PWI recently released their Top 150 Women in the world and truthfully, I have an issue with how they rank the wrestlers in their lists. They take the results, which we all know are predetermined, into account and base their rankings usually on wins and losses. I may be off base here, but I cannot put much stock into a list that takes all the kayfabe results into account. All that said, I’m going to offer you my list of the top 25 Women’s Wrestlers in the world. When I made my list, I took things like popularity and in-ring skill or IQ, if you prefer, into consideration. Without further ranting, here is my list. Agree or disagree, remember that this is my opinion and you’re not going to change my mind here. Also, I won’t be going into too much detail for each woman, just a brief of their 2021 and how they’ve made Women’s Wrestling better!
25. Toni Storm – WWE/Freelancer
Toni Storm has held championships everywhere she has performed and there is a lot of upside to having her on your roster. WWE seems to not have any real plan for her since calling her to the main roster, however, that does not diminish what Toni is capable of… she had a short run with Charlotte Flair in December and then was granted her release on the 28/29th December. Another Women’s Wrestling misstep from the WWE… And not the only one on this list.
24. Asuka – WWE
Asuka is without a doubt one of the GOATs in women’s wrestling. She has been a force in every division and promotion that she has ever competed in. WWE has a history of messing up their Japanese performers but for the most part, they have done well with Asuka. That said, there isn’t much left for the Empress to accomplish in her career. She’s done it all.
23. Yuka Sakazaki – TJPW/AEW
Yuka Sakazaki is one of the most fun performers in TJPW and has gained a lot more fans worldwide since appearing for AEW. The Magical Girl has a long career ahead of her and with her continued improvement in the ring, it is only a matter of time before she can fight for a spot higher on the list of Best in the World.
22. Meiko Satomura – NXT UK
Meiko is a legend in Japan, perhaps only surpassed for that status by Aja Kong. She’s another name who has held championships everywhere she has gone and there is not much left for her to accomplish in her career. She’s currently the NXT UK’s Women’s Wrestling champion and a trainer for WWE. There aren’t many out there better to train new performers than Meiko.
21. Ember Moon – Freelancer
WWE screwed the pooch when they released Ember Moon recently. She is a former Champion for the company and has a lot more upside than most. She came back from a career-threatening injury and seemed to be better than ever. Whoever signs Ember, or Athena if you prefer, is gaining one of the best workhorses in the US.
20. Deonna Purazzo – Impact
Impact sure has been good for Deonna. She’s grown in so many ways since her time in Stardom and now she is one of the top stars in Impact. She could go anywhere in the world and be a top star, that’s how good she has become. Keep your eyes on her, there is a lot to come in her future.
19. Rosemary – Impact
Another woman who has made a name for herself in Impact, Rosemary is phenomenal in the ring. She can work with anyone, no matter their skill level, and bring out a high-quality match every time. This is good for Impact since most of their women aren’t even close to her level.
18. Thunder Rosa – AEW
Thunder Rosa has established herself as one of the most fun women to watch on AEW. She’s held several championships and she has had some utterly amazing matches in her career. She’s got a massive upside to her and should be a mainstay for AEW for many years to come.
17. Sasha Banks – WWE
The Boss doesn’t have much history outside of WWE but she has proven to be a hot ticket for the company. She can do nearly anything that she is asked to and is one of the better women that WWE has on their roster. There are a lot more championships in her future, mark my words. In terms of WWE Women’s Wrestling, she’s the boss for a reason.
16. Aja Kong – Freelancer
Aja Kong is perhaps the most well known, and legendary, women’s wrestler to ever come from Japan. She’s done it all, worked for a lot of different companies and held championships all over the world. When she finally decides to retire, the pro-wrestling world will have lost one of the pioneers for modern women’s wrestling.
15. Konami – World Wonder Ring Stardom
The Submission Sniper, trained by WWE’s Asuka, is one of the most technically skilled wrestlers in the world, regardless of gender. Stardom has yet to give Konami the chance of carrying their top belt, but there is no reason to believe that Konami couldn’t be one hell of a champion for them.
14. Kay Lee Ray – NXT
Kay Lee Ray is the longest-reigning NXT UK Women’s Wrestling Champion and she has the skill and charisma to be a top star everywhere. There aren’t many women in WWE with as much charisma as she has and she is a natural heel, better than most of the ones that WWE currently has.
13. Shoko Nakajima – TJPW
Shoko is a very good wrestler and her gimmick is awesome. She is ridiculously fast in the ring which fits her style and ironic ‘Big Kaiju’ (monster) gimmick extremely well. She gets all into her gimmick as well which I like. She has a great move-set, is very athletic and is fun to watch.
12. Dakota Kai – NXT
Kai has an all-rounder wrestling style who typically prefers to use kicks or anything that requires using her legs to cause damage towards her opponents – this style helps considering she is quick on her feet and knows how to adapt to a pace of a match. Dakota can find good chemistry with almost any of her opponents who she has faced. The Kairopractor move (highly creative) which she uses is one of the coolest moves if sold correctly by the opponent.
11. Arisa Nakajima – SEAdLINNNG
Arisa is a great wrestler, probably one of the most famous wrestlers in Joshi who aren’t in Stardom, she is really good in the ring and also has good charisma, she is still very young so have a long career ahead of her.
Her adaptation of Strong Style leads to many brutal and highly entertaining matches.
10. Hikaru Shida – AEW
Hikaru Shida did an incredible job in carrying the AEW women’s wrestling division despite little help from the company itself. In her time she managed to not only become a star, selling merch and popping ratings, but she helped elevate others too, which is easier said than done. Shida carried herself like a champion and in doing so really made that women’s title prestigious and now without the title there’s still no doubt that whatever Shida does will be worth watching.
9. Azumi – World Wonder Ring Stardom
The 19-year-old Azumi, aka AZM, is perhaps the best talent under 20 in Japan today. She’s been wrestling since she was 12 years old, professionally I might add, and has only gotten better with each year that has passed. She’s super fast and has a high flying style that gives most opponents fits. Not to mention she incorporates an attitude and cockiness into her matches that makes her extremely entertaining.
8. Starlight Kid – World Wonder Ring Stardom
Starlight Kid has seen a resurgence since joining Oedo Tai earlier this year. She’s always had the talent and the skill but changing factions has led to a much-needed presence improvement. Now that she has the charisma to complement her skill, the sky is Kid’s limit. The current High-Speed Champion can easily break into the top five world’s best so long as she keeps this momentum up.
7. Tam Nakano – World Wonder Ring Stardom
The Stardom Dream has had what could be considered a dream year for Stardom. She’s got a martial arts style that adds a feeling of realness to her matches. Her spin kicks are a thing of beauty, that style just adds to the technical skills that Tam possesses.
She can sell as few others can and she can carry a match if asked to. Nakano’s matches are always must-see, no matter the opponent.
6. Utami Hayashishita – World Wonder Ring Stardom
Utami is the current World of Stardom champion and is having what some are calling a legendary title run. She’s gotten more and more dominant with each title defence that’s come her way and it is looking like nothing will stop Utami from having a reign as long as she desires. She’s only been wrestling a handful of years but she is already considered by some to be near the top of the mountain as far as best in the world goes.
5. Miyu Yamashita – TJPW
Perhaps the most lethal striker in Japan right now, Miyu Yamashita is the ace of TJPW. She’s held their top title for a long time now and seems to only be getting better with each passing day. There isn’t much left in TJPW for Miyu to accomplish but given her status as the companies Ace, the chances of her moving on are slim. Miyu prints money and will do so until she decides her career is done.
4. Takumi Iroha – Marvelous
She could be the top star anywhere she’d choose to work without anybody complaining in the least but instead, she’s always helping the other talent to get over. She selflessly plays the roadblock that will force her opponent to go beyond the limit, usually getting beaten for all her efforts She is also someone who can rival Miyu Yamashita for the best striker in Japan right now. She’s that good. All of her matches from this year 5 Star Grand Prix were must-watch.
3. Mio Momono – Marvelous
Mio Momono has a compelling style and is very charismatic, therefore it is pretty easy to get behind her whenever she steps into the ring. She wins you over with her charisma and her matches are never boring or hard to get through because of her quickness. She also manages to excel in both types of matches in styles clashes, where she depends on her quickness to have any chance at all against more physically dominant opponents as well as the super-fast matches whenever she collides with people that can go her super fast styles themselves.
2. Momo Watanabe – World Wonder Ring Stardom
Momo Watanabe is one of the top performers in Stardom and has had an exciting career thus far. One of the stalwarts in Stardom, she can put anyone over in a match in a win or a loss. Saying that Momo has shown recently that she still has a vicious side to her. God help anyone who pushes her to that point because she looks and acts like she is going to kill them.
Hate to break it to you, ladies and gentlemen, but there is a tie for who I consider being the best in the world today.
1b. Mayu Iwatani – World Wonder Ring Stardom
If Io Shirai didn’t exist, Mayu Iwatani would be the undisputed best women’s wrestler in the world today and there is no debating it. She’s the ultimate seller in the ring, everything her opponents do to her looks excruciating. She’s got a top-notch move set and she’s got this killer look when she gets serious. I swear she looks like she is going to murder her opponents sometimes and I love it. You watch Mayu in the ring and some of the bumps she takes and you have to wonder how she didn’t break her neck taking it. There is a reason that Mayu Iwatani is the ICON of Stardom and she will keep that title for as long as she wishes.
1a. Io Shirai – NXT
To put it simply, Io Shirai is one of the world’s best wrestlers working today and has been for quite some time now. She has an undeniable presence, she can connect with a crowd better than most, and she has the best moonsault in the business.
There is an argument for both Io and Mayu as Best in the World and with good reason. They had one of the best rivalries ever in wrestling after Io turned on Mayu and ended their tag partnership. Both women bring out the absolute best in each other when they are sharing the ring and can do the same for everyone that they face!