The magazine hasn’t hit news stands yet, but on Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s official web site, it’s been revealed that AJ Styles is the number one ranked wrestler in this year’s PWI 500. You could check out the issue’s feature story about Styles, which includes quotes from “The Phenomenal One” about the accomplishment, here.
The list, which ranks wrestling’s 500 best performers, is in its 20th year, and remains an institution in the sport, and an important measuring stick for wrestlers’ career progress each year. Styles become only the third non-WWE wrestler in the history of the list to reach number one (the other two were Sting in 1992 and Dean Malenko in 1996) and the first ever TNA wrestler to do so.
So, do you think Styles’ deserves the top ranking – above such WWE megastars as John Cena, Randy Orton and The Undertaker? The PWI always stirs a lot of debate, which is what makes it so much fun. But, I for one, think the honor is well deserved by Styles, who held the TNA world championship for seven months over the last year, has consistently delivered stand out matches on television and pay per view against a variety of opponents, and is one of the few saving graces in an incredibly dysfunctional wrestling promotion.
It will be interesting to see who rounds out the top ten.