10. Pete Dunne
A recent addition to my list of favs, Pete Dunne is basically my ideal bad guy. He's got enough wrestling chops and an air of menace to be a believable threat but always is willing to look weak and cowardly any second the good guy stands up to him. Ever since seeing him live I've devoured his independent work and his forays into the WWE. With a really fun ground game and the ability to make me hate him despite having him on the list he's quickly become one I want to see more of.
9. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is one of the main reasons I came back into wrestling. Seeing his matches with Bray Wyatt and the lead up to Wrestlemania 30 was what pulled me back in fully as an adult. His style that combined fast paced mat wrestling, hard hitting kicks and dives to the outside helped introduced me to the modern style of wrestling that was so different from what I watched as a kid. His story of finally making it after years of being told he couldn't showed me that wrestling can be beautiful in it's simplicity.
8. Kota Ibushi
If I introduce someone to wrestling who has never seen it I show them Kota Ibushi. His inhuman athletic abilities, his comedic sensibilities and his ability to tell a story over the course of the match makes him a perfect wrestler to introduce people to, especially if they know wrestling as only Stone Cold and Macho Man. I'm pretty sure I've seen the highlight of his fight with blow up doll Yoshihiko dozens of times to show people the wackier side of pro wrestling and I always find something new and funny in it.
7. Kairi Sane
Kairi Sane is great for a lot of reasons but the number one reason is that she is a pirate who wrestles. That's just good. Her elbow was giffed and talked about long before people on the internet realized that Kairi is so much more then that. A babyface that can bring the fire like few can in today's wrestling. Her arsenal of moves are some of the best I've seen, giving simple moves so much energy that they make me stand up screaming as she does them.
6. Big E
Wrestling fans always have their guy who is in a small role in the company and every time you see them standing in the background you wish they were out in front. My guy was Big E for a very long time. I remember sitting and waiting for him to finally come back on TV as he spent months off it. When he finally returned in The New Day he eventually reached a level I was so happy to see. Not just one of the greatest big men in wrestling from an in-ring perspective, Big E is one of the most consistently entertaining. He anchors any New Day comedy segment and is often the greatest hot tag in the buisness.
After being told by so many friends to check out Stardom I finally did. I loved Kairi and Io of course and Hana Kimura had to become a fav of mine pretty quickly. The surprise to me and my friends though was my attachment to the leader of Oedo Tai Kagetsu. A loud mouth, trash talking punk that is always willing to spit in the eye of her enemy she entranced me from the moment I saw a match with her. In that first match she took pure babyface Mayu and strung her up by her neck above a large staircase and then dropped her, laughing the entire time. She's an absolute piece of shit and I love her with all of my being.
4. Naito Tetsuya
The term "presence" is thrown around a lot in wrestling. It's often synonymous with that magic it factor that every big wrestler must have. When Naito walks out in his suit and acts like he doesn't care about what anyone says or does to him he's not doing anything new in wrestling. It's just that he's doing it so good that for those who like him they can't keep his eyes off him. He draws their eye in any match. With a smirk and fist bump he can communicate that presence effortlessly.
3. Luke Harper
When I was first getting back into wrestling my first fav back was Bray Wyatt. Listen, we all make mistakes. That love was quickly transferred to his lackey who seemed way better at this wrestling thing. It wasn't long until I had seen all of his classic independent matches and bought his DVDs. I loved this very big bearded hillbilly who was actually from New Jersey. With the ability to pull out hurricanranas and diving moves I was shocked at everything he did. I mentioned with Big E that wrestling fans have their picks of who they want on top and Luke has been there since the beginning and every flirt with the main event just makes me want it more.
2. Mick Foley
I grew up in what is now called the Attitude Era of professional wrestling. Some of the biggest stars ever came around at that point. The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and HHH to name a few. The thing was that as a kid and even as an adult I hated all those dudes. So there was only one person for me. A weird guy who looked like the last thing a pro wrestler would be often wearing flannel or a bloody suit and tie. The first time I saw wrestling it involved him being shoved in a dumpster and being thrown off the stage. I was sure he was dead but I quickly learned that was one of the lighter bumps Mick Foley took. Not only willing to put his body on the line Foley was one of the best talkers, weaving in his cast of characters and his very real life together seamlessly. Foley's book remains my favorite. His matches make me breathless every second I watch them. He remains a legend in my heart
Asuka is my favorite wrestler of all time.
She was that before she had her record breaking undefeated streak, her record holding of the NXT Women's Title. From her time in Japan as a creepy sadistic killer of a wrestler who would knock opponents out with a kick and a running hip attack that bowled people over. She's got everything I like in a wrestler. That presence that makes her captivating with a smile and a few body movements. The extravagant costumes that are much bigger then anyone could ever be. The flips between beaten down under dog and conquering asshole who plays with her doomed opponent. Asuka is everything I like about wrestling in a decades long career that just gets better.