With World Cup 2018 right around the corner, we’re reminded how much we love international competition. The world loves it, and you know what else they love? Wrestling.
Wrestling is an international business. People from all over the world know and love wit. Some countries have a deep tradition and a long-standing promotion like Japan’s New Japan Pro Wrestling. Some countries are rebuilding their wrestling scenes like England’s Progress Wrestling and Defiant Wrestling. But the pinnacle of the Wrestling industry is World Wrestling Entertainment. Men and Women come from all over the world to compete in WWE which means we get all kinds of styles and culture. It makes the content exciting and new! With technology making the world a smaller place it seems more than ever the ranks of WWE Superstars and becoming more multicultural!
That raises the question, who is the best from each of their respective countries? Now before you read this know that this is just one writer’s opinion. Wrestling is full of talented superstars and everyone likes something different. This list is also superstars from WWE. I know Kenny Omega is great… but he won’t be on here! Regardless I stand behind this! Also, some countries are easier to pick than others. When there’s one person from the country they get a bit of a leg up…Anyway here are the best wrestlers currently working from each of their respective countries!
The United States: AJ Styles
With the largest pool to pick from The USA had some real contenders but no one can deny how consistent and stellar Styles has been. The Phenomenal one spent years with TNA, ROH, and NJPW before coming to the WWE in debuting in the 2016 Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant at number three. Since then he has been The World Heavy Weight Champion Twice and the United States Champion. Styles consistently raises the talent of those around him and is currently the WWE Champion. It’s hard to believe the boy from Georgia is already past 40 because it doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down any time soon,
Canada: Kevin Owens
Another indy darling turned WWE Superstar. Owens made a name for himself with Ring of Honor but has since been a huge name in WWE. He was NXT Champion, Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, and Universal Champion. He also has put on unforgettable matches with Sami Zayn since joining the promotion. KO has the ability to cut an amazing promo and make any match look like a hard fought brawl. He also has an athletic ability that would seem unobtainable to anyone else with his build. KO has the ability to make a mid-card fight seem like a main event affair. The French Canadian has been stellar the past few years so he gets the nod for Canada.
Honorable Mentions: Sami Zayn, Natalya
Ireland: Finn Balor
This was a tough one, WWE has three solid Irish superstars but the nod goes to Finn Balor. Balor consistently throws himself at opponents much larger than himself and because of his abilities and personality, nobody ever doubts that he has a chance to win. His demon character hasn’t been seen in awhile but the second he breaks it out again you know the crowd will go nuts.
On top of stellar ability, Balor consistently champions for inclusion within the wrestling community and the world abroad. He was the inaugural Universal Champion but had to give it up the next night due to an injury, if all goes well we could see it back on The Demon King’s shoulder sooner rather than later.
Honorable Mentions: Becky Lynch, Seamus
Ok yes, technically Rusev is the first person on this list to be the lone representative of his country but even if he wasn’t he’d be on here. Rusev is a former United States Champion and is currently part of the most popular gimmick in WWE. The “Rusev Day” gimmick has caught fire and along with Aiden English and wife Lana, it looks to be holding firm.
Outside of the gimmick itself, Rusev deserves the praise. He is a hard worker, talented in-ring performer, and a charismatic character. He is also a wonderful representation of “The American Dream” while still being incredibly proud of his home country. So go ahead Rusev, have a very special Rusev Day Today!
Mexico: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
Almas is still somewhat new to the WWE scene but he is already a seasoned vet. He made a name for himself as a luchador in Mexico’s CMLL and Japan’s NJPW before coming stateside and winning the WWE NXT Championship. While in WWE’s developmental brand Almas put on a 5-star rated match against Johnny Gargano. Him and his perfect heel manager Zelina Vega are now on SmackDown Live and are starting a feud with Sin Cara. The future looks bright for Almas in WWE.
Honorable Mention: Kalisto
The Netherlands: Aleister Black
The current NXT Champion has had a great year so far. Not only has the WWE put the developmental brand on his back but he won the championship from fellow rising star Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Black’s character has been stellar and putting him in the spotlight will help fans see if he can sustain the aura.
Honorable Mention: Rezar
Puerto Rico: Lince Dorado
Dorado is one-third of Lucha House Party and has been putting on fun matches with partners Gran Metalik and Kalisto. Under the veteran Luchador, Kalisto, Dorado could take his skills to the next level and 205Live is the perfect place to grow him on the big stage.
Honorable Mention: The Colons
This was a really hard one. There has been a huge surge of Japanese performers breaking into the WWE. WWE, hoping to capitalize on the growing popularity of NJPW has begun to bring these ultra-talented superstars over. This came down to a head to head over Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka but when forced to pick, Asuka has a more dominating aura about her right now.
The Empress of Tomorrow may have had her winning streak broken at Wrestlemania 34 but she still seems like a force of destruction. The winner of the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble in January should be able to be a mainstay on the main event picture if WWE creative play their cards correctly that is.
Honorable Mentions: Shinsuke Nakamura, Akira Tozawa
The Dominican Republic: No Way Jose
No Way Jose has danced his way onto the main roster on Monday Night’s. Right now he seems to be more of a punchline but the crowd enjoys him whenever he comes out. Given the right chance, he might be able to dance his way to some titles.
Scotland: Drew McIntyre
McIntyre is enjoying a stellar return with WWE. Before his somewhat surprising release in 2014, he was an Intercontinental Champion and a Tag Team Champion. He was put in the abysmal 3MB stable and was gone soon after. He struck out to the independents to rebuild himself and returned better than ever. He was the NXT Champion and is now partnered with Dolph Ziggler on Monday Night Raw. He looks like he could crush you into dust and his promos are stellar. We could be looking a the future face of the company.
Honorable Mention: Nikki Cross
Northern Ireland: Killian Dain
The muscle of SAnity raised hell with the stable in NXT and now has a chance to prove his worth on the main roster on Tuesday nights. Will the stable be able to float without standout Scottish member, Nikki Cross?
Germany: Alexander Wolfe
See blurb above under Killian Dane…
Australia: Buddy Murphy
Buddy Murphy looked like he was on his way out of WWE just a few months ago. He found some success in his tag team, Blake and Murphy, in NXT. They captured the promotion’s titles for a few months. But after their manager, Alexa Bliss was promoted to the main roster the team fell by the wayside and disbanded. Recently Murphy has been wrestling under the moniker “The Best Kept Secret.” He is now lighting up 205Live and finds himself in Cruiserweight Champion contention. If you haven’t watched his work as of late, you’re missing out. He won’t be a secret long
Honorable Mention: The IIconics
England: Pete Dunne
Dunne is an absolute monster to watch. He goes by the title “The Bruiserweight” and lives up to the moniker. His match with Tyler Bate for the UK Championship was outstanding and he seems to be full of those moments. Hopefully, WWE can find a way to get him on the show more often because the world needs more Pete Dunne.
Honorable Mentions: Tyler Bate, Gentleman Jack Gallagher
This is a technicality. Technically the Big Red Machine was born in Spain but the man sees himself as more of a Tennessean, but if this was the World Cup or Olympics he would be eligible to play for Spain, so he gets the nod. He’s won so much hardware it suits him anyway!
Ghana: Kofi Kingston
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Last night the inaugural #WWExIGN eSports Showdown in New York City. Years of hard work culminated in a resounding success that many people didn't think was possible. • Can't say enough how proud I am of my brother, @xavierwoodsphd for having the vision and the entire @upupdwndwn team for their drive and execution. Very cool to be a part of this journey! > > > This photo sums up the high level of emotion felt by all involved! (Photo credit: @richfreedaphoto) Watch the whole event here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p3KnFxxW-gU
Ok somewhat of another technicality. Kingston was born in Ghana but went to school in Boston. The member of the wildly popular stable, The New Day, is a Royal Rumble human highlight reel. He’s also held 14 championships in the WWE so credit respect must be paid. The former Intercontinental, United States, and Tag Team Champion is always fun to watch.
New Zealand: Dakota Kai
Still a newcomer to the WWE world, Kai is quickly making a name for herself. She is charismatic and a joy wot watch perform. After she was fed to Shayna Baszler she’s been popping up more on NXT tapings and house shows. She is one to watch in the future.
WWE is a vastly multicultural organization. There are probably tons of stories not even mentioned in this post! Personally, I can’t wait to learn more about the different countries these performers come from. Also am I the only one who thinks they should bring back The European Title? Probably…