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Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated December 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.

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United States
Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the desk of…

THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS as they seem. Perhaps that’s even truer in the wacky world of professional wrestling than anywhere else. As evidence, I offer … Ring of Honor’s popularity is slipping—and we all know what that means: The company is going to implement Plan Z and fight its way back. How do I know this? Because it’s happened so many times before. Admittedly, the emergence of AEW has changed the professional wrestling landscape. But that’s okay. Ring of Honor has always found a way to remain relevant. Whether it’s discovering untapped talent or forming an alliance with New Japan Pro Wrestling, ROH always seems to find its footing. There is loads of talent in the pro wrestling ranks that is not tied up contractually to WWE, NJPW, AEW, and even ROH.…

10 min.

THE WAR IS ON. The buzz is enormous as we head toward All Elite Wrestling’s new two-hour show on Wednesday, October 2, TNT’s first professional wrestling program since WCW Monday Nitro was canceled in 2001. Will CM Punk join former WWE peers Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley in AEW? Who is most likely to emerge as the first AEW champion? Does AEW have a chance to beat Raw in the ratings in its first week? Then there’s the huge event only two days later: WWE Smackdown Live will celebrate its 20th anniversary during its Fox network premiere, airing on Friday, October 4. Will Brock Lesnar be there? Ronda Rousey? Steve Austin? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? AEW executives from Tony Khan to Jim Ross insist they aren’t foolish enough to challenge WWE directly—no…

4 min.
seth rollins tops the 29th annual pwi 500

THROUGHOUT MOST OF 2018, Seth Rollins appeared to be having the time of his life—beloved by fans, stealing the show night after night in mid-card matches, and well on his way to becoming the WWE’s next top guy. He achieved that status in 2019, and, with it, another major honor: being ranked number one in the 29th annual “PWI 500.” But if anybody would know about how heavy is the head that wears the crown, it would be the man who once dubbed himself the “Kingslayer.” “First of all, I need to make sure you guys know what you’re doing here,” Rollins said. “The Internet is not going to be very happy about this one.” Like so many before him, Rollins’ ascension to the top of WWE has come with new pressures and…

2 min.
the 29th annual pwi 500: wwe garners the top four spots

THE PAST TWO years, the top spot in the “PWI 500” was awarded to wrestlers who have never stepped foot in a WWE ring … and, if we were to hazard a guess, probably never will. Kazuchika Okada is his company’s champion and franchise player. And NJPW, while probably receiving a hometown discount, knows full well how vital it is that he stays off Vince McMahon’s payroll. Last year’s winner, Kenny Omega, gave the idea of working for WWE about five minutes of thought before being offered an executive position—and, of course, a main-event slot—by All Elite’s Tony Khan. Seth Rollins dreamed only of being a WWE Superstar for as long as he can remember. The man most famous for cashing in his Money in the Bank title shot at the…

147 min.
pwi 500

01 SETH ROLLINGS HEIGHT: 6'1'' WEIGHT: 217 YEARS PRO: 11 2018 RANK: 5 PATH TO NUMBER 1 88 IN 2008 17 IN 2009 19 IN 2010 53 IN 2011 46 IN 2012 35 IN 2013 12 IN 2014 01 IN 2015 08 IN 2016 16 IN 2017 05 IN 2018 TOP FIVE MOMENTS DURING EVALUATION PERIOD: 1. With the help of a low blow, slayed the “Beast,” Brock Lesnar, at WrestleMania 35, and in doing so captured his first WWE Universal championship.2. Lasted 43 minutes—and outlasted 29 other competitors—to win the 2019 Royal Rumble match and earn a guaranteed world title opportunity at WrestleMania.3. Pinned AJ Styles after hitting his signature stomp to retain the Universal championship in his first pay-per-view title defense, at Money in the Bank.4. Teamed with fellow Shield member Dean Ambrose to beat Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre and win the Raw tag team…

6 min.
pwi 500: alphabetical listing

325 Fuminori Abe 462 Joey Ace 188 Aerostar 323 Fabian Aichner 223 Akam 299 Jun Akiyama 41 Nick Aldis 59 Cedric Alexander 210 Josh Alexander 55 Ali 338 Shaheem Ali 394 Darby Allin 181 Karl Anderson 68 Andrade 218 Mark Andrews 288 Matt Angel 220 Angelico 461 Mark Angelosetti 395 Lance Anoa’i 282 Lance Archer 131 Austin Aries 453 David Arquette 270 Shotaro Ashino 380 Atlantis 331 Jake Atlas 401 Audaz 243 Ace Austin 437 Ty Awesome 172 Curtis Axel 228 Diamante Azul 402 Falla Bahh 214 Mike Bailey 19 Finn Balor 81 Bandido 424 Brent Banks 138 Travis Banks 146 Barbaro Cavernario 326 Marcel Barthel 107 Tyler Bate 458 Tyler Bateman 456 B-Boy 194 Shelton Benjamin 450 Victor Benjamin 273 Ben-K 400 Kevin Bennett 231 Trent Berreta 425 Chris Bey 72 Big E 34 Aleister Black 140 PJ Black 471 Kevin Blackwood 311 Wesley Blake 298 Blue Demon Jr. 408 Sinn Bodhi 423 Cezar Bononi 232 Tyler Breeze 416 Josh Briggs 349 Wes Brisco 108 Jay Briscoe 112 Mark Briscoe 354 Chris Brookes 386 Andy Brown 336 Beer City Bruiser 2 Daniel Bryan 163 Bully Ray 193 Danny Burch 245 Markus Burke 265 BUSHI 444 Dante Caballero 120…