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.
20. Rob Justice
I know we just said last year was the year of the Petey Party, but it was also the year of Justice. Officer Rob showed up all over the metro and put on some of the best matches of his career. One ballot commented “Is there any gimmick more relevant in 2017 than Rob Justice?” Whether he’s emphatically fending off chants of “Paul Blart” or utilizing his arsenal of underhanded offense, when you’re in the crowd for a Rob Justice match, you can’t help but respond to the long arm of the law.
“Stonehenge is a rare breed as a big man on the independent scene. His over the top wild man persona and promos are a throw back to yesteryear”. Ironically, a man that has worked most effectively in tag team action, his personality has come through in solo efforts this year before teaming up with Heavy Metal Lore to form Black Plague. His split from Aiden Wake in MIW propelled him to refine his character and ring work and his promo for the Bar Luchador Birthday party was extra-dimensional. “The Twin Cities scene needs some new big guys, and while he’s still green, he’s putting in the effort and I expect really good things from him in the future.” Keep ‘Henging, bruthur.
18. Giant Griffin
This 6’-9”, 420 lb behemoth had an amazing year winning the Pro Wrestling Battleground Tag Team Titles with Kody Rice in the inaugural Tournament defeating Famous Trash and then recaptured them at the end of the year to become the first two-time Champions. Always draws a crowd comparable to his size, Griffin made his F1rst Wrestling debut this year to great fanfare. “Griffin really come into his own this year. His teaming with Kody Rice is an interesting one and is about as pro wrestling as it gets. He may be even bigger than he thinks he is in 2018.”
17. Kal Creed
Creed is a wrestler that is poised to become a threat to anyone wearing gold in Minnesota. The Suplexing Superman showed off his robust amateur background in a match with Brandon Gore which featured tremendous amount of in-ring chemistry and future match potentials. Late in the year he also seized an opportunity to shine challenging Scott Story for his MIW Heavyweight Championship. While Creed came up short, he showed that in 2018, he belongs near the top of any card.
16. Chadwick Wentworth III / Black Stallion (tie)
To be gifted with two amazing wrestlers so similar in stature and appearance but obviously cut from different cloth is a rare treat but Minnesota has just such men. You can find CWIII spending his weekends in MIW teaching the plebs and sound techs of the world to respect his Iron game or teaming with Brick McCarthy as 3 Under Par to dominate the Tag Team division of Steel Domain Wrestling. Meanwhile, Stallion is straight wrecking anyone stupid enough to cross him at Heavy On and Prime Time Wrestling. If these two ever team up, woe be to their opponents. Be forewarned.
“Had a stronghold on the Pro Wrestling Battleground Championship for most of 2017. Has a killer right hand that will knock anyone smooth out.” Whether it was winning three times in one night or defending his Title against multiple opponents, Venom rose to the top of the heap and stayed there this year by laying opponents out one swift fist at a time. The King of Throwdown’s battle cry of ‘Let’s hear it for me!’ is both the perfect bit to get the crowd riled up and an accurate reflection of a veteran who deserves recognition. As someone commented “How can you not enjoy someone who feels both like something fresh, but also a throwback to the best parts of the Attitude Era?”
14. Joey Avalon
Making it all the way to the finals of the Battleground 10th Anniversary Tag Team Tournament before losing in the finals, Avalon and his Famous Trash partner “Gorgeous” Jordy Lee have firmly entrenched themselves as the heels you love to hate. Eventually defeating the inaugural Tag Champs and enjoying a few defenses of their own Avalon is an imposing figure serving as the big heavy of his Tag Team and the perfect compliment to Lee. They expanded into action with MIW as a tag this year and judging by their popularity, promotions would do well to keep putting them on their cards in 2018.
13. Orin Veidt
“One of the most unique personas on the Minnesota scene and one of the most talented prospects, Orin is driven and focused. A must see, future star type feel.” This year the Dark Prophet expanded from his regular bookings with AWF and has “grown by leaps and bounds”. His work in Fully Loaded Wrestling in North Dakota and travel to IWA-Mid South and the Evolve tryout this December have certainly expanded his visibility beyond his debuts in PWB and MIW. If that wasn’t enough, check out the clip of his Witch Hunter (Gotch Style Piledriver Destroyer) on Jacob Savage. When you pull yourself away from your screen find a promotion that’s booking him and catch it in person.
“MEOW, MEOW, MEOW! Whether it’s with the little ones or a room full of rowdy 21+ fans at First Ave, people love and go wild for the Crime Fighting Feline. His cat like quickness hasn’t diminished a bit.” There are few wrestlers that are as over as Wildcat and whether it’s tagging with Thunderfrog or in solo action, from Prime Time to Heavy On to Wrestlepalooza, “he might be the hottest anthropomorphic animal wrestler right meow….I mean now.”
11. Jordy Lee
Almost sneaking in the top 10 when Minnesota isn’t even your regular state is an amazing feat. As aforementioned Lee and his tag partner Joey Avalon have been a highlight of Pro Wrestling Battleground’s tag team title scene and their appearances for MIW and solo appearances in RWA and 7Star have the crowd tearing away their pants. Okay, maybe not quite. But there is great love for the “Gorgeous” one in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He’s a damn good Deech.