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