Just a reminder, but I believe the grading period for the 500 is from the summer of the previous year to the summer of the current year. That could explain some of the wonky rankings.
Make PWI 500 reviews through 2000 your next regular thing. Now I want to go back and fix them all Hard to believe I put so much stock in those goofy ratings from 95-97. So here is how the 1991 Top 10 13 should look....
*I'm going January 1, 1990 through December 31, 1990 because I am a normal human being and not PWI or Dave Meltzer.
1. Hulk Hogan (1)
2. Lex Luger (2)
3. Ric Flair (3)
-No arguments here. Hogan was still the biggest star in wrestling. Held WWF title most of the year. Won Rumble. Main evented multiple PPVs.
Luger's career year in kayfabe. His long US title run gives him the nod over Flair.
4. Tatsumi Fujinami (NR)- Guess PWI wasn't acknowledging Japan's best this early in their 500 history? Fuj held the IWGP Championship most of the year, was involved in NWA Title controversy w/ Flair, and main evented a US PPV. Good enough for the #4 spot. Crazy that he wasn't rated at all given his bit of US exposure.
5. Sting (5)- PWI gets this one right. Opened the year as NWA champ. Held US title for 3 months. Was seen as the face of his company by this point.
6. Undertaker (NR)- The Deadman was robbed. How the hell was he not ranked AT ALL!?!? Stupid PWI.....Undefeated on TV for most of the year. Beat Hulk Hogan. On PPV. For the WWF Title. Easily Top 10 worthy.
7. Jumbo Tsuruta (176)- Held the All Japan Triple Crown for most of the year.
8. Bret Hart (21)- Opened the year as 1/2 of WWF Tag Champs. Was into his 5th month as IC champ by year's end. A breakout year for "The Hitman."
9. Jake Roberts (23)- I'll admit there's some smarkiness going into this rating. '91 was Jake's career year from a character standpoint. He was arguably WWF's MVP having memorable feuds & angles w/ Martel, Warrior & Savage.
10. Ultimate Warrior (11)- Pulled his first Warrior to miss the last few months. Gave him the 10 spot over Perfect. Both were big time players for 2/3rds of the year. Warrior started the year as WWF champ, had an epic match w/ Savage at 'Mania, main evented Summerslam, handed 'Taker his first series of losses on the house show circuit, and was involved in some memorable angles.
11. Mr. Perfect (13)- Was IC champ for 2/3rds of the year. Only misses the Top 10 due to inactivity over the last few months and being less of a 'star' than Warrior.
12. Sgt. Slaughter (36)- Yeah, his decline was every bit as precipitous as his rise, but he still beat the Warrior to become WWF Champion at Royal Rumble, main evented Wrestlemania against Hulk f'n Hogan, and main evented Summerslam. That's good enough for the Top 15 in a rather weak year.
13. Randy Savage (4)- This is the absolute highest I could possibly put Savage, who was out of action for 8 months, but was really, really good when he was active.
I have them all, and that's the plan! To do them all.
- - - Updated - - -
Inside The Magazine Volume #12: The Wrestler Winter '95: Features, the following:
- What fear is preventing the Steiner Brothers from joining WCW or the WWF.
- A preview for a possible match between Sting and Hulk Hogan at Starrcade.
- How the Undertaker got freshened up by Dr. Isaac Yankeem
- The Heavenly Bodies want the WWF World Tag Team Championships, but Jim Cornette won't let it happen.
- Introducing Stevie Richards
- Q&A with Arn Anderson
Plus, much more! HERE
At Look Back At The 1992 PWI 500 https://wrestlingrecaps.com/2014/12/...-500-rankings/
Very cool stuff. I loved the PWI 500 issues. Also took a look at the ECW Resurgence fan fiction on your site and that is also pretty dope.
Inside The Magazine Volume #13: Inside Wrestling June '92
- The saga between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage is discussed.
- Harley Race forming his own Dangerous Alliance
- IRS & Ted DiBiase as an unlikely tag team championship team
- Marcus Alexander Bagwell sits down for Hotseat.
- Tony Atlas is tired of WWF castoffs challenging him.
- Plus, much more!
"Koko B. Ware recently won the USWA Heavyweight Championship from Kamala. Had Kamala won, he would have been allowed to eat Koko’s bird, Frankie."
Amazing. 5 star stipulation.
"The idea of a millionaire teaming with an overzealous tax collector seems to be a bit odd."
This is so true. I alluded to it in my Rebooking the New Generation fanfic.
Who knew Blackjack Mulligan was still wrestling in 1992?
Chief Charlie Norris vs. Larry Cameron is an interesting matchup. Not that I'd necessarily want to watch it! Perish the thought! Just the fact that it's two somewhat hyped guys who never made it.
Who the hell would take the time to write about a Steve Armstrong vs. PN News match?!? And I thought I was bad.....
Bret was the closest thing WWF had to a post-Hogan megastar so whoever mentioned him should have got some kind of award.
"What are your thoughts on this magazine and what was going on in the wrestling world during this time?"
Ric Flair, Mountie & Undertaker were my favorites while Hogan, Piper (that damn 'shock proof' shirt ) & Jake (for turning on Undertaker) were on my shit list.
Wasn't watching WCW (though the January '92 Clash of Champions & Dangerous Alliance rule)
My #2 promotion at the time was a women's fed called LPWA. I was a fan of Reggie Bennett & Terri Power.
I'd watch a GWF show once in a blue moon and watched USWA once or twice. Thought The Patriot would be a huge star.
Thanks for the response! I've noticed that the Patriot has gotten a lot of hype in the early 90s magazines. I expected bigger things upon viewing his WCW stuff, but he didn't exactly light the world on fire. I thought the same thing about them mentioning Bret Hart. Of that list, I'd think Bret would be the last onto breakout as the biggest star.
Inside The Magazine Volume #14: WWF Magazine January '93
Mr Perfect has joined forces with Randy Savage and has a plan for his future. Headshrinkers are subject to a personality profile. Shawn Michaels wins the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Sgt. Slaughter is law and order in the WWF. Nailz and the Undertaker are headed towards a huge confrontation. Plus, much more!
"What are your thoughts on this magazine and what was going on in the WWF at this time?"
Not much to this one. WWF Mag was weak sauce compared to the Apter Mags. The Nailz vs. Undertaker feud went nowhere and Nailz would soon be fired for attacking the boss.
From a fan standpoint, even at the time (late 92) I felt like things had cooled off. Shango had been de-pushed. I think Mountie was gone. Kamala was neutered during the mega disappointing Undertaker feud. A bunch of 'stars' left. Bret Hart was a midcard WWF champion feuding (or about to feud) with noobs like Razor & Bam Bam. Flair was still my favorite but it was mostly by default. Meh. Not my favorite stretch of WWF programming. Things didn't really get good again until January.
Might be the best of all time. I can't think of any off the top of my head that are challenging that.Originally Posted by Baker
It is actually perfect. The arsehole taxman would be happy to see his millionaire buddy given all sorts of tax benefits and deductions, while loving it that the working class pay every penny.Originally Posted by Baker
Originally Posted by Strobe
Great logic! Didn't think of it like that.
A Look Back At: The 1993 PWI 500. Who's number one? Share your agreements or disagreements!
Here's what I came up with using the proper January 1-December 31 calendar.
-A year near and dear to my heart. My fandom leveled up in '93. Watched more WCW than any year since at least 1989 and was loving WWF more than ever before. The major promotions saw their title situations stabilize with two monster heels dominating the scene.
1. Vader (2)- Spent over 11 months of the year as WCW champion. Had memorable feuds & matches with Sting, Cactus & Flair.
2. Yokozuna (5)- Won Royal Rumble, won (and lost) WWF championship at Wrestlemania, DESTROYED HULKAMANIA~!, ended the year in the midst of longest heel WWF championship run in 15 years.
3. Mitsuharu Misawa (92)- Held AJPW Triple Crown the entire year.
4. Bret Hart (1)- Spent a little over 3 months as WWF champion. Won KOTR. Had a memorable feud with Lawler. Seeds were planted for an even more legendary feud with Owen in the latter stages of the year. Fwiw the KOTR win & Lawler feud had me finally buying into Bret as a top guy after previously viewing him as the first midcard champ WWF champ of my wrestling fandom.
5. Sting (4)- Hmm....this might be a little high but I'll run with it. Spent a few days as WCW champ on an overseas tour. Had another memorable match with Vader but Sting's 93 was a step down from the previous year.
6. Lex Luger (7)- Had a long televised unbeaten streak as The Narcissist. Knocked out a slew of guys including Bret & Perfect. Became the Next Big Thing when he slammed Yokozuna. Dropped the ball at Summerslam but was the sole survivor in the Survivor Series main event.
7. Shawn Michaels (3)- Held IC title for much of the year. Had memorable feuds with Jannetty & Perfect.
8. Dustin Rhodes (12)- Held US title for much of the year. Had a long feud with Rick Rude.
9. Ric Flair - Left WWF early in the year after losing a famous (but not all that great imo) Loser Leaves Town match to Mr. Perfect. Returned to his old WCW stomping grounds. Stayed out of the ring for several months before feuding with the Hollywood Blondes. Won & lost the NWA title. Ended the year by beating Vader to win the WCW Title at Starrcade in a classic confrontation.
10. Great Muta (19)- Held IWGP & NWA titles simultaneously. Wouldn't lose IWGP title until September.
11. Shinya Hashimoto (NR)- Defeated Muta to win the IWGP championship in September and retained it until year's end.
12. Rick Rude (8)- Won the NWA Title/WCW International Title/Big Gold Belt. Had long feud with Dustin Rhodes.
13. Razor Ramon (87)- Breakout year for the Bad Guy. Challenged for WWF title at Royal Rumble. Turned babyface after getting upset by skinny jobber the 1-2-3 Kid. Gained popularity and won the vacant IC title in September.
14. Barry Windham (11)- Had a solid NWA championship reign before dropping off the face of the earth and never really recovering.
15. Undertaker (46)- Step down from the previous two years but he still wasn't pinned or submitted on TV. Had a memorable (for all the wrong reasons) feud with Giant Gonzalez. A Mr. Hughes feud went nowhere. Finally regained some of his mojo late in the year by starting a feud with WWF champion Yokozuna.
16. Hulk Hogan (17)- Won WWF championship again at Wrestlemania in controversial fashion. Only held the title for a little over two months. Went to Japan in May where he defeated Great Muta in an interesting historical curiosity.
I can buy Bret over Vader for #1 using the PWI calendar.
HBK is too high at #3 regardless of which calendar you want to use.
My man Mr. Perfect & Scott Steiner don't belong in the Top 10.
Marty is way too high at #13. He was out a lot, only spent a few weeks as IC champ, and I'm pretty sure was a glorified jobber by the end of the PWI calendar.
Sid at #25 seems about right using my calendar but is way too high using the PWI calendar.
Tatanka should be at least 30 spots higher. Has a shot to crack my Top 20 if I ever expand it.
Kid seems too high.....unless....was he an early PWI indy darling?
Doink vs. Undertaker should have been a feud and how did I never think about that until now?
Ron Simmons should be higher.
Luger always seemed too high to me mostly because he was out for all of the remainder of 1992. With Baker's grading period he seems about right.
It really should be Bret, Yoko and Vader vying for the number 1 spot. I think the Shawn/Marty Raw series had a huge influence on the list.
I'm glad they eventually did away with the rationale of top tag teams = top singes competitors.
Dustin should be ahead of Rude, iirc they had a series of matches near the end of the grading period which Dustin won to become undisputed US champ.
I'm still surprised the rave reviews of All Japan starting around this time didn't reach Bill's ear. Obviously the Four Corners should all be higher.
Ron Simmons was injured for a portion of the grading period so I'm fine with his ranking
I still don't get PWI's fascination with Tony Anthony. Then again outside of TL Hopper I haven't seen much footage of him.
Scorp should be higher, but maybe that's 1993 nostalgia speaking for me.
They were a bit harsh with Razor losing to the 1-2-3 Kid, he should be way higher. Kid's win over Razor was the big factor in his ranking. I don't think GWF guys made too many waves in PWI, at least not nearly as much as SMW.
Droese was a Garbage Man before WWF? lol
Legend has it Vince signed Droese solely because he was #500 to prove he could make anyone a star. Surprised you haven't heard this story before. It's believable because of how Vince it is. And isn't he right to some extent? I mean we still occasionally talk about Duke "The Dumpster" today. That never would have happen without Vince's massive ego.
Simmons was only out with injury for two months. Think he should be at least Top 20 considering he was WCW champion for nearly 5 months using the PWI calendar.
SMW was the #3 or 4 promotion in the US so their stars tended to do well in the PWI 500. Promotions like SMW, USWA & ECW benefited most from PWI exposure imo. PWI would push it like they could hang with anybody in WWF or WCW which was still kind of important in an era where kayfabe was not yet completely dead. I watched a bunch of SMW a year or two back. Fun fact: They NEVER call him Tony Anthony. It's ALWAYS Dirty White Boy. I guess it's like that B. Mahoney thing where PWI would never call him Balls. Anyway, DWB is perfect for SMW. Very Southern. Good promo. Solid wrestler. Fun regional based gimmick. Surprisingly good offense (DDTs, Taue-style chokeslam, nice leg drops) but his whole look & persona are something I would have found dated even back in the late 80s. He was never going to get over in a place bigger than SMW or USWA during the Hulkamania era and would have seemed even more dated in the post-Hulkamania era.
And TL Hopper sucked. Anybody remember Cletus Godwinn? Anybody.....
I guess when I see the year 1993 Ron Simmons just doesn't come to mind, he fell off the map that year. Another reason why the grading period should be changed
Lucky horseshoe right? Come to think of it I have just seen a few promos from DWB and not any actual matches. I will have to change that.
I don't even remember the lucky horseshoe. Cletus Godwinn showed up as the Godwinns manager for a minute. Think HOG & PIG turned on him after like 3 weeks and then he was gone forever.
Dirty White Boy vs. Tracy Smothers is your best bet. They had a long feud in SMW with a few nice matches. One in particular features an all time great SMW moment. I'll see if I can find it....
Starts around the 40 minute mark and really needs context to truly appreciate.
I can't spread the rep but thanks for the suggestion.
I remember during the whole LOD retirement angle they had a match with the Godwinns and Cletus ended up belting either HOG or PIG with the horseshoe and saving LOD's career and costing the Godwinns the tag titles..
For the Anthony/Smothers feud, I did a writeup of that separately and it might be helpful in getting know the feud and Anthony's character a little better. Hope it helps.
WOW magazine... I never got it as a kid. Was it similar to the apt mags with kayfabe stories or were they more "insider" one?
Inside The Magazine Volume #15: PWI September '97
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