Pro Wrestling Illustrated has released its annual ranking of its top 500 wrestlers in the world for 2017 and a new name has taken the top spot. For the first time in history, a japanese wrestler has risen to the top, as “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada has been selected as the best wrestler of the past 12 months.
Okada is no stranger to the PWI 500. He has appeared in the Top 10 three other times in his career: 5th in both 2013 and 2014, and 2nd in 2016.
Okada had the following to say, regarding this honor:
“Well, I think I did what those other guys (Keiji Muto, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Hiroshi Tanahashi) did not. What this award signifies is that wrestling fans and media worldwide are thinking about what promotion and what wrestler deserves their attention, and the answer is Okada. It’s an indication that finally the world at large is realizing just how great Japanese wrestlers and Japanese wrestling is, and that’s special.”
The Top 10 for 2017 are as follows:
- Kazuchika Okada
- AJ Styles
- Kevin Owens
- Roman Reigns
- Kenny Omega
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Dean Ambrose
- Samoa Joe
- Bobby Roode
- The Miz
What do you think of Kazuchika Okada being named the topping this year’s PWI 500? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page!