Welcome to the NZPWI 10 for 2007!
How do you judge who the best pro-wrestlers in the country are when you disregard wins and look purely at how they work in the ring?
Simple. You ask their peers.
Below, you’ll find NZPWI’s official “top 10” of active New Zealand Scene professional wrestlers, as voted by NZPWI contributors and active talent in New Zealand (with 2-3 wrestlers from each promotion casting their vote).
The below ratings are not officially sanctioned or recognised by any New Zealand promotion; however are the opinions of the voting panel – a true recognition of and by their peers.
NZPWI 10 (2007)
#1: Jon E King (IPW)
Coming in at number one in the NZPWI 10 is former IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion and reigning NZPWI Invitational Grand Champion, Jon E King.
King is one of the most respected and knowledgeable figures in the New Zealand industry and will go down in history as one of the most talented workers in this era of New Zealand professional wrestling.
An incredible 2007 sees King lifting his position to the top spot from last year’s number four.
#2: “The Deal” Dal Knox (IPW)
Coming in at number two for the second year in a row is reigning IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion, Taranaki’s own “The Deal” Dal Knox.
A perennial favourite with fans, the former Wellington-based star has well and truly made Auckland his home.
His devastating Knox Out finisher has garnered attention from international workers and his out-of-ring demeanour has seen him become one of the most popular individuals amongst his peers, as well.
#3: “Double D” Davey Deluxeo (IPW)
It’s difficult to believe that, in his very early 20s, “Double” D Davey Deluxeo is one of the most experienced individuals in New Zealand professional wrestling.
A former three-time IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion, Deluxeo’s ongoing commitment to improving his craft – and his physique – see this young star constantly on the rise.
With Deluxeo heading to the US to further improve his game, he may well be New Zealand’s best hope of having an indie star in the States in the short term.
#4: Cruz (IPWA)
The son of legendary New Zealand wrestler Peter Ball, Cruz himself is a modern day legend amongst New Zealand professional wrestlers.
Arguably the easiest kiwi talent to work with in the ring, Cruz’s ring savvy and experience lift his opponent’s game at every turn.
This hard hitting and incredibly fast individual is always a pleasure to watch in action.
#5: Alfred Valentine (IPW)
Slipping from his number one position last year is former IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion and NZPWI Invitational 2006 Grand Champion, Alfred Valentine.
Perhaps the single most respected figure in the New Zealand scene, Valentine’s knowledge of all things pro-wrestling makes him an individual that any up-and-comer would be wise to attach themselves to.
With a plethora of experience behind him, one feels the best is still to come from the former HAV.
#6: “Lyte Playa” Roger Ventura (IPW)
Number six on this year’s NZPWI 10 is “Lyte Playa” Roger Ventura. Calling IPW home for the last five years, Ventura has recently left for the opportunity to further his career in the United States.
Beginning his ring life as a “high-flyer”, Ventura has gone on to work a mixed-martial-arts style into his armour, and even recently fought his first MMA bout in New Zealand.
Watch for this popular athlete to do everything he can to reach stardom in the US.
#7: Adam Avalanche (NZWPW)
Former NZWPW Heavyweight Champion Adam Avalanche has gone on to become arguably the best “big man” in the New Zealand scene for 2007.
Coming in at number seven, and the first Wellingtonian on this year’s list, Avalanche continues to perfect his craft and has become the most complete talent on the NZWPW roster.
Avalanche didn’t register in last year’s NZPWI Twenty. His ranking this year goes to show his incredible progression.
#8: Jordan Invincible (IPW)
Ask any fan who they remember most from any New Zealand professional wrestling event, and chances are they’ll say Jordan Invincible.
A master at working the ring apron, Invincible’s verbal tirades have fans either in stitches of laughter or cowering in fear.
Add to that the technical prowess of The Xtreme Superstars member, and his agility for his size, and you have one of the “must sees” of the New Zealand scene.
#9: H-Flame (KPW)
The backbone of KPW, H-Flame continued to be the promotion’s leading light throughout 2007.
Having one of the most impressive physiques in New Zealand professional wrestling has made H-Flame a favourite with the ladies, while his Nuke (sunset flip powerbomb) continues to impress the lads.
Watch for H-Flame to continue to improve in 2008.
#10: “The One” Vinny Dunn (IPW)
One of the most popular athletes amongst fans comes in at number 10, with IPW’s “The One” Vinny Dunn.
The proud Hibiscus Coast native has held the IPW South Pacific Championship with equal pride. His title run has seen him cross the Tasman to defend the gold on more than one occasion, gaining valuable experience and impressing fans throughout Australasia.
Going from strength-to-strength, Dunn plans on making 2008 even bigger and better.