Pro Wrestling Rankings Feb-22: Daniel Bryan defeating five top competitors
The WWE Champion continues to reign as one of the most talked about personalities in the professional wrestling world.
This week, the planet's champion survived the Elimination Chamber, defeating five top competitors and turning away the surge of fan support and electricity behind The New Day's Kofi Kingston in the process.
As Bryan prepares for yet another title challenge from Kingston at Fast Lane, his own in-ring work has never been more impeccable, and his characterization continues to over excel. As Wrestlemania looms ever closer, Bryan may be the definitive male performer in World Wrestling Entertainment.
The Man continues to stand tall as second in the FITE Rankings and honestly, if she was being scripted to perform in the ring with strong wrestling matches, there would be zero reason to not rank her at the top.
However, WWE has Lynch feigning an injury in order to push the agenda that she is injured and fighting her way back into the Wrestlemania main event. This past week at the Elimination Chamber. Lynch proceeded to lash out one of the most vicious, brutal beatings seen in WWE in some time, laying out Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey, assaulting Raw Women's Champion and challenger alike with a crutch.
While WWE may publicly protest in order to stoke Lynch's fire with the fans, privately they are preparing to collect the money that Lynch is going to make their company.
At the end of the match, they were the last team standing, emerging through the smoke and haze as the first-ever WWE Women's Tag Team Champions in an emotional scene. They promised to defend the titles across all of WWE's brands and even arrived at the WWE NXT taping this past Wednesday to prove that fact.
Bayley and Banks helped ignite the evolution of women's professional wrestling with their battles in NXT; now, they have the chance to repeat that feat and raise the profile of all women's tag teams.
The former WWE NXT Champion was one of several NXT stars who shocked the world with their debut on the main roster for WWE this past week. Black, however, came off as the biggest, most impressive star in the traditional WWE mold.
Between his entrance, a quick victory over Elias and another victory the next night over Andrade at Smackdown. As his victims begin to Fade to Black, a new WWE franchise performer begins to shine.
2019 is already proving to be the most unpredictable year in recent professional wrestling history. After all, who would have guessed that the one challenger entering the Elimination Chamber this past Sunday with the most fan support would be The New Day's Kofi Kingston?
Although a highly respected veteran, Kingston had settled into a tag team role in recent years and appeared to be content with that positioning. However, a concussion suffered by Mustafa Ali allowed a window of opportunity, with Kingston stealing the hearts and minds of fans everywhere with his performances the last seven days. He also caught the attention of WWE management, who shifted plans to bring Kingston back for another run at Daniel Bryan's WWE Championship.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kingston's performances have attracted the attention of all who have witnessed this remarkable comeback.
When someone bills themselves as "The One and Only", there is a certain level of hype that one has to live up to and even overcome.
Ricochet shocked the world by rescuing Finn Balor on Raw and scoring his first main roster pinfall with a pin over Lio Rush. He followed up the next day with a win over former Impact Wrestling Champion Eric Young on Smackdown.
Whether Ricochet is truly the one and only remains to be seen, but under the extreme circumstances of a global debut, he shot down every single argument against him. Onward and upward, towards the stratosphere and success, Ricochet continues to soar.
The Velveteen Dream
With a quarter of talents making their WWE roster debut, the obvious question to ask is who will replace the gatekeepers for WWE's third brand.
This week, that answer was already provided as The Velveteen Dream, one of NXT's most eclectic and electric performers, scored the biggest singles win of his career, soundly defeating Johnny Gargano to become the WWE NXT North American Champion.
Dream defines what NXT will be going forward. He's may end up being the greatest find in Tough Enough history, but today, he's one of the most important performers in WWE.
WWE NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa and his longtime frenemy Johnny Gargano never would have been able to predict that after their insane wars in NXT, they'd once again be joined at the hip as a tag team when they were brought up to the main WWE roster.
They also couldn't have asked for a better debut, easily upending WWE Raw Tag Team Champions the Revival. The next night, they continued their winning ways against former Tag Team Champions the Bar on Smackdown.
As their relationship continues its twists and turns, running like fire and ice in the NXT brand, they have also entered the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic. If there is one tumultuous rivalry that has fed the fire of NXT, it's Ciampa and Gargano, and now they are set to engulf the main roster as well.
Rob Van Dam
The former WWE and ECW Champion had quietly disappeared from the pro wrestling world until this week, when it was announced that he and Sabu would return to Impact Wrestling to challenge Tag Team Champions Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix at United We Stand this April.
One of the most gifted and outspoken performers in wrestling, Van Dam also released a new documentary where he showcases the highs and lows of his life, including issues with concussions.
Always ready to make a massive impression, Van Dam is already turning heads with scores of fans around the globe speculating about this comeback and what could be next.
Is it possible to be a titleholder in WWE and still be one of the most underrated professional wrestlers in the world? If you are Buddy Murphy, yes.
This past week, Murphy once again put on a classic wrestling bout, successful defending his WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Japanese star Akira Tozawa, setting the stage for all who had to follow him at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
As a tournament begins to determine his challenger at Wrestlemania 35, Murphy is ready to set that stage over and over leading into the biggest show of the year. 205 Live deserves far more attention every week, but its champion deserves endless credit for the foundation he had created for all Cruiserweights.
By: Mike Johnson
Every week here at FITE, we feature the Top Ten ranked personalities in the world of professional wrestling. Unlike other combat sports, pro wrestling cannot be measured in just wins and losses, especially when the drama and excitement of the genre is specifically based around not just the physical performance, but the excitement level created by its combatants. Thus, our top ten measures the most newsworthy performers in the business, who's momentum drives not just their own career paths but the promotions they compete for.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.