Three months ago, I looked at the in-ring wrestler of the year race using only’s match ratings data. This is an updated look at the race using the same data, only through the first nine months of this year.

I pulled all of Cagematch’s match ratings data from this calendar year. Matches have to have at least ten user ratings in Cagematch’s database – this is an attempt to include a wide range of matches, while avoiding the niche ones with only a couple of ratings. This data was pulled on September 30.

I assigned point values to ranges of match ratings in an attempt to reward top-level matches. In my experience, 9.25+ is approximately in the range of a Dave Meltzer rating over five stars. 8.75 to 9.24 is roughly equivalent to 4 3/4 or 5 stars, and so forth to the range of 6.75-7.24, roughly three and a half stars. I tried to space out the points assigned to rating ranges to best reward the higher-rated matches while still providing recognition for matches on the lower end of ratings.

CM ratingPoints per matchTotal # of matchesMatches added over past three months


Please note that for the above chart, the matches added over the past three months didn’t necessarily all take from July to September – matches from earlier in the year that crossed the ten-vote threshold, or otherwise had increases in their ratings to fall into a new category, would also be part of these counts.

As before, matches rated under 6.75 were not considered.

Matches involving more than three people on a team, matches with more than four sides competing, and battle royal-type matches are not included in these ratings.

There are some inherent limitations in using Cagematch data – the user base largely ignores lucha libre, with the exception of some high-profile crossover matches. There are also some cliques of voters who heavily emphasize specific promotions – I previously pointed to TJPW and NXT UK as benefitting from enthusiastic fan bases. You could arguably add WWE fans to that list for the past three or so months.

735 wrestlers earned at least one point each – an increase of 101 – and 1419 matches are rated at least 6.75 on Cagematch – which is 505 more matches than the last article.

I’ve linked to the full list of wrestlers ranked with points. The top 21 wrestlers (there’s a tie for 20th) and their points are in the chart below.

1Will Ospreay272
2Mike Bailey261
3Konosuke Takeshita191
4Jon Moxley180
5Kazuchika Okada177
7Saya Kamitani137
8Starlight Kid136
9(t)El Desperado128
9(t)Tomohiro Ishii128
13Mayu Iwatani121
14Kento Miyahara119
15Dax Harwood115
16Suzu Suzuki111
17(t)Bryan Danielson110
17(t)Momo Watanabe110
17(t)Zack Sabre Jr.110
20(t)Hiroshi Tanahashi109
20(t)Tam Nakano109


Like last time, there’s still a massive gap between the top two and third place, which is now Takeshita. Last time, Okada was thirty points behind #2; this time, Takeshita is seventy behind that same spot. The 81-point gap between first-place Will Ospreay and Takeshita is the same as the gap between 20th-place Tanahasahi & Nakano and the four-way tie for 126th.

I noted last time that I expected Ospreay to take the top spot from Mike Bailey, which he did. The gap is smaller than I would have predicted. Bailey has kept busy, with nine matches over 7.50 between July and September, including a highlight match against Will Ospreay on August 20 in RevPro.

WWE has completely fallen out of the top 20 – Rollins was the top guy at 20th last time. He’s still the top WWE representative after slipping to 28th with 99 points. Matt Riddle (tied for 54th, 72 points), Kevin Owens (67th, 66 points), AJ Styles (83rd, 57 points), Ilja Dragunov (tied for 87th, 52 points), and Tyler Bate (tied for 89th, 51 points) round out the WWE representation in the top 100.

The Dax Harwood for Wrestler of the Year campaign has cooled, with him falling from 10th to 15th. A lack of opportunities to have great matches has hurt his candidacy.

I have also ranked the top performers in terms of points gained over the past three months – again, this isn’t only from matches that took place in July through September. Here are the top 21 (again, there’s a tie for 20th) performers in terms of points gained.

NamePoints Gained Since Last Evaluation
Will Ospreay124
Mike Bailey106
Konosuke Takeshita92
Suzu Suzuki69
Kazusada Higuchi66
Saya Kamitani66
Jon Moxley65
Kyle Fletcher61
Mark Davis61
Starlight Kid60
Mayu Iwatani59
Alex Shelley57
Momo Watanabe57
Tam Nakano57
Daniel Garcia53
Kazuchika Okada52
Bryan Danielson49
Miu Watanabe49


To me, this shows two things –the points gained by STARDOM talent during, and the relative lack of points gained by people in New Japan from the G1 Climax.

The new G1 Climax schedule – with fewer matches spread out over more days – resulted in a lower-than-expected point gain. Only one person from the G1 appears in this table – Kazuchika Okada.

Meanwhile, STARDOM’s seemingly endless 5 STAR Grand Prix gave a boost to many wrestlers from that tournament. Nine of the top 21 in the previous table were part of that tournament.

Of particular note is the quarter Daniel Garcia just had – he picked up nearly four times as many points as he had compared with the just 14 he had in the first half of the year. He’s benefitted from two high-profile matches against Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta each.

Another note of interest to me is that STARDOM performers have a significant number of matches in the bottom point range (Cagematch ratings of 6.75-7.24). The top thirteen workers (there’s a five-way tie at 9th) with the most of these matches speaks for itself:

NameMatches between 6.75-7.24 on CM
Starlight Kid14
Mayu Iwatani14
Mina Shirakawa13
Momo Watanabe12
Tam Nakano12
Utami Hayashishita12


To find a non-STARDOM wrestler in this rank, you’d have to go down to the tie for 20th, where Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, and El Desperado are – along with Saya Kamitani and Himeka.

I was curious if these matches had a significant effect on the final standings, but if you adjust the rankings to remove these matches, the standings don’t particularly change:

NamePointsActual RankModified Rank
Will Ospreay27011
Mike Bailey25622
Konosuke Takeshita18733
Jon Moxley17644
Kazuchika Okada17355
Saya Kamitani12976
Tomohiro Ishii12498
Starlight Kid12289
El Desperado120910
Dax Harwood1141511
Kento Miyahara1121412
Bryan Danielson1101713
Mayu Iwatani1071315
Zack Sabre Jr.1071715
Go Shiozaki1062318
Hiroshi Tanahashi1042019
Alex Shelley1042219


The top ten is largely unaffected; its primary effect is knocking a few STARDOM names out of the second group of ten.

It seems likely that Will Ospreay will pick up this award, as his matches have taken place in higher profile locations than Mike Bailey’s, but in this one statistical measure, it is a definite two-horse race. Depending on how Ospreay closes out the year in terms of his schedule, as World Tag League isn’t usually a source of many acclaimed matches, there’s a chance Mike Bailey could make a move on the top spot in this measure.

Powered by RedCircle