While 2020 seems to blow by and drag on at the same time, the January 2021 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) is here — and Bayley, WWE’s SmackDown Women’s Champion, has claimed the #1 spot on PWI’s Women’s 100 list.
Bayley has been the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship for 369 days, so far, making her the longest reigning champion to have held this title. In addition to being one of the best workers in the ring, Bayley is known for evolving her formerly bubbly character into one that is an antihero who consistently compels fans with her dastardly deeds, take-no-prisoners offense, and ego-infused promos. Since her turn to the darkside, everything about Bayley’s presentation has changed — and I think she’s better than ever.
As you can see from the list above, women’s wrestling is at its zenith. All of these impressive female competitors are being honored by PWI for their blood, sweat, and tears. I’m happy for them, and I’m very excited for PWI because it’s one of the few magazines in a digital world that’s thriving.
Beginning with the December 2020 issue, PWI has switched from six issues a year to nine. This means a new issue almost every six weeks. In addition to this, the February 2021 issue of PWI will include the publication’s first-ever “Tag Team 50,” ranking the top tag teams worldwide, regardless of gender, across all promotions. In light of the recent death of Road Warrior Animal, who was one half of the greatest tag team in professional wrestling history, I couldn’t think of a better way to complete the the trifecta of lists produced by this revered publication — PWI “500,” “Women’s 100,” and “Tag Team 50.” Whether you’re an old-school PWI fan like me or newbie, now’s the time to subscribe. In times like these, we all need a fantastical world that we can escape to. Professional wrestling provides us with just that, and PWI delivers the best coverage and analysis around.