Pro Wrestling Rankings June-6: JON MOXLEY – For the second week in a row
"...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."
For the second week in a row, the former Dean Ambrose is the most newsworthy and impressive figure in professional wrestling. Moxley made his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut, defeating a game [[Juice Robinson to capture the IWGP United States Championship. In doing so, Moxley immediately knocked New Japan off its axis, showing he's going to be a player there in the weeks and months to come.
With a heavy schedule of independent wrestling dates and preparing for All Elite Wrestling's weekly TV series, Moxley has been scorching the Earth with his comments about his unhappiness creatively during his WWE run. By flying the flag for talents who are shackled creatively within WWE and showing them how life can be after exiting the company, Moxley has created waves in and outside the squared circle in a way few have ever done – with just a few weeks' time. Imagine what he's going to accomplish within the next year?
Despite the complete illogical silliness of now capturing the title right then and there, the entire makeup of the WWE Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia has not changed its focus upon what will Brock do next and will he walk out with Raw's top championship. With UFC in the rear-view mirror, Lesnar has been able to enrapture and churn wrestling fans all over the world who wonder what is going to happen next and whether WWE will actually place Lesnar back into a top position of power, despite his part-time appearance schedule.
The WWE Champion heads into the WWE Super Showdown as one of the most celebrated personalities in professional wrestling.
With an emotional and jubilant homecoming to Ghana, Kingston returned home for the first time in decades as a legitimate sports hero for a forthcoming WWE documentary. He traveled from the United States to Africa, back to the States for a Smackdown Live appearance and then headed to Saudi Arabia for what has been marketed as the definitive final showdown with Dolph Ziggler. That sort of travel schedule is what a traditional World's Champion in professional wrestling undertakes with Kingston maintaining a level of class and work ethic that is rarely touched.
As his title reign continues, Kingston is the everyman done good, the veteran finally celebrated.
This weekend, New Japan Pro Wrestling returns to FITE with one of their biggest events of the year, Dominion. In the main event, the Ace of the promotion will take on former WWE star Chris Jericho, triumphantly coming off his pinfall victory over former IWGP Champion Kenny Omega.
Okada has long been one of the best in-ring technicians of this era, but can he overcome Jericho and chase him out of New Japan Pro Wrestling? Or, has the grueling schedule of title defenses left Okada open for the unthinkable – the idea that Jericho could win the IWGP title and take it home to All Elite Wrestling? That is the most debated topic among FITE viewers leading into a massive event this Sunday.
Since arriving in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Chris Jericho has changed the very DNA of professional wrestling, breaking ranks by exiting WWE and re-imagining who he was perceived to be as a performer with a gritty, brawling catharsis that has seen Jericho steal the show on many New Japan Pro Wrestling event.
With the AEW title already close to his grasp as he prepares for All Out this August, Jericho is looking to change the world yet again by stunning Kazuchika Okada and walk out of Sunday's New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion event, like on FITE, with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
It's easy to doubt Jericho on the surface, but did anyone expect a year or two ago that he would wrestle outside of WWE? Complete recreate himself? Join AEW? Of course not, but Jericho is the last of a breed of mavericks, prepared to do anything to break the walls down. He may do so again this weekend.
The WWE Hall of Famer doesn't do much in the ring these days, but when he does, it makes an impact.
The idea of The Undertaker vs. Bill Goldberg echoes the dream matches of old, when fans would debate what promotion and what star was better than its counterpart elsewhere. While some will argue this match has come far too late, others would argue that like Superman vs. Spider-Man or Batman vs. Captain America, the Master of the Jackhammer vs. The Dead Man is a timeless debate that has inspired infinite fans across the world.
This week, we'll get to see what they bring to the table, but Goldberg's return to pro wrestling already has fans wondering what will come this weekend, and what's next after?
The WWE Universal Champion was stretchered out of Monday Night Raw after being laid to waste by Brock Lesnar.
He's since announced he will still appear at Super Showdown and defend his title against Baron Corbin, which everyone knows is simply a means to an end to get to the moment Brock Lesnar finally cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase. That moment will be an important one for Rollins, who has been the heart and soul of WWE's Raw division since winning the Universal title at Wrestlemania 35. Will this be where the heroic hero turns the tide and defeats the villain or will it be yet another moment where WWE forces a top star down a notch to benefit Lesnar, yet again.
Rollins has done some of his best work over the last six months, but whether that run becomes iconic or forgotten to the mists of time may be foretold by how he exits Super Showdown.
There is no arguing that when it comes to the type of talents who force their way into the upper echelon of professional wrestling, changing the definition of what athletic combat is, Ospreay is one of the definitive aerial assassins of this generation.
With his mind-blowing performances across the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the British star weaved together an incredible series of matches, culminating with a phenomenal final win over Shingo Takagi. Ospreay's emotional post-match interviews showcased a different side of the passion we see in the ring, laying down the gauntlet that he intends to be a core New Japan personality in the years to come and that he intends the promotion to be the best in the world. It will be hard to debate otherwise.
Ospreay's reign of greatness continues this weekend at New Japan's Dominion, live on FITE.
In the world of professional wrestling, every competitor wants to be the champion and they all pursue the perfect match.
This past weekend at WWE NXT Takeover: XXV in Bridgeport, CT, Adam Cole successfully claimed both achievements in one match. His battle against Johnny Gargano was a thing of beauty, a thrill ride that had fans shocked and in awe with every twist and turn, it may as well have been a live action version of Avengers: Endgame. Cole has long been tabbed as one of the stars of the future, but that title isn't a compliment – it's an insult. He is one of the stars of today and going forward, WWE NXT will change and evolve under his leadership as a personality and professional wrestler.
With one victory, Cole has already set the standard for all who follow – and that's the type of achievement it's taken veterans their entire career to achieve. Adam Cole is just getting started, however.
Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford have been one of the most charismatic tag teams in WWE's NXT division for some time, but what they had in popularity, they lacked in big wins and a definitive moment.
During the four-way Ladder Match at WWE NXT Takeover: XXV, the Street Profits wowed the audience as they gutted through a violent and insane match, rebounding from what appeared to be a hard-fought loss to shockingly capture the championships in an emotionally fulfilling scene. The post-match jubilee, with thousands of fans dancing and celebrating with their heroes in the crowd invoked memories of the legendary ECW tandem The Public Enemy, but a larger, more grandiose scale.
The Street Profits had already staked their claim as NXT stars. Now they have guaranteed their greatness…and a new chapter begins. It will be fun to follow.
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.