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 November 24, 2014. Now, on with the countdown!
1. Joey Janela (@JANELABABY)-Give it up for Joey Janela who came out of NOWHERE to grab the #1 spot this week! Granted, he’s been having a very good year, but it had not translated into actual rankings until this week. It was most definitely an impressive weekend as he defeated Andrew Wolf at CZW Dojo Wars, then beat Rhett Titus & QT Marshall at JCW, before finishing off the weekend with a HUGE win vs. last week’s #2 Caleb Konley. The win vs. Konley may have been the thing that sealed the deal to give Janela not just his first singles ranking, but a #1 ranking on a week when he had the opportunity to shine! Tied for #9 in the online poll.
2. AR Fox-After having a career year in 2013, he completely fell off the radar in 2014. Of course he was still having entertaining matches, but the win-loss record wasn’t up to par with what it once was. That all changed over the weekend when he defeated Colin Delaney at 2CW on 11/21, then went on to beat Earl Cooter, Teddy Hart,and Jesus De Leon on 11/22 to win the FTW Title. He was a title collector last year and while that died down a bit, perhaps this is just the thing to get it started again heading into 2015. With the IPR 100 approaching (on 12/29, 12/30, 12/31) this high ranking came at just the right time for one of the best high-flyers in the world.
3. Adam Cole (@AdamColePro)-The former ROH World Champion and current #1 contender moves up just a bit after a victory over Brian Kendrick over the weekend at ROH. He continues his impressive winning streak heading into Final Battle and the IPR 100. As with Fox and Janela before him, this is perfect timing as high rankings at this time of year, pay huge dividends when it comes to the year-end rankings. Can he continue to soar by winning his 2nd ROH World Title? Stay tuned…
4. Tommaso Ciampa (@ProjectCiampa)-“The Sicilian Psychopath” did what he’s been doing for much of 2014 as he continued to tear through the competition. First, he retained the XWA Title on 11/21 when he defeated Brian Fury, then he defeated Cedric Alexander in a big No DQ match at ROH on 11/22. He has been an absolute beast throughout the year and this very high ranking will just add to his IPR 100 Ranking. Where do you think he’ll end up? Perhaps for 2015, some more gold will be in his future to further add to his collection.
5. Madison Eagles (@SeriouslyEagles)-Traveling outside the country is never an easy thing when it comes to winning and winning big, but Madison Eagles proved that theory wrong when she travelled to Australia and won the IndyGurlz Australia Title after defeating Demi Bennett, Evie, and “Sweet” Saraya Knight on 11/21 in a Fatal Four-Way. She followed that up with a successful title defense. Vs. “Sweet” Saraya Knight on 11/22. She has now won 5 straight matches and shows no signs of stopping as she shoots all the way up to a #5 ranking this week.
6. Chris Hero (@TheChrisHero)-A former #1 and one of the very best wrestlers in the world returns to the Top 10 this week after a successful weekend in the UK where he defeated Stixx at Southside Wrestling, then beat Marty Scurll at Kamikaze Pro, and then wrapped up the weekend with a win vs. Paul London at Southside Wrestling on 11/23. A 3-0 weekend would generally be enough to warrant strong competition for a #1 ranking, but the voters are pretty savvy sometimes and Hero has been losing a lot in 2014. Perhaps that trend will change for the better in 2015 and make him a perennial contender for the #1 ranking once again.
7. Alex Shelley (@FakeKinkade)-Congratulations to the NEW Smash Wrestling Champion after both beating Matt Cross for the title and ending his undefeated streak there on 11/23. Despite his underhanded means of winning the title, Shelley has had a very good 2014 (mostly in tag team action). This ranking was important in helping to establish him in singles in the hopes that he can crack the IPR 100 for 2014. If he’s not there yet, there’s still time and it would be pretty strange for someone with his talent to miss out on the list of the top 100 independent wrestlers in the world.
8. Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano)-Last week’s #1 falls slightly this week due to a loss but with it not being a one-on-one loss, he manages to stick around in the Top 10. His weekend was solid as he defeated Dalton Castle at 2CW on 11/21 and also beat Gregory Iron on 11/23 at Smash Wrestling. It’s likely he would have been #1 again had it not been for his loss in the Ilio DiPaolo Cup Match in ESW on 11/22. Regardless, looking at his body of work and the fact that he’s 6-1 over the last 2 weeks, it was hard to snub him completely this week. He’s one of the best in the world for a reason.
9. Shane Mercer (@theirondemon)-With the #9 spot this week is one of the strongest men ANYWHERE in wrestling. This powerhouse defeated Ace Perry at IWA Mid-South on 11/20, then won a 7 Man Gauntlet vs. Rod Street, JJ Garrett, Mallaki Matthews, Johnny Long, Jun Hado, Kyle Maverick, and Lightning Bolt Johnson at Strong Style Wrestling on 11/21. His lone loss was on 11/22, but as it was decision reversal, he managed to sneak in at #9 this week, despite the loss and a strong showing in the online vote. The former People’s Champ was 5th in the online poll with 21 votes.
10. White Leopard-Israel came strong this week and supported their guys after White Leopard became #1 contender at IWL on 11/17. He has won 7 straight matches and that help propel him to his first spot in the Top 10 along with the fan vote. White Leopard was proof positive of how important the fan vote can be this week as he finished in 2nd with 44 votes to push himself into the #10 spot this week, just edging out Dru Skillz and Timmy Lou Retton for the honors.
1st Honorable Mention. Dru Skillz (@DruSkillz)-1/2 of the Soul Shooters has been finding singles success in 2014 and the former People’s Champ came so very close to grabbing the #10 spot this week after defeating Cliff Compton on 11/22 to become the first Smashmouth Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. He also teamed with Appollo Starr to defeat The Four Star Heroes at Strong Style Wrestling on 11/21.
2nd Honorable Mention. Timmy Lou Retton-Talk about a kid that came from NOWHERE and ALMOST grabbed the #10 spot this week, but JUST missed out by a fraction of a point. Great weekend for him and we expect more of the same from him in the near future. #3 in the online poll with 40 votes.
People’s Champ. Ben Rozin-Once again roving that the Indy Power Rankings are truly international, the IWL Heavyweight Champion (in Israel) won the online voting competition with an impressive 57
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Jimmy Jack Funk Jr.
Brute Van Slyke
And there you have it, the 10 of the most popular 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. They can also be found on Instagram @IndyPowerRankings.
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