Skip to main content

Today I wanted to do something a little different and spotlight the past Indie Talent Showcase wrestlers who made this year's PWI500. The PWI500 is a list of the top 500 wrestlers put out by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. The list takes kayfabe accomplishments into account, as well as overall impact on the industry that year. The year period runs starting in the middle of the year to the middle of the next year, rather than January to December, which is why the list is being put out in September. Of course, the list isn't the only measuring stick of good wrestlers, but in part due to its longevity of running since 1991, it has become something the industry looks forward to every year. We're going to look at which Indie Talent Showcase wrestlers made the list, beginning at 500 and working up to the top.

akira

Akira-489

Coming in at 489 is Akira. The PWI took his winning the Masters of Pain into account, but since the end of the evaluation period he's also won the Asylum Deathmatch Tournament. Expect him to keep rising.

colby cover

Colby Corino-487

Just above Akira is the most recent Indie Talent Showcase name, Colby Corino. Considering what Colby has already done since the end of the evaluation period, I'm very excited for next year. PWI mentioned his winning the Lil' Sebastian Memorial cup with NINA as well as debuting on 205 Live.

timmy lou retton vs makowski

T.I.M.-464

Still being listed as Timmy Lou Retton, The Infinite Man T.I.M made the list this year based on his time with the Prestige Title in AML, and specific note was given to his match with Chris Bey. I told you all that match was good! So happy to see him get his due here as a singles star.

alex zayne 2

Alex Zayne-434

Being listed under Ari Sterling, Zayne was recognized for his work in GCW, NJPW, and WWE. They mentioned at the end that he is going back to his Alex Zayne name. Based on the schedule we already have, Zayne is going to have a great year.

masha title

Masha Slamovich-420

Hahahahahahahahahahaha Masha got the drug number. This makes me, Masha, and everyone else on Twitter very happy. All blazing aside, Masha had a great year and CFU's Shoot to Thrill tournament where she was the runner up was mentioned as a reason for her placement. They also mentioned her time in Japan as a significant factor.

willow nighingale

Willow Nightingale-409

Willow was mentioned due to her time in AEW Dark, GCW, and ROH. The Babe with the Power has also had a great run in Women's Wrestling Revolution+ lately, and had an amazing match with Wheeler Yuta in Beyond that was after the evaluation period.

manders

1 Called Manders-335

Manders was recognized for his work in Second Gear Crew, especially his tag matches with Matthew Justice. Manders has been a bit of a beast lately putting in multiple multi-match weekends over the past year. He's been an incredibly reliable, strong worker, and if he gets a longer title reign he could be even higher.

sea stars 2

Team Sea Stars: Ashley Vox-318 and Delmi Exo-314

Since they had a tag team Indie Talent Showcase article I'm combining them here, but they've both had a good year in tag and singles matches. Their tag title reigns throughout the country were mentioned by PWI, as well as Ashley's matches in Beyond and Delmi's run in Limitless.

arik royal

Arik Royal-286

ACEGAWD makes his return to the PWI 500 at 286. He has been on an absolute tear as the incredibly dominant Action Champion. He's beaten just about everyone, and it's been great seeing him on the run of his career lately.

matt makowski cover

Matt Makowski-279

After winning both Frogsport and Greatest Rivals Round Robin it's no wonder that Matt Makowski ranked so high on this year's list. Makowski has been all over the place lately, and quickly become one of my favorites. They also mentioned that he made it to the semi finals of the Super 8, which was a great match.

daniel garcia champion

Daniel Garcia-233

Red Death was noted for his title reign in Limitless, and since the end of the evaluation period that reign has only gotten better. He also had that banger of a time limit draw with Wheeler Yuta, and has been shining even more on AEW.

laynie luck 2

Laynie Luck-230

The Party Unicorn was noted for her Zelo Pro Women's Title run while the men's was vacant. As such she was the only singles champion in the company. Her Freelance Underground Independent Title reign was also given a lot of credit for her placement, and while I was at first a little surprised, she definitely earned this spot.

blake christian

Trey Baxter-164

The very first Indie Talent Showcase ever, Blake Christian, now known as Trey Baxter, jumps from 404 to 164 this year. His signing with WWE surely played a big part in that, but his trilogy with Lio Rush can't be overlooked. He of course also had great runs in NJPW and Impact.

cara noir

Cara Noir-144

The Progress Champion ranks in at 144, and for good reason. While the 16 Carat Gold win doesn't qualify here, his run in the Catch Grand Prix does where he went 5-0-1. He has a great run going in Progress, and beating some big names could push him even higher.

wheeler yuta 3

Wheeler Yuta-96

We're up into the top 100 now, and we arrive at the current Independent Wrestling TV Champion. Yuta's match with Lee alone could get him on this list, but add in all his title defenses which have been great with the likes of Willow Nightingale and Dave Cole, and no wonder he's in the top 100. If his run keeps going and his time in AEW becomes permanent we could see him even higher next year. 

effy

Effy-95

Just one spot above Yuta is Effy. Effy has become one of the biggest stars of the indie scene. Between putting on amazing matches with names like Edith Surreal and Parrow, and running Big Gay Brunch, it's obvious he would end up so high. Effy has been riding high lately, and continues to put on great shows every time.

lee wins

Lee Moriarty-47

Lee was mentioned for his big matches in GCW lately, but his time as the IWTV Champion was fantastic! The best part for me though is Masked Wrestler where he won the chance to fight Warhorse. That match with Warhorse was truly amazing.

trish adora

Trish Adora-44

This made me smile. The highest ranked woman on the list and the highest ranked independent wrestler overall, Trish Adora deserves this. Her reign as the first ever Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Champion got a lot of praise, as it deserved, but also her iron match with Tony Deppen. Now that she's working ROH as well, we have a lot to look forward to. Congratulations Trish Adora!

Related Articles