The 2019 WWE Top 25: Midyear Edition
2019 has been a fascinating year for wrestling. Such has been the case for WWE. Through all the highs and lows, in-ring action certainly hasn’t been a complaint at the midway point of the year. The best of the best in the company have (for the most part) gotten to shine, and shine brightly they all have.
Let’s not make any haste here. This post will obviously be different than the rest you’ve seen here. I’ve already deposited my Top 100 Matches of the Year, as well as my Women’s Top 25, too. So we’re just going to be primarily focusing in on the superstars, 25-1, in this post.
First though, since this is the midway point in the year, I’ll reveal the superstars who’re currently ranked 100-26. I’ll do this by 10s, and then 30-26 before starting the Top 25. And so, away we go.
100. Sarah Logan (20)
99. Lio Rush (20)
98. Zack Gibson (20)
97. Buddy Murphy (20)
96. Travis Banks (20.75)
95. R-Truth (20.75)
94. Noam Dar (20.75)
93. Ariya Daivari (21)
92. Billie Kay (21.5)
91. Sonya Deville (21.75)
Seeing Buddy Murphy here really upsets me, man. He’s only got six matches this year. Shane McMahon, meanwhile, has nine. Hopefully that sees an uptick as time progresses here. A lto of these folks here could probably benefit from some more work too, or in some cases, more time in the ring (hello, Sonya Deville).
90. Kassius Ohno (21.75)
89. Wesley Blake (21.75)
88. Steve Cutler (21.75)
87. Curt Hawkins (22)
86. Joe Coffey (22.25)
85. Marcel Barthel (22.25)
84. Tommaso Ciampa (22.5)
83. Bobby Roode (22.75)
82. Fabian Aichner (22.75)
81. Kairi Sane (23.25)
There’s a lot of solid workers here, obviously. The Forgotten Sons may get a bit of hate, but I thin k they’ve done a fine job tagging this year on NXT. Same with the great team of Aichner and Barthel, who I absolutely want to see more of on NXT UK. Let’s get more of Kairi Sane in the mix on SmackDown Live too, yeah? Also, I probably get the sense that Tommaso Ciampa wouldn’t be so low here if it were not for his unfortunate injury. If he comes back and starts working again, I suspect big things will be on the horizon for him.
80. Montez Ford (23.25)
79. Angelo Dawkins (23.25)
78. Chad Gable (23.75)
77. Natalya (24)
76. Lacey Evans (24)
75. Rowe (24.625)
74. Hanson (24.625)
73. Naomi (25)
72. Mark Andrews (25)
71. Jack Gallagher (25)
The War… er, Viking Exp… Raiders. Okay let me stop the joke here. TAFKA Hanson and Rowe would probably be higher on the list, if not for a couple of low-grade squash matches they’ve had. That’s obviously fine, but it has hindered some progress for them. Their peak is pretty damn good, though. Also, The Street Profits are pegged to be heavy risers once they really get going as tag champs, methinks.
70. Danny Burch (25)
69. Carmella (25.5)
68. Ronda Rousey (25.5)
67. Pete Dunne (26)
66. James Drake (26)
65. Peyton Royce (27.5)
64. Alexa Bliss (27.75)
63. Asuka (27.75)
62. Mike Kanellis (28)
61. Bobby Fish (28)
There’s a good abundance of women’s talent here. Danny Burch is ranked significantly lower than his oftentimes tag team partner Oney Lorcan, but that’s because Lorcan’s solo work on 205 Live has given him a big boost in the match # department. Pete Dunne is a phenomenal worker, of course. But he’s competed just seven times on TV this year. So that is what it is. Asuka would be higher if not for an absence from TV. Look out for Alexa Bliss here the rest of the way in 2019, as well, as she’s getting back into the fold.
60. Elias (28.5)
59. WALTER (29)
58. Kyle O’Reilly (29)
57. Nia Jax (29)
56. Jeff Hardy (29.75)
55. Mandy Rose (30.5)
54. Rusev (31.25)
53. Braun Strowman (31.75)
52. Shayna Baszler (31.75)
51. Io Shirai (32.75)
Shayna and Io just had a classic Steel Cage Match, and it boosted them all the way up to 51st and 52nd overall and into the Top 10 among the women. Pretty clutch eh? There’s some talent here for sure, and a couple compilers in the case of Braun and Mandy, who have a combined 33 matches on TV between them this year.
50. Jordan Devlin (33.25)
49. Charlotte Flair (33.75)
48. Sasha Banks (34.5)
47. Randy Orton (35.25)
46. Trent Seven (35.75)
45. Bianca Belair (36)
44. Big E (36.5)
43. Dean Ambrose (37.75)
42. Rowan (37.75)
41. Roderick Strong (38.5)
Sasha Banks is in the Top 50 despite not working the last two months. Checks out right? Dean Ambrose is here too, but I would suspect that his fall will continue to accelerate as the months pass. Charlotte seems a little out of place here, but she’s just not working as much as she has the past few years. Or at least it feels that way. Shout out to Bianca Belair at 45th, with only 11 matches under her built. She’s really a wonderful talent. As is Roderick Strong, one of just four wrestlers this year who’ve been given the Full Five by yours truly.
40. Shinsuke Nakamura (39)
39. Sami Zayn (40.25)
38. Cedric Alexander (40.75)
37. Xavier Woods (43.25)
36. Nikki Cross (43.75)
35. Roman Reigns (43.75)
34. Sheamus (45.5)
33. Drew Gulak (47.25)
32. The Miz (47.5)
31. Tony Nese (48.75)
Round of applause for Nikki Cross. Cross has made the most of her recent opportunities on the Raw brand and sits all the way up to 36th after the first six months of the year. A lot of these all check out. Drew Gulak, I’d imagine, will make a push for the Top 25 once he gets going on 205 Live as Cruiserweight Champion. Shinsuke could bounce closer as well if his feud with Finn Bálor pans out well.
30. AJ Styles (50)
AJ Styles has always been a elite worker, obviously. He’s tasked with a workload that’s not nearly the same level as it’s been the past few years, but he’s still shining when given the chance. His looming program with Ricochet should give him an opportunity to have Top 25 status after being on the shelf for the last month or so.
29. Becky Lynch (51.5)
The Man misses out on the Top 25 after the first six months of the year. Her in-ring work to me has been a little hit and miss, but she’s still obviously connecting well with the audience. Maybe her choice of opponents and rivals haven’t helped her, but she’s still in a pretty good spot here. A hot stretch later and she could get her way into the Top 25.
28. Tyler Bate (51.5)
Tyler Bate slipped out of the Top 25 for the first time all year after June. That’s pretty much because he didn’t work all that much, if at all. I wouldn’t expect him to be away from the scene for long if he gets back on TV and gets back to work. He’s a very skilled worker and is one of the best young talents under the umbrella right now.
27. Humberto Carrillo (52)
I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Humberto Carrillo, but I think he’s yet to really work a big-time singles match. He did an awesome job in the Fatal 4-Way a few weeks ago on 205 Live, a match that earned a ****1/2 from me. But he hasn’t had a really great singles match quite yet this year. Maybe that changes as the months go on here. I’d like to see it. He’s mostly here as well because of a high match count (22).
26. Kevin Owens (52.375)
Kevin Owens missed out on the first two months of the year, and fell just shy of the Top 25 at the midway point. KO has looked great in the spots that he’s been given this year. No real duds, and a lot of good-great TV matches. His series with Kofi Kingston was tremendous, and he was part of my Non-Big 4 MOTY with Ali and Daniel Bryan at Fastlane, as well.
THE WWE TOP 25, MIDYEAR EDITION
25. Akira Tozawa
Matches in 2019: 15 | Points: 53
Akira Tozawa has arguably been 205 Live’s most consistent performer this year. Tozawa finds himself 25th at the midway point of the year 2019 after putting in some serious work. In fact, every match he partook in during June got ****+ from me, including ****1/4 in his match with Tony Nese last week and ****1/2 in the epic Fatal 4-Way from a few weeks ago. Akira has been one of the best around this year, and I hope he continues to get a platform to excel.
24. Dash Wilder
Matches in 2019: 20 | Points: 53.75
The Revival have been pretty good when given the opportunity this year, so Dash Wilder being in the mix here should come as no surprise. As always, the qualifier here and why he’s not matched up with his partner is that Scott Dawson has wrestled in one more match than he did back at the Royal Rumble. You know by now how good Dash can be, so this pretty much writes itself.
23. Rey Mysterio
Matches in 2019: 14 | Points: 53.875
Rey Mysterio would likely be higher than 23rd had he not been put on the shelf with an injury. Mysterio has been a high-level worker in 2019 despite not getting to 20 televised matches so far this year. Seven of his 20 matches were given ****+, one being the Royal Rumble, so the other six were all his doing or multi-man matches. Rey is a living legend and he will likely get right back to it once he returns from his stint on the pine.
22. Scott Dawson
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 54.25
Essentially, everything I said about Dash Wilder can be put right here with Scott Dawson. He gets a 0.5-point edge over Wilder since he wrestled in the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show Raw Tag Team Championships Match with Rezar of The Authors of Pain back in January. So basically, unless he doesn’t wrestle a match and Dash does, Dawson will maintain this edge over his partner the rest of the way.
Matches in 2019: 15 | Points: 54.625
Ali has been a victim of lack of TV time in June, so he finds himself at 21st at the halfway point. Make no mistake though, he’s got an abundance of talent and has had quite the display on the SmackDown Live brand this year. Six of his 15 matches picked up grades of ***1/2+, including three of ****+. It’s obvious the kind of worker that he is, so if he gets more TV time soon enough, he could very well make a push for the Top 15 and even the Top 10.
20. Matt Riddle
Matches in 2019: 10 | Points: 55.625
The superstar who’s accumulated the highest Points Per Match average this year in the WWE Top 25 is Matt Riddle. And with only 10 matches under his belt, Riddle sneaks into the Top 20 of these rankings, having accumulated 55.625 points so far. Just two of his 10 matches gained scores in the **-**3/4 range. His range otherwise is ***1/2-*****, which includes his incredible bout with Roderick Strong at TakeOver: XXV. I have a feeling that he will only continue to rise as the year progresses. He’s an exceptional talent and it’s been awesome to watch him flourish.
19. Oney Lorcan
Matches in 2019: 16 | Points: 55.75
Oney Lorcan has been a very nice surprise in 2019. Not because it wasn’t known that he’s a fantastic worker, but because he’s gotten the platform to show his stuff. He’d gotten some burn in 2018 on NXT, but the cyclical nature of that brand only allows for so much flourishing. But he’s made a huge mark on 205 Live since he got there. If that continues, I think Lorcan will continue to turn heads and only widen his mark on the brand as one of the best workers they have.
18. Adam Cole
Matches in 2019: 12 | Points: 55.75
The NXT Champion is 18th on the rankings so far. That’s partially because of his workload, as having 12 televised matches to this point has hurt him a little bit. But he’s shined in just about every match he’s had. He’s earned 4.65 points per match, which if it keeps up should only help him out if and when his workload sees an increase. As the champ, he’ll likely have the big marquee stages to show his stuff, and he’s yet to miss this year on that stage.
17. The Velveteen Dream
Matches in 2019: 13 | Points: 56.125
Much like Adam Cole, The Velveteen Dream is hurt by his workload. With 13 matches so far, Dream is at 17th at the halfway point. That’s still a really great spot to be in though and when you dive deeper, you’ll find that he’s been an excellent worker. I’ve given seven of his 13 matches ****+, and nine of the 13 ***1/2+. So, the only true thing holding him back from climbing the rungs here is just the nature of the NXT brand and how often they have their superstars compete. Nevertheless, make no mistake, Dream has been one of the best wrestlers in the company this year.
16. Jimmy Uso
Matches in 2019: 18 | Points: 58.75
You don’t need anyone to tell you that The Usos are one of the best tag teams in WWE. Jimmy Uso stands 16th in the WWE Top 25 at the halfway point in 2019, and that really isn’t surprising at all. Jimmy and his brother Jey have put in serious work yet again in 2019, and obviously it pleases me that they’re still around. Jimmy’s not connected with his partner however, as Jey wrestled in one additional match this year.
15. Jey Uso
Matches in 2019: 19 | Points: 59.25
Much like with The Revival, there’s a mere 0.5-point difference between Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso. The reason for that? A singles match with The Miz back on March 5. So just take that into consideration as you see this difference between the two Uso brothers.
14. Baron Corbin
Matches in 2019: 27 | Points: 63.5
I’m sure this won’t cause a stir. Okay, so, Baron Corbin is 14th in the WWE Top 25. There’ve been some grumblings about Corbin’s in-ring work, whether he’s good or bad, etc. Here’s my take on the matter. I think he’s fine. In-ring wise, he does what he does and really excels in multi-man matches. Here is the reason he really finds himself up here: Workload. He’s worked 27 matches this year. He’s always on TV and therefore will get an abundance of opportunities compared to his peers. So he’s what I would call a compiler. Keep this in mind too: His Points Per Match through the first six months of the year is just 2.35. That number is the lowest of anybody currently in the WWE Top 25.
13. Bobby Lashley
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 64
Bobby Lashley gets a few conflicting opinions around these parts as well. The truth of the matter though is that he’s had a pretty good year. While he’s probably been exposed a lot, Lashley’s matches have all hit pretty well for me. Thus, he’s 13th on these midyear rankings. He’ll likely remain a fixture of the Raw brand going forward, and since he’s over 20 matches, don’t expect that to change barring something drastic.
12. Johnny Gargano
Matches in 2019: 13 | Points: 67.625
Johnny Gargano’s had a heck of a 2019. For his efforts, he lands 12th on the Midyear Top 25. Gargano has worked 13 matches and has earned a paltry 5.2 points per match this year. That’s the third-best mark of anyone in WWE right now, only behind the aforementioned Matt Riddle and Brock Lesnar. Good company to be in, I’d say. You know by now how good he is. If he got even more chances at work, he’d probably be even higher on this list.
Matches in 2019: 20 | Points: 69.125
Andrade’s 2019 started off really hot. He’s cooled down a little bit, but not enough to drop him too far out of the Top 10. In fact, he’s just on the outside looking in at 11th. He’s obviously an incredibly gifted worker and he’s been able to showcase that plenty of times this year. All it will probably take for him to get going again and be in the Top 10 is the ball to run with. We’ll see if that happens on SDLive going forward, but it would probably be foolish to not let him do it.
Matches in 2019: 23 | Points: 71.5
You don’t need to tell anybody within earshot that Cesaro’s a great worker. He’s having a really good 2019 all things considered so far, and his efforts bring him to #10 on the rankings. He’s had a great balance of tag and singles matches this year, and has shined in just about every one of them. 20 of his 23 matches this year were given scores of ***+ so he is without many less than stellar outings in 2019. Look for him to keep it going on Raw as 2019 progresses.
Matches in 2019: 26 | Points: 74
The workhorse of the women’s division this year is the only woman in the Top 25. Bayley has pieced together a really great 2019 so far and her efforts get her up to #9 here. She’s been a good-to-great TV worker in the spots she’s had this year. Her Points/Match is a little low, standing at 2.85. But, 21 of her 26 matches this year have gotten scores of ***+ this year, with 17 of them being between ***-***3/4. That kind of consistency has made her one of the best around right now, and among the top women in WWE, if not the best.
8. Samoa Joe
Matches in 2019: 22 | Points: 74
Surprised? Maybe you can be. But Samoa Joe has had a pretty great 2019. He’s been stellar in multi-man matches this year, and got a lot of participation points from being in Gauntlets on SmackDown Live and the Elimination Chamber, too. His work in the US Title Fatal 4-Ways in March definitely boosted his cause, as did his match with Ricochet at Stomping Grounds just a couple of days ago. Joe likely won’t be hurt now that he’s working with Kofi Kingston, so expect him to hang around this territory for the foreseeable future.
7. Seth Rollins
Matches in 2019: 22 | Points: 81.5
The Universal Champion is at 7th in the Midway Edition of the WWE Top 25. Seth Rollins has had a pretty solid year. He’s had one really, really standout match, which was at Money in the Bank against AJ Styles. Other than that, he’s been a very good TV worker who’s hit on pretty much everything he’s been given. He’s one of just a few guys out there who haven’t gotten anything below *** this year.
6. Finn Bálor
Matches in 2019: 25 | Points: 82.75
The IC Champion’s slowed down a bit, but Finn Bálor is still among the Top 10 here in the WWE Top 25. He was #1 in January and February but eventually fell behind the torid pace of Ricochet and Aleister Black. He hasn’t gotten the chance to storm ahead, but honestly after how much he was working in the first part of the year, I’m not too mad that he got some rest. Expect him to get going again in July with a program against Shinsuke Nakamura on the way.
5. Drew McIntyre
Matches in 2019: 30 | Points: 85
Drew McIntyre edged out Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins for the #5 spot on the rankings. He was able to build a heavy cache of matches thanks to the fact that he’s worked 30 times on TV this year. Now, Drew’s in-ring work has been pretty good, and 18 of his 30 matches have gotten somewhere within the ***-***3/4 range. But it should be noted that his Points/Match this year is 2.83 so far. That’s the lowest of anyone in the Top 5 and the lowest of anyone in the Top 10. And he’s also the only one in the Top 5 without anything at ****1/2+. So, maybe he’s pretty good, and maybe he’s also a compiler.
4. Aleister Black
Matches in 2019: 24 | Points: 90.125
For a while it didn’t seem like anyone was going to catch Aleister Black’s #2 spot. But after not working for the last two months, he’s “fallen” down to 2nd. He’s still one of only four superstars to hit the 90-point threshold though and he’s had an excellent campaign so far. I’m sure that he will get boosted by whatever happens on SmackDown, whenever they decide to turn him loose away from the vignettes. His tag stuff with Ricochet earlier this year was incredible and I look forward to what comes next.
3. Daniel Bryan
Matches in 2019: 21 | Points: 91.375
Daniel Bryan needed only 21 matches to get to the #3 spot in the WWE Top 25’s halfway point. Sounds about right, yeah? Bryan’s an incredible worker and you already know that. He’s made the most of everything given to him. Whether it be a PPV match or a TV match, Bryan’s efforts this year have just been outstanding. I’m excited to see what’s to come, since he’ll be working tags and he’s done a great job thus far in that role.
2. Kofi Kingston
Matches in 2019: 28 | Points: 103
Kofi Kingston has taken WWE by storm and as a result, he’s ended all the way up to #2 in the WWE Top 25. I’m not sure anyone could’ve foreseen this, but all Kofi’s done is win and put on great matches since February. It’s really been a delight to watch and he’s really hitting his stride and then some. I’m not sure when this groove will stop, but I really don’t want it to. Kofi’s easily one of the best things going about WWE right now and he’s proven to be a very strong TV worker this year.
Matches in 2019: 37 | Points: 145
Not only does Ricochet have the most matches in WWE by more than a handful of furlongs, but he’s also #1 by quite a lot as well. Ricochet has earned 145 points after six months of action. That was accumulated by getting to work on Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT during the early portion of the year. But it wasn’t just working either, and that shouldn’t just be the only reason he’s up here. No, he’s also been ridiculously good too. I’ve given 35 of his 37 matches this year ***+. 22 of those 35 were given ***1/2+, and eight were at ****+. Those are some ridiculous numbers. I’m excited to see what’s to come, since he’s seemingly pegged to have a program with AJ Styles, and those two can produce absolute dynamite at their peaks. Nevertheless, right now nobody is touching Ricochet in the workload department or the point sone, either. He’s The One and Only, and #1 in the WWE Top 25 midway through 2019.