Weekly Pro Wrestling Rankings August 13
August 13, 2018
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.
For the first time ever in the history of the FITE Rankings, an entire promotion is the most newsworthy story of the week. Ring of Honor shattered tradition and changed history forever this week with their immediate sellout of their April 2019 G1 Supercard event in the legendary Madison Square Garden. The ripple effects of this achievement will be felt for many, many years. While traditionally we honor the most newsworthy wrestler of the week, this time around, FITE has to tip its hat to the entire roster, the entire staff and everyone else in the orbit of Ring of Honor. Nothing, not even WWE, stands remotely close to a truly remarkable achievement – one that fans will continue to track every week on FITE.
2. Roman Reigns
With Brock Lesnar once again disappearing into the night and Summerslam just a few weeks away, all the responsibility of building he interest for the main event of the show fell on Roman Reigns' shoulders. With another series of strong live event appearances and an excellent sit-down interview on Raw, Reigns is pretty much willing the storyline leading into the WWE Universal Championship match into existence. With Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin, among others, placed into position as his post-PPV opponents, it's obvious that WWE is preparing for a future with Roman as their centerpiece. Old reliable continues to deliver.
With Aleister Black going down to injury, the face of the WWE NXT Championship match at Takeover: Brooklyn changes with Tommaso Ciampa, the newly minted Champion getting even more of the deserved spotlight. His Last Man Standing match against Johnny Gargano is all but guaranteed to be another classic match, but beyond that Ciampa has mastered the art of villainy so perfectly that one feels the audience actually wants to commit a capital offense against him. Ciampa's social media game continues to stoke that fire, and his success has finally caught up with his work ethic.
4. Samoa Joe
In every hero's journey, there must be an incredible obstacle, an antagonist so great that it is inconceivable that they can be overcome. On Smackdown, that monster is Samoa Joe and this past Tuesday on Smackdown Live, Joe took his Summerslam clash with WWE Champion AJ Styles and made it even more personal, bringing Styles' family into the mix. While history already tells the tale that the chemistry between Styles and Joe will lead to an incredible bout, ramping up the personal issues and the sheer monstrosity of the task Styles needs to accomplish makes Joe more important than ever in the eyes of pro wrestling aficionados.
5. Matt Riddlе
As FITE fans witnessed live this past weekend, the former UFC star lost his EVOLVE Championship to Shane Strickland in Philadelphia, but even with that loss, interest in Matt Riddle has never been greater. With speculation that Riddle will be ringside at WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, fans know they are at the end of a true golden era for a star who bonded with them in an intimate, one on one way like never before. Riddle's innate toughness, not even missing a match after suffering a disgustingly deep cut to his finger in his Hardcore match against Strickland just proves he's ready for whatever the future throws at him.
6. AJ Styles
Walking into one of the biggest events of his life, WWE Champion AJ Styles continues to wrestle as if every match is a Wrestlemania main event. He's the spark plug that turns the engine for the Smackdown Live brand and has done a fantastic job as the fighting champion about to face off with Samoa Joe. Styles has been hitting on all cylinders and one would expect their showdown in Brooklyn will feature more of the same.
7. Austin Aries
The Impact Champion continues to deliver with work ethic, this week having a strong match with Eddie Edwards on Impact TV to kick off a new storyline while also being intimately involved on screen and off with the new Ring Warriors TV series out of Las Vegas. Aries declares himself to be the "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" and while that is certainly a subjective thing to ponder, there is no arguing his endless pursuit of great wrestling matches and performances that leave the stage as a hard act to follow. As Impact begins its build to Bound for Glory on FITE, Aries will continue to try and conquer the FITE rankings.
8. Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano has traditionally been the top hero in WWE NXT, chasing down revenge against Tommaso Ciampa. In doing so, it's brought him a greater edge and leaned him towards a darker side of his on-screen persona. With his Last Man Standing showdown against Ciampa headlining Takeover: Brooklyn, Gargano once again has full reign to craft an incredible match against his most hated adversary. It's the type of scenario that all but promises to be the match that steals the entire Summerslam weekend and propel Gargano's legend into something even grander.
9. Eddie Edwards
Eddie Edwards has been quite the project for Impact Wrestling over the last year, morphing him from a quiet, hard-working pro wrestler into a more unstable, aggressive personality. While it has been a hard characterization for some to swallow given their preconceived notions of who and what Eddie Edwards should be, the reality is that it's brought him remarkable success and created an environment where audiences are more engaged by him than ever before. With the new storylines kicked off this week on Impact Wrestling with his challenge of Austin Aries, Edwards is poised to be one of the top stars of the company leading into it's biggest show of the year.
10. Brock Lesnar
The WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar didn't show up this week. No magazines were read in the making of Monday Night Raw, but the sit-down interview Paul Heyman did was so well thought out, so well-acted, so incredibly remarkable, that it kept Brock in the minds of fans waiting for Summerslam speculating what storyline twist his match against Roman Reigns might take. Without even appearing, Brock remains one of the most talked about individuals in the entire pro wrestling world, even if it's a world he may soon exit.
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.