Welcome to the NZPWI 10 for 2010!
Once again we’ve studied the tapes and have come up with, what we believe, are the top 10 professional wrestlers in New Zealand! 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 5 matches in New Zealand over the calendar year
This year we also introduce the NZPWI Female Five – a ranking of the very best female workers in the country!
The below ratings are not officially sanctioned or recognised by any New Zealand promotion; they are the opinions of NZPWI.co.nz.
NZPWI 10 (2011)
#1: “Te Tahi” Vinny Dunn (IPW)
With his inclusion at #1 for 2010, “Te Tahi” Vinny Dunn becomes the first man to top the NZPWI 10 for two consecutive years, and deservedly so.
2010 was a banner year for the three-time IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion. After losing (and regaining) the title in epic fashion to Reuben de Jong, Dunn would become embroiled in a bitter feud with “The Deal” Dal Knox, a rivalry that dominated the NZ Scene in 2010.
Always giving it 150 per cent, Dunn continues to be one of the most popular figures in New Zealand professional wrestling, and seems set to go from strength to strength.
#2: “The Deal” Dal Knox (IPW)
After more than a year on the shelf with injury, “The Deal” Dal Knox” returned to IPW in emphatic style in taking the IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship from “Te Tahi” Vinny Dunn at IPW Rival Turf.
With IPW Commissioner and NZPWI Founder Dion McCracken by his side, fans got to see a different side of Knox in 2010 – a sadistic individual with no remorse – the polar opposite of what fans had previously known.
Knox’s transformation was seamless, and now he can claim to be one of the most hated men in New Zealand professional wrestling as a result.
#3: Jon E King (IPW)
A veteran of New Zealand professional wrestling, Jon E King continued to amaze in 2010.
As a part of Pure Wrestling Excellence, King led the threesome in a wave of destruction of the IPW roster.
In doing so, King has proven that he is not content to rest on his laurels, and continues to pull out spectacular performances every time he steps in to the ring.
#4: Travis Banks (NZWPW)
Making good on his “One to Watch” status for 2009, Travis Banks breaks onto the NZPWI 10 this year at #4.
2010 was an impressive year for Banks, holding the NZWPW Tag Team Championships with partner JC Star all year, as well as dabbling in the NZWPW Championship picture and leading Team NZWPW to victory at IPW Rival Turf.
With matches all over the country – from Auckland to Blenheim – for three different promotions, the sky is the limit for Banks. Look for him to fly to new heights in 2011.
#5: Davey Deluxeo (IPW)
Perhaps the most travelled man in the NZ Scene, Davey Deluxeo is another veteran who continued his evolution and showed fans a different side in 2010.
Fresh from training with Team 3D in the United States, Deluxeo returned to team with Dils Deluxeo as a part of The Kiwi Express, capturing the IPW Tag Team Championship late in 2010.
Whether in tag or singles competition, Deluxeo continues to be a true student of the business and arguably is the strongest prospect New Zealand has at breaking in to the US indie scene.
#6: Rufguts (NZWPW)
The franchise player for NZWPW, Rufguts can always be counted on to give an audience its money’s worth when the bell rings. The intense, physical brawler showcased his talent in 2010, working some of the best matches of any given show with a variety of opponents of all shapes, sizes and styles.
After losing the NZWPW Championship at Power Play, Rufguts turned his attention to cultivating Project Mayhem in the later half of 2010. With the stable now able to stand on its own two feet thanks to Rufguts’ continued leadership, expect to see the former NZWPW Champion inject himself back into the main event scene for 2011.
#7: Reuben de Jong (IPW)
Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, Reuben de Jong burst in to IPW in 2010 and left fans with dropped jaws at every turn.
The 130kg monster, although a newcomer, quickly showed that he could hang with New Zealand’s best. His awesome presence and strength was unlike anything seen before in this country.
WWE were quick to pick up on this, signing de Jong to a developmental contract soon after his IPW debut, which has seen de Jong since relocate to Florida.
#8: Alexander (IPW)
Another veteran who made a returning splash in 2010 is “The Samoan Silverback” Alexander who comes in at #8.
A powerful competitor with a devastating moveset, Alexander came close to capturing the IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship late in 2010 with a stunning performance against “The Deal” Dal Knox, but fell just short.
The man with “the hardest right hand in the country” seems set to climb the ranks further in 2011.
#9: Alfred Valentine (IPW)
If there was ever an living legend in the current NZ Scene, Alfred Valentine would be it.
Perhaps the most knowledgeable performer in the country, Valentine spent the majority of 2010 tagging with Flagboy and The Antagonist and, although always a standout, arguably didn’t have the opportunity to show fans his very best.
Should Valentine once again rise to the top level of singles competition, a whole new generation of New Zealand wrestling fans will get the opportunity to see him at the peak of his game.
#10: Shane “The Technician” Whitehead (KPW)
The final man on this year’s NZWPI 10 is reigning KPW Champion Shane “The Technician” Whitehead.
Whitehead rose through the KPW ranks quickly in 2010, winning a battle royal before taking the KPW Championship from Max “The Axe” Damage at KPW Make or Break in Damage’s last match in New Zealand.
Whether taking an opponent apart with technical holds, or flat out slamming them into submission thanks to his amateur wrestling accomplishments, Shane Whitehead is one of the most exciting wrestlers on the KPW roster. With a few more matches under his belt, Whitehead seems certain to become one of the major players in New Zealand wrestling.
One to Watch: Johnny Idol (NZWPW)
Johnny Idol has transformed from a scrawny kid to one of the must-see members of the NZWPW roster over the course of 2010.
Idol began the year pretending to be “The Masked Wrestler” and pulling double-duty on some shows before being exposed and eventually turning on the fans to join Project Mayhem. And whether the fans love him or hate him, they’re talking about Idol more often than not at the end of a show.
With a constant drive to succeed, Johnny Idol is bigger and better at every show he wrestles. As far as NZWPW is concerned, 2011 could very well belong to Idol.
One to Watch: Liam Fury (IPW)
After a successful tag team career, including becoming one half of the first ever IPW Tag Team Champions, Liam Fury seems destined for greatness in the NZ Scene.
Now no longer a part of the disbanded Pirates and Ninjas are Totally Awesome, Fury finds himself at the beginning of a singles career in IPW.
One of the most talented pure athletes in the country, Fury’s mix of technical ability and Parcour style high flying make him an exciting “must see”.
One to Watch: Whetu the Maori Warrior (KPW)
Despite a limited showing over 2010, Whetu the Maori Warrior has established himself as a breakout star in KPW.
Whetu began the year wrestling for the KPW Tag Team Championships with 2009’s ‘One to Watch’ Jade Diamond, but soon branched out on his own, wrestling a thrilling triple threat match at KPW Make or Break and then defeating KPW Tag Team Champion Kade Morgan at Halloween Howl.
With the original Maori Warrior, Juno Huia, in his corner, Whetu is in good hands as he fuses the old with the new to create an exciting high-flying style and ignite the KPW audience.
Female Five (2010)
#1 Britenay (IPW)
Topping the first NZPWI Female Five is IPW’s Britenay. Although part of “Fire Mountain Bitch”, Britenay has dominated singles competition almost since her debut. Her heated rivalry and high energy matches with Evie over 2010 were always a highlight on any IPW card, and her ability to generate the “love to hate” vibe has made her one of IPW’s most exciting talents, male or female. One noteable performance in 2010 was when she tagged with JPE and Misty to take on BFF and Carmella Caprice at IPW Rival Turf.
With all that we have seen from Britenay thus far, there seems to be no doubt that there is a great deal more to come. Watch for Britenay to continue to cement her place as New Zealand’s top female over 2011.
#2: JPE (IPW)
The most experienced female professional wrestler in the country, JPE continues to aggravate live audiences at IPW events – and none get them more riled!
Surrounded by talented opponents, JPE enjoyed a lengthy undefeated streak before finally being defeated by Evie in February 2010’s Coastal Assault, yet continues to physically dominate at every turn.
#3: Evie (IPW)
Don’t let our #3’s sweet and innocent looks fool you – Evie is one seriously tough chick.
As a part of BFF with Megan-Kate, Evie has proven that she can hang with the toughest ladies in New Zealand professional wrestling – and thrive!
With stunning athleticism, look for Evie to quickly climb the ranks even further in 2011 and perhaps stake her claim as the top female in the country!
#4: Misty (NZWPW)
NZWPW’s most dominant woman, Misty, is the backbone of women’s wrestling in the Wellington scene. An NZWPW veteran in her own right, Misty has been beating her opponents up and down the country since her debut in 2007.
2010 saw Misty broaden her horizons as she led headed north to clash with the women of IPW at Rival Turf as well as defeating JPE in a mixed tag team match in her hometown of Levin at the end of the year.
With more eyes on women’s wrestling in New Zealand than ever before, Misty is sure to step up and represent Wellington women inside the ring in 2011 as she continues her quest to become the best in the country.
#5: Megan Kate Deluxeo (IPW)
Coming in at #5 in the NZPWI Female Five, is Megan Kate Deluxeo.
Originally leading Davey and Dils Deluxeo to the ring, Megan Kate branched out into in-ring action and immediately impressed!
As a part of the BFF Tag Team with Evie, the two came in second for “Best Tag Team” in the NZPWI People’s Choice Awards, showing that behind the beauty is a solid ring game!
One to Watch: Carmella Caprice (NZWPW)
Carmella Caprice broke out of her shell in a big way over the course of 2010. With new attire and a new attitude, Carmella cemented herself as a fan favourite with the NZWPW audience.
Over the course of the year Carmella teamed with her sister, Rose, to take on the likes of Misty. Caprice then temporarily joined BFF in her first IPW show to tussle with Britenay, JPE and Misty at IPW Rival Turf, proving she had what it took to hang with her Auckland peers. Toward the end of the year Carmella had her hands full when Rose joined Project Mayhem, leading to some sibling rivalry.
With the women’s scene in New Zealand bigger and better than ever before, Carmella has the looks and the tools to make the most of it in 2011.