The PWI Female Top 50 is something is women’s wrestling fans look forward to every year, and each year there are some things we all agree on, others we disagree a lot. This year however, it’s no exception. There are a lot of grumbling about it, but all in all this list is not all bad but there a lot of things I don’t agree.
Here’s what I agree on:
First off, I have to agree with the top five on the list, because the have had some relevancy in the rankings, regardless of record. Paige, AJ Lee, Gail Kim, Cheerleader Melissa, LuFisto; Can anybody argue with this top 5? I sure don’t. But here’s the reason these ladies are I’m the position that they’re in; Paige and AJ were constantly battling for the Divas Championship on WWE TV during the summer and it had a big impact on the rankings. Gail Kim has battled to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship only to lose it to HAVOK, which should have knocked her down a peg, but it didn’t. Cheerleader Melissa on the other hand had a tough year, losing all three belts. LuFisto is currently the WSU Champion and though being harassed by its owner DJ Hyde as of late, she constantly turned back every challenge that came her way. I predict that 2015 will be a better year for them as well as a comeback year for both Gail and Melissa, winners of the last two lists in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Out of the top ten women on the list, the of them are new to the list. Well, a couple anyway. Angelina Love and Ivelisse are at numbers 6 and 7 respectively, due to the championship runs they both had in 2014. Angelina captured the TNA Knockouts Championship in late April of this year while Ivelisse defended the SHINE Championship until this past weekend when she lost it to Mia Yim. And then there’s Charlotte, who made the list at number 10 by virtue of her NXT Women’s Championship victory and her push as one of the Divas to watch. While those may have played a big role in the rankings, I don’t see why they couldn’t go any higher. Also, there are some newcomers or returnees I the Top 50 that didn’t make it last year made it this year. Madison Rayne, Barbi Hayden, Su Yung, Nikki Storm, Candice LaRae, Mickie Knuckles, Marti Belle, Becky Lynch, Crazy Mary Dobson, Jessie Kaye, Heidi Lovelace, Angie Skye and Kat Von Heez are some of those who are on the list that didn’t make it into last year’s rankings. And for some of those fresh faces, look for them to make 2015 their breakout year.
Some of the ladies on the list improved on their last year’s rankings and moved up to better positions. Natalya went from 13 to 9 this year, Courtney Rush went from 23 to 8, LuFisto went from 21 to 5, AJ went from 6 to 2, and Paige of course, from 12 to 1. While some moved down the list such as Saraya Knight going from 3 last year to 14 this year and HAVOK from 4 last year to 13 this year, those who moved up is something I agree with.
And here are some I don’t completely agree with:
First off, why is Cameron ranked at the top 20 at number 17 no less? Sure it’s 20 spots up from her previous spot at 37, but to be honest, there are better wrestlers than her on this list. Athena, Kellie Skater and Mia Yim are way better wrestlers than Cameron and the list proves my next point, which is the WWE and TNA bias.
Ah yes, on this year’s top 50, 31 women are independent wrestlers, while 19 are from either TNA or WWE. 12 of them are from WWE, and 17 are from TNA, which proves why the some of them have higher spots than some of the independent girls. It is this bias that makes me sick and how the rankings were conducted in that fashion.
Also, there are a lot of snubs along the way. Kay Lee Ray, Shazza McKenzie, Madison Eagles, Allysin Kay, Savannah Summers and Evie all had a great year, but not according to the top 50. They also have a history of snubbing joshis as well. You won’t find Kana or Hikaru Shida or Tomoka Nakagawa or Io Shirai on this year’s list because of the bias they have with WWE and TNA starts getting the top spots. This is why some fans don’t take these rankings seriously, because they only cover a portion of the world. I hope they expand it to feature those around the world, not just a part.
This year has some controversial decisions and plenty of snubs, but the top ten isn’t that bad, considering the run these ladies have had during the year. But look for some improvements and better picks next year or else I won’t be getting my copy in the near future.
You can follow me on Twitter @matthewhollie as well as The Barbwire Blog’s official accounts: