Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated June 2019

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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9 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the desk of …

WE MET THREE Executive Vice Presidents and then a fourth. We met the Chief Brandi Officer. We even met a few men and women who won’t be moonlighting as executives. I think they used to be referred to as wrestlers. The only people we didn’t meet at the All Elite Wrestling rallies in Jacksonville and Las Vegas are the two men who are at the very top of the corporate hierarchy: Shahid and Tony Khan. No one expected to see Shahid, the family patriarch. He’s supportive of his son’s new business venture, but professional wrestling is far down his list of priorities. He’s listed as co-owner, but he’s more about sound advice and, well, money. Tony was at both events, but he got nowhere near the podium. He’s a lifelong wrestling fan,…

11 min.
before the bell

GENE KINISKI: CANADIAN WRESTLING LEGEND Long before the age of Wikipedia-styled websites and online echo chambers, writers of every stripe recognized thorough research as the cornerstone of any worthwhile literary undertaking. Even today, when the allure of visiting a bygone era is such that only a deep dive into the past will suffice to tell a complete tale, good historians and biographers still return to primary sources—eyewitnesses, photographs, and original documents—to effectively recount compelling stories. It is in this spirit that author Steven Verrier revisits the life and career of one of the most celebrated competitors of professional wrestling’s formative era in the book Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend. Verrier journeys to the roots of the wrestler's family tree in the book’s early chapters, tracing the family of Eugene Kiniski to Alberta,…

11 min.

KENNY OMEGA, who was ranked number one in the 2018 “PWI 500” and entered 2019 as IWGP champion, is widely considered the greatest wrestler in the world. That’s why it seemed like a seismic shift when the Manitoba native appeared at All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing ticket announcement rally at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and confirmed what the wrestling industry had already anticipated: He will leave New Japan for AEW, signing on as a performer and executive vice president of the newly formed company. Omega will join former Bullet Club members Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Hangman Page—now known as The Elite—in AEW. Omega recalled his thoughts during last year’s All In pay-per-view. “I wondered why it couldn’t be this way all the time.…

5 min.
quick count

THE ACADEMY AWARDS have come and gone, and once again WWE Studios was left out in the cold. In all seriousness, while maybe not Oscar-worthy, Fighting With My Family, the WWE-produced biopic on former Women’s champion Paige, was getting some love by critics upon in its release in February. The message to WWE might be simple: There’s no need to have your wrestlers play Marines or giant-sized orphans. Their real-life stories are far more interesting. On that note, here’s my annual Oscar-themed edition of “Quick Count.” Roll ’em. A STAR IS BORN Was it the moment she lost the Women’s championship match at SummerSlam to Charlotte Flair, and, in the process, won fans’ sympathies? Was it when she laid out Ronda Rousey on Raw while nursing a broken and bloodied nose? Or was…

4 min.
the straight shooter

THERE ARE INHERENT dangers in wrestling. Inside the ring, bodies are slammed, twisted, stretched, and bent. Injuries are part of the game. But sometimes the worst injuries don’t happen inside the ring or in front of a crowd of fans. Sometimes, they happen on a lonely stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere. Ask an independent wrestler how many miles they put on their odometer every year, and they’re likely to say 15,000 or 20,000 miles is a good estimate. Sometimes a lot more. If you want to make it in wrestling, you need to travel. Wrestlers call it “making towns” or “doing the loop,” going from one city after another, carpooling to save money, traveling 14 hours roundtrip for a meager payout and a hope for future bookings. If you…

6 min.
win, lose, or draw

IT’S HARD TO imagine our wrestling heroes attempting to make an ordinary living like the rest of us. Remember Mickey Rourke struggling as a supermarket employee in The Wrestler? AJ Styles once told me that he delivered water while his wife was going to college for her teaching degree. And, of course, Matt Striker was a history teacher! We’ve all heard the hard-luck stories of wrestlers who sacrificed everything to make it in the business: Hulk Hogan and Ed Leslie (the future Brutus Beefcake) eating raw potatoes in the back of their van while in Memphis, or Daniel Bryan and Brian Kendrick boiling ramen noodles while attending the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy. I thought of this about a year ago, when an inspiring article ran on The Philadelphia Inquirer’s philly.com website. The…