24th Sep2019

The 1st Annual Nerdly WWE Top 50

by Chris Cummings

Every Summer since 1991 Pro Wrestling Illustrated, the famous wrestling magazine, has presented fans with the PWI 500, a ranking of the top 500 wrestlers in the world on that specific year. It blends kayfabe with actual work-rate, popularity and visibility to create this big ole list of the best pro-wrestlers in the world. It’s fun, it’s subjective to some degree, but it’s still something that I, and many other fans, look forward to each year.

I also remember the years of Power Slam magazine here in the UK, and those guys would do a Top 50 each year too, ranking, without kayfabe really, their top fifty guys. So, I thought it might be fun to do that here on Nerdly, but rather than focusing on every wrestler in the world (I mean, I’m just one guy, and I don’t watch EVERY promotion, so it wouldn’t be fair), I’ll focus on WWE. I do watch a bunch of other promotions, but I’ll stick with WWE. They have a huge roster, and I thought it would be cool to annually give a TOP 50 of the best they have. This will cover September 2018 until September 2019.

So, here it is. A list (a subjective one, in which you are well within your rights to disagree with) of who I feel are the TOP 50 best WWE wrestlers today. Now, this will be about work-rate, match-quality, visibility on the products and promos, but I’ll also take into account things such as the way they’ve been used. I can’t rate guys I love like Sami Zayn very high here, because of him being injured for much of the past 12 months, but also because of how he’s been used (not very well). We know he’s got the ability to be in the top ten, but he can’t be because of those things. So, that criteria will be used to decide on this list. Here we go. The Nerdly WWE Fifty: Year One…

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50) Bayley

Bayley became half of the first ever (reinstated) WWE Women’s Tag Champs in 2019, with Sasha Banks, having a short-ish run before losing the belts to The Iiconics at WrestleMania. She captured the Smackdown Women’s Title and went on to some nice matches in feuds with Charlotte Flair and Ember Moon. Turned heel by helping Sasha Banks attack Becky Lynch in September 2019. This is the first time fans have seen Bayley as a villain in WWE, so it is interesting. She hasn’t really always been able to find her feet on the main roster after her incredible NXT run. Her title run and heel-turn seems to have breathed some new life into “The Hugger”. I hope we get to see more of the magic we saw from her on the yellow and black brand.

49) Tony Nese

The man with all those abs had a nice 2019, capturing the WWE Cruiserweight Title at WrestleMania. Lost the belt to Drew Gulak a few weeks later. Nese is an entertaining and solid wrestler who perhaps suffers due to his lacking promo work. He has everything else, though, and I think he could really benefit from a bit of a gimmick overhaul once he heads over, I’m guessing, to NXT soon. Talented and strong fella, he has plenty to offer.

48) Oney Lorcan

Lorcan has worked in both NXT (with tag-partner Danny Burch) and on 205 Live. He’s an underrated guy, too. Has had great tag matches with The Undisputed Era and others, and fun cruiserweight matches with guys like Drew Gulak. A technical worker with a nice brawling style, he’s an old-school talent in the way he looks and wrestles. I think Oney could be a solid part of NXT once 205 Live closes its doors, and I hope he is.

47) Sasha Banks

Sasha would be higher on this list, perhaps, if she hadn’t taken time off for a few months in 2019. Became one half of the WWE Women’s Tag Champs with Bayley winning a fun Elimination Chamber match. Lost the straps at WrestleMania, and took a break from the company. Returned by attacking Natalya and Becky Lynch in August, immediately beginning a feud with “The Man”. Sasha is one of the very best female workers in the world, and I hope we get to see this “heel” Boss get a chance to shine like she did in NXT.

46) Baron Corbin

Corbin gets a bad rap. His run as “Constable” of RAW went down like a fart in church, but he’s improved in the ring, he’s good as a promo and he plays the heel like a heel should play a heel. Has had some fun matches with the likes of Ricochet and Seth Rollins, which people seem to ignore in order to say how bad he is. A good look, Baron is one of the decent big-men in WWE who, with the right opponent, can have a very good match. I’m not sure we’ll see him win a World Title anytime soon, but I could see him holding mid-card gold a few times before all is said and done for “The Lone Wolf”.

45) The Revival

The Revival are a great team and they are capable of being THE best tag team in the world, in my view. Had a nice run as RAW Tag Champs, before losing the belts to Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder at WrestleMania in the Kick-Off. Feuded with The Uso’s in a disappointing feud. Teamed with Randy Orton in his feud with The New Day which has been cool to see. These guys are a great throwback team who had blinders in NXT. They need new opponents and more time to show just how damn good they are. Fingers are crossed.

44) Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler teamed with and stopped teaming with Drew McIntyre in 2018, and did very little afterwards. Had a rejuvenation of sorts in 2019 though, feuding with Kofi Kingston over the WWE Title and beginning a weird little feud with Goldberg which resulted in Ziggler being well and truly squashed in a match. The lack of winning and inconsistent storylines and booking over the years have hurt Dolph a lot. If they repackaged him and did something new with him, then perhaps they could salvage his run, but he’s more or less playing the joke-heel nowadays. A shame really, because he’s a talented worker who can sell like crazy for his opponents. Had some fun moments in 2019, though. Sadly, they went nowhere for him.

43) Rhea Ripley

Rhea was the first NXT UK Women’s Champ, and had a strong run before losing the belt to Toni Storm. Has found her look and her style, a strong, tall and aggressive woman who is full of piss and vinegar, she’s improved massively over the past couple of years. Left NXT UK and moved to NXT recently, beginning a rivalry with NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. Could Rhia be the woman to unseat “The Queen of Spades”?

42) Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura, sadly, hasn’t hit the heights he should have since leaving NXT, moving to the main roster and winning the 2018 Royal Rumble. Teamed with Rusev for a while, with the two previously very-popular babyfaces working as heels. The team went nowhere. Won the Intercontinental Title which many hoped would result in him doing more. It feels like WWE aren’t sure how to book him, which is a real shame, because he has a unique style and charisma and his in-ring is creative and very entertaining. His NXT run was great, his WWE one hasn’t been yet. I hope that changes. He’s still had some solid matches though, and his recent pairing with Sami Zayn has been entertaining too.

41) Big E

Was out with an injury for a while, but beforehand and since returning was a strong presence on WWE television. Along with Xavier Woods had some fun tag scraps with the likes of The Revival and The Bar. Won the Tag straps again in the Summer of this year. Big E should eventually go out on his own as a singles star, but having said that, The New Day have lasted much longer than teams tend to in WWE, so maybe that won’t happen. A good big-man wrestler with agility and a weird charisma, he’s entertaining and very over with the fans.

40) Randy Orton

Orton has been in and out of the main event scene in WWE for over fifteen years. Didn’t do a whole lot of much in the back end of 2018 or early 2019, but entered an entertaining feud with Kofi Kingston over the Universal Title in the Summer. A longtime member of the roster, with the right opponents he can have some fun matches, and the story with Kofi has been the highlight of Kingston’s title run thus far.

39) Xavier Woods

Woods, along with Big E, has been a major player on the tag scene in WWE in the past twelve months, not unlike the prior few years. A gifted wrestler, he and his New Day brethren have been carving out a legacy for a while now. Won Tag Team gold again in 2019. Feuded with teams such as The Revival. He and Big E were strongly involved in the storyline involving Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Title. I can’t see Woods’ career slowing down, with The New Day being a solid staple of WWE programming each week for a long time now.

38) Kairi Sane

Kairi Sane had a wonderful run in NXT in 2018 and early 2019. Sadly hasn’t done much since coming up to the main roster this year. Still, her work on the yellow-and-black is enough to put her on this list. Worked some great matches with women like Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Shayna Baszler before coming up to the main scene in April. Entered the Royal Rumble in January. Has become part of the team “The Kabuki Warriors” with Asuka, but the two have sadly seen little success. Hopefully she’s able to get back on the right track soon. She’s fantastic.

37) Bobby Fish

The Undisputed Era are the best faction, in this writers view, currently working in the pro-wrestling scene. Bobby Fish returned from injury in 2018 and has been back to kicking butt ever since. A fantastic brawler and technician, his chemistry with partner Kyle O’Reilly is a wondrous thing to see. Entered some smashing bouts with The War Raiders and The Street Profits among others. A vital cog in the Undisputed machine.

36) Chad Gable

Gable has been criminally under-utilised since debuting on the main roster. He was part of the great American Alpha team for a while with Jason Jordan, but since going singles, he’s been involved in a couple of mediocre pairings with Bobby Roode and Shelton Benjamin which went nowhere. Recently has undergone a push which has been nice to see. Has been involved in the 2019 King of the Ring, and entered some lovely matches in the process. If all is right in the world, Gable will start to win titles and show off how great he is in the ring and on the microphone. The next Kurt Angle, if there ever was one.

35) Cesaro

One of the strongest and most technically sound wrestlers in all of WWE, Cesaro spend much of the past twelve months teaming with Sheamus in the excellent The Bar tag team. The two had great chemistry. When Sheamus took time away from television to sort out his injuries, Cesaro went back to singles action. He’s had some excellent bouts with guys such as Ricochet and Aleister Black, but has yet to do much of note. Hopefully he’ll get a better chance at something bigger, be it as a tag worker or on his own, soon. He did have one hell of a match at TakeOver: Cardiff with Ilja Dragunov, a match that showed off just how good he is.

34) Roderick Strong

The forth member of The Undisputed Era had a rejuvenation after becoming part of the faction last year. He split off from O’Reilly when Bobby Fish returned to action and has had some smashing matches with the likes of Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne. One hell of a wrestler, it’s nice to see Roderick work in both tag and singles matches in the past twelve months, where he can shine in both roles. Currently involved in a feud over the NXT North American title.

33) Drew Gulak

Gulak is one of those guys who hasn’t had the opportunities he’s deserved until recently. Finally got a chance at the Cruiserweight Title and went on to beat Tony Nese for the belt. Had a great match with Oney Lorcan at SummerSlam. Gulak, when 205 Live no longer exists, should be a solid part of NXT all being well. A hugely talented technical brawler, he’s been my personal favourite part of 205 Live since it began.

32) Io Shirai

Shirai is one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and she’s started to adapt to WWE and show just how good she is. Had a fantastic match with Candice LaRae at TakeOver: Toronto, one of the best women’s matches of the year, easily. This talented flyer is going to be a huge star sooner rather than later in WWE and will be a great part of NXT programming as we move forward. Her heel run has been a blast so far.

31) Andrade

Undoubtedly one of the most talented workers on the WWE roster, Andrade hasn’t yet begun to show us just how good he is. Sadly is underused on television. Has had some great matches with the likes of Ali, The Miz, Chad Gable and others. His teaming with Zelina Vega is a match made in heaven. His NXT run was great, but he’s yet to see the same success on the main roster. It’s a matter of time, though, surely.

30) The Uso’s

The Uso’s are easily one of the most successful and gifted tag-teams in WWE history. The twins have had an amazing run since they debuted in WWE back in 2010. The two feuded with The Bar in a fun feud in the end of 2018. Beat The Miz and Shane McMahon to capture the Smackdown Tag Titles in February for the fourth time. Retained those belts at WrestleMania in a four-way tag scrap. Were drafted to RAW and feuded a little with The Revival. Strangely, they didn’t appear on WWE TV in August, at all. Perhaps when they return to WWE TV, they’ll have something new to do. They’re very good, and it would be cool to see them reinvent themselves again and show more of what they can do.

29) Tyler Bate

One-third of British Strong Style and one-half of Moustache Mountain (with Trent Seven), Bate has had some smashing matches between 2018 and 2019. His match with WALTER at TakeOver Cardiff, though, is the one that stands out. It was phenomenal. Has been a staple of NXT UK television since the brand began and is a major part of the popularity of British Wrestling. It would be cool to see the first ever WWE UK Champion take America as a full-time member of NXT or WWE’s main roster though. He’s a young and talented worker who seems to just get better and better.

28) Ronda Rousey

Ronda had a hugely successful debut year in wrestling in 2018. Feuded with the likes of Alexa Bliss, Bayley and others in the end portion of 2018. Defeated Sasha Banks to retain her RAW Women’s Title at Royal Rumble in January. Alongside Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, Rousey headlined WrestleMania in a match for her title, which she would lose to “The Man”. Following WrestleMania, Ronda left WWE to focus on her life outside of sports. It’s unsure if she will return to the WWE at any point, but between January of 2018 and April of 2019 she had a massively successful run.

27) Drew McIntyre

Drew began a stable of sorts with Babby Lashley and Baron Corbin at the end of 2018. Ran rampant on RAW for a number of weeks. Entered the Royal Rumble in January but was eliminated by his former tag-partner Dolph Ziggler. Started an alliance with Shane McMahon, and feuded with Roman Reigns, which he came out on the losing end of on a number of occasions, including a match at WrestleMania. McIntyre has been successful after leaving NXT and returning to WWE TV, but not as successful as many thought he’d be. Perhaps it’s a matter of time before he see’s World Title glory. A talented big-man, it would be surprising if he wasn’t headlining shows soon enough.

26) Ali

Debuted on Smackdown in December and had a program with guys like Daniel Bryan, Andrade and AJ Styles. Lasted 30 minutes in the Royal Rumble match in January. Ali was announced as part of the Elimination Chamber match in February for the WWE Title but was sadly injured and left unable to compete in the match. He would be replaced by Kofi Kingston, and we all know how well that went for Kofi. Returned in March and entered a triple-threat match for the WWE Title against Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan, who won. Ali is not in the position he should be in, right now, but he’s so talented, he’s a good talker, and he represents a very strong and positive message. Hopefully he see’s greater success in the next twelve months.

25) Braun Strowman

“The Monster Among Men” beat Baron Corbin at TLC in TLC match. Was the last man eliminated in the Royal Rumble match in January. Feuded further with Corbin in 2019. Won the Andre the Giant Battle Royale at WrestleMania. Feuded with Bobby Lashley, in a feud that concluded in a match at Extreme Rules which Strowman won. Became Tag Team Champion with Seth Rollins in August and began a face-vs-face feud with Seth in the process over the Universal Title. It’s a matter of time before Braun becomes a World Champion. He’s popular with fans and has the kind of look that WWE loves. Marketable, is the word.

24) WALTER

WALTER made his debut in WWE at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool at the end of the show, interrupting Pete Dunne’s victory celebration. Quickly turned heel and formed Imperium, a heel faction featuring Marcel Barthel, Fabien Aichner and Alexander Wolfe. Beat Pete Dunne for the WWE UK Title in a great match at TakeOver: New York. Had an absolute belter of a match with Tyler Bate at TakeOver: Cardiff. The big-man is as hard-hitting as they come in the ring and is capable of some amazing feats. One of the cornerstones of NXT UK right now, it will be interesting to see where WALTER and the rest of his group, go next.

23) Aleister Black

The former NXT Champion had a great match in January 2019 with Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: Phoenix. Appeared in the Royal Rumble the night after as a surprise entrant. Made his official main-roster debut in February beating Elias. Competed in a four-way tag scrap at WrestleMania, with Ricochet as his partner. Re-debuted on Smackdown after a series of vignettes, and beat Cesaro. His martial-arts influenced style is unique, and he has an awesome look. Hopefully he will see great success on the main roster, because he sure as hell has the abilities to make it to the top.

22) Finn Balor

First ever Universal Champ snagged the Intercontinental Title in February and again at WrestleMania in matches during his feud with Bobby Lashley. Had a great match with Ali on Smackdown in April. Lost his I-C Title to Shinsuke Nakamura. Had a fun match with the returning Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam, which saw Finn’s last match in WWE so far this year. Balor is an incredible talent with a great look, and the fans love him. His demon character is over and a great unique thing he has going for him. It will be interesting to see what he does when he comes back to TV.

21) Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens is my personal favourite wrestler in the modern age, but he’s had a hit-and-miss year in WWE. Feuded with Kofi Kingston after turning heel on him after a short babyface run, but then turned babyface again, becoming the voice of the fans in a feud with Shane McMahon. This feud has taken up most of Owens’ time in WWE in the past few months. It’s been up and down, and often mismanaged as a feud, sadly. Hopefully Owens will score some big wins and take his spot at the very top of the show where he belongs. Has proven himself as a wrestler and a promo many times, it’s about time he had a chance to stand front and centre.

20) Toni Storm

Beat Rhia Ripley for the NXT UK Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Blackpool and had a nice long run as champion before losing the belt to Kay Lee Ray at TakeOver: Cardiff. Storm is a great worker and a terrific babyface, and it would be cool to see her make it in NXT or the main roster soon enough. She’s young and has a bright future, for sure, whether in the UK, the US or elsewhere. She has most of the elements that make a star.

19) The Miz

The Miz continues to be one of the best talkers in WWE, something he’s been for many years. Had a high-profile and occasionally entertaining feud with former tag-partner Shane McMahon which saw them battle on a no-holds-barred scrap at WrestleMania in April. Fell back down the card a bit after the feud fizzled out but seems to be jumping back up again, feuding with Shinsuke Nakamura in September over the Intercontinental Title. One of the most successful and longest tenured superstars in WWE right now, Miz is as charismatic as ever and will likely continue in the same manner as the rest of his career.

18) Velveteen Dream

The former Tough Enough contestant has become one of the biggest, brashest and most charismatic characters in NXT. Has had a fun run as NXT North American Champion which has seen some top matches with the likes of Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne, Roderick Strong and others. Dream is going to continue his climb in WWE and surely become a top star one day. He’s young, he’s entertaining and he’s managed to take what, on first glance, was a questionable gimmick and make it his own, a thoroughly entertaining and exciting one.

17) Buddy Murphy

Murphy has been WWE’s “Best Kept Secret” for many years, but has seen a bit of a push in 2019. Had some excellent matches in 205 Live as Cruiserweight Champion before being called up to the main shows. Had a top match with Roman Reigns and another lovely scrap with Daniel Bryan where he came out on the winning end. Competed in the 2019 King of the Ring tournament, losing to Ali in another damn fine match. Murphy is a brilliant wrestler and it’s nice to see him given more of a chance to shine on main TV. He should, and could, be a big time player. It would be nice to see him capture the US or Intercontinental title in the next year.

16) Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns had one of the most inspirational returns in WWE history in 2019, returning from fighting a battle with Leukaemia in 2018. Reigns has entered some very good matches since returning in February. Had some matches with Shield brethren Dean (Jon Moxley) Ambrose and Seth Rollins after his return before feuding with guys like Drew McIntyre and Elias. Had a fun tag-team match at Extreme Rules where he teamed with The Undertaker to face Shane McMahon and McIntyre. Had a great match with Buddy Murphy on RAW that really helped to put Murphy on the map. Involved in a long storyline on TV in which he was attacked backstage by a mystery attacker. This has resulted in a feud with Rowan. He’s a guy with everything he needs to be the main guy in WWE and he will be champion again in WWE soon enough.

15) Shayna Baszler

Shayna has been the most dominant woman in NXT history, perhaps aside from Asuka. She’s been an excellent champion for the brand and her improvement as both a wrestler and a character has been incredible to see. Feuds with Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Mia Yim and others have resulted in some very entertaining scraps. A hard-hitting brawler with strong submission stylings to her repertoire, Baszler is one of the stars of NXT and I hope her dominant run continues, whether she’s champion or not. It seems undoubtable that she will be a smash-hit when she eventually is called up to RAW or SmackDown.

14) Samoa Joe

Joe is one of the greatest promos on WWE TV and a guy who has been one of the best workers for years. Perhaps hasn’t seen the heights he deserves, Joe has still had loads of excellent matches with members of the WWE roster. Had been involved in World Title feuds but sadly not yet come out on the winning end. Joe is one of those guys who WWE could thrust to the top of the card any day of the week and it would work. Is over as a heel but you can tell the fanbase wants to cheer him. Matches with guys like Ricochet, Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston have been very good. A veteran who could do much more if he was given the chance.

13) Ricochet

Ricochet had a great run in NXT prior to moving onto the main roster in 2019. The former NXT North American Champion had some lovely matches alongside short-term partner Aleister Black with the likes of The War Raiders before leaving NXT. Has had some top notch scraps with Cesaro, Andrade and AJ Styles on the main roster, even holding the WWE United States Title for a time. Has become one of the main faces of main WWE TV and seems to have a bright future ahead of him as a top babyface in the company. He’s an awe-inspiring talent who has the abilities to go all the way to the very tip-top.

12) Kyle O’Reilly

O’Reilly is an underrated worker, and a backbone to The Undisputed Era. He and partners Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish are often a shining part of an already phenomenal NXT product. Matches with teams like The War Raiders, Street Profits and other NXT teams have been incredible. A multiple and current NXT Tag Champion, I’m not sure O’Reilly will see a successful singles career at any point in his WWE tenure, but he’s certainly got the ability to have one. It depends on booking and whether he moves away from the tag game that he’s mastered so well.

11) Tommaso Ciampa

Aside from suffering a serious neck injury which required surgery in April, Ciampa has an amazing run as NXT Champion in 2018 and early 2019. As a heel, Ciampa became a must-see act on WWE programming. His matches with the likes of Aleister Black and his longtime friend and foe, Johnny Gargano, were amazing. Even though he’s been out since April, the prior months of Ciampa’s career have thrust him high up on this list. He was THAT good, and I’m hoping he can pick up where he left off when he returns from his surgery soon enough. An absolute cornerstone of modern NXT, he’ll be a vital part of the product when NXT moves to their two-hour live show on USA Network.

10) Adam Cole

Adam Cole became NXT Champion on two occasions in 2019, headlining TakeOver after TakeOver and showing just how damn good he is. An all-round talent, Cole is smashing on the mic, and even better in the ring. His match-series with Johnny Gargano has been joyful, ending TakeOver events in big ways. Has had incredible bouts with other members of the NXT roster such as Pete Dunne, Matt Riddle, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream. He’s shown just how able he is to have fantastic matches with a wide range of workers and is the man in NXT for good reason. The leader of The Undisputed Era has really shone in the past twelve months, and will continue to shine in the next year too.

9) Pete Dunne

Had a WWE UK Title reign that became the longest WWE title reign in modern history. Dunne has carved out a place for himself in WWE, appearing in both NXT UK and NXT in 2018 and 2019. Had a fantastic match with WALTER where the big-man won the WWE UK belt. Dunne also appeared in a variety of multi-man matches with the likes of Adam Cole and Ricochet, as well as matches in the UK against guys like Joe Coffey. He’s a blinding worker with a cool character and ring-style, and he seems to have moved over to NXT permanently now. I think we will see “The Bruiserweight” become the first UK-born NXT Champion before long.

8) Charlotte Flair

Charlotte is, in my view, the best women’s wrestler in WWE history. “The Queen” has been fantastic since debuting, and has made herself into one of the strongest all-round talents in the company. Excellent on the microphone and in the ring, Charlotte is capable of great things. Has had an array of top notch matches in the last year. Headlined WrestleMania in a triple-threat match with Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey. Held the Smackdown Women’s Title again. Is involved in a feud with Bayley which could result in some fun matches. Charlotte has had a decorated career already, and she isn’t showing any signs of stopping.

7) AJ Styles

Styles has always been a phenomenal talent, and he never seems to really change. He’s a technical wrestling wizard in that ring. Has had some fantastic matches in the past twelve months, with his feud with Ricochet being my personal favourite. Won the United States Championship in 2019 and, after turning heel again (thankfully), reformed The Club with Gallows and Anderson, re-naming themselves as The OC (The Original Club). Styles is someone who many thought wouldn’t get his chance in WWE, but has become one of the main guys in the whole company, and it’s undoubtable that he’ll see World Championship gold again in the next year or so.

5) Kofi Kingston

Kofi Kingston took an opportunity that came out of the blue and made it into the most successful time of his career in the process. Worked in matches with The New Day until early 2019 where he was entered into the Elimination Chamber match after Ali was injured. The response to Kofi resulted in him earning a match for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Won the belt at Mania against Daniel Bryan in a great match and has been Champion since. A fun run, he’s feuded with Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton and solidified himself as a main event player, finally, in WWE. Talented, charismatic and beloved, it’s great to see Kofi finally reach the top of the mountain, and strongly represent black fans and wrestlers while he’s there.

4) Becky Lynch

The past twelve months have been incredible ones for “The Man”. She won the Royal Rumble in January and went on to main event WrestleMania with Rousey and Charlotte. The first women’s main event in WrestleMania history, this was a huge deal for pro-wrestling, for women in wrestling, for fans, and obviously for Becky. Has had some top notch matches with the likes of Charlotte, though slowed down a little during her feud with the less-experienced Lacey Evans. About to work a program with a returning Sasha Banks which should lead to some superb battles. Becky is a mega-star and one of the most popular women in wrestling history, and there’s good reason.

3) Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan’s return to in-ring action last year led to a fantastic heel turn for this veteran. One of the most entertaining characters of Bryan’s career, he has played the obnoxious and self-righteous role very well. Became WWE Champion in November 2018 and held onto the title until April when he lost the strap to Kofi Kingston in a great match at WrestleMania. Bryan went on from there to win Tag gold with Rowan, which sadly didn’t become as good as it could have. Bryan is still one of the very best in the world in the ring, and he’s better than he’s ever been on the microphone. I think it’s a matter of time before we see the former “American Dragon” pick up singles gold again, at the top of the WWE mountain.

2) Johnny Gargano

Johnny “Wrestling” has had one hell of a year. His 2018 was fantastic, working matches with some of the best from NXT, and his 2019 has been just as good. Feuds with the likes of Adam Cole, Aleister Black and others. His feud with Cole has been one of the best things on an already fantastic NXT in 2019. Became NXT Champion in April. He became a triple-crown winner in NXT in the process. Worked some matches alongside Tommaso Ciampa on RAW and Smackdown early this year before Ciampa went down with an injury. Gargano is a phenomenal wrestler who has had so many classic matches in NXT. He’s become the heart of that brand, in many ways.

1) Seth Rollins

What a 12 month period for Seth “Freakin’” Rollns. Beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the Universal Title. Beat “The Beast” again at SummerSlam for that same strap. Storyline with real-life partner Becky Lynch led to a fun mixed-tag feud in the Spring. He might not always get the desired reaction from the fans, but when Seth wrestles, he is undeniably fantastic. One of those guys who can work for an hour and never lose steam, he has had a wide range of incredible matches in the past twelve months with the likes of Lesnar, AJ Styles and others. Current Universal Champion has just begun a program with Braun Strowman. I foresee another strong 12 months for the former “Architect” of The Shield.
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So there we have it. The first ever Nerdly WWE 50. Let us know what you think. Who would have been your number one? Thanks for reading!

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