Kazuchika Okada Tops 2017 PWI 500 List; First Japanese Wrestler In History To Earn That Honor

Add one more major accomplishment to Kazuchika Okada's historic 2017: becoming the first Japanese wrestler to top the PWI 500 list.

On the latest issue of PWI, Okada was revealed to be the top wrestler in the world after finishing No. 2 on last year's list. The top wrestler on PWI's 2016 list was Roman Reigns, who finished fourth on this year's list. 

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During the evaluation period, July 31, 2016, to June 30, 2017, Okada has held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship all the way through. Okada has only lost two singles matches this year, to EVIL and Kenny Omega during this year's G1 Climax. The two losses came in August, which means the two losses were never put into consideration when selecting the top wrestler.

Okada had arguably some of the best matches this year: a trilogy of matches against Omega, in which each wrestler won one match and one match went to a 60-minute time limit draw, a title defense against current NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki and against Katsuyori Shibata at The New Beginning in Sapporo and Sakura Genesis shows, respectively.

The "PWI 500" is available for purchase in print and digital formats at pwi-online.com. Okada appears exclusively on the PWI Podcast to discuss being on the PWI 500 and New Japan's emergence in the U.S. market at pwi-online.com or via free subscription at the iTunes Store.

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