Sports Illustrated publishes the Top 10 best fighters of 2022
As usual at the end of each year, Sports Illustrated has published a list of top 10 wrestlers in the world. On this occasion, the media specialized in sports has chosen Seth Rollins for the first position. To pick the best, Sports Illustrated takes into account a combination of the wrestler’s work in the ring, the attention his work has garnered and his overall impact on the business over the past year.
“This list is based on a wrestler’s work in the ring, the attention his work generated, and his overall impact,” the outlet wrote. “Professional wrestling is a unique mix of sport and entertainment, where one’s opponent is necessary for one to shine. Constantly elevating your opponent was an element that was taken into account in this list, as was the quality of the match. and the setting in which it took place. As in previous years, a spot was reserved exclusively for a talent that works primarily in the independent scene.” Sports Illustrated has also indicated that the decision points to who has had a better year, not who is the better fighter.
The 10 best fighters in the world in 2022
- 10. Masha Slamovich (IMPACT)
- 9. Cash Wheeler (AEW)
- 8. Dax Harwood (AEW)
- 7. The Son of the Viking (AAA)
- 6. Jamie Hayter (AEW)
- 5. Will Ospreay (NJPW)
- 4. Roman Reigns (WWE)
- 3. Bianca Belair (WWE)
- 2. Jon Moxley (AEW)
1. Seth Rollins (WWE)
“For 12 months, Rollins has consistently starred in the most interesting, compelling and effective matches in all of professional wrestling,” Sports Illustrated wrote. “In addition to that sublime matchup, his promos and his evolved character work took him to a new level of greatness.
One element of Rollins’ significance in 2022 was his ability to shine while empowering others.. He did everything in his power to make sure Cody Rhodes’ return at WrestleMania was seen as a legitimately iconic and amazing moment, which it was, and then followed it up with an even better match with Rhodes at WrestleMania Backlash. When Rhodes was severely limited in their Hell in a Cell match inside the cage, Rollins made viewers forget about limitations and instead focus on all Rhodes was capable of despite the gruesome injury.
Throughout their rivalry, Rollins led us to believe that Matt Riddle was a main event talent. Whether that will ever fully manifest is a legitimate question, but he kept giving his opponents a brighter spotlight than they’d see anywhere else. Perhaps most sensational was the way Rollins made people believe that no matter when or where they fight, he knows Roman Reigns’ game inside out.
Rollins adds different details and subtle nuances to his matches, which go far beyond wearing his old Shield gear or Dusty Rhodes-inspired polka dots, but even those don’t feel cheesy, they feel inspired. Rollins is a true master of the arta throwback that could flourish in any season, and is a joy to watch every week.
In constant pursuit of a legendary legacy, Rollins consistently pushed professional wrestling to be at its best in 2022.”
Sports Illustrated has also mentioned the following fighters, who have been left out of the final list: Kazuchika Okada; Chris Jericho; Saya Kamitani; gunther; Mandy Rose; Josh Alexander; Mike Bailey; Jimmy Uso; Jey Uso; Penta The Zero Fear.
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