For the second year in a row, a New Japan Pro Wrestling star has topped the PWI 500, outranking everyone from WWE and the rest of the wrestling world. On the off chance you don’t recognize him from the photo, PWI’s #1 pick is IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, he of the Golden Lovers, the Elite, Bullet Club, and fighting Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom.
Last year’s #1 was Kazuchika Okada, who also happens to be the record setting champ who Omega defeated to become IWGP Heavyweight Champion at Dominion this June. That also means this is the first time in 28 years of these lists that the top spot has gone to a non-WWE wrestler two years in a row. Okada’s in the top ten again this year, as are AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, Cody, Tetsuya Naito, and The Miz, as reported by Wrestling Inc. It’s worth noting that the PWI 500 is not an intergender ranking, which is presumably because it’s the only way they could keep Meiko Satomura from taking the top spot every single year.
If you’re not a regular New Japan viewer and you want to see the Official Best Wrestling in the World in action, this weekend provides a perfect opportunity. Kenny Omega will be facing Pentagon Jr. at All In this Sunday, in what promises to be a hell of a match. In addition to the super-sized indie show being available on Fite TV and PPV, as well as the first hour airing free on WGN, New Japan has now announced that All In will be available on their New Japan World streaming service.