The following was first published in the May 2021 issue of PWI.
It sounds almost trite to say it, but what a time to be a wrestling fan!
There’s more televised grappling produced on a regular basis than most folks could reasonably watch, let alone re-watch. I’d like to think that’s why you read Pro Wrestling Illustrated: to stay informed. And, just as important, to retain that information in some kind of physical place—be that our print magazine or a digital/mobile copy.
Though the concept had disappeared from these pages by the time I began freelancing for PWI, I feel the “Supercards” issue is actually a lot more relevant today than it has been in quite some time. With so many big events promoted in any given year—even, as it turns out, during a global pandemic—it can be tough to find the time for even the most buzzworthy shows. And, even if you’re somehow able to catch them all, remembering the finer details of all those shows can prove difficult.
That’s why I wanted to bring back “Supercards.” Sure, looking up the results of the season’s biggest events wouldn’t be too hard. But this issue is much more than that. We wanted to create a thorough, yet entertaining time capsule of the global wrestling industry during a particularly fruitful period. So, how do we do that, exactly? Between December 2020 and January 2021, we identified a batch of supercards worthy of multiple viewings—shows where major titles were on the line, where rivalries came to a head, where careers were (in some cases) totally transformed. While there were certainly some other big events deserving of coverage—AJPW’s New Year Wars, Tokyo Joshi Pro ’21, and GCW’s Fight Forever, to name a few—we chose a total of eight cards to focus our attention on. (I should note: This is about double the number of shows highlighted in most “Supercards” issues.)
Our aim was to provide the quality coverage you’ve come to expect from PWI, with thoughtful analysis, colorful writing and design, and fantastic photos. Seven writers, including myself, watched our assigned shows intently, noting what worked (and what didn’t), as well as what impact these individual cards might have on each promotion in the long term. You’ll get a lot of different perspectives here, and, personally, I think that’s a great thing!
This year’s “Supercards” section features 36 full-color pages of reporting on some of the most exciting and newsworthy events in recent memory, from top promotions in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. In addition to match recaps, each section offers plenty of helpful context, fun sidebars, and more. Whether or not you’ve seen these particular shows, I hope this issue leaves you with a better understanding of the global wrestling landscape in early-2021.
Personally, I’m excited to look back on this issue in a year or two, so I can reminisce about this wild period. If supercards aren’t your thing, don’t worry: We’ve got our usual array of columns, profiles, and feature stories to tide you over until the next issue. Plus, you’ll find some major updates concerning which championships PWI recognizes as legitimate world titles.
I’ve already kept you long enough. Go on ... enjoy the May 2021 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated!
—Kevin McElvaney, Editor-in-Chief