WWE's Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston Top 2019 PWI 500 List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2019

TOKYO,JAPAN - JUNE 29: Seth Rollins enters the ring during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Pro Wrestling Illustrated released its annual PWI 500 list ranking the top 500 male professional wrestlers in the world Thursday, and Seth Rollins took the top spot. 

According to WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton, Rollins is followed by Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston and Kazuchika Okada. The top 10 is a follows:

1. Seth Rollins
2. Daniel Bryan
3. AJ Styles
4. Kofi Kingston
5. Kazuchika Okada
6. Johnny Gargano
7. Roman Reigns
8. Kenny Omega
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi
10. Will Ospreay

Rollins added several accolades to his resume in 2019, including a Royal Rumble win and two reigns as Universal champion.

WWE congratulated Rollins on earning the No. 1 spot and provided a taste of what he told PWI regarding the honor: "As difficult as it can be, this is all I ever wanted—to be in this position, to be having this conversation with you—talking about being the absolute best wrestler on the entire planet. I don't think there is a single part of me that would trade any second of it."

Rollins ended a two-year streak of non-WWE wrestlers taking the top spot, as Okada was No. 1 in 2017 and Omega was first last year. This marks the second time in his career that Rollins has topped the PWI 500, previously doing so in 2015.

While some may argue that there were more entertaining performers in 2019, the PWI 500 is based primarily on accomplishments such as championship wins. During the evaluation process, Rollins beat Brock Lesnar at both WrestleMania and SummerSlam for the Universal title.

Bryan reaching the No. 2 spot is a major comeback story since he didn't wrestle at all from 2015 until 2018 after retiring due to head injuries. The No. 2 ranking is his best since earning the No. 1 spot in 2014.

Styles experienced a slight drop to No. 3 after finishing second in the PWI 500 in both 2017 and 2018, although he was No. 1 in 2010.

Fourth is the high-water mark for Kingston in the PWI 500, as he finally got an opportunity to have a sustained run at the top. Kofi beat Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, and he is still in possession of the title.

Among other wrestlers who finished inside the top 10, Okada is the top New Japan Pro-Wrestling representative in fifth, Johnny Gargano is tops among NXT stars in sixth and Omega spearheads All Elite Wrestling in eighth.

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