The 2010s saw in-ring pro wrestling, as well as the pace drastically step up from previous decades. What gave way was many ahead of the curve coming into their own, and others returning to the business in order to take it over. Check out our list of the five best wrestlers of the 2010s:
5. Daniel Bryan
If Daniel Bryan’s injuries had not prevented him from wrestling professionally for the best part of three years, he could have topped this list as the best wrestler of the 2010s. However, even with his hiatus, Bryan has achieved some remarkable accomplishments. He has won the WWE Championship four times and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once. Bryan is also a one-time Intercontinental Champion, and as part of Team Hell No, he won the WWE Tag Team Championship once. In 2011, Bryan was the winner of SmackDown Money in the Bank, and in 2013, he won the Superstar of the Year Slammy Award.
4. AJ Styles
Among his many early achievements, AJ Styles won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship title twice and the X Division Championship six times. He is also the first pro wrestler to complete the TNA Grand Slam and the TNA Triple Crown. And from 2002 to 2006, Styles became the inaugural Ring of Honor Pure Champion. In 2014, he signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and he amazingly won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his debut appearance. He went on to win the title a second time. In 2016, Styles finally signed a multi-year contract with the WWE. He won the WWE Championship title in the same year and won it again a year later.
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3. Kazuchika Okada
The Japanese wrestler Kazuchika Okada emerged from his TNA developmental tour as one of the world’s top wrestlers. When he returned to New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2012, he transformed himself into the notorious Rainmaker, and since then, he has won many prestigious titles. Okada won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship five times, and he holds the record for the most combined days as a champion. He also headlined Wrestle Kingdom on five occasions, and he won the G1 Climax twice. And in 2017, Okada became the very first wrestler to come top of the PWI 500.
2. John Cena
It is not surprising that John Cena led the WWE franchise as its franchise player in the 2000s and 2010s, seeing as he is considered by his peers, and by wrestling fans, to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Cena is a four-time world tag team champion, a five-time US Champion, and a 16-time world champion. Tying with Ric Flair, Cena has the most WWE world championship reigns of all time. Out of his 16 world championship wins, 13 of them were with the WWE Championship. Although Cena will always be first and foremost associated with wrestling, today, he is also notable for being a famous rapper, actor, and TV presenter.
1. Brock Lesnar
Although Brock Lesnar rose to fame in both wrestling and mixed martial arts in the early 2000s, he proved he was still one of the best wrestlers of the 2010s, after returning to professional wrestling in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus. At WrestleMania XXX in 2014, Lesnar managed to beat The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. After that remarkable feat, he went on to gain world championship status five times. He won the WWE World Heavyweight title in 2014, the WWE Championship in 2019, and the WWE Universal Championship in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Brock Lesnar is also the only person to hold both a WWE world championship and a UFC championship, and the only person in history to win a championship in the WWE, NCAA, and UFC.
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