Welcome to the MNDIY 50. For the wrestlers ranked 50-11 there will be short paragraphs including thoughts from those who submitted ballots as well as conversations throughout the year on their achievements and accolades. Direct quotes will be referenced as such whereas the rest is delightful conjecture from yours truly.
30. Gerard Castle
“Solid crisp moves and someone I’d like to see travel more and get more bookings.” We’ve seen Castle show up and make an impact in promotions like Pro Wrestling Battleground and there’s been flourishes of a in-ring personality emerging. The more that he can marry that with his high flying move set, the more success he may find.
29. Jacob Savage
“A young talent with a great rapport with the crowd. High energy as a face and the kids can’t get enough of him. Nice technical moves… with the look and ability to become something special.” Reigned as AWF Champion and started to venture out to other promotions such as MAW and MIW this year growing his Savage Nation of fans.
28. Angel Dorado
Shedding his former mask and leaving the Angel Caido persona behind, Dorado has achieved gold in 2017. Angel and Lucha Extreme tag partner Air Wolf finally overcame the YOLO Bros to claim the IWI Tag Championships this fall. Being featured heavily in Showtime Championship Wrestling and making his F1rst Wrestling debut at the Kabooze the sky (and often higher) is the limit for one of the youngest wrestlers on the list.
27. JD Bandit
“What can you say about a man who inspires a crowd to both hate and love him simultaneously? He is a local John Cena. The kids and ladies love him and the back row smarks boo him with reckless abandon.” Feuded heavily with Scott Story over the MIW Championship and made a handful of appearances in other promotions. Hopefully in 2018 Bandit can stay healthy and continue to be a consistent presence in the local scene.
26. Leonard Literacy
“Leonard is a true workhorse in the Minnesota Indy scene who gives it his all every match… a fun gimmick and his crowd engagement is off the charts.” An up and down year for Literacy but certainly one that featured new twists on his character including the appearance of Dewey Decimal as a partner/manager. He is ever present across the state on and with cards. A kind and generous veteran with plenty to offer.
25. Rob James
Another wrestler whose stock took a slide due to a series of injuries this year, 6% Body Fat continues to be one of the best at riling up the crowds wherever he is on the card. “The body fat measurement may have expired, but his butt based offense is still as effective as ever and Rob remains one of the best heels on the Minnesota scene.” Making his return toward the end of the year at Battleground against Petey Brown, he looks to rebound up into Title contention in 2018. Children with candy, beware.
24. Brandon Gore
“Since coming onto the scene after becoming the second graduate of the Academy, Brandon has wasted no time in making his presence felt. The confidence from this young blue-chipper is far beyond his experience.” Working in almost every metro promotion, Gore has really shined in matches with his coaches including Arik Cannon and Shawn Daivari as well as against the Anarchist in solo action. A fantastic match against former amateur rival Kal Creed was a suplex sensation that we look forward to seeing more of moving forward.
23. Josh Price
“He doesn’t just wreck his opponents bodies, he wrecks our hearts. He is if Arn and Tully had a love child that only lived to spit on your dreams.” Whether in tag action or hossing solo, “The Minnesota Wrecker” has established himself as a favorite throwback that can give it as good as he can take it. Based in Northern Minnesota he has found both singles and tag team gold in Fully Loaded Wrestling with Fargo native and Minnesota regular Scott Story as the “Freak Machines”. For the record, they’re both his bad side.
22. Danny Duggan
“Such a well traveled wrestler, he makes the list for top Minnesota wrestlers and he isn’t even from here. The Canadian star appears more frequently here than some local wrestlers and for good reason. A throw back to yesteryear, Danny Duggan has that old school work ethic and his build shows it. All around he is in the conversation for best wrestler in the region. He also runs his own successful promotion in CWE.” And that doesn’t even mention his Fanny Pack Championship.
21. Petey Brown
“2017 was the year of the Petey Party. Does a great job of connecting with the crowd but he may have more dance-off wins than pinfalls… not the most extensive in ring repertoire but makes up for it with his fun and dance moves.” Brown is another wrestler that rises in the ranks through sticking to his character and pumping up the volume to 11. A continued commitment to refining his grappling and striking can only help “Down Town” keep this party popping.
Check back tomorrow for the MNDIY50: 20-11
Header Photo by Wayne McCarty