Again, because I want it clear I can not PICK 10 wrestlers without leaving out another 10 that I love, this is in no order. It literally is the first 10 names that came off the top of my head with one or two being changed because I realised that I had named 10 people I’d been watching recently and trying to pull some memories out of the bag from earlier in the year.
If I had to pick one person to be my wrestler of 2018 it would be David Starr mainly because I don’t think I’ve seen a bad match with him in and I just think he’s a massive plus to the UK scene no matter what others seemed to think but I would instantly be then going “umm but I also think Brookes had a stand out year and remember when Walter did this or how Davis is being kick ass in single competition in PROGRESS or everything that Havoc has done or how much I love Country Big Josh Knott (who didn’t make this list sadly)..” and I would be here forever.
So here are 10 I loved.
I am also perfectly aware they are all male too.
I had no idea who Nathan Cruz was until this year but boy did I fall in love with not only his character but his in ring style. He has had some brilliant matches in DEFIANT Wrestling as well as being the only reason I tuned into 5 Star Wrestling and he got to shine for the entire UK to see as part of WoS.
I kind of knew who Chris Brookes was at the beginning of 2018 but this really has been his year to shine. I saw him live in CPW with Kid Lykos which cemented just how good the man is in my mind, he is a must watch any time he is on Progress of Defiant and I actively do make a effort to watch any wrestling show I can afford to watch if I know he’s going to be on hit.
He’s also pretty cool to follow on Twitter.
In my notes there are just match after match of his I had put down as candidates for my favourite matches of the year. Him vs Kassius Ohno in SSS16, in four way against Starr, Banks, Bailey at Defiant #10, his matches in the Ringmasters Tournament… I don’t think he’s had a bad match that I’ve seen. Honestly just one of the best parts of 2018.
I really enjoy the character but watching him go from being a decent wrestler to this Hardcore bad ass has been fun.
I’m way behind on Progress as when my depression got bad I gave up wrestling to make time for other things but Trivet is one of the guys I’ll keep a eye on and will log in just to see his matches. He’s one of the most improved guys from where he was at the beginning of the year to now and his character work is just amazing.
Always one of the best parts of a Progress card.
I’m getting to the point where you’ll just see names and be like “of course she’s going to mention them.”
What do I have to say about Joe Hendry? I even wrote a blog earlier in the year just about him because he’s just brilliant isn’t he? He’s had a great 2018 as well. He’s pretty much the back bone of DEFIANT Wrestling, he works no matter what role he’s playing and has so much charisma you can’t help but love him (even if you hate him at the same time.) He’s one of the best wrestlers and he’s proved in 2018 that he’s going to one day be a absolute amazing commentator as well.
Let’s face it the guy went to the Common Wealth games. He’s a common face on Twitch, he’s now on Impact Wrestling he was one of the big faces of World of Sport… The guy is a machine and 2018 really has been the year of Joe Hendry and he deserves that a whole bunch because he lives whatever character he’s playing so well, he engages everyone in his little world and he just comes across as the nicest man you’d ever meet.
People honestly seem to either love or hate David Starr.
I can’t help but get caught up in the entire David Starr thing from the 100 nicknames as he comes to the ring to all the little stories he tells. Again I mainly watch DEFIANT so that is where I base a lot of my opinions on these from with a sprinkling of other places (actually watched a lot of UK based promotions at the beginning of the year but 2018 was such a long year that it feels like 2 or 3 years ago when in reality it was about 5-6 months ago) but he’s had so many decent stories in DEFIANT and I am so happy to see by the end of the year that he was a big player for them.
Him vs Walter that spread over many different promotions was a great story that saw increasingly better matches. The first one I saw was brilliant but they just kept getting better, he used that frustration to have a decent bad guy run in DEFIANT before kind of becoming the underdog again that everyone wants to cheer.
His character is infectious, you can’t help but get hooked on what the guy is doing.
I want to see more single matches with Mark Davis because I love him so much. As part of Aussie Open he’s really bloody good but in matches like him vs Walter I’ve just been blown away by him.
He’s just big and loveable and Australian and then he tries to murder someone in the ring and you just look at him like this big murdering teddy bear and want to hug him. Then again I make a point of saying I like watching big guys throwing people around in wrestling, that is my wrestling kink and I don’t care what people think, so big murdering teddy bear who throws people around was always going to top my list of must watch wrestlers for any year.
I think DEFIANT have dropped the ball with Aussie Open in not making them more dominant in the tag division and I just honestly think Mark Davis is going to be a super star one day. He’s just too good not to. I got lost in the second paragraph and I’m not removing it but I’ve also lost any last credibility for anything I write so yeah. Mark Davis is actually probably one of my favourite people of 2018 full stop.
I always put Dick Riley in things like this.
I miss Dick. I miss watching his matches every other week, I miss watching people seeing him for the first time lose their minds because of how good he is and I miss being in a room full of people that from the moment he walks out to the moment he walks back to the backstage area are just up on their feet cheering for him.
He’s a hidden gem of a wrestler who, deservedly, is making some waves now and I hope that he just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I haven’t really seen him much this year but what little I have seen has continued to be absolutely amazing.
I have no words for Walter.
Go watch his matches and tell me he wasn’t one of the most amazing and brilliant things in 2018.
No. Words. Needed.
I haven’t seen much of El Phantasmo yet but he honestly was one of the first names that popped into my head when making this list. Maybe because it is a fresher memory then someone maybe at the beginning of the year or maybe just because he made a instant really bloody good impression on me.
I love how you can’t really define him, he can just about match up to anyone he’s in the ring with and still look a million bucks. He has his own unique look and ways to go about things and he’s just fun to watch.
His performance in the Ringmasters was just superb and instantly I just loved the guy.
Jimmy Havoc is one of my heroes. He is one of my all time favourite wrestlers and I love him to pieces. I never got to see him much before 2018 due to just not really trusting on demand services and where I’m situated but I traveled all the way to Bristol in 2016 I think just to see a Chaos show he was on and cried because I had to leave (poor planning on my behalf) before he even showed up this year I got to see him live and was more then just blown away.
The guy is a maniac and I just think he’s one of the best parts of the British Scene full stop. I honestly couldn’t even put into words how much being a fan of Havoc’s means to me. He has been one of the best parts of DEFIANT, he’s been amazing in Progress and whilst he might never make it to NXT:UK or World of Sport (not that those two are comparable they just probably have the biggest audience) he’ll always be part of the DNA of British wrestling.
Never bored of a Havoc match, love his work in the Hardcore division at DEFIANT and him tagging with Haskins. His promos are always the absolute best.
Guy is just amazing.
So just to make it clear that was in no order at all. Jimmy Havoc, Mark Davis, Chris Brookes, Joe Hendry and David Starr are pretty much my favourite wrestlers in the world at the moment so if there was any order it would be a tie in first place with those bunch all together.
I’m also aware they are all male. Thing is again I only really watch Progress and DEFIANT and whilst I love Bea Priestley, loved Sammi Jayne, adore Viper and was impressed as anyone else with Millie’s 2018 I dunno… I wrote the list and those were the names that came up for me. Maybe again it is because I stopped watching wrestling in about April/Mayish time when my depression got bad and a lot of the British wrestling stuff is being done on my notes and what has happened recently but I’m sticking to my list because as I said they were the 10 names that stuck out for me.
I’ve moved away from my local scene because everything surrounding it is toxic as hell. The fans are some of the most unwelcoming you’ll ever meet pretending to be the most welcoming. The longer you are part of it you’ll see some of the worst attitudes in humanity possible and because they go to every show of course the promoters try to keep them happy but it just makes them even more unbearable. The down side is it does turn people away who see these people flaunting what they take as favouritism in the faces of others and then complaining when things aren’t given to them. The promotions themselves have had fantastic years all around, some fantastic shows from CPW, REACH seem to be going from strength to strength and wrestling in the West Country is as good as ever. It is just a very toxic scene that I can’t recommend anyone bothering with.
On that note I refused to add any local wrestlers to the list but names like Vinnie Clay, John Harding, Jason King, Grayson Reeves, Josh Knott, PJ Jones and Adam Flint have all had great years and I wish them the best as always. It is just a shame that fans ruin it for everyone.
I guess I do want to say a special thanks to Jason King and Grayson Reeves though. I think they’ve done a great job with REACH Wrestling, I think they are genuinely lovely men who love wrestling a whole bunch and really want to do something brilliant with what they’ve got. Jason has been one of my absolute favourite wrestlers since the moment I first saw him, he improves every year and whilst I guess one of the only times I saw him this year I complained about him he honestly is the name I miss most now I don’t go to these shows. He isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but the guy gets it. He gets how to get a crowd behind him either to cheer or boo, he can turn that mid match better then anyone and tells amazing stories every time he gets into the ring but I think people forget that he’s actually bloody talented as hell too. As for Grayson I hated him when I first saw him all those years ago (about 3 or 4 I think) but it is hard to remember that now because he’s improved so much over the years that he’s one of the most exciting guys to watch down this way, honestly hope he keeps on improving and becomes as good as I think he will because I love the guy to pieces and just want to see him be as huge a star as he can be. More then anything though he’s just one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, both of them are. I really hope they are the pair that can do something special down here.
Also to Terry and Alice Speller of CPW. I only went to a few shows but they really knocked them out of the park this year and made CPW a must watch, need to keep up to date with company all year round. Whilst their shows were littered with big names in the best possible way it was their story of a power struggle, their use of wrestlers like PJ Jones and the way they made the crowd feel part of everything that really made them stand out.
Again more then anything it is the fans down this way that make the shows hostile. The constant drama online, the gossip… No matter how much I tried to stay away from it I just kept having to hear it and it wasn’t what I wanted to hear or see anymore. But that is my last words on it, I haven’t really talked about it before so that is my one explanation for it.
ALSO I guess I should say I know that I’ve missed out guys like Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Will Ospreay, Tyler Bate, Zack Sabre Jr and the list just goes on. That is because I didn’t feel I wanted to put Personally constantly in the title of this. It isn’t the best wrestlers in 2018 and it isn’t even wrestlers that universally people loved of 2018 it is just the wrestlers that meant the most to me personally in 2018 as I found a new found love for British wrestling and to be fair…. Sitting down in my most difficult of times and switching on a match from any of these 10 guys helped me stay alive in 2018. It has been a difficult year and whilst again I love all the names I just mentioned and any name mentioned in this blog I could literally have sat here forever naming names but I wanted to pick the 10 that just meant the most to me in 2018 and those were them. I have a big gap in the middle of the year and most of our plans for our wrestling blogs got thrown out the window because of it.
Those 10 guys are my guys of 2018.