16 of the Best Wrestlers I’ve seen in the last Decade: Part 1

Now that the draft has come and gone and amidst the chaos of wrestling itself and all of the problems that it has, I thought it best to take the chance and talk about some of the wrestlers that have amazed me to the point where I believe there is still a future for pro wrestling.  So here’s the list of them in no particular order.

16) El Generico: Set aside what you may think of his gimmick, the truth is that I have yet to see a bad match with him in it, whether it be in singles or in his tag team days with Kevin Steen.  Not to mention, the amount of energy and raw emotion that was put into the rivalry between Steen and Generico, when was the last time we’ve seen so much emotion in a feud? It’s been a long time and this was one that lasted for over a year.  You don’t see many feuds last that long and still be entertaining. If you want a good match, watch Final Battle 2010 and see the street fight between Steen and Generico.

15) Roderick Strong: One of the first guys that I watched when I saw ROH was Roderick Strong and after Tyler Black won the belt, I wanted to see Roderick Strong to be the next guy holding the belt.  He did end up doing that, given I would have rather seen him do it on his own and without Truth Martini, but that’s the business.  The guy is fast, agile, has one mean looking running kick and can make even a simple move as a backbreaker look painful as hell.

14) “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles: When I started watching TNA, the first match I ever saw was from Final Resolution in an X-Division Title match in Ultimate X between Petey Williams, AJ Styles and Chris Sabin and it blew me away. Then I watched both Ironman matches between Styles and The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels.  For a long time, you had those two and Samoa Joe as the focal points of the X-Division. AJ has held the tag title, TV title, X-Division title and even the World title. Every company has a guy that is their franchise player or a guy that helped put them on the map.  For TNA, even if they don’t realize it, there guy is AJ Styles.

13) Samoa Joe: It’s rare in wrestling when you see a guy who is not the tallest and can still posses a balance of agility and raw power.  He may not talk much on the microphone but he lets what he’s capable of in the ring do the talking for him.  You look at the matches between Joe and Kurt Angle, and you have some of the best submission/technical wrestling you’ll find today.  Why he’s only held the world title in TNA only one time, I have no idea. This is also a guy who held the title in ROH for a year and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times where I wish he was back in ROH so I can see him go against some of their current roster.

12) Randy Orton: There was a point where I was wondering if Randy Orton would ever find that right spot that would just click for him, that would work and be his signature.  I’m glad I was wrong because he’s fond it as “The Viper.”  He’s cold, ruthless, has a mean looking punt kick and has proven to be able to hit the RKO out of literally anywhere, even if the guy is in mid-air. It’s like the guy’s equivalent of the sweet chin music.

11 & 10) Jack Evans & Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne: I’ve combined these two mainly because of the fact that they were the biggest highlights to me in Wrestling Society X which was where I first saw them.  Some the high flying moves that they do like the Cyclorama or the 630 splash defy belief on how they can be done. The last time I saw match with Evans, it was a match against Teddy Hart and it was done at the last minute due to weather related issues for the ROH PPV and it still turned out great. It made me wish that both Hart and Evans were still in ROH.  As for Sydal, I love that the WWE signed him but what I don’t love is that he’s yet to hold any belt and due to Vince’s love for the big guys, he’s not gonna get pushed because of that.  Unless we see a Rey Mysterio kind of push pulled on Evan Bourne.

9) Kofi Kingston: As much as I disliked the WWE version of ECW, I loved the introductin of this guy.  He’s quick, agile, entertaining and decent mic skills. He’s held the IC and US title in WWE and even had a decent showing in a feud with Randy Orton. Then he got moved to Smackdown and got buried there.  He’s one in a select few that I feel WWE needs to invest in more as opposed to their obsession with pushing non-wrestlers.  Here’s hoping that with Kofi Kingston back on Raw and if Miz still holds the belt after the PPV, maybe we can see those two in a match. Hopefully.

8 ) Tyler Black: The first time I watched ROH on HDNet, their main event was Tyler Black vs Jimmy Jacobs.  The guy moves like a cruiserweight but has the force of an average sized wrestler or higher.  And when I thought he couldn’t impress me more, he does so in his matches with Bryan Danielson. I can’t remember the last time I ever smiled following a match ending in a draw.  All I could think after that end was I wanted to see more. Then I got more and I was still happy that it ended in a double countout. I loved that it took 3 matches before we got an actual winner between Danielson and Black. Then his last match in ROH, they dedicated one full hour to one match, Davey Richards and Tyler Black.  That would normally have the ability to be a recipe for disaster, but the match still worked. Now he’s in WWE and supposed to be under the name of Seth Rollins. Please don’t screw him up WWE.

7) “Mr Wrestling” Kevin Steen: You need an example of how good this guy is, look at his feud with El Generico. Look at the match they had at Final Battle last year.  This guy moves quick for a guy his size and has every bit of raw power in him to match it up. That and he has the most sick, crazy piledriver that I’ve ever seen in wrestling. I’ve even heard it’s banned in some states or was at least. He has decent skills on the mic as a face and even better when he was a heel.  He calls himself Mr Wrestling and he definitely knows how to back it up, whether it’s doing a swanton or the package piledriver. I just hate that they split up him and Generico because they were a good tag team.

6) Nigel McGuinness/Desmond Wolfe: This was the only other guy who held the belt as long or at least almost as long as Samoa Joe did in ROH.  He’s cocky, British, and he even wore the belt backwards like it was his way of saying to the fans and maybe even ROH itself for them to kiss his ass.  He was banged up a lot even when he was champ but he still wrestled like he was 100%.  Top that off with him having the meanest looking lariat I’ve ever seen. It makes JBL’s clothesline from hell look like a slap on the wrist.  Also when I saw him do the turnbuckle headstand, I thought Ultimo Dragon was the only one who could do that.  Too bad TNA has done nothing with him. His first match was against Kurt Angle and Angle had to do very little to carry him. In fact, it looked like for a second that in their first match that Angle had to actually step it up to keep up with him. Here’s hoping he goes back to ROH, see him take back the belt that was his. 

5) The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards): This one was a tie. I’m keeping what I have to say about these two as brief as I can because I’m writing about them in another blog about tag teams.  There are certain teams where when you separate them, only one of them is good. The Wolves are an example of two great wrestlers make one insanely great team.  Two sound technicians in the ring at both submission and various fighting styles.  One of which who surprised the world by defeating Roderick Strong and becoming the new World Champion in ROH.   Of course I’m talking about Eddie Edwards.  ROH is currently teasing at a match between Edwards and Richards for the world title, which would be golden considering the last match they had over the TV title.  It was considered worthy of match of the year last year and should they wrestle for the world title, the match will still be of the same caliber with the outcome being a toss-up over who will come out on top. It’d be a cruel injustice if Davey Richards never holds the world title at least once.


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