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Pro Wrestling Illustrated February 2021

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.
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the desk of …

WE’RE NOT PRIVY to the ages of all our readers. But I think it’s safe to assume that, at 36 years old, I’m pretty close to being the median age among wrestling fans. Those who enjoy the sport—and who read our magazine—range from the very young to the much less young. If you plotted those ages out on a graph, somewhere in the middle you’d have folks of my generation. While it’s no secret that I enjoy the new and exciting things happening in the industry today, my decades of wrestling fandom have imbued me with a healthy appreciation for the past. One area where I am decidedly “old school” is the art of tag team wrestling. I grew up on The Rockers, The Legion of Doom, and The Steiner Brothers. Years…

10 min
before the bell

REVIEWS LIO RUSH: THE FINAL MATCH A particularly creative lot by nature, many professional wrestlers aren’t content to confine their artistry to the squared circle, frequently seeking daring new outlets of self-expression. Lio Rush is one such grappler, determined to show that he’s as dangerous on the mic as he is in the ring. Earlier this year, Rush released a new rap album entitled The Final Match. Rush’s second full-length studio album kicks off with the track “Gorilla,” in which he introduces CZW ring announcer Larry Legend into the fray. While that particular cut and the subsequent tune “Entrance” (featuring Nick Brodeur) provide Rush the opportunity to hype his in-ring prowess, his bravado is tempered through the smoldering key track “Ring the Bell,” in which he references the struggles he has endured through…

10 min

WHEN WILL THE COVID-19 pandemic release its grip on our world, our society, and our economy? No one knows the answer. But we’re getting a clearer picture of professional wrestling’s future: Our favorite pastime will never look the same. WWE ThunderDome—housed at Orlando’s Amway Center—has led the way in sports and entertainment, with fans cheering in real time on nearly 1,000 LED boards, complemented by over-the-top pyrotechnics and other special effects. Meanwhile, WWE gutted a portion of its Performance Center facility and created the Capitol Wrestling Center, basically NXT’s version of ThunderDome, unveiled at TakeOver 31. Its name pays tribute to the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the pre-WWWF entity founded by Vince McMahon’s grandfather, Jess McMahon, that ran throughout the Northeast and as far south as Washington, D.C., in the 1950s and early-’60s. “The…

5 min
quick count

OVER THE YEARS, a lot of Pro Wrestling Illustrated legends have taken the credit—or the blame—for coming up with the idea for the PWI “500” nearly 30 years ago. To ensure my place in PWI folklore is never lost, let me go on the record and proclaim that the “Tag Team 50” list, making its debut in this issue, was my brainchild. So, overworked PWI writers: Feel free to direct your hate mail my way. Unfortunately, many duos of yesteryear never got the recognition they deserve. And so, I’m happy to give them a quick shout-out in this classic tag team-themed edition of “Quick Count.” You can read it together with a partner, but only until the count of five. DEMOLITION It may not exactly be Madison Square Garden, but the Fort Worth…

5 min
the lockup

IT WAS A sunny afternoon in Flushing, Queens, in May 2001. I was at Shea Stadium—that was where the Mets played baseball before Citi Field, kids—in my capacity as staff writer for WWF Magazine, to cover Taz throwing out the ceremonial first pitch as the Mets took on the L.A. Dodgers. After the pitch, I got to spend the game in a “luxury” box at Shea with Taz and his family. It was a telling experience being around the man who had at that time spent almost a year and a half struggling to find his place in the WWF after years of being such a dominant force in ECW. One thing I distinctly remember are the conversations I overheard between the Red Hook, Brooklyn native and then-head WWF TV writer…

6 min
win lose or draw

MY TAKEAWAY FROM FTR’s number-one ranking in our inaugural “Tag Team 50” is this: Truly great tag teams are dedicated to being one unit, with shared aspirations and in-ring repertoires that complement each other. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler also take pride in being a technical tag team, inspired by The Brain Busters and The Midnight Express, specializing in quick in-and-out tags, double-team moves, and teeing up opponents for their partners’ individual maneuvers. If you’ve seen FTR’s Goodnight Express codebreaker-style finisher, Anderson DDTing a foe before Blanchard drops a flying elbow smash, or the Midnights’ Veg-O-Matic, flapjack, or double goozle, you’ve seen the synergy necessary to be a great technical tag team. While I think the cohesive-unit technical model is ideal, there are plenty of other tag team templates. Let’s examine a few…