#1 Chris Hero (@TheChrisHero)-In what appears to be the closest official vote of 2016, Chris Hero JUST edges out Marty Scurll for the #1 spot this week. Once again, the fan vote proved that THE FAN VOTE MATTERS. Had Marty Scurll gotten more support in the online voting competition, he conceivably could have grabbed the #1 ranking this week. With that being said, we tip our hats to Chris Hero who went all over the place to get his first #1 ranking since 2014. He started the week off with a high profile win vs. Trent ? at PWG on 2/12, then flew out to SLA on 2/13 as he teamed with Trik Davis to defeat Danny Adams & Everett Connors. He finished off his perfect weekend as he beat Jojo Bravo at SLA on 2/14 to go 3-0 for the week to cement his #1 ranking. Hero is STILL at the top of his game and one of the best wrestlers on Earth.
#2 Marty Scurll (@MartyScurll)-One of the UK’s top villains moves up from #10 to #2 this week as he had a banner week in Europe. The UPW World Heavyweight, NWA British and PROGRESS Champion defeated Lord Gideon Grey at UPW on 2/12 to retain the UPW World Title, then teamed with Timothy Thatcher & Tommy End at wXw on 2/13 to defeat Big Daddy Walter & Hot and Spicy, and then polished off the week with a victory over Mark Haskins at PROGRESS in the UK on 2/14 to retain the title. A 3-0 week gets him oh so close to his first #1 ranking, but he falls just short. There’s certainly an argument for Scurll at #1 (among others in the Top 10 and even below) this week, but at the end of the day, the fans really didn’t come through for him. Vote early and often, folks!
#3 Roderick Strong (@RoderickStrong)-One up and one down for the PWG World Champion. The man of many monikers had one match on the indies this week and one victory. It was obviously a big one as he took his PWG World Title back to Reseda and defeated last year’s #3 in Drew Galloway to retain the title. It was a HUGE challenge for Strong, but he once again proved that he’s one of the most dominant wrestlers in the entire world. He was #15 in last year’s IPR 100 (he would have been higher but he has ROH commitments) and we expect him to be able to top that this year if he can keep retaining his PWG World Title and working some other indies.
#4 Chase Owens (@nwachaseowens)-The former NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion is really starting to pick up steam in 2016. After being ranked #10 in the 2014 IPR 100, he dropped a bit in 2015, but now he’s back on track as he gains his second ranking of the year. He was #2 earlier this year and now gets a #4 ranking after another solid week. He defeated his trainer Ricky Morton on 2/12, then beat John Skyler at NWA Smoky Mountain on 2/13, and then beat Benny Connelly and Colby Corino on 2/14 to go 3-0 for the week. Chase Owens has been tearing it up from Tennessee to Canada to Japan over the last few years and his rankings are once again starting to reflect that fact. Keep an eye on him as he has his sights set on Jason Kincaid’s reign at NWA Smoky Mountain going forward.
#5 Andy Dalton (@DirtyAndyDalton)-After really branching out from Texas over the last couple of years, “Dirty” Andy Dalton finally gets his first ranking in the Indy Power Rankings Top 10. This second generation talent had an AMAZING weekend as he beat Davey Vega and Johnny Gargano in a Triple Threat Match at VIP on 2/12, then beat Jojo Bravo at SLA on 2/13, and then defeated Stephen Wolf on 2/14 to go 3-0 for the week. If you look at who he beat (especially on 2/12) he really had a great argument for being #1 this week but with his name just now really starting to get out there, he didn’t quite get to that point. Also, like Scurll, his ranking suffered due to a lack of fan votes in the online voting competition. It will be interesting to see what the rest
#6 Jimmy Susumu-This member of the Jimmyz stable at Dragon Gate gets his second ranking of 2016 and his highest yet at #6. After being ranked #67 in the 2015 IPR 100, Jimmy Susumu is really looking to top 2015 and has started off on a good path as he is the NEW Dragon Gate Open the Dream Gate Champion after beating Shingo Takagi on 2/14 to win the title. The rest of his weekend was strong as well as he picked up multiple wins. He defeated U-T at Dragon Gate on 2/11, then teamed with Big R Shimizu on 2/12 to defeat Dragon Kid and Mondai Ryu, and then teamed with Ryo “Jimmy” Saito and Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! on 2/13 to defeat VerserK (Naruki Doi, Shingo Takagi and Mondai Ryu). A 4-0 week may warrant a higher ranking, but keep in mind that two of those wins were in multi-man tags. Again though, the argument for #1 is there as he won an important title and had a flawless week.
#7 Zack Sabre Jr. (@zacksabrejr)-Even with only one major title to his credit right now, 2016 appears to be ZSJ’s year. His ranking from the last 2 weeks drops from #2 to #7, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of on a week like this especially. The RPW British Heavyweight Champion continued his success at PWG on 2/12 when he defeated Trevor Lee. One would think he has Roderick Strong and the PWG World Title squarely in his sights…but when will it happen? Will ZSJ live up to many people’s expectations and become champion of perhaps the most popular company on the indies right now? 2016 could be the year where the entire world finds out who he is.
#8 Ethan Page (@OfficialEGO)-The AIW Absolute Champion gets what is shockingly his first ranking of 2016. After a 2015 where he ended up at #60 in the IPR 100 (and really probably deserved to be higher based on the titles he won throughout the year) he’s looking to build on that success in 2016. Over the weekend he defeated Josh Prohibition on 2/12 to retain the title and then beat Vinny Marseglia at KPW on 2/13 to go 2-0 for the week. Two big wins only netted him a #8 ranking, but with the field of talent in the Top 10 this week, it’s almost excusable. Expect to see more big things from him as the year rolls on.
#9 Eddie Kingston (@MadKing_ston81)-The AAW Heavyweight Champion was much like Ethan Page as he had a good week, but was on the lower end of the Top 10. On 2/12 he defeated Frankie Flynn, Space Monkey, Joshua Singh, Brian Carson, and Britt Baker in a 6-Way Match at AIW and then beat Candice LeRae the same night to go 2-0 for the week. Also like Page, this is his first ranking of 2016. What’s even more strange than all of that is that this polarizing talent missed out on the 2015 IPR 100. Will he get back into the Top 100 in 2016? Stay tuned…
#10 T-Hawk-T-Hawk has really flown under the radar this year and this week was kind of another sign of that. He’s been mentioned three times this year in our write-up without actually being ranked, so obviously, this is his first official ranking of 2016. The official voters’ renewed emphasis on singles victories and title wins/defenses over shear number of victories in a week has undoubtedly pushed down some of the Dragon Gate talent in the rankings. That doesn’t mean they still can’t get ranked, but it is a little more difficult. T-Hawk earned his ranking this week as1/3rd of Open the Triangle Gate Champions teamed with Akira Tozawa & Masato Yoshino at Dragon Gate on 2/11 to defeat VerserK (Naruki Doi, YAMATO and Mondai Ryu) in a non-title match, then defeated El Lindaman on 2/12, then teamed with Akira Tozawa and Shachihoko BOY on 2/13 to defeat Over Generation (Gamma, Eita and Punch Tominaga) and then defeated Big R Shimizu on 2/14 to go 4-0 for the week.
People’s Champ. Josef Von Schmidt (@JosefVonSchmidt)-JVS gets his second People’s Champ award of 2016 after getting two big victories to get into the online voting competition this week. The KPW Champion defeated EC Negro at PWA CT on 2/12 and then beat Colt Cabana at KPW on 2/13 to retain the title. A 2-0 week got him on the ballot, but it took a massive outpouring of support from his fans to help him win the online vote. 474 votes to be precise. After being #31 in the 2014 IPR 100, he missed out on the 2015 IPR 100. He looks like he’s heading back to the promise land in 2016. Give a like to where you can find him training some of the best young stars here: https://www.facebook.com/PWACT
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Blanco Loco-#2 in the online voting competition with 389 votes
Wrecking Ball Legursky-#3 in the online voting competition
Quiksilver-#4 in the online voting competition
Lee Byford-Tied for #5 in the online voting competition
Brock Hall-Tied for #5 in the online voting competition
Wild Bill Hunter
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Listen to the 2015 Tag Team Top 50 Reveal here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/01/01/indy-power-rankings-2015-tagteamtop50-reveal