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Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated December 2018

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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…

I HAVE A friend named Ran’D Shine who’s a professional magician and a big-time fan of professional wrestling. I met Randy at the Tampa airport, where he spotted me reading Bill Apter’s book, Is Wrestling Fixed?, before boarding a plane home to Philadelphia. I later invited Randy to our office in the Philly suburbs and he was here before you could say abracadabra. I quickly came to appreciate his knowledge of the wrestling business and its similarities to his magical world. He did make one comment before leaving my side of the building to wow the art department with his mind-blowing illusions. “I think New Japan is going to be a viable challenger to WWE right here in the U.S.,” he predicted. It was June 22, 2017, just 11 days after Kazuchika…

11 min.

RING OF HONOR and New Japan are set to make history on April 6, 2019, when, for the first time since the Capitol Wrestling Corporation began running shows in Madison Square Garden in 1952, a professional wrestling event will take place in the world’s most famous arena without the McMahon family being associated with it. Making this even more remarkable, the joint Ring of Honor-New Japan extravaganza—dubbed “G1 Supercard”—is scheduled for the same night as NXT: TakeOver: Brooklyn on WrestleMania 35 weekend, taking place only five miles away at Barclays Center. It was once unimaginable that Jay Lethal, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, or The Young Bucks would headline Madison Square Garden for a company other than WWE. Other potential main-eventers include Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Dalton Castle, Nick Aldis, and, if…

4 min.
kenny omega tops the 28th annual "pwi 500"

IT WAS A little past 7 a.m. when Kenny Omega received the phone call. He was in Japan in the midst of the grueling G1 Climax tournament. Sore and half-asleep, he grudgingly answered the cell phone’s ring. He had agreed to take this call, even though he didn’t know what it was all about. “We’re joined now by the IWGP heavyweight champion, Kenny Omega, in the midst of an amazing run,” Jim Ross’ voice boomed at the other end of the line. “Dan Murphy of Pro Wrestling Illustrated is here. Dan, the floor is yours.” That’s how Kenny Omega learned the news. The IWGP champion had been named number one in the 2018 “PWI 500.” The official reveal had been made in a call taped for the “The Ross Report” podcast. It took a…

149 min.
the 28th annual pwi 500

IT’S HARD TO envision Kenny Omega in a New Japan uniform at this time next year. Omega acknowledged the obvious in a podcast conversation with Jim Ross in June. “WWE has a great collection of talent,” he said. “I’d feel like it was a missed opportunity if I couldn’t work with them at some point. I’d like to be able to do it while I can still move.” Omega is a bright man. Politically speaking, his response to JR’s question about a future in WWE was perfect. He’s interested; he’d be a fool not to be. But at the same time, he never said a jump was imminent. In fact, shortly before he was asked about WWE, Omega stated that he had more goals to achieve in New Japan. Omega’s set up…

6 min.
pwi 500 alphabetical listing

379 Idris Abraham 78 Alberto el Patron 180 Abyss 136 ACH 410 Chris Adonis 173 Aero Star 338 Fabian Aichner 204 Akam 230 Jun Akiyama 52 Nick Aldis 376 Brad Alekxis 28 Cedric Alexander 381 Josh Alexander 112 Mustafa Ali 398 Shaheem Ali 433 Darby Allin 13 Andrade Almas 106 Dean Ambrose 138 Enzo Amore 102 Karl Anderson 242 Mark Andrews 301 Matt Angel 257 Angelico 363 Greg Anthony 312 Atsushi Aoki 246 Lance Archer 25 Austin Aries 233 Shotaro Ashino 311 Atlantis 423 Phil Atlas 440 Peter Avalon 196 Curtis Axel 355 Azrieal 446 Fallah Bahh 263 Mike Bailey 16 Finn Balor 286 Brent Banks 67 Travis Banks 98 Tyler Bate 468 Tyler Bateman 364 Beer City Bruiser 109 Shelton Benjamin 417 Kevin Bennett 191 Beretta 374 Bestia 666 70 Big E 283 Big Magic 41 Aleister Black 466 Kevin Blackwood 407 Wesley Blake 278 BLK Jeez 402 Badd Blood 315 Blue Demon Jr. 165 The Bodyguard 460 Cezar Bononi 214 Tyler Breeze 491 Thomas Brewington 459 Josh Briggs 80 Jay Briscoe 100 Mark Briscoe 378 Adam Brooks 416 Chris Brookes 91 Daniel Bryan 150 Bully Ray 370 Danny Burch 272 Markus Burke 129 BUSHI 189…

3 min.
dan murphy’s take

THE REALITY OF THE “500” IN THE 2017 “PWI 500,” Jay White was ranked at number 466. This year, he is number 44. So what happened? Did White improve that dramatically over the past 12 months, or did we badly misjudge his placement last year? Crazzy Steve came in at number 68 last year. This year, he’s number 430, sandwiched between Gregory Iron and “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams. What happened there? Did Steve suddenly forget how to wrestle? Are the PWI editors pulling ranking positons out of their collective behinds? While I’m sure there are some fans (and some wrestlers) who believe we come up with our 500 ranking by a mixture of voodoo, payola, and chance, the fact is that our editorial team makes a very concerted effort to make the “PWI 500d”…