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 December 29, 2014 and January 5, 2015. Now, on with the countdown!
Indy Power Rankings for the Week of December 29th, 2014
1. Ace Perry (@AcePerryIndy)-In one of the most interesting turn of events since we’ve been doing it, our guest last week on Indy Power Rankings LIVE on Weekly Wrestling Podcast came on to talk about the viral video that has been circulating of him asking a 16 year-old autistic girl to prom at IWA Mid-South…then proceeded to win the WCWO Young Guns Tournament to become the first #1 of 2015 (for the purposes of our rankings). First, he defeated Shawn Kemp, then knocked off Dale Patricks, and finally finished off the tournament by beating Bret Havoc in the Finals on 12/26. This kid has “star” written all over him and has drawn multiple comparisons among the official voters to Matt Sydal in his younger days. It will be fun to see how the rest of 2015 unfolds for him.#3 in the online poll with 54 votes.
2. BxB Hulk-The inclusion of Japanese talent (except NJPW) this year paid dividends immediately after the Open the Dream Gate Champion teamed with Dragon Kid to defeat Dia.Hearts on 12/23, then beat Shingo Takagi to retain the title on 12/28. With Dragon Gate running multiple tours on a frequent basis, 2015 could be a year where a lot of their talent makes waves in the IPR for the very first time. With Uhaa Nation & Ricochet enjoying success there in previous years and capitalizing on that by being ranked…it’s possible the same could occur for the overseas talent who had not had chances to be ranked in previous years. That being said, it’s hard to ignore how important the title is that BxB Hulk holds. How will he do for the rest of 2015? We’ll sit back and find out for ourselves!
3. Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon)-HUGE weekend for one of the better Canadian talents who has been making waves in the U.S. as well. On 12/26 he defeated Uhaa Nation at AIW, then teamed with his Monster Mafia partner, Ethan Page to beat Jimmy Jacobs & Eddie Kingston at AAW on 12/27. It was a 2-0 week which, to be honest, is pretty rare for a lot of the Canadian imports to the U.S. indy scene. If this ranking is any indication as to what we can expect from him in 2015, it should be one hell of a ride for “The Walking Weapon.” While he’s known more for being a tag team specialist with Page, you cannot discount his success in singles as well. We look to see more good things from him throughout the year.
4. Jake Crist-The Rockstar Pro Champion (and holder of multiple tag titles with Dave Crist) continued where he left off in 2014 by picking up another big win at Rockstar Pro. This time it was a victory over Aaron Williams in an Iron Man Match (with just one fall) on 12/24. In 2014 he was dominant in both the tag team division and singles division. Can he continue that type of success in 2015? Time will tell. If you’d like to find out where he ranked in our IPR 100 and Tag Team Top 50 for 2014…make sure to tune into the LIVE Reveal shows (links below).
5. Rickey Shane Page/Christian Faith (@RickeyShanePage)-The AAW Heritage Champion had a very good weekend after he won a six-person scramble at AIW on 12/26 by defeating Dick Justice, Eric Ryan, Candice LeRae, Joshua Singh, and Flip Kendrick. He then went to AAW to defend the AAW Heritage Title where he defeated ROH superstar ACH on 12/27 to retain the title. A 2-0 week propels one of the better hidden gems in the Midwest into the Top 10. With wins in 5 of his last 6 matches, it looks like 2015 may turn out to be his breakout year. We hope to see more of him the rest of the year. #4 in the online poll with 28 votes.
6. Rob Conway (@TheRobConway)-The NWA World Heavyweight Champion wasn’t exactly setting our rankings on fire in 2014 despite holding the title for much of the year. That being said, he starts off 2015 with a bang after defeating a perennial favorite of the official voters in Jason Kincaid on 12/27 to retain the title. Not only did he beat Kincaid, he beat him in his territory as he beat him at NWA Smoky Mountain. Great victory for Conway to start off the year. Can he elevate the title to a higher prestige than it has been in recent years? It can only mean good things for wrestling if he can.
7. Ethan Case (@EthanCaseClosed)-The PWI Ultra J Champion retained his title at CWF Mid-Atlantic on 12/27 after defeating Chase Dakota, Cedric Alexander, and Lance Lude in a Four-Way. Strong competition to beat any one of them one-on-one, but to beat all 3 of them in a single match is particularly impressive. Despite a few mentions, this is the first Top 10 ranking for one of the Carolinas’ premiere talents. While he has had some success in the tag ranks, this looks to be his chance at really making a bigger name for himself in singles. Let’s see what 2015 holds for him going forward.
8. Brad Attitude (@BradAttitude)-One of the bigger wins of the weekend came when Brad Attitude defeated Roy Wilkins to win the CWF Mid-Atlantic Title. It was a huge victory as Roy Wilkins had been dominating CWF over the last several months, but the fact that the title does not have a history of hot-shotting made it all the more important. The former WWE signee had a cup of coffee in the rankings in 2014 but never really got to build on the momentum. With him now holding a top title in the Carolinas, this could be just the thing he needs to really start picking up steam in 2015.
9. John Skyler (@TheJohnSkyler)-“Tom Skerritt’s favorite wrestler” makes his debut in the Top 10 this week as Carolina came STRONG with several entrants in the Indy Power Rankings. The NEW WrestleForce Champion (after defeating Cedric Alexander) immediately made an impact for the year of 2015 with his big victory. He’s had some close calls in 2014 with a mention here or there, but this was likely his breakthrough win that could really get him on our radar. Consistency will be the key in 2015 and if he can be consistent, you’ll see more of him in our Top 10 as the year rolls along.
10. Naomichi Marufuji-The GHC Heavyweight Champion continued his success at NOAH on 12/23 after beating Yoshinari Ogawa. With this being his first week of being eligible for the Indy Power Rankings, he capitalized after winning 6 straight singles matches. Holding one of the most important titles in Japan didn’t hurt either. In our first week of voting for ALL talent all over the globe (providing they didn’t exclusively work for WWE, TNA, ROH, Lucha Underground, or NJPW) two of the top-talents made their presence felt.
1st Honorable Mention. Corey Hollis-1/2 of Country Jacked bounced back from injury by winning the Anarchy TV Title and JUST missed out on the Top 10 this week.
2nd Honorable Mention. Tommaso Ciampa-A 2-0 weekend gets this ROH star JUST short of the Top 10. Tune into the IPR 100 Reveal to see where he ranked in 2014.
People’s Champ. Eddy Young-After being Co-People’s Champ last week, he beat Showtime Apollo to become #1 Contender to the SWE Title. That win, combined with three straight wins and 213 votes, secured the first People’s Champ Award of 2014. Congrats to Eddy Young who made big splashes in the online voting competition in 2014 as well.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Josef Von Schmidt-#2 in the online poll with 160 votes
Ethan Alexander Sharpe
John Wayne Murdoch
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Jeckles the Jester
Indy Power Rankings for the Week of January 5th, 2015
1. Yuko Miyamoto-What a week for the BJW Death Match Heavyweight Champion (and DOVE World Heavyweight Champion) as he had a time limit draw, teaming with Isami Kodaka vs Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa at BJW on 12/30, then teamed with Kodaka to win the three-organisations tournament, beating KUDO and Yukio Sakaguchi in the first round, Makoto Oishi and Shiori Asahi in the second round, Ryuji Ito and “Kokutenshi” Jaki Numazawa in the semis and then Yuji Hino and Yuji Okabayashi in the final, all on 12/31, then teamed with Ikuto Hidaka, Fujita Hayato and Isami Kodaka on 01/01 to beat KAMIKAZE, Daemon Ueda, Kengo and Voodoo Mask 15 at Zero1 and then beat Kankuro Hoshino at BJW on 01/02 to retain his title; then teamed with Isami Kodaka to beat Heisei Yakuza Duo (Kankuro Hoshino and Masato Inaba) in a ladder and steel cage death match at BJW on 01/04 to go 7-0-1 for the week. Miyamoto proved last week that the international influence has truly taken over the Indy Power Rankings and there may be no going back. Can Miyamoto continue this type of astonishing success (SEVEN wins in one week) for the rest of 2015? Doubtful, but it’s definitely possible for him to continue to win consistently.
2. Jake Crist-1/2 of OI4K (or 1/3 if you prefer) had another great week this week after retaining his Rockstar Pro title TWICE in one week vs. very stiff competition. The multiple federation tag team champion teamed with Chris Hero to defeat Dave Crist and Aron Williams in a Double Jeopardy tag team match to retain his singles title on 12/31 and then defeated Chris Hero to retain the title again on 01/02 to continue his dominance of the Dayton-based promotion. 2 weeks into 2015’s rankings, he is the model of consistency after being absolutely unstoppable in late 2014. He has carried that success into 2015. With challengers lining up at Rockstar Pro and a lot of tag title defenses to come as well, can he keep up this pace? #5 in the online poll with 26 votes.
3. Doug Williams (@DougWilliamsUK)-Here’s a name we have not seen for a while in the IPR Top 10. The ACW German, Scottish Heavyweight, WAW Heavyweight and POW Intercontinental Champion defeated Josh Faulkner in the semis and Zack Sabre Jr in the final of the Worthing Trophy Tournament at Premier Promotions on 12/29 to go 2-0 for the week. With wins in 7 of his last 8 matches, the former TNA star has been crushing Europe in his recent appearances. Grand way to start of 2015 for one of the best in the world. If this week was any indication, you may need to keep an eye on him in 2015 as he looks to shine the bright spot light on himself once again.
4. Yuji Okabayashi-More international influence (specifically Japan) in the IPR Top 10 this week as he teamed with Ryuichi Kawakami at BJW vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani on 12/30, then teamed with Yuji Hino at the Three Promotion Strongest Tag Decision Tournament to beat Ryuishi Kawakami & Kazuki Hashimoto in the first round, then Daisuke Sekimoto & Antonio Honda in the second round, and finally, HARASHIMA & Yasu Urano in the semis, but inevitably lost to Yuko Miyamoto & Isami Kodaka in the finals. He then teamed with Daisuke Sekimoto at BJW on 01/02 to beat Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa and then beat Kazuki Hashimoto at BJW on 01/04 to go 6-1 for the week Much like our number one this week, he had a string of big wins, and while he did suffer one defeat, it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the Top 10. Can he build on this ranking going forward?
5. BLK Jeez (@Jeez215)-After being ranked right at the end of 2014 (but missing out on the 2014 IPR 100) he has found his way into the IPR Top 10 once again after the CZW World Heavyweight Champion (and JAPW Light Heavyweight Champion) defeated Dave Crist on 01/02 to retain the title. Not only did he beat Dave Crist, he beat him on his turf in Dayton, OH at Rockstar Pro Wrestling. That was definitely not an easy accomplishment for Jeez, but with his recent string of wins, he made it happen. This week was a case where multiple wins were the usual flavor of the week, but big title defenses remained important as well.
6. Zakk SpadeZ (@ZakkSpadeZ)-It’s a first-ever ranking for this Rockstar Pro Wrestling regular. On 12/31 he defeated Bruce Grey at Rockstar Pro, then defeated Pompano Joe, Flex Jordan, last week’s #1 Ace Perry, Jake Omen, & Zachary Wentz in a 6 Man Scramble Match on 01/02. Those wins, combined with being the first to knock off last week’s #1 in 2015, was enough to get him into the Top 10 for the first time. While the international talent mostly dominated the Top 10 this week, it was some of the Rockstar Pro talent who found a way into the IPR after two wins this past week. Having shows on a weekly basis can be a big benefit…or a difficult obstacle to climb. For SpadeZ, it was his opportunity to showcase his talent…twice!
7. Aja Kong-With this spot, not only do we get an international star in the IPR Top 10, we get one of the best female wrestlers of all time as well. She is the NEW DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion after defeating Saki Akai on 01/03 to win the title. She then defeated Shu Shibutani in a retirement match at Wave on 01/04 to go 2-0 for the week. She has won 10 of her last 11 matches and that no doubt influenced the official voters to slide her into the Indy Power Rankings this week for the very first time. While her name is somewhat of a blast from the past, she is still doing big things in the Land of the Rising Sun.
8. Matt Cage (@proudcaucasian)-The DREAMWAVE Champion & Zero-One USA Midwest X Champion (and #4 in the 2014 IPR 100) started out 2015 with a decent victory as he defeated Marek Brave at Funky Munky Wrestling on 01/03. To our knowledge, he is undefeated in his last 4 matches with 3 wins and a time-limit draw. After a TREMENDOUS 2014, we’re looking forward to big things from him in 2015. Can “Money” continue to be exactly that as the year rolls along? Time will tell. One thing is for sure, with all of the international talent in the Top 10 so far this year, he’s going to have some tough competition going forward.
9. LuFisto (@LuFisto)-The WSU World Champion had another good weekend after defeating Heidi Lovelace at Rockstar Pro at their IPPV on 01/02. Clearly, that win alone was big, but it’s her recent record that really got her in this week (undefeated in her last 8 matches). How odd is it that one of the best female wrestlers in the world somehow missed out on the 2014 IPR 100? With her start to 2015, she’s doing her best to show that history will NOT be repeating itself. Will 2015 be the year where she smashes her way into the Top 100?
10. Zack Sabre Jr. (@zacksabrejr)-Busy week for last year’s #41 in the IPR 100 as he defeated Jimmy Havoc on 12/29 at Premier Promotions, then lost to Doug Williams the same night, then teamed with Marty Scurll at IPW:UK on 01/03 to beat the London Riots, and then wrapped up the week by beating Sebastian at Progress Wrestling on 01/04 to go 3-1 for the week. Certainly not his best week as he reached #1 at one point last year, but definitely a good one. His ranking this week was possibly somewhat hindered by him receiving ZERO votes in the online voting competition. THE FAN VOTE MATTERS.
Honorable Mention. Adam Revolver-The OVW Heavyweight Champion just misses out again after defeating Michael Hayes on 01/03 to retain the title. He has won 8 of his last 9 matches…and a future ranking appears to be inevitable.
People’s Champ. Luxford-Australia dominated the online voting competition this week as they featured the #1 and the #3 in the fan vote. Luxford came all the way from behind to win the competition by a rather large margin, collecting 145 votes (47 more than the 2nd place vote-getter). The IPW Australia Cruiserweight Champion is helping to prove that people need to take notice of wrestling Down Under.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Live Wire-#2 in the online poll with 98 votes
TJ Warrior-#3 in the online poll with 92 votes
“The Working Man” Mr. Will-#4 in the online poll with 30 votes
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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