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Pro Wrestling Illustrated April 2018

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


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from the desk of...

VINCE McMAHON HAS gone unchallenged in this business for so long, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Things have gotten so dull at Titan Tower that there are reports that Vince is thinking about bringing back the XFL. Is there anyone out there who is rich enough or dumb enough to get into the wrestling/sports entertainment business and offer Mr. McMahon a little old-fashioned, all-American competition? After the Carter family waved the white flag, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would be willing to lose millions in the wrestling business again.A friend recently suggested to me that New Japan Pro Wrestling was emerging as a legitimate threat to WWE. I politely laughed him off. Mind you, NJPW is doing its due diligence in analyzing the possibility of branching…

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NOW THAT DALTON Castle has pulled the sword from the stone, how will he use it? It is far too early to suggest that Castle’s Ring of Honor title reign will be transformational for North America’s number-two promotion, but one thing is certain: The ROH championship will be his Excalibur. It will transform the career of Dalton Castle.It’s not accurate to describe the ROH belt as merely a steppingstone, like the WWF Intercontinental title of the 1990s or the Missouri State title of the 1970s or ’80s. Some wrestlers—such as CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Adam Cole—have used the championship as a springboard to WWE careers, but, more than anything else, it validates a wrestler’s main-event value. Christopher Daniels used the title to cement his legacy. Cody Rhodes used it…

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achievement 2017 the year in review

WRESTLING FANS ARE an opinionated bunch. They know what they like, and nothing irritates them quite like the feeling that their opinion doesn’t matter.The PWI Achievement Awards is one place where the fans’ opinions very certainly matter… and the entire wrestling world takes notice.While the editorial team offers its opinion with the “PWI 500” and “Female 50,” the 11 Achievement Awards are decided entirely by fan ballot, without regard for promotional affiliation, “push,” or hype. The Achievement Awards, dating back to 1972, are among the most respected and honored accolades in wrestling.In addition to Wrestler of the Year, Match of the Year, and the rest of the fan-decided awards, the staff of PWI selects one recipient of the Stanley Weston Award, given in acknowledgment of a lifetime of contribution to…

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rookie of the year: otis dozovic (28%)

(©2017 NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING, LTD.)TAP HERE FOR VIDEOOn Election Night 2000, much of the United States went to bed believing that Al Gore had been elected the 43rd President of the United States. The vote was so close that the major news networks initially made the wrong call. When all the hanging chads were considered and Florida flipped from Blue to Red, George W. Bush emerged as President in a swerve that would have made Vince Russo green with envy.Well, something very similar almost occurred in this year’s Rookie of the Year voting.Coming into the final stretch of the voting period, Puerto Rican sensation Ray Gonzalez Jr. had enough of a lead in the race that we had penciled him in as this year’s Rookie of the Year and began…

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inspirational wrestler of the year: christopher daniels (21%)

TAP HERE FOR VIDEOWhen Christopher Daniels wrestled his first match, Bill Clinton was President, Robin Hood: Men In Tights was playing in theaters, and Beanie Babies were taking the nation by storm.Twenty-four years later, “The Fallen Angel” captured his first “world” championship, winning the ROH heavyweight title from Adam Cole in March.Over the course of the past quarter-century, Daniels has been one of the top technicians in the world, universally praised for his in-ring prowess, his promo abilities, and his willingness to reinvent himself and remain relevant.Daniels had a developmental contract with the WWF in the late-1990s, but he never advanced to the main roster. In 2001, he was signed by WCW, but the company went out of business a short time later. His early career was stymied by bad…

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most improved wrestler of the year: jinder mahal (34%)

TAP HERE FOR VIDEOAt this time last year, Jinder Mahal was a virtual afterthought on the Raw roster, making occasional appearances on Main Event and suffering losses to the likes of Sin Cara, Darren Young, and Curtis Axel.Now, he’s a former WWE heavyweight champion and one of the top heels on the Smackdown brand.It took 16 years for Mahal to become an “overnight sensation.” He started his career on the Alberta independent scene and spent several years toiling in Canada before signing a WWE developmental deal in 2010. After a stint in Florida Championship Wrestling, he was called up to the main roster in 2011, but he never rose beyond the opening-match level.In 2012, he joined fellow undercard mainstays Heath Slater and Drew Galloway to form the 3 Man Band.…