Pro Wrestling Rankings July 24 - BROCK LESNAR leaving everyone talking
Like Thanos snapping his fingers in an Avengers film, Lesnar knocked the entire world of WWE off its axis...Once again, The Beast gets away with getting the most with the least amount of effort…and leaving everyone talking.
Paul Heyman warned everyone. He said it was a spoiler and it was certainly true. At the end of WWE's Extreme Rules Pay-per-view in Philadelphia, Brock Lesnar stormed the castle and ransacked it, easily defeating Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank Briefcase. Like Thanos snapping his fingers in an Avengers film, Lesnar knocked the entire world of WWE off its axis. The next day, Seth Rollins won a Battle Royal to earn himself a rematch, setting the stage for Lesnar to once again headline yet another major WWE event, Summerslam in Toronto. Once again, The Beast gets away with getting the most with the least amount of effort…and leaving everyone talking.
Do you believe in miracles? You should! Once again, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston defies the odds and gives an entire generation of fans something to believe in. Kingston shocked the world by surviving Samoa Joe at Extreme Rules, then went on to score additional victories that week over Shinsuke Nakamura and others. This week, Kingston will be the centerpiece star representing WWE at one of the biggest pop culture gatherings, The San Diego Comic Con. From there, it's time for Kingston to do what he does best – champion on, hero to all.
It was supposed to be Adam "Hangman" Page's moment this past weekend on FITE's broadcast of AEW Fight for the Fallen, but instead Chris Jericho swooped in, steaking all the thunder and all the attention. Disguised as one of the Dark Order's Creepers, Jericho attacked Page after his hard-fought victory over Kip Sabian. Later on, Jericho belittled everyone in Florida before once again coming to blows with Page, who was left busted open. Page had his hand raised in victory, but Jericho won the psychological warfare leading into All Out this August in Chicago.
The Young Bucks
This past Saturday on FITE, Nick and Matt Jackson were pushed way out of their element for over thirty minutes while facing Cody and Dustin Rhodes' Fight for the Fallen. The Rhodes boys controlled the pace and battled back hard against the symphonic kinship that the Jacksons maintain inside the squared circle. In a bout that saw the momentum sweep back and forth countless times, in the end, The Bucks once again scored the victory, making them 3-0 in AEW, a promotion that prizes win-loss records over all else. With the Lucha Brothers challenging them to a Ladder Match in Chicago, the Bucks will head into All Out with a fireball's worth of momentum behind them.
In just a week's time, Kevin Owens has gone from forgotten to one of the hottest personalities in pro wrestling. Whether it's beating Dolph Ziggler in seconds at Extreme Rules, beating down Shane McMahon yet again or cutting some of the best interviews on the mic since the hallowed days of CM Punk in WWE, Owens has become a man possessed. The prize-fighter has been unleashed and it's going to be near-impossible to halt his popularity and momentum now. WWE has let the chains off and it'll be to their benefit, whether they realize it or not. Fight Owens Fight.
The WWE Raw Women's Champion drops due to no fault of her own. She fought the good fight at Extreme Rules, not even letting an errant, legitimate chairshot to the head slow her bad-assery. Lynch shrugged off a beating from Baron Corbin at the Philadelphia event, coming face to face with her Summerslam challenger Natalya the next day on Raw. As Lynch continues to leave a path of destruction in her wake, she's poised to build to one of the biggest shows of the year. If she can swirl up even half the interest this summer that she had at the beginning of the year, we are looking at something special on the horizon.
This past weekend at AEW's Fight for the Fallen, the former IWGP Champion Kenny Omega turned in perhaps his best in-ring appearance this year, successfully winning the first-ever dream match between Omega and Japanese legend CIMA. As Omega gears up for Jon Moxley at All Out this August in Chicago, his battle with CIMA served as a reminder that the best things to come in Omega's career are still yet undiscovered. In the battle to bring AEW to the masses, Omega will be one of the most dominant pieces in the AEW arsenal. He easily reminded the world of that this past weekend in an amazing bout that you can re-live anywhere in the world, right here on FITE.
The debut of EVOLVE on WWE's streaming network over the weekend turned a lot of heads and was certainly cause for speculation about the future of the relationship between those two entities, but if there was one talent who stood head and toes above the rest, it was Austin Theory, who soundly defeated a hard-hitting JD Drake and in turn, unified the WWN and EVOLVE Championships. Like Shane Douglas twenty-five years ago, Theory's win and post-match speech was not only a victory, but a mission statement. When Theory is headlining WWE events in the future, it will be all be traced back to this milestone moment for the brash upstart.
Twenty-five years is a long time to be a professional wrestler and this past weekend, friends and foes alike congregated at Game Changer Wrestling's 5150: A Tribute to Homicide live on FITE from Homicide's hometown of Brooklyn, NY. During the show, Homicide and his OGz partner Hernandez combined to defeat LAX, but the true story was the endless procession of stars, past and present, who turned out to honor the true Kingpin of the NYC wrestling scene, the former ROH World Champion, someone who's legacy will be eternally remembered for training and gifting pro wrestling so many talents that he trained, so many memorable moments and so many acts of violence – Homicide.
If there is one WWE star who has done an unbelievable job of doing whatever is asked of him to garner a reaction from the audience, it's the past and perhaps future WWE 24/7 Champion Drake Maverick. His seemingly unending torture and frustration, in the ring and the bedroom, has led to the former Rockstar Spud gaining an incredible amount of attention as his antics continuously go viral. In professional wrestling (and certainly the FITE rankings), it's about making yourself newsworthy and that is something Maverick continues to make happen every week.
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.