20. MINORU SUZUKI
19. HIROOKI GOTO
18. CHRIS HERO
16. MASAKATSU FUNAKI
It's been really fun so far. Today we get 3 cats from Dragon Gate and some hosses who would be more than happy to throw them around.
(3 Top 5 Votes)Here's a quote from one of the ballots I received:
Seriously he fucking runs fast. I would be perfectly content with just seeing him running the ropes for 5 minutes.Dragon Gate had a pretty big year as they continued their expansion into the United States Indy market with DGUSA. I've been to three of their shows and I always see one guy who knows the wrestlers tell his friend that he dragged along: "Watch this dude, he is fucking FAST!" And then Yoshino runs really fast, and people get hooked. As DGUSA continues to expand it's no surprise that their roster members stay popular among internet fans. Yoshino's style and over-all athleticism sets him apart from the rest of his Dragon Gate brothers, and that's why you see him in the Top 15.
(2 #1 Votes, 1 Top 5 votes)
Yamato has gained quite the bit of popularity over the past couple of years. His heel act that he developed after the New Hazard break-up was a charisma bomb of awesomeness. Earlier this year Yamato defeated one of the strongest booked Open The Dream Gate champions, Naruki Doi. Yamato's reign saw him defend the title against some heavy foes like SHINGO and Masaaki Mochizuki.
One person wrote to me:
If YAMATO was a heel this year he'd be higher.
And I think that's true, even one of Yamato's biggest supporters over the past couple of years said that his man-passion for Yamato has cooled a bit this year. Maybe that slight drop in support came from a possibly unwarranted character change. Hopefully a return to form is in store for Yamato fans in 2011.
(2 Top 5 Votes)
There isn't much to explain. Kensuke Sasaki is probably one of the healthiest Japanese heavyweights of his generation. This former holder of the Triple Crown, GHC Heavyweight Title, and IWGP Heavyweight Title, is a legend and still commands a look from puroresu fans the world over. With Japana having a shortage in pure heavyweight style wrestlers Kensuke Sasaki scratches that itch. His team with Takeshi Morishima, his battles with Yoshihiro Takayama, and his work with Jun Akiyama has received praise. For fans looking for big meaty slug fests you can't go too wrong downloading some Kensuke Sasaki.
(2 TOP 5 Votes)
Shingo, probably the most popular Dragon Gate star among foreign fans, began building his international reputation working for Ring of Honor. When he came back to Dragon Gate he was a beast, putting on awesome matches with the entire roster. His power style sets him apart from some of the more agile competitors in the company. His match with Davey Richards was called one of the best matches of last year and put him on even more people's radars.
This past year Shingo had big matches in the states and in his homeland. The hair vs. hair match with rival BxB Hulk has gotten quite a bit of buzz, and I personally enjoyed his Dragon Kid match at the Chicago Dragon Gate USA show. He was also among the list of wrestler's Bryan Danielson(Daniel Bryan) faced during his Indy Tour in between WWE stints.
SHINGO is probably my favorite of the Dragon Gate wrestlers. I generally look forward to anything he does, and I will never skip any match of his on any show.
(1 Top 5 Vote)
While only getting one Top 5 vote, Daisuke Sekimoto was a consistent cote getter. His 2010 has been a strong year, starting off with his match against Tohiaki Kawada in ZERO-1. In DDT he had awesome title matches against Takanashi and Kota Ibushi. In Big Japan he's been a participant in some of their most heralded matches this year, including a 8 man tag on 9/15 and a 6-Man tag on 9/19 as well as some very cool tag matches.
Sekimoto has, in my opinion had one of the best years, in terms of consistent output, of any wrestler in Japan or the world. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I can say every match of his recommended to me this past year has been pretty solid. The big guy just has it going on and has worked great matches with a variety of wrestlers in a variety of promotions. Hopefully this year will spark more to watch him next year and maybe he'll move into the Top 10.
We get into the Top 10 with 10-6. Some heavyweight ass kicker's on the horizon.