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At Look Back At: The 1998 PWI 500 Rankings

It’s the eighth installment looking back the PWI 500 magazines that have become a popular publication over the years. 1998 saw the WWF get a lead in the ratings war, while WCW was still highly popular. ECW continued to grow throughout the year, as well.

Unlike last year, the number one ranked wrestler is a toss up between a WCW wrestler and a WWF wrestler. There isn’t controversy attached to this years ranking.

Reminder, I don’t look at every wrestler in the magazine, but a full list of the rankings can be found HERE.

The grading period was from August 1st 1997 to August 31st, 1998.

Steve Austin

The Top Ten:
1.) Steve Austin
2.) Bill Goldberg
3.) Mitsuhuaru Misawa
4.) Diamond Dallas Page
5.) The Undertaker
6.) Kenta Kobashi
7.) Booker T
8.) Ken Shamrock
9.) Jushin Liger
10.) Chris Jericho

The rise of Steve Austin in the WWF leads him to the number one spot in this years PWI 500 and rightfully so. Despite breaking his neck at SummerSlam, Austin was able to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship from rival Owen Hart. Stunned Vince McMahon for the first time at MSG in September. Had to vacate the belt due to the injury, but returned to action for the Survivor Series pay per view where he again pinned Owen Hart to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship for a second time. At the December In Your House, Austin retained the championships against Rocky Maivia. The following night, Austin gave the title to Rocky Maivia as his quest for the WWF World Championship began. Austin won the 1998 Royal Rumble match and would go on to defeat WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV. Austin successfully defended the WWF World Championship on two occasions against Dude Love at Unforgiven and Over the Edge. Lost to Kane at King of the Ring in a first blood match, but regained the championship the next night on RAW. Won the WWF World Tag Team Championships with the Undertaker at Fully Loaded. Retained the WWF World Championship against The Undertaker at SummerSlam.

Remarkably, Goldberg lands at the second spot despite not getting much traction or much competition until the spring of ’98, for the most part. Made his WCW debut on September 22nd defeating Hugh Morrus. Feuded with Steve McMichael winning their match at Starrcade. Goldberg routinely defeated undercard talents in less than three minutes on WCW programming. Defeated Perry Saturn at Spring Stampede and the next night on Nitro won the WCW United States Championship from Raven. Retained the WCW US Championship against Saturn at Slamboree and defeated Konnan at the Great American Bash. Managed to defeat Scott Hall on the July 6th Nitro before pinning Hollywood Hogan later in the night to win the WCW World Championship. Six days later, Goldberg retained against Curt Hennig at Bash at the Beach. Was able to overcome the odds at Road Wild winning the NWO invitational battle royal. Was involved in a feud with the Giant at the end of the grading period. Also, Goldberg had not lost a match to this point.

Misawa successfully defended the Triple crown against Juan Akiyama on January 26th. Won the 1998 Champion’s Carnival Tournament on April 18th. Managed to break the record for most consecutive title defenses when he pinned Johnny Ace in his ninth defense. Despite having injuries, fought a valiant fight against Toshikai Kawada when he loss the title on May 1st. Fought Kawada to a thirty-minute draw on March 29th.

DDP started the grading period feuding with Curt Hennig and Randy Savage. Loss to Savage at Halloween Havoc, but was able to end ’97 by winning the WCW United States Championship from Hennig at Starrcade. Successfully defended the WCW US Championship against Chris Benoit at Superbrawl. Walked out of UnCensored with the WCW US Championship after a wild three way match with Benoit and Raven. Nearly defeated Sting for the WCW World Championship on March 23rd. Lost the championship to Raven at Spring Stampede, but won the feud ending cage match at Slamboree. Teamed with Karl Malone in a losing effort against Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach in July. Found himself aligned with Jay Leno in tag team matches against Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff at Road Wild, which they won.

Undertaker started the grading period as the WWF World Champion, but lost the championship at SummerSlam to Bret Hart thanks to Shawn Michaels hitting him with a chair. Led to a feud with Michaels and the first ever Hell In A Cell match, which Michaels won when Kane made his debut. Taker would lose to WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble in a casket match. Managed to defeat his brother Kane at WrestleMania XIV and Unforgiven in an inferno match. Defeated Mankind at King of the Ring in a memorable Hell In A Cell match. Won the WWF Tag Team Championships with Steve Austin at Fully Loaded defeating Kane and Mankind. Failed to win the WWF World Championship from Steve Austin at SummerSlam to end the grading period.

Kobashi won his second All-Japan Triple Crown when he defeated Toshiaki Kawada on June 12th. Got his first singles victory over Kawada in April. Proved his critics wrong when he successfully defended the Triple Crown against Johnny Ace just a few weeks after winning it. Was victorious over Jun Akiyama on July 24th. Teamed Ace to upset Stan Hansen and Vader on May 1st.

Booker T

Booker T started the grading period teaming with Stevie Ray until Ray got injured in the fall. Thus, Booker branched out into a singles role and won the WCW Television Championship from Disco Inferno on the December 29th edition of Nitro. Successfully defended the TV Championship against Rick Martel at WCW Souled Out. Regained the WCW TV Championship from Martel at Superbrawl VIII and successfully defended against Perry Saturn in the same night. Retained the WCW Television Championship against Eddie Guerrero at UnCensored. Defeated Chris Benoit at Spring Stampede. Regained the WCW TV Championship from Fit Finlay at the Great American Bash after beating Chris Benoit earlier in the night to earn the shot. Would be out with injury at the end of the grading period.

“The Worlds Most Dangerous Man” started the grading period feuding with the British Bulldog failing to win the WWF European Championship at SummerSlam. Was the sole survivor at Survivor Series in an elimination match against the Nation of Domination. Failed to win the WWF World Championship from Shawn Michaels in December. Turned his attention to the WWF Intercontinental Championship held by the Rock. Shamrock would get shots at the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania XIV losing both matches by disqualification. Won the 1998 King of the Ring tournament finally getting a win over the Rock in the finals of the tournament. Began a feud with Owen Hart where they’d fight at the Hart Dungeon, which Owen won. Their feud would come to an end at SummerSlam when Shamrock won a Lion Dens match.

Jushin Liger won his ninth IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Shinjiro Otani on February 7th. Retained against Kendo Ka Shin on April 4th in a tough title defense. Retained the championship by defeating Koji Kanemoto. Had a lot of influence in the development of a tag team division for junior heavyweights.

Chris Jericho started the grading period as a mid card baby face who was the WCW Cruiserweight Champion before losing to Eddie Guerrero at Fall Brawl. Developed a new heel persona in early ’98 which led to Jericho winning the WCW Cruiserweight Championship from Rey Mysterio Jr. at WCW Souled Out. Retained the championship against Juventud Guerrera, causing Guerrera to lose his mask in the process. Pulled out a victory over Dean Malenko at WCW UnCensored sending Malenko into possibly retirement. Dominated the cruiserweight division for several months which included another victory over Prince Iaukea at Spring Stampede. Lost the WCW Cruiserweight Championship to a returning Dean Malenko, who was under a disguise, at Slamboree in May. Regained the vacant WCW Cruiserweight Championship at the Great American Bash beating Malenko. Lost the championship to Juventud Guerrea at Road Wild on August 8th. Ended the grading period winning the WCW Television Championship on August 10th defeating Stevie Ray.

Sting

11.) The Rock
12.) Sting
16.) Randy Savage
21.) Kane

Rock quickly became the leader of the Nation to start the grading period essentially getting rid of Faarooq. Held the WWF Intercontinental Championship from December ’97 to August ’98 defeating the likes of Ken Shamrock and Triple H before losing the title to Triple H at SummerSlam in a ladder match.

Sting remained on the sidelines attacking the New World Order until he got a match with Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Starrcade. After a year and a half, Sting returned to action at Starrcade defeating Hogan in a controversial match. Regained the vacant WCW World Championship defeating Hogan a second time at Superbrawl in February. Retained the WCW World Championship at UnCensored against Scott Hall. Lost the gold to Randy Savage at Spring Stampede. Teamed with The Giant to win the WCW World Tag Team Championships at Slamboree. The team would be short-lived when Sting joined the Wolfpack and feuded with Giant, winning against his former partner at the Great American Bash in June.

Savage started the grading period with a loss to The Giant at Road Wild ’97. Teamed with Scott Hall to beat DDP and Lex Luger and Fall Brawl. Won his feud with DDP at Halloween Havoc in a Las Vegas Death Match. Lost two pay per view matches against Lex Luger at Souled Out and Superbrawl. Fought Hulk Hogan to a no contest in a steel cage match at UnCensored. Won the WCW World Championship from Sting at Spring Stampede, but loss the title to Hogan the next night on Nitro. Got a disqualification victory over Bret Hart at Slamboree. Teamed with Roddy Piper in a losing effort against Hogan and Hart at the Great American Bash. Right after that match, Savage was defeated by Piper. Savage would be sidelined with a knee injury for the remainder of the year.

Kane made his debut in October costing Undertaker his Hell In A Cell match against Shawn Michaels. Kane would also trap Taker inside a casket at the Royal Rumble and lit it on fire leading into a match with Taker at WrestleMania XIV. Kane lost matches against Taker at Mania and at Unforgiven in April, which was an inferno match. Became number one contender to the WWF World Championship and won a first blood match against Austin at King of the Ring. However, his reign lasted one day as he lost it back to Austin on RAW the next night. Formed an uneasy alliance with Mankind, which saw them win the WWF Tag Team Championships and then feud when Kane didn’t help Mankind at SummerSlam losing the titles to the New Age Outlaws.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley

24.) Hunter Hearst Helmsley
26.) Mick Foley
30.) Shane Douglas
33.) Sabu
35.) Dean Malenko

Helmsley began the grading period losing to Mankind in a steel cage match at SummerSlam. ‘Defeated” Shawn Michaels to win the WWF European Championship at the end of ’97. Lost the gold when Goldust replaced him in a match against Owen Hart and he lost. Regained the championship on the March 16th RAW and held onto the championship until July 14th losing to D’Lo Brown. Became the leader DX when Shawn Michaels left due to injury. Won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from The Rock at SummerSlam to end the grading period.

Foley competed as all three characters (Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love) at the Royal Rumble, but failed to win the Rumble match. Formed a team with Terry Funk winning the WWF Tag Team Championships from the New Age Outlaws in a dumpster match at WrestleMania XIV. However, they’d lose the titles the following night inside a steel cage. Failed to defeat Steve Austin for the WWF World Championship at Unforgiven and Over the Edge. Lost a classic Hell In A Cell match against The Undertaker at the King of the Ring. Held the WWF Tag Team Championships with Kane.

Douglas started the grading period winning the ECW Championship at Hardcore Heaven involving both Terry Funk and Sabu. Lost the championship to Bam-Bam Bigelow in October, but regained the gold at November To Remember. Successfully defended the championship against the very popular Al Snow at Wrestlepalooza in May. Suffered a serious elbow injury and was sidelined for several months.

Sabu was ECW Champion for eight days in August losing the gold at Hardcore Heaven. Had a blood feud with the Sandman winning a tables and ladders match at November To Remember and a dueling canes match at Living Dangerously. Failed to win the ECW Television Championship from partner Rob Van Dam. Won the ECW Tag Team Championships with RVD in June. Successfully defended against Hayabusa and Jinsei Shinzaki at Heatwave to end the grading period.

Last years number one wrestler, Dean Malenko, didn’t have a great year. Lost to Jeff Jarrett at Fall Brawl and failed to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship from Eddie Guerrero at Starrcade. Wouldn’t be on pay per view for the first two months of ’98 and lost against Chris Jericho at UnCensored. Returned at Slamboree in May to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, but gave it up and lost to Jericho at Great American Bash June. Wasn’t able to defeat Jericho when the gold was on the line.

Bret Hart in action against Randy Savage

36.) Taz
40.) Bret Hart
43.) Jeff Jarrett
48.) Bam-Bam Bigelow
49.) Shawn Michaels

Taz started the grading period with a victory over Chris Candido at Hardcore Heaven to retain the ECW Television Championship. Easily defeated Pitbull #2 at November To Remember. Also defeated Brakkus at Cyberslam to retina the championship. Got double crossed by Bam-Bam Bigelow in early ’98 and began a feud with the Triple Threat. Lost the ECW TV Championship to Bigelow at Living Dangerously in March. Managed to get revenge against Bigelow winning a falls count anywhere match at Heatwave to end the grading period.

The grading period started well for the Hitman winning the WWF World Championship from the Undertaker at SummerSlam. Feuded with The Patriot and retained the WWF World Championship in September. Lost the WWF World Championship to Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series due to a screw job ending. Jumped shipped to WCW where he had his first match against Ric Flair at Souled Out in January, which he won. Fought Curt Hennig at UnCensored in March, winning that encounter, as well. Lost to Randy Savage at Slamboree by disqualification. Teamed with Hulk Hogan to beat Savage and Roddy Piper at Great American Bash. Failed to beat Booker T at Bash at the Beach for the WCW TV Championship.

Jarrett jumped from WCW to the WWF in October ’97. Won the NWA North American Championship from Barry Windham and dominated his feud with Steve Blackman. Doesn’t appear that Jarrett accomplished all that much during the grading period and is ranked #43.

“The Beast From The East” shocked Shane Douglas in October by winning the ECW Championship in Queens. Lost the belt back to Douglas in November. Formed an alliance with the Triple Threat and stabbed Taz in the back in doing so. Won the ECW TV Championship from Taz at Living Dangerously in March. Lost the championship to Rob Van Dam in April. Lost to Taz at Heatwave in a falls count anywhere match. Heading to WCW by the fall…

“Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels wasn’t all that active during the grading period, but made an impact. “Accidentally” cost Undertaker the WWF World Championship at SummerSlam and proceeded to feud with Taker in the fall. Won the WWF European Championship defeating the British Bulldog in England. Won the first ever Hell In A Cell match against Taker in October. Won the WWF World Championship from Bret Hart at the Survivor Series via the screw job. Survived the challenge of Ken Shamrock in December. Defeated Undertaker at Royal Rumble in a casket match before losing to Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV and getting knocked out by Mike Tyson afterward.

Reckless Youth

50.) Reckless Youth
53.) Hulk Hogan
55.) Ric Flair
57.) Scott Hall
60.) Terry Funk

There aren’t any specifics regarding Reckless Youth and what he as accomplished. His section just puts him over a great talent working all over the country and being named the “King of the Independents”.

Lost and regained the WCW World Championship from Lex Luger to start the grading period. Lost to Roddy Piper in a steel cage match at Halloween Havoc. Lost the WCW World Championship to Sting at Starrcade and lost again to Sting at Superbrawl for the vacant championship. Fought Randy Savage to a no contest in a steel cage match at UnCensored. Won the WCW World Championship from Randy Savage on Nitro. Lost the WCW World Championship to Goldberg on July 6th. Teamed with Dennis Rodman and Eric Bischoff on consecutive pay per view cards.

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair had a heated grudge feud with Curt Hennig after Hennig turned on the Horsemen at Fall Brawl. Failed to win the WCW United States Championship from Hennig at Halloween Havoc and World War III. Lost to Bret Hart at Souled Out in January. Would soon get in a real-life disagreement with WCW management and sat at home for the remainder of the grading period.

Scott Hall held the WCW Tag Team Championships on two occasions with Kevin Nash during the grading period. Won the 60-man battle royal at World War III to earn a WCW World Championship match. Lost to Larry Zbyszko by disqualification at Souled Out after months of trading insults. Lost to Sting at WCW UnCensored failing to win the WCW World Championship. With Kevin Nash, lost the tag titles to Sting and Giant at Slamboree. Turned on Kevin Nash and a storyline focusing on Hall’s alcohol issues was approved for television.

Terry Funk started the grading period losing the ECW Championship on August 9th to Sabu and failed to regain the title before departing ECW for the WWF. Developed a new character named Chainsaw Charlie and teamed with Cactus Jack managing to win the WWF Tag Team Championships at WrestleManai XIV. Would transition into teaming with Too Cold Scorpio.

Al Snow

61.) Raven
65.) Vader
67.) Edge
70.) Al Snow
80.) Christian Cage

Raven left ECW for WCW and began a feud with Chris Benoit in late ’97. Lost to Benoit at Souled Out in January. Challenged for the WCW United States Championship at UnCensored against Benoit and DDP in a losing effort. Won the WCW US Championship at Spring Stampede defeating DDP, but lost it the next night to Goldberg. Lost a weapons steel cage match to DDP at Slamboree. Started to feud with Saturn and Kanyon trading wins against both men at the end of the grading period. The Flock appears to be on the verge of disbanding.

Vader has struggled in recent months to his point. Vader lost to Kane in February in a mask vs. mask match and when he returned from injury, lost to Kane once again. Vader has been outspoken about being out of shape. Feuded with Mark Henry of the Nation. While he wouldn’t regain form in WWF, he would jump back to Japan and return to his successful ways.

Edge hasn’t on WWF television for more than two months but he was known previously as Sexton Hardcastle, thus that’s why he is even ranked. Teamed with Sable to beat Marc Mero and Jacqueline at SummerSlam.

Al Snow found some momentum upon returning to ECW in late ’97. Pinned ECW Champion Shane Douglas at Living Dangerously but failed to win the championship at Wrestlepalooza. Is looking to return to the WWF full-time at some point.

Christian Cage is an accomplished independent star winning several championships. Won the ECWA Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Glen Osbourne. Was invited to a WWF training camp in July…

Justin Credible

85.) Justin Credible
86.) Brian Christopher
95.) Masato Tanaka
97.) Curt Hennig
98.) Devon Storm

Formerly known as Aldo Montoya, Justin Credible’s career has skyrocketed since joining ECW. Managed to pull off two upset victories over the Great Sasuke and forced Mikey Whipwreck out of competition with a knee injury. Developed a personal feud with Tommy Dreamer after insulting Dreamer’s deceased grandfather. That’s Incredible spinning tombstone piledriver has finished off all his opponents. Defeated Jerry Lynn at Heatwave ’98 at the end of the grading period.

Brian Christopher competed in the WWF Lightweight Championship tournament losing to Taka Michinoku in the finals of the tournament. Formed a promising team with Scott Taylor named Too Much. They won a tag team match against Al Snow and Head at King of the Ring.

Masato Tanaka has started to make a name for himself in ECW while still competing in FMW. Picked up a victory over Mike Awesome at Heatwave ’98. Lost a 26-minute title match to Hayabusa during the grading period.

Hennig joined WCW during the summer months and made a splash by turning on the Four Horsemen at Fall Brawl after weeks of the group courting him. Won the WCW United States Championship from Steve McMichael on Nitro. Was able to defeat Ric Flair at Halloween Havoc and World War III to keep the gold. Lost the championship to DDP at Starrcade and settled into a mid card role. Lost to Bret Hart at UnCensored, but won against the British Bulldog at Spring Stampede. Joined the NWO Wolfpack and was a challenger to WCW World Champion Goldberg, but failed to win the championship. Was out during the grading period with a knee injury.

Devon Storm is an accomplished high flyer on the independents who has worked for the NWA, ECWA and ECW on a few occasions. Picked up a victory over Reckless Youth to win the vacant NWA Lightweight Championship.

D’Lo Brown

100.) Tommy Dreamer
105.) Val Venis
107.) Rey Mysterio Jr.
118.) Lance Diamond
120.) D’Lo Brown

Dreamer started the grading period feuding with the likes of Jerry Lawler, Rob Van Dam and Sabu over the WWF/ECW feud. Feuded with Justin Credible after Credible insulted his deceased grandfather. Teams with Sandman on a regular basis having bloodbaths with the Dudley Boys all over the country.

Val Venis has recently arrived in the WWF with a porn star character that has offended some viewers. He was previously known as Steele in CMLL before arriving in the WWF. Had a feud with Kaientai where Venis nearly had his penis cut off. Failed to win the WWF European Championship from D’Lo Brown at SummerSlam.

Rey Mysterio Jr. kicked off the grading period trading the WCW Cruiserweight Championship with Eddie Guerrero. Suffered a torn ACL following a match with Chris Jericho at Souled Out. Returned in the summer of ’98 looking to regain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.

“The Superstar” Lance Diamond has accomplished quite a bit on the independents. Held the NWA 2000 Heavyweight Championship and ECWA Tag Team Championship. Won the NWA King of the Independents and ECWA Super 8 tournaments. Is currently feuding with Christian Cage and Reckless Youth in PCW. Is managed by Dawn Marie.

D’Lo Brown got his biggest victory in his career when he won the WWF European Championship from Triple H in July. Brown wears a chest protector due to an injury he suffered in a match against Dan Severn, though he doesn’t need it anymore. Was mostly a tag team wrestler for most of the grading period and is a member of the Nation of Domination.

Billy Kidman

132.) Billy Kidman
133.) X-Pac
141.) Davey Boy Smith
155.) Tajiri
157.) Super Crazy

Kidman was once a clean cut good guy in the cruiserweight division, but since joining the Flock he has become a dark introvert. The Seven Year Itch, known as the shooting star press, is an impressive move. Many believe he will accomplish more when he leaves the Flock behind.

X-Pac started the grading period in WCW losing to Ric Flair at Road Wild in August ’97. Was fired from WCW while recovering from a neck injury and returned to the WWF in March ’98. Aligned himself with DX as they feuded with the Nation. Defeated Jeff Jarrett in a hair vs hair match at SummerSlam.

Davey Boy Smith started the grading period as the WWF European Champion until losing the title to Shawn Michaels in September in a match that Smith dedicated to his dying sister in England. Left the WWF following Survivor Series and returned to WCW. Won a feud against Steve McMichael but lost to Curt Hennig at Spring Stampede. Has been regulated to tag team action with Jim Neidhart to little success.

Tajiri has left Big Japan to compete in Mexico. Had a few classic matches with Shinjuro Otani. Competed in the WWF Lightweight Tournament failing to win.

Has had a heated feud with Venom Black defeating his rival in a hair vs. hair match. Also competed in the WWF Lightweight Tournament under the name Super Loco.

Shawn Stasiak

174.) Buff Bagwell
188.) Steven Regal
199.) Vampiro Canadiese
202.) Shawn Stasiak
208.) Matt Hardy

Buff Bagwell started the grading period teaming with Scott Norton failing to win the WCW Tag Team Championships. Feuded with Lex Luger winning a singles match at Starrcade. Had a brief feud with Scott Steiner over who had a better body before Steiner joined the NWO. Bagwell broke his neck on April 22nd in a match against Rick Steiner and likely will be out for a year.

Steven Regal started the grading period teaming with Dave Taylor as the Blue Bloods and nearly won the WCW Tag Team Championships at World War III. Gave Goldberg a good fight in February before departing WCW for the WWF.

Vampiro has recently made his debut on WCW Nitro. Feuded with Pirata Morgan for the IWC Heavyweight Championship in Azteca. Mostly wrestles in Japan and Mexico.

Shawn Stasiak is the son of Stan Stasiak completed his first full year in wrestling. Wrestles mainly in Portland. Has had a few dark matches with the WWF and can compete both on the mat and in the air.

Matt competes with his brother Jeff as the Hardy Boys in the WWF sometimes. Has held many championships in the Mid-Atlantic area both singles and tag team. Recently took RVD and Sabu to the limit in a tag match in North Carolina that took place in February.

The Colorado Kid

230.) Sid Vicious
234.) King Kong Bundy
250.) Mike Quackenbush
253.) Colorado Kid

After leaving the WWF in the summer of ’97, Sid has appeared on a few NWA cards competing against Mabel and King Kong Bundy. Sid’s tendency to bail on promotions is “growing old to promoters.” Has been battling injuries.

Bundy is currently the WWA Heavyweight Champion. Has been feuding with Boogie Woogie Brown, Mark Mest and The Cremator. Still demands that referees count to five on his pin falls.

Quackenbush has been making a name for himself on the East Coast independents. Defeated Reckless Youth and Christian York in July to win the SCW Junior Heavyweight Championship. His feud with Reckless Youth has been taking place all over the country.

Colorado Kid is the most popular wrestler in MCW. Has been feuding with Terry Golden, Billy Joe Travis, and Trailer Park Trash. Recently started a feud with Wolfie D. Is being considered to be the top contender to NWA Heavyweight Champion Dan Severn.

Twiggy Ramirez

255.) Ahmed Johnson
280.) Chris Chavis
292.) Twiggy Ramirez
330.) Jake Roberts
336.) Mabel

Joined the Nation and within weeks, Ahmed Johnson was kicked out of the group and hurt his knee in early ’98 before departing the WWF for the independents where he hasn’t competed often. Nobody is sure of his future in wrestling.

Formerly known as Tatanka, Chris Chavis continues to compete on the independents and is often traveling overseas for competition.

Twiggy Ramirez has been making a splash in wrestling not just for his in-ring ability but also for his look that includes makeup, fishnet stockings and other items. Has accomplished tag team gold, but is now focusing on a singles career.

Jake Roberts still competes on the independents and goes abroad often to compete.

Mabel has lost a lot of his agility and is just a giant of a man at this point. Has been working mostly in the Tennessee independents. Held the USWA Southern Championship and the WWC Universal Championship.

Scoot Andrews

341.) Scoot Andrews
343.) Steve Corino
344.) Stevie Richards
352.) Christian York
382.) Adam Pearce

Scoot Andrews is considered to be the best lightweight in Florida. Mostly competes in Florida Championship Wrestling.

Steve Corino has held numerous regional championships including the NWA Lightweight Championship. Recently formed a tag team with Lance Diamond in NWA Championship Wrestling.

Stevie Richards briefly retired to tour Italy and was going to start a video game business. However, Richards returned to action in NWA Championship Wrestling helping Lou Marconi win the Steel City Championship. Currently part of a stable of ex-ECW guys invading NWA Championship Wrestling America.

Christian York has formed a tag team with Joey Matthews known as the Young Lions. Has been compared to Chris Jericho.

“Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce mostly competes in the Midwest but developed a feud with Reckless Youth and other East Coast wrestlers. Holds Michigan and Indiana state championships.

Kevin Northcutt

384.) Joey Matthews
386.) Kevin Northcutt
394.) CW Anderson
421.) Joe Rules
463.) Brian Fury
500.) Chip Fairway

Joey Matthews won the Star Five Lightweight Championship and is the number one contender to Julio Sanchez’ IPWA Lightweight Championship.

Kevin Northcutt has been involved in feuds with One Man Gang, Mr. Wrestling III and Pete Lothario. Has competed all over the world.

CW Anderson has won numerous tag team championships in his four year career. Is currently feuding with the Country Club’s Generation X.

Joe Rules was #500 in last years PWI 500 but developed some momentum in East Coast promotions. Has also become a manager in PCW but hasn’t led anyone to championships. His best skill is talking on the microphone.

“The Beautiful One” Brian Fury won the NSWA TV Championship from Greg Valentine. Is seeking a shot at the NSWA Heavyweight Championship. Has his producer carry a mirror so he can admire himself on a regular basis.

Chip Fairway started his career with a five month winning streak that saw Fairway win International Wrestling Association TV Championship from Cash Flo. Has competed in WWF and WCW.

That wraps up this edition of A Look Back At: The 1998 PWI 500 Rankings. Feel free to share thoughts on the list and where you may have ranked wrestlers.

Thanks for reading.

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