It’s that time of year again when fans and wrestlers purchase the annual Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine to see which wrestler has been crowned the greatest on the planet today.
The 2014 issue is now out which you can purchase from the Pro Wrestling Illustrated website by clicking here for only $4.99 for the digital edition, and features the number one wrestler in 2014 on the front cover, Daniel Bryan.
The way in which this list is put together is that PWI writers choose which position the wrestlers come in, looking at a certain period of time – from the beginning of June to the end of May the following year - in which they evaluate the talent before compiling the list.
The criteria they look at before deciding on the final positions include things such as the quality of competition that have faced in the year, their overall win-loss record, the championships they have won, the feuds they may have been a part of, what influence they have had in the company they work for and of course the overall wrestling ability, perhaps the most important.
2013 PWI 500
Last year the PWI writers voted John Cena as the number one wrestler whilst former WWE superstar CM Punk came in at second. Hiroshi Tanahashi took the third spot but doesn’t feature in this year’s list.
Bully Ray was at fourth last year but just manages to scrape the list this year whilst NJPW superstar Kazuchika Okada makes another appearance. Sheamus, Jeff Hardy, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and new WWE superstar Kevin Steen rounded off the top ten last year.
Out of the names included in the top ten last year, only three wrestlers managed to make it into the top ten once more, which means that there are seven new additions including the number one wrestler; Daniel Bryan.
Here are the top ten wrestlers from this year’s PWI 500 list.
2014 PWI 500
1: Daniel Bryan
As mentioned, Daniel Bryan has been voted as the number one wrestler over the last year and deservedly so, he became WWE Champion by defeating John Cena clean at last year’s SummerSlam, he was involved in some big name feuds including The Wyatt Family and The Authority and eventually had his WrestleMania moment by becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion before his reign was unfortunately cut short through injury.
2: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is another new addition who last featured on the list in 2011 where he was also the runner up. He has had quite a successful year by becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion for a lengthy period of time but finally ended his pay-per-view losing streak at Night of Champions when he defeated Chris Jericho; a streak which started at WrestleMania XXX.
3: John Cena
Last year’s winner John Cena falls down two spots to the number two spot. A successful year for Cena who came back from surgery to become World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Alberto Del Rio, defeating Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania and has been involved in a good feud with current champion; Brock Lesnar.
4: AJ Styles
Former TNA World Champion AJ Styles comes in at number four this year. A massive loss for TNA in regards to his contract situation but TNA’s gain was Styles’ and the independent circuits gain. He’s defeated some big name superstars such as Chris Hero and Amazing Red but his year will probably be topped off by the fact that he was revealed as the newest member of The Bullet Club.
5: Kazuchika Okada
The two time IWGP Heavyweight Champion stays put at fifth as he saw great success as champion, defending his gold successfully eight times which is no small feat in a competitive promotion. His 13 month reign was ended by AJ Styles but a successful year nonetheless.
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6: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt makes his debut in the PWI 500 in sixth position and rightfully so. He has been a breath of fresh year since his debut last year against Kane and his fan base continues to grow feud by feud. He was in a brilliant feud with John Cena which won’t be forgotten any time soon and even took on the returning Chris Jericho; a great first year for Bray Wyatt.
7: Roman Reigns
Other than Daniel Bryan I don’t think anyone has been more over with the fans around the world than Roman Reigns. The Shield were always involved in interesting and engaging feuds, The Wyatt Family and Evolution stand out the most and ever since the break-up Reigns’ momentum hasn’t faltered, he is destined for greatness and although he is injured now, don’t expect this to be Reigns only appearance in the PWI 500.
Former TNA World Champion Magnus coming in at number eight. His World Championship win is precisely why he is in the list, since becoming champion he has defeated a number of high-profile superstars from Kurt Angle to Sting before losing his championship to Eric Young.
9: Adam Cole
A first top ten appearance for the 25-year-old Adam Cole who has been rumoured to be on the WWE’s radar as he continues to impress. Cole too has defeated big name opposition as PWG World Champion, Kyle O’Reilly, Chris Hero and Johnny Gargano all fell victim to his incredible reign as champion. He became the longest reigning PWG World Champion with over 400 days as champion.
10: Bully Ray
Bully Ray rounds off the top ten, falling six places from the previous list but still an impressive feat to come in at ten. His feud with the Carter’s in TNA plays an integral role in his position after the end of the Aces & Eights and was also inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame; topped off by the fact that he finally managed to put Dixie Carter through a table.
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