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June 29, 2018

Weekly Pro Wrestling Rankings June 29

June 29, 2018
By: Mike Johnson

Every week here at FITE, we feature the Top Ten ranked personalities in the world of professional wrestling. Unlike other combat sports, pro wrestling cannot be measured in just wins and losses, especially when the drama and excitement of the genre is specifically based around not just the physical performance, but the excitement level created by its combatants. Thus, our top ten measures the most newsworthy performers in the business, who's momentum drives not just their own career paths but the promotions they compete for.

Brock Lesnar

1. Brock Lesnar

Leave it to the WWE Universal Champion to be the most talked about combatant in the pro wrestling genre without even having been anywhere near a wrestling ring in months. WWE announced on Monday Night Raw that a planned match to determine the next contender to Lesnar's throne at the Extreme Rules PPV had been canceled due to a contractual issue. How much of this is creative storytelling and how much of this is real remains to be uncovered, but Paul Heyman's online threat about Brock looking for "ultimate opportunities" certainly makes one ponder where Brock plans to make good on his threat to return to the UFC. With WWE changing their creative decisions and giant question marks floating above anything related to "The Beast", Lesnar is a great white shark churning his own water and everyone else is caught in the riptide.

Braun Strowman

2. Braun Strowman

While not the strongest week from a creative standpoint for WWE's Raw brand, Braun Strowman remains the competitor standing out after having captured a Money in the Bank briefcase that guarantees him an eventual shot at Brock Lesnar. This week, WWE has back to Strowman's antics as a powerhouse, showcasing him flipping over Kevin Owens' car as a way to torment the Canadian star. In a time period bereft of super heroes that are larger than life in pro wrestling, Strowman stands over all of his competition – and his importance is only going to continue to grow in time. Like a movie monster marauding over a city, it appears nothing will stop Braun Strowman.

Dalton Castle

3. Dalton Castle

The story of Ring of Honor's Best in the World PPV this Friday on FITE should be whether ROH World Champion Dalton Castle can defeat two game competitors in Cody and Marty Scurll, but instead the focus is on whether Castle can even survive the match physically. At the end of 2017, Castle captured the Championship and seemed poised to strut into 2018, cutting an eclectic swath across the field of competition. Instead, a haunting injury to his back continues to stall Castle at the gate. He has taken time off to convalesce and has performed admirably in the ring, but whether Castle will be able to overcome and thrive in the wake of the injuries remains a riddle that has yet to be solved. With two world class talents against him, Dalton Castle is backed up against a wall. This week could tell the tale of the future path for the preening Peacock of professional wrestling.

Team Hell No

4. Team Hell No

This past Tuesday on WWE Smackdown Live, it appeared that Daniel Bryan was going to be overpowered by The Bludgeon Brothers when Kane returned from the darkness (and politics) to rescue Bryan and reunite their Team Hell No tandem. While die-hard fans certainly want to see Bryan in the middle of the WWE Championship picture, WWE has taken a more conservative tact with Bryan's return. The addition of Kane to Bryan's comeback run has garnered a lot of fan attention and opens the door for the team to not only reprise their fun antics but potentially crystallize the WWE tag team scene and bring it back to some sort of prominence.

Roman Reigns

5. Roman Reigns

While his path to Brock Lesnar remains muddy, Roman Reigns continues to excel as a performer for World Wrestling Entertainment's Raw brand. This week, although he was on the losing end of a tag team bout against The Revival, WWE crafted his rivalry against Bobby Lashley well, previewing their eventual showdown. Then, Reigns interjected himself into the main event scene, rescuing his former Shield compadre Seth Rollins from Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Reigns is old reliable and continues, despite the rejection of a considerable portion of the WWE audience, to impress.

Dolph Ziggler

6. Dolph Ziggler

Last week, the FITE Ratings noted that Ziggler has rebounded from oblivion to showing signs of life with his shocking WWE Intercontinental Championship victory over Seth Rollins. This week, the comeback tour continued with Ziggler headlining all of the Raw live events before competing in the main event of Monday Night Raw's broadcast from San Diego against Rollins in pay-per-view quality encounter. Ziggler is performing as if he is possessed by a demon, knowing full well that the only way to exorcize the past is to build his new future as a main event player. If this week is any indication, he may soon end up at the top of the FITE rankings based on work ethic alone.

Marty Scurll

7. Marty Scurll

The "Villain" has long been a potent and dangerous performer, epitomizing the best and the worst of Bullet Club, but the one thing he has never had the chance to be is portrayed as a legitimate main event performer. This Friday at Ring of Honor's Best in the World live on FITE, Scurll steps into the ring alongside Cody to challenge ROH Champion Dalton Castle. With Castle's back in disarray and with his dysfunctional relationship with Cody on full display, the time is now for Scurll. The British star has always been a finger-breaking antagonist but if he's going to elevate himself to the next level, this week is his best chance. All eyes are on him to see whether he takes advantage of the situation.

Joey Janella

8. Joey Janella

The most independent of all independent talents created a tsunami with his shocking debut in EVOLVE this past week. Live on FITE, Janela stunned the world by capturing the WWN Championship, upending Austin Theory. The questions now remain – how does WWN, with its symbiotic relationship to World Wrestling Entertainment maintain that tranquil, beneficial engagement with WWE when there is no way to keep Janela from causing storms both in the ring and on social media. The Janela has spun WWN off its axis and there's no way to predict his or their future beyond absolute chaos. If that isn't newsworthy, what would be?

Austin Aries

9. Austin Aries

The Impact Wrestling Champion may have Moose in his sights at Slammiversary, but this past week, he was making headlines Down Under. Aries walked into the World Series Wrestling tour of the continent as their Champion, only to lose the belt. On the final night of the tour, however, Aries regained the belt from John Morrison, putting on a pro wrestling clinic for everyone watching on FITE. Whether Aries truly is "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" is up for debate, but there is no denying he is one of the most versatile, impressive competitors in professional wrestling. With another Championship win notched, it's off to Slammiversary!

Zack Gibson

10. Zack Gibson

The British star became an overnight global sensation when he competed in four matches over the course of two days to win the WWE UK Championship Tournament and then go on to challenge UK Champion Pete Dunne. While Gibson failed to defeat "The Bruiserweight", he captured the hearts and imaginations of fans everywhere with his emotional promos and intense, physical style. Gibson has been one of the stars that has helped define and revolutionize the modern British professional wrestling scene and he's one the path to doing the same for pro wrestling in a global scale. His debut in the FITE Rankings is just a sign of what's to come.

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com .