Welcome to the NZPWI 10 for 2008!
For the third year running, NZPWI brings fans of the NZ Scene the top-ranked wrestlers in the country.
Determined by a panel of NZPWI staff and active talent from all New Zealand promotions, the NZPWI 10 seeks to provide a definitive ranking of those who:
- are a New Zealand citizen or of New Zealand descent
- have had a minimum of three matches in New Zealand over the calendar year
The below ratings are not officially sanctioned or recognised by any New Zealand promotion; they are the opinions of the voting panel – a true recognition of and by their peers.
NZPWI 10 (2008)
#1: “The Deal” Dal Knox (IPW)
2008 was a golden year for Dal Knox, who enjoyed an almost unparalleled level of popularity and success. His Knox Out finisher continues to thrill fans up and down the country – many of whom appear at IPW shows proudly wearing their Dal Knox tees.
Since arriving in Auckland in 2005 after establishing himself in NZWPW, Knox has become synonymous with IPW. A multi-time holder of the IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship, and ranked #2 in the NZPWI 10 for the past two years, “The Deal’s” new challenge is to prove himself worth of inclusion in the line up of all-time Kiwi greats.
#2: “Double D” Davey Deluxeo (IPW)
Arguments about the calibre of New Zealand’s modern crop of wrestlers and the quality of training on offer usually end with the mention of “Double D” Davey Deluxeo, and with good cause. His performances on both sides of the Tasman are widely discussed, and his exploits at Booker T’s wrestling school in the United States are already the stuff of legend.
A veteran of the modern NZ pro wrestling movement, Deluxeo is one of a select few Kiwi wrestlers who could walk into any indie promotion in the world and look like he’d been there all along.
#3: Jordan Invincible (IPW)
Davey Deluxeo’s long-time partner Jordan Invincible shed his bridesmaid’s outfit in 2008, taking a big jump from #8 on the 2007 NZPWI 10, winning his first IPW Championship and establishing himself as one of New Zealand’s best all-round performers.
It is arguable that nobody in the country brings a better balance of athleticism, wrestling skill and showmanship to the squared circle than Jordan Invincible. Any fan who wants to argue the point is usually shouted back into their seats by the man himself.
#4: Vinny Dunn (IPW)
In a year where some in the NZ scene seemed to prefer coasting along to blazing ahead, Vinny Dunn came straight from the Hibiscus Coast to deliver his best performances since debuting in IPW in 2005, and is elevated from the #10 position in last year’s NZPWI rankings.
That Dunn was able to maintain such a dominant position in IPW without clinching the promotion’s premier title speaks volumes for his skill and charisma. Could 2009 be the the year for The One?
#5: Alfred Valentine (IPW)
Having completely left all vestiges of the “Heartless” persona behind, the Swiss technician, Alfred Valentine, continues to hold a unique position in New Zealand wrestling as the craft’s most respected practitioner.
The reason for that is in that word: craft. Valentine approaches his matches like a master artisan, using technique, precision and power to shape his contests in a way no other local performer can. He also has an incredible ability to adapt to unfamiliar opponents and situations.
#6: Jon E King (IPW)
Down from last year’s #1 position, 2008 was a reasonably quiet year for the multiple-time IPW Champion, Jon E King. However, the influence and respect he commands has gone a long way to ensuring that when a fan thinks of IPW, more often than not it’s King’s snarling visage they imagine first.
As they say of Tiger Woods in golf, an average year for Jon E King is still light years beyond the best years of some of his rivals.
#7: H-Flame (KPW)
KPW’s leading player, H-Flame, continues to cast an impressive shadow over his contemporaries, and in an industry where the body can be the ticket to superstardom, H-Flame’s physique may be the best in New Zealand.
H-Flame’s well-rounded style has seen him pick up victories in New Zealand and Australia, with the crowd firmly behind him each time, regardless of country.
#8. Roger Ventura (AWF NZ)
After heading abroad to the USA, Roger Ventura made a spectacular return to New Zealand in 2008.
New Zealand’s premier freelance wrestler had a match of the year contender at AWF’s Tradition Reigns show before going on the claim the newly created AWF Commonwealth Championship in a tournament the next night.
#9: Max “The Axe” Damage (KPW)
Max “The Axe” Damage makes his NZPWI 10 debut after an impressive 2008, and is in no small part due to his incredible popularity behind the scenes. The man is tall, well-built and immensely powerful, but what maketh the man is his professional attitude.
A deserving recipient of a WWE tryout opportunity in 2008, Max Damage could yet go further in this business. The world hasn’t seen the best of this one.
#10: D-Hoya (NZWPW)
Also debuting on the NZPWI 10 is the reigning six-time NZWPW Champion, D-Hoya. His finely balanced mix of wrestling skill, popular appeal and true Kiwi attitude has seen him click with audiences in a way that no other wrestler has. Little wonder then that he has been NZWPW’s cornerstone for over five years.
Respected by wrestlers and the fans alike, D-Hoya never fails to deliver the goods in the ring – and picked up two of his record-setting title reigns in 2008 with big wins in the main events of NZWPW’s marquee shows.