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. Find Michael Chin online at miketchin.com or follow him on Twitter @miketchin. Sometimes a wrestler captures the imagination of the wrestling world so completely that he simply cannot be denied. 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. Related: Hulk Hogan's 10 Final WWE Matches, Ranked From Worst To Best. 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. Rob Van Dam was a talented, innovative, and popular star in the early 2000s. 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). Bret Hart 5. 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. After making his WWE debut back in 2016, fans were worried that the promotion would misuse him. Pro Wrestling Illustrated published its 29th annual PWI 500 list for 2019, ranking the top 500 male wrestlers in the world. His feud with John Cena was absolutely phenomenal and reminded fans that he is the most consistently-great performers in the world. 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. It would be very tough to sum up Eddie … Hiroshi Tanahashi has been a New Japan Pro Wrestling mainstay for the last several years. Even within WWE itself, CM Punk was just coming off some of his historically long WWE Championship reign while Daniel Bryan geared up for a huge push. Regardless, Owens has managed to maintain an average position of 15th in the PWI 500. Frankly, this is long overdue. However, the reasoning fell flat and the pick ultimately felt inconsistent with the magazine’s more typical kayfabe leanings. More recently, the magazine has branched into the creation of Women's lists as well, but the Men's list has remained far more in-depth, at least for the time being. 1. 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. I'm a marketer writing about the things I love. Even though he lost the feud, Joe looked like an absolute star, resulting in him being placed seventh on the PWI 500 that year. The massive undertaking—particularly in those pre-Internet days—involved combing through videos and house show reports. Kofi Kingston. He had a strong 2016 and 2019 as well, giving him an average position of 20th. SCW Junior Heavyweight Championship ; SCW Lord of the Dance Championship (1 time) After only breaking the top 10 of the PWI 500 twice as a WWE Superstar, Jon Moxley topped the most recent edition of the rankings. Ranking the top 101 wrestlers of all time - Sports Illustrated Finn Balor was destined for greatness when he made the move from NXT to Raw. The wrestling world has changed a lot in the last decade. Trish Adora. This year’s PWI 500 will include wrestlers who excelled against opponents of any gender or who held traditionally “male” (or gender-neutral) championships. Ties were broken by who had the highest ranking in the decade Reigns topped the list in 2016 before sliding down the ranks somewhat, partially due to his leukaemia diagnosis and WWE finally pulling him from the main-event to a degree. PWI 500 publishes a list of top 500 wrestlers around the world every year. D&D Beyond 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. By contrast, Hulk Hogan overlapped most of this reign with his own WCW Championship reign. 4. After being ranked 27th in the PWI 500, 2015, Kazuchika Okada surged up the rankings, coming 2nd in 2016, with him becoming the new face of NJPW. Randy Savage 10. Kenny Omega solidified his status as one of the world's greatest wrestlers when his match against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall was given 6.25 stars by Dave Meltzer. 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. 160. He was positioned 40th in 2019, a far cry from being sixth in 2016 and third in 2017. 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. Bobby Roode 3. Related: 10 Best Stone Cold Steve Austin Quotes Of His Career. This was done by averaging the Top 100 of each PWI 500 for the decade. He has maintained an average third place position. Pro Wrestling Illustrated. How many have you heard of. 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. Faye Jackson . Without further ado, here are 10 wrestlers with the highest average PWI 500 position in the last 5 years. 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 was only fitting for a year spent headlining for the new AEW promotion—not least of all reigning as the company’s top champion for the last half year. 173. RELATED: 10 Coolest Looks Of Finn Balor's Career, Ranked. We’re going to rank the 100 greatest wrestlers of all time! She also holds Black Label Pro’s Midwest Championship and the Sabotage War Of The Genders Championhip. However, he wasn’t a main event fixture and wouldn’t win his first world title for another four years. In 1991, the magazine went a step beyond monthly top 10 lists when they published the original PWI 500. John Cena 4. Top 500 Pro Wrestlers of all time according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Unfortunately, the 41-year-old has spent a considerable amount of time on the sidelines, and has become a regular presence on the Raw announcer's table. Just as we did before, we all submitted our own list of the top 100 wrestlers of all time, and each ranking represents points. 1. However, in 2006, he emerged as the clear cut top star in pro wrestling. Van Dam made complete sense as a top 10 guy for the 2002 PWI 500. Ric Flair 3. The PWI Top 500 Professional Wrestlers of 2020 has been officially released online. 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. Pro Wrestling Illustrated is one of the longest standing wrestling publications that has traditionally treated pro wrestling like a legitimate sport. After defeating Edge in TLC match for the WWE Championship at Unforgiven 2006, Cena reigned for a year and change, and was never far from the top when he didn’t have the title. RELATED: The 10 Best Wrestlers Aged 40 & Over, Ranked. See the PWI 500 for 2011 at the Internet Wrestling Database Mitsuharu Misawa 7. Joe had his best run with the promotion in 2017, when he was positioned as the number one contender to Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship. The list granted readers access to an expansive catalog wrestlers working that year, in addition to starting to track names as they moved up when they signed with major companies and saw their careers blossom. Regardless, Reigns was never ranked lower than seventh place between 2015 and 2019, meaning he has an average ranking of fifth place. Right: Shawn Michaels, 1996. Staying at or near the top of this list for a consistent amount of time is exceptionally difficult, but it is possible. 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. 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. And we have a two-time winner! News on all your favorite celebs, reality TV, and movies. Cena came into 2006 as WWE Champion and would gain two additional reigns during that calendar year. Diesel spent almost all of 1995 positioned as the face of WWE. Rollins pulled off the 'Heist of the Century' at WrestleMania 31, when he cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract in the main-event to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Pro Wrestling Illustrated began releasing a yearly list of the best wrestlers in the world back in 1991. Though Hogan, similarly, was no technical wizard, it’s tough to argue that he wasn’t the more over world champion. Our ranking differs from the PWI 500 because we use math. CM Punk 2. See who conquered the PWi 500 power rankings! Styles did not top the PWI 500 list between 2015 and 2019, but his position never dropped below fourth place. Shawn Michaels 11. 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 … 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. It’s tough to argue that John Cena was ever the best pure worker in the wrestling business. Kurt Angle 4. Fandom Apps Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. For … PWI is headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and published by Kappa Publishing Group. Here are all of the women who made the 2020 PWI 500: 78. The 2003 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers is a list of the Top 500 wrestlers according to the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years. Well, at least we try to. PWI publishes bi-monthly issues and annual special issues such as their "Almanac and Book of Facts". PWI - Top 100 Tag Teams of the PWI Years posted Aug 22, 2015, 7:54 PM by Wrestling Scout We’re going to rank the 100 greatest wrestlers of all time! 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 See Also 12 External links 1. The magazine is the longest published English language wrestling magazine still in production. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) is an American internationally sold professional wrestling magazine that was founded in 1979. 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. 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! Cena dropped the title to Edge after the latter cashed in his Money In The Bank contract at New Year's Revolution, but he'd quickly regain the title from the Rated R Superstar in convincing fashion at the next pay-per-view, the 2006 Royal Rumble. 254. 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. From there, he won the Intercontinental Championship before winning the Universal Championship and forging a great on-screen friendship with Chris Jericho. 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. Random Quiz. Check out the top 10 wrestlers of 2010 from PWI 500. [ Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2020] This year amongst Pandemic woes, the AEW World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley has taken the coveted top spot. The World's Most Entertaining Car Website, Every WWE Title Match At The Royal Rumble In The 1990s, Ranked, The PWI 500: 5 Times The Right Wrestler Ranked #1 (& 5 Times It Was A Terrible Pick), Hulk Hogan's 10 Final WWE Matches, Ranked From Worst To Best, 10 Wrestlers You Didn't Know Jon Moxley Faced, 10 Best Stone Cold Steve Austin Quotes Of His Career, Every Version Of Bayley, Ranked From Worst To Best, 5 WWE Wrestlers Who Grabbed The Brass Ring In 2020 (& 5 Who Did It Elsewhere), 5 Amazing Feuds For Becky Lynch In 2021 (& 5 We Don't Want To See), 5 Wrestlers Seth Rollins Loves (& 5 He Doesn't), The 10 Most Shocking Title Changes In ECW History, 5 WWE Superstars Who Have Better Gimmicks In AEW (& 5 Who Had In WCW), 10 Factions That Had Multiple Leaders Over Time, 10 Wrestlers You Didn’t Realize Were In Movies, 10 Wrestlers Who Won World Titles Fairly (& With Controversy), 10 Wrestlers With The Best Win/Loss Record In TLC Matches, 10 Wrestlers You Forgot Had World Title Shots At The Royal Rumble, 5 Wrestlers Who Made A Psychopath Gimmick Work (& 5 Who Didn't), 5 Current WWE Mid-Carders Who Deserve A Big Push (& 5 Who Don't), The Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James Rivalry, Explained. For … However, even when he was a world champion, WWE didn’t fully invest him as a top guy, never picking up a decisive victory over another legitimate main event star. A part of the magazine’s gimmick has long been to treat storylines as real and to publish wrestler rankings. Kevin Owens had a fantastic run in WWE between 2015 and 2017. 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. The eight-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion had a great run in 2015 and 2019, while he struggled somewhat in the years between. Even by that metric, though, 2002 feels like it could have been Chris Jericho or The Undertaker’s year to top the rankings. However, when it comes to kayfabe accomplishments and notoriety with more casual fans, Malenko was a more awkward pick. 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. The magazine recognizes various world championships as legitimate, similar to The Ring in boxing. As such, he comes across as one of those talents who was pushed more for talent than accomplishments. 83. 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. 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. 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 (?). Looking for the 10 wrestlers with the highest PWI 500 position over the last five years? It’s somewhat rare for the top star in the wrestling business to also be … 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. ... PWI Top 500 Wrestlers Of 2019 - Top 10 Names REVEALED. I also did this for the 90s & 00s & the Women. wrestler previous year position difference notes; 1 Seth Rollins: 5 +4: 2 Daniel Bryan: 91 +89: 3 A.J. Tessa Blanchard . Can you name the Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 top ten ranked wrestlers from 2000-2009? 2019: Seth Rollins, Best Match: Seth Rollins: Rollins Vs. AJ Styles At Money In The Bank) Money in … News on all your favorite celebs, reality TV, and movies. That’s the story of Steve Austin, who gathered momentum in 1996, caught fire in 1997, and was undeniably “the guy” in 1998. The 2020 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers is a list of the Top 500 wrestlers according to the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated. While John Cena made sense as a top pick for the PWI 500 earlier in his career, by 2013, the bloom was off the rose. The 2013 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers is a list of the Top 500 wrestlers according to the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated. That was the best year of Balor's career, with him coming in at third place on the PWI 500. He has an average position of 8th, brought down by his relatively poor showing in 2015. A heel turn at WrestleMania did not win him the championship, as he slid down the card in 2019, and was ranked 31st that year, down 20 positions from 11th in 2018. Accordingly, he would win the world title back at the following year’s WrestleMania and would be even an less controversial pick for number one in 1994. And we have a two-time winner! For 20 years, the PWI 500 has provided wrestling fans with an annual list of the top 500 pro wrestlers in the world. Triple H 3. Quiz by tmxicon. Our ranking differs from the PWI 500 because we use math. This has left Balor with an average position of 19th over the last five years. Alternative picks, however, may have included Bully Ray for his career-redefining year as TNA World Heavyweight Champion and the head of Aces and Eight or top Japanese star Hiroshi Tanahashi. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. In 1996, that guy was Shawn Michaels, who was fittingly coronated as world champion for the first time in the main event of WrestleMania XII, where he worked an over hour-long match with Bret Hart. The PWI Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award recognizes the most inspirational professional wrestler of the year. See the PWI 500 for 2020 at the Internet Wrestling Database He defeated Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship and went on to face challengers including Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The British Bulldog, and Mabel. PWI ranked him #128 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1999; PWI ranked him #441 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003 [citation needed] Steel City Wrestling. En 2003... Lutteurs. The Chicago-native is one of the top intergender wrestlers in the world. Pro Wrestling Illustrated released its annual PWI 500 list ranking the top 500 male professional wrestlers in the world Thursday, and Seth Rollins took the top … A relatively poor 2017, which saw him placed 16th, means Rollins has an average position of 6th over the last 5 years. Cena would drop the WWE Title to RVD at ECW One Night Stand, but he would regain the title only a few months later. Harley Race 9. The next year, Omega topped the list after working a 7-star rematch against Okada, before sliding down to 8th place in 2019 as a result of his move to AEW. 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. Allie Kat. All Elite Wrestling's Jon Moxley has been ranked as the best wrestler of 2020, according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated's annual list. Samoa Joe probably would have been a world champion in WWE by now if he had managed to remain injury-free. 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. As the NXT Champion, Owens made his Raw debut and scored a clean win over John Cena in his debut match. 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. While nationally recognizable names like Hulk Hogan and Lex Luger topped the list, as the rankings went on, the names became more obscure. The next year, Okada topped the list, by becoming the longest reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion of all time, and wrestling fantastic matches against the likes of Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes. Kylie Rae. Can you name the Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 top ten ranked wrestlers from 2000-2009? AJ Styles is widely considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, capable of putting on fantastic matches with just about anyone. However, in an era of part-time world champions, Moxley stood out for defending his title regularly on PPV and weekly TV. Or even number of times they hit the top ten. 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. 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. More recently, he teamed with Kota Ibushi to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship in February 2020. Dusty Rhodes 12. While the ranking was mostly in recognition of his first world title reign, that ran from late 1992 to spring of 1993, it also felt like a symbolic nod to Hart emerging as the best in-ring wrestler active in the US at that time. Eddie Guerrero (568 points) My favorite wrestler of all-time. Andre The Giant 4. For the first time in the history of Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Top 500 Wrestlers list, a Japanese star is No. The World's Most Entertaining Car Website, 10 WWE Undercard Matches That Should Have Been Main Event, 10 Wrestlers With The Highest PWI 500 Position (In The Last 5 Years), The 10 Best Wrestlers Aged 40 & Over, Ranked, He put on a great match against Kenny Omega at, 10 Coolest Looks Of Finn Balor's Career, Ranked, Owens made his Raw debut and scored a clean win over John Cena in his debut match, He wrestled a 5-star classic in his debut, 10 Wrestlers You Forgot Teamed With Shinsuke Nakamura, Rollins pulled off the 'Heist of the Century' at, His feud with John Cena was absolutely phenomenal, Young Guns: The 10 Best Wrestlers 25 And Under, Every Version Of Bayley, Ranked From Worst To Best, Why Finn Bálor Should Bring Back The Demon (& Why He Shouldn't), 10 AEW Wrestlers We Thought Were Going To Break Out In 2020 (But Didn't), 10 Women WWE Hired For Their Looks, But Won Championships, 5 Ruthless Aggression Wrestlers That Are Younger Than You Think (& 5 That Are Older), 10 Dream Matches WWE Fans Want To See In 2021, 10 WWE Wrestlers Who Changed Gimmicks In 2020, The Final 10 Divas Championship Title Reigns, Ranked Worst To Best, 10 Wrestlers You Forgot Had World Title Shots At The Royal Rumble, WWE TLC 2020: Why It Was A Great Show (& Why It Wasn't), 10 Backstage Stories About The Wyatt Family We Can't Believe, 10 Finishers Used In A Royal Rumble Match To Eliminate An Opponent, 10 Times A Wrestler Received A Present On Television, 5 Current WWE Mid-Carders Who Deserve A Big Push (& 5 Who Don't), Why Bret Hart Is The Best Submission Wrestler In WWE (& Why It's Kurt Angle), 5 Feuds Randy Orton Should Have Won (& 5 He Should Have Lost). 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. 110. For the first time, multiple women will be included on the list. Shinsuke Nakamura had a strong run with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in 2015, before making the move to NXT in 2016, where he replaced Finn Balor as the face of the show. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada tops PWI’s Top 500 list for 2017. The #1 wrestler got 100 points & the #100 wrestler got 1 point. However, once he lost the gold to Goldberg, Owens slid down the power rankings, as he struggled for relevancy. His poor ranking in 2015 and 2016 means The Cleaner has had an average position of 18th over the last 5 years. Just as we did before, we all submitted our own list of the top 100 wrestlers of all time, and each ranking represents points. Bob Backlund 8. 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. NEXT: Young Guns: The 10 Best Wrestlers 25 And Under, Hi! Any top champion for a top tier promotion should be in the conversation for the number one spot. Quizzes. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. AJ Styles (Average Position: 3rd) AJ Styles is widely considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers … Cena won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21 in 2005 and went on to reign for an extended period. Hulk Hogan 2. Yeah I thought that it was weird that he said the Top Ten started in 1991. RELATED: 10 Wrestlers You Forgot Teamed With Shinsuke Nakamura. Of all time t win his first world title for another four years the IWGP Tag Championship! Of top 500 wrestlers pwi top 500 wrestlers of all time to the magazine ’ s gimmick has been. 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