Given the ever-expanding number of professional wrestlers working in promotions around the world, venerable wrestling magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated has expanded its “PWI 500” to the “PWI 5000” — but perennial underdog Zack Ryder remains absent from the list.
“Are you serious bro?” Ryder fumed in a terse email to PWI journalist Dan Murphy, who stayed awake for 53 consecutive days preparing the exhaustive list.
Murphy has declined to comment on whether Ryder’s exclusion was accidental or deliberate, or whether WWE honcho Vince McMahon played a hand in the decision in his ongoing campaign to belittle Ryder.
Among the wrestlers who are included in the 840-page special edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated:
- Dirty Drake Dillon, an occasional independent wrestler who previously ranked 501st on the PWI 500
- God, who once tagged with Shawn Michaels
- Katie Vick
- Shocked Undertaker fan Ellis Mbeh
- Every past winner of Tough Enough
- Jimmy “Superfly” [SURNAME OMITTED] and Hulk [SURNAME OMITTED]
Ryder hopes to be included on the rankings next year when Pro Wrestling Illustrated introduces the new “PWI Just Lists Every Wrestler Living or Dead.”