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Home » News » The PWI Female 50 Rankings: Who Is The Top Women's Wrestler In The World?

The PWI Female 50 Rankings: Who Is The Top Women's Wrestler In The World?

Posted by PWPIX on 09/18/2008

Pro Wrestling Illustrated has released an issue similar to the "PWI 500," but based on the women of professional wrestling instead. They're calling it the first annual "PWI Female 50," which ranks the top 50 women's wrestlers. PWI feels there is enough credible women's wrestlers out there now to warrant a top 50 ranking. Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Awesome Kong, with "The Beautiful People" - Angelina Love and Velvet Sky - in the front, grace the magazine cover.

It should be noted that PWI has opted to exclude Mexican and Japanese women's wrestlers from the rankings - sans Sarah Stock. Regarding this, PWI wrote: "That isn't intended to be a slight against international competitors. More so than with the male counterparts, women's wrestling varies tremendously between the North American style, the Japanese joshi puroresu styles and the Mexican lucha libre style. With few notable exceptions (such as Sumie Sakai and Gail Kim), a wrestler who excels in one style may fare much more poorly in a different style. Besides, we wanted to shine the spotlight primarily on the U.S. and Canadians competitors first. If reader response to this special section is strong, perhaps we will consider ranking more women, including international competitors, in the future."

On how they ranked the wrestlers, PWI wrote: "To determine this list and compile the rankings, we examined a variety of criteria. While placing special emphasis on a wrestler's accomplishments over the past calender year, we also took note of each women's career accomplishments as well. For example, a veteran like Malia Hosaka may not have wrestled as many matches or as many high-profile bouts as Cherry over the past 12 months, but based on her accomplishments throughout her 20-plus year career, we felt she deserved inclusion."

PWI also went over possible controversy in regards to ranking the likes of Maria and Velvet Sky ahead of more "scientifically skilled technicians" such as Lexie Fyfe and Cindy Rogers. Prominence and marketability factored into the rankings as it's not only based on technical ability and accomplishments. PWI wrote: "We evaluated each woman on championships held, quality of opposition faced, overall athletic ability, prominence, and marketability. To some critics, those last two criteria may be controversial. After all, some may argue that wrestlers like Maria Kanellis and Velvet Sky have no business being ranked ahead of more scientifically skilled technicians like Cindy Rogers and Lexie Fyfe. We would argue that marketability and prominence are an important aspect of pro wrestling, and that the success of these Divas and Knockouts have had on such a major stage has to be taken into consideration."

Here are "The PWI Female 50" rankings in its entirety:

1. Awesome Kong
2. Beth Phoenix
3. Gail Kim
4. Mickie James
5. MsChif
6. Sarah Del Ray
7. Roxxi Laveaux
8. Melina
9. Michelle McCool
10. Candice Michelle
11. Mercedes Martinez
12. Victoria
13. Taylor Wilde
14. ODB
15. Daizee Haze
16. Angelina Love
17. Jacqueline
18. April Hunter
19. Natalya
20. Sumie Sakai
21. Allison Danger
22. Traci Brooks
23. Velvet Sky
24. Sarah Stock
25. Moose Knuckles
26. Katie Lea Burchill
27. Cherry
28. Cheerleader Melissa (a.k.a. Raisha Saeed)
29. Maria Kanellis
30. Amber O'Neal
31. Lexie Fyfe
32. Kelly Kelly
33. Cindy Rogers
34. Jillian Hall
35. Malia Hosaka
36. Christie Ricci
37. Becky Bayless
38. Alere Little Feather
39. Layla El
40. Kelly Couture
41. Jaime D (a.k.a. Sirelda)
42. Christy Hemme
43. Milena Roucka
44. Annie Social
45. Lufisto
46. Rhaka Khan
47. Danyah
48. Jennifer Blake
49. Daffney
50. Portia Perez

Rankings by affiliation

World Wrestling Entertainment
1. Beth Phoenix (2)
2. Mickie James (4)
3. Melina (8)
4. Michelle McCool (9)
5. Candice Michelle (10)
6. Victoria (12)
7. Natalya (19)
8. Katie Lea Burchill (26)
9. Maria Kanellis (29)
10. Kelly Kelly (32)
11. Jillian Hall (34)
12. Layla El (39)
13. Milena Roucka (43)

TNA
1. Awesome Kong (1)
2. Roxxi Laveaux (7)
3. Taylor Wilde (13)
4. ODB (14)
5. Angelina Love (16)
6. Jacqueline (17)
7. Traci Brooks (22)
8. Velvet Sky (23)
9. Moose Knuckles (25)
10. Cheerleader Melissa (a.k.a. Raisha Saeed) (28)
11. Christy Hemme (42)
12. Rhaka Khan (46)

Top Non-Affiliated Women's Wrestlers
1. Gail Kim (3)
2. MsChif (5)
3. Sarah Del Ray (6)
4. Mercedes Martinez (11)
5. Daizee Haze (15)
6. April Hunter (18)
7. Sumie Sakai (20)
8. Allison Danger (21)
9. Sarah Stock (24)
10. Cherry (27)
11. Amber O'Neal (30)
12. Lexie Fyfe (31)
13. Cindy Rogers (32)
14. Malia Hosaka (35)
15. Christie Ricci (36)
16. Becky Bayless (37)
17. Alere Little Feather
18. Kelly Couture (40)
19. Jaime D (a.k.a. Sirelda) (41)
20. Annie Social (44)
21. Lufisto (45)
22. Danyah (47)
23. Jennifer Blake (48)
24. Daffney (49)
25. Portia Perez (50)

Notes

-- According to the magazine, April Hunter recently un-retired after announcing her retirement from in-ring competition at the start of the year. PWI factors in body of work (see Malia Hosaka, Lexie Fyfe), hence Hunter's relatively high ranking.

-- Jacqueline is the only wrestler in history to be listed in both the PWI 500 as well as the PWI Female 50.

-- Over a quarter of the rankings are composed of women's wrestlers from Canada. Gail Kim is the highest ranked at No. 3, and Portia Perez rounds out the list at No. 50. Other Canadians in the Top 50 include Taylor Wilde, Natalya (Neidhart), Allison Danger, Traci Brooks, Sarah Stock, Kelly Couture, Jaime D (Sirelda), Milena Roucka (WWE developmental wrestler), LuFisto, Danyah, and Jennifer Blake.

-- Of the the 50 women listed, 22 have wrestled for the SHIMMER promotion. Those names include Awesome Kong, Beth Phoenix, MsChif, Sara Del Ray, Roxxi Laveaux, Mercedes Martinez, Taylor Wilde, Daizee Haze, Natalya (Neidhart), Allison Danger, Sarah Stock, Cheerleader Melissa (a.k.a. Raisha Saeed), Amber O'Neal, Lexie Fyfe, Cindy Rogers, Malia Hosaka, Christie Ricci, Lufisto, Jennifer Blake, Danyah, Daffney, and Portia Perez.

-- Notable women left off the list: 6-time Ohio Valley Wrestling Women's Champion Serena Deeb (and current champion), Josie (has held the OVW women's belt three times in 2008 and recently wrestled on Impact), Maryse (who's been wrestling in WWE since the spring and in developmental prior), Brie and Nicole Bella (who were called up to WWE within a year, whereas Milena Roucka is still in developmental after two - and counting), Rain (a.k.a. Ms. Payton Banks), Lacey, Shelly Martinez (who's wrestled at least as much as Rhaka Khan), and Ashley Lane.

The magazine is currently on-sale via online order at www.PWI-Online.com.

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