Women of Honor continued to build momentum in 2017, and 2018 undoubtedly will be the biggest year yet for the roster of talented female athletes. At the Final Battle pay-per-view Dec. 15, the blockbuster announcement was made that there will be a tournament in 2018 to crown the first WOH Champion.
Here are the current top five WOH competitors based on their performances in 2017:
5. JENNY ROSE
Rose trained in the ROH Dojo and has honed her craft by competing on multiple tours of Japan. Among Rose’s triumphs this year are a pinfall win over training partner Mandy Leon on the Women of Honor TV special and a victory in a Four Corner Survival Match over “Bonesaw” Jessie Brooks, Sumie Sakai and Nikki Adams.
4. SUMIE SAKAI
A 20-year veteran, Sakai was victorious in the very first WOH match in 2002, and the international star is still at the top of her game and winning matches with her signature missile dropkick. Known as “Women of Honor’s Ray of Sunshine” and billed from Jersey Shore, Japan, Sakai defeated the likes of Rain, Stacy Shadows and Holidead this year and also won a three-way over Jenny Rose and Mandy Leon.
3. MANDY LEON
The “Exotic Goddess” and ROH Dojo graduate has come a long way in less than four years in the ring. In addition to scoring victories over her training partner and mentor Jenny Rose, Stella Grey and Stacy Shadows in WOH in 2017, Leon competed in the prestigious 5 Star Grand Prix in Japan for Stardom, the premier women’s professional wrestling organization in the world. Leon had a strong showing in the tournament, highlighted by a victory over eventual winner Toni Storm.
2. DEONNA PURRAZZO
“The Virtuosa” is one of the pioneers of WOH’s relaunch. Possessing both submission skills and technical wrestling ability, Purrazzo has had an outstanding 2017, notching victories over Madison Rayne, Karen Q, Britt Baker and Sumie Sakai. Wise beyond her years in the ring, Purrazzo employs a practical strategy, often unrelentingly targeting one body part of her opponent. In addition to competing all over the country for various promotions, Purrazzo has wrestled in Japan for Stardom.
1. KELLY KLEIN
Known as “The Gatekeeper” and “Pretty Badass,” Klein has been dominant since her WOH debut in 2015. With an impressive combination of physicality, mat wrestling and submission mastery, Klein has never been pinned or forced to submit in WOH. Her aptly named “End of the Match” guillotine choke is the most feared maneuver in women’s wrestling. In 2017, Klein added Deonna Purrazzo, Jenny Rose, Brandi Rhodes and Stella Grey, among others, to her list of victims, and in Japan, she and Bea Priestley won the Goddess of Stardom Tag League tournament.