Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Pro Wrestling Illustrated March 2014 cover.gif
Daniel Bryan on the March 2014 cover
PublisherStu Saks
PublisherKappa Publishing Group
First issueSeptember 1979
CountryUnited States

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) is an American produced, internationally sold professional wrestling magazine that was founded in 1979. PWI is headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and published by Kappa Publishing Group. The magazine is the longest currently published English language wrestling magazine. The PWI publishes monthly issues and annual special issues such as their "Almanac and Book of Facts".

PWI is often referred to as an "Apter Mag", named after its long time publisher Bill Apter, a term used for wrestling magazines that keep kayfabe, the illusion that professional wrestling is a competitive sport and not scripted entertainment. In recent years, the PWI has moved away from reporting on storylines as actual news and mixed in editorial comments on the behind the scenes workings.

Each year since 1991, PWI publishes every year their "Top 500 Wrestlers" in the world list; since 2008, they also publish a "Top 100 Female wrestlers" list.


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. It was eventually acquired by Golden Boy Enterprises.

PWI has given out annual awards and recognitions since its inception. These awards had previously been given out by another Victory Sports Magazine property, Sports Review Wrestling. 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.