Here we go with the Top 10 independent stars of the world as well as the top five tag teams 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 as well as the 5 most popular tag teams 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 February 16 and February 23, 2015. Now, on with the countdown!
Indy Power Rankings for the Week of February 16th, 2015
1. Akira Tozawa (@TozawaAkira)-The dominance by the “Monster Express” stable in Dragon Gate has really become uncanny at this point. After being ranked #2 last week (and #1 and #2) Tozawa built on that success as he defeated Mondai Ryu at Dragon Gate on 2/10, then teamed with Uhaa Nation on 2/11 to beat Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kanda), then teamed with Uhaa Nation to defeat MAD BLANKEY (CIMA and Gamma) on 2/14; then teamed with Shingo Takagi and Uhaa Nation on 2/15 to defeat Dia.HEARTS (BxB Hulk, Dragon Kid and Big R Shimizu) to go 4-0 for the week. With at least 13 straight wins, how can anyone argue with his status as #1 this week? He’s been absolutely unstoppable lately.
2. Uhaa Nation (@UhaaNation)-More Monster Express representation in the Top 10 as the potential future WWE star gets in with a 4-0 week as the PCW Heavyweight Champion defeated Punch Tominaga at Dragon Gate on 2/10, then teamed with Arika Tozawa on 2/11 to beat Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kanda), then teamed with Akira Tozawa to defeat MAD BLANKEY (CIMA and Gamma) on 2/14, and then finally teamed with Akira Tozawa and Shingo Takagi on 2/15 to beat Dia.HEARTS (BxB Hulk, Dragon Kid and Big R Shimizu). The “One Man Nation” has won 7 of his last 9 matches and is as good as he has ever been right now.
3. Kongo Kong (@RealKongoKong)-“Da Monsta” and current IWA Mid-South World Champion went to WAR with Chris Hero on 2/12 at “Heartbreak” and despite taking an overwhelming beating at times, he dished it back and came out on top. The only way to stop this beast at this point is to throw him in a Battle Royal as he has won 10 of his last 11 matches with the only loss being a Battle Royal elimination. As far as pins, submissions, countouts, and disqualifications…good luck. He doesn’t go down easily and in IWA Mid-South, he’s undefeated. Next up: “Mean” Mitch Page with the IWA Title on the line.
4. Santana Garrett (@BrittanyTNA)-Last week’s People’s Champ and #3 in the Indy Power Rankings gets in again after 2 more victories this week. The NWA World Women’s Champion defeated Josh Hess in a hair vs. hair match at I Believe in Wrestling on 2/14 and then defeated Tammy Lynn at CCW on 2/15 to retain her NWA title to go 2-0 for the week. With wins in 8 of her last 11 matches, she’s been one of the bright spots, not only in women’s wrestling, but in independent wrestling, in general. Two straight weeks of great performances places her high again this week. Right now she is sitting higher than any female in the 2015 IPR 100 so let’s see if that success can continue going forward.
5. Kzy-More Dragon Gate representation in the Top 10 as the Open the Brave Gate Champion teamed with BxB Hulk on 2/10 to beat U-T and Yosuke (loves) Santa Maria, then teamed with BxB Hulk and Masaaki Mochizuki on 2/11 to beat YAMATO, Cyber Kong and Punch Tominaga, then teamed with BxB Hulk on 2/14 to beat Jimmyz (Ryo “Jimmy” Saito and Jimmy Kanda), and then teamed with Masaaki Mochizuki on 2/15 to beat T-Hawk and El Lindaman to wrap up the week and go 4-0 for the week. After being #2 a few weeks ago, he has won 7 of his last 10 matches and looks to continue a very successful 2015.
6. Kotaro Suzuki-Though he garnered zero votes in the online voting competition, he had a phenomenal week as he teamed with Go Shiozaki and Kento Miyahara at AJPW on 2/9 to beat Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, then teamed with Go Shiozaki and Kento Miyahara on 2/11 to beat Suwama, Joe Doering and Atsushi Aoki, then beat Hikaru Sato on 2/13, and then beat SUSHI on 2/14 to go 4-0 for the week. With 5 straight wins, he has all the momentum as he gets his first ranking and with this type of success, we can expect to see more of him in the upcoming weeks & months.
7. “Bad Bones” John Klinger (@TheGermanPsycho)-The IPW: UK World Champion (and wXw Shotgun Champion) scored one of the biggest single wins of the weekend as he defeated last year’s #1 in the IPR 100 in Ricochet on 2/14 to retain the title. “The German Psycho” and “Best in Europe” is undefeated in his last 12 matches with just one of those matches being a draw and the rest being wins. He had a great 2014 and 2015 is starting to look even bigger with a victory of that calibre.
8. Damian Dunne (@damodunne87)-The Wrestle Midlands Champion defeated Ryan Smile at KOW on 2/13, then defeated Rocky Romero on 2/14 at WrestleMidlands to retain his title, then teamed with Ryan Smile to beat CJ Banks & Cyanide at PAID Promotions on 2/15 to go 3-0 for the week. With wins in 5 of his last 8 matches, this UK competitor looks strong this week makes the Top 10 for the very first time after failing to make it last year. Could be a big year for him!
9. Brian Cage (@MrGMSIB_Cage)-“The F’n Machine” is experiencing a rejuvenated 2015 after dominating 2013 and being mostly absent from the Top 10 in 2014. This week he became the NEW FSW Champion after defeating Matt Hardy on 2/15 to win the title. With wins in his last 8 of 10 matches outside of Lucha Underground, he has been tearing it up on the indies. With PWG not too far in the future, he has a great shot of being noticed and ranked once again sooner rather than later.
10. Zodiak (@ZodiaksFlame)-VERY huge week for Zodiak as he won a 10-Man Scramble at IWA Mid-South to basically become the #2 contender to the IWA Mid-South title by defeating Gary Jay, Dale Patricks, Ray Waddell, Nick Doepp, Jordan Whitaker, Chip Day, Joe Eicher, Gibson Grey, and most importantly, eliminating the 2-time #1 in Sugar Dunkerton on 2/12. Not much else he could have done outside of a couple of wins here or there to put him higher in the Top 10 but with this type of momentum could come big things. Next up: Lethal Lottery at IWA Mid-South on 2/19.
People’s Champ. Teddy King (@JoshuaKing992)-He had to battle back and forth to get the award and win the online voting competition this week as the NEW WWA World Heavyweight Champion collected 148 votes to win the award for the very first time.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Shane Mercer-#2 in the online poll with 121 votes
Pala-#3 in the online poll with 23 votes
Timmy Lou Retton
Indy Power Rankings for the Week of February 23rd, 2015
1. Akira Tozawa (@TozawaAkira)-The domination of the Indy Power Rankings by Akira Tozawa and Monster Express continues this week after he went 3-0 to continue his insane winning streak to become #1 for the 2nd straight week. He teamed with teamed with Uhaa Nation at Dragon Gate on 2/16 to beat MAD BLANKEY (Cyber Kong and Don Fujii) then teamed with Uhaa Nation and Shingo Takagi on 2/21 to beat Dia.HEARTS (BxBHulk, Kzy and Big R Shimizu) and finally teamed with Shachihoko BOY and Keirin Man on 2/22 to defeat MAD BLANKEY (YAMATO, Don Fujiiand Punch Tominaga) to wrap up the week. He has won EIGHTEEN straight matches and is just the second person in 2015 to grab TWO #1 rankings and the first to do it two weeks straight.
2. Volador, Jr.-A STAGGERING 5-0 week gets Mexico some recognition this week after Volador, Jr. cruised through a VERY successful week.Despite not much support in the online voting competition, he got a lot of #1 votes from the official voters after the UIPW Heavyweight Champ, NWA Historic Welterweight Champ and 1/3 of CMLL World Trios Champs; teamed withDragón Rojo Jr., Stuka Jr. at CMLL on 2/17 to beatBoby Zavala, Gran Guerrero and Último Guerrero,then teamed with Rey Bucanero on 2/20 to beatBárbaro Cavernario and Titán in the first round, LaSombra and Negro Casas in the quarterfinals, and La Máscara and El Mephisto in the semis, and thenwrapped up the weekend when he teamed withMístico and El Valiente on 2/22 to beat Ephesto,Euforia and El Mephisto. Though his success was in tags, there’s an argument that there’s a certain degree of difficulty to survive that many tags with so many partners.
3. Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon)-The NEW AIW Absolute Champion gets a very high ranking this week after a successful 3-1 weekend, highlighted by winning one of the most important titles on the indies vs. Ethan Page, Eddie Kingston, and Rickey Shane Page. He also secured a #1 contender spot in A1W by winning a 6 Man #1contendership match. While he didn’t quite have a flawless weekend, he still got a lot of support from the official voters who felt that his wins most certainly outweighed his one tag team loss. Much like partner, Ethan Page, we will see if he can continue to build on this success throughout 2015.
4. Uhaa Nation (@UhaaNation)-The “One Man Nation” drops slightly from last week despite going 2-0 at Dragon Gate to continue his recent success. One thing that may have hurt him this week was his lack of singles victories as he teamed twice with Akira Tozawa to win two tag team matches, but make no mistake, the PCW Champion has been as good as anyone as of late. If he truly is going to the WWE as reported, the indies will be missing one of the best. Need proof? On top of all of his other accomplishments, he was #7 in the 2014 IPR 100 proving that the big man has limitless potential.
5. Jimmy Havoc (@JimmyHavoc)-One of the best in the UK gets his highest ranking to date as he had another solid weekend to add to his recent success.Though he had 4 honorable mentions in 2014, he was never able to crack the Top 10. This year has been different as this is his second ranking after theProgress Champion and FPW Champion; teamed with Marty Scurll at WWL to beat 2Unlimited (Jay& Patrick Sammon) then beat Ryan Hendricks, Wild Boar, Josh Bodom, Owen Phoenix & Tiger Ali in a #1 contenders six-way match at RPW the same night to go 2-0 for the week. Once again, as with previous weeks, the UK is proving that their talent ranks right up there with talent across the world.
6. FUMA-We get some more representation from Japan as FUMA became the NEW UPW Max Champion at Union in Japan on 2/22 as he defeatedGoro Jr in the first round, Shuji Ishikawa in the semifinals and Isami Kodaka in the final to win the tournament and go 3-0 for the week. With 7 wins in his last 10 matches, he’s definitely showing that he could be a player in 2015 as we are heading into the end of the second month of the year. While Dragon Gate, AJPW, NOAH, and several others have stolen the attention, this week Union gets a little credit where it’s due.
7. Roderick Strong (@RoderickStrong)-Roderick Strong, despite his many years on the indies, is just now starting to become a title collector as he is the NEW FIP World Champion after defeating Trent ?for the vacant title in a No DQ Match over the weekend. He is also the PWG World Champion, meaning he holds two of the top independent wrestling titles in the United States. With as dominant as he has been throughout his career, it’s good to see him getting more success in 2015 as he is still at the top of his game.
8. Marty Scurll (@MartyScurll)-We get our second UK talent in the Top 10 this week as the RPW British Heavyweight Champion (and 1/2 of SWE Tag Team Champions) teamed with Jimmy Havoc at WWL on 2/22 to beat 2Unlimited (Jay & Patrick Sammon) and then defeated Doug Williams the same night to defend his title and go 2-0 on the weekend. With 5 straight victories, he’s been really picking up steam as 2015 is just getting going. One thing that did hurt him this week was that he was unable to secure any votes in the online voting competition, so perhaps fan support is one thing that might improve his ranking in the future.
9. Shane Mercer (@TheIronDemon)-If you have not seen Shane Mercer wrestle, you’re really missing out. He’s one of the strongest competitors in all of wrestling right now, not to mention his insane agility and high-flying repertoire. With a victory vs. Kaden Sade in a very well received match and a draw vs. Kongo Kong, Mercer gets enough support, plus a ton of fan support to crack the Top 10 this week. He has been toiling away all year for this chance and now that he’s in the Top 10, look out as he has been as good as anyone in recent weeks.
10. Adonis-For the first time, we have representation from the country of Georgia. No, not the state…the COUNTRY. He is the NEW APW Champion and APW Georgia Champion after he teamed with Amor on 2/19 to beat Vladamir Petrov & MikeyYolo, then won a money in the bank battle royal the same night, then beat Logan Stevens on 2/21 to retain his Georgia title, and then finally cashed in his money in the bank to beat Ironman the same night to go 4-0 for the week. Incredible success story overseas as once again, the Indy Power Rankings are truly international.
People’s Champ. Maxwell Chicago (@HenryMaxwellCHI)-One of the most entertaining “acts” on the indies gets a mention for the very first time in the Indy Power Rankings after he defeated Chasyn Rance for the FIP Florida Heritage Title and then won the online voting competition! Huge week for the lounge singer who also pro wrestles.
Honorable Mention. Mann Dozer- 1/2 of theSnakepit Tag Team Champios teamed with Joey Triton on 2/21 to beat Acid Haze & John E Radicto retain their titles, then defeated Dark Valentine atSnakepit on 2/22 in the first round, then beat Joey Triton in the semis the same day, then Matt Hayterin the final to win the Snakepit tournament and go 4-0 for the week. A snub? Perhaps, but it was very close this week.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Kyusei Sakura Hirota
Dragon Rojo Jr.
Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of February 16th, 2015
1. Monster Express (Uhaa Nation & Akira Tozawa)-Just absolutely incredible. Akira Tozawa now joins the likes of JT Dunn, Michael Elgin, & Yuji Okabayashi as the only singles wrestlers to reach the #1 spot in the Indy Power Rankings and the Tag Team Top 5 in the same week. It’s pure dominance as of late for Monster Express as they were #1 and #2 last week and then grab the #1 spot again this week (for the 3rd straight week). This tag team as part of a bigger stable teamed and defeated Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu and Jimmy Kanda) on 2/11, then defeated MAD BLANKEY (CIMA and Gamma) on 2/14, and then finally teamed with Shingo Takagi to beat Dia.HEARTS (BxB Hulk, Dragon Kid and Big R Shimizu) to go 3-0 for the week. With 6 straight wins as a team, the “Monster Express” stable is THE stable right now on the indies and they have taken full advantage of that in the Tag Team Top 5 as of late.
2. Dia.Hearts (BxB Hulk & Kzy)-Dragon Gate strikes again! After being ranked #2 and #4 earlier in the year, this tag team (as part of a bigger stable) pops up again in the Tag Team Top 5 as they defeated Millenials (U-T and Yosuke (loves) Santa Maria) on 2/10 at Dragon Gate, then teamed with Masaaki Mochizuki on 2/11 to beat MAD BLANKEY (YAMATO, Cyber Kong and Punch Tominaga), and then wrapped up the weekend when they defeated Jimmyz (Ryo “Jimmy” Saito and Jimmy Kanda) on 2/14 to go 3-0 for the week. With 7 straight wins as a team, this duo continues to prove that some of the best tag team wrestling in the world takes place at Dragon Gate in Japan.
3. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer @kelitesquad)-The former IWGP Tag Team Champions are the NEW GHC Tag Team Champions after they defeated TMDK on 2/11 to win the titles. These titles add to the already impressive collection of the NWA World Tag Team Titles that they currently hold. In any other week they would have had a solid shot at the #1 spot, but this week was so full of 3-0 and 2-0 weekends that it was VERY difficult to get into the Top 5, much less into the very top spot. If KES can continue to collect and defend titles, expect to see more of them in the Top 5.
4. Death Machines (“The Smashing Machine” Chris Vice & Jarrad Slate)-We get more Australian representation in the Tag Team Top 5 as this tag team defeated Sex Mafia (Jay Taylor & “The Don” Michael Morleone) on 2/13 at NHPW in Australia via DQ in the first round, then defeated Switchblade & The Warship on 2/14 in the semifinals and then Heroes of Future Past (Bodhi McKenzie & Liam Mendel) the same night to win the Headshrinker Samu Legacy Cup Tournament and go 3-0 for the week. As noted earlier, this week was full of 3-0 weeks from a lot of great teams and the international competition has been absolutely incredible lately.
5. The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter @BeardedBullys)-The #1 team in the 2014 Tag Team Top 50 have struggled slightly in 2015, but they’ve had some good moments as well. This past week was a very good week for them, but there was so much competition that they kind of got lost in the shuffle. That being said, the JCW and Zero1 Supreme USA Tag Team Champions defeated Nick Iggy & Uncle Dewey, Elements of Wrestling 2.0 and Viking War Party in a four-way lucha tag match at IWA Mid-South on 2/12, then teamed with DOC to beat Viking War Party and Roscoe Eats Lisa & Dustin Star in a three-way three-a-side match at SNPW to go 2-0 for the week. One question to ponder is if they would have been higher had Team IOU been a united front in the IWA Lucha Tag or would they have won that match at all? Hard to say, but that issue is most likely, a long way from settled. Because of the fans’ support, they grab the #5 after they tied with Metaleon & Negro Navarro in the official voting this week.
Honorable Mention. Metaleon & Negro Navarro-This Mexican tag team won the El Protector tournament at IWRG on 2/15 by beating Dragón Celestial and El Veneno in the quarterfinals, Electro Boy and X-Fly in the semifinals and then beating Anubis Black and Pirata Morgan in the final to go 3-0 for the week and literally, JUST missed out on the Tag Team Top 5.
People’s Champs. F1rst Generation (James Anthony @87JamesAnthony & Victor Andrews @Im_MrEverything)-This is their EIGHTH People’s Champ award (and 1st this year) as they won the online voting competition after defeating Zane Riley & Calibus Lloyd at PWF on 2/13 to retain the PWF United Tag Team Titles.
Just missing out/Others Receiving Votes:
New Wild Order
Tozawa & Shingo
Kasai & Takagi
Walk on the Wylde Side
Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of February 23rd, 2015
1. Wild Burning/Burning Wild (Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori)-The former #1’s did again this week as the AJPW Tag Team Champions defeated Akebono & Yoshinobu Kanemaru at AJPW on 2/16,then teamed with Keisuke Ishii on 2/17 to beat Evolution (Suwama, Joe Doering and Hikaru Sato),then defeated Evolution (Suwama and Joe Doering) on 2/20 to retain their titles and to go 3-0 for the week. Impressive week for a team who has been as good as anyone in 2015. They are currently battling for the top spot in the IPR Tag Team Top 50 for 2015. Of course, that can quickly change with 10 months to go, but they’re certainly off to a hot start this year.
2. Monster Express (Uhaa Nation & Akira Tozawa)-They were #1 last week, #2 the week before, and had an argument once again to be #1 for a second straight week. They are decisively #2 this week though as they defeated MAD BLANKEY (Cyber Kong and Don Fujii) at Dragon Gate on 2/16, then teamed with Shingo Takagi on 2/21 to defeat Dia.HEARTS (BxBHulk, Kzy and Big R Shimizu) to go 2-0 for the week. They have won 8 straight matches as a team and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Perhaps the only thing that can halt their momentum would be the much reported jump to WWE by UhaaNation. If/when that takes place, he will be missed in both the Indy Power Rankings and Tag Team Top 5.
3. Country Jacked (Corey Hollis & Adam Page)-One of the biggest wins of the weekend has to go to the PWX Tag Team Champions as they defeated both the Young Bucks and Worst Case Scenario to retain their titles on 2/22. With 4 straight wins under their belt, this tag team has been dominating PWX as of late. Now that both members of the tag team appear to be back and healthy again, look to see them more frequently in the Tag Team Top 5 as they apparently have some imminent challenges to throw out according to Brian Kanabroski on the 2/24 edition of The Carolina Corner on IPR Live (Click here for audio).
4. OI4K (Jake & Dave Crist)-They slide in right underneath Country Jacked after defeating The Young Bucks to retain the CZW World Tag Team Titles on 2/21. It was a hard week of voting, but you had to give the nod to Country Jacked slightly over OI4K for beating 2 teams, instead of one in a 3 Way. That being said, beating The Young Bucks in any form of match is not easy, but one of the best tag teams in the world did just that. With wins in 8 of their last 9 matches, this tag team is STILL a force to be reckoned with. If this really is Dave Crist’s last year in wrestling as he has made mention, he’s certainly going out with a bang.
5. The Forgotten (BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs)-The AIW Tag Team Champions find their way back into the Tag Team Top 5 after a bit of a hiatus after defeating The Batiri, The Beaver Boys, & Cheech & Colin Delaney to retain the titles on 2/20. They have now won 3 of their last 4 matches and with them now starting an alliance in IWA Mid-South (who runs weekly shows) this could lead to a lot more big rankings for one of the most seasoned tag teams in the world. Former ROH World Tag Team Champions, current AIW Tag Team Champions…what’s next?
Honorable Mention. Madman Pondo & Crazy Mary Dobson-This is as about as close as a team can get to missing out on the actual Tag Team Top 5, but unfortunately with all the heavy competition this week, Mary and Pondo just missed out after defeating The Hooligans for the JCW Tag Team Titles over the weekend. That being said, they work A LOT of shows, so we hope to see them make the rankings in the near future.
People’s Champs. Colin Brooks (@TheColinBrooks) & Adam Grace (@b_clark81)-It was close most of the day in the online voting competition but this tag team pulled away after winning the WPW Tag Team Titles vs. Team Meat on 2/21. With 60 votes, no one was even close to challenging them for the People’s Champs award this week, proving once again that a lot of wrestlers and teams in that Wisconsin area have morefan support than some might know.
Just missing out/Others Receiving Votes:
CUNTs (Kimber Lee & Annie Social)
Chris Abbott & Josh Gatt
Andrews & Kid Lykro
JC Rotten & Zodiak
KL Shock & Ray Steele
Mayberry & Sarge
Jason Cade & Aaron Solow
Sakura Hirota & Iida
Bucanero & Volador Jr.
And there you have it, the 10 of the most popular independent wrestling stars as well as the 5 most popular independent tag teams 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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