Total Ballot Appearing: 20 // Ballot Points: 945 // Highest Rank: 1st // 1st Place Votes: 5

Keep Wrestling Fun. It is a simple mantra and it is important. From the first time you see professional wrestling to the moment that you discover the mechanisms that drive storylines, promotions, and matches, that magic is something that doesn’t have to fade. Darin Corbin has had one of the best years of his career and whether it was on WWE television as security guard or EMT, or back home as a slacks and fringe wearing bad guy or a fun-loving technicolor pantsplosion and “Red Hair, Don’t Care” shirt, he was everything good about professional wrestling in 2017.

“Darin’s heel run with the (F1rst Wrestling) Tag Titles around his neck and those detestable, sensible slacks has been so much fun to hate.  He’s taken the simplest route to being hated and rode it straight up to the top of the list.” It would be hard to argue that his visibility after turning on longtime North Star Express partner, Ryan Cruz wasn’t a big reason for him topping this list. But in 2017 Darin “worked for everyone, everywhere, and against all competitors.” He was also a Pro Wrestling Battleground Heavyweight Champion and was “a man who can entertain any crowd as heel or face. He is a Minnesota gem and one of the nicest guys out there.” It’s hard to argue gingers don’t have souls when watching Darin Corbin ply his trade because he puts everything he has into his wrestling matches and finds innovative means to entertain and interact with the crowd. “Whether it be rated G or NC-17, it is always hilarious.”

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Part of what makes Darin so well loved is a fan’s ability to relate to his motivations. As a face, he wants people to enjoy what he’s doing in the ring and the bad guys to not take themselves so seriously. As a heel, he wants wrestling to be the focus and demands that people have the same respect commitment that he does. To quote the Big Lebowski on Corbin’s heel work, ‘You’re not wrong (Darin), you’re just an asshole)’. And it has worked beautifully.

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“He continues to reinvent himself and has had much success in doing so, like his tactics or not.  He is perhaps the most well traveled and versatile wrestlers from Minnesota.” From the Pacific Northwest to the greater midwest, the Ginger Ninjer spread the gospel of “Keep Wrestling Fun” everywhere he went. In Minnesota it’s harder to name a promotion he didn’t wrestle for. Whether it was documenting a beat down via Instagram or continuing his tradition of great video content, he did it with his usual high grade panache. If you haven’t followed his monthly Gingertag produced by Spot Monkey Media, you’re missing out on the plethora of Unlocked Achievements that vary from the impressive to the absurd. And if the kickoff to 2018 at Wrestlepalooza XI was any indication of the year ahead, we can look forward to another twelve months of wrestling fun and achievement of the highest caliber from your inaugural MNDIY50 #1: Darin Corbin.

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