wrestling / Columns

Wrestler of the Week: Muertes Battles Shibata

November 18, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome to YEAR TWELVE, WEEK 32 of 411’s Wrestler of the Week. A quick overview of the rules to kick things off for us as a reminder…

Each writer chooses FIVE wrestlers (although ties and tag teams are allowed, and more on a special occasion) from any promotion and each wrestler gets a point total attached to that ranking. It looks a little like this…

1st – 5
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1

Then we tally up the votes and the official 411 Wrestler of the Week is crowned. But wait, there’s more! Each week the top SIX vote getters get a points value for their ranking which looks something like this…

1st – 15
2nd – 12
3rd – 9
4th – 6
5th – 3
6th – 1

…and they go towards the 411 Wrestler of the Year award to be announced each year around WrestleMania. This will be posted every Tuesday (the voting week runs Monday through Sunday). Let’s see who wins this week…

 photo WrestlerOfWeek_zps4f74fe91.jpg

Voting period: NOVEMBER 7 – NOVEMBER 14

Larry Csonka
1) Katsuyori Shibata : Defeated Zack Sabre Jr. to win the RevPro British Heavyweight title, defended the following night against Chris Hero, and THEN Won back the NJPW NEVER Openweight Title.

2) Chris Hero: Continued to be one of the best in the ring for both RevPro and Evolve. The dude is an amazing performer.
3) Mil Muertes: Defeated Prince Puma in Grave Consequences.
4) Matt Riddle
5) Eddie Edwards

Chad Perry
1) Chris Hero:
Wrestled Tomohiro Ishii, Katsuyori Shibata, Tracy Williams, Matt Riddle and in a four way tag in the course of five days on two continents.

2) Katsuyori Shibata: Defeated Zack Sabre Jr. to win the RevPro British Heavyweight title, defended the following night against Chris Hero.
3) Tracy Williams: Breakout weekend for one of the unsung heroes of the indies. Defeated Chris Hero in the match of the night at EVOLVE 72. The following night won the EVOLVE Tag Team titles with Fred Yehi.
4) Mil Muertes
5) Ethan Page

Rob Stewart
1) Mil Muertes:
Finally! One of the most overused gimmicks in all of professional wrestling is “Guy Loses His Specialty Match ALL THE TIME”, and even Lucha Underground was not immune to that cliché. So it was nice to see that Mil Muertes finally managed to pull out the W in a Grave Consequences match this week against Prince Puma. His losses in the previous two Grave Consequences matches weren’t particularly egregious (his first loss was a storyline device to build his mysticism and power; the second was to put over the unstoppable Matanza Cueto), but a third would have been a bit frustrating. No matter now, though, as Mil has a GC win under his belt now.

2) Sami Zayn: Sami defeated the Bulgarian Brute on last week’s Raw to earn an Intercontinental Title match against Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series. Zayn had been having a difficult time cracking the Raw exclusive live specials since the brand split, so it’s heartening to see his getting a title shot at one of WWE’s inclusive shows.
3) Becky Lynch: Back from her short leave due to injury, Becky defended the Smackdown Womens’ Championship this week against the improving Alexa Bliss.
4) Eddie Edwards
5) The Mack, Mariposa, Marty The Moth, Ivelisse and Jeremiah

Mitch Nickelson
1) Mil Muertes:
Grave Consequences is always a fun stipulation and this most recent edition didn’t disappoint. Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma, closing him into the same casket used for Konnan’s death. Mil has momentum going into Aztec Warfare, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can do anything with it.

2) Eddie Edwards: Eli Drake used the opportunity he earned at Bound for Glory to get this title shot, but it wasn’t his night. Edwards retained, successfully holding onto his TNA Title.
3) Mascarita Sagrada: Facing off against his former manager in a Believer’s Backlash Match, Sagrada resorted to tons of wackiness including rolling a bowling drop to B’s crotch and an elbow drop off of a miniature ladder. Sagrada won in a very fun contest.
4) Kevin Owens
5) Becky Lynch

Arnold Furious
1) Katsuyori Shibata:
Came into the UK last week as challenger to the British Championship and left with both the title and victories over Zack Sabre Jr. and Chris Hero. Both matches were excellent. The latter, although I need to rewatch it without the adrenaline of being there live, is probably the best match in the UK all year and a genuine contender for MOTY anywhere. Shibata is supposed to be injured. He can’t work a full schedule. But he sure as shit showed everyone in the UK that he’s a fighter who refuses to come up short. He had a magnificent couple of days and left a burning impression on my psyche. I walked away from the Assembly Halls in Walthamstow knowing I’d seen not only a great match but a masterful pair of performances. If Shibata was able to have these unbelievable matches week in, week out, without breaking himself he’d be wrestler of the year without any shadow of a doubt. His matches are different class and he’s amazing.

2) Chris Hero: He may have come up short against Shibata but it was a phenomenal match. Plus he beat Tomohiro Ishii the night before in another wonderful spectacle. Also he had two great matches in EVOLVE over the weekend. If it wasn’t for how stunning Shibata was in his wins and how sensational they were for me, this would be Hero’s weekend. And if you’re not contemplating Hero for a spot on Wrestler of the Year ballots next month it simply means you’ve not been watching him.
3) Will Ospreay: Scored a pinfall win over Jushin Liger, which was also achieved by Marty Scurll during Global Wars. However I also saw Will at WCPW in London and his performance there against Martin Kirby was fantastic and the angle he was involved in showcased Ospreay in ways that most people don’t realize he’s capable of. Seeing as it’s considered a ‘spoiler’ to talk about TV tapings I won’t go into detail but suffice to say Ospreay was excellent and deserves a mention.
4) Yuji Nagata
5) Tomohiro Ishii

Mike Chin
1) Mil Muertes:
Based on my history as a WWE fan, I never thought there could be a truly good Casket Match, and yet time and again Grave(r) Consequences Matches in LU have been nothing short of fantastic. This was a big win, and something of an upset, for Mil Muertes who just shored up his place toward the top of the roster.

2) Kevin Owens: The champ was victorious in a fun five-way bout that main evented Raw.
3) Becky Lynch: While the blue brand’s women’s division isn’t quite as high profile or good as Raw’s, Lynch-Bliss was a solid showdown on this past week’s Smackdown and solidified Lynch as the top star of her brand’s division.
4) Sami Zayn
5) Eddie Edwards

Kevin Pantoja
1) Mil Muertes: At Ulitma Lucha at the end of season one of Lucha Underground, Mil Muertes dethroned Prince Puma to become the second ever champion of the promotion. Puma had some struggles is season two and was pushed towards targeting Mil in season three by Vampiro. Puma beat him a few weeks back and this week they had the rubber match. Mil Muertes entered 0-2 in Grave Consequences matches but finally got a win in one here. He defeated Puma to win the rivalry and commentary sold it like it was the end for Prince Puma. If so, it becomes an even bigger win for Muertes as he would have ended one of the top stars in Lucha Underground.

2) Becky Lynch: For all the hoopla the WWE made about Sasha Banks and Charlotte main eventing Raw and a Pay-Per-View, the match between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch this week felt like a bigger deal. It was scheduled for No Mercy but got pushed back because of Becky’s injury. They finally had their match a month later and it delivered. It was the best match of Alexa’s career but saw Becky retain the title. However, there was controversy since Alexa’s foot was on the bottom rope when she tapped out. Still, it was a successful defense for Becky, which was the right call since Becky should continue to be the face of the Smackdown women.
3) Fred Yehi and Tracy Williams: Evolve hosted two shows this week and these Catch Point members had successful weekends. First, at Evolve 72, Fred Yehi beat Jason Kincaid and Tracy Williams upped that in a big way by defeating Chris Hero later on. Hero doesn’t lose often in Evolve and has beaten some top names (Riddle, Thatcher, Rhodes, Sabre) recently. Then, at Evolve 73, they won the main event against the Gatekeepers, new WWE signees Tony Nese and Drew Gulak, and the Evolve Tag Team Champions DUSTIN and Drew Galloway. This earned Williams his second Evolve Tag Title and Yehi’s first.
4) Sami Zayn
5) Eddie Edwards

* Special Mention…Eddie Edwards – 10 Votes

* Fifth Place… – 11 Votes

* Fourth Place… Becky Lynch – 11 Votes

* Third Place… Chris Hero – 13 Votes

Kicking ass around the world…

* Second Place… Katsuyori Shibata – 14 Votes

Collecting Gold everywhere he goes…

* And 411’s Wrestler of the Week is…


Mil Muertes – 25 Votes

Defeated Prince Puma in an excellent Grave Consequences match.

The Standings
Here are the standings after week 31

1. AJ Styles – 91pts

2. Prince Puma/Ricochet – 69pts

3. Tetsuya Naito – 54pts
3. Dean Ambrose – 54pts

4. Lashley – 51pts

5. Eddie Edwards – 48pts

6. The Monster Matanza Cueto – 42pts

7. Kevin Owens – 40pts

8. Roman Reigns – 39pts

9. Rey Mysterio Jr. – 37pts


* Dragon Azteca Jr. – 36pts

* Will Ospreay – 33pts
* Sexy Star – 33pts

* Finn Balor – 30pts
* Sasha Banks – 30pts

* Johnny Mundo – 29pts
* Broken Matt Hardy – 28pts
* Katsuyori Shibata – 28pts

* TJ Perkins – 27pts

* Dolph Ziggler – 25pts
* Kazuchika Okada – 25pts

* Kenny Omega – 24pts
* Cage – 24 pts
* Mil Muertes – 24pts
* Jack Evans – 24pts
* PJ Black – 24 pts

* Chris Hero – 22 pts

* Jay Lethal – 21pts
* Samoa Joe – 21pts
* KUSHIDA – 21pts
* Bobby Fish – 21pts

* The Miz – 20pts

* Becky Lynch – 18pts
* Dash – 18pts
* Dawson – 18pts

* Charlotte – 17pts

* Kota Ibushi – 16pts
* Brother Nero – 16pts

* EVIL – 15pts
* Katsuhiko Nakajima – 15pts
* Nick Jackson – 15pts
* Matt Jackson – 15pts
* Seth Rollins – 15pts
* Drew Galloway – 15pts
* Johnny Gargano – 15pts
* Aerostar – 15pts

* Sami Zayn – 14pts
* Killshot/Shane Strickland – 13pts

* Brian Kendrick – 12pts
* Shinsuke Nakamura – 12pts
* Son of Havoc – 12pts
* Michael Elgin -12pts
* Daniels – 12pts
* Kazarian – 12pts
* Mike Bennett – 12pts
* Tomohiro Ishii – 12pts
* Marty Scurll – 12pts

* Adam Cole – 9pts
* Tommaso Ciampa – 9pts
* Heath Slater – 9pts
* Rhyno – 9pts
* Drago – 9pts
* Kyle O’Reilly – 9pts
* SANADA – 9pts
* Zack Sabre Jr – 9pts
* Ethan Carter III – 9pts
* Meiko Satomura – 9pts
* DASH Chisako – 9pts
* Cassandra Miyagi – 9pts
* BUSHI – 9pts

* ACH – 7pts
* Taiji Ishimori – 7pts
* Satoshi Kojima – 7pts
* Rusev – 7pts
* Gran Metalik – 7pts
* Pentagon Jr – 7pts

* Fenix – 6pts
* Mariposa – 6pts
* Yuji Nagata – 6pts
* Takashi Sugiura – 6pts
* Matt Riddle – 6pts
* David Finlay – 6pts

* Bayley – 4pts
* James Ellsworth – 4pts

* The Mack – 3pts
* Cesaro – 3pts
* Dana Brooke – 3pts
* Xavier Woods – 3pts
* Kofi Kingston – 3pts
* Big E – 3pts
* Evie – 3pts
* Heidi Lovelace – 3pts
* Dustin (Chuck Taylor) – 3pts
* Cedric Alexander – 3pts
* YAMATO – 3pts
* James Storm – 3pts
* Mark Haskins – 3pts

* Matt Sydal – 2pts

* Chavo Guerrero – 1pt
* DJ Z – 1pt
* Abyss – 1pt
* Crazy Steve – 1pt
* Zack Ryder – 1pt
* Big Cass – 1pt
* Enzo Amore – 1pt
* Karl Anderson – 1pt
* Doc Gallows – 1pt
* Rocky Romero – 1pt
* Trent Barreta – 1pt
* Timothy Thatcher – 1pt
* Jay Briscoe – 1pt
* Mark Briscoe – 1pt
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 1pt
* Hiroshi Tanahashi – 1pt
* David Starr – 1pt

* Voting began the week of April 4th, 2016

* Year-End Rankings Key:

WWE Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLUE.
TNA Contracted Wrestlers are represented in GREEN.
ROH Contracted Wrestlers are represented in RED.
US Independent Wrestlers are represented in MAROON.
Japanese Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLACK.
Mexican/Lucha Underground Contracted Wrestlers are represented in MAGENTA.
Other International Wrestlers are represented in INDIGO.

Year One Winner: Ric Flair (2005-2006) (Shortened year, starting September 2005)
Year Two Winner: Samoa Joe (2006-2007)
Year Three Winner: John Cena (2007-2008)
Year Four Winner: Chris Jericho (2008-2009)
Year Five Winner: CM Punk (2009-2010)
Year Six Winner: The Miz (2010-2011)
Year Seven Winner: CM Punk (2011-2012)
Year Eight Winner: CM Punk (2012-2013)
Year Nine Winner: Daniel Bryan (2013-2014)
Year Ten Winner: Seth Rollins (2014-2015)

Year Eleven Winners: The New Day (2015-2016)