PWI Weekly for July 22, 2021

John Cena, Utami Hayashishita, Flair & Rock, and More

Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly

Like any other sport or entertainment medium, pro wrestling has its share of slow news weeks. This week was definitely not one of them. We saw big debuts, returns, title changes, and rumored signings, each one with exciting implications for the world’s top promotions. I’d like to focus on just one of those stories in this space: the D̶y̶n̶a̶m̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶N̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶G̶a̶g̶e̶ ̶ return of John Cena to WWE TV.

After Roman Reigns scored a decisive main-event victory over Edge at Money in the Bank, he began to cut a boastful post-match promo. The Universal champion, it seemed, was practically unbeatable. Which high-level, white-meat babyface would step up to eject him from his place at the “Head Of The Table?”

“Big Match John,” that’s who. Cena’s return garnered arguably the biggest WWE crowd reaction in many years. With Reigns having carved out his space as the company’s top heel—and WWE fans now returning to arenas nationwide—this was the perfect moment for Cena to reemerge. And I’m predicting that, for once, John Cena will have even the most jaded fans cheering him on. —KM

Wrestler Of The Week

While World Wonder Ring Stardom has yielded its fair share of mainstream superstars—most notably, Io Shirai and Kairi Sane—now is a particularly exciting time for the world’s #1 joshi promotion. In the most recent edition of our weekly Women’s Top 10, three of the company’s champions placed in the top five. And, for the fourth consecutive week, World of Stardom champion Utami Hayashishita ranked #1. With Bianca Belair, Britt Baker, and others generating so much buzz, this is no small feat. Hayashishita, who was voted second runner-up for PWI’s 2019 Rookie of the Year Award, has already held five of the company’s seven championships. Since winning the World title from Mayu Iwatani last November, this resilient powerhouse has become the woman to beat in Stardom.

This Week In Headlines

From The Vault

Here’s a fun discovery from the world-famous PWI Vault! This photo, which ran in the December 1984 issue of The Wrestler, was taken by Bill Apter at the 1984 Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, in his prime, poses for a photo opp with a 12-year-old The Rock—who is showing signs of the pencil-thin mustache later depicted on the NBC sitcom/biopic, Young Rock. On the back of the photo, the caption reads, “Ric Flair poses with Rocky Johnson’s son, Duane [sic].”

PWIndie with Odie Brown, MV Young

This week on Pro Wrestling IndiestratedRef Odie Brown joins Kevin McElvaney to discuss the #ZebraTalkFund and all things refereeing. Plus, PWI Columnist Andrea Hangst shares her recent, extended conversation with indie heartthrob, MV Young.


#ICYMI: The PWI Podcast w/ Dr. Britt Baker

On the latest episode of The PWI PodcastAl Castle and Brian Solomon discuss the end of WWE's ThunderDome era, preview Money in the Bank 2021, and reflect on the recent passing of "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Plus: Al shares audio from his extended interview with AEW Women's World champion, Dr. Britt Baker, DMD.


ON SALE NOW! Our October 2021 Issue

It may be July, but the October issue of PWI is already here! Featuring a cool, retro cover in the style of our 1980s mags, this one is packed with exciting and informative wrestling coverage, including:

  • Our Hotseat Interview with Dr. Britt Baker

  • Full coverage of Double or Nothing with EXCLUSIVE photos

  • Brian Solomon’s “SummerSlam: Book Of Lists”

  • Feature stories/interviews with Paul HeymanTetsuya NaitoJade CargillJosh Alexander, and Allie Katch

  • Full coverage of the 25th annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament

… And much, much more. This jam-packed edition of The World’s #1 Wrestling Magazine is available now in stores. Or, as per usual, you can order your copy directly from us at the link below.


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