Discover more from Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI Weekly for August 28, 2023
Tetsuya Naito, Triplemania Mexico City, Adrian Street, Terry Funk
While this edition of the Weekly is coming to you hot on the heels of a record-breaking AEW All In at Wembley Stadium, due to some strict deadlines here at the PWI offices, we’ve had to put it together a few days before the big show itself.
Fear not, however, as there is plenty of international wrestling to sink your teeth into this week. Let’s get stuck in …
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
New Japan Pro-Wrestling got a little bit more “Tranquilo” when Tetsuya Naito overcame his long-time foe, Kazuchika Okada in the final of the 33rd G1 Climax tournament on August 13. With his win, Naito becomes only the fifth person in history to win three installments of the famed tournament.
After surviving and advancing from the “Block” stages of the G1, Naito had to defeat Hikuleo in the quarterfinals and Will Ospreay in the semifinals before clashing with Okada. With “The Rainmaker” hoping to become the first-ever five-time winner of the tournament, Naito had to throw everything he had at his opponent to make sure that didn’t happen. In the end, it was just enough to walk out the victor.
Naito’s win now positions him as the top challenger for the IWGP World heavyweight championship, currently held by SANADA. If SANADA can keep hold of his gold until January 4, the potential Wrestle Kingdom matchup between these two former Los Ingobernables de Japon members would be the first since SANADA betrayed his former faction (and Naito) earlier this year.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT …
Twenty-four hours prior to Tetsuya Naito triumphing at the G1, another big-time international wrestling show took place in Mexico City, Mexico as AAA held the final chapter of its Triplemania 31 trilogy of events.
In some notable happenings from the show, Hijo Del Vikingo retained his AAA Mega championship over Jack Cartwheel, Daga, and Mike Bailey in a four-way match; and Sam Adonis was forced to have his head shaved after taking the pinfall loss in another four-way, this one involving Psycho Clown, LA Park, and RUSH.
Elsewhere on the show, AEW’s QT Marshall surprised many when he became the new AAA Latin American champion by winning—you guessed it—yet another four-way bout. Though many AEW viewers might scoff at the antics of Marshall and his QTV associates, there’s no denying that winning gold in a promotion like AAA is impressive. Congrats, Mr. Marshall.
On July 24, the U.K. lost one of its most respected grapplers when “Adorable” Adrian Street passed away at age 82. By all accounts, Street was a reputable tough guy who had started wrestling to get away from a life spent working in the coal mines of his native Wales. Thanks to an over-the-top, flamboyant persona, and the accompaniment of his valet, Miss. Linda, Street became a big star not just in his native Britain, but in the United States, as well.
In this classic Memphis Wrestling promo from 1985, Street takes aim at Terry Taylor and his nice teeth before expressing his love for someone (in his opinion) even better-looking than Taylor.
If anyone tells you wrestling was more serious in the territory days of the 1980s, show them the above video.
FROM THE VAULT,
The above photo, taken by PWI photographer Jason Lavin, captures a jubilant, bloody-faced Terry Funk, holding aloft the ECW World championship belt alongside an equally bloody Tommy Dreamer. The “Funker’s” legend will live on.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.