Here we go with the Top 10 independent stars of the world this week on the Indy Power Rankings on The Barbwire Blog; where we rank the best professional wrestlers from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico, from Europe to Japan. we’ll count down the 10 most popular wrestlers in the world this week, hot off the votes from the online poll as well as the votes from independent wrestling writers for the week ending October 20, 2014. Now, on with the countdown!
10. Kyle O’Reilly (@ROHOReilly)-The PWG World Champion (and ½ of the ROH World Tag Team Champions) defeated Roderick Strong on 10/17 to retain the PWG Title in one of the biggest matches of the weekend. With a record of 3-1 over the last 2 weeks, it’s hard to argue with O’Reilly’s success. Granted, what kept him from being a little higher was that we were unaware of any other shows for him this weekend, but that PWG World Title carries a lot of weight among the voters and a win over one of the best in the world means a lot.
9. Nicole Matthews (@nmatthewsninja)-Despite controversial means, she is the NEW SHIMMER Champion which earned her a spot in the Top 10 for the very first time this week. On 10/18 she defeated Madison Eagles and then followed that up with a win over (champion at the time) Cheerleader Melissa, Athena, and Madison Eagles in a Fatal Four Way to win the title. The next night she beat Evie to retain the title, but then lost an 8 Woman No DQ Tag Match on 10/19 (though she probably would argue that point as she bailed on her team). It was a fantastic yet shocking weekend for one of the best female wrestlers going today. She has the gold to prove it.
(Editor’s Note: To read the scathing commentary on why Nicole Matthews cheated her way to win the SHIMMER Championship, click here.)
8. Rampage Brown (@RampageBrown)-Despite getting absolutely no support in the online voting this week from the fans, he holds solid at the #8 spot after two more victories as the TCW Champion retained his title on 10/17 and then beat Ryan Griffin on 10/18. He has been racking up win after win over the last couple of weeks and this past weekend was no exception. He’s slowly climbing the Top 10 ladder and all it will take is another solid weekend to get him intro true contention for his first ever #1 ranking.
7. Jimmy Jacobs (@JimmyJacobsX)-With Jacobs, we had partial results of his CWE tour as we had his results from 10/15. 10/16, and 10/17, but based on those shows alone, he was a legitimate candidate for the Top 10 this week and he was voted in, accordingly. After 3 big wins in singles, he also won a 50-Man Battle Royal, which just helps cement his spot in the Top 10 this week. Depending on what he did on 10/18 and 10/19, he could have been even higher (or lower) depending on the outcome. Regardless, we can only rank on what we know, and what we know is in those 3 appearances for CWE, he was absolutely dominant.
6. Caleb Konley (@CalebKonley)-The former PWX/WrestleForce Champion had a fantastic weekend, especially when you look at his quality of competition and the companies he worked for. On 10/18 he scored an impressive victory over fellow North Carolina native, Trevor Lee at CZW in what was a much-heralded contest and then he followed that up with another HUGE victory over last week’s #1 in the IPR 100 in Michael Elgin at PWX in another highly praised match. Konley hasn’t been consistently in the Top 10 like he was at the start of the year, but he’s still very relevant as he’s winning and winning when it counts now.
5. People’s Champ. Tessa Blanchard (@teamTblanchard)-If ever there was proof of what winning the online voting competition can do, it’s this week. Tessa Blanchard had a solid week after a GREAT week last week and that was certainly enough to get her into the Top 10, but what really pushed her up 2-3 spots were the fans getting in and showing their support this week. She won two tag team matches over the weekend to continue her (at least) 5 match winning streak, spanning the last 2 weeks. With this ranking, she is pushing her way up the year-end IPR 100 and is proving that she can be just as dominant as any of the male competitors in the Top 100. #1 in the online poll with 84 votes.
(Editor’s Note: To check out Tessa’s interview, click here.)
4. Karsten Beck-Still riding the wave of success from his big win in the wXw/CZW/BJW Triangle League a couple of weeks ago, Beck picks up 3 more wins this week as he extends his win streak and gets ranked for the 3rd straight week. He defeated Chris Rush at wXw on 10/18, then beat Tom Prichard the same day, before polishing off the weekend with a victory over Franz Engel at wXw on 10/19. What a meteoric rise it’s been over the last few weeks for one of the best in Germany and after his 3 straight rankings, one of the best in the world?
3. John Wayne Murdoch (@johnmurdoch25)-#1 last week. #3 this week. Not a bad 2 week run for The Dick Murdoch of Death Match Wrestling. He is shaking off the stigma of just being a death match wrestler lately as this week he knocked off Blake Steel in an I Quit Match at PGP on 10/18 and then defeated BJ Whitmer by submission at FWS on 10/19. Two very big wins on top of his #1 ranking last week and the EPW Openweight Champion is on quite the roll right now as he is shooting right up the IPR 100 (no spoilers until 12/29, 12/30, and 12/31 on the IPR 100 Reveal Shows). How much further can Murdoch climb in 2014?
2. Hiroshi Tanahashi (@tanahashi1_100)-The NEW IWGP Heavyweight Champion gets into the Top 10 for the very first time after winning the title from AJ Styles on 10/13. Had he built on that title win with just one or two more matches, it’s likely he’d be sitting in the #1 spot this week. Granted, he still has a strong argument that he should have been #1 this week, but his one (HUGE) win vs. others with multiple big wins made it a little harder for him to get that elusive #1 spot. That being said, he earned his way in this week and we hope to see what the rest of 2014 brings for one of the best wrestlers in the world.
1. Kazuchika Okada (@rainmaker_chaos)-The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion gets his 2nd #1 ranking this week after beating Tetsuya Naito on 10/13 to become the #1 contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Title once again. He was not content to rest on his laurels as he went to the UK and beat Joel Redman on 10/18 at Revolution Pro UK and then defeated Austin Aries (a HUGE win) on 10/19. A 3-0 week and a win over a former TNA and ROH World Champion made him the easy #1 choice this week despite strong competition from a lot of other competitors this week. There were a handful of wrestlers who arguably had a solid shot at #1, but Okada stood tall. Tied for #9 in the online poll.
And there you have it, the top 10 of the best independent wrestling stars of the world as voted by the fans as well as independent wrestling writers across the country. To check out their official web site where YOU can participate in the weekly online poll voting, visit indypowerrankingsipr.wordpress.com as well as their Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/IndyPowerRankings. They can be found on Twitter @IndyPowerRankin.
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