pWI 500
There are “just too many sub-par curtain-jerkers who want to be in our magazine,” said Pro Wrestling Illustrated Editor Stu Murphy.

After a long pandemic hiatus, independent (or “indy”) pro wrestling is booming again, which means there are plenty of doughy, uncharismatic curtain-jerkers to fill the new PWI 1000 rankings. 

For decades, the Pulitzer-winning magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated created the PWI 500 — a definitive and irrefutable annual ranking of which wrestlers wrestle best — but this year the magazine doubled the list to 1,000 names after aggressive lobbying by jobbers’-rights groups. 

But competition for those extra spots will still be fierce, given that a petition demanding the creation of a PWI 1000 was signed by more than 3,500 independent “pro” wrestlers who have earned seven hotdogs and nine handshakes.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated publisher Liz Hunter said in a statement that “wrestlers who do not get ranked in the PWI 1000 will all receive a participation ribbon.”


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