The Chairshot’s crack staff of personalities submitted their top 50, and a smaller group put the Top 10 in order. How did it shake out?
If you haven’t already, take a look at our Top 11-50. Tomorrow we will post up the podcast on how we came to the Top 10 decisions–which you will love–but let’s just get to the part everyone wants to see.
Here is the crew who made these decisions:
- Mathew Sarpaicone (Puroresu and Joshi Coverage expert) Twitter: N/A
- Andrew Balaz (Managing Editor of The Charishot, Raw Reaction, POD is WAR) Twitter: @IWCWarChief
- Steven Mitchell (weekly TV Coverage Articles) Twitter: N/A
- Steve Cook (Featured Writer) Twitter: @stevecook84
- Greg DeMarco (Owner/Publisher of The Chairshot, Greg DeMarco Show) Twitter: @ChairshotGreg
Yeah, two of them aren’t on Twitter. THAT’S ACTUALLY POSSIBLE!
10. Alexa Bliss (WWE)
Alexa Bliss shouldn’t even be here. Not on the planet, she’s fine there. Not even in WWE, as she obviously belongs there.
I am talking about our Top 10. In the initial voting, she finished outside of the Top 10, and wasn’t even the highest rated woman. But as the guy who pays the bills, I called an audible and opened-up spot #10 a little. I felt like it was an opportunity for some great podcasting (check it out when we release it, you’ll love it), but more importantly than that it was a chance to make sure we simply “got it right.”
Once Alexa was at #10, we did.
Looking at the review period, Alexa Bliss had an amazing year. She was champion more often than she wasn’t. But she didn’t just carry a championship—she CARRIED A DIVISION. Be it Raw or Smackdown, Alexa Bliss carried the division. She was the perfect WrestleMania foil for Nia Jax, she won and cashed in Money In The Bank, and when the time came for Ronda Rousey to take her spot as Raw Women’s Champion, it was Alexa Bliss who put her over.
From an afterthought in NXT to the brightest shining star in the women’s division, Alexa Bliss deserves to be considered among the best in the world, regardless of gender. – Greg
9. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW)
Naito has had a heck of a year from winning the G1 Climax in 2017 and even main eventing the Tokyo Dome at WK 12.
While he was unable to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, he would at least live out his goal of main eventing the dome and fixing the wrong from WK 8 as he now sets himself up with new goals while the fans rally behind him. Naito has been known to be the fan favorite in Japan over guys like Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada, and even passed Hiroshi Tanahashi who is considered to be their god when it comes to his charisma. Naito would also become a two-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion by defeating Minoru Suzuki till he dropped it to Chris Jericho. He may have had some shortcomings near the end of the mark, but the fan base keeps growing bigger waiting for that special moment to come for him and when he does, it’ll be huge. – Mathew
8. Seth Rollins (WWE)
The Architect had a pretty hot 2018 and would #BurnItDown in many of his matches, especially the Raw Gauntlet leading into Elimination Chamber back in February.
Rollins would also complete his Grand Slam by capturing the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania against The Miz and Finn Balor. The WWE schedule can be grueling at times, but Rollins is willing to go at it with everything he’s got, as both that Gauntlet and Summerslam’s frantic Ironman match can confirm. He’s still IC Champion and might be for the rest of 2018, maybe he’ll turn up the heat again in 2019 to move back up to a world title. – Mitchell
7. Braun Strowman (WWE)
The Monster Among Men dominated much of 2018, for both his size, his speed and his unnatural charisma.
Strowman would wreak havoc over other big stars, like Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens and even The Beast, Brock Lesnar on his way to becoming one of the more over WWE superstars. He won the Raw Tag Team Championships (albeit with a 10 year old child as his tag partner), the Greatest Royal Rumble’s 50 man Rumble and the 2018 Money in the Bank, but it was really only booking that held him back. Those bad decisions by the company aside, there’s no reason he can’t turn things around in the New Year and finally become the Monster Champion Among Men. – Mitchell
6. Kenny Omega (NJPW, ROH)
I feel like we’ve gotten to the point where we take Kenny Omega for granted.
It’s not enough that he has great matches every time out there. Holding the most prestigious championship in pro wrestling outside of the WWE Championship doesn’t matter anymore. Now we must find flaws in Kenny’s game. I gotta admit something though…the alleged flaws aren’t problems with me. People knock his interviews, but I find his speaking style compelling & different from what we usually see.
The Best Bout Machine had a tremendous year critically & in kayfabe. We can no longer dismiss him just because he wrestled an eight year old girl. – Steve Cook
5. Cody (ROH, NJPW)
Has there ever been a better wrestling wife than Brandi Rhodes?
Nobody stands by her man like she does. She also manages Flip Gordon from time to time, but it’s well-known that he’s in the friendzone. Some wives like Miss Elizabeth & Stephanie McMahon rate up there as well, but they didn’t have the elegance & beauty that Brandi possesses. Has there been a better wrestling dog than Pharoah? Certainly not since Matilda, and don’t even try bringing Pepper into this convo. Has there been a hotter group than the Bullet Club/Elite in independent wrestling? These guys have single-handedly revived interest in Ring of Honor & every other promotion they travel to. Has there been a better wrestling mascot than Burnard? Of course not.
Everything Cody touches turns to gold. – Steve Cook
4. Roman Reigns (WWE)
Though the man is often complained about, he’s never out of conversations. A corporate champion, that was hand picked and has numerous years in a row of being the final match on the largest event for his company (sounds like someone else on this list).
During this period in time, he actually wasn’t overly dominant. He did have an Intercontinental Championship run to solidify his Grand Slam status, but when it came down to major matches and angles, it was all pretty 50/50. Also we finally see him get over the Brock Lesnar hump and get his first reign as Universal Champion.
Individual title reigns, Shield reunions and resounding reactions insure Roman to always be in the conversation. Four may seem high to some people, but it feels about correct for me. – Andrew
3. Pentagon Jr (CMLL, AAA, Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, The Crash, MLW)
The majority of wrestlers listed here have a home. Even if they wrestle for more than one promotion, they have a promotion to call home. What is Pentagon’s home?
In Mexico, he gets away with making appearances for AAA, CMLL, The Crash, and more. In the US, he’s famous for his time spent on television as part of Lucha Underground, but during the rating period he has also been the IMPACT Wrestling World Champion. He’s a fixture in MLW, PWG, AAW, PCW, and appears in many more.
There’s a reason he does this: because people want him!
And I don’t just mean promoters want to book him. The fans want to see him. From August 2017 to August 2018, no one talent better personifies the intangible “it factor” than Pentagon Jr. there’s no other way to describe it! When he enters the arena, you are constantly looking to see what he’ll do next. Put him in a Royal Rumble and fill up the ring with wrestlers, and people will find Pentagon first.
Pentagon is the perfect example of wrestling in 2018: the territory days are dead, talent is the territory. And there is no talent more sought after than Pentagon Jr. – Greg
2. AJ Styles (WWE)
AJ Styles went from dropping the United States Championship to finally getting back the WWE Championship when he defeated Jinder Mahal.
Styles in 2016 wasn’t able to get a fair shot with the title since he was stuck with Dean Ambrose and John Cena for the entirety of it. With this current run, however, he would have a wide variety of feuds this time around when he fought people like Brock Lesnar, Rusev, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe. While the feuds can be a hit or miss, Styles would make sure to make his opponents look strong at the end of it while he would still prove why he’s still considered one of the best and worthy of the #2 spot of the list. If this reign is gonna be Styles last title run within the company, then it’s a hell of a way to go out. – Mathew
1. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW)
Though the man is rarely complained about, he’s often the high point of conversations. A corporate champion, that was hand picked and has numerous years in a row of being the final match on the largest event for his company (see what I did there).
In all seriousness, Okada comes off the longest and most prestigious title reign in Japan since Kenta Kobashi held the GHC Heavyweight Championship for 735 days. Since most of the evaluation period is during the back end of his fantastic defenses, it’s hard to say he isn’t the best. Classic matches against SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr, Hiroshi Tanahashi and his historic 2 out of 3 falls match with Kenny Omega, is just one dimension of why he’s the best wrestler of 2018.
He’s been the figurehead for the ever growing number two wrestling company in the world. Even though he finally dropped the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, since when does one loss suddenly invalidate someone’s impact on a year? Okada is a treasure, has helped his company financially, put on great matches and knows how to work a crowd in the ring and with promos. – Andrew
Kazuchika Okada checks all the boxes, so it’s easy to see why he’s our number 1. Some will disagree, that’s part of the fun, but given our criteria, this just feels right.