Independent wrestler “Dirty” Drake Dillon was crestfallen yesterday when he learned that he missed a spot on the PWI 500 rankings by a single point.
The annual rankings of the world’s top 500 wrestlers has been a staple of magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated — the industry’s preeminent publication — for the past 21 years, and Dillon (real name Jeff Blundenberg) has long dreamed of seeing his name on the list.
A fixture on the eastern Iowa independent wrestling circuit for the past three years, Dillon frequently bragged to friends and Arby’s coworkers that he was “a shoo-in” for this year’s PWI 500.
“I’m a two-time Sioux City Championship Wrestling Regional Champion,” he recently told a stranger on a bus. “I’m probably going to be in the top 100 on that list.”
Last week, he received a form letter in the mail from Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s head office, stating: “Thank you for your repeated letters to PWI requesting inclusion on the PWI 500. We regret to inform you that you ranked 501st.”
Dillon was especially disappointed when he found out that three of the wrestlers on the PWI 500 are retired, and one has been dead for several years.