Your 2016 new best friends

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Your 2016 new best friends

Post by Alan4L » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:15 pm

Was thinking about this following on from PROGRESS weekend, and thought it might be a good thread idea. Who are your “New Best Friends” in 2016, i.e. the wrestlers who weren’t on your faves list in 2015 either from lack of exposure or that you just weren’t fond of their stuff to now being guys or gals that you think are friggin awesome!

For me it’s the following:

Jack Gallagher – Previously I knew Jack was as solid a technician as there is. Felt he’d be a good guy to face the Thatchers of the world if he got a chance. Now in the last couple of months it’s clear to me that this guy’s biggest asset is actually the personality and babyface likeablity that he brings to the ring. He has been so ungodly over on the last few PROGRESS shows, everyone just fucking loves the guy, and how can you not. If he gets even a small chance in the Cruiser tourney, he’ll be a massive star after it. What a wrestler!

BUSHI – What a comeback by this guy. You wanna talk about turning your career around? He’s done it in a big way. Outside of KUSHIDA, he’s the best native junior that New Japan have had as a staple of the division in a long time.

“King Of Darkness” EVIL – I STILL think people aren’t giving my boy the KOD his due. His two Ishii matches were off the charts great. I loved the Goto one too even though it was shorter. He’s been the star of so many of those LIdJ vs CHAOS tags. Can’t wait to see what he does in the G1.

Mat Fitchett – I’m going to keep saying it. This is the guy that needs to be the next big breakout on the US indy scene. He can do it all, he’s got a weird charisma and he’s ready. The Drew Gulak match in AAW was off the charts and everyone needs to see it.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm


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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by ScorpioCorp » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:43 pm

Evil Uno - Seen a decent amount of his tag work in the Super Smash Bros, but I never knew how great of a singles wrestler he is until his recent PWG work. Been a great, sadistic heel & has incorporated his methodical offence exceptionally in his matches.

Fred Yehi - A guy who I use to think was an OK wrestler, but his charisma & unique grappling style has grown on me. Yeah Yeah Yeah to that crazy redneck.

Chris Vice & Marcus Pitt: 2 dudes from my home country Australia who I have enjoyed watching at some indy shows. Strong, athletic & stiff wrestlers they are.
Last edited by ScorpioCorp on Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:04 pm

BUSHI: As Alan said, he's been a revelation and couldn't have been a more vanilla prior to Los Ingobernables. Now he's among my favorite juniors and I love his style of work and how it differs from the rest of those in the division. I'm a sucker for a good mist gimmick too.

Kongo Kong: Always eye-rolled him because the gimmick doesn't look like it SHOULD work in 2016 but something clicked and I finally got it early this year and I haven't looked back. I love the guy. I love his work. I love the gimmick. I love HIS look. He's fantastic.

Zeus: Likely to be on a lot of people's list. Use to be an automatic skip for me and he's now become a must-see.

Taniguchi: Never knew that mask and his damn stick would be such a turnoff but the guy is 1,000 times better without the mask. This isn't even a reaction to the match against Shelton over the weekend, I liked his team with Go and I've just generally enjoyed his work this year after despising him for prior years.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by itsberlo » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:23 pm

Tetsuya Naito: I always thought this guy was a good wrestler but he really never clicked with me until this year. It seems like he finally got the character work at the same level as his in ring work. Hell, I think it may have even elevated his in ring work.

"Progress" wrestlers: I started watching Progress for the first time this year from the beginning up to the present shows. For guys like Scrull, Ospreay, Jimmy Havoc, Zack Gibson, etc. it was my first exposure to them and really made me pay attention to the Euro indy scene. Then all of a sudden, Scrull and Ospreay were killing it all over the world and I became even a bigger fan of both. Even a wrestler like Mark Haskins, who I did not care for based on his TNA run, made me a fan based on what I saw in Progress.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by ayaashm » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:31 pm

Roderick Strong : I thought he was the most boring guy ever. His amazing run with that PWG title sold me on him as being a great worker.

Gedo : Listening to old Flagship pods and recent Joe's comments made watch his stuff from prev. BoSJ and I love his matches now.

Naito : I thought he was a good worker but very bland and this recent Los Ingobernables de Japon run has sold me on him being a dick heel and the way he buries other people in his promos is great.It is very impressive,particularly, because Tanahashi in his book criticised his lack of promo ability as being the reason he wasn't getting over and now I look forward to his post match promos.

Marty Scurll : I wasn't exposed to enough of his stuff and I saw him for the first time in a RevPRo match,then in PWG.I've since watched every PROGRESS show,so I absolutely love him.

Will Ospreay : First time seeing him in PWG against Mandrews.They had a great 11 minute match. I immediately looked for more of his stuff and PROGRESS and RevPRo helped out in that aspect and now he's gonna be a star in New Japan so it's great!

Zeus : I thought he was okay at best but his recent work has lead to me turning the corner on him.
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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by Garuda » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:55 pm

KUSHIDA: I always liked KUSHIDA but this junior's run has made him into maybe my favorite wrestler on the planet right now. I think that he's the person who's been giving me the most anticipation per match then anyone this year. I get so pumped for a KUSHIDA match, and this BOSJ has been a blast because of it.

Zack Sabre Jr.: I had seen a few matches here and there and liked them fine, but I've really turned the corner on him this year. Late to the party, but I can't get enough ZSJ torture-rack spots this year. 2016 has made me his megafan.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by InYourCase » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:10 pm

Zeus: Zeus is GREAT this year. Wouldn't have predicted that at all, but he is tearing it up in All Japan. I'm looking forward to Zeus matches whenever they pop up now.

Scurll: I'm in love with the guy. I think he's insanely compelling and for as great as ZSJ and Ospreay have been, I think there's a bigger spot in my heart for Scurll. I feel like he's on the cusp of doing something insanely, insanely great.

U-T: I felt like saying Kzy, but Kzy has had flashes of greatness since 2008 (see: vs. Horiguchi, Kobe World 2008) and now he's great on a monthly basis. U-T has been useless to me until recently, now that he's feuding with Ishida and Yamamura.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by DanSmith » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:24 pm

Mark Andrews, Jack Gallagher & Mark Haskins: I think last year I had no idea who they were, but after diving into Progress this year, I think they're pretty amazing

Daisuke Sekimoto: I know I'm extremely late to the party, but I just started getting into BJW this year and he's the hero I want but don't deserve

Zack Sabre Jr: for whatever reason I was never blown away by him in the past, but this year every match I've seen him in is among my favorite matches of the year

Yosuke Santa Maria: I'm assuming the most improved for this year, my favorite reason to watch Dragon Gate

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by strikamura » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:28 pm

Fun thread concept!

BUSHI: For all the reasons that have been said. Everything he does is must-watch for me. He has this vibe and coolness factor about him, I can't take my eyes off of the screen when he's out there. Possibly my favorite wrestler thus far in 2016.

Kzy: How great has Kzy been this year? I've always liked Kzy, but in 2016 he has shot straight up to my top ten favorite wrestlers in the world. He's been a stand-out performer on a roster absolutely LOADED with stand-out performers. Can't say enough about how much I've enjoyed Kzy and how much he's added to my viewing experience during some of my favorite matches this year.

Kenoh: The NOAH Juniors are the bright spot of NOAH for me, and I never skip anything involving Kenoh/Ohara/Harada/Kotoge. Kenoh has really clicked with me this year. I love all of those guys and I've enjoyed the Momo No Seishun vs. Kenoh & Ohara series immensely this year. Kenoh just rules. I really hope he's one of the NOAH guys in the J Cup, but I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't. Regardless, Kenoh rules.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by wac » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:46 pm

Matt Riddle - I thought he showed flashes but didn't really have it all together and wasn't fully on board the hype train. The two Tracy Williams matches, the Zack Sabre match, and the Anthony Nese match were all very good, and he's got a great charisma. I still need to see that Hero match.

Lio Rush - He's just fantastic, his CZW matches with Joey Janela are what really caught my eye and his Lethal match is my ROH match of the year so far. Every matchup you stick him in is intriguing to me. For that matter, Janela is another guy that I didn't think much of before but has impressed me.

Fred Yehi - I just didn't see very much of him in 2015. I love the way he targets his offense.

KUSHIDA - This is kind of a weird one, he's been one of my favorites for a while but he's been so consistently good that I kind of got bored. He's like the new Nakamura to me, his autopilot matches are ***1/2 - **** and then as soon as I get used to it and start thinking he's lazy or I've seen it all, he pulls out a match of the year. He's not a new favorite, but I've definitely come to appreciate him more.

Mark Haskins - I saw some of his work in PROGRESS, but usually when I was watching for the other guy in the match. He's got the total package, and I'd love to see more of him in the U.S.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by Quentin Moody » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:21 pm

Fred Yehi - What a gem this guy is. Maybe my favorite offense in wrestling right now. Super unique way of doing things and has shown his skill in a variety of settings.

Mustafa Ali - If I was making a list of wrestlers who've been the best so far in 2016, Mustafa Ali would be in my top 15. This guy has been excellent in Freelance and Dreamwave. He almost has a TJP-esque way of making things look effortless and he wakes up having great matches.

Zeus - What is left to say about this guy. He's legitimately great and has become a bright spot whenever I'm watching All Japan. Love his charisma and I just have so much fun watching him.

Mascara Dorada - Now here's someone I always knew was good, often times very good, but he's had a Wrestler Of The Year level year so far. He's been easily the best wrestler in Mexico so far this year in my opinion and his title matches have changed my outlook on him from "great high flyer" to just great in general.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by GuestTimekeeper » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:17 pm

BUSHI - wasn't watching New Japan when he was around before, but he's my favorite Jr this year.

Ospreay - heard all the buzz, but never bothered to check him out before this year. Call me suitably impressed.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by suplexberry » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:59 pm

SANADA - Had vague impressions of him as that guy that did a spin in TNA and had a match against Mutoh that I did watch and enjoy, but was not blown away by or anything. His new look in NJPW caught my eye, so I went back to check out a lot of his indy work and I really, really like him now. I'm hoping for a great G1 run, but only time will tell I suppose.

Jack Gallagher - I always liked him but this year I've just been a big human-sized exclamation point whenever I've seen him. Seeing his subtle facial expressions and character work in SSS16 live this year solidified my huge fandom for this kid. Helped to be singing his theme song with everybody around me doing the same. Alan's description of him is spot on.

Jinny - Another Progress wrestler, whaddya now. I loved her based on what I saw of her last year, too, but this feud against Laura Di Matteo (formerly Jinny's maltreated assistant Elizabeth) kicked up my appreciation of Jinny to a whole new, worship-like level. She is one of the best heels in the business. She's the perfect Jimmy Havoc replacement. I love her so much. I mean, boo, I hate her. I'm considering watching some promotions just to see her work. I think Progress is way too cautious in booking their women's division, every Jinny storyline has been redhot because she's got redhot heat, and now that her in-ring work has improved tremendously, I could see a co-headlining women's match or even a Chapter show down the line that she main events.

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Re: Your 2016 new best friends

Post by mprentice84 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:40 am

William Ospreay.
Never saw him work prior to signing with New Japan. A ton of people whose opinion I respect were raving about him well before this year, but I don't ever have time to catch EVOLVE or the Euro promotions. The man is just fantastic. Surpassed all hype, which was a near impossible task.

Jay White & David Finlay
I'd seen a ton of their matches before, but they really started growing on me in 2016. I'm convinced that both have a very bright future in the business.

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