#1 Bubblegum (@Pipbubblegum)-We can’t really say if this is an upset or not (as he was #1 last year at one point) but it’s definitely a surprise. With ECWA’s Super 8 going on, you would automatically assume the winner would be a top contender for the #1 spot (which he was) but this week, like most of 2016, belonged to the UK. Bubblegum gets his second ever #1 ranking after the JDW, NGW, GenX, and GPW British Champion defeated El Ligero, Liam Lazarus and Martin Kirby at PCW on 4/22 in a four-way, then defeated Lionheart on 4/23, and then defeated Matt Sydal the same night to go 3-0 for the week. His strength of competition was VERY strong this week and that’s what ultimately earned him the #1 on a very, very close week of voting in the official Top 10.
#2 Napalm Bomb ( @DNapalmBomb https://www.facebook.com/NapalmBomb )-The winner of the 20th Annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament only gets a #2 ranking in the Indy Power Rankings? Sort that out however you want. Some official voters felt the tournament had lost some prestige while others felt like it still had a rich history to fall back on. Either way, tip your cap to Napalm Bomb who gets his first official ranking this week after winning the tournament. He defeated Danny Inferno in the First Round on 4/23, then Papadon in the next round, and John Skyler in the Finals to go 3-0 to win the tournament. He also collected 21 votes to come in 8th in the online voting competition. You can check him out on the Indy Power Rankings reveal over at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elitepodcastnetwork/2016/04/27/indy-power-rankings-reveal-napalm-bomb-live
#3 Zack Sabre Jr. (@zacksabrejr)-Up one spot from last week and we see Zack Sabre Jr. in the Top 10 yet again in 2016. While 2015 belonged to Santana Garrett, it appears that ZSJ will continue to own 2016. The PWG World and Revolution Pro British Champion defeated Bobby Gunns at wXw in Germany on 4/22, then beat Marty Scurll on 4/23, and then beat Flash Morgan Webster at PROGRESS on 4/24 to qualify for WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Tournament to go 3-0 for the week. Just for the record, as these qualifying matches are taking places on “independent wrestling” shows, we are including them in our rankings. Sabre was one of THREE leading voter getters in the official voting this week. He was just BARELY edged out for the #2 spot by Napalm Bomb due to fan voting. Again, the FAN VOTE MATTERS.
#4 Teddy King (@JoshuaKing992)-Teddy King is a name that you may have seen before on the Indy Power Rankings, but usually it’s one of those things where he’s in the online voting competition, fighting for the People’s Champ award. He’s had some shots at cracking the Top 10 but he finally busts through this week with a huge week. The former WWA Heavyweight Champion defeated Shane Andrews at NWA NSW on 4/22, then beat Derek Neal the same night, and then beat Eric Young at WWA on 4/23 to go 3-0 for the week. If this weekend was any indication, Teddy King is ready to continue to make a splash on the indies. Next up: IWA Mid-South on 5/1. He came in 5th in the online voting competition with 41 votes.
#5 Big R Shimizu-Dragon Gate comes strong this week with two representatives in the Top 10 from their promotion. Certainly not the usual suspects either. Shimizu had a great week there as he teamed with Akira Tozawa & T-Hawk at Dragon Gate on 4/18 to defeat VerserK (Cyber Kong, Naruki Doi & Shingo Takagi) then defeated Shun Watanabe on 4/22, then teamed with Akira Tozawa & Shachihoko BOY on 4/23 to defeat VerserK (Shingo Takagi, Naruki Doi and Kotoka) and then defeated Takehiro Yamamura on 4/24 to go 4-0 for the week. Dragon Gate may not be producing quite the amount of rankings as they did last year, but they’re still VERY relevant in our rankings because of the amount of shows they run every single week.
#6 Minoru Tanaka-Japan produces more talent in the Top 10 as 1/3 of the UWA World Trios Champions gets in this week. He defeated The W*inger at Freedoms on 4/21, then teamed with Atsushi Maruyama at BJW on 4/23 to defeat Yuji Okabayashi and Daichi Hashimoto, then defeated Daiki Inaba and Shotaro Ashino in a triple threat at Wrestle-1 on 4/24, and then defeated Tatsuhiko Yoshino at Guts World the same day to go 4-0 for the week. Tanaka received SEVEN mentions last year without being ranked, but this is his first actual ranking. Congrats to him.
#7 The Saint-The Saint gets his first ranking this week as he won the Portishead Cup Tournament at 4FW on 4/22. He defeated Brandon Thomas in the Semi-Finals and then beat JD Knight in the Finals to win the tournament. He then scored a HUGE win vs. Doug Williams on 4/23 to go 3-0 for the week. He is 1 of 4 wrestlers from the UK who was ranked this week as that country just continues to make waves in 2016. If any one country benefited the most from our reduction in eligible promotions this year, it’s definitely the United Kingdom.
#8 Santana Garrett (@SantanaGarrett_)-What an INSANELY busy week for Santana Garrett! The Queen of the Indy Power Rankings returns to the Top 10 this week. Let’s run down some of her accomplishments: Wrestling Superstar Women’s Champion, Wonder of Stardom, Battling Bombshells, OPW, NPW, RIOT Women’s, CWE Vixens Champion, NEW EBPW Women’s Champion and NEW BPW Champion. She defeated Chelsea Durden at EBPW on 4/23 to become inaugural champion, then teamed with Aaron Epic & Slade Porter the same day to beat Aspyn Rose, Ace Andrews & Rex Bacchus, then teamed with Alex Todd the same day to lose to Jesus Rodriguez & Chelsea Durden, then defeated Chelsea Durden the same day to retain the title, then defeated Chasyn Rance at BPW on 4/24, and then won a battle royal the same day to win the vacant title to go 5-1 for the week. To be fair, we got her results a bit late in the day of voting, so it’s possible she could have been ranked even higher this week. Santana just continues the grind as one of the top wrestlers on Planet Earth.
#9 T-Hawk-1/3 of the Dragon Gate Open the Triangle Gate Champions returns to the Top 10 this week after a 4-0 week. He teamed with Akira Tozawa and Big R Shimizu at Dragon Gate on 4/18, then defeated Futa Nakamura on 4/22, then defeated Jimmy Kanda on 4/23, and then teamed with Akira Tozawa & Masato Yoshino on 4/24. The only thing that likely held him back from a higher ranking this week is that the majority of his wins were in tags, while many of the others above him in the Top 10 were winning mostly singles matches. That being said, give props to T-Hawk who just continues to win this year.
#10 Dave Mastiff (@DaveMastiff)-This mastodon of a man gets his second ranking of 2016 after a solid weekend at PCW. The big man defeated Wolfgang at PCW on 4/22, then defeated Matt Sydal on 4/23, and then defeated Iestyn Rees by DQ the same night to go 3-0 for the week. Last year we talked to him about whether or not PWG was interested in bringing him and unfortunately some issues didn’t work out for them, but we can only hope at some point down the line they can come to an agreement so he can showcase his skills in front of a North American crowd.
People’s Champ. Zachary Wentz (@zachary_wentz)-Zachary Wentz is slowly becoming one of the most recognizable names in the Indy Power Rankings this year. Last week he won the Tag Team Voting Competition and this week he wins the Singles Voting Competition yet again. We should note that if you look at the voting link, Everett Cross has more votes than Wentz, but he actually passed him after the 10 PM EST deadline. With 223 votes, the Rockstar Pro American Luchacore Champion is once again People’s Champ after he beat Trey Miguel at Rockstar Pro on 4/20 and then beat Clayton Jackson at IWC on 4/23 to go 2-0 for the week. Give Zachary Wentz a follow on Instagram at @zbangarangg
People’s Champ Runner-Up. Everett Cross-A special shout out to Everett Cross whose fans came through JUST a bit too late in the online voting competition. He barely missed out on the People’s Champ award this week despite a hell of a late effort from his fans and supporters. He is the NEW PWM Dark Arts Champion after he defeated Smiley, Preacher, Hoost Traplash, Steve Off, and Joey Adams on 4/23 to become the inaugural champion.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Big Daddy Walter
Jacob Ashworth-#3 in the online voting competition with 63 votes
Captaine Pezz-#4 in the online voting competition with 62 votes
Hayden Price-#6 in the online voting competition with 32 votes
Blain Rage-#7 in the online voting competition with 30 votes
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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