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joeg

Best worker of the last 20 years

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Working on a 2010s list at the moment and Daniel Bryan will be towards the top of that. When you give him the decade prior as well, feels like a lock as #1 over the past 20 years. If anything is WWE work helps him. He's worked essentially all manner of matches that promotion allows and excelled. Not much more you could want. 

Then in the mix is probably Hero. I know AJ seems to be the consensus two, and if I crunched the numbers a little more, maybe that's how my feelings shake out but Hero feels instinctively the #2.

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3 hours ago, FMKK said:

I really don't see any argument for Bryan as wrestler of the year in 2020 so far honestly. Maybe top ten but I think Omega, Okada, Ospreay, ZSJ, Miyahara and Shingo are a fair bit ahead of him. I love Bryan, I really do, but I think there's a tendency to overrate everything he does nowadays because he's a beloved figure and he's surrounded by a sea of shit in WWE. What's the case for him this year really built on, two Gulak matches and the Styles match from yesterday? That's a bit slim imo. In fact, I'd go as far to say that Bryan has had at best a mixed return to the ring since 2018. There have been flashes of greatness in some matches but also pretty long stretches of nothingness that, while they're the fault of the booking and the environment rather than the performer, can't really be ignored.

Well, I personally keep track of my WOTY rankings w/ the matches I've rated 3.5+, and as it stands, Bryan has the volume. The Gulak matches & the Styles matches are the top ones, but he's had quality TV matches literally every time he has been featured, and he has been featured quite a lot w/ this IC program and all. In the end it all falls down to matter of an opinion and how you see his matches, but for me, I always find something extremely enjoyable in his matches, and I more than likely always end up loving them on some level. Omega is the only guy out of those that you mentioned that has had more than 1 match worth watching this year in my eyes.

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I definitely don't think Bryan and Tanahashi are the runaway winners here. I'm not as high on 2000's ROH and 2010's NJPW as others seem to be, but Akiyama seems to have every bit as prolific a run of great matches as people say those guys have and I'm much more into the style he works. When doing watching for GME last year, I came away thinking the 2/27/00 Misawa was still the best match of the new millennium. Other names deserving of a shout-out would be KENTA, Daisuke Ikeda, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshihiro Takayama, Kana/Asuka and Negro Navarro.

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For a combination of high-end stuff, longevity over the 20 years and variety, it's Bryan and it's not even close for me. By the same criteria, Styles is probably #2. Akiyama is definitely up there.

Samoa Joe, Minoru Suzuki, Kenta Kobashi, Brock Lesnar, Daisuke Ikeda, El Hijo del Santo, Yuji Nagata etc. etc. This is a tricky question because you could argue that something like Eddie's 2004-2005 run is better than entire careers.

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If we're talking from a pure volume perspective, Styles. Styles was great as early as Bryan was (although Bryan is certainly better in 2001-03, I'd say), but Styles has also never missed significant time to injury and churned out great matches on a consistent basis. I dug through some old TNA this year and was amazed to watch how good Styles was every step of the way but also how much he progressed in the process. Like, you can watch his matches with Daniels and Joe over the years and see them all get better and the matches get deeper as you go. It's kind of amazing. Daniels and Joe are probably good picks for a top 20, Daniels being notable for having great matches literally as soon as this period we're discussing started and still being active and solid, although I'm not sure when I'd say his last truly great match was (maybe 2017 during his title run? Maybe one of the early SCU six mans in 2018?).

Wouldn't argue with anyone picking Bryan or Tanahashi, though.

Surprised no one has mentioned Jericho, who obviously has some gaps but also has classics at the beginning and end of this period, and a pretty big range of great matches. 

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He's not even close if you're looking purely at in-ring, but for ability to change with the times and reinvent himself to stay fresh while also being perfectly acceptable at a top level in the ring, it's hard to think of anyone who has done a better job of constantly adapting to the landscape than Chris Jericho.

Bryan would be my pick too, but I wanted to throw another name out there that I think should be seriously discussed.

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Jericho has too many stretches of mediocrity to go along with his lengthy hiatuses for me to consider him the best wrestler of the last 20 years. As an overall package though, he definitely, in some ways, is the most enduring wrestler of the last 20 years. 

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Outside of my top 3 of Bryan, A.J., and Tanahashi I would go with (in no particular order):

Okada
Omega
Akiyama
Hero
Sabre
Ishii
Suzuki
Casas
Ibushi
Cesaro
Possibly Nagata, Shingo, Cena, Shibata, Naito, and Zayn/Generico

I wanna add Joe but it feels like he peaked rather early due to injury and apart from a few matches/periods, has never been able to reach the same heights as he did in 2005.

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On 6/12/2020 at 4:20 PM, Phil Schneider said:

We have an Eddie Kingston Complete and Accurate over at Segunda Caida, if folks are looking for Eddie recs.

 

https://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2018/09/complete-and-accurate-eddie-kingston.html

I highly recommend his Grand Championship Final against Mike Quackenbush from High Noon. It's one of the best indy matches of this decade and pulls off a big championship atmosphere for the match.

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