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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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