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Ronda Rousey tops PWI’s Women’s 100, the magazine’s latest weird kayfabe/shoot list

Zach Tarrant for Cageside Seats

It used to be their “Female 50”, but WWE’s having a Women’s Evolution, so Pro Wrestling Illustrated expanded their annual ranking to a “Women’s 100” for 2018. But don’t worry. Like their PWI 500 for the men’s side of the business, it’s still a weird list that’s mostly based on kayfabe win/loss records, but with enough “smart” analysis thrown in to ensure it angers enough casual and hardcore fans to get lots of debate going online.

The evaluation period spanned from Oct. 1, 2017 - Sept. 30, 2018. And during those twelve months, Senior Writer Dan Murphy said their pick for #1 was a no-brainer. It’s Raw Women’s champion Ronda Rousey, undefeated in her pro wrestling career.

From The PWI Podcast (thanks to Diva Dirt for transcription):

“She has become one of the biggest stars in WWE, male or female, and is setting a new standard for excellence in the women’s division. When it comes to our ranking criteria of championships won, quality of opposition, technical proficiency, won-loss record, and promotional ‘push,’ she is unmatched.”

Here’s PWI’s top ten:

  1. Ronda Rousey
  2. Alexa Bliss
  3. Charlotte Flair
  4. Io Shirai
  5. Asuka
  6. Shayna Baszler
  7. Carmella
  8. Nia Jax
  9. Mayu Iwatani
  10. Kairi Sane

It’s in including wrestlers like Iwatani, and I guess factoring in Shirai’s Japanese run, that the list loses me. That Ronda has accomplished what she’s accomplished on the biggest stage seems to give it more weight in PWI’s voter’s eyes, which is fine. But then it should be an entirely WWE list, as only a fraction of fans who saw Rousey’s WrestleMania 34 debut even know Stardom exists. The percentage of those who watch NXT probably isn’t a whole lot greater.

But then I remember the names are there because joshi fans buy magazines, too. They also argue online. Not as much as Alexa Bliss or Sasha Banks fans, but enough to get PWI’s name to show up in a few more Twitter timelines, so...

Anyway, guess who was 11th? Think The Man had anything to say about finishing just outside the top ten?

What do you make of the ranking, Cagesiders?

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