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.
NOTE: This installment is a day late. All apologies. Three members of the Nerd/Out wrestling committee were otherwise engaged at the filming of the 100th episode of the CBFU Podcast.
At the age of 21, Lio Rush has already made quite the impact on the world of professional wrestling. A former tag team championship partner of Tough Enough and NXT’s Patrick Clark, Rush has found a measure of success on his own. He’s already a two-time and current CZW Wired Champion, as well as winning the 2016 ROH Top Prospect Tournament.
His victory made history, as he was the first to cash in his victory for a championship match against ROH Champion Jay Lethal. Rush also just signed with ROH to a two-year contract.
Regardless of where he’s performing, people are definitely feeling the rush!
Heath Slater and the #SocialOutcasts
I hate to single any one of these guys out, but this isn’t the first time. Bo Dallas is already on the list on his own, mostly thanks to the amount of time he was on WWE programming this year, including segments with Sting and Brock Lesnar (even though he took a beating from both). The thing is, as strong as these guys are together, they absolutely wouldn’t work without a good leader, and that’s Heath Slater. He managed to get himself over on social media, despite having a pretty terrible year.
Example: they let him come out a few weeks in a row to accept John Cena’s United States Open Challenge, only to be thwarted in one way or another. He even got chumped out by miserable ol’ Bret Hart and a microphone. The logical assumption for most fans was that they were going for something akin to the Jericho v. Goldberg angle from WCW, but no. They weren’t going for anything. Nothing came of it at all.
Fast forward to December, 2015, and we get the following interview. Now, they all have TV time every week, their own WWE.com show, etcetera. With Heath at the helm, it seems like things are only going to get better for the #SocialOutcasts.
“Bulldozer” Matt Tremont is the current CZW champ and a man that’s blown up on the independent scene. Yeah, he’s been in some of the most violent matches of the last year, but each of them tells a story. Much like a Cactus Jack or Tommy Dreamer, Tremont is a skilled brawler that knows how to tell a story and make the big moments mean something.
Aside from that, one of the most impressive things about Tremont are his promos. He makes you believe every word he says. You can sense his passion for his craft, and it’s hard not to root for a guy that was once just a fan like the rest of us.
For those interested, you can catch Tremont live in Wallington, NJ at the Pro Wrestling Magic One Year Anniversary Super Show on April 23rd, 2016.
For this entry, we take you to Scott Kolich (committee member and Nerdo regular):
As part of The Lucha Dragons tag team, Kalisto had the signature spot of the year, hitting Salida Del Sol off a ladder during a tag team TLC. When Sin Cara was hurt, Kalisto took to going at it alone and put himself in position to win the United States Championship. The fans, especially young ones, love this dude and he’s one a hell of a luchador – always entertaining AF.
In a world filled with Jiujutsu jackoffs and heavy MMA influence, reDRagon manages to find a comfortable and entertaining balance between strong style, submission, and grappling. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly have pounded their way to success, earning several ROH Tag Titles, and more recently, reigning as IWGP Jr. Tag champs.
No doubt this team will continue to put the rest of the year in a beast choker until the bitch taps.
For this entry, we take you back to Joey Finnegan:
Joey Ryan doesn’t need us to explain why this was a great year for him. First off, look at that picture. He got the YouPorn Plex over on a huge scale. That was one of the biggest viral videos of the year. Millions have now seen him flip somebody over with his dick.
Ever since then, he’s been all over the place. Countless websites cover his penis-related antics, as well as his romantic side (he proposed to his girlfriend during a match – it was delightful and COVERED BY EVERY WEBSITE EVER).
To say Joey Ryan blew up this year would be an understatement, and it’s all thanks to his dong.
For this entry, we take you back to Jerry Mascolo:
In a time where everyone is looking forward, two man dared to look back. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, The Revival, don’t rely on flashy moves or over the top gimmicks; they’ve brought back the old school, smash-mouth style of wrestling popularized by teams such as The Minnesota Wrecking Crew and The BrainBusters.
The Revival hasn’t been afraid to take it back to basics and perfectly execute classic heel tactics like cutting the ring in half. The team seemingly came out of nowhere and didn’t take long to unseat The VaudeVillains from the NXT Tag Team throne.
For this entry, we take you back to Carlos Rivero:
The “War King” Eddie Kingston truly is the last of a dying breed. The Gen 1 Chikara veteran has forged a path of destruction, doing things his way, in every promotion he’s been in. He can do it all, but primarily is not the kind of man you wanna trade blows with. The first Grand Champion of Chikara has been involved in some of the best feuds the promotion has ever had.
Not to mention, Eddie Kingston and Chris Hero took part in one of the most legendary blood feuds the sport of professional wrestling had ever seen, erupting across every major independent wrestling promotion in the United States. Eddie Kingston rules. Watch him beat the shit out of Shane Storm or Tim Donst. Trust me, it never gets old.
For this entry, we take you back to Fre:
Reinventing yourself is commonplace in the wrestling world; some find great success, others are incapable of recapturing the fire they once possessed. That said, ever since becoming “reborn,” Sydal has upped his game in both physical appearance, attitude, and in-ring performance.
It’s more than worth mentioning that Sydal has soared to success in promotions like ROH and Dragon Gate before finding international fame with the WWE (including capturing some tag team gold with Kofi). But since bouncing back from an injury and his WWE release, wrestling has treated this aerial artist very well, having standout matches in PWG and NJPW, winning the Super Jr. Tag Team Tournament with Ricochet and successfully capturing the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles with him as well. If you see a shooting star tonight, be damn sure it’s gonna press the shit out of someone.
It’s the “cool” thing to do to hate on the Bella twins and I can’t blame people who do. They did themselves no favors by just coasting on their looks for years – but could you blame them? The women’s, or as WWE would call it, “divas” division was a very weak (and that’s putting it mildly).
It consisted mostly of swimsuit models parading around as nothing more than eye candy. Then something funny happened on the way to the #DivasRevolution – Nikki Bella became a legitimate wrestler. And a damned good one. Nikkie Bella worked her ASS off to improve and she did so by leaps and bounds.
She became a powerhouse that had some phenomenal matches. She also became the longest reigning Diva’s Champion.
While Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks have so much to do with the legitimizing of the revamped women’s division, it would be incredibly unfair to not mention Nikki Bella as one of the many reasons why those women and the #DivasRevolution are now legitimate.
That’s all for day five of our list. We’re cracking the Top 50 on Monday, April 11th, so keep an eye out for numbers 50-41. As always, 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 70-61
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.