This list is based on a combination of in-ring ability, presence, match quality, charisma, crowd reaction and promo ability). With short write-ups on the top five.
There is no denying, “once you go Bryan, there’s no point tryin’. Daniel Bryan has taken the ball and run with it. Bryan can’t go 2 weeks without having a legitimate match of the year contender. The man with the most simple and most fun to chant catchphrase ever is consistently getting the best and the loudest responses from the WWE Universe. And for you people with a hard-on for promos, Bryan can talk shit with the best of ‘um. And don’t forget the beard!
2. “THE SWISS SUPERMAN” ANTONIO CESARO
The best in-ring wrestler alive. No exceptions. Antonio Cesaro has been somewhat quiet on the main shows, because he’s been carrying Jack Swagger’s no talent ass. But the “Swiss Superman” has managed to take over both of WWE’s in-ring heavy shows, NXT & Main Event. With classic performance against NXT newcomer and longtime indy phenom Sami Zayan, Kofi Kingston on the smaller shows and a classic match on RAW with Daniel Bryan, Cesaro is making it impossible for WWE to ignore him any longer. If Cesaro is not one day a multiple time WWE Champion, may I suggest Vince McMahon retire.
3. “THE WRESTLER” KATSUYORI SHIBATA
The nickname says it all. Katsuyori Shibata is an old school submission wrestler. Combine that with his bad motherfucker way, his brutal face kicks, and his rib crunching knees and you have a recipe for the perfect wrestler. One of the two show stealers at this year’s G1 Climax, Shibata has stolen the show in nearly every match he’s wrestled since returning to New Japan Pro-Wrestling last year.
4. TOMOHIRO ISHII
Tomohiro Ishii was for a long time a lower card journeyman of sorts in NJPW. Around 2009 or 2010, Ishii stopped playing around. Every singles match, which were rare started to stand out. But 2011, more intelligent fans started to notice what a hidden gem Ishii really was. In 2012, many more people jumped on the Ishii bandwagon, as he would often steal the show on cards with much bigger stars and big match ups. A feud with the far less talented Hirooki Goto this year woke up the more mainstream fans. And at the G1, everyone seemed to be behind the man. If you ask most puroresu fans, their G1 MVP was either Tomohiro Ishii or Katsuyori Shibata. Now that the wrestling world knows his name, can Ishii do the impossible and finally win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? Stay tuned!
5. “THE BEAST” BROCK LESNAR
“The Beast” may certainly be the best, but his light schedule prevents him from making the top three. Just imagine how good Lesnar could be if he would take ten matches a year, instead of three. The man would be unstoppable. Before the match with Punk, Lesnar was tasked with working with Triple H, a strange clash of styles, to state the obvious. But in his most recent match with Triple H and in his instant classic with CM Punk, Brock Lesnar has proven that he can perform as good as anyone, if not better. Along with Paul Heyman, Lesnar just may make the WWE his personal playground. Fear the beast!
6. CM PUNK
7. JOHN CENA
8. MINORU SUZUKI
9. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
9. KAZUSHI SAKURABA
11. MARK HENRY