Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly
As Jasper/Frostillicus once said on a season nine episode of The Simpsons, “What a time to be alive.” While Jasper was talking about the ready availability of Moon Pie at his local convenience store, I am once again talking about the bizarre twists and turns of the contemporary pro wrestling industry.
This week, Chris Jericho defeated GCW fan-favorite Nick Gage in a bloody deathmatch. Next, he’ll be tangling with a ghost from his past, in the form of Juventud Guerrera. Haku accompanied Hikuleo to the ring to challenge AEW’s Lance Archer for the IWGP U.S. title. And, in a pretaped video message, no less than New Japan superstar Hiroshi Tanahashi called dibs on the winner.
And that was all on a single edition of Dynamite! Meanwhile, rumors are swirling about CM Punk and Daniel Bryan making their imminent debuts for All Elite Wrestling. As WWE continues its attempts to combat sagging ratings with high-stakes matches and fresh new feuds, Ring of Honor, Stardom, and the NWA are all gearing up for their upcoming PPVs, and Major League Wrestling is about to launch into the next season of its show Fusion.
In short, there’s a lot to keep up with. With all that’s happened over the last 12 months, PWI has our work cut out for us in ranking the top wrestlers in the world’s many weight classes, women’s divisions, and tag teams. But I mean this sincerely: It is our pleasure to do it. Exciting things are coming soon! —KM
Wrestler Of The Week
Last weekend, Matt Cardona became arguably the most hated man in pro wrestling—at least for the moment, and at least on the independent circuit—when he beat Nick Gage for the GCW championship belt. In fact, the Game Changer Wrestling fans gathered in Atlantic City, NJ, became so incensed, they broke out into a mini-riot, pelting Cardona with (mostly) empty cans and plastic bottles. The scene was so visceral, and so immediate, that Dave Meltzer believed it was staged by GCW itself. The company denies Meltzer’s claim. But, regardless, there’s no denying that Cardona’s polished, mainstream star power makes him about as compelling a deathmatch antagonist as anyone could be. And, in the process, the former Zack Ryder has instantly helped raised the profile of Game Changer Wrestling.
This Week In Headlines
From The Vault
As mentioned in the introduction to this email, “The Juice” will soon be loose on AEW Dynamite. But, today, we thought we’d share this backstage photo, with unmasked versions of Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio exchanging a look. Of course, both men were rivals of Chris Jericho’s in WCW’s much-celebrated cruiserweight division.
Exclusive Chelsea Green Video Interview
On episode three of FaceTurn with Candace Cordelia, "The Hot Mess" Chelsea Green discusses a wide array of topics, including:
Her decision to remain a free agent
Goals in Ring of Honor and IMPACT Wrestling
Whether she'll compete in AEW
Wrestling while injured
Matt Cardona being a bit of a "groomzilla"
And much, much more.
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