Sunday, March 12, 2006

PWG Top Wrestlers

I stumbled upon a thread on this at the PWG message board and figured I would post my response here for those interested. To create some sort of criterion for who to consider, I decided to consider only guys who have participated in at least 5 of the last 10 SoCal PWG shows. The most notable wrestlers that eliminates are Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, Claudio Castagnoli, Roderick Strong, Colt Cabana, Alex Shelley, Jimmy Yang, A.J. Styles, Los Luchas, Rocky Romero, Petey Williams and Jack Evans. Danielson is one of my favorite wrestlers, and Castagnoli, Shelley and Evans have done particularly well in PWG, so those are the guys I would likely rank if they were performing here more often. Of the remaining 22, here would be my list:

1. Super Dragon. He’s been the top pick of everyone when you take out the guys who work in PWG less frequently. I might rank him above those guys even if they were in, however. He tears down the house pretty much every match. The people who have closed their minds on this guy are really missing out.

2. Davey Richards. As others have said, it’s just a matter of time before he becomes well known across the country. He’s better than most of the ROH and TNA rosters in my opinion. Just a really solid wrestler in every way. I’ve been digging his stuff since the first time I saw him on the first or second match of the show. I couldn’t understand when first viewing the PWG product why he wasn’t higher on the card, but now he is. I was looking forward to a feud between him and Super Dragon, but now I’m kind of in favor of keeping them together all year and seeing just how important they can make the tag titles feel.

3. Chris Sabin. I am distinctly in the pro-Sabin camp. He works really hard in PWG, and I’m glad to see he’s been made pretty much a regular. His matches with B-Boy and Shelley recently have been highlights of the cards. I think he gets more crap than he deserves just because people think he looks like a pretty boy. Honestly, I think otherwise he would get a lot more love. He doesn’t have to work as hard as he does, but he does it anyway. I don’t think he’s spotty either. He’s a good technical wrestler and a good flyer.

4. Kevin Steen. Steen hasn’t been as good to me since he lost the title (or maybe Guerrilla Warfare is the better point of reference), but thankfully he’s back to being a prick and he almost always has good matches. I would like to see him put in some sort of major feud, because the Super Dragon feud really gave him focus and intensity.

5. Chris Hero. Hero could be used more prominently by PWG. They have frequently brought him in for midcard matches, when I think we would really see the best out of him in matches that are more of a focus. Perhaps we will see more of that in the future following the recent tag title match main event.

6. B-Boy. I’ve really enjoyed B-Boy’s work since he became a regular again in PWG. His offense is a lot of fun to watch, and he’s well suited for PWG. I would love to see B-Boy and Homicide challenge Dragon and Richards for the tag titles.

7. El Generico. I really like Generico, but I’m not sure I think as highly of him as others here. He’s a great comedy figure and is really good as an underdog babyface. That’s his niche, but the quality of his opponents makes a big difference in how good his matches are.

8. Scott Lost. Lost is very solid. He rarely does anything spectacular, but his matches are usually pretty good. A negative on him is that it frequently feels he is mimicking other wrestlers. Everyone borrows, but Lost feels like a collection of spots and attributes of other wrestlers. Still, I think he is one feud or gimmick away from really taking off.

9. Scorpio Sky. Sky is becoming more complete over time. He’s got really good natural heel charisma and I think he might take off in that role. The blow-off to his feud with Lost went really well, and I think the decision to make him a single was a good one.

10. Christopher Daniels. He just barely makes the list. At first I was going to leave him off because he doesn’t go all the way in PWG (although I, like others here, don’t fault him for that, and completely understand), but even at 60-75 percent Daniels is still really good. He’s just so crisp and fun to watch in the ring. The tag title match on the next show (if it actually happens) will be a real test for him. Dragon and Richards don’t have matches that are just “there” so Daniels will need to step it up.

Honorable Mention: Frankie Kazarian, Human Tornado. Kazarian can be very good when he wants to be, and I think the biggest issue with him is motivation. He seemed very motivated at the last show, and he has all the ability you could want. Tornado is fun. He’s my favorite “character” on PWG shows, and I miss his pairing with El Generico.

Others: Nemesis, Disco Machine, Excalibur, Chris Bosh, Top Gun Talwar, T.J. Perkins, Quicksilver, Ronin, Alex Koslov, Joey Ryan.


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