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Thursday, June 25, 2015

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EOTR Roundtable: Who Is The Best Wrestler Today?

The business today has certainly shifted. The wrestling is top notch, promos are improved, the traditional look of a wrestler is no longer the norm. With that being said, there are many great performers in the business today and we sat down to discuss who the best wrestler is today. Sounds like a tough task, right? Keep reading.

This is not an easy question to answer, you first must decide what style of wrestling you like the best and who best fits that style. I’m really not that picky when it comes to choosing who my favorite wrestlers are, but I tend to stay away from spot monkeys (sorry Young Bucks, you are disqualified).  However, if I was forced to choose one guy who I believe embodies the sport of professional wrestling, then there is only one right answer in my opinion.

That man is Shinsuke Nakamura.  From the moment that man walks through the curtain to begin a match up until you see him walk through the curtain at the end, he is in full character mode. It’s almost as if he isn’t even playing a character, but rather his character is an extension of himself.  That to me is what being a great wrestler is about it’s not just about mastering the moves, it’s also about adapting those moves to a specific style so the same move done by two different people doesn’t look like the same even though by theory it is. From the elaborate entrances down to the way he goes about his matches, it is an absolute privilege to watch him perform in the ring.  He has even brought some of the worst wrestlers in NJPW (Bad Luck Fale) to some of their greatest matches, which is also something someone who is dubbed the “Best Wrestler Today” needs to be able to do.

When I was approached to write this, Shinsuke Nakamura’s name automatically popped into my head and there was only one other person who even came close to touching him for me (Alberto El Patron, who is my personal favorite wrestler right now), but when it comes down to personality and wrestling acumen, Shinsuke Nakamura had this one in the bag.


The best wrestler today? Most would say Rollins or even Bryan, but in my opinion, it has to be none other than Kevin Owens. A wrestler who doesn't “fit the image” of what WWE wants in terms of physique, but makes up for it with great in ring skill, character, and presence. The man is the total package. He's been running rampant through WWE and making impacts ever since his debut at NXT Takeover in December. At first I thought pummeling Zayn and taking the NXT championship would be the highest he would go for the year, but I was wrong. Some weeks ago he made his Raw and Main Roster debut and went toe to toe with John Cena on the mic and at Elimination Chamber, where Owens would get his first victory in the WWE in his very first match. He's the bad guy you love to hate, the cool heel, the one man NWO. His ability to connect with the main stage crowd so quickly is amazing. His ability to handle 3 feuds on two separate brands and remain a dominant force on his own is amazing. He may have been fed to the Cena monster at MITB, but he was the last man standing. No one has risen in the ranks this fast since Brock Lesnar. He also reminds me of Punk in a way that his promos are more shoot than scripted and they're the TRUTH! Kevin Owens is ready to lead the new school. Along with Rollins, Ambrose, Balor, etc. He will be one of the biggest stars in the E. He already is, to be honest.


The question of who the best wrestler in the world is, is a tough question for me. If he was 100% healthy, I would say Daniel Bryan. Since the days of "The American Dragon" seem to be coming to an end, however, I would put my money on Prince Devitt, A.K.A. Finn Bálor.

Bálor is the complete package. He's got a great look, his "demon" alter-ego is about as badass as it gets, not to mention he's incredibly athletic and gifted in the ring. He has become a bit of a role model in both the Indies and on NXT, and he exemplifies everything a pro wrestler should be: charismatic, athletic, entertaining, captivating, and just plain fun to watch. The future lies in the hands of Finn Bálor.


I'd have to say, and I'm probably showing bias because I've followed this man since he was a kid pretty much, Kevin Owens with a close second being ACH. Why does Owens edge out everyone else? Well, for starters, the guy's like my build but is still able to do things that a hi-flier can. In addition, he's damn strong too. Doing the pop-up powerbomb and F-Cinq without killing himself or someone else when he's only MAYBE six foot even? That alone takes some skills.

However, what makes Owens stand out to me over as best out is the fact that he's the total package. He's not boring in-ring. He's not boring on the mic. He's innovative. He's traveled to London, Japan, and probably has wrestled on someone's random street block. Unlike Jay Z, he hasn't forgotten his roots (sorry Hov) and is still the same Kevin Steen we saw in PWG and ROH, just on a bigger screen, tackling John Cena in arguably classic matches.

My pick is Kevin Owens. Though I debated over whether to pick Nakamura, Cedric Alexander, ACH, or even Seth Rollins, the answer became apparent as I went back and watched Owens' matches this year. Every match he has competed in this year carries a big fight feel and he goes above and beyond. His matches with Cena are some of the best so far this year, along with his intense contests with Neville, Balor, Zayn and more. He's the next big heel for WWE and possibly the leader of this new era we are entering. The future is bright in Owens' hands.

So what about you, readers? Who would be your choice for the best wrestler today? Let us know!



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