Along with Travis & the others who choose to do it, I’m going to give my thoughts on the Top 10 & Tag Team Top 5 every week. Props to Travis for the great idea & I look forward to seeing more into why everyone chose who they did. If you’d like to trash me for my opinions or talk wrestling with me, you can @m4tthewgrant on Twitter or you can communicate with the OFFICIAL podcast of the #IndyPowerRankings, by tweeting @WeeklyWPodcast on Twitter or messaging facebook.com/WeeklyWrestlingPodcast on Facebook.
What a week as usual for indy wrestling, as we had ROH, DGUSA, SMASH & others providing fantastic cards. ROH had the dream match of Michael Elgin v. AJ Styles (which personally I’m very disappointed with; I’ll get more into it later), DGUSA had Johnny Gargano continuing his awesome reign as Open the Freedom Gate Champion (over 800 days; this is basically unheard of in wrestling), SMASH had ROH star Jay Lethal in to take on “Hacker” Scotty O’Shea (which was amazing; go OUT OF YOUR WAY to catch SMASH Wrestling shows) & so much more. Without further a due, let’s get into MY Top 10 bracket for the week of February 24th, 2014.
1. JT Dunn – I felt like JT did everything he could to finally claim the #1 spot he’s never had, but unfortunately, the voters didn’t feel the same way I did. JT has been absolutely killing the singles AND tag team scene (w/ tag partner, David Starr) as of late. I think it’s just a matter of time before we see “The Juice” earn that #1 that he’s been working his ass off for.
2. Ricochet – The man who ended up winning the voters over for #1 this week & there’s NO argument from me. 10-0 in Japan is absolutely insane. Ricochet is someone who I’m very shocked isn’t signed by the machine yet. After the match I saw with him & Uhaa vs. Elgin & Page from AAW, I’m dreadfully regretting not seeing more of his work a lot sooner. With a BIG weekend coming up in April, let’s see if he continues his momentum towards that.
3. Christian Rose – Despite being ranked the week prior, I felt that Rose didn’t have the strength of competition necessary to be above JT & Ricochet. Don’t get me wrong, 7-0 in 3 weeks time is an awesome record, but Mason Beck isn’t really someone I’m too familiar with & I think everyone else would agree. The “Bitter Lunatic” will be back though, I don’t doubt that.
4. Caleb Konley – What a weekend for Caleb! Happy to see him working more promotions lately, and a 2-0 week defeating who he did (beat Yosuke Santa Maria & Tim Donst at DGUSA) deserved my high vote for him in the rankings this week. With him being WrestleForce & PWX Champion, it’s just a matter of time before we see Caleb’s name back in the Top 10.
5. Johnny Gargano – As mentioned earlier, “The Whole Shebang” continued his dominant reign as Open the Freedom Gate Champion defeating Trent? & Roderick Strong last weekend at DGUSA. Even though he wasn’t ranked last week, Gargano picked up 2 HUGE wins that earned him a higher rank than I gave him this week at #3. Props to Johnny & DGUSA for doing something that isn’t ever seen today in wrestling with that title reign. Also, Gargano is the “next guy” IMO. Dude’s awesome! Definitely won’t be the last time we see him in the Top 10.
6. Michael Elgin – Whether it’s ROH building towards a Elgin/Styles II or AJ just flat out being a douche and not wanting to job to a younger talent, I’m quite tired of seeing shitty finishes in AJ matches. Elgin SHOULD HAVE beat AJ, continuing his quest for the ROH World Title, but instead goes to a time limit draw giving him a 1-0-1 record on the week. Pinning former #1 Ray Rowe was impressive (despite Elgin himself not being happy with it), but I expect more the “Unbreakable” one. He ended up exactly where I placed him & with him ALWAYS being consistent, this for sure won’t be the last time we see him in the Top 10.
7. Tommaso Ciampa – I am LOVING Tommaso as ROH TV Champion. We knew he wasn’t dropping that TV Title, due to the UK title defenses (set for this weekend I believe) but the “Sicilian Psychopath” tore the house down with his student Hanson at the 12th Anniversary show successfully defending the title, then the next day defeating Jay Lethal at the TV Taping going 2-0 with successful defenses. Like I mentioned before, with him having defenses in the UK coming up, I see the ROH TV Champ sticking around in our Top 10 for quite a bit.
8. Jake Dirden – I don’t know too much about the current Dynamo Pro Champ, but going 2-0 over a week & being ranked the week before definitely helps you earn votes. I expect to see him back in the Top 10 if he continues being as consistent as he’s been.
9. Marcus Anthony – The OVW Champion has been unbeatable in the past couple months and when you don’t lose, how can there be an argument against you getting votes? OVW runs every week & winning all the time is going to pretty much guarantee that you get votes. 2-0 over the week for the big man, and with the dominance he’s had lately, he’ll be sure in no time.
10. Scotty O’Shea – The “Hacker” possibly picked up one of the biggest wins of his career defeating Jay Lethal at SMASH Wrestling’s Danger Zone on 2/23. He also defeated former WWE star Robbie McAllister a few weeks ago, so the resume of Scotty O’Shea has been great as of late. I was hoping this big win would convince the voters to show some Canadian love, but it didn’t happen. I don’t doubt us seeing Scotty in the Top 10 in the future, he’s one of the Canadian talents I’d love to see in the US. Check him out if you get the chance!
As Travis mentioned, obviously I didn’t have Hercules Gomez in my Top 10 either, but I felt like he did come out of nowhere and despite definitely making his presence known, it’s not someone I felt deserved my Top 10 vote. Props to the fans vote though for getting him in! Makes it very interesting for them to have that HUGE role to decide a possible rankings. With that said, here’s my Tag Team Top 5 rankings for this week as well.
1. The Decade (Roderick Strong, Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer) – Despite all the hate towards the reason of the teams formation, you can’t deny dominance. The Decade is YET to lose in tag team/6 man action as they’re 4-0. With the strength of competition they have in ROH, there was no doubt in my mind but to give them my #1 this week & that’s exactly what happened. We’ll see them back in the Tag Team Top 5 with their track record for sure.
2. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) – With them only losing 3 tag team related matches since forming (to Forever Hooligans, American Wolves & Adrenaline RUSH), it was hard to not vote for them when they got that win back on ACH & TD Thomas by defeating them at the 12th Anniversary show to retain their ROH Tag Titles. They also beat Bob Evans & Cheeseburger the next day at the TV Tapings as well so in my opinion, they deserved #2 this week & again, that’s exactly what happened. If they hadn’t lost to Adrenaline RUSH a few weeks ago, it would have been a lot harder of a decision voting for them at #2. I’m sure they’ll give you a reason to vote for them in the Tag Team Top 5 in the future.
3. The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) – The fan favourite Hooligans ended up a little lower then I ranked them this week, but I felt with a #5 ranking last week & a win to retain their PGP Tag Titles, they deserved to be a little higher then they ended up. I guess their record this year doesn’t really help, but with the 2013 they had, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more drunken flips in our Tag Team Top 5.
4. Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean) – The current Dynamo Pro Tag Team champs picked up a win this week to get the #3 spot this week. Magnuson & DeLorean pretty much came out of nowhere in 2014 & are making a HUGE impact on our Tag Team Top 5. I expect to see more of them in the near future.
5. Overdogs (Sebastian Suave & John Greed) -Some more Canadian love! This awesome team went on to defeat the very popular Super Smash Bros by DQ at SMASH Wrestling’s Danger Zone on 2/23. Despite the DQ victory, these 2 are undefeated as a team and continue to dominate the SMASH Wrestling tag team division. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get ranked in the future as long as a certain “Walking Weapon” doesn’t make his return to get his revenge on former tag partner Suave. I’d once again suggest to check out SMASH Wrestling as they continue to provide awesome cards!
A little disappointed the Overdogs didn’t get more love then they did, but we’ll see them in the future. Baffles my mind that ROH didn’t help promote reDRagon to get higher in the Tag Team Top 5. It also pisses me off that ROH considers themselves “above” the independent community, but regardless, 2 ROH teams top off the Tag Team Top 5 this week. I expect the Hooligans to be ranked as they go to St. Louis Anarchy this weekend for 2 HUGE shows. Hopefully we see more of what we saw in 2013 from them, as so far, this hasn’t been their year. And as Travis said, holy shit is Team IOU SUPER over with the IWC. Great to see these guys getting some love, as you the fans helped them get the #5 spot this week. Keep getting your votes in & help your guys get ranked! It may not seem like much to cast 1 vote, but sometimes that ONE vote makes a HUGE difference.
Thanks for reading folks, enjoy the week & I’ll be back with my thoughts next Wednesday!