“The Best Wrestler” Debate: Does It Actually Matter

Monday Night RAW

The topic of “best wrestler” is one often discussed. The issue is that fans aren’t the ones debating the topic this time – it’s the wrestling personalities themselves. Such discussions aren’t anything new; the yearly PWI-500 and various End-Of-Year awards typically tend to spur this debate. However, there’s just something that feels wrong about the wrestlers (and wrestling personalities) themselves arguing about this.

We’ve heard Jim Ross proclaim Randy Orton and many others have said the same. Then you have Chris Jericho declaring Kenny Omega as the best. Roman Reigns always gets his mention. The big personal question after seeing all this debate is pretty straightforward: “Who cares?”

“Randy is at the top of his game right now. There’s nobody in WWE or anywhere else that’s better than Randy Orton in my view. I know he’s controversial in real life but there’s some magic surrounding that.”

The inexplicably polarizing comments of Jim Ross, from the podcast Grilling JR

The quality of WWE programming has been at an all-time low. Randy Orton is fresh off a bad feud with The Fiend – one which saw him burning the man/demon to a crisp; the same feud which saw Randy throwing up used car oil various times as WWE staff simply shrug it off as “just another week in the ThunderDome”. How exactly did this feud highlight Jim Ross’ chosen “Best Wrestler in the World”? It didn’t. Orton, now paired with Matt Riddle, while certainly refreshing, is not a “look at what an amazing wrestler he is” type of scenario, either.

You look at the other side of the coin, All Elite Wrestling‘s (AEW) Kenny Omega, and you aren’t exactly getting the same ‘Best Bout Machine’ who left the world in awe in the midst of his feud(s) with Kazuchika Okada. That’s not to say Kenny is “worse” now than before; he plays the role of overtly-talented but cowardly heel well. While he does have great matches, multiplied by the fact that he appears now for AEW, IMPACT Wrestling, and occasionally AAA, the grand majority of them do culminate with a grave amount of interference that can be grating, especially with its increasing level of frequency.

Quality of work is for the most part a subjective topic. Jim Ross can say Randy Orton is the best. Chris Jericho can say Kenny Omega is the best. John Cena can say Roman Reigns is the best. My grandfather says R-Truth is the best. The true beauty of pro wrestling nowadays is how much variety there is. If you don’t like what Raw & SmackDown offer (which tends to be a common trend), you have a great variety of promotions and characters to enjoy elsewhere. Sometimes, the “Best Wrestler” may not be used to the best of their abilities.

Seeing some of the most talented individuals in all of pro wrestling bicker like children over who’s “the best” is one of the silliest “controversies” that has cropped up in the wrestling circle in some time and, frankly, it doesn’t matter too much if their output isn’t good enough.

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