PWI Weekly for May 8, 2023
Tam Nakano & Mayu Iwatani, Hail King Cardona!, Bret's Royal Run, Sherri Martel
OVER THE WEEKEND, the Windsor Family continued its dominant run in the United Kingdom, as King Charles was officially crowned
world heavyweight champion.
In recognition of this historic global event, we hereby declare this Weekly will have a cheeky royal theme.
WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
With Allstar Grand Queendom, the Stardom roster made it very difficult for us here at PWI to single out just one wrestler as the real “Queen” of the event. However, after much polite discourse, we did manage to narrow it down to two women whom we feel deserved plaudits here.
Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano both walked out of Yokohama Arena on April 23 with newly won belts in tow. Iwatani dethroned IWGP Women’s champion, Mercedes Mone, to become only the third woman to hold the New Japan Pro-Wrestling affiliated belt. Nakano defeated Giulia to bag the World of Stardom championship for the first time.
Both matches were epic encounters that we highly recommend PWI readers check out (if you haven’t done so already). The Japanese joshi scene—and Stardom, in particular—continues to put on some of the best wrestling action around. Allstar Grand Queendom stands as testament to that.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT …
Say what you will about Matt Cardona. Goodness knows that many do … especially Cardona himself! There is simply no denying just how successful he has been since reinventing himself after his long WWE career.
We have profiled Cardona and his independent success before in our magazine, and we even handed him our reader-voted 2022 Independent Wrestler of the Year award. But, the truth is, Cardona continues to reinvent himself and make waves doing so.
Recently, he has resumed calling himself “The Deathmatch King,” which seems to be more of an insult to wrestlers who partake in that style of match than it is an accolade for the man himself.
Cardona has even taken to wearing “Macho King” era Randy Savage garb, complete with crown and robe to mark this self-coronation. It might be easy to laugh at Cardona’s actions. But, given his already well-documented success—and with Steph De Lander now by his side—we should all know better than to discredit him. All hail “The Deathmatch King.”
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Speaking of Matt Cardona dressed like a king … we’ll circle back to that in a second.
Next month will mark the 30th anniversary of the inaugural King of the Ring pay-per-view, where Bret Hart was crowned “King” of the World Wrestling Federation after winning the event’s namesake tournament. Hart bested three opponents—Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow—in three very different matches on his way to claiming the literal crown. Some would argue that this impressive hat trick constituted the finest one-night performance of “The Hitman’s” career.
Truthfully, all three of the above-mentioned bouts are well worth your time. But we have chosen the clash with Mr. Perfect as our spotlight match of the week.
And, as promised, we’ve got more King Cardona for you. Just click the video below!
FROM THE VAULT
The above candid photo, which dates back to January 1990, was taken in Detroit by Contributing Photographer Brad McFarlin. The image captures “Queen” Sherri Martel in all her regal indignance—a mood that precious few could embody like the WWE Hall-of-Famer.
In the photo below, shot by Scott George in Memphis four years later, Martel provides another queen, Miss Texas (Jackie Moore), with a royal dose of pain.
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