With many wrestling fans eagerly anticipating today's big reveal of who has topped the coveted PWI 500 this year, it's now been announced that Roman Reigns has nabbed the top spot in this year's list.
As initially revealed on Busted Open Radio, the Tribal Chief has been ranked #1 for the second time in his career, having previously done so back in 2016.
As just announced on @BustedOpenRadio, Roman Reigns is again the #1 wrestler in the #PWI500. The 32nd annual "500" list is featured in our latest issue, available now for print preorder at https://t.co/ylNeV87zarAdvertisementSeptember 14, 2022
Rounding out the top ten male wrestlers, Kazuchika Okada came in at #2, CM Punk at #3, 'Hangman' Adam Page at #4, Bobby Lashley at #5, Cody Rhodes at #6, Bryan Danielson at #7, El Hijo del Vikingo at #8, Big E at #9, and Jonathan Gresham at #10.
Advertisement— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) September 14, 2022
Making up the top 20, there's Shingo Takagi at #11, Jon Moxley at #12, Matt Cardona at #13, Josh Alexander at #14, Hiroshi Tanahashi at #15, MJF at #16, Seth Rollins at #17, Adam Cole at #18, Kenny Omega at #19, and Drew McIntyre at #20.
The rest of the top 20 in 2022's #PWI500:
11. @Takagi__Shingo 12. @JonMoxley 13. @TheMattCardona 14. @Walking_Weapon 15. @tanahashi1_100 16. @The_MJF 17. @WWERollins 18. @AdamColePro 19. @KennyOmegamanX 20. @DMcIntyreWWE https://t.co/vQ42G2xnBu— PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) (@OfficialPWI) September 14, 2022
The evaluation for this year's PWI 500 was 1 July 2021 through until 30 June 2022.
Throughout the assessment period, Roman Reigns has continuously held the WWE Universal Title, in addition to taking the WWE Title from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Along the way, Reigns has picked up major wins over the likes of John Cena, Finn Balor, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Goldberg, Matt Riddle, and of course bested Lesnar on a couple of occasions.
In terms of the criteria used to rank wrestlers, that's based around in-ring achievements, influence on a certain promotion or the industry as a whole, technical ability, and success against a variety of high quality opponents. To be eligible, a wrestler has to have had at least ten matches during that period or at least six matches in separate months. Interestingly, that criteria made the aforementioned Lesnar ineligible for this year's rankings.
The PWI 500 has been in place since 1991, with Hulk Hogan topping the inaugural list. The person to head-up the PWI 500 the most is John Cena, with three #1 spots to his name - those coming in 2006, 2007 and 2013.
Elsewhere, the PWI Women's 150 was launched in 2008 - initially as the Female 50, then the Women's 100 - and was topped last year by Bianca Belair, whilst the PWI Tag Team 50 debuted in 2020 and has been topped once each by FTR and the Young Bucks in its two years in existence.
For those wondering, this year's PWI Women's 150 will be revealed in October, and the PWI Tag Team 100 (now expanded from 50) will be revealed in December.
The digital edition of the latest Pro Wrestling Illustrated - complete with the full PWI 500 - can be found here, while the print edition will hit newsstands from 4 October.