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The LoP 100: Part 1 (#100-#71)
Sep 19, 2013 - 2:36:40 PM
If PWI can have their own list, ranking the top wrestlers in the world, why can't LoP?
The LoP 100 is an idea that has been around for a few years now, but it's usually on a lot smaller scale. It would be posted in the LoP Forums, and it would be a small group of people putting the list together. For this, I wanted to do it bigger, so I reached out and got over 50 people to send me lists.. I'm talking most of the main page columnists, most of the LoP Radio hosts that aren't main page columnists, and many of the "top" posters in the Forums. I asked them to rank their top 50 wrestlers in the world, male or female, using the exact same criteria that PWI uses, but with an alteration being that their grading period was SummerSlam 2012 to SummerSlam 2013. I took their lists, combined them with my own list, and I formed.. the LoP 100. There's no favoritism from me in these rankings. Some people I don't like, and didn't rank, are on the list, and at the same time, some people I really like and did rank aren't on the list.
Because there are so many names on the list, and I want to give everyone a bit of time so I can talk about them, I'll be splitting the list up into four parts..
1. Today, you'll find out who is ranked from #100 to #71.
2. On Monday, you'll find out who is ranked from #70 to #41.
3. A week from today, you'll find out who is ranked from #40 to #11.
4. Finally, tune in to LoP Radio on the 30th, where we'll reveal and break down those who are ranked from #10 to #1.
Let's not waste any more time. Let's get right into the list, shall we?
100. Cheerleader Melissa
Accomplishments: Current SHIMMER Champion (won the title on April 6th).. Current Pro Wrestling Revolution Women's Champion (won the title on May 11th).. Came into the grading period as the River City Wrestling Intercontinental Champion (stripped of the title on March 5th).. Won the Pro Wrestling Revolution Women's Title on February 23rd (dropped it on April 21st)
Breakdown: We open the list with diversity, which is not just the name of an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era. Regarded by many as the best female wrestler in North America, and perhaps the world, Melissa has had herself quite the year in promotions big and small. The SHIMMER Title is about as prestigious as it gets in women's wrestling (yes, I'm counting the Divas and Knockouts Titles), and Melissa is now in her second reign as champion, making her the only woman to win the title twice.
99. Saraya Knight
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as the SHIMMER Champion (dropped the title on April 6th).. Current Herts & Essex Wrestling Women's Champion (won the title on May 25th).. Came into the grading period as the Herts & Essex Wrestling Women's Champion (dropped the title on September 22nd, 2012)
Breakdown: Another woman. Wow. Saraya, mother of NXT's current Women's Champion, Paige, held the SHIMMER Title for 384 days before finally dropping it to Cheerleader Melissa earlier this year, and she should be rewarded for that alone. She kind of came out of nowhere to win the title, but kept defending it successfully time and time again. She has moved on to recent success in SHINE, as well, and for someone turning 42 in a few weeks, she's enjoying, perhaps, the best success of her career.
98. Shingo Takagi
Accomplishments: Won Dragon Gate's Open The Dream Gate Title on July 21st.. Came into the grading period as one-half of the Dragon Gate Open The Twin Gate Champions (with YAMATO, dropping the titles on September 23rd, 2012).. Won the Dragon Gate Open The Twin Gate Titles on May 5th (with YAMATO, dropping them on June 15th)
Breakdown: One of the more successful performers in all of Dragon Gate, Shingo once again reached the promotion's pinnacle by winning the Open The Dream Gate title. The only thing that prevented him from being ranked higher was the brevity of his title reigns. He held the Open The Dream Gate title for only 33 days, dropping it in his very first defense. He did come in as one-half of the Open The Twin Gate champions, but he and YAMATO dropped the titles 35 days later, and their second Open The Twin Gate reign only lasted 41 days. That led to a lack of respect for his accomplishments, which explains why he barely made the list here.
97. Matt Taven
Accomplishments: Current Ring Of Honor Television Champion (won title on March 2nd).. Came into the grading period as Chaotic Wrestling's New England Champion (dropped the title on August 19th, 2012).. Won the Chaotic Wrestling New England Title on September 7th, 2012 (dropping it on September 29th, 2012).. Won Ring Of Honor's Top Prospect Tournament
Breakdown: Taven pretty much came out of nowhere to reach success on a much larger scale with Ring Of Honor. Most people weren't expecting him to win the Top Prospect Tournament, but he did, and as a result, got a shot at the Television Title. Most people weren't expecting him to win the Television Title, but he did, and as a result, has been winning people over with his in-ring work ever since. Now, a lot of those people who doubted him coming into 2013 see him as the future of Ring Of Honor. I've even seen some predict that he'll win the RoH World Title at some point in 2014, which would make for quite the monumental rise.
96. Mark Briscoe
Accomplishments: Won the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles (with Jay Briscoe) on December 16th, 2012 (dropping the titles on March 2nd, 2013)
Breakdown: Not a lengthy list of accomplishments like the people behind him in the rankings, but I think Mark gets "points" from people for staying relevant as a singles wrestler. Yes, he didn't spend a lot of time as a singles wrestler before the grading period ended, but when his brother moved to the top of the card, a lot of people expected Mark to fade away, essentially becoming the "Marty Jannetty" of their tag team. He's been doing his thing, though, and people are giving him credit for it, so perhaps his inclusion here is controversial, but here he is nonetheless.
95. Takeshi Morishima
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as Pro Wrestling NOAH's GHC Heavyweight Champion (dropping the title on January 27th)
Breakdown: Holding the GHC Heavyweight Title for over a year, Morishima remains one of the top performers in all of Japan, even though Pro Wrestling NOAH isn't as strong a promotion as it once was. The prestige of the GHC Heavyweight Title remains the same in the eyes of many Puroresu fans, though, and when you win the title and hold it for a lengthy period of time, as he did, it sticks with those fans, and that helped to place him here.
94. Luke Harper
Accomplishments: Won the NXT Tag Team Titles (with Erick Rowan) on May 2nd (dropping the titles on June 20th).. 2-0 record on WWE television
Breakdown: The Wyatt Family, as a whole, were some of the most captivating people in all of WWE, from NXT to the main roster. While Luke Harper isn't the leader of the group, he is arguably the most intriguing, coming up as a big name on the independent scene. Harper and Rowan were a successful team in NXT, and their success has translated to the main roster, where they are undefeated (although some of that doesn't count here, as it came after the grading period ended). He's definitely a name-to-watch for next year, as I fully expect him to skyrocket up the rankings for the LoP 100 in 2014.
Accomplishments: Current NXT Women's Champion (won title on June 20th)
Breakdown: She is the very first NXT Women's Champion, and has been very dominant throughout most of the year, before and after winning the title. She's one of the rare title-holders in WWE that wins matches after winning the belt, as the company far too often makes people look dominant to win a title, only to have them lose non-title matches repeatedly before finally losing the title quickly. She's 7-1 in singles matches since winning the title, including two successful title defenses, and is 4-2 in tag and six-woman tag matches since winning the title. I think she'll be another person to watch for next year, as she continues to win matches and is probably closer to a main roster promotion than many people think.
92. Bo Dallas
Accomplishments: Current NXT Champion (won title on May 23rd).. Won a tournament at the Royal Rumble Fan Fest to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble.. 1-0 record on WWE television, with a pinfall victory over then-Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
Breakdown: One of the more controversial figures in all of NXT, due to his happy-go-lucky face character being completely and utterly ripped apart by fans (John Cena's face character has only lost a vocal minority of the adult male demographic) leading to a subtle heel turn, while his character continues to pretty much act the same and is oblivious to the fact that people hate him. No matter what you think of his character, though, his success can't be denied. He is the current NXT Champion, and he continues to rack up victories. At the beginning of the year, he even defeated then-Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett on television. It was a non-title match, sure, but it led people to believe that the company was going to fast-track him to main roster success. While that hasn't happened yet (he didn't wrestle another match on the main roster after defeating Barrett on January 28th), it's pretty clear that WWE sees great things in him, so it wouldn't surprise anybody if he was promoted at any time.
91. Joseph Park/Abyss
Accomplishments: Current TNA Television Champion (won title on June 2nd).. 12-10 record on TNA television
Breakdown: This one surprised me a little bit, to be honest. As you can see, he doesn't exactly have the best record on television and pay-per-view during the grading period. He did win the Television Title, as Abyss, but the title is essentially dead at this point, not having a single defense since he won it, and that was three-and-a-half months ago. Not exactly the most impressive of years, but here he is.
90. Mr. Anderson
Accomplishments: 14-14-1 record on TNA television
Breakdown: This is another head-scratcher, and someone who may have made the list by "name value" more than anything else. It wasn't until after the grading period had ended that he was elevated back to the main event scene, but with him being set to return after his kayfabed injury as, perhaps, one of the top faces in the company, looking for revenge on Bully Ray and Aces & 8's, he could not only be ranked much higher on next year's list, and might even earn his spot.
89. Jey Uso
Accomplishments: 23-20 record on WWE television
Breakdown: It seemed as though many of the voters looked beyond the so-so record and focused more on the fact that The Usos seemed to be in contention for the WWE Tag Team Titles all year long, albeit without ever winning them. The end of the grading period is what really helped them out, as they received one of their biggest pushes to date in the last couple months, as they feuded with The Shield. Had they won the titles, we would have seen much higher rankings, but slow-and-steady sometimes does win the race, so we'll see what the next year holds.
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as the Dragon Gate Open The Dream Gate Champion (dropped the title on July 21st).. Came into the grading period as one-half (with AR Fox) of the Dragon Gate USA Open The United Gate Champions (dropping the titles on April 6th)
Breakdown: Dragon Gate's biggest icon, CIMA held the Open The Dream Gate Title for 574 days before finally dropping it. Longest reign in the title's history, and with 15, he had the most successful defenses in the title's history, as well. It wasn't just Japan where he saw success. He has been able to perform well in America for several years, including this past year with Dragon Gate's sister promotion, Dragon Gate USA.
87. Sin Cara
Accomplishments: 24-24-2 record on WWE television
Breakdown: For most of the year, that record looked much better, but he went 1-9-1 in his last 11 appearances on television, bringing him down a bit. I've come to terms with the fact that the man will never even come close to approaching the levels of stardom I expected him to reach when he signed with WWE, but he'll probably remain a factor as long as he's with the company. They'll always be able to put him out there and have him fly around the ring for a while.
Accomplishments: 15-26-3 record on WWE television
Breakdown: So.. yeah.. other than "I don't watch anything but WWE, so here's a bunch of WWE names", I have no idea why anyone would have Tensai ranked on their list. There isn't a single bit of criteria that we're using that would place Tensai in the top 50. Perhaps if I expanded it to "most tattoos" or "shaved off the most body hair in the last 15 years", sure. To be fair to Tensai, his grading period record as a heel was 1-15-2, so he's had much better success since the end of January. Hooray?
85. Jimmy Uso
Accomplishments: 22-19 record on WWE television
Breakdown: You can pretty much just take everything I said about Jey Uso and put it here. Not the greatest record we've ever seen, but The Usos fought to stay relevant in the tag division, even without winning the titles. This lengthy, on-again off-again feud with The Shield is really boosting their profiles in recent months, and should only do them favors for next year's list, especially if they eventually go on to win the Tag Team Titles.
84. Chavo Guerrero
Accomplishments: Won the TNA Tag Team Titles (with Hernandez) on October 14th, 2012 (dropping them on January 25th).. Won the TNA Tag Team Titles (with Hernandez) on April 11th (dropping them on June 2nd).. 17-13-1 record on TNA television
Breakdown: The two title reigns were relatively nondescript, but they were two title reigns nonetheless, which is something that many people ranked on this list can't say. A lot of shine has dulled on Chavo's "star", as people expected some sort of main event run for the guy with the way the company promoted him upon signing him, but he's still around, and still plugging away as a solid midcard/tag wrestler. You have to think he's coming up on the end of his career soon, but until that day comes, I think you can expect him to grab rankings on lists like this.
83. Uhaa Nation
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as Full Impact Pro's Florida Heritage Champion (dropping the title on August 9th, 2013).. Won the Dragon Gate Open The Twin Gate Titles (with BxB Hulk) on March 2nd (dropping the titles on May 5th)
Breakdown: This one is slightly different than most of the names on the list, because Uhaa was still recovering from a major knee injury when the grading period began. He didn't return to the ring until February 1st, nearly halfway through the grading period. If he had a full year, it's pretty safe to assume that he could have had more to list as accomplishments. For just six months, though, he had a fine time with plenty to be happy about. He's yet another name to keep an eye on for next year, now that he's healthy and ready to go.
82. Adrian Neville
Accomplishments: Won the NXT Tag Team Titles (with Oliver Grey) on January 31st (dropped the titles on May 2nd).. Won the NXT Tag Team Titles (with Corey Graves) on June 20th (dropped the titles on September 12th, to be aired on September 25th)
Breakdown: The artist-formerly-known-as-PAC has quickly become one of the most exciting, must-see talents on NXT, and people figure it's only a matter of time before he gets called up to the main roster. There's a lot of instant comparisons between Neville and Evan Bourne. Similar in size, body type, in-ring style, and so on. You could almost look at Bourne as a blueprint for how things will go with Neville on the main roster, and that wouldn't be too bad, minus the Wellness Policy violations.
81. Kassius Ohno
Accomplishments: Nothing of note
Breakdown: Well, there you have it. No titles coming into the grading period, no titles won during the grading period, no matches on the main roster.. yet, here he is, at #81. Looking at his matches in the grading period, he had some weird booking. If you look at everything, NXT television tapings and live events, you'd see stretches of time where he'd win five straight matches, then lose five straight matches, then win three straight matches, then lose three straight matches, then win four straight matches, then lose four straight matches, etc. He was supposedly in the company's dog house for not caring about his physique as much as the company cares about his physique, but they brought him back to work at the previous set of television tapings, so maybe all of the drama is in the past.
80. Matt Morgan
Accomplishments: 5-5 record on TNA television
Breakdown: You're reading that right, ladies and gentlemen. Morgan wrestled in a grand total of ten matches during the grading period, and he won half of them. Of those ten matches, only three were singles matches. Of those ten matches, only two involved titles (both times involved the Tag Team Titles), and he was obviously on the losing end both times. During his very off-and-on time (he didn't appear until November 29th, didn't wrestle for a month between mid-December and mid-January, didn't wrestle from mid-January to mid-March, didn't wrestle from mid-March to late-April, didn't wrestle from late-April to early-June, and then didn't wrestle again), he stayed relevant, and appeared on the verge of a main event push yet again, but yet again that push never came. If he returns to WWE, like I'm hoping he does, I think his stock automatically rises. At least in the beginning, you'd have to assume he'd be booked like an absolute monster. From there, it's up to the writers to keep that monster looking strong, but all of that is speculation, as he very well could go right back to TNA, and this discussion is for nothing.
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as one-half (with Kofi Kingston) of the WWE Tag Team Champions (dropping the titles on September 16th, 2012).. 22-11 record on WWE television
Breakdown: He lost his last three matches on television to close out the grading period, or that record would have been even better. I was surprised to see how well he had done for himself during the year, to be honest. He came into the grading period as one-half of the Tag Team Champions, but lost the titles very early in the period. From there, he kind of faded into the background for the rest of the year. He was winning his matches, sure, but he wasn't doing anything of-note. Enough to get noticed in the LoP 100, though.
78. Nick Jackson
Accomplishments: Current Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Tag Team Champion (with Matt Jackson, won the titles on January 12th).. Came into the grading period as one-half (with Matt Jackson) of CHIKARA's Campeonatos de Parejas (dropping the titles on February 10th).. Current Dragon Gate USA Open The United Gate Champion (with Matt Jackson, won the titles on April 6th).. Won the Future Stars Of Wrestling Tag Team Titles (with Matt Jackson) on September 23rd, 2012 (dropping the titles on October 20th, 2012)
Breakdown: The Young Bucks have been one of the most successful tag teams on the independent wrestling scene for the last few years, and they had another big year, winning titles seemingly everywhere they went. Here's a bit of a spoiler alert, though.. Matt Jackson didn't make the LoP 100. I know, I know.. don't ask. At least one of them made it, though, representing the team.
77. Titus O'Neil
Accomplishments: 11-47 record on WWE television
Breakdown: You can't see it right now, but I'm giving the blank stare of all blank stares at my laptop monitor right now. No titles won, and probably one of the worst televised records we're going to see? That just screams "I don't watch anything but WWE, so here's a bunch of WWE names" yet again. Of course, Titus and Darren Young seem to be getting pushed again (whether or not you want to credit Young coming out of the closet for the push is up to you), so things could be looking up for both of them when it comes to an inclusion on next year's list.
76. Brodus Clay
Accomplishments: 24-20-3 record on WWE television
Breakdown: I think we're in the middle of a "I don't watch anything but WWE, so here's a bunch of WWE names" stretch here. At a couple points during the grading period, it looked like Brodus (and then the team of Brodus and Tensai) would be set up for some sort of push, but in typical WWE Creative Team fashion, those pushes died as quickly as they began. There's no telling what the future holds for Brodus now. He's just as likely to stay in this position as he is to get any sort of push, but unless he turns on Tensai and gets to be a singles heel monster, I'm not sure I like his odds.
75. Darren Young
Accomplishments: 12-48 record on WWE television
Breakdown: Sure enough.. "I don't watch anything but WWE, so here's a bunch of WWE names". As I said before, though, it seems like Young and O'Neil (but especially Young) could be on the verge of being pushed again, so we'll see what happens for next year's rankings.
74. Tommy Dreamer
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as the Family Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Champion (dropping the title on October 6th, 2012).. Won the FWE Rumble.. 1-0 record on WWE television
Breakdown: Is it too late to go back to the WWE lower-midcard names again? Well, at least Dreamer can say he was undefeated on WWE television during the grading period. That's something people like John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, etc can't say. He's done a lot of work in helping to get FWE growing in popularity in the last year, and he was rewarded by several LoP 100 voters, giving him this spot.
Accomplishments: Won the TNA Tag Team Titles (with Chavo Guerrero) on October 14th, 2012 (dropping them on January 25th).. Won the TNA Tag Team Titles (with Chavo Guerrero) on April 11th (dropping them on June 2nd).. 19-17-1 record on TNA television
Breakdown: Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero were one of the more successful tag teams in TNA during the grading period, allowing them both to be ranked here. Even though their pushes were also of the stop-and-start variety, they made due with what they were given. TNA seems to really like Hernandez, so I wouldn't expect him to just disappear. As long as he's with the company, he's a candidate for a push.
72. Mickie James
Accomplishments: Won the TNA Knockouts Title on May 23rd (dropped the title on September 12th, to air tonight).. 13-7 record on TNA television
Breakdown: She was another person who was used in weird ways by TNA. She didn't get her first match of the grading period until November 12th, which is nearly three months in. She missed a month, from early-December to early-January. She missed two months, from mid-January to mid-March. She missed a month from mid-March to mid-April. She missed a month, from mid-June to mid-July. There were also numerous weeks where she just didn't wrestle. When she was used, she was generally successful, though. She's at a very interesting time in her career, though. All reports say that her TNA contract has expired. Does she re-sign with TNA? Does she return to WWE? Does she focus instead on her music career? Time will tell.
Accomplishments: Won the Dragon Gate Open The Twin Gate Titles (with Naruki Doi) on July 21st (dropping the titles on August 30th).. Won Dragon Gate's King Of Gate Tournament
Breakdown: One of the young up-and-comers in the Dragon Gate family, Ricochet had a successful year for both Dragon Gate promotions, and looks to have big things in his future. There are many who feel he should be on WWE and TNA's radar, and with his exciting in-ring style, I don't blame those people at all. I think TNA, especially, would benefit by adding him to their roster. Don't be surprised if you see him rank higher than this on next year's list.
That does it for the first part of the list. Check back in on Monday to see who is ranked from #70 to #41, but until then, drop a line to tell us what you think of #100 to #71. Who is ranked too high? Who is ranked too low? Tell us what you think. See you all in four days.