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500 WEEK: Tune In To Busted Open On 9/14
SiriusXM's Busted Open Radio Welcomes PWI's Al Castle and Candace Cordelia To Reveal This Year's " PWI 500" Top 10
Just before that, PWI’s own Candace Cordelia and Al Castle will join Dave LaGreca on Busted Open Radio to run down the top 10 of this year’s “500.” Don’t miss out on your chance to hear the top 10 before anybody else—tune in to Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, channel 156, for the reveal.
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Chad Gable has come a long way since WWE rather ill-advisedly packaged the former Olympian as “Shorty G.” In fact, as much as the promotion should be taken to task over the terrible gimmick, WWE should also be applauded for giving Gable the platform recently to just be himself: a darn fine professional wrestler.
The most credit for this, however, should go to Gable. Over the past month, the supremely talented grappler has risen from the ranks of comedic tag team wrestler to someone who fans legitimately believed could end the lengthy Intercontinental title reign of Gunther.
In the main event of last Monday’s Raw, Gable pushed the giant Austrian to the limit in an attempt to wrest the coveted belt from the Imperium leader’s grasp. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. After a hard-fought contest, it was Gunther who walked out as both champion and, days later, became the record-holder for the longest Intercontinental championship reign of all-time.
Deservedly so, Gunther is being celebrated for his historic accomplishment. Still, this week, we wanted to tip our cap to Chad Gable for a performance worthy of a champion.
Chad: “Aah, thank you!!!!”
Think the sleeperhold is a boring move? Well, watch this and think again.
In this classic AWA promo, Nick Bockwinkel and Bobby Heenan explain the sweet science behind one of wrestling’s most famous submissions.
GIULIA VS. DEONNA? MOLTO BENE!
It started with teases on social media, then went to another level with the announcement of a four-way match at the joint IMPACT Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling Multiverse United 2 event. In said match, IMPACT and World Wonder Ring Stardom would clash, as Giulia successfully defended her NJPW STRONG Women’s title against Stardom colleague Momo Kohgo and IMPACT Wrestling’s Gisele Shaw and Deonna Purrazzo.
Though the match was well-received, in and of itself, it also offered a scintillating preview of what might yet lie ahead. The question still remains on the lips of many wrestling fans and pundits alike: Just when are we going to see Giulia vs. Purrazzo, one-on-one?
PWI Editor-In-Chief Kevin McElvaney and PWI Contributing Writer Jason McVeigh have been known to engage in a playful argument or two about whether the truly superior women’s division in wrestling belongs to the ladies of STARDOM or the Knockouts of IMPACT Wrestling.
“I have a ton of respect for Giulia,” says McVeigh. “But Deonna has built a reputation as perhaps the best female wrestler in North America over the past few years. It would be an epic contest, but I think ‘The Virtuosa’ could pick up the win if they ever squared off.”
“Deonna Purrazzo has, in my mind, been one of the country’s most reliably impressive wrestlers in recent years,” counters McElvaney. “She’s a wonderful technical wrestler, charismatic presence, and a gifted in-ring storyteller. However, as good as the Knockouts division is, the competition at Stardom is even greater. Forged by that competition, Giulia is one of the best in the world right now, period. And I think Deonna would have her work cut out for her in a one-on-one contest.”
If and when this match happens—and, if our gut feelings are to be trusted, it does seem to be more of a question of when and where—the real winners will, of course, be the fans. Expect PWI to keep a close eye on the proceedings.
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FROM THE VAULT
Last year, in acknowledgment of Roman Reigns’ second time topping our historic, much-discussed, much-debated annual ranking, we created a variant, digital exclusive cover in the same format as our print magazine. Will “The Tribal Chief” manage a threepeat this year? If so, he’ll be only the second wrestler in the three-decade history of the “PWI 500” to top the list a third time. He’s got some stiff competition, though, from WWE, AEW, and numerous promotions around the globe. All will be revealed this Thursday on Busted Open!