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Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated June 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.

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United States
Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the desk of …

FIRST OF ALL, thank you so much to everyone who reached out to me in response to last month’s column about my wife Megan. Although she still has a hard fight ahead of her, I’m happy to report that there are signs her treatment is working. And, just as important, her spirits are high. Megan and I both appreciate all the thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes you’ve sent our way. This month’s column will be far less somber. But, for it to make sense, I do need to start out with an important announcement: Effective immediately, PWI recognizes Pro Wrestling NOAH’s GHC heavyweight championship (along with the tag team and junior heavyweight titles) as legitimate world championships. If you follow PWI on Twitter, this may not be news, exactly, as we tweeted…

10 min
before the bell

MEDIA REVIEWS THE NATURAL ONE: THE STORY OF MICHAEL MODEST For better or for worse, Michael Modest is probably best known to seasoned wrestling enthusiasts as the guy who earned a shot at the big time in the 1999 documentary, Beyond the Mat. But Michael has evolved considerably since his days as a protégé of the late Roland Alexander, and is now regarded by many in the ranks of independent wrestling as an unsung hero of the business. Through the efforts of the folks at Indy Handshake, Mr. Modest chronicles his journey from relative obscurity to folk hero in the new documentary, The Natural One: The Story of Michael Modest. The Natural One distinguishes itself from the ubiquitous phenomenon of one-dimensional shoot interviews by weaving Modest’s reminiscences together with interviews of colleagues, as…

11 min

BIG NAMES WERE promised, but were big names delivered? Following the AEW debut of Sting a few months ago, more surprises were advertised leading up to the company’s Revolution pay-per-view. Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, and Kurt Angle were marquee stars amid the internet scuttlebutt. The reveal? “The Big Show” Paul Wight was announced as a future color commentator, and Christian Cage appearing on the entrance ramp at the PPV. While these weren’t industry-shaking arrivals on par with Lesnar and Punk, both stars were popular enough to keep their arrivals upbeat (and not letdowns). Wight, with his dry wit and sometimes goofy sense of humor, should excel as color commentator on AEW Dark: Elevation, airing Mondays at 7 p.m. Eastern on AEW’s YouTube channel. And if Christian, hot off his 2021 Royal Rumble…

5 min
quick count

WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT that the WWE Network was merging with NBC’s Peacock platform, pro wrestling has taken another big step in its digital evolution. But it still has a ways to go to catch up with the king of all streaming services, Netflix. But who knows? Maybe in a few years we’ll see the New Day and Eleven enjoying a breakfast of Eggo waffles and pancakes all on the same show. Until then, enjoy this “Quick Count” tribute to Netflix original series. And, if you’re reading the digital version of PWI, you’d better be using your own account! STRANGER THINGS Watching WrestleMania 36—a pre-recorded show held inside a gym with no fans in attendance—was about as surreal a viewing experience as most wrestling fans had ever had. Now, we’re heading toward the second…

5 min
the lockup

COLD, HARD NUMBERS can tell you a whole lot—sometimes more than the people in charge might want you to know. In terms of being a wrestling fan, this is especially true of WrestleMania statistics. Take it from me: Long before I ever came to work as a wrestling journalist, I was a fan. And not just any fan, but an anal-retentive fan who loved to keep track of facts and figures. I took that love with me—and put it to much better use, I might add—once I started writing about wrestling. That’s when things like my comprehensive WrestleMania win-loss records came very much in handy, as these metrics lent themselves to compelling stories and helped add to readers’ enjoyment of the viewing experience. I was able to include them each…

6 min
win lose or draw

RON SIMMONS CHERISHES his memory of sitting with Butch Reed during a virtual meet-and-greet last December. It was the last time he saw his friend and mentor. WCW management had paired Simmons with Reed as the tag team known as Doom back in 1989, and Simmons remembers Reed as a straight, direct-to-the-point professional who taught him how to work in the business, both inside and outside the ring. “Most people don’t realize Butch was a real cowboy, down to the belt buckles, boots, and cowboy hat,” Simmons told me. “He was into ranching. We’d be on the road, and he’d talk about horses and stop to look at cattle. He rode bulls before he became a wrestler, and he’d tease me by trying to get me to ride a bull. That…