Certain titles and names have been thrown around a lot over the years in the world of pro wrestling. One of them is the title of “Best in the World.” Chris Jericho calls himself the best in the world at what he does. Bryan Danielson aka Daniel Bryan called himself that and the fans in ROH and the indies chanted that when he came out. Davey Richards has been called that and CM Punk even calls himself that. He even sports it on his shirts.
So the point of this pipe bomb, who exactly IS the best in the world or better yet, what does the term even mean? From my standpoint, the term “Best in the World” represented a certain group of wrestlers and not just one individual. To me, it represented a new breed on the rise and that includes the likes of guys like Kevin Steen, Bryan Danielson, Michael Elgin, Roderick Strong, Adam Cole, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, El Generico, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, Tyler Black, Dolph Ziggler, and the list goes on and on. The very definition of what defined the best world has changed. Back in the days of guys like Ernie Ladd, Gorilla Monsoon, Freddy Blassie and Bruno Sammartino, it was the bigger the better and getting the crowd to cheer you or hate you. Then the next generation came where you had guys like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, Ric Flair and then past that to The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and others in creating figures that were larger than life.
Now, we have the guys that I mentioned earlier as part of the new breed who do moves that defy belief and put on matches that leave the crowd chanting “that was awesome” or “we want more” adding a new element of athleticism to the dynamic of pro wrestling. You can make an argument over who is the best in the world and the answers will always differ but despite the rules of the game being changed, one rule that is etched in stone no matter the changing eras is putting on a show for the fans, to entertain. Even if some places have forgotten how to do that.