Via press release…
The 25th annual PWI 500 is now available for download at pwi-online.com. And, as usual, the yearly ranking of the 500 best wrestlers in the world, as compiled by the staff of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, is sure to stir debate among wrestling fans.
Topping this year’s list, for the first time, is WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, whose unexpected title win at WrestleMania, combined with several key victories throughout the evaluation period helped him lock down the number 1 position.
“Thanks @OfficialPWI for the number 1 spot,” Rollins tweeted Thursday. “But let’s be honest here…was there really ever a second option? Mwuhahahaha!!”
Rollins joins an elite group of wrestlers who have topped the PWI 500 since it debuted in 1991, including Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and, last year’s top-ranked wrestler, Daniel Bryan.
Rounding out this year’s Top 10:
2. John Cena, who achieved his 12th consecutive Top 10 ranking and his seventh year in a row in a Top 5 position.
3. AJ Styles.
4. Roman Reigns
5. Shinsuke Nakamura
6. Randy Orton
7. Jay Briscoe
9. Alberto El Patron
10. Kevin Owens
The PWI 500 is compiled each year using criteria that includes win-loss record, championships won, quality of competition, major feuds, prominence within their individual promotion(s), and overall wrestling ability. The evaluation period was from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.
The print edition of the 2015 PWI 500 hits news stands on Sept. 29, but the digital edition can be downloaded now for just $3.50 at pwi-online.com.