Last year, led by the charge of Voices of Wrestling contributor Griffin Peltier, we began a new yearly wrestler ranking list: The VOW 30 Under 30. The 2023 list saw an expert panel come together to nominate and vote on the top pro wrestlers under the age of 30. This year, we’re back with an all-star panel to create wrestling’s most comprehensive 30 Under 30 list for 2024.

Much like the critically acclaimed FSM 50 list, the goal of this list is to be as well-informed and wide-ranging as possible. Our panelists are plugged into various styles of wrestling across the globe, including American TV, lucha libre, deathmatch, Joshi wrestling, and everything in between.

Every wrestler under thirty years old was eligible for this year’s list.




Without further ado, here are the 30 best wrestlers under 30:

Mariah May

#30
Mariah May

Age: 25
Years Active: 5
Promotion: All Elite Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: Goddesses Of Stardom Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 3
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“I truly feel that Mariah May is the total package. A great look, a really solid talker, and a pretty good wrestler (that time in STARDOM did wonders on that front). Her ceiling is incredibly high, and while she’s currently playing the protege role in this storyline with Toni Storm, she has the chance to be a top women’s star in AEW for years to come once that inevitable split with Toni finally occurs.” – Sean Sedor

“Unquestionably one of the most surprising and welcome additions to the AEW roster, as she continues to prove her worth with every appearance.” – Warren Hayes

“Mariah May is the total package. She’s a good wrestler in the ring, can talk on the mic, has charisma for days, and is effortlessly present every second she’s on screen. She has “It”, and is on-track to become one of AEW’s top female stars later this year.” – Adam Berger

“Even as a side character to Timeless Toni, Mariah May’s potential is off the charts. She’s impressed me in her appearances in the ring as a gatekeeper to the Women’s Title, and her charisma and look are tailor-made for US television. She’s still Toni’s sidekick at time of writing, but she’s a true superstar in the making.” – Suit Williams

“A great in-ring talent that is taking the Toni Storm gimmick to new heights and is seemingly being poised for a bigger run before too long.” – Will Young

“I truly believe that Mariah May has all the potential to be one of the biggest wrestlers in the world. Her run in Stardom showed her to be one of the fastest improving wrestlers that I’ve ever seen in all my years of watching. I’m so excited to see where she will be a year from now.” – Kelly Harrass

MAO

#29
MAO

Age: 27
Years Active: 8
Promotion: DDT Pro Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: DDT Universal Champion, KO-D Ten Man Tag Team Champion, DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion, King Of DDT 2024 Winner
Highest Panel Ranking: 4
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“MAO’s been wrestling for nearly eight years, but it’s only in the last couple of years he’s really put it together. He’s had a strong reign as DDT Universal Champion and has shown he can do everything – comedy, deathmatches and tangle with big guys. His charisma and flashy moveset is perfect for DDT and he will help to lead it into the post-Takeshita future.” – Gerard Di Trolio

28 - Ryohei Oiwa

#28
Ryohei Oiwa

Age: 25
Years Active: 2
Promotion: New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: Victory Challenge Tag League 2024 Winner
Highest Panel Ranking: 3
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Oiwa has managed to outshine all of his fellow young wrestlers in New Japan while still on his long excursion in Pro Wrestling NOAH, with the possible exception only of Yota Tsuji (who is no longer eligible for this list!). Hopefully they’re ready to push this guy to the moon whenever he finally gets back.” – John Carroll

“The roster better get ready for this kid’s return to NJPW. He’s coming for your spot.” – Warren Hayes

“If the Reiwa Three Musketeers leave you underwhelmed, there’s always Oiwa. New Japan’s alleged new approach to its young talent seems to be benefitting him the most. His run in NOAH so far has been great and seen a lot of growth for him from Kaito Kiyomiya’s tag partner to his rival. He’s demonstrated both a strong grasp of technical wrestling and the big move epic style of Japanese main events.” – Gerard Di Trolio

“Does anyone else find it a little funny that the most exciting NOAH young boy in years (possibly even decades) is a New Japan young boy who is doing his excursion in NOAH? No? Just me. Got it. Anyways, Ryohei Oiwa has been a world-beater since stepping into NOAH’s ring last summer. He was an outstanding partner to Kiyomiya, both in NOAH and NJPW last year, and in the brief glimpses we’ve seen of him away from Kiyomiya since the formation of Rebellion, Oiwa hasn’t lost any bit of what previously made him special.” – Case Lowe

“New Japan has three Reiwa Musketeers, yet the leader of the next generation may still be on excursion. Oiwa has blossomed in Pro Wrestling NOAH, teaming with Kaito Kiyomiya before his recent turn on him. He’s been so good that you forget he’s not a NOAH guy and that New Japan will be getting him in their ranks at some point. He’s as close to a sure thing as any of those Musketeers, and New Japan will be all the better for it once they get him back.” – Suit Williams

27 - Miu Watanabe

#27
Miu Watanabe

Age: 24
Years Active: 6
Promotion: Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: Princess Of Princess Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 4
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“There are few wrestlers who are more charismatic or better as a natural babyface than Watanabe. Underneath her big smile is a killer power wrestler who is incredibly strong for her size. Her first Princess of Princess reign has been a big success so far.” – Gerard Di Trolio

“This smiling pink muscle idol was finally given the ball by TJPW and she’s running away with it. Miu is undeniably incredible in the ring. The strength she shows and the speed of her giant swing brings Claudio Castagnoli comparisons and that’s tremendous company to be in.” – Kelly Harrass

26 - Bandido

#26
Bandido

Age: 29
Years Active: 13
Promotion: All Elite Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: WWA World Welterweight Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 6
Last Year’s Ranking: 14

“There are very few wrestlers in the world with Bandido’s unique blend of speed and strength. He’s been out for a long time due to injuries, but I’m optimistic he’ll quickly regain his form.” – Adam Berger

“Two years ago, I went to Melrose Park, Illinois to watch Ultimo Dragon wrestle on a GALLI Lucha Libre show. Ultimo Dragon was very over, as he always is, but he didn’t put in any effort, as he often does. My memory of that show is not Ultimo-related. Two years later, I can’t get the image of Bandido climbing into the bleachers and being treated like a God during a main event crowd brawl out of my head. He parted the sea of people like Moses. They chanted his name like he was the Chosen One. He performed with God-like ability. It’s easy to forget just how talented Bandido is because he’s missed so much time due to injury, but when Bandido heals up and gets back in the ring, I think he has legitimate top-of-the-card appeal. Wrestling will be better off when Bandido is back in the picture.” – Case Lowe

“I truly believe that Bandido could become a major singles lucha star for AEW. His strength and speed combination always gets crowds into his work, even if he’s come in cold. He’s got a great look too with the bandit mask. Health has been his primary issue, as he’s been out for a while due to a wrist injury and an ineffective surgery to fix it. But I think one he’s back he can add something to the absolutely loaded midcard in AEW.” – Suit Williams

“I can’t wait for Bandido to return and get back to stealing the show every time he wrestles on AEW television. The company landscape has changed so much since he was injured that there’s a lot of fresh matches he can have that will for sure wow the audience. A mix of raw power and innovative high-flying, Bandido is a total package and can be the next big lucha star… if the room decides to push him.” – Griffin Peltier

25 - Jamie Hayter

#25
Jamie Hayter

Age: 29
Years Active: 9
Promotion: All Elite Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: N/A
Highest Panel Ranking: 9
Last Year’s Ranking: 7

“Despite an incredibly long recovery period from injury, fans are still baying for the return of one of the AEW women’s division’s biggest success stories.” – Will Young

“Will she ever return? Her status after being out for over a year is why she falls this low.” – Tyler Forness

“Jamie Hayter, Jamie Hayter. Where for art thou, Jamie Hayter? Last year, Hayter was a month removed from injury after a hot run on AEW TV and a title reign cut short by said injury. This year, Hayter has been completely MIA, with updates on her few and far between. The AEW women’s division has been revitalized in her absence, and should she ever come back, she would become a massive piece in it. Here’s hoping the prayer circles work.” – Suit Williams

“Jamie Hayter is severely missed. Before her injury she was elevating American women’s wrestling with her stellar match quality, and became the most popular woman in AEW because she was such a great worker. Her long absence raises doubt whether she’ll ever return, but if/when she does, I’ll be thrilled to see her.” – Adam Berger

24 - Jacky Kamei

#24
Jacky Kamei

Age: 24
Years Active: 4
Promotion: Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: Open The Triangle Gate Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 3
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Big Match Jack. The out of nowhere leader of the Class of 2020 after SBK’s departure & Kikuta’s tepid Dream Gate run. As a rookie, I thought Taketo Kamei would have a very fortunate career as the Genki Horiguchi or Kzy of the next generation: The guy who is going to tug the heartstrings, get everyone behind him, but never THE GUY. What I didn’t realize was that his understudying of those men wasn’t just to learn their jobs and how to fill their positions on their cards as they got older, Jacky Kamei was determined to exceed them. Could Jacky Kamei be the first “plucky underdog” to actually win the Dream Gate title? That’s now on the periphery for Jacky Kamei.” – Mike Spears

“One of the most exciting young white-meat babyfaces in wrestling is Jacky Kamei of Dragongate. His work as a tag team wrestler is fantastic, as can be seen in the incredible Z-Brats/Kung Fu Masters tag match from Kobe World a couple years ago. He had a powerhouse performance both inside and outside of the Dead or Alive Cage Match this year that made you feel the emotional heft of that match. Now a part of the super-babyface unit BIG HUG, Kamei is going to get even more spotlight alongside Luis Mante and HYO.” – Suit Williams

“Kamei does not have the kayfabe accomplishments of some his classmates in Dragongate, but he is one of the best wrestlers in the promotion and has an indomitable babyface spirit. The question is if he will ever be pushed to top in Dragongate, or if he is destined to be the next generation Kzy, a solid and likeable midcarder who is always the bridesmaid.” – Jesse Collings

“For the first five months of 2024, Kamei was the single most interesting wrestler in Japan. Kamei, alongside Jason Lee, put together a Tag Team of the Year run in the first three months, with Kamei adding to his lengthy list of great matches by way of Natural Vibes trios matches and marquee Dragongate matches, notably the cage match at this year’s Dead or Alive. In the early years of his career, I expected Kamei to carry on the torch that Genki Horiguchi has kept lit for 25 years. I now realize that he has far surpassed that lofty comparison. Kamei is a vital part of Japan’s #2 promotion and someone who hasn’t come close to hitting his ceiling yet.” – Case Lowe

23 - Mochizuki Jr

#23
Mochizuki Jr.

Age: 21
Years Active: 2
Promotion: Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: 4FW Junior Heavyweight Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 5
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Masaaki Mochizuki has an adult son, and he’s an absolute stud. Mochi Junior is a prodigy, and after a British excursion, he’s set up to be a major name on the scene in Dragongate. Keep your eyes peeled, he’s going to be headlining shows sooner than later.” – Suit Williams

“The second-coming of the Mochizuki name has all of the talent and skill to match the lofty career that his father has had. I can’t believe that Mochizuki Junior doesn’t have a higher profile among wrestling tastemakers. Two years deep into his career, although he’s spent time on the sideline due to various injuries, Junior is the brightest prospect that Dragongate has. He has poise, he’s already an excellent wrestler, and now in a post-excursion universe, it’s time for Junior to blow past his fellow contemporaries.” – Case Lowe

“One day the wrestling world will finally wake up and realize how special of a person Mochizuki Jr already is at age 22. He’s only been wrestling for two years and it already feels like he will be the person who will captain Dragongate for the next twenty years. Never a step wrong or an opportunity squared, one would think the son of Masaaki Mochizuki, one of the greatest in-ring wrestlers in modern history, would get more respect than he gets right now. Junior has already proved himself as a draw for the company, and the lynchpin of storylines for rookie wrestlers. A time will come soon with Mochizuki Junior leading the charge for Dragongate and the wrestling industry, get onboard now before you look foolish.” – Mike Spears

22 - Yuki Ueno

#22
Yuki Ueno

Age: 28
Years Active: 7
Promotion: DDT Pro Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: KO-D Openweight Champion, KO-D Ten Man Tag Team Champion, DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 4
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Ueno has been a major factor in the improvement of DDT this past year. The company’s business is even slowly improving as well. He’s good looking, charismatic, and always has great matches. It’s a no-brainer that he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world under the age of 30.” – Gerard Di Trolio

21 - Sareee

#21
Sareee

Age: 28
Years Active: 13
Promotion: Dream Star Fighting Marigold, Sukeban, Sendai Girls, SEAdLINNNG, World Wonder Ring Stardom
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: KO-D Openweight Champion, KO-D Ten Man Tag Team Champion, DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 1
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Sareee is one of the most in demand freelancers in Japan. She’s had great matches in Sendai Girls, Stardom and Marigold already this year. She’s in the rare position of being a freelancer who can a major effect on the direction of any company she regularly works for, but at the same time it may hobble her ability to become one of the biggest joshi stars in Japan.” – Gerard Di Trolio

“Following her exile in NXT, Sareee burst back onto the scene and reminded everybody that she’s one of the very best in the world, under 30 or otherwise. She hasn’t wrestled a ton of matches since her return, but damn near every one of them has been notebook worthy. She’s a front runner for my wrestler of the year and is my number one pick for the best wrestler under 30.” – Kelly Harrass

20 - Miyu Yamashita

#20
Miyu Yamashita

Age: 29
Years Active: 10
Promotion: Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling, Major League Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: Princess Of Princess Champion, EVE Champion, SPARK Joshi World Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 6
Last Year’s Ranking: 29

“A breakout star from the Joshi scene into worldwide organizations, has the potential to be a division’s cornerstone.” – Will Young

“Undoubtedly the best wrestler in Major League Wrestling’s women’s division, Miyu Yamashita kicks hard and is very talented.” – Griffin Peltier

“Miyu Yamashita has been such a great wrestler for so long that it’s easy to take her for granted. Hell, I forgot that she was still eligible for this list. In my early drafts of my list she was in the mid-tier, but as I looked back on her year, I had to bump her up to my 6 spot. She was in three matches that I rated at ****3/4, which is the most of anyone on my ballot. Miyu is a pillar of TJPW. Even as she distances herself from the company by working more in America, it still feels like TJPW has her in a “break in case of emergency” box. For better or worse, at any moment the company could decide to put the title back on her. She’s the rock they built the company on.” – Kelly Harrass




19 - AZM

#19
AZM

Age: 21
Years Active: 9
Promotion: World Wonder Ring Stardom
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: N/A
Highest Panel Ranking: 9
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“At just twenty-one years old, AZM is considered by many to be a wrestling prodigy. She’s fast and agile with a technical spin and able to hit her moves with surgical precision. It will be interesting to watch where she goes in Stardom following the Marigold split. She could very well be the next ace in the promotion.” – Griffin Peltier

18 - Jack Perry

#18
Jack Perry

Age: 27
Years Active: 9
Promotion: All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: FTW Champion
Highest Panel Ranking: 4
Last Year’s Ranking: 22

“The one real winner from the CM Punk in AEW affair. Perry’s dramatically improved in practically every area that was perceived as a weakness. His stock has risen dramatically and this part of his career, where he goes to prove his detractors wrong, is compelling stuff.” – Warren Hayes

“The Scapegoat character saved Jack Perry, as he came back to AEW with much more confidence and mic skills.” – Tyler Forness

“When a guy joins House of Torture and gets better, that’s a special talent. Perry has improved the one aspect of his game that held him back from being a true star – his mic work – and has seemed to caught onto something with the Scapegoat gimmick. His work has been very good for a long time, and if his mic work can continue the improvement that it has, Perry could very well live up to his billing as a pillar of AEW.” – Suit Williams

17 - Fuminori Abe

#17
Fuminori Abe

Age: 29
Years Active: 9
Promotion: Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling BASARA, 666, Total Triumph Team, Pro Wrestling ZERO1
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: BJW Tag Team Champion, AMBITION 14 Winner, Toshiwasure! Shuffle Six Man Tag Team Tournament Winner
Highest Panel Ranking: 1
Last Year’s Ranking: NR

“Fuminori Abe is for me still one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet as well as one half of the best tag team of the world called Astronauts. He is stepping in the ring all across the globe, has stellar performances everywhere he went to and is still only 29 years old.” – Chris Gascoigne

“The definition of underrated, more and more are beginning to see just how good he really is with more opportunities stateside.” – Will Young

“The best independent wrestler in Japan at the moment, Abe is one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world and has been for a couple of years now. He needs some level of promotional stability to rise higher in pro wrestling, as he has likely hit his ceiling working indies in terms of overall popularity.” – Jesse Collings

16 - Hijo del Vikingo

#16
El Hijo del Vikingo

Age: 27
Years Active: 11
Promotion: Lucha Libre AAA World Wide
Accomplishments Over The Last Year: AAA Mega Champion, DREAMWAVE Alternative Champion, Rey de Reyes 2024 Winner
Highest Panel Ranking: 5
Last Year’s Ranking: 6

“Vikingo is an interesting case. He’s the only highlight of AAA, and he’s sparingly used in AEW, with future use in question due to the new CMLL relationship. He’s an incredible physical talent who is out right now due to a knee injury. Quite frankly, my hope is that Vikingo gets himself out of AAA as soon as possible as he’s so much better than that dumpster fire promotion. His talent is such that he could land on his feet anywhere, and find himself higher up this list while he can.” – Suit Williams

“The ACL injury has me concerned, but the ability is still excellent.” – Tyler Forness

“An injury has set him back in recent months, but Vikingo is on the path to being one of the biggest stars in the world, thriving in cameos on US television while remaining a key player in AAA for a company that desperately needs exciting wrestlers.” – Jesse Collings

“El Hijo del Vikingo has been the one constant in AAA since a certain booking regime was seemingly forced to put the Mega title on him. Vikingo is amazing in the ring and is a notebook match machine… but that seems to be it. He’s really talented and you know you’re going to get a great match from him but they all seem to blend together at this point. You can slap a “4” on the match before the opening bell and move on with your life if you’re watching VOD. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for Vikingo if he ever leaves AAA.”  – Griffin Peltier