Sunday, January 28, 2007

If You Believe In Wrestling Heaven...

"If you believe in forever,
Then life is just a one-night stand.
If there's a rock and roll heaven,
Well you know they've got a hell of a band."

It was 1974 when the previously broken up Righteous Brothers reunited to record this anthem in memory of their fallen peers.

Jim Croce, Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin and Otis Redding are a few of the artists who receive special mention.

With the recent passing of Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow, I am called once again to reflect on the large number of professional wrestling superstars who I have grown up watching that have been taken from us too soon. I cannot help but think that if there is a hell of a band playing out there somewhere, there must also be one hell of a wrestling promotion too.

Imagine, if you will, your commentators Gorilla Monsoon and Gordon Solie welcoming you to the program. Your referees are Pee Wee Anderson, Mark Curtis, and Joey Marella.

It is sure to be a star studded event, as the list of talent is seemingly endless. Perhaps, it is announced that the main event will be a showdown among two of the greatest wrestling families of all time as the Von Erichs, comprised of Kerry, David, Mike, and Chris will be accompanied by Fritz to take on the Hart Foundation, comprised of Owen Hart, Dean Hart, "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, and Brian Pillman accompanied by Stu Hart.

The heavyweight title picture is very interesting. Former AWA Champion "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig might be taking on his good friend and former WCW International Champion "Ravishing" Rick Rude. Right in the middle of the title hunt would former NWA World Champions Kerry Von Erich, Chris Candido, and Shinya Hashimoto, Former WWE World Champions Yokozuna, Andre the Giant, and Eddie Guerrero and former ECW World Champion "Bam Bam" Bigelow, among others.

A special monsters of the ring tournament could be announced. First round matches see Andre the Giant taking on his old nemises Big John Studd and Yokozuna battling Earthquake. Pride and honor beckon these larger than life superstars.

The tag team division would be able to thrive. Maybe you could see the team of Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr, known as Los Gringos Locos in action as they take on "Flyboy" Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge, the Public Enemy or Gino Hernandez and "Gentleman" Chris Adams reunite to take on Chris Candido and Louie Spicolli. Earthquake and Dino Bravo, the Hart Foundation, and the Von Erichs are just some options to round out the full tag team roster.

If your style is more extreme or hardcore, this is the place to see some of the stiffest most brutal wrestlers of all time. Perhaps you could see a rematch of the battle of the Bam Bam's as Bam Bam Bigelow takes on Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy. Maybe all hell breaks lose when Shinya Hashimoto wrestles the incomprable Bruiser Brody. Maybe old school greats like the Sheik, Dick Murdoch, or "Hotstuff" Eddie Gilbert get involved.

There are so many possibilities when you think of some of the greatest names in the sport being able to square off. Possibly Road Warrior Hawk has a score to settle when he meets up with former Legion of Doom stablemate Buzz Sawyer. What would happen when two strongmen collide like Hercules and Dino Bravo? What about if two dogs collide with fan favorite, Junkyard Dog taking on Moondog Spot. Who knows, maybe even Sky-Low-Low and Little Beaver will get into the action. Wrestlers like The Big Bossman, Adrian Adonis, Gary Albright, Jay Youngblood, and "Pistol" Pez Whatley could have a great deal to contribute to the wrestling business as road agents if they were still with us. Perhaps in heaven, they are stealing the show.

There is even some room to create some of the stars of the future. Who knows what would have been had wrestlers like The Wall, Pitbull #2,Crash Holly, Russ Haas, the Renegade, Bobby Duncum Jr., and Big Dick Dudley had more time here on earth. Perhaps they could be the biggest superstars on the other side.

There are even a great deal of popular wrestling personalities to invigorate storylines. A jealous rift over the lovely Miss Elizabeth or a long feud with the incomparable Andy Kaufmann are just two possibilities. Sweet Sapphire, The Grand Wizard, "Classy" Freddie Blassie, Johnny Valentine, Lord Alfred Hayes and Bertha Faye are some additional ways to liven up a wrestler or angle.

This doesn't even touch upon previous generations who have gone before: Frank Gotch, Stanislaus Zbyszko, "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods, Lou Thesz, Ray "Crippler" Stevens, Stan "The Man" Stasiak, El Santo, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Antonino Rocca, Rikidozan, Bob Orton Sr., Pat O' Conner, Bronko Nagurski, William Muldoon, Wahoo McDaniel, Hiro Matsuda, "High Chief" Peter Miavia, George Hackenschmidt, Gory Guerrero, Eddie Graham, Gorgeous George, Dory Funk Sr., Dick the Bruiser, Mike Dibiase, Haystacks Calhoun, Bobo Brasil, Giant Baba, Mr. Togo, and Prof. Tanaka are just a sample of deceased professional wrestlers who have passed who left an incredible legacy in the business. Perhaps in heaven they are in their prime and ready for action.

If indeed, there is a wrestling heaven, when it is my time to go, after I greet my family and friends, I hope to find my way to the grandstand for an incredible night of professional wrestling, because they sure do have a hell of a band.

Rest In Peace to all the former warriors of the squared circle. Your contributions are why we are here today. You are fondly remembered and greatly missed.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007


We Want Wrestling! This chant has become ever more present and popular among today's wrestling fan.

Thanks to Vince McMahon, D-Generation X and many others, an actual in-ring product has been all but missing from WWE "Raw".

The straw that broke the camel's back was the abysmal Rosie VS. The Donald Skit that occured on the January 8 episode of "Raw".

At TNA's Final Resolution, the Voodoo Kin Mafia (who the majority of wrestling fans I talk to still refer to as the New Age Outlaws) claimed victory in their war against McMahon because of the way the "Raw" skit was received. Little did they know that a few minutes later, they would be receiving the same chant.

Former WWE Diva Search winner and current TNA Knockout Christy Hemme confronted VKM in the ring, leading a much needed movement in the world of professional wrestling, that has unfortunately been spearheaded by the wrong leader. Hemme began to talk about how women receive no respect in professional wrestling, an all too true fact. However the fact is, Hemme has never done anything to earn it.

However on WWE's "Raw" roster, there is a woman who has done more than enough to earn her respect.She is a former 2 time WWE Women's Champion and former PWI Woman of the Year. However, when the prominent women of wrestling are named, she is often left out. Her name is Victoria, and she has arguably been the most consistent in-ring performer on any brand of Sports Entertainment for the past five years.

Victoria's matches with the likes of Trish Stratus and Molly Holly revolutionized the role of women in professional wrestling. Her unique athleticism enables her to perform both military presses and backflips.

Victoria is the epitome of toughness. The WWE had enough confidence in Victoria to let her compete in cage matches and street fights. Victoria has done most of it with a knee brace on, because she opted not to have surgery on an injured knee.

Her first major run had it's legs cut out from under it, when Victoria was turned babyface at the height of her popularity. While normally this would make sense, the WWE decided to change the psycho character fans grew to love to a generic dancing character. Still Victoria was producing weekly in the ring.

Victoria has been forced to step back and give Diva Search winners time to shine. Both Christy Hemme and Candice Michelle have been featured at Wrestlemania's over Victoria. When Victoria attacked Candice, Christy, and Maria, her actions were met with applause by the audience.

Together with Lita, Molly, Jazz, and Trish, Victoria established a new place for women in wrestling, and elevated the Women's championship to a place where models with limited wrestling knowledge and ability could not compete. Fans wanted to see the four star matches that Victoria and Trish could deliver over the T&A of the new divas.

Still, most of the credit for the limited respect today's wrestling women do get goes to Trish and Lita. However, with both women recently retiring, Victoria has had the opportunity to step back into the ring with the new class of female, and to be quite frank, she looks more beautiful than she ever has.

Showing shades of her past "psycho bitch" character, Victoria has been one of the more entertaining aspects of "Raw" since November. She has consistently delivered solid performances against various women on the current roster, which is quite a feat.

Victoria and Mickie James, if done right, has the potential to be the next great rivalry in the world of women's wrestling. These two women have the potential to go to WrestleMania 23 and deliver the greatest women's wrestling matches ever, and one of the all time classics for any sex, provided that the WWE keeps their story going.

Victoria has been an often-overlooked aspect of the WWE in a number of ways. However, if WWE fans are clamoring for great wrestling, they need look no further than the fiesty raw diva with red streaks in her hair. If Playboy is looking for a best-selling issue, they need look no further as well.

Victoria has gone on record to say that she would love to pose for the magazine and I will go on record as to say in my opinion she has the most attractive body of any WWE diva, ever. That's quite a statement.

Maybe someday Christy, Candice, and Maria will do something to earn the respect that women in professional wrestling are clamoring for.

However, Victoria has not only been a featured Diva over the course of the past five years. She has won the first women's steel cage match. She has had incredible matches with a variety of women and men. She has been one of the most entertaining and consistent performers in professional wrestling. She's tough, she's innovative, and she's beautiful.

If we want wrestling and if we are going to begin giving women in wrestling their proper respect, then we need look no further than the master of the Widow's Peak.

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