Willie Mack : 10. I remember seeing him in NWA Championship Wrestling Showcase going up against Cesaro in '10 or so. Great matches, and Willie's blown up since. Such an agile guy for his size.
Dragon Lee : 4. I'm not the hugest Dragon Lee fan. I'll sit through his matches, but I wont seek them out.
Hiromu Takahashi : 8. Hiromu scare(s/d) me in the ring sometimes. He worked like a true mad man. His finish is downright insane too. I love his promo work as well.
Kota Ibushi : 10. One of the best wrestlers in the world.
Marty Scurll : 7. Scurll has great matches when he wants to, but he falls into a formula quite a bit. I love his greatest hits, but I prefer a more on-the-fly catch-as-catch-can Marty to him just going for the standard spots.
Will Ospreay : 5. I started off the year hating Ospreay, and I'm still not a huge fan because I do think there are better high fliers out there than Will that take fewer unnecessary risks. I also wish Will would sell more, which he seems to be getting better at, but yeah. Ospreay's just there to me. I loved his match with Kota and looked forward to it because they're both nuts, but that back elbow knocked him down a few pegs for me again.
'Evil' : 8. Evil's underrated. I love his tag work with Sanada, I believe he's capable of working on an "ace" level, and I believe he's become an integral part of LIJ, especially last year. His bout with Jericho was one of Jericho's best in New Japan in my opinion simply because Jericho stayed in the ring more, and Evil kept up. If there's a detraction to Evil, it's that Spirit of Halloween getup he comes out in. He can still be Evil, but I'd love for there to be a minor gimmick overhaul in the looks department.
Kazuchika Okada : 5, Okada's Bret Hart to me. He's good at what he does, he's mastered execution, but somewhere along the way making steak, he lost all sizzle from his game. His big submission move last year was the cobra clutch, which would've been amazing if he transitioned it into the Rainmaker Lariat, but I don't think he ever did once, and that would've justified that irrational lariat setup for me. As much as I despise the Rainmaker Lariat, I do enjoy the reversals and counters that come out of it, but again, like Hart, that enjoyment comes from whoever Okada happens to be in the ring with on any given night.
Zack Sabre Jr. : 8. Stretchy boi Zack is a great submission worker, although I think I'd enjoy him a lot more in New Japan if a) he were knocked down to the Junior Heavyweight Division where his size and style would stand out or b) he were pushed more as a heavyweight. I do think he'll fill that gaijin top star role left by so many exiting in the oncoming year, but right now he's setting up to tag with Suzuki against LIJ, which will be good, but ZSJ could be used so much better.
Minoru Suzuki : 6. There's no middle ground between a good Minoru Suzuki match and a bad Minoru Suzuki match. I'm also not sure what drives his matches to be good or bad. He's had great outings with opponents like Naito, and also had god awful bouts with Naito as well within the span of a few months. Even when he's on his A game, I still find it hard to watch Suzuki matches due to sheer brutality, unless it's someone like Ishii who can give it right back to him.
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 7. I'm not of the camp that thinks Tanahashi is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but I do believe he's very good and I get his significance as an avant garde luminary in New Japan's history. I'm not sure if the current product would exist as it does without an influencer like Tanahashi. I do think his disciples have surpassed him in many ways, but he laid the ground work no question, and he's nothing to slouch at as a competitor either.
Taiji Ishimori : 7. Taiji can be hit or miss. I prefer his role in New Japan because he stays grounded and I've seen him wipe out so many times trying to be a high flier. Bone Soldier Taiji has been a revelation though.