Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly!
Tonight marks the premiere of All Elite Wrestling’s latest weekly TV offering, Rampage. The new one-hour show airs on TNT, right after Smackdown on Fox. In 2021, there’s no question that wrestling fans are spoiled for choice. There is more televised wrestling happening in a given week, especially with indie and international offerings, than anyone could reasonably find time to watch.
How does this all bode for AEW? After all, Friday Night Dynamite’s ratings were nowhere near what the company had grown to expect on Wednesday nights. Was that a simple case of people forgetting it was on, or is there just too much wrestling to keep up with each week?
I have two thoughts here. Smackdown is, more often than not, a well-executed and well-received product. Great matches, great characters. And that means it could leave fans in a good mood, hungry for more wrestling. On the other hand, three straight hours of anything can feel like a lot on a weekly basis. Just ask regular viewers of Raw.
How about you? Are you planning to tune in for tonight’s premiere of Rampage? Is there too much wrestling on, or do you welcome the vast array of options? Drop me a line and let me know. —KM
Wrestler Of The Week
This one is arguably a few weeks overdue. With each “Labour Of Jericho,” the self-proclaimed “Demo God” has reckoned with his own limitations and, in each instance, come out on top. Now, Chris Jericho has finally been granted his one-on-one encounter with MJF, scheduled for next week’s edition of Dynamite. The bouts leading up to that showdown—which saw Jericho defeat Shawn Spears, Nick Gage, Juventud Guerrera, and Wardlow—have proven that “The Painmaker” is still more adaptable than most wrestlers half his age. And, 30+ years removed from his debut match, that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.
This Week In Headlines
From The Vault
We’re sorry to report the passing of another ring legend this week. Dominic DeNucci, a champion wrestler and trainer of champion wrestlers, has left us at the ripe old age of 89. A native of Venice, Italy, DeNucci debuted in 1958 and quickly established himself as a world-class athlete. He was a three-time IWA heavyweight champ for Australia’s World Championship Wrestling before making his way to North America. Once there, he won a slew of championships in the U.S. and Canada, including three reigns as tag team champion in the WWWF. As he became more focused on training, DeNucci continued to compete sporadically, even teaming with former student Shane Douglas for his official retirement match at age 80.
The above photo captures DeNucci with his most famous pupil, Mick Foley, at the 2011 Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion.
PWI Recognizes Two New World Titles
Longtime readers of our magazine know that we don’t hand out world championship designations lightly. In fact, for most of its existence, Pro Wrestling Illustrated has never recognized more than a handful of heavyweight championships (and, along with them, the corresponding tag team and Women’s titles). While we expanded that list earlier this year to include additional North American and Japanese promotions, based on lineage, influence, and other factors, we’re not going to call just anything a world title.
Given the growing influence of independent wrestling, and its similarities to the territory system of old, we’ve opted to confer world championship status on two titles that have come to represent the very best the indies have to offer: The IWTV Independent Wrestling World championship, and the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling championship. To learn more about these new designations, click here.
NEW! Order The November 2021 Issue Of PWI
Have you ordered the latest edition of Wrestling’s #1 Magazine? Our November issue is jam-packed with coverage of the world’s hottest wrestlers and promotions.
The 2021 PWI Readers’ Poll—you and your fellow readers weigh in on the state of the wrestling industry and single out the best competitors of the moment.
Spotlight On Japan: Feature stories, columns, and photos spotlighting talent from New Japan, All Japan, Stardom, and more!
Feature stories/interviews with Powerhouse Hobbs, Brian Johnson, and more.
A rare, in-depth interview with the industry’s most influential journalist (and creator of the Wrestling Observer) Dave Meltzer.
This latest edition of The World’s #1 Wrestling Magazine is available now for print preorder or immediate digital download.
Visit Our Newly Revamped Website
While our magazine has evolved through the years, both physically and in terms of coverage, we recognize that our website has not always kept up with the high standards of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. This week, we’re thrilled to finally reveal the NEW pwi-online.com, which is cleaner, more user-friendly, and brimming with bonus content you won’t find anywhere else. From the homepage to our new online shop, this responsive design will look better and be much easier to navigate on your device of choice. Look for some exciting things on the new website very soon!