PWI 500 Honors Your Favorite WWE, TNA & Indy Jobbers

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2012

From Left to Right: Brian Hardy (500) and Blk Jeez (315) (Photo from
From Left to Right: Brian Hardy (500) and Blk Jeez (315) (Photo from

The professional wrestling industry has no shortage on the embittered and rant-happy. Sure, it can be an ugly business with unhappy endings, and those who choose to sound off about its pitfalls have every right to be heard. But there eventually comes a time where it becomes necessary to move on.

When I see fit, I will single out those who have abused their piss-and-moan privileges and request that they cease all complaints and/or diatribes and live what's left of their lives. Taking cues from an old Chris Jericho catchphrase, I implore you—the disillusioned wrestling personality—to please shut the hell up.

UPDATE: Unfortunately it's PWI 500 Season.  So we're going to do things a bit differently this time.

Ever wondered who the 405th best wrestler of fiscal year 2012 was?  Do you have a dog in the always-heated debate of who would win a hypothetical shoot fight between Scotty Vortekz and Lince Dorado? 

Do you even know who these guys are?  Of course not. 

Yet, once a year for the past two decades, the venerable Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine insists on saturating its highbrow fanbase with what they feel is a celebration of 500 standout workers.  The self-indulgent PWI 500 is no more of a celebration of excellence than it is a catalog of irrelevance better suited for a WWE scout looking for extras than for a well-informed reader.

In fact, one will be hard-pressed to get past 100 wrestlers at any point on this list before running into multiple names whose only taste of prime time came when they were vanquished by rising star and jobber-killer Ryback.   

Just the notion that there are 500 professional wrestlers worth celebrating is as diluted as it is delusional. 

In fact, after the top-100, the elusive top-400 in PWI's wrestling catalog is filled with largely obscure names who are either past their prime or light years away from it, so statistically speaking 80 percent of this list is pointless. 

The NFL recently came out with a more truncated hierarchy of their 100 best players of 2012.  As similarly self-indulgent as that sounds—and, let's face it, even a top 100 list is pushing it—the 100th greatest player of the year was Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. 

Johnson is a perennial Pro Bowler who earned MVP consideration in 2009 after becoming only the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. 

Johnson tacked on another mildly impressive 1,000-yard season in 2011—extending his streak to four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons—and this was during a year when many considered him off of his game. 

If that's not justification for honoring 100 players in the NFL, it doesn't exist.

But who was "Mr. Irrelevant" in this year's PWI 500?  Clocking in at a delightfully mediocre 500th was Brian Hardy.  You know?   The Maryland-based independent wrestler who once worked TNA's Robbie E. in a cafeteria?  The cruiserweight whose most high-profile match came on the losing end of a squash against Ryback alongside fellow PWI 500er Blk Jeez (ranked 315th)? 

Jamario Moon of the Los Angeles D-Fenders led the NBA's D-League in scoring this past season with 25 points per game.  Rest assured, he will not be celebrated alongside real-life NBA pros despite his excellence in a setting where few watched, cared, commended or attended. 

The PWI 500 must desist. 

If nothing else, in the name of greatness.  Is it too much to ask that the purist publication at least lop off a hundred or two farm talents?  At this point, a PWI 200 would serve as a modest moral victory for all intents and purposes.   

But a crowded almanac of nameless wrestlers?  This ironically conspires against the few truly elite stars featured on this list. The seemingly impressive feat of being ranked highly among 500 wrestling peers is analogous to the best wrestlers in the world standing tall atop the city dump. 

#STHU: Chavo Guerrero | Gail Kim | Matt Hardy | Chris Jericho | Chyna | WWE-Twitter | CM Punk | WWE Turkeys | Nash-Warrior | Madusa | Anonymous Bottom Feeder | Sheamus-Bryan Complainers | Jillian Hall | PWI 500