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 are cracking the Top 50. We’ll be joined by a few members of the Nerd/Out wrestling committee. As usual, we’ll introduce them when the time comes.
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady had an absolutely incredible year, but they never won the NXT Tag Team Championships (much to the chagrin of a lot of fans). Personally, it didn’t bother me. They never needed the gold. All they ever needed was a microphone.
The charisma these two men possess is absolutely off the charts. Combine that with Cassady’s ridiculously huge physical presence, and you’ve got yourself the 2015 NXT Tag Team of the Year (an award that was beyond well-deserved).
NOTE: The following video comes from the night after the qualifying period ended. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter because these guys were the most popular tag team of the hottest wrestling promotion in 2015. They more than earned their way onto the list. Plus, this is why they worked as hard as they did: all so they could make their way onto WWE programming.
The Briscoe Brothers
While they have reached varying levels of success as singles competitors, with Jay even capturing the ROH World Title, Jay and Mark Briscoe are never better than when they are a team. One of the best tag teams in the world, year in and year out, The Briscoes have continually elevated tag team wrestling since first lacing up their boots.
With a unique move set and bruising offensive style, these farm boys are a formidable opponent for any team who stands across from them. The fact that they were able to step away and forge themselves pretty successful singles careers speaks to their individual abilities, which is only matched when they tag together.
Dem Boys will always be stalwarts of the tag division.
Eccentric and oddball personalities are no strangers to the squared circle. However, few match the odd fashion, weird mannerisms, and smooth style that Alex Shelley exhibits in that ring. Shelley has stayed very relevant in the wrestling world since stomping on to the ROH scene with Generation Next back in 2003.
Since then, he has formed very successful tag teams with Chris Sabin as one half of the Motor City Machine Guns and with KUSHIDA as one half of the Time Splitters. He has captured numerous IWGP Jr. and TNA tag titles, and has an X-Division reign under his belt.
Alex’s style is out there no doubt, but very few will ever match the sheer ease with which his talents come to him.
For this special double entry, we take you back to Joey Finnegan:
Ciampa and Gargano are a rare example. We’ve written a lot of teams into one spot, but it felt weird for these guys. They burst onto the NXT scene together to take part in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and they left one hell of an impression on me and other fans who had never had the pleasure of seeing them wrestle. The physicality these two work at is crazy. They’re always firing on all cylinders.
However, they have very distinct identities. In fact, Ciampa has one of my favorite NXT matches from the qualifying period. He took on Samoa Joe on an episode of the weekly NXT show, and the two of them beat the hell out of each other.
If you look further into either Johnny Gargano or Tommaso Ciampa, you will not be disappointed. It’s all incredible work. There’s a reason Triple H brought them in. They’ve been tearing it up for years. So much so, that when it came out they were going to debut on NXT, Mark Out Entertainment: Online (this list’s sponsor) was flooded with posts from fans sharing their excitement.
Now, we’re here. Both men seem to have a bright future with the company, starting with the Global Cruiserweight Series, which will air starting on July 13th (other competitors include Zack Sabre Jr., Noam Dar, Ho Ho Lun, and Rich Swann).
NOTE: The first video is from before the qualifying period, but it was pinned to the top of Gargano’s Twitter account as the best representation of who he is.
For this entry, we take you back (yet again) to Joey Finnegan:
Becky Lynch caught the attention of countless fans on May 20th, 2015. It was the night of NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, and Becky wrestled Sasha Banks. I will never forget it. I was beyond hyped to see Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens get their rematch. Then, not long before it, rumors started to fly that Samoa Joe could show up. Word was that the WWE finally got him to sign. Nobody could be sure, but hype was high.
Then Becky and Sasha stole the show. They just came right out and stole it. Sami Zayn vs. KO was cool, and Samoa Joe showing up was great, but I couldn’t believe how good a match Becky had with The Boss. After it was over, the in-house crowd gave Becky a standing O for her performance. If you’ve never seen it, go back and watch that match.
Obviously, The Lasskicker would go on to cap off the qualifying period in a big way: she wrestled alongside Sasha and Charlotte in a Triple Threat at WrestleMania 32 for the newly unveiled WWE Women’s Championship.
For this entry, we take you back to Fre:
Kazarian and Daniels are two men who need no introduction to wrestling fans. Individually, they are two of the most talented wrestlers in the world, but together they make one of the most formidable and exciting tag teams in recent years. After their departure from TNA, the duo came in hot to Ring of Honor, dominating and eventually winning the ROH Tag Titles.
Since then, the team made an appearance at NJPW’s World Tag League and continued to execute excellently throughout the indies. If you’ve got an addictive personality, well, smoke crack. But the Addiction is pretty cool too.
For this entry, we take you to Scott Kolich (Nerdo regular):
Since being future endeavored by the WWE, Johnny Mundo (then known as John Morrison) has been giving it hell on the independent circuit. He found a home at Lucha Underground, where he shines as one of the top stars and main draws to the American fan. Plus the matches are incredible, as his athleticism fits perfectly in the high flying world of LU.
During the qualifying period, Mundo had a phenomenal All Night Long match (Iron Man) with Prince Puma. He also had great feuds with Cage and Alberto El Patron (Del Rio). In short, the past year was kind to Johnny and if it’s any indication, he is someone that people will be watching for years to come.
For this issue, we take you back (for the final time) to Joey Finnegan:
At one point in his career, Drew Galloway reached the top of the mountain. Well, not exactly the top, but he was referred to on television as Vince McMahon’s chosen one. He had the backing of the chairman himself. Then that fell apart. After that, the only thing I remember him doing in WWE is being a part of 3MB!
Eventually, Galloway (known in WWE as Drew McIntyre) was released. Much like Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne), Galloway had to start anew in other promotions. He worked hard, match after match. Then, on March 15th, 2016, he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Matt Hardy, thanks to the Feast or Fired briefcase he cashed in.
For the final entry of day six of The Nerd/Out Top 100 Wrestlers, we take you back to Jovanni Ibarra:
Adam Cole, BAY BAY. What more can be said about Adam Cole that hasn’t already been said? A pretty substantial injury couldn’t dull the bright light that is Adam Cole’s future. He is the second coming of the great Chris Jericho and was a member of the first Mount Rushmore of Wrestling with The Young Bucks and Kevin Steen.
There’s not much left for Cole to do (or many people to suck his dick) on the independent circuit. So the brighter pastures of NXT are a no-brainer at this point. Still incredibly young, Cole still has room for improvement and is only going to get better, and that’s scary BAY BAY!
That’s all for day six of our list. Numbers 40-31 will be published tomorrow. As always, feel free to question our choices in the comment section.
We’d love to hear from you!
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