Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 2021 was, as it was last year, another strange year in wrestling. We had more releases than I would care to remember, the Forbidden Door was blown wide open, WrestleMania was in front of fans again, and Nick Gage wrestled Chris Jericho on a national stage. All the high strangeness in professional wrestling did not stop us from getting another year full of surprises and fantastic matches. I sincerely hope that 2022 is another fantastic year for wrestling. With all this being said, here are the 100 best Pro Wrestlers of 2021.

*As a disclaimer for my list, please consider that I do not watch every WWE event. This list is my personal top 100 and may not reflect the opinions of others that work for ThatHashtagShow and THS Wrestling respectfully. *


It’s tough not to just point to the list of matches Bryan Danielson has had this year and leave it at that. But, for a man that only wrestled thirty-six times this year, he maximized his minutes.

His series of matches to close out his WWE career with Roman Reigns were nothing short of fantastic and made you believe that Danielson could defeat the seemingly undefeatable Head of the Table. When word got out that Danielson’s contract was expiring and he would not resign, everyone knew where they wanted to see him go. He leaped AEW and never stopped. His debut match for All Elite Wrestling was against Kenny Omega. A match that is, by most, considered the Match of the Year.

I do believe in my heart that ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson is incapable of having a bad match. 2022 will most likely bring more of the same from Danielson: Greatness.


If you weren’t aware, Jonathan Gresham is my favorite wrestler. He is someone I will lose my voice for at a live show. Much like the number one wrestler on this list, Gresham makes me believe he can beat anyone at any time with any move. Gresham had a fantastic year, putting pure wrestling back on the map with his over three hundred day reign as Ring of Honor Pure Champion.

He had many MOTY candidates against the likes of Lee Moriarty, Daniel Garcia, and Alex Zayne. Gresham finished the year by capturing the Ring of Honor World Championship at Final Battle. In an emotional match against fellow FOUNDATION member, Jay Lethal. While the future of ROH is up in the air, Gresham will soldier on as their Champion, bringing pure wrestling to every promotion he wrestles for. Gresham looks to keep ROH’s legacy and name on the minds of every wrestling fan in 2022.


With the Junior Heavyweight division far in his rearview mirror, Shingo made the most of his opportunities in 2021. Last year, I predicted that he would be holding either the Heavyweight or Intercontinental Championships before the close of this year. Technically, he has. He started the year off with a MOTY candidate against Jeff Cobb at WrestleKingdom 15. Then, he had a fantastic series of matches with Will Ospreay and captured the NJPW World Heavyweight Championship in a tremendous match against ‘The Rainmaker’ Kazuchika Okada. He’s proven himself against Hiroshi Tanahashi in the Tokyo Dome and looks to prove himself further during the upcoming WrestleKingdom 16 event.

While the task at hand might prove tough for ‘The Last Dragon’, 2022 looks to be another excellent year for the MVP of NJPW.


Another year, another top ten finish in the rankings for ‘The Belt Collector’. Kenny Omega remained consistent in 2021. Whether it be in AEW, IMPACT, or AAA…Omega delivered. He was a standout even in multi-man matches (tags, trios, eight-man). Omega would always push it into another gear when he was defending a championship. His matches against Christian Cage, Andrade El Idolo, Rey Fenix, and Hangman Page were all great. The triple threat match with PAC and Orange Cassidy was also a standout on that show.

Omega ended 2021 without any championships and is taking a well-deserved break after kicking down Forbidden Doors. Hopefully, in 2022, we will see a well-rested and healed Omega continue to shine in professional wrestling.


For the better part of 2021, Kento Miyahara has been considered a tag team wrestler. He, along with tag team partner in NEXTREAM Yuma Aoyagi, started 2021 by winning the AJPW World Tag Team Championships. Championships they held until September of this year. Miyahara reminded us of who he is and what he can do as a singles competitor in two AJPW tournaments: Champion Carnival and the Royal Road Tournament. While he did not win either tournament, he had fantastic showings against the likes of Suwama and his tag team partner Yuma Aoyagi. In fact, the match he had against Jake Lee in the finals of the Champion Carnival is one of my favorite matches of the year.

With the AJPW Triple Crown Championship vacated for the second time in 2021, we could perhaps see Kento Miyahara recapture a championship that has alluded him since early 2020.


The current GHC Heavyweight Champion had a rough year. His friend and tag team partner, Masa Kitamiya, turned on him and left the KONGOH faction. Kitamiya’s hatred for Nakajima had grown so large that a Lucha de Apuestas (Hair vs. Hair) steel cage match was set for the end of June. Nakajima ended up losing the match and his hair. The craziest part about this? Kitamiya and Nakajima were still GHC Tag Team Champions at the time.

After that whole debacle, Nakajima moved on to bigger and better things: the N-1 Victory tournament. He won his block in the tournament and later defeated fellow KONGOH stablemate Kenoh in a fantastic match. Nakajima then went on to defeat Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.

2022 will prove very interesting for Nakajima, as my Wrestler of the Year for 2020 Go Shiozaki has returned from injury. These former friends had a series of outstanding matches in 2020. So look for both of these wrestlers to bring us more of the same in 2022.


2021 was the year of TAIGASTYLE. Moriarty had a breakout year in 2020, and he made the most of his time during 2021. He became the IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion in mid-March by defeating Warhorse and ending his 532-day reign as champion. Like last year, he had a fantastic showing over WrestleMania weekend in multiple promotions. His matches against Lio Rush, Calvin Tankman, and Edith Surreal are just a few of the notable matches from that week. Moriarty added to his already stacked year by debuting in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and having a MOTY candidate with Jonathan Gresham. All of these amazing opportunities happened for Moriarty this year, and we haven’t even mentioned All Elite Wrestling yet.

Moriarty wrestled for AEW’s Dark: Elevation program a handful of times. He had matches against Daniel Garcia, Dante Martin, and Joey Janela. Tony Khan offered him a contract post-match, and he accepted. With Moriarty being All Elite, his opportunities will only skyrocket from here. One of those opportunities came in the form of facing CM Punk on an episode of Dynamite. I am incredibly excited to see what the year 2022 brings for Lee Moriarty.


The Head of the Table proved to us all once again that he is one of the top stars in professional wrestling. After a Coronavirus shortened year for him in 2020, we got a full calendar year to see what Roman could do with his new persona. The Tribal Chief has really come into his own as a fully developed character in 2021.

The Bloodline is must-see television on Friday nights. Every segment that Reigns is involved in feels like a big moment, and they’re always entertaining. This goes double for his matches. Reigns had match-of-the-year candidates against Kevin Owens, Bryan Danielson, Edge, and Cesaro. Flanked by Paul Heyman and The Usos, Roman is seemingly unstoppable. However, Roman is great at making you believe he could be beatable. He has held the Universal Championship for an entire calendar year now, and it doesn’t even look like Brock Lesnar could stop him. The Tribal Chief ruled over WWE and Smackdown in 2021. Reigns is in his prime, and nothing looks to be slowing him down any time soon.


The rise of AEW’s first female signee has been a thing of beauty to watch. Much like Roman Reigns’ “Tribal Chief” persona, Britt Baker’s development into the dentist we love to hate was amazing. She is not only the face of the Women’s Division in All Elite Wrestling; she is one of the top stars in the company overall. Baker’s fantastic year is tied to two feuds: Thunder Rosa and Hikaru Shida.

Britt Baker’s feud with Thunder Rosa was a must-see. The chemistry between these two is red hot, and audiences could not wait to see them fight. 2021 saw one of the craziest matches between these two: an Unsanctioned Lights Out Anything Goes match. An absolutely brutal and bloody match, where both competitors stopped at nothing to get the win. This match alone could lay claim to both Baker and Rosa being in my top ten of the year. But we can’t stop there.

While Hikaru Shida brought prestige to the AEW Women’s World Championship, Baker has entirely elevated it to another level. Baker ended Shida’s 372 reign as champion at this year’s Double or Nothing event. Since then, Baker has had notable title defenses against Kris Statlander, Ruby Soho, and Tay Conti. She looks to start 2022 by defeating an opponent she has yet to capture a win against, Riho. With the TBS Women’s Championship waiting in the wings, Dr. Britt Baker DMD looks to hold on to the AEW Women’s World Championship and make it the greatest women’s championship in all of wrestling.

10. Yuma Aoyagi (Last Year: UNRANKED)

2020 was an interesting year for Aoyagi. He ended up turning on his tag team partner in NEXTREAM, Kento Miyahara. Aoyagi then unsuccessfully challenged his former partner for the AJPW Triple Crown Championship. Having the better part of 2020 to think about his betrayal, he approached Miyahara about a reunion. Kento accepted, and the two ended 2020 by winning the Real World Tag League tournament.

2021 started with gold for Aoyagi and Kento, as two days into the new year, the team captured the AJPW World Tag Team Championships. However, being tag team champions did not stop Aoyagi, as he challenged Suwama the very next day for the Triple Crown Championship. While unsuccessful in this attempt to capture singles gold, Aoyagi had two back-to-back MOTY candidates, and we were only three days into 2021. Yuma, much like Kento, had a fantastic showing in the 2021 Champion Carnival. One of his standout performances of the year was in a triple threat match for the then-vacant AJPW Triple Crown Championship. He took on Jake Lee and, again, Kento Miyahara. And again, Yuma was unsuccessful in capturing the biggest prize in All Japan.

NEXTREAM ended up losing the AJPW World Tag Team Championships, and the AJPW Triple Crown Championship is vacant again. Could 2022 be the year Yuma Aoyagi finally captures the Triple Crown Championship?


11 & 12. The Young Bucks (Last Year: 9 & 10)

13. Rey Fenix (Last Year: 26)

14. Suwama (Last Year: UNRANKED)

15. Kota Ibushi (Last Year: 4)

16. Eddie Kingston (Last Year: 66)

17. Hangman Page (Last Year: 12)

18. Darby Allin (Last Year: 46)

19. Tam Nakano (Last Year: 84)

20. Daisuke Harada (Last Year: UNRANKED)

21. Daniel Garcia (Last Year: UNRANKED)

22. Masa Kitamiya (Last Year: UNRANKED)

23. PAC (Last Year: 53)

24. Pentagon Jr. (Last Year: 37)

25. Kevin Owens (Last Year: 93)

26. Jon Moxley (Last Year: 5)

27. Thunder Rosa (Last Year: 80)

28. Hiroshi Tanahashi (Last Year: 67)

29. Jake Lee (Last Year: UNRANKED)

30. Naomichi Marufuji (Last Year: 87)

31. Mayu Iwatani (Last Year: 8)

32. Konosuke Takeshita (Last Year: UNRANKED)

33. Miro (Last Year: UNRANKED)

36. Giulia (Last Year: 54)

37. Jun Akiyama (Last Year: UNRANKED)

38. Tetsuya Naito (Last Year: 2)

39. Takashi Suigura (Last Year: UNRANKED)

40. Arez (Last Year: UNRANKED)

41. Bandido (Last Year: UNRANKED)

42. Kevin Ku (Last Year: UNRANKED)

43. Dax Harwood (Last Year: 39)

44. Kazusada Higuchi (Last Year: UNRANAKED)

45. Hikaru Shida (Last Year: 30)

46. Laredo Kid (Last Year: UNRANKED)

47. MJF (Last Year: 77)

48. Cesaro (Last Year: UNRANKED)

49. Serena Deeb (Last Year: UNRANKED)

50. Sammy Guevara (Last Year: 48)

51. Lio Rush (Last Year: UNRANKED)

52. Kazushi Sakuraba (Last Year: UNRANKED)

53. Cash Wheeler (Last Year: 38)

54. Bianca Belair (Last Year: UNRANKED)

55. Kazuchika Okada (Last Year: 11)

56. Edge (Last Year: UNRANKED)

57. Yoshiko (Last Year: UNRANKED)

58. Kenoh (Last Year: 23)

59. & 60. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (Last Year: UNRANKED)

61. Myron Reed (Last Year: UNRANKED)

62. Orange Cassidy (Last Year: 51)

63. Hajime Ohara (Last Year: UNRANKED)

64. Aramis (Last Year: UNRANKED)

65. Tsukasa Fujimoto (Last Year: UNRANKED)

66. AJ Gray (Last Year: UNRANKED)

67. Sasha Banks (Last Year: 13)

68. Syuri (Last Year: UNRANKED)

69. Yukio Sakaguchi (Last Year: UNRANKED)

70. Dominic Garrini (Last Year: UNRANKED)

71. Chris Jericho (Last Year: 40)

72. Jay White (Last Year: 79)

73. Jeff Cobb (Last Year: UNRANKED)

74. Sami Zayn (Last Year: UNRANKED)

75. Seth Rollins (Last Year: UNRANKED)

76. Shuji Ishikawa (Last Year: UNRANKED)

77. CM Punk (Last Year: UNRANKED)

78. Lance Archer (Last Year: UNRANKED)

79. Keiji Muto (Last Year: UNRANKED)

80. Seiki Yoshioka (Last Year: UNRANKED)

81. Billie Starkz (Last Year: UNRANKED)

82 & 83. James Drake & Zack Gibson (Last Year: UNRANKED)

84 & 85. Nash Carter & Wes Lee (Last Year: UNRANKED)

86 & 87. Santana & Ortiz (Last Year: 41 & 42)

88. Black Taurus (Last Year: UNRANKED)

89. Utami Hayashishita (Last Year: UNRANKED)

90. Jungle Boy (Last Year: 64)

91. Alex Zayne (Last Year: UNRANKED)

92. Tay Conti (Last Year: UNRANKED)

93. Hiromu Takahashi (Last Year: 20)

94. Wardlow (Last Year: UNRANKED)

95. Taiji Ishimori (Last Year: UNRANKED)

96. Suzu Suzuki (Last Year: UNRANKED)

97. JD Drake (Last Year: UNRANKED)

98. Edith Surreal (Last Year: UNRANKED)

99. Shun Skywalker (Last Year: 73)

100. AZM (Last Year: UNRANKED)

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