Welcome back to The Nerd/Out Top 100 Wrestlers of the year. In case you didn’t see the first installment of this list, allow us to explain what’s going on. Together with Mark Out Entertainment, we here at Nerdopotamus have formed a wrestling committee. Their goal was to put together a list of the best wrestlers in the world. The qualifying period was from final bell of WrestleMania 31 to final bell of WrestleMania 32.
Anything that came before or after is irrelevant, and did not factor into the decision-making process.
Yesterday, Joey Finnegan handled the lion’s share of the writing (with some help). Today, it’s a mixed bag, as more committee members than just Joey will be necessary to cover some of the choices for numbers 90-81. Okay, all caught up? Good.
Let’s get into it.
For the first installment of this series, we kicked things off with a wrestler named Fuego. This time, we are beginning not with a man named Fuego, but with a man who produces fuego. I’ve only seen Cedric Alexander wrestle a handful of times, and they were all within the last year. They were enough to tell me that he belongs on this list. He has a very natural talent and athleticism.
Plus, he’s only 26. He has plenty of time to get even better. One can only guess where this guy will be in a few years. For now, we might as well enjoy this absolutely brutal spot from the summer of 2015.
For those wondering, yes, Candice is still alive, and yes, she is on this list (you’ll have to stay tuned to find out where she placed).
These former King of Trios are a staple of Chikara, but they’re not limited to it. They’re too entertaining to be contained to one promotion. Plus, it’s such a novel concept that when they venture outside of their home promotion and put on a solid match (like they usually do), all it does is reflect beautifully on Chikara.
Right now, you may be thinking, “Bo Dallas? Really?”
To that, I simply say yes. Think about it. What was Bo Dallas doing the night after WrestleMania 31? He was interrupting Sting and getting time with a legend. Then he got a PPV match with Adrian Neville at Elimination Chamber 2015. Sometime later, he got destroyed by Brock Lesnar. In short, love him or hate him, Bo had a pretty solid year. He was all over the WWE product.
Then he joined the Social Outcasts and things got real. So real, in fact, that Bo had to become Bo Rida to properly serve Flo Rida in a rap battle.
Pinkie Sanchez spent the last year reminding the wrestling world that he isn’t going anywhere and hasn’t slowed down a bit. He can do it all: wrestle, fly, brawl, dance. The dark prince of pazuzu does it for the children, and always entertains. He’s a personal friend of the Tiger Driver ’91 podcast, and he deserves all your love and respect.
Jay White is one of a handful of standout young boys in the New Japan that has an incredibly bright future in front of him. Already owning 6 submission victories over fellow young boy and #98 on the list, Dave Finlay Jr; White more recently competed against IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kenny Omega and had a breakout performance. I predict by the end of 2016, more people will know of this New Zealand upstart.
A near 300-pounder with the agility of a cheetah, Willie Mack is a unique combination of speed and power. He’ll decapitate you with a clothesline before he hits you with a standing shooting star press. The Mack is for real, y’all.
Son of Havoc
When I first saw this guy, it was on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s season of “Tough Enough.” He was eliminated early for not stepping up to the plate, despite being one of the more talented in-ring workers of the bunch. He was a harsh reminder that even incredible physicality can’t get you everywhere in the wrestling world. You need to have a personality, or a gimmick.
So, years later, I’m watching Lucha Underground and for some reason, Son of Havoc catches my interest enough to send me looking into his background. Lo and behold, I find out he’s the same guy: Matt Capiccioni (AKA Matt Cross, AKA M-Dogg 20). That blew my mind.
He found his gimmick, and now he’s crushing it. Good for him.
There isn’t much to put into this space. King Cuerno wrestles in Mexico for the AAA promotion under the name and mask of El Hijo del Fantasma. His real name is not known to the public, as is often the case with masked wrestlers in Mexico where their private lives are kept a secret from the wrestling fans. Basically, all you need to know about the man is what he leaves in the middle of the ring.
Sans breaking Kevin Owens’ nose in his debut match on NXT, the former CJ Parker failed to find much success as a tree hugging hippie in the WWE. Since requesting his release, however, the renewed and reinvigorated Juice Robinson has made a splash in Japan, working as one of the top young lions for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Recently, Juice had a great showing against former NOAH and AJPW Jr. Heavyweight Champion, Katsuhiko Nakajima, and has been regularly tagging up with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin in several multiman matches, including a title shot against the NEVER Openweight 6-man champs, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
Ivelisse tops today’s list based on toughness alone. When it came time to place her, she started lower, and the committee chose to bump her up. Lucha Underground is filled with male on female wrestling, but Ivelisse goes hard AF.
In the first season, she won the Trios Tournament and Championship (along with Son of Havoc and Angelico). At one point, she suffered a legitimate foot injury and kept wrestling. Go back to season one. You’ll see her getting around on crutches towards the end of it. That’s real.
Then, in the second season premiere, Ivelisse defeated her two partners in a Triple Threat match, earning her a chance at the Lucha Underground Championship. Unfortunately for her, that title was in the possession of Mil Muertes. As expected, she was unable to win the title from the terrifying Muertes, but she sure put in one hell of a performance.
That’s all for day two of our list. Numbers 80-71 will be published tomorrow. Feel free to question our choices in the comment section.
We’d love to hear from you!
Click HERE for numbers 100-91
Click HERE for numbers 80-71
Click HERE for numbers 70-61
Click HERE for numbers 60-51
Click HERE for numbers 50-41
Click HERE for numbers 40-31
Click HERE for numbers 30-21
Click HERE for numbers 20-1
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: wrestledelphia.com.