The annual Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 issue is now out on news stands and has been out for a few weeks in digital form. It’s always fun to see this list every year. But this year I was a little sad when I checked out the list. This was the first year since 2003 that there were no photos I took in the list. Because of that I decided to post some old photos I have of some of the wrestlers in the top 100. So enjoy a look back at some of the top stars of today.
#1 CM Punk. In 2004 Punk teamed up with Ace Steel to take on Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer in a Chicago street fight. Punk & Steel won the match. His ranking that year in the PWI 500 was #89. Chicago Ridge, IL.
#2 Bobby Roode. VS Booker T from 2008. That year Roode was #89 on the list. Spencer, IA.
#4 Daniel Bryan. In 2005 Bryan was known as Bryan Danielson and he wrestled in a match against Claudio Castignoli who is now known as Antonio Cesaro in the WWE. Danielson was # 76 on the list in 2005. Hammond, IN.
#6 Jun Akiyama. VS TAKA at Korakuen Hall. Tokyo, Japan. In 2005 Akiyama was ranked #76 on the list.
#7 Davey Richards. If you are a fan of Richards then check out his hard hitting match against Low Ki from the 2006 IWA Mid South TPI. Midlothian, IL.
#12 James Storm. VS Rhino. Spencer, Iowa.
#13 Austin Aries. VS Adrian Serreno. Minneapolis, MN.
#20 Kevin Steen. At the 2005 IWA MS TPI Steen went to the final round but lost to Matt Sydal. Hammond, Indiana.
#27 Mr. Anderson. Not long before Andeson went to OVW he took on rookie Thoruf Marius (Erick Rowan in FCW) in 2003. Maple Grove, MN
#28 AJ Styles. VS Shifty. Maple Grove, MN.
#32 Rodrick Strong. Strong went to the finals of the 2006 IWA MS TPI against Arik Cannon and Low Ki. Midlothian, IL.
#39 Jay Lethal. VS AJ Styles. Spencer, IA.
#44 Colt Cabana. At the 2005 IWA MS TPI Cabana got a shot at the heavy weight title against champion Jimmy Jacobs. Hammond, IN.
#46 Seth Rollins. At the time of this photo Rollins was known as Tyler Black. Hammond, IN.
#48 Chris Daniels. In 2004 The Fallen Angel showed up in Midwest Pro Wrestling to take on Arik Cannon. Maple Grove, MN.
#51 Somoa Joe. As the ROH champion Joe defended the title against Homicide. Chicago Ridge, IL.
#54 Michael Elgin. Back in 2006 a young Elgin made his way to the midwest for the NIW Impact Invitational. Cottage Grove, MN.
#59 Johnny Gargano. VS Mat Fitchett. Minneapolis, MN.
#61 Takashi Morishima. Defending his ROH title against Austin Aries. St. Paul, MN.
#62 Adam Pearce & #64 Carl Anderson. Pearce & Anderson team up to take on Arik Cannon & Baby Slim at an NWA Midwest show in Cottage Grove, MN back in 2006.
#63 Jay Briscoe & #65 Mark Briscoe. VS CM Punk & Colt Cabana for the ROH tag team title. The Briscoe’s lost the titles at the end of this match in Chicago Ridge, IL.
#82 El Generico. VS Chris Bosh. Midlothian, IL.
#96 Evan Bourne. Before he was in the WWE Bourne wrestled as Matt Sydal. In this match from the 2006 Ted Petty Invitational for IWA Mid South Sydal beat El Generico.
#97 Rhett Titus. Back in 2007 Titus was in an opening match against Michael Elgin at an ROH event in St. Paul, MN.