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Thursday, August 25, 2011

PWI Writers on Wrestling Talk Shows

Pro Wrestling Illustrated Senior Writers Dan Murphy & Al Castle have been making the rounds on several pro wrestling radio shows to promote the new PWI 500 issue. Click on the links to listen to them discuss how the list was put together, the debate over choosing The Miz as number one, and some predictions on next year's 500:

Legends Radio
Right After Wrestling
Over The Ropes
Fever Keeps It Real 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Keeping The Dream Alive



One of the things I love the most about writing for Pro Wrestling Illustrated is talking to men and women who truly love their work. Almost every time I chat with an up-and-coming indy star, I hear those wonderful words, “I am living my dream.” It’s a great sentiment, indeed … Especially in troubled economic times like these in which a lot of folks have to scrape and struggle in some rough conditions just to make ends meet.

Along these lines, most of us writer-types have our own “day jobs” in which we punch a clock for eight hours (or more) every day so we can meet our obligations and—hopefully—live comfortably. The end of the day is when we really get busy, though, because that’s when we get to watch, discuss and write about professional wrestling. Most of us love wrestling so much that we write about it wherever and whenever we get the chance. We have blogs, forums, podcasts and all kinds of other stuff going on. But writing for PWI is really and truly the brass ring for many of us.

PWI has earned a really special place in the wrestling industry because the magazine is absolutely enmeshed with the very history of the business. For some good evidence of this, look no further than WWE’s outstanding new DVD set The Greatest Cage Matches Of All Time. In the commentary for the August 9, 1980, match between Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko, talking encyclopedia of wrestling Matt Stryker touches upon the importance of PWI back in the days when printed media was the most important link between wrestlers and their fans. Josh Matthews, who joins Stryker in play-by-play for the match, acknopwledges this, adding that the Sammartino/Zbyszko was voted Match of the Year by readers of PWI, and that Zbyszko himself earned the dubious distinction of Most Hated wrestler, according to PWI faithful. Indeed, PWI was a lifeline for wrestling fans far and wide as well as an outlet for fan enthusiasm and critique.

In her recent appearance on Colt Cabana’s The Art Of Wrestling podcast, WWE’s Beth Phoenix further articulates the unique connection PWI has enjoyed with wrestling enthusiasts of all ages and origins. Beth recalls that her grandmother, who was of Polish descent, was a passionately dedicated fan of professional wrestling who kept issues of PWI on her living room coffee table, right next to her Polish language magazines.

The very first interview I did for the PWI family of magazines was a story on indy star Ray Alexander. I distinctly remember Ray telling me just how important it was that he’d finally landed in a magzine in the PWI family, as he said, “In the locker room, most of us complain about PWI and all that … But when PWI comes calling, we know it’s a big deal.” I thought about that for a minute and, having written about wrestling here and there on the ’net myself (and doing my own share of ribbing the folks at PWI in the process),  I replied, “Yeah, it’s kind of like that for writers, too.” And that’s the absolute truth of it all. At the end of the day, we really love what we do when we knock out a short blurb, a column, or a feature piece for PWI because we know we’re part of something that’s been so important to readers and wrestlers alike for a very long time. Just like the subjects of our stories, I think it’s safe to say that we’re living our dream, too.

Mike Bessler

PWI Contributing Writer

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"PWI 500": 1-100


1. The Miz
2. Randy Orton
3. John Cena
4. Kane
5. Takaski Seguira
6. Alberto Del Rio
7. Mr. Anderson
8. Rey Mysterio Jr.
9. Eddie Edwards
10. CM Punk
11. Rob Van Dam
12. Sheamus
13. Roderick Strong
14. Suwama
15. Daniel Bryan
16. Jeff Hardy
17. Dolph Ziggler
18. Kurt Angle
19. Wade Barrett
20. Jeff Jarrett
21. Sting
22. Hiroshi Tanahashi
23. Ultimo Dragon
24. AJ Styles
25. Davey Richards
26. Christopher Daniels
27. John Morrison
28. Dr. Wagner Jr.
29. Kofi Kingston
30. Robert Roode
31. Big Show
32. Matt Morgan
33. Christian
34. Kazarian
35. Cody Rhodes
36. Chris Hero
37. James Storm
38. Ricky Banderas
39. Jack Swagger
40. Bully Ray
41. Satoshi Kojima
42. Samoa Joe
43. Sin Cara
44. Claudio Castagnoli
45. Shinsuke Nakamura
46. El Generico
47. Alex Shelley
48. Chris Sabin
49. Adam Pearce
50. El Zorro
51. R-Truth
52. Drew McIntryre
53. Seth Rollins
54. Togi Makabe
55. Hernandez
56.  D’Angelo Dinero
57. Mark Henry
58. Negro Casas
59. Gunner
60. Abyss
61. Justin Gabriel
62. Douglas Williams
63. Brother Devon
64. Go Shiozaki
65. Matt Hardy
66. Heath Slater
67. Robbie E
68. Ted DiBiase Jr.
69. Evan Bourne
70. Naomichi Marufuji
71. Shelton Benjamin
72. Tommy Dreamer
73. Prince Devitt
74. Jay Briscoe
75. Rob Terry
76. Austin Aries
77. Max Buck
78. Ezekiel Jackson
79. Charlie Haas
80. Jushin Liger
81. Mark Briscoe
82. Orlando Jordan
83. Jeremy Buck
84. Jesse Neal
85. Kenny Omega
86. Shingo Takagi
87. Carlito
88. Volador Jr.
89. Crimson
90. BxB Hulk
91. Shannon Moore
92. Vladimir Kozlov
93. Homicide
94. Colt Cabana
95. Yuji Nagata
96. Eric Young
97. David Otunga
98. Yamato
99. Tommasso Ciampa
100. Santino Marella

Monday, August 8, 2011

"PWI 500": 101-200


101. Kenny King
102. Jon Moxley
103. The Sheik
104. Low-Ki
105. Great Khali
106. Alex Riley
107. Brian Kendrick
108. Jimmy Jacobs
109. Rhett Titus
110. Scott Steiner
111. Minoru Suzuki
112. La Parka
113. Tyson Kidd
114. Mike Bennett
115. Adam Cole
116. Johnny Curtis
117. Michael McGilicutty
118. Jay Lethal
119. Mason Ryan
120. Tyson Dux
121. MVP
122. Kevin Steen
123. Minoru Tanaka
124. David Hart Smith
125. Ryota Hama
126. Ultimo Guerrero
127. Hirooki Goto
128. Blue Demon Jr.
129. Husky Harris
130. Giant Bernard
131. La Sombra
132. Michael Tarver
133. Chessman
134. Kaz Hayashi
135. Ryusuke Taguchi
136. Amazing Red
137. Yoshi Tatsu
138. Yoshihiro Takayama
139. Toru Yano
140. Zack Ryder
141. Delirious
142. Takuma Sano
143. Primo Colon
144. Karl Anderson
145. Wataru Inoue
146. L.A. Park
147. Averno
148. Kotaru Suzuki
149. Mohammed Yone
150. Hiram Tua
151. Joe Doering
152. Joe E. Legend
153. JTG
154. Kota Ibushi
155. Takeshi Morishima
156. Mephisto
157. KONO
158. Taiyo Kea
159. Big Daddy Voodoo
160. Rhino
161. Steve Corino
162. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
163. Tyler Reks
164. Magnus
165. Chris Masters
166. Masato Tanaka
167. Anarquia
168. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
169. William Regal
170. Murphy
171. CIMA
172. Trent Barreta
173. KENTA
174. Heavy Metal
175. Curt Hawkins
176. Masakatsu Funaki
177. Paul London
178. Luke Gallows
179. Kensuke Sasaki
180. Ray Gonzalez
181. Akitoshi Saito
182. Atlantis
183. Yoshihiro Tajiri
184. Yujiro Takahashi
185. Brodus Clay
186. Tetsuya Naito
187. Sami Callihan
188. Pac
189. Jimmy Uso
190. Jon Davis
191. Bo Rotundo
192. Jey Uso
193. Jun Akiyama
194. Bison Smith
195. Oliver John
196. Hector Garza
197. Masato Yoshino
198. Kory Chavis
199. Jack Evans
200. Arik Cannon

Tomorrow: 1-101

Friday, August 5, 2011

"PWI 500": 201-300


201. Perro Aguayo Jr.
202. Tim Storm
203. Electroshock
204. Taiji Ishimori
205. Darren Young
206. Richie Steamboat
207. Extreme Tiger
208. Xavier Woods
209. Masahiro Chono
210. Hartley Jackson
211. Brad Allen
212. Naruki Doi
213. Derrick Bateman
214. Johnny Vandal
215. Big E. Langston
216. Eric Escobar
217. Silver King
218. Chris Grey
219. Calvin Raines
220. Brodie Lee
221. Jerry Lawler
222. Tommy Taylor
223. Byron Saxton
224. Glamour Boy Shane
225. Peter Orlov
226. Drake Younger
227. Jado
228. Ultimo Gladiador
229. Michael Elgin
230. Raven
231. Matt Taven
232. Kyle O’Reilly
233. Necro Butcher
234. Chris Angel
235. Rasche Brown
236. Jon Rekon
237. Cibernetico
238. Keiji Muto
239. Sabu
240. Percy Watson
241. Keith Walker
242. Joe Lider
243. Gedo
244. Conor O’Brian
245. Metal Master
246. Martin Stone
247. Cody Hawk
248. Tim Donst
249. Titus O’Neil
250. Octagon
251. Vampiro
252. TJ Cannon
253. Dragon Rojo Jr.
254. Tiger Mask IV
255. Super Crazy
256. Jacob Novak
257. Blue Panther
258. Caylen Croft
259. Bruce Maxwell
260. Lucky Cannon
261. John McChesney
262. Ricky Reyes
263. Tokyo Monster Kahagas
264. Petey Williams
265. Akebono
266. Akuma
267. Cody Deaner
268. Johnny Gargano
269. Shawn Spears
270. Sterling James Keenan
271. Latino
272. Ryan Eagles
273. Mascara Dorado
274. Akira Tozawa
275. Matt Cross
276. Derek Wylde
277. Damien Sandow
278. Joey Ryan
279. “Mr.  450” Hammett
280. Chuck Taylor
281. Jigsaw
282. Icarus
283. Ares
284. Ruckus
285. Jayson Cypress
286. Kazuchika Okada
287. Tito Colon
288. Eddie Kingston
289. Mike Quackenbush
290. Josh Daniels
291. Rocky Romero
292. Mason Beck
293. Sebastian Suave
294. Darin Corbin
295. Joey Mercury
296. Hunico
297. Robbie Heart
298. Rich Swann
299. Matt Riviera
300. Dragon Kid

Monday: 101-200

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"PWI 500": 301-400


301. Jason Bane
302. Dennis Rivera
303. Pepper Parks
304. Lance Bravado
305. Harlem Bravado
306. Dylan Kage
307. Kijimuna
308. Dan Lawrence
309. Matt Cage
310. Silas Young
311. Craig Classic
312. Shane Hollister
313. Brandon Locke
314. Sugar Dunkerton
315. Slyck Wagner Brown
316. Aden Chambers
317. Robert Anthony
318. Robbie McAllister
319. T.J. Perkins
320. Hallowicked
321. Cliff Compton
322. Don Paysan
323. Robbie Gilmore
324. Max Bauer
325. N8 Mattson
326. Brian Milonas
327. Mohamad Ali Vaez
328. Wes Brisco
329. Brandon Espinosa
330. Eli Cottonwood
331. Arick Andrews
332. Desean Bishop
333. Samuel Elias
334. Christopher Rockwell
335. J.D. Maverick
336. Jinder Mahal
337. Donny Marlow
338. Alexander Rusev
339. Ace Hawkins
340. Cole Callway
341. Jerome Hendrix
342. The Blue Meanie
343. Andy Ridge
344. C.J. Esparza
345. Mike Mondo
346. Ophidian
347. Diego Corleone
348. R.D. Evans
349. Amasis
350. Jake O’Reilly
351. Kirby Mack
352. Brett Gakiya
353. Steve Boz
354. Jake Crist
355. Tommy Treznik
356. DJ Hyde
357. Ryan Bisbal
358. TJ Mack
359. Paredyse
360. Vance Nevada
361. Shane Haste
362. Franky the Mobster
363. Lince Dorado
364. Dave Crist
365. Kyle Sebastian
366. Devon Moore
367. Asylum
368. Corey Hollis
369. Mike Sydal
370. Ryan Rush
371. Roman Leakee
372. Matt Burns
373. Russell Walker
374. Kevin Grace
375. Adam Revolver
376. Steven Walters
377. Sam Shields
378. Danny Havoc
379. Mike Rollins
380. Ted McNaler
381. Damien Slater
382. Jake Manning
383. Ryan McBride
384. Sinn Bodhi
385. Josh Alexander
386. Bloody Harker Dirge
387. RJ City
388. Alex Silva
389. Mega
390. Jonny Puma
391. Aaron Epic
392. Adam Windsor
393. Cobian
394. Chase Del Monte
395. Shiima Xion
396. Ricochet
397. Papadon
398. Josef Von Schmidt
399. Pat Buck
400. Dan Maff

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"PWI 500": 401-500


Beginning today, the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Blog will list the 2011 "PWI 500," 100 spots at a time. Tomorrow, we will reveal 301-400, Friday 201-300, Monday 101-200, and Tuesday 1-100.

We welcome your feedback!


401. Jason Static
402. Bazooka Joe
403. Bobby Shields
404. Grizzly Redwood
405. Breaker Morant
406. Scott Zenzen
407. Bobby Dempsey
408. Maifu
409. Kekoa the Flyin’ Hawaiian
410. Kid America
411. Mathieu St-Jacques
412. Saifu
413. Bryan Logan
414. Sylvan Grenier
415. Crazzy Steve
416. Eric Cooper
417. Brandon Aarons
418. Matt Logan
419. Pat Guennette
420. Whipdog Johnson
421. Damian Dragon
422. Jason Jones
423. Cheech
424. Elvis Pridemore
425. Rastakhan
426. Mr.  Fantastic
427. Matt Saigon
428. Player Uno
429.  MASADA
430. Sexxy Eddie
431. Benjamin Kimera
432. Stupified
433. Chris Wylde
434. Shaun Rickers
435. Jake Davis
436. Jimmy Cicero
437. Ernesto Osiris
438. Mike Posey
439. Gee Gee
440. Axl Rotten
441. Joe Gacy
442. C.W. Scott
443. Shorty Smalls
444. Noah Lott
445. Scott Wright
446. Mozart Fontaine
447. Cloudy
448. Jimmy Lee
449. Mike Dell
450. Tim Horner Jr
451. Vincent Vega
452. Leslie Leatherman
453. CUJO the Hellhound
454. Bill Collier
455. American Kickboxer II
456. Chrisifix
457. Scott Tytus
458. Outlaw J. R.  James
459. Kevin Douglas
460. Tommy Mack
461.  Rudy Switchblade
462. Steve Stasiak
463. Don Vega
464. Dennis Allen
465. Chris Cooper
466. Sabian
467. Vince Beach
468. Bodie Williams
469. Nick Fury
470. Brain Damage
471. Fred Flash
472. Biff Slater
473. A.J. Istria
474. Abraham Washington
475. Shockwave the Robot
476. Marc Mandrake
477. Martin Stanley Fuqua
478. Pee Wee
479. Damien Kass
480. Will Calrissian
481. Kwan Chang
482. AHTU
483. Ethan Page
484. Griffen
485. Barry Hardy
486.  Jimmy the Hippy
487. Preston Maxwell
488. Scarry Garry
489. Brandon Bishop
490. Ryot
491. Joey Kings
492. Corey Blaze
493. Ash Walker
494. Justin Sane
495. Brandon Thurston
496.  Milo Beasley
497. Peter B.  Beautiful
498.  Sinister Cross
499. Johnny Adams
500. Gino Martino