Thursday, April 6, 2017

The 2016 TWB 100 Slow Release: Number Two

The Big Dog is feeling the wrath of number two in this year's TWB 100
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2. Kevin Owens
Points: 5362
Number of Ballots: 62
Highest Vote: 1st Place (Mike Pankowski)
Last Year’s Ranking: 3rd Place

TH: At his best, Owens was a mammoth presence in the ring, holding down big, nasty brawls with guys like Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose. The problem was with him that week-to-week, his quality slipped, which in context of everyone else in the company wasn’t too much of a problem. He still had a good year, but I fear that either I’m out of touch with the kids, or people are voting for him for reasons other than “good wrestling aptitude.” Still, again, when he’s on, he’s a true wrestling artist. Few people get big matches like him, and that’s not something to be discounted.

Ryan Neely: When I was putting this list together, I didn’t have to even start debating until number three. AJ Styles was the clear number one, and KO was the clear number two. He had his best matches of the year before he won the Universal title with the four-way at Extreme Rules and then vs. Sami Zayn at Battleground. And only after those two masterpieces did he then have to carry WWE’s flagship for half the year. And while we are focusing only on wrestling ability for this list, KO is the perfect example of a guy whose personality and gimmick meshes completely with his in-ring style.

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Joshua Browns: I couldn’t put him higher on the list because so many of his matches in 2016 were neutered by shitty booking, but he’s still my favorite wrestler, and he is still the best in the world at bringing his character into the match with him.

Joey O. KO was the glue that held together Raw all year long. From his outstanding run as Jericho's Best Friend to filling the hole in the main event left by Rollins and then Balor (and then Rollins again) to his never-ending run of quality matches with Sami Zayn, Owens solidified his spot as one of the Best in the World. Bonus points for being the best during-the-match trash talker in the WWE.

Elliot Imes: Don't sleep on his Last Man Standing match with Ambrose at the Rumble. That's a perfect example of what Owens is best at, taking traditional tropes and injecting them with danger and venom. He did this throughout the year, and even maintained that danger while doing comedy routines with Jericho.

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