Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly
Yesterday, we shared the cover and preorder link for the May 2021 issue of PWI, which features the long-awaited return of our Supercards section. If you didn’t see it yet, not to worry—the cover and link are included at the end of this email.
While the headline of the issue is the Supercards coverage, there’s another reason you might be interested in picking up a copy. This issue contains a major update concerning which championships PWI recognizes as legitimate “world titles.” The notion of recognized world titles is a holdover from the kayfabe era of wrestling (and our magazine), as well as a practice of iconic boxing publications such as The Ring. Tacitly acknowledging that anyone and everyone could claim to be the “world champion” simply by having a belt made, we’ve historically limited the belts we officially recognize at any given point.
In our May issue, we’ve outlined our current criteria for world title recognition, while listing every title that Pro Wrestling Illustrated currently recognizes as “world-class” (including Women’s, tag team, and non-heavyweight championships). And yes, this involved a meeting between PWI writers and editors to determine which championships, exactly, deserved this honor.
Taking into account lineage, influence, and everything else, which championships do you feel are worthy of world title status in 2021? Drop me a line. —Kevin McElvaney
Wrestler Of The Week
©2021 WWE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
With the Raw roster arguably more competitive than it has been in some time, it’s quite impressive that Sheamus has mounted a resurgence as a singles competitor. Though he’s never exactly languished, we certainly wouldn’t have predicted that the Irish superstar would be in serious contention for the WWE World title this year. And yet, that’s exactly where he is, following a non-title gauntlet match win over champion Drew McIntyre on Monday’s edition of Raw. The win earned Sheamus the coveted final entry position in this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match. Not a bad position to be in, nearly two decades into his career.
This Week In Headlines
Watch #TheIronMatch Replay
As we mentioned in last week’s update, Pro Wrestling Illustrated was proud to team up with Beyond Wrestling to present what, so far as we know, was the first-ever intergender 60-minute Iron Person match, dubbed “The Iron Match.” Tony Deppen took on Trish Adora in a widely celebrated technical battle. If you missed the match, don’t worry: You can still catch it for free on YouTube.
From The Vault
Long before he was “The Model”—before Strike Force, or even The Can-Am Connection—Quebec City native Rick Martel was a standout singles competitor, capturing championship gold in territories across Canada and the United States. After twice capturing the WWF tag team title with Tony Garea in the early-1980s, Martel aimed to make a name for himself in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association. As the cover of our June 1983 issue hinted, Martel was going for broke by throwing himself into the AWA World heavyweight championship picture, trying (and failing) on numerous occasions to wrest the title away from Nick Bockwinkel. While he was unsuccessful in that feud, he would eventually taste sweet success—defeating Jumbo Tsuruta in May 1984 to become World champion, and beginning a memorable run with the title that would last nearly 600 days.
Preorder Supercards 2021!
2002 marked the last time PWI released a Supercards issue … until now. With so many big events being held worldwide, now felt like the perfect time to resurrect this concept, which has long been a favorite of our readers. The Supercards section is the centerpiece of our May issue, featuring full coverage of events from WWE, AEW, New Japan, Impact, AAA, and more. We’ve also got an exclusive Hotseat interview with “WWE Official” (and former NWA champion) Adam Pearce. Speaking of the NWA title, we’ve got some big updates concerning Official PWI World Title Recognition in the issue, as well. This collector’s edition of PWI is not one you’ll want to miss!
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