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Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Randy Orton on the October 2008 cover
Publisher Stu Saks
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Kappa Publishing Group[1]
First issue September 1979
Company Sports and Entertainment Publications
Country  United States
Language English
ISSN 1043-7576

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) is a professional wrestling magazine. PWI is currently based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and published by Kappa Publishing Group.[1]



The first issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated was released in 1979. The magazine soon became known for not breaking kayfabe in its articles as it traditionally treated all "angles", or storylines, as real. However, in more recent years, the magazine has taken an editorial approach between kayfabe and "Shoot" writing, differentiating between on-screen feuds and controversies behind the scenes. PWI is not limited to covering only prominent professional wrestling promotions, as it also covers multiple independent promotions in the United States. PWI also publishes other special issues, which include: Pro Wrestling Illustrated Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts since 1996, Women of Wrestling, and a weekly newsletter entitled PWI Weekly from 1989 to 2000.

PWI has given out annual awards and recognitions since its inception. These awards had previously been given out by another Victory Sports Magazine property-The Wrestler. PWI has also given out monthly rankings for the big promotions, some select independents, and an overall rankings in singles and tag teams. Additionally, readers are given the ability vote for the winners of the year-end awards with ballots being included in special year-end issues. A special PWI Awards magazine is issued annually, which reveals winners and the number of votes counted. The following is a list of categories in which PWI has issued awards.

PWI 500

PWI has published its list of the top 500 professional wrestlers each year since 1991 in an annual special edition magazine called the PWI 500. Here are the top ten ranked wrestlers for each year:

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1991 Hulk Hogan Lex Luger Ric Flair Randy Savage Sting Scott Steiner Ricky Steamboat Steve Williams Arn Anderson Rick Steiner
1992 Sting Randy Savage Rick Rude Bret Hart Ricky Steamboat Jerry Lawler Scott Steiner The Ultimate Warrior Steve Austin
1993 Bret Hart Big Van Vader Shawn Michaels Sting Yokozuna Ric Flair Lex Luger Rick Rude Mr. Perfect Scott Steiner
1994 Hulk Hogan Ric Flair Big Van Vader Shawn Michaels Steve Austin Razor Ramon Sting Ricky Steamboat Owen Hart
1995 Diesel Shawn Michaels Sting Bret Hart Sabu Hulk Hogan Big Van Vader Randy Savage Razor Ramon Mitsuharu Misawa
1996 Shawn Michaels The Giant Kenta Kobashi Ahmed Johnson Kevin Nash Rey Misterio, Jr. Hulk Hogan Sabu Ric Flair
1997 Dean Malenko Mitshuaru Misawa Steve Austin Diamond Dallas Page Lex Luger Undertaker Shinya Hashimoto The Giant Jushin Liger Chris Benoit
1998 Steve Austin Bill Goldberg Mitsuharu Misawa Undertaker Kenta Kobashi Booker T Ken Shamrock Chris Jericho
1999 Rob Van Dam Rey Misterio, Jr. The Rock Diamond Dallas Page Keiji Mutoh Undertaker Goldberg Taz
2000 Triple H The Rock Chris Benoit Kenta Kobashi Jeff Jarrett Justin Credible Mike Awesome Jushin Liger Chris Jericho Kensuke Sasaki
2001 Kurt Angle Steve Austin Keiji Muto Booker T Triple H Scott Steiner Mitsuharu Misawa Rhyno
2002 Rob Van Dam Undertaker Keiji Muto Chris Jericho Eddie Guerrero Kurt Angle Edge Yuji Nagata The Rock Triple H
2003 Brock Lesnar Triple H Kurt Angle Keiji Muto Chris Jericho Big Show Booker T Kenta Kobashi Eddie Guerrero Rob Van Dam
2004 Chris Benoit Eddie Guerrero Triple H Kenta Kobashi Randy Orton Toshiaki Kawada John Cena A.J. Styles Shawn Michaels Chris Jericho
2005 Batista John Cena Satoshi Kojima Triple H JBL Kurt Angle A.J. Styles Edge Shelton Benjamin Hiroyoshi Tenzan
2006 John Cena Kurt Angle Edge Samoa Joe Místico Rey Mysterio Brock Lesnar Kenta Kobashi Shawn Michaels Jeff Jarrett
2007 Edge Místico Kurt Angle Undertaker Shawn Michaels Christian Cage Perro Aguayo, Jr. Bobby Lashley Takeshi Morishima
2008 Randy Orton Kurt Angle Triple H Samoa Joe Edge Undertaker Shawn Michaels Nigel McGuinness John Cena Shinsuke Nakamura
2009 Triple H Chris Jericho John Cena Edge Randy Orton Nigel McGuiness Hiroshi Tanahashi CM Punk Sting Último Guerrero

All-Time Top Fives

1 2 3 4 5
Wrestlers Hulk Hogan Andre the Giant Ric Flair Antonio Inoki Bret Hart
Tag Teams The Legion of Doom
(Hawk & Animal)
The Steiner Brothers
(Rick & Scott Steiner)
The Fabulous Freebirds
(Michael "P.S." Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy & Buddy Roberts
The Rock 'n' Roll Express
(Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
British Bulldogs
(Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid)

Recorded accomplishments

Pro Wrestling Illustrated has recorded select singles championships of six professional wrestling promotions as "world" accomplishments, which include those of the American Wrestling Association (AWA), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Of the six professional wrestling promotions, only WWE, TNA, and the NWA remain active. Though different championships within these promotions have been recorded by the magazine, its criteria for selection remains undefined and unexplained. As there is no official method of determining what constitutes a "world" accomplishment in professional wrestling, it should be noted that the views presented in the following list are solely those of Pro Wrestling Illustrated and are neither authoritative nor definitive. The following championships are listed by what they are currently referred to in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and currently are or previously were recorded by the magazine.


  1. ^ a b Martin, Adam (2009-08-14). "Wrestling magazines bought back". Wrestle View. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 


  • 2005 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts.

External links

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