Pro Wrestling Illustrated released the 2018 Female 100 list, and it was received with much controversy. Current Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey topped the list, followed by Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Io Shirai, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Carmella, Nia Jax, Mayu Iwatani, and Kaira Sane capping off the top 10. Factors such as win-loss record and overall influence on the sport are top priority when it comes to the selection process.
During the women's PWI selection window, which is from October 2017 to September 2018, Rousey had a successful debut at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, teaming with Kurt Angle to defeat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, became the number one contender to face Nia Jax at Money in the Bank for the Raw Women's Championship, won the title from Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, as well as retained the title against Bliss as Hell in a Cell. Regarding influence, Rousey did use her mainstream popularity from UFC to draw more attention to the division as a whole.
Although Rousey did have a significant influence on the WWE women's division regarding mainstream attention and was undefeated during the selection window, Lucha Underground announcer Melissa Santos expressed on AfterBuzz TV's Women's Wrestling Weekly that she was not a fan of this decision.
"Not hating at all. I just think it's just ... I think that so many people that could be number one," Santos said. "But I don't think that really matters to most of the talent. Like, girls they're just like, 'whatever, it's fine.' This is a big deal to be on there. However, I just think, again, there's so much wrestling, it's cool. If I'm not number one, that's cool. But I just think, Ronda [Rousey] just started, and she's not a wrestler."
Although Santos admits that she has little wrestling experience, she did express that she is close to many women's wrestlers in the industry who have been competing for years to climb up the ladder, and should be recognized for their hard work. Santos also brought up how her fiance, Impact Wrestling star Brian Cage, discussed with her how he used to backyard wrestle, showing her photos of when he was younger.
"I feel like those people should be showcased," Santos added. "I'm not saying, I don't wanna say it's unfair, I just feel like, what about the people that are just so good that it's like ridiculous, that's their life, why aren't they on that number one? That's all I'm saying. Money moves. That's all I'm saying."
Santos feels that someone like Tessa Blanchard should be on the top of the list. She also feels that Becky Lynch "is amazing," and was "so humble when I met her," recalling their interaction backstage at a previous WrestleMania. "People like that just need to be on the number one of the list," Santos said.
If any portion of these quotes are used, please credit Women's Wrestling Weekly with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcritpion.
Source: Women's Wrestling Weekly