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WWE News: Top ten wrestlers in the world revealed

PWI senior writer Dan Murphy reveals the top ten names on this year's PWI 500 list.


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Kazuchika Okada tops the list

What’s the story?

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) has given us a sneak peek of this year’s PWI 500 rankings. PWI senior writer Dan Murphy recently made an appearance on the Ross Report podcast, where he revealed the top ten names on the 2017 list.

Kazuchika Okada of New Japan Pro Wrestling takes the top spot, marking the first time in history that a Japanese wrestler has been ranked number one.

In case you didn’t know…

Every year, PWI publishes its list of the top 500 wrestlers in the world—hence the name PWI 500. Last year saw Roman Reigns scoop top spot, and you have to go back to 2010 to find the last time a non-WWE name ranked top of the pile. That year saw AJ Styles rank first, who is incidentally at number two on this year’s list.

Going in depth

The full top ten is as follows:

  1. Kazuchika Okada
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Kevin Owens
  4. Roman Reigns
  5. Kenny Omega
  6. Shinsuke Nakamura
  7. Dean Ambrose
  8. Samoa Joe
  9. Bobby Roode
  10. The Miz

It’s obviously a very pro-WWE list, which seems a tad unfair given the roll NJPW is currently on.

It’s also worth noting that the rankings apply exclusively to anything that went down between June 2016 and June 2017, so any title wins or storylines that fall outside of that window haven’t been factored into the 2017 ranking.

What's next?

The full list will be published shortly—most years, it’s often announced in early September time—so it won’t be long before you can satisfy that urge to find out who exactly is the 500th greatest wrestler in the world today.

Fun fact of the day: 2014 saw GFW’s Grado scoop the proverbial wooden spoon and rank at the bottom of the entire list.

Author’s take

As great as it is to see Okada recognised as the best wrestler in the world, it’s strange to see that Kenny Omega isn’t ranked higher, while other NJPW-ers like Tetsuya Naito aren’t even in the top ten at all. The Japanese scene has been on fire as of late, churning out five-star matches on a seemingly monthly basis, so you’d think that would’ve been reflected in these PWI rankings.


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