Best of…. British Wrestlers 2016

So its been a busy year with me and my mum going to see helluva load of PWA and Pro Wrestling Pride shows as well as the odd LEP and CPW show too (and half a Chaos show…)

Out of everyone we’ve seen this year who has made the biggest impact?

10. CHUCK CYRUS

Mr Massive Chucky C has been one of the most entertaining guys I’ve seen all year. His TOO MASSIVE personality and appearance gives him a instant reaction from the fans but what makes us want to see him again and again is just how great he is in the ring. He had a great debut at PWA and a few top notch matches against the then Pride champion Eddie Ryan that just blew us away.

My favourite match this year of his is probably the championship match against Eddie Ryan in Tavistock which was a great clash between the two and set up for a re-match in Exeter which was just as good. All his matches are amazing and its great seeing him because you’ll never believe he can do half of what he does and make it look so good, the guy is massive but he can effortlessly manoeuvre in the ring like any of the small guys regardless of how massive he is.

Love his reaction to the crowds, funniest was in PWA when he high-fived Brogan twice and then Brogan started a teletubbies chant and he just looked so exasperated. It was hilarious. It is made better every time by meeting him after the shows, he’s such a lovely guy and has time for all his fans. Spent forever looking through his box of t-shirts for the right sizes and colours for me, he didn’t have to either! I would have settled with a pink t-shirt. Guy is top class.

9. MAXIMO JR

Strangely Maximo Jr is one of those guys that you can see wrestle for the first time and its like you’ve always been watching him. Like I saw him for the first time and by the end of the match it was like I’d seen him wrestle hundreds of times before then. He’s one of the guys I’m looking forward to seeing much more of and know there is a lot more to come from him.

Favourite match? Loved his win in the MitB match at LEP. So happy that he won it too, not so happy he beat the King for the title when I couldn’t see it but happy I at least got to see the MitB win.

Like most smaller guys he’s pretty easy to get behind. He’s extremely fun to watch in the ring and gets the crowd behind him, easy to be swept away in the noise and cheer him on. A lot of talent in the ring and lots of guys I’d like to see him up against.

8. BLAKE HARRISON

I had to make a list of names off the top of my head to make this list. It had roughly 30 names on it and Blake Harrison was right near the top of this list so when trying to find a top 10 it made me realise what a impact the guy has made on me this year. Thing is I think I’ve only seen him about 3 or 4 times and one of those times he spent more time gobbing off then he did in the ring but he’s just been so impressive whether its been on the mic or in the ring that he ended up in my top 10.

Harrison’s match against Mad Dog in Bodmin was actually the only match I actually saw of his I think but it was extremely impressive, the ending sequence that finished with a RKO to Harrison was simply beautiful but that whole match was just great.

Honestly think Harrison could be big in a few years. He already makes such a impact every time you see him and all he needs is more experience and time and I think he’s going to be one of the leading guys down here. I know he’s got a new thing going on as the Renegade which I’m dying to see, unfortunately the last LEP show I could go to clashed with Pride, but its a good step for him from being a generic loud mouth to something else that he can make his own. He doesn’t lack in in-ring talent but wherever he might lack there he makes up for with his charisma.

7. EDDIE RYAN

This guy is still one of the greatest wrestlers I’ve ever seen. A great year for him with amazing matches, a championship run and ending the year with a great tag team match with James Storm. Ryan is honestly probably one of the best things to ever come out of Plymouth and he makes his fans proud wherever he goes.

Hard not to say that his best match was his TNA Championship match, yes he had a TNA Championship match, against Drew Galloway in April. Guy honestly kicked ass and when we all thought he’d won the championship we went crazy. He stood toe-to-toe with Galloway and kicked his ass in his home town. That is just one of the many great matches though, his final match to win the Pride title against Big Grizzly as well as his match against Chris Andrews were two amazing matches as well. Pride have really put him up against some extremely tough opponents all year and he continues to knock these obstacles down.

Ryan is a pure talent and the guy proves himself every time he steps into the ring. Hoping big things happen for him next year as he deserves it. My niece also thinks he’s a superhero, he thinks he’s the goodest person ever (her words) and really won’t hear a bad word against him.

6. VINCENT “MAD DOG” ANDREWS

Since seeing him in LEP Mad Dog has been the guy to watch in the back part of 2016. It made me very sad I couldn’t see his well deserved debut for Pro Wrestling Pride as this kid has all the talent in the world. Really think he’s going to shine in 2017.

Loved his match against Blake Harrison in Bodmin. I said above that the end sequence of their match was a thing of beauty and its something you get used to whilst watching him in the ring. The guy is always in the right place and his matches are mesmerising. He left Rich speechless and anyone who knows Rich knows that he hardly ever shuts up at a wrestling show.

He walks around like he owns the company he is wrestling for and in a way he does. From the second he walks out he owns the crowd and the more you see of him the more you’ll realise just how special his talent is. The guy is only gonna get better with experience, I’d like to see him at different shows next year and gaining the experience because this time next year he could be on fire. One of the most exciting talents down here by far.

5. SCOTTY ESSEX/WAINWRIGHT

Everyone knows how much I love Scotty and I’m so super sad that Scotty doesn’t come down this way often anymore, I tried to go see Big League Wrestling but ended up stuck on a train that never got past Newton Abbot. So happy to see his career has exploded though with him all over the place and in companies like WCPW which have huge spotlights on them. The world is about to know what we’ve known for a long while now.

Another guy who it is hard to find a favourite match from the year. He had some great ones at Pride but I have to say my favourite was probably the last one he was in. He was still hurting from a injury but it was a great match against Ultimo Tiger and Josh Knott. He held the Catch Division Championship for a good handful of months and was a great champion.

Really miss Scotty, gonna start collecting DVDs from other companies to see how he gets on. Shame we didn’t get to see the new improved version of him down here, as much as I loved Scotty Essex what he’s doing now with guys like Paul Robinson looks fantastic and he’s obviously taken it up a step, hopefully will be able to go see him someplace next year as he’s always worth watching.

Have to thank him though, he is one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet and I got a good 100 selfies with him at the beginning of the year. Always a gentleman and always has time for his fans. I miss taking 100 photos with him all the time!

4. KELLY SIXX

Blew us away in March when we first saw him at Pride’s Prizefighters event and hasn’t stopped since. One of the most amazing guys you will honestly see perform in the ring its always great to see him.

I think seeing him win the Catch Division Trophy was the highlight of the year for me, he’s had a lot of great matches and it was a bit of a slow burn and its nice that he was able to win the trophy by the end of the year. The match was one of the best too, a TLC match against Ultimo Tiger and Josh Knott. Great moment and he’s bound to be a great champion.

If you see a show with this guy advertised you wanna go see him because he’s amazing. He always puts on a show and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet afterwards too. His matches are more then often one of the best of the night and the whole Kelly Sixx persona is just fun. That guy is just fantastic.

3. TYLER HAWKE

Tyler is honestly one of the good guys. He’s had a great 2016 with a title run for PWA and a spectacular reaction from the crowd when he returned to Pride. Sometimes I feel the only person who doesn’t realise how special he is is himself, which is something I can understand, but I wish he knew just how much he means to his fans. Every time he shows up he brings his all to his wrestling and his absolute love for it shows and its infectious.

Obviously his title win in April is one of the best moments of the last year let alone matches. It was kind of a match in two bits as Jason King got himself involved and the match had to be restarted. His match to get there against Josh Knott was a great one too and he’s been a absolutely brilliant champion all year long. I still can’t believe it was last November that he had that amazing match against Danny Walsh because its still stuck in my head and I loved it so much.

People would have actually possibly rioted if he hadn’t won in Paignton at the Pride show. People got upset when others acted like Tyler wasn’t good enough. Fans love him and they love him because he’s seriously talented, extremely fun to watch and a guy that you can get behind. He turned his back on his naughty ways with Calum Caine and since then has been a bit of a underdog with injuries and being the smaller person but like all underdogs he never gives up and fans can get behind that. The guy doesn’t realise how talented he is.

2. JASON KING && GRAYSON REEVES

I just couldn’t put one over the other. The King and Reeves have been on fire most of the year and any time I tried to rank one over the other I found a million reasons why the other couldn’t be ranked behind.

We’ll start with the King. I’ve always like him since the first time I saw him, guy is honestly just lovely. Even when he’s being his usual annoying self you just love to boo him. He makes a impression from the second he walks out, makes you laugh and then wows you in the ring with so much talent. Guy spent most of the year as LEP Academy champion, holding the belt for over a year before losing it to Maximo Jr, in PWA he spent the year pissing off management and shouting a lot. He had some of my favourite matches of 2016 whether they were single matches or tag team matches. You can’t help but love Jason King and he has the talent to back up his attitude.

On the other hand there is Grayson Reeves who I hated at the beginning of the year. Guy has improved so much all year long and is now an absolute show stealer for any company you’ll see him in. He’s such a great champion at PWA and with him now debuting for Pride it looks like we’ll get to see a lot more of him next year.

Favourite matches for both? Every match is a highlight when it comes to Jason King though he had a great one against John Harding in September, CPW in Bodmin was pretty much the Jason King show. As for Grayson when he won the British Championship in April was a great moment and the re-match against Harding at Fallout was actually the only match I think I liked that night.

Both these guys are awesome and both are going to be must see’s in 2017. I had nothing but high praise for Jason King last year and my opinion of him has just got more positive, the guy is a class act and one of the single most talented guys. Grayson has grown on me and I’d recommend searching him out.

1. ULTIMO TIGER

I like to feel I kinda predicted that the year would end well for Tiger. His first match of 2016 that I saw was a loss to Kenny Omega in a match I probably didn’t appreciate as much back then as I probably should have. Even though I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should’ve I still wrote…

Ultimo Tiger was by far the man of the night even after losing. He’s always been impressive but he was just so much more impressive against Omega. He deserves all the praise he gets for the match and was as always mighty impressive. He’s got one hell of a match coming up in Plymouth for his Catch Division trophy. He’s just going to get better though.

Since then he’s had great matches against some of the guys on this list. Three wonderful triple threats, one against Tajiri and Scotty Essex, one against Scotty Essex and Josh Knott and the third, a TLC match, against Josh Knott and Kelly Sixx. There aren’t words to describe how amazing his match against Kotaro Suzuki was in Penzance, again something I wrote kinda predicted how his year would end…

[…]but like the Omega match yeah Tiger didn’t get the victory but he matched up to his opponent and will only use the loss to further improve. I am gonna call it now that the end of the year will see a much stronger, much more confident and completely in control Tiger taking over. I’d say that he’d set the world on fire but he’s already done that, he just needs that one little thing to connect it altogether and get the winning streak going.

What a match though. What. A. Match. Very proud to have been wearing my Tiger t-shirt to the event. Always a proud fan no matter the result.

This man stood tall against Bram in No-DQ matches TWICE in one year beat him BOTH TIMES and the second time walked away as Pride’s first Triple Crown champion when he became the Pride Heavyweight champion.

I was wrong when I said 2016 would be the Year of Ultimo Tiger, this has been the year that Tiger climbed the mountain and found a way to get up there and become the man. 2017 is gonna be the Year of Ultimo Tiger or at least I hope it is. The guy has been so amazing all year you kinda have to hope that someone has already noticed him and that he’ll go on to bigger and better things in 2017. The spotlight is well and truly on our tiny little island now with the WoS special and WWE UK Championship and we have a lot of hidden talents all over the UK no doubt but Tiger (along with some of our heavyweights like Andrews and Ryan) is one of the guys you just know needs that one chance and he’ll be off. This year he’s proven to us that he’s got everything to give and next year is gonna be the year the world finds out.

 

***Before I say anything else obviously this is all my opinion (with some of my mums thrown in) and can only be about the guys we’ve physically seen this year.***

Other guys I guess I have to mention are ADAM FLINT who has been amazing each time I’ve seen him, I can’t wait to see more of him next year. The guy has a lot of talent and a great thing going on with the King in the Kings Court. Honestly think he’s one of the young guys to look out for next year. Also the same old guys who keep us going to all the events like DANNY WALSH, his heel turn at LEP was one of the best moments of 2016 the guy is one of the most talented guys you’ll ever see and such a humble guy as well, PJ JONES, still can’t believe he can scream as much as he can and STILL be able to speak normally afterwards, always a pleasure to watch him in action and always very much entertained by him, BIG GRIZZLY, spent the majority of the year as Pride champion completely dominating until he was put in his place by Eddie Ryan, always a pleasure to see the big guy in action, CHRIS ANDREWS, one of the best guys you can ever get to see, loved all his wars this year and being in the final two against Bram in the No-DQ elimination match at Undisputed 2 was one of the finest moments of 2016, then finally JOSH KNOTT, who is just one of the best to watch.

I’ve loved every moment of 2016 and can’t wait to see all of them again next year.

DEBUT OF THE YEAR

Its impossible to make as much as a impact on debut as I feel KELLY SIXX did. The guy replaced Keizer in his Prizefighters match, thing is I’m a big fan of Keizers for some odd reason so I was out to hate Kelly Sixx because I didn’t care what the reason was I wanted to see Keizer wrestle but within moments of the match starting I just loved him and since then he’s been the man to watch at every event. The only person I can honestly say who matches his debut but for different reasons is the one and only MITCHELL STARR. Dude is a enigma, he is so larger then life you’ll never be able to forget him when you see him but he backs it up in the ring, his first match against the UK Dominator was as impressive as it was fun and I hope to see him keep coming back to PWA in the new year as he’s just so much fun.

BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Both my favourite moments this year came from TYLER HAWKE. My niece is a huge fan of his, has been since she first watched him, and in a way its made me a big fan of him myself. Him winning the PWA championship in April was a huge moment for him and it was great to be part of it in the front row, my niece was over the moon. His reaction when he returned to Pride as well as him winning and getting a even bigger reaction for winning was just as great. The guy deserves so much credit for his 2016 and I hope there are many more great moments next year.

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR

Whilst House of Bones and The Magnums are both great and much more talented then the guys I’ve picked I can’t help but say that I absolutely love THE BRISTOL BOYS and the few matches I’ve seen with them in 2016 have just been awesome. Always a lot of fun, full of energy and their matches are action packed. They get the crowd behind them and honestly think they should have been champions back in April, with the titles now vacated I hope very much that the boys are in the fray for the titles and want to see more of them next year.

BIG THANK YOU TO…

Also before I end the blog its important to say thank you to the people who us fans probably drive crazy all the time…

NAOMI and DARREN at Pro Wrestling Pride, you guys always put so much work in for us and some of the complaints you get about pricing or the guests you bring are stupid. Every Pride show is top quality and even when things go wrong you guys do the best you can and put on a great show.

LUKE and KRIEGER at PWA, really made the company something different this year and the family feeling is so special that I can’t imagine not going to a show anymore. Lots of hard work has gone into PWA this year and you deserved the good crowds and reactions you had at the end of the year, can’t wait to see what happens for you guys next year.

TERRY and ALICE at the now defunct CPW, regardless of what went on at the end of the year its sad that CPW is no more and the one event I did go to, again regardless of anything else, you treated all the fans well and put on a amazing show. That night in Bodmin was still one of my favourite nights all year long.

DANNY and LEANNE at LEP. LEP is something special and I hate when people laugh at it or people who go to it, they have a unique show with some special talent and its always worth going to see their shows, they aren’t big and flashy but they don’t have to be, Danny is always there for his fans and care about what people think.

ED, MARTIN and JOE… Three of the most important guys, the refs! All three are great guys too and had some great moments themselves. Without them the shows wouldn’t be the same.

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