#1 Zack Sabre Jr. (@zacksabrejr)-This was an easy slam dunk to make Zack Sabre Jr. #1 for the first time in 2016. As stated in previous weekly rankings, if the 2016 IPR 100 were to come out today, ZSJ would be the easy #1. There’s still plenty of time left, but this #1 ranking will certainly go a long way as Sabre beat two of the best at perhaps the most important IPR RECOGNIZED independent wrestling promotion in PWG. He defeated Adam Cole on March 4th and then followed that up with the biggest win of his career when he beat Roderick Strong for the PWG World Title on March 5th. A 2-0 weekend and a new title gets Sabre his first #1 for 2016 in a year in which he has been absolutely dominant.
#2 El Ligero (@Ligero1)-The former #1 in the Indy Power Rankings returns to a very high status this week at #2. After being ranked #49 in the 2014 IPR 100, he fell out in 2015 due to heavier competition all around the world. Now it appears he’ll be back this year as the TCW Champion and ½ of the PROGRESS Tag Team Champions swept the weekend in Europe. On 3/4 he defeated Shane Strickland at Kamikaze Pro, then beat him again at SWE on 3/5, then teamed with Will Ospreay & Leva Bates at SWE on 3/6 to beat Joseph Conners, The Pledge, & Lana Austin. The same night he beat Sami Callihan to run his record to 4-0 for the week. INCREDIBLE weekend for Ligero who looks to be on a roll right now, perhaps clearing a path for another eventual #1 ranking.
#3 Andrew Everett (@_AndrewEverett)-Surprisingly, this is the first ranking for Andrew Everett since his days as Chiva Kid in 2013 which culminated with a #1 ranking. He is the NEW SWE Speed King Champion as he defeated Pete Dunne at Kamikaze Pro on 3/4, then beat Angelico, Martin Kirby and Morgan Webster at SWE on 3/5 to win the vacant title, then beat Ryan Smile at SWE on 3/6, and then beat Shane Strickland the same day. A 4-0 record gets him the #3 spot this week. After a 3 year absence from the Indy Power Rankings Top 10, it’s good to see one of the very best high flyers in the world back and doing what he does best.
#4 Trent (@trentylocks)-The former Trent Barreta only needed two wins to get the #4 ranking this week, but they were actually big upsets against STRONG competition at PWG. His victories kind of flew under the radar but consider them for a moment. On 3/4 he defeated last year’s #3 in the IPR 100 in Drew Galloway and then beat the previous year’s #6 (and the year before that’s #2) in the IPR 100 in Adam Cole on 3/5. A 2-0 week may not seem as impressive as some of the others on its own, but when you consider who he beat and where he beat them, you start to realize that on any other week Trent would have had a great argument for #1. This is his first singles ranking since 2013.
#5 Lee Byford (@MidsouthMauler)-“Big” Lee Byford get his first singles ranking since 2014 as he had a fantastic weekend. The MSWA Mid-South Champion defeated Kerry Awful at APW on 3/3 to retain the title, then beat Teddy King at SWF on 3/4 , and then finished off the week with a HUGE tag team victory as he teamed with Brett Ison to defeat The Hooligans at ASW on 3/5. A 3-0 week is great, but to get a #5 ranking on a week like this is especially impressive. Byford has really returned to form in 2016 as he’s mauling his way through Tennessee and beyond.
#6 Chuck Taylor (@SexyChuckieT)-So much for retirement. Chuck Taylor returns to the Top 10 for the first time this year after having a surprisingly awesome weekend at PWG. He’s always entertaining, but to pick up two tremendous victories against the talent he took on is somewhat shocking. On 3/4 he beat last week’s #1 Trevor Lee and then followed that up with a big win vs. UK talent Marty Scurll on 3/5. A 2-0 week at PWG is always a very good thing, but his week cannot be overlooked even when compared to all of the other great talents in the Top 10 this week.
#7 Jimmy Rave (@TheJimmyRave)-The GWC Champion added more gold to his collection over the weekend as he continued his domination of Georgia. On 3/5 he beat Drew Adler at Peachstate and then beat Chase Owens on 3/6 at Twin State to win the title. Rave has done really well at places like AWE over the last couple of years, but he’s definitely branching out successfully to other promotions this year. This is his first ranking of 2016, but after coming in at #38 in the IPR 100, it likely won’t be his last ranking this year.
#8 Yosuke ❤ Santa Maria-We get some Dragon Gate representation this week as the NEW Open the Brave Gate Champion gets his very first ranking. He teamed with Dragon Kid at Dragon Gate on 3/2 to defeat Eita and Takehiro Yamamura, then teamed with Dragon Kid on 3/3 to defeat CIMA and Eita, then teamed with Yasushi (loves) Santa Candy on 3/4 to defeat Naruki Doi and Kotoka, then defeated Kotoka on 3/5 to win the title, and then teamed with Masato Yoshino & Akira Tozawa on 3/6 to defeat Over Generation (CIMA, Eita and Punch Tominaga) to go 5-0 for the week. While 5 wins and a tremendous title win would normally get him higher in the rankings, keep in mind that it was a VERY busy week and he only had one win in singles.
#9 Eddie Ryan (https://www.facebook.com/eddie4FW)-A late addition to the poll, Eddie Ryan gets his first official ranking in the Indy Power Rankings Top 10. ½ of the AWW British Tag Team Champions defeated Kelly Stixx at PWP on 3/5, then defeated Kelly Sixx at PWP’s 3rd Annual Pride Prizefighters Tournament in the UK, then defeated Chris Walker in the semi-finals on 3/6, then defeated Lomaxx in the finals to win the tournament. A 4-0 week usually would produce an even higher ranking but this week (as stated earlier) was absolutely insane.
#10 AR Fox-AR Fox continues his career resurgence in 2016 as he gets ranked once again. The WWA4 Champion, AAW Heritage Champion, and DREAMWAVE Alternative Champion defeated Stitch Osiris at WWA4 to retain that title on 3/3 and then beat Lio Rush at DREAMWAVE on 3/5 to retain THAT title. A 2-0 week and two title defenses just squeak Fox into the Top 10 on a highly competitive week. If he can continue to win matches, win titles, and defend titles, he’s going to be a BIG force to reckon with this year.
People’s Champ. Nick Iggy (@IggyNJ210)-1/2 of the PGP Tag Team Champions had a good enough week to get on the ballot in singles, which is rare. He defeated Toby Farley at APW on 3/3, but lost to Chris Ganz at Empire Pro on 3/5, and then bounced back when he teamed with Kerry Awful at AWE on 3/6 to beat Spring Street Suicide Squad to go 2-1 for the week. “The Down South Dandy” then collected 116 votes to edge out Shane Mercer for his first People’s Champ award by winning the online voting competition. Subscribe to Team IOU’s YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TeamIOU and pick up their shirts here: http://www.prowrestlingtees.com/wrestler-t-shirts/team-iou.html
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Shane Mercer-#2 in the online voting competition with 109 votes
Josef Von Schmidt-#5 in the online voting competition with 21 votes
Bombay Suarez-#3 in the online voting competition with 47 votes
Savannah Summers-#4 in the online voting competition with 34 votes
Mr. Wrestling (South Africa)
Big Brodie Marshall
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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-revealq via