The last Pro Wrestling Illustrated list of the year is here. The latest edition of the magazine has its 2022 tag team rankings, aka the PWI 100. Actually, for the first two years of its existence, this one was known as the PWI 50, but this year they’ve expanded to 100 teams.
Given the mostly kayfabe factors PWI’s staff uses to for these rankings, the team in the hottest storyline in the business that just broke a record for longest reign in company history seems like a safe choice...
NEW ISSUE: The latest PWI features our 2022 #TagTeam100 ranking, topped by the trailblazing @WWEUsos! ( : @kimberlasskick)— PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) (@OfficialPWI) December 5, 2022
PLUS: @ReyFenixMx interview, DRAGONGATE, deathmatch wrestling, and much more!
PRINT (preorder): https://t.co/BLDCXRFsZO pic.twitter.com/IumGCxY7QS
Especially since one-half of the other team that has the best argument — AAA, IWGP Heavyweight & ROH Tag champs FTR — acknowledged Jimmy & Jey after they were announced as taking the top spot.
The case for Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood, who finished second, would have been stronger if they’d been a more regular presence on television. That’s something the third place finishers brought up, and Jey & Mark Briscoe weren’t as gracious about taking a backseat to The Bloodline...
Don’t asks Rikishi’s boys to give a damn, though.
Here’s the top quarter of the list:
1. The Usos
3. The Briscoe Brothers
4. Lucha Bros
5. Fukuoka Double Crazy (Stardom’s Hazuki & Koguma)
7. The Good Brothers
8. The Young Bucks
9. The Hex (NWA’s Allysin Kay & Marti Belle
10. Violence Is Forever (Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini, formerly of MLW)
11. Aussie Open
12. United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan)
13. Street Profits
14. Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne)
15. Los Nuevos Ingobernables (CMLL’s Angel De Oro & Niebla Roja)
16. Black Desire (Stardom’s Starlight Kid, Mono Watanabe)
17. La Rebelión (NWA’s Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf 450)
18. Swerve In Our Glory
19. Sasha Banks and Naomi
20. The Acclaimed
21. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett)
22. Catch 22 (New Japan’s TJP & Francesco Akira)
23. Magical Sugar Rabbits (Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling’s Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki)
24. Sunshine Machine (European indie wrestlers Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper)
25. Damage CTRL (IYO SKY & Dakota Kai)
According to the magazine, the PWI 100 covers the period from Oct. 1 of the previous year to Sept. 30 of the current one. Selectors weigh in-ring achievement, influence on the sport/promotion, technical ability, quality of competition, and activity. I call it “(mostly) kayfabe” because “influence on the sport” gives them some room to consider non-work elements of a person’s career... and because I personally believe some thought is understandably given to their own shoot business, e.g. what will sell magazines. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
Thoughts on PWI’s list, or the reactions to it?