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 March 9, 2015. Now, on with the countdown!
Indy Power Rankings for the Week of March 9th, 2015
#1 Tommy End (@TommyEnd)-After a great 2014 and not yet being ranked in 2015, he grabs his first #1 ranking, as for the 2nd year straight, the winner of the wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament grabs the #1 ranking following the tournament. The ICWA and FCP Champion defeated Chris Sabin at wXw in the first round of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament, then on 3/7 defeated Andrew Everett in the quarterfinals, then on 3/8 defeated Absolute Andy in the semifinals, and then finally beat Alex Dieter Jr in the final to go 4-0 for the week. Congratulations to Tommy End for winning the 16 K Gold Tournament AND on his first ever #1 ranking!
#2 John Wayne Murdoch (@johnmurdoch25)-He is the NEW CCW Hardcore Champion after defeating Jake Parnell for the vacant title. That same night, he teamed with Reed Bentley to once again defeat the former multiple time People’s Champs/#1’s in the Tag Team Top 5 in Team IOU. He also defeated Dewey Barnes on 3/6 at RTW, which made his record 3-0 for the week. Good weekend for “The Duke of Death Matches” as he prepares for IWA’s Lethal Lottery coming up on and then he’ll team with Reed Bentley to take on The Hooligans on 3/15 for the first time in 7+ years. Time will tell if the master of the Deep South Destroyer can build on this ranking after this week.
#3 AR Fox-He is the NEW DREAMWAVE Alternative Champion as he defeated his rival Shynron for the gold on 3/7. He followed that up with a much-heralded victory over Matt Cage in his debut at EVOLVE 38 on 3/8. A 2-0 weekend for one of the best talents on the U.S. indies gets him into the Top 10 for the first time this year after some struggles in 2014. 2013 was most definitely his year. Can he make 2015 his year like he did in 2013? We’ll have to wait and see, but he’s off to a pretty good start.
#4 Ilja Dragunov-Despite not getting support in the online voting competition, the NEW wXw Shotgun Champion defeated Bad Bones John Klinger on 3/7 in a Vladivostok Rules match to win the title in a HUGE upset. He then defeated Axel Tischer on 3/8 to retain the title and go 2-0 for the week. It was a great week for a guy who a lot of people are shocked to see in the Top 10 this week, but yet again, the Indy Power Rankings prove to be truly international. The win over Klinger was particularly strong as Klinger has been absolutely DOMINANT in Europe this year (and last year).
#5 Chase Owens (@nwachaseowens)-The former NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion jumps back into the Indy Power Rankings Top 10 in a big way after he defeated Corey Hollis at CW on 3/7, then beat Timmy Lou Rhetton on 3/8, and then finally beat Lou Marconi at CWS on 3/8 to go 3-0 on the weekend and win the CWS Legacy Title. Fantastic weekend for the #10 in the 2014 IPR 100. This is actually his first ranking in 2015, so he’ll need to pick up some more wins and perhaps some more titles to build on this and head back to the #1 spot which he visited several times in 2014.
#6 Kimber Lee (@Kimber_Lee90)-Although her success this week was strictly in tags, give her major props as she is ½ of the Tag Team Champions (with 2 different partners) in both WSU and SHINE after teaming with Cherry Bomb on 3/6 to beat Legendary to win the titles. She has won both of those sets of tag team titles over the last 3 weeks, becoming perhaps the only women on the indies to hold two different sets of tag team titles with 2 different partners. She also teamed with Jervis Cottonbelly at Chikara on 3/7 to beat The Colony (Fire Ant & Worker Ant), The Wrecking Crew (Flex Rumblecrunch & Jaka) and Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Jakob Hammermeier & Pinkie Sanchez) in a four-way elimination. It’s been a very good 2015 so far for unquestionably one of the best female wrestlers in the world and one of the best in the world, in general. She actually ended up losing an 8 man tag on 3/8 but the odds swung in her favor to sneak her in this week.
#7 Roderick Strong (@RoderickStrong)-The PWG and FIP World Champion continued that success as he defeated the EVOLVE Champion, Drew Galloway in a non-title Steel Cage Match on 3/8. 2015 has truly been a resurgence for a guy that has been one of the best in the world for YEARS on the indies. While he’s not now a TRIPLE Champion, he certainly has to be one of the top contenders to the EVOLVE title going forward. Can he add a third title to his collection this year? We shall see.
#8 Dominic Brackner-Germany produced a lot of great talent this week in the Top 10 and Dominic Brackner was no exception as he received his first spot in the Top 10. He defeated Eric Schwarz in the first round of the wXw Ambition Tournament, then defeated Axel Tischer in the semifinals the same night and then defeated Jon Ryan in the final to win the tournament and go 3-0 for the week. With three wins and a tournament victory this past week, there was little doubt that he would make the Top 10. Now that he has cracked the Top 10, he has a chance to really build on it going forward.
#9 Kai-The Wrestle-1 Champion teamed with Andy Wu, Hiroshi Yamato & Ryota Hama on 3/7 to defeat Desperado (El Hijo del Pantera, Koji Doi, Masayuki Kono & TAJIRI) and then defeated Keiji Mutoh on 3/8 to win the title. Big week for Kai as he picks up one of the top titles in Japan AND cracks the Top 10 for the very first time. 2015 has proven that Japan and the talent there are major players in the Indy Power Rankings, whether it be in the Top 10 or Tag Team Top 5.
#10 Axel Dieter Jr.-The wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament runner-up cracks the Top 10 with a 3-2 record and becomes one of the few with that type of record to actually get into the Top 10 on the same week. It speaks to the prestige of the 16 K Tournament that the runner-up in the tournament actually got ranked, but look at who he beat and you’ll understand why that is. The Great Bear Champion and 1/2 of EWP Tag Team Champs defeated Timmothy Thatcher at wXw in the first round of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament, then lost to Axel Tischer by DQ on 3/7 in the first round of the Ambition Tournament, then defeated Marty Scurll in the quarterfinals of the 16 Carat Gold Cup, then defeated Zack Sabre Jr on 3/8 in the semifinals of the cup, and then lost in the final to Tommy End to go 3-2 for the week
People’s Champ. Delilah Hayden (@Delilah_Hayden)-The online voting competition was an absolute WAR this past week as Delilah Hayden narrowly defeated Luxford 187 votes to 181 to win the competition after she became the NEW WAW Champion when she defeated Barry Ace, Buck DeRais, Thomas Andrews, Paul Clement, Freddy Fog, Nachos, Tacos, Hex, Nagasaki in a battle royal on 3/7; then defeated “The Boricua Brawler” Andres Reyes, Kevin Gyles and Derrick Conway the same night to win the title and go 2-0 for the week. We hope to see much, much more from her as the year moves along.
Honorable Mention. Ken’ichiro Arai-1/2 of NEW King of Freedoms Tag Team Champions; teamed with GENTARO on 3/5 at Freedoms to win the title, then teamed with Shachihoko BOY at Dragon Gate on 3/6 to beat Super Shisa and “Hollywood” Stalker Ichikawa;, then teamed with PSYCHO and Mushuku no “Sekiko” at Heat Up on 3/7 to beat Kazuhiro Tamura, Amigo Suzuki and Shoichi Uchida to go 3-0 for the week.
Others missing out/receiving votes:
Luxford-#2 in the online voting competition with 181 votes
Pyro-#3 in the online voting competition with 98 votes
Brandon Aarons-#4 in the online voting competition with 66 votes
Tylor Sundae-#5 in the online voting competition with 33 votes
Jason Peter Rose
Damian el Terrible
Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of March 9th, 2015
#1 Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)-Perhaps the best tag team in the world gets their first #1 ranking of 2015. Granted, they did win the IWGP Junior Tag Titles not long ago, but keep in mind New Japan (and ROH for that matter) is no longer considered as an independent wrestling promotion by the Indy Power Rankings. That being said, the Young Bucks pressed on by defeating Austin Aries & Bobby Roode at HOH on 3/7 and then defeated Team 3-D for the 2CW Tag Team Titles on 3/8. They now hold the 2CW, IWGP Junior, and IWL Tag Team Titles (among others). It’s good to see one of the very best tag teams going today in the #1 spot. Can they continue to grab high rankings? Time will tell. It should also be noted that they lost a tag team match at NEW on 3/6 to Alberto El Patron & Matt Hardy which the IPR crew did not find out until later, so that may have had an effect on their ranking had they known sooner.
#2 Kimber Bombs (Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb)-Kimber Lee came on the Tag Team Top 5 Reveal last week and talked about what it would mean to win her second set of tag team titles with a different partner. On 3/6 she did that as she teamed with Cherry Bomb to defeat Legendary for the SHINE Tag Team Titles. Kimber Lee now holds both the WSU & SHINE Tag Team Titles. Unlike when she won the WSU Tag Team Titles, her tag team does NOT get snubbed this week as the Kimber Bombs garner a very high ranking after knocking off a solid tag team for the gold. They’re in good company this week and it looks like they’re just getting started in showing everyone just how good they are as a team.
#3 Dia.HEARTS (BxB Hulk & Dragon Kid)-Dragon Gate comes back again strong this week as one of the promotion’s top teams comes in after they defeated Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu & Jimmy Kagetora) on 3/5, then teamed with Masaaki Mochizuki on 3/7 to beat MAD BLANKEY (Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong and Mondai Ryu) and then teamed with Kzy and Big R Shimizu to beat Monster Express (Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi and Shachihoko BOY) in an elimination match to go 3-0 for the week. As predicted, it may be the fact that this team is not teaming outside of Dragon Gate that kept them from achieving a higher ranking this week…or perhaps it’s their lack of gold. Let’s see how the rest of the year pans out for this crop of Dragon Gate talent.
#4 Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry)-This tag team teamed with Tony Nese at HOH on 3/7 to beat Ben Ortiz, Hale Collins & Vik Dalishus, then defeated Earl Cooter & Jody Kristofferson at EVOLVE on 3/8 to go 2-0 for the week. After really turning a corner last year, they are starting to find their groove as a team all over the East Coast. This is a tag team that may not be right on the tip of people’s tongues as one of the best in the U.S. YET, but given time and a little exposure, expect to see their star continue to grow throughout 2015.
#5 TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls)-The former GHC Tag Team Champions teamed with Jonah Rock to defeat Takashi Sugiura, Akitoshi Saito & Quiet Storm at NOAH on 3/7 and then defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima and Yoshinari Ogawa on 3/8 to go 2-0 for the week. With three straight wins, this international tag team is really starting to get back into the swing of things with a nice win streak and yet another ranking as they have been relevant for all of 2015 so far. Expect to see a lot more of them as the year moves on, possibly continuing to push them very high in the Tag Team Top 50 for 2015.
People’s Champs. Team IOU @TeamIOU (Kerry Awful @KerryAwful & Nick Iggy @IggyNJ210)-Despite their loss to The Tryout Show Rejects at CCW over the weekend, they did pick up a win over Steven Carnage & Super Destroyer on 3/6 at SWF to get themselves back into the online voting competition. After setting the record last year for most wins in the online vote, they get their first in 2015 with 75 votes collected to once again become “People’s Champs” this week.
Just missing out/Others Receiving Votes:
Tank Nagai & Yuki Sato
Tryout Show Rejects
Keegan Brettle & Randal
Faces of Fear
Tons of Pain
Kartik & Graham Hughes
Dementors of Chaos
Viking War Party
Worst Case Scenario
Spike & Stan Corey
Maximo & el Terrible
Jeremiah & Nate Wings
Jervis & Kimber Lee
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. And don’t forget to check out their shirts at http://prowrestlingtees.com/indypower.
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