Pro Wrestling Rankings June-20: KOFI KINGSTON steps inside a steel cage this weekend
With the announcement of the G1 Climax combatants, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada stands at the precipice of perhaps the most grueling era of his career.
The reigning and defending WWE Champion steps inside a steel cage this weekend at WWE's Stomping Ground in Tacoma, Washington, facing long-time rival Dolph Ziggler. Kingston has been one of the most inspirational personalities this year in professional wrestling but with Ziggler, his past returns to haunt him yet again.
With victory, Kingston can emerge with all old demons laid to rest, charging towards a bright future, continuing to be one of the defining personalities of 2019.
With the announcement of the G1 Climax combatants, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion stands at the precipice of perhaps the most grueling era of his career. With an incredible amount of competition seeking to reach the summit of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Okada enters the round-robin tourney, facing every single competitor in the company.
As if that isn't enough to make even the most confident wrestler shudder, Okada will face his long-time rival Hiroshi Tanahashi on the opening night of the G1 in Dallas, Texas. Even before that, the two will have to team in the main event of New Japan's Southern Showdown against the Bullet Club's Bad Luck Fale and Switchblade Jay White live on FITE.
Whether Okada and Tanahashi can trust each other or not, their next battle has to remain in the back of Okada's mind…and then beyond that, the unknown of the harshest professional wrestling schedule in the world, the G1 Climax.
Jon Moxley drops from his reign as the kingpin of the FITE rankings due to the timing of the week, nothing more.
He's entered into the G1 Climax and next weekend, takes on Darby Allin at AEW's Fyterfest, but beyond a victory over the former Big Cass, it's been a rare quiet week for pro wrestling's most outspoken and rebellious personality.
Like a rattlesnake ready to strike, that moment before it lunges is deafening in its silence, so don't assume Moxley won't rebound in the weeks to come…
The Raw Women's Champion takes to the ring at Lacey Stomping Ground against Lacey Evans in a bout that audiences have seen before yet continues to create curiosity based around Lynch's insane level of popularity. Lynch's appearances on WWE TV bring a high level of energy and fan interaction in comparison to the majority of WWE material on their main roster.
Stomping Ground's success on a creative level may indeed hinge on Lynch's bout this weekend.
The pride of the Islands, the former Lucha Underground Champion will headline his first Ring of Honor PPV, Best in the World 2019, next week live on FITE. Cobb is using a tour of Australia this weekend as preparation for not just his challenge of ROH Champion Matt Taven, but his shocking entry into the 2019 New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax.
With his amateur wrestling background and extreme work ethic, Cobb is poised to emerge as one of the biggest stars in the wrestling world in the weeks to come – and that may include a ROH Championship victory.
With a guest referee at Stomping Ground still unnamed for the WWE Universal Championship bout between Seth Rollins and challenger Baron Corbin, the obvious question is where could arrive at any, moment to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, sort of the horror monster that could emerge behind the hero to jump-scare the audience.
Whether Lesnar arrives or not in Tacoma, the speculation that he could change the course of WWE's mighty river like an evil Superman is enough to keep him on the FITE rankings.
Next weekend, Matt Taven will enter his first Ring of Honor PPV event as the defending ROH World Heavyweight Champion.
The leader of the Kingdom will defend against Jeff Cobb before a live crowd in Baltimore and an infinite global audience on FITE. For months on end, Taven claimed a conspiracy had prevented him from achieving ROH's ultimate prize, but now the hourglass has been turned over. Taven has the opportunity to be the one wielding the magic wand and telling his story in the ring, controlling the audience and the fate of the entire promotion.
More than a sixty-minute classic against Jay Lethal or a G1 Supercard Ladder Match victory in Madison Square Garden, Taven's most important moment will take place at Best in the World. It's his match, his title and his music to compose, with no excuses.
The WWE Universal Champion is a Rolls Royce bereft of any gasoline.
While he enters Stomping Ground against Baron Corbin, it is perhaps the coldest main event attraction for any professional wrestling PPV in recent history. Indeed, Rollins is even only ranked this week because his work this past week on Monday Night Raw, where he channeled the likes of Steve Austin in the Attitude Era, destroying all potential guest referees with a steel chair.
The anarchy was entertaining and fun, something that Rollins deserves far more of from a creative standpoint.
In the weeks to come, Blanchard will be poised to be a competitor designed to not be a spectacle but someone on the same competitive level as everyone else in the company. With her might and the chip she carries on her shoulder, Blanchard is the best choice for such a role.
Expect the story to reverberate in the weeks ahead, leaving to a big battle against Sami Callihan at Slammiversary, live here on FITE.
Professional wrestling is a cavalcade of styles and moments, a mixture of violence and levity. If there is one competitor today who brings the levity and makes the most out of whatever opportunity World Wrestling Entertainment presents to him, it's the current (or perhaps former, depending on the minute) WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth.
Whether it be in the ring, at weddings, in parking lots or even on a plane flying in the stratosphere, Truth has created ripples among online fans and across social media platforms to become one of the most enjoyable and unique personalities of the moment.
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.