This is something that was brought about by reading Scott’s great article on wrestling. It’s a very good look at the state of affairs in the company. You can check that out HERE! Now, I felt like doing something a little different from the route Scott has taken. So instead of reviewing a show right now, I will be running down a list of my favourites performers performing in the WWE today.
I will state that this list will probably leave off many worthy characters; I’m going to try and remedy that situation by doing separate articles. Perhaps I will write an article on my favourite wrestlers ever. Perhaps I’ll do one on each of the rosters of RAW and Smackdown Live. Perhaps I’ll write one with an expanded roster just so I can include the egregious omissions.
For now, this list is purely my personal choices for who are my favourites in the WWE at this particular time. I will take the time to expand articles such as these so I can include other organizations and get new people in here.
But for now, here are my top five performers in the WWE today.
This woman is quickly rising in my personal rankings. Number one, she is just an amazingly talented wrestler. Everything she does in the ring is fluid and precise; she very rarely makes a mistake in the ring (except for one horrifying spot at Summerslam 2016, we’ll talk about that another time). She can go in the ring and has that rare talent for making the other people she is in the ring with look even better. She is capable of drawing good matches out of anyone. The old joke being you could have her wrestle a ladder and she’d make the ladder look amazing. The fact that Charlotte is looking so good now is a great thing for the company as a whole. This is because there is now a greater amount of attention being paid to the women who wrestle these days. This is not a bad thing for Charlotte because she is good enough that everyone should be watching everything she does.
However, what really sets Charlotte apart for me is her character work. She plays one of the best heels (villain) on the planet right now. Everything she does in the ring, every promo she delivers just drips with arrogance. She carries herself in such a manner that it makes it seem like she’s better than anyone else in the room. And you know what? She’s right. What also makes her character so great is that she is a cowardly heel. She will not hesitate to try and get out of a straight fight, she’ll cheat, steal, anything to get the win. Most notably she’s been hanging around with another wrestler by the name of Dana Brooke. This partnership is disguised as Dana being the protégé, when in reality she is there to help Charlotte win matches. The two work well together so not much bad there. However, don’t let her heel tactics fool you. She is an amazing worker in the ring and more than capable of winning on her own. And that fact feeds into her heel character. She’s so good but still has her “protégé” interfere on her behalf. She’s just the best.
Also, just for Scott. Her standing moonsault is fucking gorgeous
This is the guy that nobody thought they would see in the WWE. This was the guy that was so synonymous with rival company TNA that fans of the WWE were convinced seeing him in their ring was nothing but a pipe-dream.
That all changed in that one glorious moment in the Royal Rumble 2016 when AJ Styles shocked the wrestling world by walking out to the ring. I saw it happen. That shit was nuts. The reaction that man got from the crowd was deafening. The moment where his music hits for the first time still gives me goosebumbs to this day.
Why do I love him? Because he is possibly the best damn worker on the planet today. The man is what is known as a high flyer (means a lot of flippy things). What is amazing is even after working for as long as he has he looks just as good, if not better now, than he ever has before. The man has yet to put on a bad match since joining the WWE. Hell, he’s even just recently put on a match of the year contender against John Cena at Summerslam. In everything he does AJ Styles looks incredible. If you are capable I suggest you find any of his matches in WWE and watch them. Sure there have been stellar matches outside WWE, but that’s not what this list is about dammit! A good place to start would be the match with Cena at Summerslam. Other examples being his matches against Roman Reigns at either Payback or Extreme Rules.
As with Charlotte, I love him because he is capable of great character work as well. When he debuted in WWE he was as a hardworking babyface (good guy). However, more recent times has seen him switch almost completely to a raging ego-maniac heel. If anything that move is even better for him because he has been crushing it as a heel. His feud with John Cena really stands out as some of his best work in the company to date. Seriously you need to check this guy out if you haven’t.
3. Becky Lynch:
Oh, Becky Lynch. You’re just the best. Much like Charlotte previously on this list Becky is one of the best performers, male or female WWE has at the moment. And with a nickname like “The Irish Lass Kicker” how can you not love this person. She is a wizard in the ring technically, always knows what she’s doing in a match, and much like Charlotte, she can drag a good match out of damn near anyone. In an era where there is much more emphasis being put on the women wrestlers it’s comforting to know that people like Becky Lynch are there to perform.
What also makes her special as far as this list is concerned is that she is the only true babyface at the moment. While others on the list who have dabbled with being a face in the past, Becky is the only one here who has not been swayed by the darkside, and that is a very good thing. I really like Becky because she does very good character work as a face. For example, if you can find it, probably on youtube, watch her contract signing for her match against Alexa Bliss. Here we see Becky at her absolute best. She plays the humble champion very well, but what sets her apart from other faces is that she is not afraid to lose control of her emotions and go off on opponents. She will brawl with anybody on the spot. It’s that fiery temper that sets her apart. While others may be more strategic than her, it’s the fact she can just go full out against an opponent at any moment that sets her apart. The fact that she is portrayed as having a fiery temper while still maintaining that sense of humbleness is one of many reasons I am super on board with Becky Lynch.
The fact that she is cute as a button doesn’t hurt either.
2: Bray Wyatt:
I’m going to make something clear right now; if it weren’t for the next man on this list Bray Wyatt would have easily been number one. That’s how much I love this guy. Bray Wyatt is presented as a strange, swamp man/preacher/cult leader from the Bayou. He is easily one of the most fascinating characters I’ve seen in the WWE for a very long time. The fact that he had his creepy hillbilly family with him when he debuted just made it even better.
Seriously everything this guy does in character is just gold. His entrance alone is just incredible, he makes his way down to the ring in the dark with only a lantern lighting him up. It’s super atmospheric and just a joy to watch. Seriously check that out Here. His promos can be dynamite because Bray has a very soft spoken manner. He rarely raises his voice but I always find myself listening to every word. He can get a bit ramble-y and nonsensical at times but that really doesn’t matter when a person is this charismatic. The man just oozes charisma. He can also be one of the scariest individuals in the company, which suits his character just fine. He’s fallen off a bit recently, but that’s more to the WWE’s poor booking of him than lack of talent.
He even carries his creepiness over to his in ring work. He incorporates a backwards spiderwalk into his matches which just looks creepy as hell. His style is really smashmouth with a lot of power moves and him literally throwing himself around the ring. This guy is seriously one of the best acts that the WWE have today. Goddamn is he great.
1. Chris Jericho
The only reason Chris Jericho beats out Bray Wyatt on this list is because Chris Jericho may just be my favourite wrestler ever. Full stop. That’s all. He is simply that damn good. Chris Jericho has been in the WWE for over 15 years and he has looked amazing for damn near every second.
Jericho may be one of the most versatile performers the WWE has ever seen in the ring. There is very little he can’t do in terms of actual wrestling, and while he does make the occasional mistake in the ring they are few and far between.
But what really sets Jericho apart from the rest of the people in the company is his character work. I said he is versatile in the ring, what he can do in terms of character is nothing less than astounding. This guy is the master of character reinvention. He has played so many different versions of himself that it makes head spin. The thing is he plays them all so well you can’t help but believe him. He is able to play a straight-forward babyface that plays to the crowd, to a raving, ego maniacal rock-star heel, and anything that comes in between those two.
Even today Chris Jericho is on top of his game. In fact, the stuff he is doing right now may be the best work he’s ever done in his career. He plays a very cocky heel. The thing about it is that he is also super goofy about it. He has made a habit of keeping a list of people who have pissed him off, and he successfully turned it into a running joke. It’s amazing. He’s the kind of guy that tries to sound tough but always makes it sound kind of dumb, and it’s just the best.
Chris Jericho may just be the best ever. And that is the gift of Jericho. Drink it in, man.