Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Female Top 50
The PWI Top Fifty Female Wrestlers
Earlier this month (Sept), Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) released its list of the top 50 female wrestlers.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated started in 1979, and was unlike most magazines that talked about wrestling at the time, as in it didn't treat the storylines as fake, but as real (kayfabe).
Recently though, PWI has become more realistic in its approach to the "angles" and characters, drawing a line between on-screen events and behind the scenes stories.
PWI not only covers the WWE and TNA, but also independent wrestling promotions as well.
Although PWI did have a "Girl Wrestler of the Year" category from 1972 to 1976, recently they have started releasing an annual PWI Top 50, ranking the top female wrestlers.
These women were some of the greats of "Old School" wrestling like Maria Laverne, Joyce Grable, Rachel Dubois, Ann Casey and Sue Green.
Interestingly enough, The Fabulous Moolah never made the list.
Maybe because the Girl Wrestler of the Year was voted by readers of the magazine.
In 1999, they began the PWI Woman of the Year, which was also determined by readers of the magazine.
The winners were women wrestlers and personalities like Debra, Stephanie McMahon, Lita, Trish Stratus (four times), Victoria (twice), Dixie Carter (the head of TNA), Candice Michelle, Awesome Kong and Mickie James.
Since 2008, PWI has released a top 50 females list.
The first winner of that was Awesome Kong, followed by Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Mickie James, MsChif and so forth.
In 2009, the winner was Mickie James, Angelina Love, Melina, MsChif, Tara (formerly Victoria) and so on.
This year, the list is controversial to say the least, especially the number one ranked womens wrestler.
I'm not gonna go into the entire list, but here are the top ten ladies, followed by the rest of the list.
1. Michelle McCool
Yes, "Mrs.Undertaker" Michelle McCool comes in at number one.
And a lot of fans seem to think that's why she came in at number one.
Interestingly, right after the list came out; Michelle won the WWE Unified Divas championship at the Night of Champions PPV.
Michelle was born on January 25th, 1980 in Palatka, Florida and yes she actually was a middle school teacher in Palatka at one time.
She has held the WWE Divas Championship twice and the WWE Women's Championship twice also.
Former WWE Diva Michelle McCool at Amazon
2. Angelina Love
TNA Knockout Angelina Love was born Lauren Williams on September 13,1981 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This woman has worked hard.
She's wrestled for promotions like the WWE (at Ohio Valley Wrestling and Deep South Wrestling), the Independent circuit (in Mexico for Asistencia AsesorÃa y AdministraciÃ³n (AAA), NWA: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling and Full Throttle Wrestling), and finally TNA where she has been the TNA Women's Knockout Champion five times.
3. Mercedes Martinez
Mercedes Martinez was born on November 17th, 1980 in Waterbury, Connecticut
You may not know the name, but Mercedes has been wrestling in the Indys for ten years.
She has worked for Shimmer Women Athletes, World Xtreme Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, and Full Impact Pro among many others.
You may have seen her on Wrestlicious as "Maria Toro", the bull fighter managed by "Bandita."
4. Cheerleader Melissa
One of the greats of womens wrestling, and a lady that will probably go down as a legend when she finally retires.
Melissa Marie Anderson was born on August 17th, 1982 in Los Angeles, California.
She's been wrestling for over 11 years for wrestling promotions like ChickFight, Pro Wrestling Revolution, Shimmer Women Athletes and others.
You may know her as Raisha Saeed and Alissa Flash from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
Back in 2004, Melissa was the first female recipient of the Cauliflower Alley Club Future Legend Award.
5. Eve Torres
Ummm...yeah, Eve Torres.
This really kinda stumps me.
Eve was born on August 21st, 1984 in Boston, Massachusetts and made her wrestling debut in 2007 and has held the WWE Divas Championship twice.
Maybe they were going for most improved here, because going further down the list, I can come up with about twenty women below her that are better in-ring performers.
I have no idea how she came in at number 5.
6. Madison Rayne
Ashley Nichole Simmons was born on February 5th, 1986 in West Lafayette, Ohio.
You probably know her better as TNA Knockout Madison Rayne.
Although if you watch Wrestlicious, you may know her as Amber Lively.
She started wrestling in 2005, and has worked for World Xtreme Wrestling, Ohio Championship Wrestling, Shimmer Women Athletes and of course TNA.
Madison has held the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship once (with Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky) and the TNA Women's Knockout Championship three times.
7. Beth Phoenix
Probably one of the best actual wrestlers on the WWE roster, Elizabeth Kocanski Carolan was born on November 24th, 1980 in Elmira, New York.
Before she ever set foot in a pro ring, Beth was the North-East Wrestling Women's Champion and the New York State Fair Women's Champion (72 kg weight class) in 1999.
So yes, Beth really knows how to wrestle.
Beth held the WWE Women's Championship three times.
8. Mickie James
One of the cross-overs from the WWE to TNA, Mickie James was born Mickie Laree James on August 31st, 1979 in Montpelier, Virginia.
Mickie made her pro wrestling debut back in 1999, and she is one of the women on this list that actually did work her way to the top.
Besides the WWE and TNA, Mickie has worked for wrestling promotions like Ring of Honor, Maryland Championship Wrestling, Ultimate Championship Wrestling and Southern Championship Wrestling just to name a few.
She has held the WWE Women's Championship five times and the WWE Divas Championship once.
"Your Soul's Tormentor" MsChif was born Rachel Donaldson on June 11th, 1975.
This five foot seven 135 pound goth-banshee is one of my favorite wrestlers period.
She had her debut back on July 19th, 2001 and since her debut she has worked for Ring of Honor, ChickFight, Shimmer Women Athletes and many more.
MsChif won the ChickFight IV tournament in 2006, she has held the GCW Light Heavyweight Championship, the NWA World Women's Championship, the IWA Mid-South Women's Championship and the Shimmer Championship
She held the Shimmer Championship for 715 days straight.
Another model turned wrestler is French Canadian beauty Maryse.
She first appeared in the WWE in the 2006 WWE Diva Search along with some other familiar faces like Layla El, The Garcia Twins (The Bella Twins), Rebecca DiPietro, Brooke Adams and Milena Roucka (Rosa Mendes).
Maryse has held the WWE Divas Championship twice.
The Rest of the Best...
12. Sara Del Rey
13. Gail Kim
14. Awesome Kong
15. Madison Eagles
17. Alicia Fox
18. Taylor Wilde
21. Velvet Sky
23. Nikki Roxx
25. Portia Perez
26. Kelly Kelly
28. Angel Orsini
30. Serena Deeb
31. Nicole Matthews
32. Amber O'Neal
34. Daizee Haze
35. Allison Danger
37. Kellie Skater
39. Jennifer Blake
41. Melissa Coates
42. Cat Power
43. Malia Hosaka
44. Cherry Bomb
45. April Hunter
46. Jessicka Havok
47. Brittany Force
48. Naomi Night
49. Cindy Rogers
50. Roxie Cotton
Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Female Top 50 for 2015
I thought for comparison I would update and post the PWI Female Top 50 for 2015
You may notice that in the past 5 years, a lot of things have changed....
1. Nikki Bella
3. Sasha Banks
4. Santana Garrett
5. Gail Kim
8. Cherry Bomb
9. Courtney Rush
10. Taryn Terrell
For one thing, the entire Top 10 has changed.
And Gail Kim, Cherry Bomb and Naomi are still on the list.