Aussies In The PWI Women's 250 for 2023
By Mick Robson
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Last year, it was a mere 150 women represented worldwide in PWI's annual list, versus 500 men from around the world. This year, we're gaining ground! 250 women were recognised this list, and since this is an Australia-based pro wrestling source, let's have a look at the Aussie ladies who made the cut.
Topping the list at #1- to little surprise- is Adelaide's Rhea Ripley! Ripley is one of the most heavily featured and strongest portrayed superstars in all of WWE. In recent weeks, she's been the defacto leader of Judgment Day on-screen while reigning as the Women's World Champion.
Coming in at #12- New Zealand born but raised in and billed from the Gold Coast- Toni Storm. Currently enjoying a fun character turn as "Timeless" Toni Storm, the would-be Hollywood starlet held the AEW Women's Championship twice during the evaluation period.
At #46, "Impressive" Indi Hartwell. She appeared in the 2023 Women's Royal Rumble, won the NXT Women's Championship at Stand & Deliver in a ladder match, and despite suffering an injury soon after, was drafted to Monday Night Raw.
No. 69 (nice), is Steph De Lander. Following an unceremonious WWE release after barely a year in the NXT system as Persia Pirotta, SDL landed on her feet in a big way, forming a business partnership with Matt Cardona (which actually kicked off during the World Series Wrestling Australia tour last year). Based in Florida, the "Indy Goddess" occasionally makes appearances in her home land of Australia, but along with Cardona, is proving to be a worldwide force on the indies.
Rounding out the top 5 Aussies at #88 is Shazza McKenzie. Shazza bet on herself earlier this year, moving to St Louis, Missouri permanently to chase her wrestling dream. She has a number of high profile victories against both men and women on the indies, defeating names such as Laynie Luck and Heather Reckless. Incidentally, she is also Sean Ross Sapp's favourite wrestler.
The other Aussie women on the PWI 250 are as follows:
#92- Lena Kross #138- Jessica Troy #141- Charli Evans #215- Aysha #219- Delta
Some of these talents were given further recognition in the 2023 Achievement Awards section that followed the PWI 250 list. Steph De Lander & Shazza McKenzie were nominated for Indie Wrestler of the Year. Rhea Ripley got a nomination for Match of the Year for her Mania battle with Charlotte Flair. Rhea was also nominated for Woman of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.
What do you think of the Aussies placing in this list? Let me know your thoughts in the comment sections of wherever you see this article.
Until next time, take care.