Discover more from Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI Weekly for October 30, 2023
The PWI Weekly ... but spooky 👻👻
In the absence of better supervision, PWI has allowed me, Contributing Writer Jason McVeigh, to helm this edition of the Weekly. And given the time of year, it only seems right that we indulge in the more gruesome side of the grappling game with a special Halloween-themed edition.
While there is no confusing wrestling with cinema—despite what some on social media may say—I’ve decided to tie in some spooky movies to what’s been catching my eye in the wrestling biz as of late.
Happy Halloween, readers!
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
With IMPACT Wrestling’s Bound for Glory event emanating from the windy city of Chicago, many a fan talked themselves into believing that a surprise might be in store for the show. Possibly a very “Punk” surprise.
Though that particular theory didn’t quite pan out, there certainly was a big, newsworthy surprise to be had.
The closing moments of the pay-per-view saw a video package air that showed Frankie Kazarian retrieving a mysterious box from a lake as other members of the IMPACT roster made their way to meet him. The assembled wrestlers spoke of a need for change in the wrestling business and that “this” was the change needed. When the box was opened, highlights of memorable moments in the promotion’s history were shown. Afterwards, IMPACT President Scott D’Amore appeared live in the ring in Chicago to let the world know that the promotion was reverting back to its TNA moniker, effective January 2024.
So far, the news has been greeted positively by both fans of the promotion and the performers who work there. As a long-time fan of TNA/IMPACT, I am excited by the move. Apparently, TNA really is Hard to Kill.
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
If there happens to be an Elm Street anywhere near WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, then you can best believe that it is being stalked by Rhea Ripley.
“Mami” has been haunting the nightmares of the WWE women’s division for the better part of 2023. If her presence on Raw thus far hasn’t been enough to cement her status as WWE’s resident boogeyman, then last Monday night clinched it.
Not content to have merely the women’s division in the grip of fear, Ripley has been interjecting herself in the ongoing issues between The Bloodline, Drew McIntyre, and Seth Rollins. And, just like Freddy Krueger, this monster is making everyone question what’s real and what isn’t.
With the #1 spot on the PWI “Women’s 250” to her credit and a championship reign that shows no sign of ending anytime soon, “The Nightmare” might just be the (scream) queen of WWE.
THE DEVIL INSIDE
MJF has been called a lot of things by a lot of people. One of the things he always seems to take great pleasure in is referring to himself as the “devil,” even going so far as to don a spooky, horned mask from time to time to play up to the nickname.
When a mysterious gang, led by someone wearing that same mask, attacked Jay White on an episode of Dynamite, countless fingers began to point to one Maxwell Jacob Friedman. And really, why wouldn’t they?
After all, MJF has been embroiled in a feud with Jay White for some time now. And there’s certainly no question about whether he’s okay with sneak attacks. Credit where it’s due, though—MJF has at least appeared to have turned over a new leaf lately, thanks in no small part to his friendship with Adam Cole
But come on, it’s MJF!
Or maybe … maybe we have it all wrong. Maybe, as MJF has claimed, he really is innocent and someone has carried out the attack on White, setting up the AEW World champion as the fall guy. Jay White isn’t so sure. And, as of right now, we have no concrete evidence.
With a clash between Friedman and White set for Full Gear, AEW fans are thinking that just maybe, they might get some answers. I’m hoping so, too.
If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a sucker for Halloween. Something else I’m a sucker for is nostalgia … especially if done right. And I think NXT’s annual Halloween Havoc specials contain just the right number of nods and winks to the WCW super-shows that bore the same name.
While there are serious matches on display—such as last week’s tilt between Becky Lynch and Lyra Valkyria for the NXT Women’s championship—there is also a campy, fun atmosphere that permeates the show. Real-life horror fanatics, Shotzi and Scarlett, were the perfect choices to host this year’s proceedings. These two superstars offered a nice reminder that as seriously as we all take wrestling (and some of us take it far too seriously), the sport began life on the carnival circuit and has long been willing to indulge in some wacky turns. Given that, I’m all for wrestling’s modern carnival having a little horror show every once in a while.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT
As you may or may not know, we offer a wide range of back issues for sale over on our website. In the spirit of “Spooky Season,” why not pick up a copy of the November 2022 edition of PWI, which includes a feature story about Killer Kelly’s long road back to the ring at IMPACT Wrestling? It’s a frightfully good read about a determined performer who bet on herself and—based on her current success as one-half of Knockouts tag champs MK Ultra—appears to have hit the jackpot.
Don’t worry: Despite the horror-movie imagery, Kelly’s story is much more inspiring than it is scary. Indeed, the only ones who need to be afraid are her opponents.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated Weekly is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.