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Pro Wrestling Illustrated December 2017

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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6 Issues


access_time3 min.
from the desk of …

THERE IS A Japanese proverb that states: “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” Maybe PWI was the oak all these years, denying the appointment of a wrestler who rarely appears in North America the coveted honor of being number-one in the “PWI 500.” But the undeniable skills of a 29-year-old from Tokyo have forced us to bend like bamboo.In the 26 years prior to the selection of Kazuchika Okada as number one in 2017, the prevailing judgment was that giving the top spot to a wrestler who primarily competed against fellow Japanese wrestlers was the equivalent of saying that all-time leading Japanese home run hitter Sadaharu Oh was as good as Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron. Silly, huh? Well, not if you take the word…

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JOHN CENA IS winding down his active in-ring career, and WWE is bracing for a post-Cena world. Cena’s recent loss to Shinsuke Nakamura took him out of the SummerSlam main event and presumably out of the world-title picture. His status as a “free agent” enables him to make one-shots for both the Raw and Smackdown brands. His fall schedule is likely to include a brief run on Raw and an appearance for that brand’s No Mercy pay-per-view.Cena has routinely come back early from injuries. He has raced from the movie set to make Raw or Smackdown. He has become the company’s greatest goodwill ambassador. But WWE can no longer depend on its most reliable superstar over the past 15 years.Now John Cena is moving on. He has steadily built his…

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news analysis

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLEI never thought the punk who debuted on Smackdown in 2002 would win 16 world titles, become the face of WWE’s global brand, visit more Make-A-Wish patients than anyone in history, and transform into a mainstream celebrity. John Cena's credo of loyalty and respect—and a little bit of hustle—is a major reason for his success. The Rock has served as a role model in this respect.MONTREAL: AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?Where else would Kevin Owens rescue his hated nemesis, Sami Zayn? Where else would Pat Patterson battle an Indian faction in the ring? The August 5 event reminds me of Jacques Rougeau’s shocking non-title win over then-WCW World champion Hulk Hogan at the Montreal Forum in 1996. The fans are so intense and the history so rich…

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the answer is… okada

TAP HERE FOR VIDEOFOR THE FIRST time in the 27-year history of the “PWI 500,” the top position goes to a wrestler who is not based in a major American promotion. “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada has been selected as the best wrestler of the past 12 months and earns the number-one spot.There were several factors that went into the selection of Okada as number one. For one thing, Okada has held the IWGP championship throughout the entire evaluation period. He is unquestionably the top dog in the second-largest wrestling promotion in the world and has faced elite level competition all year. And his Wrestle Kingdom title defense against Kenny Omega (and the subsequent rematch at Dominion) have been lauded as not only potential Match of the Year candidates, but arguably…

access_time148 min.
the 27th annual pwi 500

THERE WAS A time when the person listed number 500 in the “PWI 500” could be considered the loser. Yes, when we first started to compile this listing in 1991, it was a struggle to find 500 names, and the man at bottom of the list was the object of derision. All these years later, we could easily compile a “PWI 1,000.” (Easy, Dan Murphy, we’re speaking hypothetically.)Next issue, when we once again have space for “Arena Reports,” check out the names on the independent reports. Take note of how many wrestlers didn’t even make this year’s cut.Appalachian Mountain Wrestling’s Dan Richards shouldn’t be looked upon as last; he should be considered 500th best—a position envied by all those who fell below him.Of course, number-one is the spot all wrestlers…

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pwi 500 alphabetical listing

457 Idris Abraham77 Abyss144 ACH308 Chris Adonis220 Akam250 Jun Akiyama37 Alberto El Patron206 Cedric Alexander417 Josh Alexander237 Mustafa Ali189 Andrade Almas7 Dean Ambrose110 Enzo Amore73 Karl Anderson167 Mark Andrews295 Matt Angel303 Angel de Oro199 Angelico287 Greg Anthony248 Atsushi Aoki322 Yuma Aoyagi354 Lance Archer397 Tristan Archer60 Austin Aries299 Shotaro Ashino345 Asylum252 Atlantis459 Ace Austin442 Peter Avalon300 Curtis Axel373 Azrieal446 Badd Blood249 Mike Bailey28 Finn Balor440 Brent Banks135 Travis Banks91 Trent Barreta50 Tyler Bate472 Tyler Bateman318 Beer City Bruiser479 Anthony Bennett360 Kevin Bennett154 Mike Bennett59 Big E369 Big Magic79 Big Show102 Aleister Black321 PJ Black468 Kevin Blackwood347 Wesley Blake339 BLK Jeez357 Blue Demon Jr.430 Josh Bodom241 Bram195 Tyler Breeze493 Thomas Brewington81 Jay Briscoe97 Mark Briscoe291 Chris Brooks380 Barrett Brown229 Rey Bucanero118 Bully Ray333 Danny Burch278 Markus Burke200 Bushi280 BxB Hulk164 Colt Cabana433…