#1 Tyson Dux (@TysonDux)-Tyson Dux has been the quiet king of the indies over the last few years. He’s so good yet…so underutilized by so many people and companies. He’s currently ½ of the AIW Tag Team Champions but he achieved a BIG tournament win over the weekend when for the second year running the Ryan Buckley Memorial Tournament at Proving Ground Pro produced a #1 ranking. Last year Dux lost a hard-hitting match in the first round to Justice Jones, but this year…was his. He defeated Johnny Wisdom in the first round, then beat Craig Mitchell in the semi-finals, and then beat breakout star Jeff Cobb in the finals to go 3-0 for the week. The 2016 Ryan Buckley Memorial Winner is Tyson Dux…and quite honestly, no one deserved it more. We hope 2016 is the year that companies finally start to realize how great he really is. He also leaned on the fans a bit this week as he scored 37 fan votes to come in second place in the online voting competition which helped to propel him into the #1 spot in the official rankings.
#2 Matt Riddle (@riddletuf7)-In 2015 Matt Riddle got some recognition from the official voters as he was on a roll at EVOLVE. That roll culminated over the weekend as he won the Style Battle 2016 Tournament. He beat Peter Kaasa at EVOLVE on 1/22, then beat Fred Yehi on 1/23, and then beat Tracy Williams in the finals on 1/24 to win the tournament with a 3-0 week. You can look up and down the Top 10 and while there were other great weeks, outside of Tyson Dux, Matt Riddle had the very best argument for #1 considering who he beat and the prestige of the tournament. Now with this high ranking under his belt, we expect him to build on that and have a FANTASTIC 2016.
#3 Marty Scurll (@MartyScurll)-If we just look at ONE victory over the weekend, it would be hard to argue that any were bigger than Marty Scurll’s HUGE victory on 1/24. After beating Will Ospreay into unconsciousness, Marty Scurll became the NEW PROGRESS Champion in the UK. By all accounts, it was an incredible match and it was also a match that the official voters saw as very important in the grand scheme of independent wrestling. While he didn’t have as many wins as Dux or Riddle, what he accomplished was arguably even more important. After coming in at #61 in the 2015 IPR 100 (https://indypowerrankingsipr.wordpress.com/2015-ipr-100/) we expect him to top that ranking in the 2016 IPR 100. He also picked up 14 fan votes to come in 9th in the online voting competition.
#4 Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX)-We rarely see Kenny Omega in the Top 10 (because of his extensive work at New Japan) but this week was a special week for Omega on the indies. Kenny Omega gets his first official ranking since December 14th, 2015 as he became the NEW 4FW Junior Heavyweight Champion when he beat Mark Haskins on 1/23 to win the vacant title. He then added to that impressive feat when he beat Ultimo Tiger at PWP on 1/24 to improve to 2-0 for the week. Omega is certainly one of the biggest stars on the indies and in New Japan…so now the question is how much time will he actually spend on the independent scene collecting rankings in 2016? We shall see.
#5 Saime Sahin-Saime Sahin may not be a name that a lot of people who are reading this are familiar with just yet, but you can’t deny how impressive his weekend was in the UK. He is the NEW 4FW Heavyweight Champion as he beat Doug Williams at 4FW on 1/23 in a #1 Contender’s Match and then beat Tiger Ali the same night to win the title to go 2-0 for the week. On a week where there were a handful of 4-0, 3-0, and 2-0 records, Sahin separated himself from much of the pack with the title win combined with beating an established veteran like Doug Williams prior to that. We’re not sure if we’ll see Sahin back in the rankings in 2016, but this is one hell of a start.
#6 Bruce Grey (@BombasticBG)-The Master of Memphis Strong Style” has historically been known in our rankings for his achievements in tag team wrestling, but this week he gets recognized for what he did in singles (with a mix of tags thrown in). It was a 3-0 week for Bruce Grey as ½ of the Rockstar Pro Tag Team Champions teamed with Jon Murray on 1/20 to defeat 2 Bad Dudes to retain the titles, then teamed with Murray again at Ludas on 1/22 as they defeated Dark Guns (Matt Taylor & Aaron Williams) in a non-title match. He then switched to singles as he beat Ron Mathis at NOW on 1/23 to wrap up a perfect week. “Bombastic” Bruce is on fire right now whether it’s in tags or singles and we hope to see that continue as he’s one of the better talents in Ohio at the moment.
#7 Jimmy Susumu-It’s hard to completely ignore a 4-0 week on a week where there’s only one competitor with a 4-0 record. Granted, only one of his wins was in singles, but 4-0 is impressive no matter how you look at it. He defeated Naoki Tanizaki at Dragon Gate on 1/18, then teamed with Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!) on 1/19 to defeat Dia.HEARTS (Dragon Kid and Kzy) then teamed with Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! and Ryo “Jimmy” Saito on 1/23 to defeat VerserK (Shingo Takagi, YAMATO and Mondai Ryu) and then teamed with Jimmy Kanda, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! and Ryo “Jimmy” Saito on 1/24 to defeat (Naruki Doi, Shingo Takagi, YAMATO and Mondai Ryu) to polish of a flawless week of wrestling at Dragon Gate.
#8 Shotgun Stevens (@ShotgunStevens)-Shotgun Stevens gets his first official ranking this week as he beat Xavier Galaxy at BWW on 1/22 in a K5 Qualifying Match and then beat Dannie Deeds, Danny Knightmare, and Sugar Shane in a Ladder Match the same night to go 2-0 and claim the K5 Medallion. It should also be noted that he came in 7th in the online voting competition with 16 votes to ensure that he snuck into the Top 10 this week. Shotgun Stevens may be another one of those names you’re not familiar with, but with any luck and some hard work, it may not be the last time you see him in our rankings.
#9 RIOT-We have to give props to RIOT on his first official ranking as he is the NEW PWE Styles Champion. He beat Justin Zane at PWE on 1/23 and then beat Max Glory the same day to win the title with a 2-0 record for the week. This is undoubtedly a week of firsts as we have multiple competitors, like RIOT, who have not been ranked prior to this week. It was most certainly a very bizarre week with all the snow storms and blizzards shutting down shows, BUT that does open the door of opportunity for a lot of new names to get recognition this week.
#10 Daisuke Sekimoto-Despite one loss, it was really hard to deny a wrestler of Sekimoto’s caliber from the Top 10 this week. The RJPW Legends Champion and 1/2 of NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions and Sakatako Intercontinental Tag Team Champions defeated Yuma Aoyagi at BJW on 1/18, then defeated Hiroshi Fukuda at Basara on 1/21, then teamed with Kohei Sato at Zero1 on 1/22 to defeat Masato Tanaka and Tosihiko Itakura to retain the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team titles, and then teamed with Atsushi Aoki at BJW on 1/24 to lose to Kazuki Hashimoto and Daichi Hashimoto to go 3-1 for the week. A 3-1 week may not be a perfect week, but it’s damn sure nothing to be ashamed of…and neither is a #10 ranking on a very odd week like this.
People’s Champ. Wrecking Ball Legursky (@WreckingBallPWA)-The big man wins the online voting competition to bring back the People’s Champ award to PWA for a second straight week! Historically PWA in Connecticut has done a hell of a job of getting their talent a lot of fan votes and this week was no different. With 76 votes, the PWA Ox Baker Old School Champion easily won the online voting competition later in the evening. He got on the poll with a win over Blade Bandit on 1/22 to retain the title (you can view the match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD7HuJs9OCM) and if he can keep retaining that title, you’ll no doubt see him back on the fans’ ballots once again. Give his Facebook page a like here: https://www.facebook.com/WreckingBallLegursky
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Mike Orlando-#3 in the online voting competition with 25 votes
Kongo Kong-Tied for #4 in the online voting competition with 20 votes
Brian Rivers-Tied for #4 in the online voting competition with 20 votes
Ron von Hess-#6 in the online voting competition with 17 votes
Collin Cutler-#8 in the online voting competition with 15 votes
Mathieu St. Jacques
Chris Cali-#10 in the online voting competition with 13 votes
Wam Bam Bellows
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Check out the Tag Team Top 5 Reveal as we’re talking about Fringe Wrestling’s next big show, “Revelations” here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/01/28/indy-power-rankings-tag-team-top-5-reveal-ft-fringewrestling-revelations-hype
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