Pro Wrestling Rankings January 10 - Who else could it be?
... Chris Jericho tantalized the entire professional wrestling world over the last several weeks ....
Who else could it be? Chris Jericho tantalized the entire professional wrestling world over the last several weeks, offering the Forbidden Gate to Hiroshi Tanahashi, a passage for the unthinkable – not just a chance to compete in All Elite Wrestling but to challenge Jericho for the AEW World title. At Wrestle Kingdom, the world stood shocked as Jericho not only beat Tanahashi but forced The Ace to submit in the center of the ring. While Jericho has had his issues with Jon Moxley in AEW and there is obviously a showdown brewing that will likely explode at AEW Revolution, Jericho remains supreme.
If someone ever deserved to be ranked at the top of the FITE Rankings for sentimental reasons, it is the now-retired Jushin Liger His accomplishments are infinite and at Wrestle Kingdom, he could have taken the easy way out and just ran the bases one last time. Instead, he tested himself against two of the best professional wrestlers alive today. While everyone knew the moment was coming, it was not something anyone truly wanted to see: :Liger pinned for the last time. His retirement ceremony at New Year's Dash, as seen by FITE viewers, set the standard for all retirement ceremonies in all sports for years to come. Farewell Liger and thank you for your journey, your fighting spirit and your inspiring exploits in the ring. There will never be another.
It's not a prediction, it's a spoiler, crows Paul Heyman. The WWE Champion has returned like a T-Rex in hunting rage and this time, Brock Lesnar is entering the 2020 WWE Royal Rumble. Whether he is seeking to ruin the Wrestlemania competition, or he's just looking for a fresh piece of meat of his own to tear apart, once again, Lesnar changes the entire playing field while not even entering the ring. It's all about creating a buzz and that's what Lesnar has done, yet again. The Royal Rumble seems a lot more intriguing now, doesn't it? Mission accomplished.
The leader of LIJ accomplished the impossible and emerged from Wrestle Kingdom as both the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Champion. He also performed valiantly with back to back matches against Jay White and Kazuchika Okada, shocking the world with massive victories. This was a moment of ascension for Naito and not even the post-match attack from KENTA could truly tarnish one of the most amazing achievements in professional wrestling in years. It's Naito's world now.
The vile Sami Callihan looks forward to the Hard to Kill event here on FITE, where he'll face Tessa Blanchard in a Slammiversary rematch. He's been given a new title belt, but still carries the same disgusting attitude, taking all the credit for bringing intergender wrestling to the forefront. When he steps into the ring in Dallas, he will have either set his legacy in stone forever, or his legacy will be trumped by Tessa Blanchard.
It takes a lot to shock the world of professional wrestling in 2020 but Andrade continues to do it weekly. First, it was scoring a win over Rey Mysterio and winning the WWE United States Championship inside Madison Square Garden. Then, it was outmatching Mysterio in a rematch on Raw before unmasking him. Andrade has defeated and demoralized a true legend, creating ripples across the world. So what next? Time will tell but he is on his way to the top of the FITE rankings if this trend continues.
The French Frankenstein, all 52 years young, shocked the world at ROH Final Battle when he captured the ROH World title from Rush. Now that he has done the unthinkable, PCO has to step into battle and repeat the feat live on FITE at ROH Saturday Night at Central Stage. Then, he and the other members of Villain Enterprises, including Marty Scurll (who had his own eyes on the title) must team to defeat Rush, Dragon Lee and Kenny King in six man tag team action. PCO's 2019 became quite the twisted Rocky story, but he'll have to take things to a greater, more horrific extreme to remain champion.
When Tessa Blanchard steps into the ring at Impact Wrestling's Hard to Kill, it will be the moment where the last year of her life will either pay off or it will be the moment all athletes fail – that moment where despite all the preparation mentally, they hit the wall emotionally. Tessa has been feuding and fighting with Sami Callihan for months, using all her might to overcome his mind games and grimy in-ring style. She stands on the precipice of becoming the first Woman to hold the Impact World title. Or she risks being shoved off the cliff. These are the moments where athletes ascend. We know how hard she will fight. Now, we will see how far she goes.
With all eyes on the Villain as his existing Ring of Honor contract expires, there's been untold levels of speculation about his future. Scurll continues to play coy, although signs are, he will remain with ROH. With this weekend's live events, we should have a pretty strong indication of where and what is next for one of the most speculated and talked about personalities in pro wrestling.
As the first competitor to name himself a fighter in the Royal Rumble, the Big Dog has continued to strain to overcome the combined might of Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode and Baron Corbin. Even with the return of his cousins, the Usos, Roman needs to spear his way out of the corner he's been painted in and bring forth a mighty effort as Wrestlemania season begins and everyone is jockeying for their position on the biggest card of the year. It's do or die time for one of WWE's biggest names.
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.