WWE is full of talent from top to bottom. Both Raw and SmackDown performed well, but only 11 wrestlers were included in the main roster.
With 2022 coming to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year in WWE. Here, an attempt will be made to determine the 11 best wrestlers on the main roster, be it Raw or SmackDown. What makes someone a "good wrestler" varies from fan to fan, and it's not as easy as picking the guy with the best win-loss record. That doesn't work in professional sports, and it doesn't work in professional wrestling. As an example, if wrestler A only fought five fights, but they were all "five stars", were they better than wrestler B, who wrestled 110 times in 365 days without hurting anyone?
Here, every effort is made to give due credit. Not everyone made the cut -- the author's favorite wrestler, Kevin Owens, wasn't included on this list, though -- but we'll provide a definitive explanation for everyone who did. Workhorse types will be given more weight as they are more pronounced throughout the year. WWE is also a sports entertainment company, so anyone who can entertain and wrestle will be given imaginary points.
zoom out In this field, performers who work primarily on tag teams will not be eligible. Otherwise, this list will be a taste of The Bloodline and a few others. (Thanks to Jimmy and Jey Uso, who have a staggering 140 fights in 2022.) NXT performers won't be included either, because it's unfair to compare wrestlers from the development brand to those on the main roster . Without further ado, here is a list of WWE's 11 best wrestlers that fans will almost certainly agree with 100%.
11/11 Cody Rhodes
Wrestling Matches: 25
Why They're Here: Cody Rhodes' inclusion on this list may raise eyebrows for some, but with a healthy 2022, his impact on WWE cannot be ignored. Raw has a Cody Rhodes countdown timer for loud shouts. His return at WrestleMania 38 was one of the highlights of the pro wrestling year, and his trilogy with Seth Rollins drew a lot of water. American Nightmare would be higher on this list if it weren't for the torn pectoral muscle, but his comeback is one of the most anticipated storylines for 2023. Rhodes' story is too compelling to leave this list, His impact on the entire business cannot be overstated.
Match of the Year: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins, Hell In A Cell
10/11 Liv Morgan
Matches Wrestled: 112
Why They're Here: The same fans complaining about WWE not creating new stars might include Liv Morgan here. Damn if you do, damn if you don't. The 28-year-old isn't the most technically able-bodied wrestler in the cut, but only a few performers will work harder to improve in 2022 than Liv Morgan. As Triple H takes the book, she's clearly trying to push her character to new and exciting places. Morgan is starting to take higher risks in her game and while not all of the slots have turned up, the ones that have come up are memorable. The Money in the Bank winner has been channeling her inner Rita for the final six months of 2022, a year in which only Seth Rollins and the Ursos have had more matches for WWE. Liv Morgan deserves a lot of credit for the work she has done over the past 365 days.
Competition of the Year: Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey, Money In The Bank
Matches Wrestled: 82
Why They're Here: Sheamus has such a career resurgence in 2022 It drew the ire of AEW's MJF. Whenever rejuvenation is the talk of another promotion, it means something. WWE has been trying to elevate the Intercontinental Championship since July, and Sheamus' quest for the belt is a major factor. It's the only title the 44-year-old hasn't won for the company, and winning it could solidify his status as Grand Slam champion. Sheamus hasn't achieved that goal yet, but it's fun to watch him go after it. His feud with Gunther was top notch, and his newfound energy and charisma helped make Brawling Brutes an interesting faction. He'll likely start shifting more to a part-time schedule in 2023, so fans should thank Sheamus for the work he's put in over the past year.
Match of the Year: Gunther Vs. Sheamus, Clash At The Castle
8/11 Becky Lynch
Wrestling Matches: 65
Why They're Here: 2022 has been a smooth year for Becky Lynch, who remains one of the best performers in WWE. Like Cody Rhodes, she probably would be higher on this list were it not for her injuries. Thankfully, Lynch's separated shoulders only kept her on hold for a few months, Leading to a triumphant return in Survivor Series. Lynch attempted to tell a unique story about her permanent breakdown after losing to Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 38, and for the most part, it succeeded. It was fun to watch the all-time great battle against denial and the battle to stay relevant, with WWE often using Lynch's exaggerated attire to illustrate her kayfabe state of mind. The year-long storyline with Belair came to a happy end at SummerSlam, where Lynch finished the match with a twisted shoulder. She returned as the man on the Survivor series, and her leg falling off the top of the cage was one of the most memorable spots of the night.
Match of the Year: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch, SummerSlam
Matches Wrestled: 81
Why they're here: Few WWE wrestlers will see their stock rise more than Gunther in 2022. It's no accident that nearly everyone who's been on the show with Gunther stands out from the audience. Triple H came together to make the Intercontinental and United States Championships even more meaningful in WWE. Gunther's 200-plus day reign bears this out. His physical confrontation with Sheamus was the highlight of multiple SmackDown episodes, And he also nearly steals two different pay-per-view shows. Stylistically, the 35-year-old is unique in WWE. Gunther is a tough heel capable of empathizing with any babyface who gets in his way. He was instrumental in Sheamus' rebound year, and his battle with Ricochet helped him become a more credible mid-card title threat. If Roman Reigns ends up playing a minor role in WWE in 2023, Gunther is someone who could help fill that void.
Match of the Year: Gunther Vs. Sheamus, Clash At The Castle
6/11 Drew McIntyre
Matches Wrestled: 102
Why They're Here: Show in and show out, Drew McIntyre is one of WWE's most consistent wrestlers in 2022. He was one of only seven performers to play more than 100 games over the course of the year, most of them involved in high-profile feuds with the likes of Roman Reigns, Sheamus and Karrion Kross. The company is counting on him to play the gig at the main event, and he's also been the focus of SmackDown for most of the past 365 days. WWE is tending to be a little less scripted, and McIntyre's promos since July have been stellar. tie him up With in-group ability, natural charisma and looks, you are one of the top sports entertainers in the business today. McIntyre, 37, could still have years ahead of him, and like Gunther, he'll get a huge boost if Raines' role is reduced in 2023. Roman Reigns, Castle Clash
Wrestling Matches: 63
5/11 Rhea Ripley
Why They're Here: Rhea Ripley enters 2023 at a completely different level than she begins 2022. Earlier this year, she took a spot on the main roster. Fans familiar with her work in NXT know how capable she is; it's just a matter of being in a position to succeed. That will be on Backlash when the 26-year-old joins Judgment Day. Edge is no longer the leader of that faction. Still, the group has largely been effective in helping Ripley get over his monster heels, capable of doing damage to anyone on the roster. Her 63 wrestling bouts are misleading, as she was almost always physically involved in Judgment Day bouts. Her on-screen relationship with Dominik Mysterio is imitable, but in In a good way, their partnership produced some of WWE's hottest moments of the year. Rhea Ripley recently defeated Akira Tozawa in a rare Raw transgender match, suggesting the company may have a Chyna-style match for her in 2023. The sky's the limit for Rhea Ripley, one of the most influential entertainers in WWE throughout 2022.
Match of the Year: Gauntlet Match at Final Knockout Live, Raw (Feb. 14)
Wrestling Match: 121
4/11 Seth Rollins
Why They're Here: There's probably no more irreplaceable wrestler on WWE's roster than Seth Rollins. Where Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar are positioned as spectacle, Rollins is one of those performers that fans pay to see almost every night. In 2022, no individual show in the company has more matches than The Architect, and he's one of the few wrestlers where winning or losing doesn't seem to matter. He loses aggro more than he wins, and that doesn't detract from Seth Rollins' brilliance in the slightest. Seth Freakin' Rollins has been a babyface-making machine for most of the past 365 days, helping WWE push Rhodes to The moon before he got hurt. During their feud, Rollins pushed Matt Riddle to new heights. More recently, the 36-year-old fancier has been involved in the program for the US Championships, and his pedigree significantly increases the importance of this title. He is the heart of Raw and the true standard bearer of WWE.
Match of the Year: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins, Hell in a Cell
Wrestling Match: 105
3/11 Bianca Belair
Why They're Here: What an amazing year Bianca Bel Air is having in 2022. In a year when Sasha Banks quit, Charlotte Flair walked away, and Becky Lynch and Bayley suffered injuries, EST established itself as the heart and soul of WWE Women . In other words, Bianca Belair has cemented her status as the finest, most visible and influential female wrestler on the planet. Her feats of power seem to know no bounds, and her long-running feud with Becky Lynch is one of the best feuds of 2022. It's hard to imagine anyone growing more in the past 365 days. At SummerSlam 2021, she lost to Lynch by 26 seconds. A year later, the pair staged a classic at SummerSlam, showcasing Belair's maturity as a wrestler and sports entertainer. However, the fight was just below the high-water mark of WrestleMania 38, when the two stole the show on the first night of The Immortals Showcase. Bianca has developed into one of WWE's most reliable big-time performers and deserves to be at the top of this list.
Match of the Year: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch, WrestleMania 38
Wrestling Matches: 51
2/11 Roman Reigns
Why They're Here: Numbers 1 through 3 on this list are interchangeable. On this list, it's more of a hunch that Roman Reigns is number two. He's WWE's top draw, and he's a staple in every match of the company's biggest show in 2022. Raines won the Unification Championship at WrestleMania 38 and hasn't looked back since. His unified title reign is approaching 300 days, while the tribal chief has held more than 850 world championships. By this time, Reigns had become synonymous with the SmackDown brand, and The Bloodline saga was one of the most compelling stories in professional wrestling. Roman Reigns is a crossover star in waiting, and 2022 will be mostly remembered as his year. So why is he number one? 2 instead of number 1? Because fans would be completely sick of this level of domination without another human being in The Bloodline.
Game of the Year: Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul, Crown Jewel
Wrestling Matches: 77
1/11 Sami Zayn
Why They're Here: Seems WWE's plan is to make Roman Reigns the Unified Champion. His reign will last at least from WrestleMania 38 to WrestleMania 39. Fans may have poor memories, but it's been less than a year since Reigns was booed for even picking up the mic. If it weren't for the presence of one man, WWE might have similarly risked the crowd's nerves in this dominant World Championship match. Sami Zayn keeps Reigns' rank fresh, delivering some of the most entertaining clips in all of pro wrestling, seemingly on a weekly basis. Fans are now cheering on The Bloodline every time he hits the ring, and as 2022 draws to a close, there may be no more superstars in the company. Admitting to a bit of recency bias makes Zayn a 2022 WWE Top Wrestlers. Once the company pulls the trigger on Reigns betraying Sami, Zayn will be the hottest face in the business, bar none.
Match of the Year: Men's WarGames Match, Survivor Series
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