Pro Wrestling Illustrated will discontinue its sister publications, The Wrestler and Inside Wrestling. These two magazines were combined into one large issue recently and have been in circulation since 1968. Growing up, my magazine of choice was a combination of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, and Inside Wrestling.
Before internet websites, these magazines were where one would go for all the latest wrestling news. I was unaware of the Kayfabe nature of the articles that teased inter-promotional dream matches such as Sting vs. The Ultimate Warrior, which were impossible at the time. There were also speculative articles about wrestlers leaving one company for another. Sometimes it was true, and other times it was tabloid gossip.
These magazines were filled with full-color 8×10 candid photographs of various wrestlers that served as posters I hung on the wall in my room. For the longest time, I could never watch NWA shows on a regular basis, so I would look forward to my monthly update through these coveted pages.
WWF and NWA never emphasized rankings, so it was nice to see them listed in the magazine because it gave wrestling that real sports feel. I was also clued in on the existence of independent wrestling with articles on regional promotions and up-and-coming wrestlers.
With sales of WWE magazine in decline, it makes me wonder how much longer Pro Wrestling Illustrated will be around. You would have to think that WWE outsells PWI by a reasonable margin considering one appeals to hardcore fans while the other appeals to casual fans and the casual fans pay the bulk of the bills.
Honestly, besides reading an article here and there, I haven’t purchased or read an entire issue since wrestling websites became popular in the late 90s. Like many print magazines today, the advertisements outweigh the articles, and why wait one month for news when a few clicks of the mouse will give me the information immediately.
I am sad because another piece of my childhood is being put out to pasture. Another part of me feels I have no right to care since I stopped buying them. I prefer to read my comic books, magazines, newspapers, etc., on my Kindle Fire tablet.
Writing this blog may have been therapeutic. For old-time shake, I think I will pick up an issue of PWI on my next trip to the newsstand. Check out pwi-online.com, where you can order the magazine in print or digital format.