PWI Weekly for May 6, 2021

Is Pro Wrestling Sport Or Performance? Plus: ECW Throwback, Mansoor, and More

Welcome to the Latest PWI Weekly

This week on Twitter, we once again caused a bit of a stir with a simple sequence of words. In this case, it was a single sentence:

“Professional wrestling is a sport.”

To longtime readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, this likely isn’t a controversial statement. While we’ve come a long way from our 100% kayfabe roots, we still approach and honor wrestling as the athletic endeavor it rightly is.

Most who disagreed with our tweet seemed to come from a place of traditional sports fandom. Plenty of other folks preferred to think of wrestling as pure performance art. If you want my honest opinion? It’s both. And, judging from the comments and quote tweets, hundreds of people share this same belief.

The truth is, professional wrestling is many things all at once. It’s an American art form that has been shaped and transformed in all corners of the planet. For our part, we at PWI just feel lucky to be able to cover this beautiful sport/art form/experience, week in and week out. —Kevin McElvaney

Wrestler Of The Week

Though new to many viewers of Monday Night Raw, Mansoor actually sports the most impressive win-loss record in WWE over the last two years … on paper, at least. Prior to his DQ loss to Sheamus earlier this week, the Saudi Arabia-born wrestler hadn’t lost a single match since summer 2019. That run, which took place primarily on 205 Live, Main Event, and at NXT live events, saw Mansoor defeat opponents such as Drew Gulak, Angel Garza, and Jake Atlas. While he wasn’t able to upend Sheamus this week (Humberto Carrillo caused the disqualification by interfering), Mansoor looked impressive even in what was technically a defeat.

This Week In Headlines

From The Vault

The photo above shows Anthony Durante & Gary Wolfe—collectively known as The Pitbulls—with then-manager Francine in late-1995. While the partnership between Francine and The Pitbulls was fairly short-lived, she did help the team navigate a difficult feud with The Eliminators—being put into harm’s way herself on multiple occasions. In 1996, “The Queen Of Extreme” cast the duo aside and memorably paired up with “The Franchise” Shane Douglas.

ICYMI: PWI Podcast w/ Dak Draper, Righteous Reg

Last week on The PWI Podcast, Al Castle and Brian Solomon were joined by fellow Pro Wrestling Illustrated writer Righteous Reg to discuss a range of topics including the historical importance of WrestleMania, Reg's experiences at the indie events leading up to the big event, and some recent hot topics/scandals in the world of pro wrestling. Plus, Al Castle shared his exclusive interview with one of Ring of Honor's brightest stars, Dak Draper.


In Stores Now: The June 2021 Issue of PWI

The June issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated is available now in stores or via our website. This is our WrestleMania issue, featuring a Hotseat interview with Smackdown Women’s champ Bianca Belair, a look at WrestleMania matches that might have been, and so much more. Here’s a preview of what’s inside:

  • Feature stories on Keiji MutoJonathan GreshamShotzi BlackheartMiro, and Major League Wrestling’s Azteca Underground

  • New columns from Jordynne Grace and Righteous Reg

  • 12-pages of coverage of the American independent scene

  • Information about this year’s PWI Poll

It’s a jam-packed issue that you won’t want to be without.

Find it on newsstands now, or order your copy directly from us at

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