August 28, 2013
Lots of Canadian content on PWI 500
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
The Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 always manages to create a stir when it comes out. The list, which has been published since 1991, came out earlier this month. The usual suspects are at the top -- Cena, Punk, Del Rio, and all that, but what about the Canadians, the hosers that we cheer or boo for?
By our count, there are more than 50 wrestlers of Canadian origin on the list, with Kevin Steen, the former Ring of Honor champion, at the top at #10.
"I was just wondering how many were going to pretend they don't care about their ranking! I'm 10 by the way," wrote Steen on his Twitter feed, @FightSteenFight.
Bobby Roode, who was in the TNA World championship picture a year ago, fell from #2 to #24.
The evaluation period ran from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013. John Cena became the first person to be atop the list in three separate years. The rest of the top 10 were: CM Punk, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Bully Ray, Kazuchika Okada, Sheamus, Jeff Hardy, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Steen.
PWI's Dan Murphy was one of the key people behind compiling the list, and was asked to consider the major contributions of the Great White North to the current wrestling world.
"I like to joke that there must be something in the water in Canada that creates great wrestlers," joked Murphy. "Honestly, I think the independent scene is so competitive and active, that Canadian wrestlers push themselves harder to improve and to stand out than their American counterparts. There are some terrific talents throughout Canada, from Quebec to British Columbia. There are probably more Canadians on this list, per capita, than any other country."
Far down the list, at #494, is Ontario wrestler Chris LaPlante. "I was very surprised when I found out I was in the PWI Top 500," said LaPlante. "It is a big honour to be mentioned with the great names and workers on this list. I am very proud of this accomplishment. It is by far the highlight of my wrestling career. Hard work does pay off."
From SLAM! Wrestling's perspective, one of the neat things is figuring out how many of the names on the list we have interviewed or profiled over the years. As you'll see by the links below, it's a whole lot of 'em.
POSITION in 2013 and, in brackets, 2012
In a tweet from last August, Vance Nevada wrote that there were 39 Canadians on the list -- and he was one of them, but has since retired and dropped from the list.