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.
Today we will be joined by a few members of the Nerd/Out wrestling committee. As usual, we’ll introduce them when the time comes.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started:
“Speedball” Mike Bailey
“Speedball” Mike Bailey is very fast. Very, VERY fast – in case the “Speedball” nickname didn’t already make that clear. He is also trained in Taekwondo, which means he is a fast martial artist who would have laid at least 15 kicks on you before you realize what hit you. He’s a striker who’s not afraid to get down and dirty on the mat or take up residence at the high rent district.
Speedball is an incredibly fun athlete to watch, and what he lacks in size (he’s 5’8), he more than makes up for in sheer quickness. He may not outmuscle you, but he sure as hell will out last you.
For this entry, we take you to Carlos Rivero (one of the stars of Tiger Driver ’91):
Drew Gulak has been a staple of the East Coast professional wrestling scene since he first appeared in Combat Zone Wrestling many moons ago. In the last year, he’s had some of the best most hard-hitting matches on the block. His match with Timothy Thatcher in PWG was a complete change of pace from what that crowd is used to, but two of the best WRESTLERS gave that room one of the best bouts they’d see that night.
Whether it’s solo, with the Gentleman’s Club, or the Amazing Gulaks, Drew Gulak is always entertaining.
For this entry, we take you back to Carlos Rivero:
From the moment he stepped out on the ramp at Ring of Honor, the buzz behind Dalton Castle has yet to stop. With a unique character, insane amounts of charisma, and undeniable athletic ability, Dalton Castle and his boys have captured the hearts of independent wrestling fans worldwide. He recently debuted in PWG and NJPW, and the momentum just won’t stop. Look into his eyes. Fall in love. Dream of being one of his boys.
Chris Hero was at one point signed to NXT as Kassius Ohno, but like so many, found higher levels of success outside of WWE. His return to the independent circuit has produced some of the hottest fire ever seen in a ring.
On June 7th 2015, Hero wrestled for over 3 hours all to benefit ALS Canada. I’ve personally seen him fight amazing battles against opponents of varied styles, such as Matt Tremont and John Gresham. In the year between WM31 and WM32 (as well as beyond that time frame), he has proven CHRIS HERO AIN’T NOTHING TO FUCK WITH!!
For this entry, we take you back to Jovanni Ibarra:
People often use the phrase, “the sky’s the limit” when referring to the immense talent an individual possesses. And while that is a more than suitable phrase for most young stars on this list, it doesn’t apply to ACH, because, well, he’ll just jump up and touch it. ACH is one of the best, most innovative high-flyers in the business. He can connect with any move from his innovative offensive style that will make your jaw drop.
Every ACH match you see, he will defy physics at least once and leave you reeling. He burst onto the scene way back in 2006 and hasn’t slowed down a bit, as he just signed a lengthy contract with ROH. Prepare to be wowed.
For this entry, we take you to Scott Kolich (committee member and Nerdo regular):
At 22 years old (at the time of this publishing), Will Ospreay may be the youngest guy with the most upside. This past year he holds victories over Roderick Strong and ZSJ in the same weekend. He wrestled AJ Styles and Okada, as well. Recently signed with NJPW, “The Aerial Assassin” has already done big things and will only continue to grow now that he is out of TNA.
Plus he’s entertaining AF. In the following video, Ospreay tangles with Marty Scurll (the match starts at around the 9:45 mark).
While other cavemen are wasting their time trying to create the wheel and make fire, the Carolina Caveman Trevor Lee has been dominating the world of professional wrestling in the last year. Aside from constantly showcasing amazing in-ring ability at such a young age, Lee has had countless standout matches including a brutal Guerilla Warfare match teaming with Andrew Everett to take on the Young Bucks and Super Dragon.
Lee and Everett also successfully captured the PWG Tag Titles that year. If that wasn’t enough, Lee has already hit the national platform, winning the TNA Tag Titles with Brian Meyers and is the current X-Division champion. If you see in caves in North Carolina, pray there’s a wrestling ring with Trevor Lee tearing it up inside.
Emma has spent the majority of our qualifying period trying to shed the image that was created through her original run on the main roster. The dancing and overall positive attitude that worked down in NXT, quickly served to make her a joke in WWE. So, she was sent back down to figure things out. That’s when we started to get evil Emma.
It began as she tried to prove to Bayley that being nice would get her nowhere. Bayley disagreed and tried to stand up for herself. Emma wasn’t having it, however, and responded by slapping her happy-go-lucky rival across the face. This cemented her as a villain. Not long after that, she joined forces with Dana Brooke, which has done nothing but good for both of them. They have a solid chemistry.
Emma’s year was then topped off by another main roster call-up, leading to her inclusion in the 10 Women Tag Team match at WrestleMania 32.
For this entry, we take you back to Fre:
Candice LeRae has built a reputation as being tough as nails since her debut back in 2002. Since then, Candice has found tons of success on the independent circuit, having a phenomenal showing at the Battle of Los Angeles, great singles and tag bouts in CZW, and most notably, capturing the PWG Tag Team Titles with Joey Ryan as one half of the World’s Cutest Tag Team.
In the last year, she’s kept her reputation solid holding it down in PWG and being honored enough to travel to NOAH with Joey Ryan for a tour. If you want to talk about a women’s wrestling revolution, Candice LeRae is essential to the conversation.
For the final entry in today’s installment of The Nerd/Out Top 100 Wrestlers, we take you back to Joey Finnegan:
The Undertaker prompted a surprising amount of debate amongst our committee. Most actually turned him down when he was first brought up, but he made it in after another vote. I was certainly caught off guard by this. I assumed he would get the vote, based off being The Undertaker alone. I get it, though. He was in and out this year. He showed up to wrestle Brock Lesnar a couple times, teamed up with Kane to take on The Wyatt Family at Survivor Series, and then he went toe to toe with Shane McMahon inside the Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania 32.
Most of those matches were pretty dope (except that waste of time at Survivor Series). The best thing to come out of all them, however, was a segment on Monday Night Raw. It was leading into SummerSlam and a huge brawl broke out between Brock and Taker. No matter how many superstars came out to get things under control, they kept going. That was when Brock yelled, “I’ll kill you,” and The Dead Man responded with the oh, so gangster, “You’re gonna have to!”
They tried to recreate this with Triple H and Roman Reigns on the last Raw before ‘Mania, but it didn’t even come close.
That’s all for day four of our list. Numbers 60-51 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 90-81
Click HERE for numbers 80-71
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: Courtesy of WWE.com.