The list, which is now in its twenty-second year, ranks the top five-hundred professional wrestlers in the world. During the evaluation period for the 2012 "PWI 500," from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, Punk won seven consecutive WWE Championship matches on pay-per-view.
Punk joins an elite class of wrestlers with his accomplishment. Past winners include Hulk Hogan (1991), Sting (1992), Bret Hart (1993 and 1994), Diesel (1995), Shawn Michaels (1996), Dean Malenko (1997), Steve Austin (1998 and 1999), Triple H (2000 and 2009), Kurt Angle (2001), Rob Van Dam (2002), Brock Lesnar (2003), Chris Benoit (2004), Batista (2005), John Cena (2006 and 2007), Randy Orton (2008), AJ Styles (2010) and The Miz (2011).
Murphy also revealed that Sara Del Rey became the fourth female ever to make the list (following Miss Texas, Madd Maxxine, and Chyna) by virtues over her victory over male wrestlers in CHIKARA.