Er...Yeah. Pretty Much Just Like That.
You see, tonight I am proud to unveil the debut CRL 100. What is this mysterious conglomeration of numbers and letters, you ask? Well that's very simple. It stands for Cewsh Reviews List 100, and it is the first in a yearly reckoning of the best wrestlers of the past year as determined by, naturally, Cewsh. Wait! I can see you closing this tab and moving on to another one featuring the kind of porn that it would be weird to even talk about. And that's understandable, because when it comes to wrestling related lists, let's be honest. They suck. If they aren't comprised entirely of WWE guys with a token indy guy thrown in, then they're based on criteria so bafflingly vague that it's impossible to figure out why in the hell they ever bothered in the first place. I know, believe me. I've suffered right along with you through lists that keep men and women segregated, and lists that actually have the balls to declare the Miz the best wrestler on Earth in a given year. But that all ends today. You see, with my CRL 100, I have painstakingly whittled down every single active wrestler in this industry until I got the 100 most ass kicking, body rocking, shit talking, walk walking sons (and daughters) of bitches walking the Earth today. Some will come from WWE, but others will proudly represent New Japan, All Japan, DDT, Pro Wrestling NOAH, CMLL, AAA, Shimmer, Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, WSU, Anarchy, Dragon Gate and even more than that. Every effort has been made to remove personal bias and nonsensical notions from the making here, and with any luck what I have crafted here is a list you can look to and be proud of, born of research, hard decisions and experience.
And hey, if that fails, lists are great for killing time, right?
So okay, before we get into this, let's do a quick FAQ.
Q: What are you judging based on?
A: Individual in ring performance, with the emphasis on individual.
Q: How did you research for this?A: Tirelessly, for one thing. I made a point to watch every major show by every significant promotion over the course of the past year and supplement it as much as possible with other shows as well. I left no stone unturned in trying to find talent wherever there might be some.
Q: Why 100?
A: Because 500 forces you to include people who aren't really worthy of consideration, and 276 wasn't symmetrical enough.
Q: So where are you going to rank the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar/The Rock/Triple H etc?
A: I'm not going to. In order to make things as fair as possible across the board, I required that in order to be eligible for this list, you have to have wrestled at least 5 matches in the past calender year. Any less than that and there just isn't a fair sample size to base an educated opinion on. And Taker (1 match), Brock (2 matches), Rock (2 matches), and Triple H (3 matches) do not make the cut. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Q: John Cena's not on here, is he?
A: Oh yeah, he totally is.
Q: Why are you combining the men and women on one list? That's not fair to the women, is it?
A: Judging by some of the women you'll find on this list, it might not be fair to the men.
Q: This is just the first 25, when will you be releasing the rest?
A: The will be 25 posted each day, ending before Raw on Monday Night. So that's 100-76 tonight, 75-51 tomorrow, 50-26 on Sunday and the coup de grace on Monday.
Alright, that's enough with the questions already. Let's get down to the meat of the thing. Here are numbers 100-75 on the CRL 100 list of the best wrestlers of 2012!
100. ACH (Anarchy)
99. Keiji Mutoh (AJPW)
98. Paige (FCW)
97. Ray (Freelance)
96. Jigsaw (CHIKARA)
95. AR Fox (DGUSA)
94. Toru Yano (NJPW)
93. Matt Jackson (CHIKARA/PWG)
92. Rey Bucanero (AAA)
91. Courtney Rush (SHIMMER)
90. Devon (TNA)
89. Hunico (WWE)
88. La Sombra (CMLL)
87. Kenny King (TNA)
86. Antonio Cesaro (WWE)
85. Shelton Benjamin (ROH)84. Kane (WWE)
83. L.A. Park (AAA)
82. Athena (SHIMMER)
81. Nicole Matthews (SHIMMER)
80. Jessicka Havok (WSU)
79. Bo Dallas (FCW)
78. Dean Ambrose (FCW)
77. Jay Lethal (ROH)
76. Go Shiozaki (NOAH)
Alright then, there you have it. The 100th through the 76th best wrestlers on the planet Earth over the course of the last calender year. Now remember, if your favorite doesn't make the list, there's no need to get crazy over it. A lot of very talented people didn't make it because a) they were ineligible under the 5 match rule, b) they had a down year despite otherwise being excellent, or c) they just got edged out by someone slightly better. This is a chronicle of who, in the wrestling industry, truly showed themselves capable of excellence from August 24th 2011 - August 24th 2012. And while I'm sure these guys will stir some debate and imagination, oh boy can I not wait to show you who else is coming up later on.
Okay, that'll do it for us tonight. Remember to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the CRL 100 documenting numbers 75 - 50. Until then, remember to keep reading and be good to one another.