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2026 Nomination Thread

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Iron Mike Sharpe

The ultimate "knew his role" guy. Canada's Greatest Athlete was rarely put in a position to have great matches or stand out, but he remains memorable thanks to his work. A big powerful guy, he'd make his opposition look great by stooging, missing big with wild swings and loudly protesting. His offence looked good, nice clubbing blows and though he rarely won, he still made it look impressive to beat him

Matches:

vs Tony Garea (WWF Prime Time 16/6/86)

vs B Brian Blair (WWF Prime Time 5/5/86)

vs Sivi Afi (WWF Prime Time 28/4/86)

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Yukari Ohmori

The forgotten star from mid 80s AJW. Really awesome worker who could brawl with Dump Matsumoto and work title matches with Chigusa. Belongs in the same ring with the other all time greats from 80s AJW. Could keep up with the super pace, but also able to slow the pace down and let things sink in. The only person other than Dump who could slow down Lioness. 

Yukari Ohmori vs Dump Matsumoto 3/20/86

Yukari Ohmori vs Chigusa Nagayo 6/22/86

Yukari Ohmori vs Lioness Asuka 4/15/87

 

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Wait...WTF?

Itsuki Yamazaki

I can't believe she wasn't nominated in 2016. I just assumed she had been or she would've been my first nominee. Jumping Bomb Angels are one of the best tag teams of all time and she deserves a nomination based on that alone. Incredible athlete. OJ has called her the spiritual successor to Jaguar Yokota and I can totally see that, but she can show vulnerability like I've never seen from Jaguar. The Dump Matsumoto match from 8/21/86 is one of the singular holy shit babyface performances of all time. Must see match, must watch nominee. She's another one that would be a contender if we were doing a top 50 instead of a top 100. Itsuki Yamazaki was the fucking bomb. 

Jumping Bomb Angels vs Crush Gals (AJW - 3/20/86)

Itsuki Yamazaki vs Dump Matsumoto (AJW - 8/21/86)

Itsuki Yamazaki vs Devil Masami (JWP - 8/30/91)

 

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Chris Dickinson

He's always in my mind when I think who are the best independent wrestlers in the world nowadays, has been consistent for years, it's hard to think in a bad match of him, has wrestled very good to great matches against a lot of different rivals in Beyond, and his work in the Bloodsports has been great. Probably will be under contract soon, maybe in NJPW, and I'm very interested in how that will go.

2019/07/24 vs Timothy Thatcher
2019/07/28 vs Daisuke Sekimoto
2021/02/13 vs Jeff Cobb

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Tyler Bate

His freakish strength for a guy his size leads to some interesting offense, & I thought his emoting in the corner added a lot to the story of the NXT TV tag title match against Undisputed Era. He's been a stalwart of NXT UK with great singles & tag matches,

Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne NXT Takeover Chicago

Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era NXT TV 7/11/18

Tyler Bate vs. WALTER NXT UK Takeover Cardiff

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Judo/Lord Al Hayes

Ah, for what we don't have. From what we do have, it's a tale of two wrestlers, the young, defiant, indomitable babyface working in France just absolutely crushing guys like a mix between Bob Backlund and Brock Lesnar, and then the crafty and cruel heel wrestling Steve Veidor almost 20 years later, all punctuated by the manager vs manager match with Heenan where he's a de facto face that the crowd loved to hate or hated to love. Is it enough? Probably not for me but maybe for someone, because he's incredibly dynamic in the 50s footage and awesome and despicable in 75. His team with Ray Hunter felt like the best babyace team in the world from the few long matches we have of theirs. Unfortunately a lot of his 1970s was in Amarillo so we just don't have it, but I think people delving into the French footage will want to see everything we do have of him.

vs Guy Robin 3/22/57

Hayes/Hunter vs Delaporte/Bollet 2/1/60

vs Steve Veidor (8/11/75)

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Command Bolshoi

Great wrestler with a fascinating submission-based style that feels different from the rest of the Joshi wrestlers. She's one of my favorite woman wrestlers and I think she is an interesting case of the best Joshi who has made her career outside of the most important groups. I love the fact that there's a very romantic touch in her career story,  how she resurrected and reinvented JWP,  and how she had managed to kept her name and birth day secret as far as I know. I love that something like that is possible in 2021. She also has great athletic abilities which can be seen in her participation in the Chikara King of Trios, but where she really shines is on the mat.

1993/10/11 vs Cutie Suzuki
2002/09/23 vs Carlos Amano 
2017/01/29 vs Kagetsu

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Horst Hoffmann

We have so little hard info on the continental Europe scene pre-1980, but all indications are that he was the biggest star of that era, in a time when you pretty much had to bring the goods from a technical standpoint to get pushed as hard as he did. As good of a pure mat technician as anyone who worked in Japan in the 1970's. Inventor or at least popularizer in a pro wrestling sense of the gutwrench suplex. Supposedly the inspiration for Misawa to sport long green tights.

10/5/61 vs. Lino diSanto

12/15/75 vs. Dory Funk, Jr.

12/17/75 vs. The Destroyer

12/6/77 w/ Billy Robinson vs. The Funks

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Masashi Takeda

Someone primarily known as a deathmatch guy this student of jun kasai, while excellent at that has also had good runs as a straight laced jr heavyweight in both singles and tag in all japan from around 2015-2018. He also in more recent years gained some measure of notoriety among watchers of American indie wrestling where he took part in a couple of bloodsport shows, where he had the opportunity to show off his background of a 16-4 MMA record. His 2017/2018 is a truly exceptional one for a deathmatch wrestler where he held the BJW and Freedoms titles the two main deathmatch titles in Japan at the same time, was BJWs biggest draw, main eventing multiple arena shows and wrestling the likes of Masaya Takahashi, Ryuji Ito, Abdullah Kobayashi, Jun Kasai, Isami Kodaka and Minoru fujita in the process.

Recomended Matches: To show off his different styles I will do a few deathmatch ones and then a couple non-deathmatch.

Vs Shuji Ishikawa BJW Deathmatch heavyweight title BJW 30/06/2013

Vs Jun Kasai King of Freedoms World Title Freedoms 28/08/2018

Vs Toshiyuki Sakuda Ikkitsousen Death match Survivor BJW 28/02/2019

Vs Jonathan Gresham GCW Bloodsport 04/04/2019

Vs Atsushi Aoki AJPW World Junior Heavyweight title AJPW 25/05/2016

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@ohtani's jacket Can you make a case for Shocker? Would you want to? I know when I first got into lucha in around 2013-2014, I enjoyed Rush feud Shocker but it was hard to extrapolate backwards to see him as the guy who was at top of the DVDVR 500 eleven or twelve years earlier. I don't think he was nominated last time.

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Shocker is one of those lucha guys who would be washed up for years and then suddenly turn around and have an awesome run. He probably doesn't have the consistency to be worth serious consideration, but he probably has more great matches to him than a few nominated workers.

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13 hours ago, SegundaCuerda said:

Command Bolshoi

Great wrestler with a fascinating submission-based style that feels different from the rest of the Joshi wrestlers. She's one of my favorite woman wrestlers and I think she is an interesting case of the best Joshi who has made her career outside of the most important groups. I love the fact that there's a very romantic touch in her career story,  how she resurrected and reinvented JWP,  and how she had managed to kept her name and birth day secret as far as I know. I love that something like that is possible in 2021. She also has great athletic abilities which can be seen in her participation in the Chikara King of Trios, but where she really shines is on the mat.

1993/10/11 vs Cutie Suzuki
2002/09/23 vs Carlos Amano 
2017/01/29 vs Kagetsu

Beat me too it!

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7 hours ago, Matt D said:

@ohtani's jacket Can you make a case for Shocker? Would you want to? I know when I first got into lucha in around 2013-2014, I enjoyed Rush feud Shocker but it was hard to extrapolate backwards to see him as the guy who was at top of the DVDVR 500 eleven or twelve years earlier. I don't think he was nominated last time.

I'm only half way through his run, but I will whip something up later. 

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Albert Sanniez

Another guy who massively benefited from the French footage becoming available. The man looked world class from his first appearances in the 60s up to his last in the 80s and virtually always had an outstanding match. Amazing technico, but also amazing rudo. Looks great both doing high end technical work as well stooging for faces and being a rough playing bastard. Has both great singles matches and great tags under his belt. One of those French guys whose matches you can show to anyone and their jaw will drop.

Matches:

w Francis Sullivan vs. Bernard Caclard/Tony Martino, 10/21/1967

w Bernard Caclard vs. Kader Hassouni & Claude Rocca, 3/20/1976

vs. Le Petit Prince, 10/15/1977

 

http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/search/label/Albert Sanniez

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/wrestling_ko/viewtopic.php?p=46647#p46647

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Kim Duk

Kintaro Oki's fellow Korean tag team partner is someone whom I'd never heard get hyped, but almost instantly impressed me. From what I've seen he works as a very capable worker laying his stuff in nicely, with him and Oki basically inventing W.A.R. wrestling by working these hateful chaotic brawls. If you want a summary of what he's about, there's a 4 minute clip of him wrestling Wahoo McDaniel where he absolutely goes toe to toe with him.

vs Rusher Kimura-IWE 25.11.1978.

w/Kintaro Oki vs Rusher Kimura & Great Kusatsu-AJPW 14.12.1977.

w/Kintaro Oki vs Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba-AJPW 28.10.1976.

 

Kendo Kashin

„Kashin is just a troll“. „He sucks“. „He was booed at an ROH show in 2004 once“. This is what I learned growing up reading through the archives of the prowres interwebs. Actually watching the footage, you see he has a cool mask and a catchy theme song. Ok, a good start. Then I watched him tap out Masayuki Naruse in half a minute with a Flying Armbar. I like Flying Armbars. I kept watching his stuff, I kept enjoying it, and by the time I saw him carry clueless Yuma Aoyagi to a really fun match I could safely conclude conventional e-wisdom was wrong and Kendo Kashin does in fact rule. He really is a troll though, but it's part of the charm.

vs Shinjiro Ohtani-NJPW 8.12.1997.

vs Kazuo Yamazaki 3.5.1997.

vs Kenoh-NOAH 7.3.2021.

 

Tadao Yasuda

The alleged „worst IWGP champion in history“,  Yasuda is another wrestler I was supposed to dislike but then I actually watched his matches and it turned out he was quite good. Coward shooter is one of the more unique gimmicks you're gonna find in wrestling, but even before then he knew how to use his strong points like clinching and sumo offence to create meaningful focal points around which to build matches.

vs Naoya Ogawa-Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 31.12.2000.

vs Yuji Nagata-NJPW 16.2.2002.

vs Shinsuke Nakamura-NJPW 14.8.2003.

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Madison Eagles

I need to rewatch a lot of Shimmer and Shine before I make a more developed push for her, but from memory she's my favourite of all the female indie workers of that era. She's such a stand out because she's 6ft 1 and muscular so can credibly fight like an offensive juggernaut. She's like the best version of a Charlotte Flair. Plus she's a lot better on the mat and as a character. She's a great in-match shit-talker and is as good as anyone on those shows at working up crowds during their matches. If anyone's including influence she's also one of the most important wrestlers almost nobody's ever heard of when you look at all the women she trained/mentored who went on to become something bigger.

Madison Eagles vs. Jessie McKay - Shimmer - 12/09/10
 
Madison Eagles vs. Ivelisse Velez - Shine 10/10/14
 
Madison Eagles vs. Deonna Purrazzo - Shimmer 04/14/18

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Megumi Fujii

Fujiii really only has a case for a 100 vote, so this nomination might purely be for me to put her there on my ballot, but here's her case. She has 3 matches, and I'm not sure I'd call any of them great, you could make the argument for the Yoshida match, but in all of them, she looks incredible. Everything is slick, everything is crisp, and she looks like an absolute killer. She would go on to be one the best fighters in women's MMA, but all of these matches take place before the bulk of her run in that sport. Considering her at all is going to be a stretch, but she has a sort of extreme version of Volk Han's case, very few matches, but each one has something special.

Megumi Fujii vs Mariko Yoshida MMA Rules Arsion 6/1/2003

Mariko Yoshida & Megumi Fujii vs. Ayumi Kurihara & Kyoko Kimura - Ibuki 6/5/2005

Fujii Megumi & Natsuki Head vs Yoshida Mariko & Shibutani Shu - Ibuki 3/19/2006

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Takehiro Murahama

I had him at #99 on my 2021 updated list which was a personal pick but he has been the biggest revelation of the 2000s so far. I think people generally see him as the other guy in that great Minoru Tanaka match and in general view Osaka Pro in the wrong lens as mostly a goofy comedy promotion. His rookie year in 2000 is one of the all time great rookie years of any wrestler and it started with match 1 vs. Naohiro Hoshikawa on 1/4/00. He is continuing to bring the goods in 2001 and by the time this list is made in 2026, I should have most of his career chronicled match by match. He is able to blend in being an ass kicker but also sympathetic from underneath.  A wonderful worker. 

 

vs. Black Buffalo  7/22/00

vs. Super Delphin 5/7/00

vs Minoru Tanaka 4/20/01

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Kane

Kane may not be a wrestler with a huge amount of great matches to his name, at least not singles matches, but in terms of being able to run with a gimmick and create some of the most memorable segments of all time, I would argue that Kane is the best guy ever in that regard. Arguably his most impressive feat is being one half of the best comedy stuff WWE has ever done, in the form of Team Hell No in the early 2010s, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that it took place in the PG era, where their comedy misses far more often than it hits. Along with this, Kane has some of the best "moments" in wrestling history, mainly his debut at the climax of the Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels cell match. I wouldn't say Kane is truly up there with my all time favourites, but he's definitely in the conversation.

Recommended matches:

vs. The Undertaker (WWF 1998/3/29)

vs. Chris Benoit (WWE 2004/6/13)

w/ Daniel Bryan & Ryback vs. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (WWE 2012/12/16)

As I said, these matches may not be of the highest quality, but it's the segments and character work that are the true appeal of Kane's body of work.

 

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Harley Saito

Gee, how is Harley Motherfucking Saito not nominated? I would comfortably rank her as the best worker of the original JWP promotion. A badass shooter who was a fantastic sympathetic face. Her 1991 alone smokes a lot of well respected workers best years. She also had some banging matches in the interpromotional era. I've yet to dive into her LLPW work, so that is something to look forward too.

Match reviews:

Recommended matches:

Shinobu Kandori vs. Harley Saito (7/19/90)

Devil Masami & Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Miss A & Harley Saito (8/12/1990)

Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Shinobu Kandori & Rumi Kazama (JWP 10/10/90)

Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (JWP 1/6/1991)

Miss A vs. Harley Saito (UWA Tournament finals) (2/1/91)

Miss A & Harley Saito vs. Rumi Kazama & Mayumi Ozaki (JWP 4/23/1991)

Harley Saito vs. Eagle Sawai (7/14/91)

Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito (8/4/1991)

Dynamite Kansai & The Scorpion vs. Harley Saito & Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 8/8/91)

Harley Saito vs. Dynamite Kansai  (JWP 11/2/1991)

Harley Saito & Devil Masami vs. Dynamite Kansai & Madusa (JWP 12/7/1991)

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Ken the Box

Epic brawler with a knack working psychological masterpieces. On the short list of most interesting characters in wrestling history and the definition of the wrestler you want to see vs anybody. Ken the Box vs Brock Lesnar? Ken the Box vs Lou Thesz? Ken the Box vs Jaguar Yokota? Ken the Box vs Sabu? Ken the Box vs Shinya Hashimoto? Ken the Box vs Abdullah the Butcher? Ken the Box vs Kenta Kobashi (Battle of the Kens!)? These are all guarateed 5 star matches. I challenge anyone to come up with an opponent for Ken the Box that wouldn't be a 5 star match. He's the only wrestler in history you could say that about. Ken the Box is the ultimate cheat code. He solved pro-wrestling. 

Ken the Box vs Survival Tobita 8/23/99

Ken the Box vs Survival Tobita The Rematch

Ken the Box vs Sano vs Survival Tobita

:)

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Konnan

I’m surprised he hasn’t been nominated. Or maybe  I’m not, yes he’s a bit shit and I can’t erase slow-motion clotheslines from WCW from my memory. However as someone who lets the YouTube algorithm determine what I watch, Konnan shows up in a lot of matches I have watched recently, most of which I watched many years ago but I can’t deny they are all awesome. I’m talking early 90s EMLL boom and the theatre of the first few years of AAA, amazing brawls against and alongside admittedly all-timers such as Perro Aguayo, Cien Caras, Mascara Ano 2000, Pirata Morgan, Faraon etc. And I will stand by the fact that the feud with Jake Roberts was awesome. When I keep watching matches involving Konnan and he’s at the height of his superstardom, he should be discussed especially when the imposter  Konnan Big has been nominated. Let’s arriba la raza, and get bowdy bowdy and rowdy rowdy.

Konnan vs Jake Roberts Tijuana hair match

Konnan vs Perro Aguayo mask v hair match EMLL 1991

Konnan/Perro Aguayo/Rayo de Jalisco Jr vs Cien Caras/Mascara Ano 2000/Sangre Chicana

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