1. Matt Riddle: It’s been a meteoric rise to the top for this MMA star-turned-pro wrestler. Looking at his match statistics on Cagematch.net, he’s only wrestled 51 matches so far, but has won an impressive 72.5% of them. This week the man who is one half of the Keystone Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champions added another accolade this week by becoming the number one on the Indy Power Rankings. He beat Roderick Strong at Evolve on 7/16; then beat Tomasso Ciampa at Evolve on 7/17; then defeated Britain’s Marty Scurll at Beyond on 7/18 to go 3-0 for the week. While the argument could be made that others had more wins and that none of his victories were for a title, there’s no denying that the strength of the opponents he beat lifted him to the forefront of the official voters’ minds this week.
2. James Raideen: This could be the highest ever ranking for a New Zealand wrestler. Raideen is currently based in Japan, where he is currently one half of the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions and he had a phenomenal week at Zero1. He defeated Toshiki Iwaki on 7/12; his tag team partner Masato Tanaka on 7/13; Fujita Hayato on 7/14; Shogun Okamoto on 7/16 and finally Yoshikazu Yokoyama on 7/17 for an amazing 5-0 week.
3. Chris Hero: Interestingly none of this week’s top 3 either won or defended a title, but like Riddle, Hero gets his rating based on the strength of his victories. While on tour in the UK this week, he first defeated Joseph Conners at Phoenix Events Yorkshire on 7/15; he followed that with a win at Discovery Wrestling against Joe Coffey on 7/16. He finished his week with a victory over Chris Brookes at IPW:UK on 7/17 to go 3-0 for the week. Hero is a regular visitor to our top 10, but it will probably take either a tournament or title win for him to notch up a number one position.
4. Timothy Thatcher: Only two victories for Thatcher this week but both were successful defences of the Evolve Championship, which is why he’s ended up as high as number 4. He retained the title on 7/16 against Marty Scurll and followed that the next day against TJ Perkins. A great week in terms of quality, it was probably just the quantity that prevented him being rated any higher.
5. Lio Rush: This weekend MCW Pro Wrestling (formerly known as Maryland Championship Wrestling) held their prestigious Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup on 7/16, where CZW Wired Champion Lio Rush became the first person to ever successfully defend the title and only the second person to win it more than once (Christian York did it three times but never twice in a row). As defending champion, Rush didn’t have to play a qualifying match, but then had to defeat Jason Kincaid, Travis “Flip” Gordon, Joe Keyes, Sonjay Dutt and Tommaso Ciampa in the six-way final on 7/16 to become a two-time winner. As it is considered a major, his win at Ring of Honor over Donovan Dijak does not count towards this poll. But beating a number of big names in one match at MCW and the reputation of the tournament secured him the number 5 ranking this week.
6. EC3: Despite the fact that Ethan Carter III is a TNA employee, as are both the wrestlers he beat this week, he qualifies for the poll as the matches took place in an independent promotion, Imperial Wrestling Revolution. On 7/16 he defeated Abyss and followed that with a win over Moose. Two great wins over two much larger competitors landed him the number 6 spot. And if his TNA wins this week over Eli Drake and Matt Hardy had counted, he could have been even higher.
7. Teddy King: The NWA Bluegrass Heavyweight Champion continued his great run this past week. He started slowly with a double count-out vs NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion (and recent top 10 visitor himself) Vic the Bruiser on 7/12. But then his week got a whole lot better with a four-way victory over Aiden Blackheart, Mance Warner, Shad Satu at IWA MidSouth on 7/14. He then successfully defended his title at NWA Bluegrass Wrestling on 7/15, then defeated Toby Farley at MSWA on 7/16. A highly impressive 3-0-1 week lands King at number 7 and it was probably just the double count-out that prevented him being ranked even higher.
8. Jackie Polo: In recent years he’s been a top competitor on the British tag team scene (including at SWA where he’s one half of the tag champs), but this past week Polo showed what he could do as a singles wrestler. Polo beat Jason Prime at Target Wrestling on 7/15. He followed that with a triple threat #1 contenders match at Target Wrestling on 7/16 vs Johnny Moss and Hardcore Holly. He finished with a victory over Scott McManus at Source Wrestling School on 7/17 to go 3-0. If Polo continues to be booked in singles matches and has these kinds of results, he could be a force to be reckoned with.
9. Drew Galloway: As with EC3, Galloway’s TNA results (which were 1-1) don’t count towards this poll. But the Evolve ones do and that’s where the Scottish “Chosen One” was very successful. On 7/16 he and Chuck Taylor defeated Catch Point (Drew Gulak and Tracy Williams) to become the new Evolve Tag Team Champions. Then on 7/17 he had a very impressive win over Johnny Gargano to go 2-0 for the week. He’s been number one before on our rankings and if he continues in this form, another top spot can’t be too far off.
10. Lowlife Louie Ramos: The Survival of the Sickest tournament winner grabs this week’s number 10 slot. He beat Jeff Cannonball at On Point Wrestling on 7/16 in a fans bring the weapons match in the semifinals; then he defeated Matt Tremont, Connor Claxton and Drew Blood in a no rope barbwire quadruple elimination match in the final to win the tournament and go 2-0 for the week.
Honourable Mention. Ruby Raze: It was a bit of an up and down week for Raze as she won one title but lost another. On 7/15 at Big Time Wrestling she defeated Brittany Wonder in the first round; then Dementia d’Rose in the semis; then defeated Beatrice Domino in the final to win the tournament and become inaugural women’s champion. But then on 7/17 at Premier Wrestling she lost that organisation’s women’s title to Shayna Baszler. That loss probably cost her a top 10 place but she still got enough support for an honourable mention.
People’s Champ. Eddie Rage: We’ve seen a number of different nationalities claim the People’s Champ award before including wrestlers from Denmark, Australia and Israel. This week we can add Hungary to that list, as Pro Wrestling Mafia’s Eddie Rage garnered 217 of the 777 votes which were cast. Rage defeated Shane Baker on 7/16 and then teamed with Chris Striker and Johnny Evers the same day to beat Kid Lux, King Kent and Shane Baker to go 2-0 for the week. Hungarian promotions don’t seem to run events very often so Rage is unlikely to become a regular on our poll, but the next time PWM do hold one, he’ll be an interesting name to watch.