Pro Wrestling Illustrated Making Major Changes To Their PWI 500 Ranking System This Year

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Pro Wrestling Illustrated Making Major Changes To Their PWI 500 Ranking System This Year

Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI

Credit: PWI

The wrestling industry is always changing and remaining fluid and Pro Wrestling Illustrated wants to make sure they stay with the times.

The last of the major wrestling publications announced today via a thread on Twitter that they will be making major adjustments to how they rank wrestlers in the PWI 500 rankings. The recently christened PWI Editor-In-Chief Kevin McElvaney revealed that their ever-popular, always talked about list. Women who exclusively compete against women won’t be included in the 500, but rather will be acknowledged for their achievements in the “Women’s 100.” However, women who wrestle outside their division against any competitor of any gender will be factored into the PWI 500 rankings and their ranking will be based upon their usual criteria. You can read McElvaney’s full announcement below:

“Historically, the PWI 500 has overwhelmingly been a men’s list. Occasionally, women who excelled against men were ranked: Jacqueline Moore, Chyna, Sara Del Rey. Not long after the creation of the Women’s 100 (formerly the “Female 50”), the 500 more formally became a men’s list. Meanwhile, our annual ranking of the top women’s wrestlers addressed the fact that pro wrestling is still largely segregated by gender. Using our traditional criteria, how could we rank Becky Lynch against Seth Rollins when they can’t compete against each other in a WWE ring? This challenge is by no means exclusive to WWE. In AEW, Ring of Honor, the NWA, or even in top promotions in Japan and Mexico, women are unable to challenge men for top heavyweight titles. Women competing in those places deserve recognition. And yet … This gender segregation is also outdated. Women are winning traditionally “male” championships in major promotions the world over. Many of indie wrestling’s top stars are women. We’ve also seen quite a few non-binary and gender-fluid wrestlers make a big impact. Ignoring the achievements of those wrestlers is wrong. But it also seems premature to get rid of the Women’s 100 list entirely, since not everyone is competing for the same proverbial prizes in the ring. So, what do we do?

“Effective this year, the PWI 500 will include wrestlers who, regardless of gender, best fit our usual criteria:

  • Win-loss record
  • Technical ability
  • Influence on the sport
  • Success against the highest grade of competition
  • Success against the most diverse competition
  • Activity

“This year’s PWI 500 will include wrestlers who excelled against opponents of any gender or who held traditionally ‘male’ (or gender-neutral) championships. For the first time, multiple women will be included on the list. Frankly, this is long overdue. Women who compete exclusively (or almost exclusively) in women’s divisions/promotions won’t be ranked in this year’s 500. However, they will be eligible for the Women’s 100 list. We acknowledge this is an imperfect system, but it seems to us the most equitable approach for now. Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Asuka will likely be ranked near the top of this year’s Women’s 100. Could they one day rank as high in the PWI 500? They very well could. Wrestling is evolving, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated will evolve, too. Bottom line: We are moving in the direction of a PWI 500 that is truly gender-inclusive. For now, we want to ensure that everyone has a chance to be acknowledged for their accomplishments. We feel that opening up the list in this way is a step in the right direction. —Kevin M.”

No arguments here about Bayley, Sasha, and Asuka—they have been on fire! Thank you for bringing up this topic, because it's important. In recent years, we've ranked women exclusively on our Women's 100 list. This year, things are changing a bit. (Sorry, folks, it's a thread …)

— PWI (@OfficialPWI) July 7, 2020

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