The 2021 PWI 500- Omega is #1, Aussie Stars Feature
It's a time for much debate in the wrestling community, as the vaunted PWI 500 has dropped for this year. For anyone unfamilar, it ranks the 500 best wrestlers in the world. Based largely in kayfabe, it takes into account a wrestler's achievement and win-loss record over a 12 month period. The evaluation period spans from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Topping the list at #1 is the current AEW Champion, Kenny Omega. Given that he was AEW Tag Team Champions with Hangman Page at the beginning of the period, then moving into winning the AEW Championship in December from Jon Moxley, to being the Belt Collector in 2021- with his Impact World Championship loss to Christian Cage coming after the end of the evaluation period- his spot at the top certainly makes sense.
Following Omega is Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who has remained unbeaten and untouched since his return to action at Summerslam 2020. WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and NJPW's Kota Ibushi round out the top 5.
For Aussie wrestling fans, some excitement as many of our homegrown stars feature prominently in the PWI 500 this year. The highest ranked name would be Bronson Reed at #73, taking into account his rise through NXT, capturing the North American Championship, with his WWE release coming after the evaluation period closed. Following him in the WWE ranks is Slapjack (Shane Thorne) at #378, and Murphy coming in at #401 on the strength of his work prior to his WWE release. Also heart-warming to see relatively new WWE arrival Grayson Waller (fka Matty Wahlberg) crack into the list at #439.
Outside of WWE, Adam Brooks, who signed to ROH at the outset of the pandemic, came in at #210. Charli Evans (#291) & Jessica Troy (#411) find themselves included here due to their intergender matches in Deathmatch Downunder and PWA. One of the more prominent Aussie wrestlers, Robbie Eagles sits at #407- unfortunately he captured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship right after evaluation closed. Rounding out the Aussie representation is Caveman Ugg (#348), Ricky South (#377) Royce Chambers (#387), Ritchie Taylor (#316- hell yeah), Matt Hayter (#416) and Hartley Jackson (#449).
Congratulations to all the Aussies featured. And the New Zealand guys too, I guess. That brilliant bugger Jay White eclipsed us all with a #39 placing. Always next year...