PWI's Dan Murphy on why Styles & McCool were rated no. 1

Dan Murphy/Monday Night Mayhem Interview (MNM Podcast on iTunes):

Interview highlights courtesy of The Mayhem's official correspondent, Paterson from New Jersey:

Why Pro Wrestling Illustrated selected "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles as #1 in this year's PWI 500 (as the top male wrestler of the year): "I went into the 500 meeting (we have about seven or eight of us, including some editors, the publisher, & a couple of senior writers), and we all sat down and decided what's the top five and what everyone was thinking as the consensus for number one. I came in thinking at the time that Chris Jericho was the guy I was leaning towards, and I think the reason for that was because he had done so much in the previous year and had been so underrated, I think I was rating him a little higher to make up for that almost. And then when somebody pointed out that AJ Styles at that time had held the TNA World Title maybe 260 days of the 325 days during the grading period, it just really made a lot of sense. AJ had become the franchise guy for TNA. They finally gave him a nice long run with the belt. They gave him Ric Flair, they gave him some wins over Kurt Angle. He was really the guy carrying the ball through the first half of the year. We looked at some of the inconsistencies of guys like John Cena & Triple H (who had gone out with injury) and some of the other usual suspects, we realized that AJ overall had the best year, and once his name came out there we all looked at each other said 'Yeah, it's AJ,' and AJ became our first TNA #1 in the PWI 500. It's great that the guy who broke that for them is one of their homegrown guys and not somebody who had other experience with WCW or WWE. AJ is really the face of the company, and it was a pleasure to have him as the top guy."

The widely argued move of choosing Michelle McCool as #1 in the recently released PWI Female 50 (as the top female wrestler): "It was definitely controversial, and we knew that going in. I had to write the article called 'The Facts Don't Lie: McCool Tops The Third PWI Female 50,' and the way I started that was really saying that the critics have some negative opinions about Michelle McCool. I laid out all of the criticisms of her, and said the fact of the matter is she had been holding the title for most of the grading period or co-holding it after the Layla storyline unfolded, and had been the most consistent woman in wrestling in a major promotion over the past year. Beth Phoenix (a perennial top contender) had gone out with injury, Mickie James (who won last year and who came in #1 last year) was released and her focus shifted to music, Angelina Love was sidelined with that visa issue for about four months. A lot of the big names who you think would be up at the top had some holes. So it was Michele McCool who was the best in a relatively weak field. The big debate came down, and we thought maybe this is the year we do something a little bit different and go outside WWE or TNA and go with Mercedes Martinez or Cheerleader Melissa in the top spot, but in the end, we ended up going with McCool."

Whether or not Dan has ever had talent call him and complain about their ranking on the PWI 500/PWI Female 50 & why they should been placed higher: "Every year...consistently. Some people complain. You see the best & the worst. You get the people who really complain and want to be higher, and then the people who just really happy to be included. It all balances out in the end, but every there people who are upset about it, and other people who take it for what it is and say thanks for thinking of me. Others really want to go 'I was #7...I should have been #2' and really get into it. I had somebody in the top five in the PWI Female 50, who when the number one choice was leaked online she was texting me immediately, and she was furious, and she was somebody in our top five who got a really good ranking, and she was so upset that Michelle McCool took the top spot. She might still be giving me the silent treatment right now, but that's the way it happens every year."

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