#1 Martin Stone (@TheGuvnorMStone)-What a close week in the Indy Power Rankings Top 10 when it comes to the top spot. For the second straight year, the winner of the USWA Wrestle Bowl Tournament comes away with the #1 ranking. Last year it was Kameron Kade. This year…it’s Martin Stone. The NWA FUW Flash Champion defeated Eric Wayne in the First Round, then beat last year’s winner Kameron Kade in the semi-finals, and then beat Jason Cade in the Finals to go 3-0 and win the tournament. Solid competition, a tournament win, and Martin Stone being one hell of a talent combined to help him become #1 for the very first time. Congrats to Martin Stone on a great start to the year!
#2 Zack Sabre Jr. (@zacksabrejr)-ZSJ keeps his momentum from 2015 at PWG as he defeated last year’s #3 in the IPR 100 in Akira Tozawa on 1/2/16. He also picked up a tag team victory on 12/28 when he teamed with Darrell Allen at Premier Promotions to defeat Jeffrey Pac & Pol Badia to go 2-0 for the week. No titles on the line may have hurt him this week, but you have to give him credit for one of the biggest wins of the week over Tozawa. If the start of 2016 is any indication, we’re likely in for a huge year from Sabre as you have to assume an impending PWG World Title Match vs. Roderick Strong is imminent. Will that be the match that pushes him to another #1 ranking and his first in 2016?
#3 Roderick Strong (@RoderickStrong)-Roderick Strong continues his incredible run. Whether it’s in ROH (not eligible for our rankings) or the indies, the PWG World Champion has been having a ton of success over the last 13 months or so. Since winning the PWG World Title on 12/12/14, he has been crushing the competition from Florida all the way to California (and even Europe). That trend continued over the weekend when he defended and retained the PWG World Title vs. last week’s #2 Chris Hero on January 2nd. The prestige of his title, visibility of the win, and his strength of competition get him this high spot this week.
#4 Sami Callihan (@TheSamiCallihan)-Last week’s #1 continues his multi-week run as he traveled out to Reseda to defeat Trevor Lee in another big match for the former NXT star. Callihan just continues to get himself ranked, week in, and week out. If the IPR 100 were to hit today, he’d be sitting pretty at #1. We’ve got a long year ahead but with him getting booked everywhere from Rhode Island to Clarksville, IN to California, we expect a tremendous run from the “Callihan Death Machine” in 2016 rivaling the type of run that Drew Galloway had in 2015.
#5 People’s Champ. Will Ospreay (@WillOspreay)-The former #1 and last year’s #7 in the IPR 100 gets his first ranking of the year AND his first win in the online voting competition. The Progress Champion got on the ballot with a big win over ACH on 1/3 to retain the title and then his fans didn’t let him down as they secured 161 votes to help push him up the rankings this week. If it wasn’t for his tremendous fan support, yes he would have been ranked, but not as high. Always remember: THE FAN VOTE MATTERS. Big props to Will Ospreay on what already looks like it’s going to be a tremendous year.
#6 Appollo Starr-Appollo Starr entered the EMERGE E8 Tournament on 1/2 as someone who maybe wasn’t viewed as a favorite to win the whole thing. Most of his success in the Indy Power Rankings had come previously as ½ of the Soul Shooters and not so much in singles competition. He bucked that trend as he defeated Percy Davis, Sage Phillips & Bobby Black in the First Round of the tournament and then beat Jacob Johns in the Finals to win the tournament and push his record to 2-0 for the week. He also ended up in fifth in the online voting competition.
#7 Steve Arsenault (@xxlthe1)-Despite coming up short in the online voting competition (with a still very impressive 75 votes collected to come in second place), Steve Arsenault STILL gets his first ranking as he defeated Brandon Hynes and Dillon Sharpe in the First Round of the Evolution Wrestling Heavyweight Title Tournament. He then beat Justin Lock in the Finals to win the vacant title to go 2-0 for the week. Again, it was the fans that really helped him earn a ranking this week. Without their massive amount of votes, he likely would not have been in the Top 10 this week. Again, THE FAN VOTE MATTERS.
#8 Adam Cole (@AdamColePro)-The PCW Cruiserweight Champion managed to sneak into the IPR 100 in 2015 at #94 despite limited work on the indies. He’s in the Indy Power Rankings once again in 2016 after a big win vs. Speedball Mike Bailey at PWG on January 2nd. Beating a former #1 in PWG is absolutely a big deal, but at the end of the day, let’s face it…it’s Adam Cole. He gets a little bit of special treatment just based on who he is and people’s views on him as a wrestler, in general. Let’s see what he can do for the rest of 2016 on the indies to possibly come away with a higher ranking in THIS year’s IPR 100.
#9 Timothy Thatcher-Last year’s #16 in the IPR 100 and the current EVOLVE Champion did what so many people in our Top 10 did over the weekend as he took a trip out to Reseda and came away with a win at PWG. His win was pretty impressive as he beat former #1 Drew Gulak. Granted, Gulak hasn’t gotten ranked in a while, but he IS a former CZW World Champion and still hold some weight amongst the official voters. With EVOLVE having some HUGE shows coming up, let’s see what Thatcher can do as the year moves along.
#10 Mochi Miyagi-A 4-0 week and only a #10 ranking? Examine Mochi Miyagi’s stats closely to see why. Miyagi teamed with Akane Fujita & Maya Yukihi at Ice Ribbon on 12/28 to defeat Maruko Nagasaki, Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi, then defeated Risa Sera the same night, then teamed with Antonio Honda on 12/31 to defeat GENTARO and Yuji Hino; and 385 Myankie’s (Jun Kasai and Miyako Matsumoto) in a three-way tag match with special guest referee Mio Shirai, and then teamed with Akane Fujita, Aoi Kizuki at Ice Ribbon on 1/3 to defeat Hamuko Hoshi, Maruko Nagasaki and Yuka to wrap up the week. So three tag wins and one singles win equals a #10 ranking. Fair or not, a 4-0 week still got recognition…but tag wins certainly are being looked at with a more critical eye in 2016.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Timmy Lou Retton
Jeremy Moore-#4 in the online voting competition
Dell Tucker-#3 in the online voting competition with 36 votes
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Check out the Indy Power Rankings Reveal here as we talk with ROH’s Moose: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/01/06/indy-power-rankings-reveal-rohs-moose-live
Check out the Tag Team Top 5 Reveal as we talk about IWA’s HUGE weekend here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/
Check out our chronicle of the IWA Mid-South blood feud from 2001 with Corporal Robinson & “Mean” Mitch Page to hear the competitors sit down and talk about the historic battles: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2015/06/05/mitch-page-v-corporal-robinson-the-feud–revisited-hosted-by-phenomenaltld
Listen to Night 1 of the 2015 IPR 100 Reveal here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2015/12/30/ipr100-2015–night-1-ft-ricochet-ethan-page-dave-mastiff-more
Listen to Night 2 of the 2015 IPR 100 Reveal here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2015/12/31/ipr100-2015–night-2-ft-santana-garrett-roderick-strong-matt-tremont-more
Listen to the 2015 Tag Team Top 50 Reveal here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/01/01/indy-power-rankings-2015-tagteamtop50-reveal