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Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated June 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.

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United States
Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the desk of…

FAR BE IT from me to tell Vince McMahon how to run his business. He’s a billionaire; I’m a thousandaire. But I have something VMac will never have: a column in Pro Wrestling Illustrated. And I get to do with it as I please. I don’t like the message McMahon sent during the first-quarter conference call with investors, not even a little bit. Vince put forth the notion that WWE would very seriously consider accepting bids from outside parties to stream WWE’s top annual events (which are still referred to as pay-per-views for lack of a more accurate word). There are, he insists, several major companies willing to pony up to get their hands on WWE’s valuable content, and he is duty-bound as the Chairman of the Board to investigate how…

10 min
before the bell

UNDER THE BLACK HAT For a guy who has spent tens of thousands of hours talking into microphones, Jim Ross still has a lot to say. That’s good news for wrestling fans because when it comes to spinning yarns and shooting straight, Good Ol’ J.R. is in a class all by himself. In 2017, the storied announcer published Slobberknocker: My Life In Wrestling, which covered his humblest of beginnings and early exploits in the wrestling business. His new book, Under The Black Hat: My Life In The WWE And Beyond, shares the subsequent steps of J.R.’s journey, from the Monday Night War to his present work in AEW. Especially heartfelt and poignant are J.R.’s accounts of his longtime friendship with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, a relationship that endured the rigors of a…

10 min

MARTY SCURLL WAS definitely going to join his Elite buddies in AEW. But, wait, he showed up in the NWA to re-ignite his rivalry with Nick Aldis. Staying in Ring of Honor? Not a chance. It was a surprise when Ring of Honor announced that Scurll, the biggest star remaining on its roster, had been signed to a multiyear contract. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the situation was reminiscent of Matt Taven’s negotiations last fall. Just when it seemed inevitable that Taven would be checking in at the WWE Performance Center, it was announced the former ROH champion would be staying after all. The boldest statement in ROH’s press release was that Scurll would become the company’s head booker. While the question of who held the pencil was once a…

5 min
quick count

WORD IS THAT WWE unsuccessfully tried to secure an Emmy nomination last year in the category of “Outstanding Structured Reality Program.” Maybe it was barking up the wrong tree altogether, and should have tried for an Academy Award instead. After all, if a seven-hour long WrestleMania doesn’t qualify as a “sweeping epic,” nothing does. For your consideration, it’s the annual Oscar-inspired edition of “Quick Count.” THE IRISHMAN For weeks, WWE hyped the return of Sheamus with videos in which he vowed to “ravage everything and everyone” in his way. And so, surely, big things were in store for “The Celtic Warrior” when he returned from an eight-month hiatus, right? Think again, fella. Rather than jump right into the main event mix on Smackdown, Sheamus targeted the talented, but underutilized, Shorty G. What’s more, rather than…

6 min
win, lose, or draw

AFTER ROCKY JOHNSON’S death on January 15, his son, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a touching tribute on Instagram. It was the most powerful son-to-father tribute I’ve ever read. In only a couple of paragraphs, The Rock conveyed some complex emotions, recalling the young boy who hero-worshipped his dad, alluding to a sometimes-complicated relationship, and, finally, offering the mature perspective of a son who had taken the full measure of his father—flaws and all—and came to regard him with love and respect. “I love you,” wrote Dwayne. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend, and trailblazed your way through this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud…

15 min
hotseat: aj styles

AJ STYLES WENT into 2010 as a world champion and, pound-for-pound, one of the very best wrestlers in the world. And, although the scenery changed a few times, he wore those distinctions throughout much of the next 10 years. And so it was no surprise when Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers chose “The Phenomenal One” as the Wrestler of the Decade. It capped off a long list of accolades accumulated by Styles over the past 10 years, including: a number-one ranking in the “ PWI 500,” a PWI Match of the Year award, two Wrestler of the Year awards, and a combined five world/heavyweight title reigns in three major promotions: TNA, New Japan, and WWE. But simply tallying Styles’ world title reigns doesn’t do justice to what he accomplished throughout the 2010s. Randomly…