Indeed, while The Alliance didn’t do many WWE Superstars many favors, RVD was one of the very few talents who came out of the lukewarm angle looking like star with a groundwell of support behind him. He put on a great match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 13, where he won his eighth IWGP Heavyweight Championship before losing it to Jay White at The New Beginning In Osaka the next month. His early 2006 included defeating Triple H cleanly via submission at WrestleMania 22, cementing his place as as the new face of WWE and by extension wrestling on the whole. This year amongst Pandemic woes, the AEW World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley has taken the coveted top spot. And we have a two-time winner! 1 1-50 2 51-100 3 101-150 4 151-200 5 201-250 6 251-300 7 301-350 8 351-400 9 401-450 10 451-500 11 External links 1. For 20 years, the PWI 500 has provided wrestling fans with an annual list of the top 500 pro wrestlers in the world. The eight-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion had a great run in 2015 and 2019, while he struggled somewhat in the years between. See the PWI 500 for 2017 at the Internet Wrestling Database He never truly escaped the mid-card for a national promotion and never had a sustained push at the main event level, let alone a world title reign. Ties were broken by who had the highest ranking in the decade This was done by averaging the Top 100 of each PWI 500 for the decade. Omega was ranked fifth in that year's PWI 500, a big jump from being 23rd the year before and 54th the year before that. Of course, if PWI had wanted to err more toward actual quality of performance, Shawn Michaels was waiting in the wings with breakout performance after breakout performance in 1995 which would set him up to emerge as the new top star for WWE in 1996. The #1 wrestler got 100 points & the #100 wrestler got 1 point. PWI could justify Malenko’s ranking, in part, based on divisions—that him reigning as Cruiserweight Champion in WCW made him arguably, pound for pound, the top champion in the world. Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years. Pro Wrestling Illustrated is one of the longest standing wrestling publications that has traditionally treated pro wrestling like a legitimate sport. We’re going to rank the 100 greatest wrestlers of all time! At WrestleMania 32, Reigns defeated Triple H in the main-event, with the match acting as his official coronation as the face of WWE. Diesel was green for the position the company placed him in. Pro Wrestling Illustrated published its 29th annual PWI 500 list for 2019, ranking the top 500 male wrestlers in the world. 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CM Punk 2. Regardless, Owens has managed to maintain an average position of 15th in the PWI 500. And we have a two-time winner! Test your knowledge on this sports quiz and compare your score to others. It’s tough to argue that John Cena was ever the best pure worker in the wrestling business. A relatively poor 2017, which saw him placed 16th, means Rollins has an average position of 6th over the last 5 years. After a few months of uncertainty, Styles quickly established himself as one of the biggest stars of the promotion, winning marquee matches and championship gold. Even by that metric, though, 2002 feels like it could have been Chris Jericho or The Undertaker’s year to top the rankings. I'm a marketer writing about the things I love. This has left Balor with an average position of 19th over the last five years. Equipes. Austin kicked of 1998 by winning his second Royal Rumble and followed it by winning the WrestleMania XIV main event to capture his first world title, defeating no lesser opponent than Shawn Michaels. That’s the story of Steve Austin, who gathered momentum in 1996, caught fire in 1997, and was undeniably “the guy” in 1998. His momentum suffered somewhat, heading into 2016, but he was back on top in 2019, topping the list once more, after defeating Brock Lesnar twice for the Universal Championship. Kurt Angle 4. On paper, The Miz was a reasonable pick to top the PWI 500 in 2011 as someone who reigned as WWE Champion and won the main event of WrestleMania. 4. While he failed to win the WWE Championship in 2017 from Jinder Mahal, Nakamura picked up high profile wins over the likes of John Cena and Kevin Owens. In early 2018, Nakamura eliminated Cena and Reigns from the Royal Rumble to win and earn himself a shot at AJ Styles' WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34. PWI annually ranks the 500 top wrestlers in the world and sometimes their number one pick is perfect & other times they pick the wrong wrestler! The 2020 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers is a list of the Top 500 wrestlers according to the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Well, at least we try to. Andre The Giant 4. See the PWI 500 for 2020 at the Internet Wrestling Database She also holds Black Label Pro’s Midwest Championship and the Sabotage War Of The Genders Championhip. Styles did not top the PWI 500 list between 2015 and 2019, but his position never dropped below fourth place. Though Hart would get relegated to a supporting role in WWE for most of 1993, the people behind the PWI 500 clearly saw through to his talent. Pro Wrestling Illustrated. In 1993, Bret Hart got the nod for the top spot in the PWI 500. Sometimes a wrestler captures the imagination of the wrestling world so completely that he simply cannot be denied. RELATED: The 10 Best Wrestlers Aged 40 & Over, Ranked. As such, he comes across as one of those talents who was pushed more for talent than accomplishments. One thing that would be interesting to complement your total is seeing the wrestlers' average over the number of years they were ranked in the 500. For the first time in the history of Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Top 500 Wrestlers list, a Japanese star is No. Pro Wrestling Illustrated revealed its rankings of the top 500 wrestlers in the world, and current AEW World Champion Jon Moxley topped the famed PWI 500 … Okada slid down the rankings somewhat after that, but is still one of the greatest in the world, coming in 3rd in 2018 and 5th in 2019. However, he wasn’t a main event fixture and wouldn’t win his first world title for another four years. Trish Adora. In the years before that, Nakamura had been a consistent presence in the top 10, giving him an average position of 12th between 2015 and 2019. John Cena 4. Kevin Owens had a fantastic run in WWE between 2015 and 2017. The magazine recognizes various world championships as legitimate, similar to The Ring in boxing. It’s somewhat rare for the top star in the wrestling business to also be all but universally agreed upon as the best in-ring performer of the day from a purist’s perspective (and not to mention a good talker on the mic). For … After a strong run as the face of NXT, the Demon King was immediately pushed as one of the biggest stars on the red brand. Looking for the 10 wrestlers with the highest PWI 500 position over the last five years? That was the best year of Balor's career, with him coming in at third place on the PWI 500. Regardless, Reigns was never ranked lower than seventh place between 2015 and 2019, meaning he has an average ranking of fifth place. Randy Savage 10. 2019: Seth Rollins, Best Match: Seth Rollins: Rollins Vs. AJ Styles At Money In The Bank) Money in … Moreover, in terms of quality of performance, Miz was an emerging star in his promos, but, from bell to bell, couldn’t hold a candle to the top in-ring performers of the day. Even though he lost the feud, Joe looked like an absolute star, resulting in him being placed seventh on the PWI 500 that year. Cena came into 2006 as WWE Champion and would gain two additional reigns during that calendar year. He had a strong 2016 and 2019 as well, giving him an average position of 20th. More recently, he teamed with Kota Ibushi to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship in February 2020. All Elite Wrestling's Jon Moxley has been ranked as the best wrestler of 2020, according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated's annual list. SCW Junior Heavyweight Championship ; SCW Lord of the Dance Championship (1 time) He wrestled a 5-star classic in his debut before entering a feud with Samoa Joe and becoming a two-time NXT Champion, before being moved up to the main roster. He picked up clean wins over Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in just a couple of weeks and was crowned the inaugural Universal Champion at SummerSlam in 2016 after a great match. The PWI Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award recognizes the most inspirational professional wrestler of the year. Since then, it has become one of the most widely used metrics to determine the levels of success a wrestler has been able to achieve over the course of a calendar year. 83. Seth Rollins had the honor of ranking #1 in this year’s edition, with 6 of the top 10 being employed by WWE. His feud with John Cena was absolutely phenomenal and reminded fans that he is the most consistently-great performers in the world. WhatCulture About Team Advertise Contact. Kofi Kingston. PWI is headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and published by Kappa Publishing Group. Cena won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21 in 2005 and went on to reign for an extended period. 110. Triple H 3. Finn Balor was destined for greatness when he made the move from NXT to Raw. Cena’s placement may have ultimately come down to a “lifetime achievement” award of sorts, as his time as wrestling’s top star began to wind down, or else this was the default choice. As the NXT Champion, Owens made his Raw debut and scored a clean win over John Cena in his debut match. RELATED: 10 Coolest Looks Of Finn Balor's Career, Ranked. However, when it comes to kayfabe accomplishments and notoriety with more casual fans, Malenko was a more awkward pick. Related: 10 Best Stone Cold Steve Austin Quotes Of His Career. I also did this for the 90s & 00s & the Women. Tessa Blanchard . ... PWI Top 500 Wrestlers Of 2019 - Top 10 Names REVEALED. His poor ranking in 2015 and 2016 means The Cleaner has had an average position of 18th over the last 5 years. When it comes to technical skill and precision in the ring, Dean Malenko is a truly elite performer who makes complete sense topping a mid-to-late 1990s PWI 500. Kylie Rae. While 2015 was Seth Rollins' year, it was also the year that Roman Reigns began to grow into a strong single's star, even winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in November of that year. He wrestled fantastic matches against the likes of John Cena and Brock Lesnar as the biggest heel in the company, leading him to top of the PWI 500 in 2015. Faye Jackson . Related: Hulk Hogan's 10 Final WWE Matches, Ranked From Worst To Best. Staying at or near the top of this list for a consistent amount of time is exceptionally difficult, but it is possible. 254. PWI 500 publishes a list of top 500 wrestlers around the world every year. Bret Hart 5. Yeah I thought that it was weird that he said the Top Ten started in 1991. Though Hogan, similarly, was no technical wizard, it’s tough to argue that he wasn’t the more over world champion. Bob Backlund 8. 1. Hulk Hogan 2. Additionally, though the line has always been fuzzy as to whether the PWI 500 privileges kayfabe accomplishments or actual ability, Moxley’s quality of performance in the ring and on the mic further reinforce his position as the top guy in the business. All the same though, great job. Frankly, this is long overdue. There’s a real argument to be made that no wrestler has ever been hotter than Stone Cold was in 1998, not to mention that his in-ring performances, promos, and kayfabe accomplishment all supported his placement as number one. I've been freelancing as a content writer for a couple of years, and run a wellness website called You're Doing Great (?). A part of the magazine’s gimmick has long been to treat storylines as real and to publish wrestler rankings. Seth Rollins was chosen to be The Authority's Golden Boy when he turned his back on The Shield and aligned himself with the heel faction. 1. Without further ado, let's take a look at the times when PWI made the right call with their number one ranking on their 500 list and other times when they picked the wrong wrestler. This year’s PWI 500 will include wrestlers who excelled against opponents of any gender or who held traditionally “male” (or gender-neutral) championships. While people may debate over him being the greatest of all time, no one can deny he has been the greatest over the last five years. After making his WWE debut back in 2016, fans were worried that the promotion would misuse him. While top WCW stars like The Giant, Ric Flair, and Randy Savage, as well as WWE’s own Bret Hart were worthy of at least kayfabe consideration for the top spot, in the end, HBK was the right pick that year by virtually any metric. Just as we did before, we all submitted our own list of the top 100 wrestlers of all time, and each ranking represents points. 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