a name they are. Either way, I’m sure reDRagon don’t care about what I think, but hey, they ended up at #2 thanks in part to the fans, so hopefully the fans don’t feel like they got snubbed too bad. A #2 spot over all these teams is definitely respectable.
Last thought on the Tag Team Top 5. Team IOU are popular! The last 3 weeks they have been #1, #1, and #2 in the online poll. It got them in at #5, #2, and then this week at #5. A 1-1 weekend record usually wouldn’t be enough to get a tag team into the Top 5, but this week, everyone outside of the top 4 were, as I said earlier, a crap shoot. You could have thrown a dart and I’d be fine with your selection at #5. As it stands, Team IOU (a team I really like by the way) get in COMPLETELY thanks to the fans because the voters were completely divided on who #5 should be. So…if you ever question whether or not the fan vote makes a difference, IT DOES.
Until next week…