PWI Weekly for February 4, 2021

Dual Wrestlers of the Week, PWI and Beyond Wrestling Present A Historic Match, Super 8 Flashback, and More

Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly

This morning, while walking my dog, I took a nasty spill on an icy driveway. And though I’m not actually hurt, I rang my own bell pretty good—landing hard on my back, with my head bouncing off the wintry asphalt. As my wife Megan helped monitor me for symptoms of a concussion, I was reminded of just how often professional wrestlers are subjected to spills of this sort. For them, it’s often just another day at the office.

I’m not here to lecture anyone on the dangers of high spots—whether you’re a wrestler or a layman, like me, you’ve already heard all the warnings—but I would like to say that the “bump” I took this morning renewed my appreciation for what these competitors put themselves through in the name of entertaining us.

If you’re in an area where there might be an icy sidewalk or road, please be careful and safe out there. Better yet, why not stay home altogether (if you’re able to do so) and enjoy some professional wrestling on your TV or smart device? To quote the chants of so many crowds, back when it was safe to congregate en masse for a night of grappling, “You deserve it.” —Kevin McElvaney


Wrestler Of The Week

PHOTOS: ©2021 WWE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For the first time since resurrecting PWI Weekly as an email newsletter, we’ve taken the easy way out and chosen two singles competitors as our Wrestler of the Week. After all, how could we ignore the achievements of either Edge or Bianca Belair? Edge lasted an hour in the Men’s Royal Rumble match—last eliminating Randy Orton to secure a WrestleMania title match against an opponent of his choosing. It was a feel-good story for a man who, only a couple of years ago, was unlikely to ever wrestle again. Then we have Bianca Belair who, just a few years into her career, made history by becoming the first Black woman (and only the second Black wrestler, after The Rock) to win a Royal Rumble match. In doing so, she also set the record for the longest duration in a Women’s Rumble, eclipsing the previous record set by Natalya in 2019. Kudos to both of these athletes who, at very different stages of their careers, put on incredible performances and showed they belong in the main event.


This Week In Headlines


PWI Presents ...

Fresh off a two-hour Iron Man match at Game Changer Wrestling’s recent 24-hour Fight Forever show, Tony Deppen threw down a challenge this week for another Iron Man match—adding that he wanted to participate in the world’s first-ever intergender 60-minute Iron Person bout. Among those who threw their names into the ring was Trish Adora, Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling champion and one of only a handful of wrestlers to rank on both the PWI “500” and “Women’s 100” lists last year. Pro Wrestling Illustrated is proud to sponsor this match, which will be streaming LIVE and FOR FREE on YouTube on Valentine’s Day (Sunday, February 14) at 2 p.m. EST. Our many thanks to Beyond Wrestling, who are the promoters for this historic match. We’re sure it’s going to one to remember.

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From The Vault

ECWA’s Super 8 is one of the most prestigious tournaments in indie wrestling. The company recently announced the 25th annual edition of the Super 8, which will take place on May 1, 2021. The above photo, taken by Joe Zanolle, is from the final of the 2005 tourney. It shows Petey Williams applying a chinlock submission on Puma (now known as TJP). After defeating Rory Fox and Alex Shelley in the first two rounds, Williams ultimately beat Puma in the final to collect that year’s Super 8 trophy.


Our Very First Digital Special!

Pro Wrestling Illustrated Presents ... Inside NJPW is a beautiful, 40-page digital publication devoted entirely to Japanese pro wrestling. The centerpiece of the issue is an EXCLUSIVE interview with current New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Takami Ohbari—his first extensive interview with ANY publication—in both English and Japanese. The issue also includes extensive coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 15, along with a Capsule Profile of Stardom's Mayu Iwatani and Official Ratings for Japan's top promotions. This issue has been the buzz of social media, drawing the praise of prominent wrestlers, pundits, and fans. And it's yours for less than a cup of espresso!

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