Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated February 2020

Published every other month, the magazine’s mission is to bring our readers right to the ringside with brilliant, high-impact photography and to inform and entertain readers about the Pro Wrestling world. Get Pro Wrestling Illustrated digital magazine subscription today to get unbiased coverage of every major promotion and wrestling news.

United States
Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the desk of …

I LISTENED TO a PWI Podcast in September as my generals debated the age-old question concerning this magazine’s position on which championships were worthy of our recognition as “world” titles. I wouldn’t expect Harry Burkett, Al Castle, and Dan Murphy to be in full agreement about this issue, or any other for that matter. But, as the man who would ultimately have to make the final decision, it was useful to hear these three men discuss the matter in detail. It was four years ago that PWI decided that WWE had surpassed its competition by such a wide margin that only that company’s two top championships would be considered “world titles” by this magazine. The shifting tides of the wrestling industry have prompted us to re-examine the question. WWE remains the…

10 min.
before the bell

Well-kept secrets have shaped and changed human history at every level, ensuring victory in war while sustaining commerce and industry. For many decades, professional wrestling enforced its own code of secrecy to build the sport into a moneymaking endeavor, relying on tight-lipped performers and promoters to advance the storylines that kept dedicated fans coming back for every card. For better or worse, the days of linear plotlines and suspension of disbelief are long past, but Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson have chronicled the twists and turns of this bygone era—and just about everything else that has transpired since those times—in their book The Storytellers: From The Terrible Turk To Twitter. To be sure, sentimental commemorations and nostalgia are omnipresent themes in the wrestling world nowadays, and authors who turn an eye…

11 min.

AEW EARNED THE first victory in its growing rivalry with WWE, as AEW Dynamite on TNT beat WWE’s NXT on USA when the shows went head-to-head on October 2 in the same 8 to 10 p.m. timeslot. The score? 1,410,000 viewers to 870,000 viewers. It was the first time that NXT had dropped below one million since its September 18 premiere. WWE lost the battle, but tried to maintain the narrative by issuing a press release only a couple of hours before the ratings were released to the general public. “Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride, as this…

5 min.
quick count

COMEDY GIANT EDDIE Murphy is back in a big way. Not only is he hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years, and returning to movie screens in the sequel to Coming To America, Murphy is even talking about returning to the standup circuit. Seeing as how he’s sure to be a bit rusty, here’s some advice for Eddie: Consider challenging for the WWE’s 24/7 title. You’re likely to get a win under your belt, and quality humor is not a high priority. Put on your red leather jumpsuit and enjoy this Eddie Murphy-themed edition of “Quick Count.” THE GOLDEN CHILD Scanning my 2019 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame ballot recently, I came upon a name that brought me pause: Randy Orton. Once upon a time, the third-generation WWE competitor was…

5 min.
straight shooter

I’'VE BEEN AROUND long enough to know that there’s no such thing as “retirement” in pro wrestling. But unless a Saudi prince with deep pockets comes calling, this issue is my last as a writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated. I made the decision to step down from PWI several months ago, but I wanted to stay on board long enough to complete this year’s “PWI 500” and “Women’s 100.” Now it’s time for me to see what life outside of wrestling has in store for me. I’ve been a wrestling fan since the early-1980s. I discovered the PWI family of magazines a few years later and soon my bedroom walls were festooned with pinups of The Road Warriors, Bruiser Brody, The Von Erichs, and—of course—Missy Hyatt and Elizabeth. I collected wrestling magazines like…

6 min.
win, lose, or draw

ON A RECENT PWI Podcast, Dan Murphy, Al Castle, and I grappled with a very complex issue: whether PWI should expand world title recognition beyond the WWE and Universal championships. Al and I were in favor of granting world-title status to both the AEW and IWGP championships. Dan preferred a wait-and-see approach. You’ve probably read PWI’s official stance in “From The Desk Of … Stu Saks.” It’s always an intriguing debate. I noted, however, that it felt sad how quickly we all dismissed the NWA championship as a viable world title in 2019. Sad because the “10 pounds of gold” was considered the most valuable championship in the world for over four decades. Sad because current champion Nick Aldis has sweat, bled, and paid the price for the past two years—and NWA…