Chaos Column View: The 2017 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Female 50

A storm always comes when PWI publishes their annual “PWI 500”, which lists their top 500 male wrestlers from around the world. It was hardly any different when they started to publish their annual “Female 50” in the issue following their “500”. However, this year’s edition, which is now out digitally, is much different from previous editions. At first, the staff at PWI would limit the pool of women wrestlers eligible to be on the “Female 50” to those who compete regularly enough in North America. This year, however, became a global affair, just like the “500”. What does that mean? It means that most women on the indies that would’ve been on the list had the criteria stay with those that compete regularly enough in North America, are now cut off because of the more diverse array of women wrestlers from around the world. On the flip side, the list features women from all over the world, that compete in the top promotions that regularly feature women. What does that mean? It means that it showcases some of the finest women based in Europe, Australia, and Japan. It means that PWI readers can learn more about women that were a part of the WWE Mae Young Classic tournament, learn about the top joshi promotions in Japan–including Stardom. More importantly, it shows just how stacked the next 2 AWS shows are, as well as RISE 6. So with that in mind, here is the list, with names in bold representing those scheduled for the upcoming RISE and/or AWS shows, underlined names representing those scheduled for Bar Wrestling 6, and names in Italics for WWE NXT Superstar ladies that could be on the card at the WWE NXT Live event in Riverside on 11/11:

1 – Asuka

2 – Charlotte Flair

3 – Alexa Bliss

4 – Sasha Banks

5 – Bayley

6 – Io Shirai

7 – Natalya

8 – Sienna

9 – Naomi

10 – Kairi Sane

11 – Mercedes Martinez

12 – Shayna Baszler

13 – Rosemary

14 – LuFisto

15 – Mayu Iwatani

16 – Mia Yim

17 – Allie

18 – Ember Moon

19 – Becky Lynch

20 – Madison Eagles

21 – Nicole Savoy

22 – Nia Jax

23 – Candice LeRae

24 – Toni Storm

25 – Hiroyo Matsumoto

26 – Chelsea Green

27 – Saraya Knight

28 – Shazza McKenzie

29 – Kay Lee Ray

30 – Mickie James

31 – Dakota Kai

32 – Nicole Matthews

33 – Alex Windsor

34 – Deonna Purrazzo

35 – Abbey Laith

36 – Risa Sera

37 – Viper / Piper Niven

38 – Carmella

39 – Ruby Riot

40 – Nikki Cross

41 – Vanessa Kraven

42 – Santana Garrett

43 – Tessa Blanchard

44 – Arisa Nakajima

45 – Lady Lory

46 – Shotzi Blackheart

47 – Veda Scott

48 – “The Alpha Female” Jazzy Gabert

49 – Marti Belle

50 – Dust / Zoey Skye (f.k.a. Angel Dust)

So when you look at the list, you can only wonder whether or not any other talents could’ve made it, had the list stay limited to women competing regularly in North America. Perhaps women like Ruby Raze, Sage Sin, Delilah Doom, Heather Monroe, & Taya Valkyrie could’ve made the list…we’ll never know. What I do like about the list, is that they didn’t limit their view on Japanese joshi promotions to just Stardom. Risa Sera is a star from the Ice Ribbon promotion, the same promotion that Akane Fujita (who finished a one-month tour of So Cal Last September) is a part of. Freelancer Hiroyo Matsumoto is well known here, but Arisa Nakajima is another highly talented freelancer. Perhaps next year, PWI will expand the list to the top 100 women, now that they’re showcasing talents from all over the world. If so, we may see Oedo Tai members like Kagetsu, Hana Kimura, & Kris Wolf in it. We may also learn a bit more about women based in Europe, or even in Latin America. Time will tell, but there’s no doubt that Bart & Kevin Harvey has a super card waiting for fans of women’s wrestling, as well as AWS fans, to fill the hall of the American Legion hall in South Gate on the first weekend of December. So if you haven’t gotten your tickets for either AWS or RISE 6, do it now! Or if you’ve already opted for PCW or EWF on 12/1, you may want to save some money to buy a RISE 6 DVD or digital download, when they become available.