Historically Speaking: What I’m Thankful For…


“History is the enactment of ritual on a permanent and universal stage; and its perpetual commemoration.” – Norman O. Brown

The Opening Chapter
It’s the time of year where a lot of people get together and celebrate something called “Thanksgiving” by eating obscene amounts of food, watching football and spending the day with family that one hasn’t seen in years. And I, like many of you, will be participating in this glorious, gluttonous tradition. So by the time you read this I should still be nursing the hangover effects of a Wednesday night binge and anxiously awaiting some good food.

The root of this holiday is all about giving thanks for the things one has or has been fortunate to have in the past. And since this is a wrestling column I will you submit to you all a brief list of things that I am thankful for in professional wrestling. It should make for some light, easy, post-meal reading. Enjoy.

What I’m Thankful For
~ Maria and Mickie James every Monday night

~ The return of Chris Jericho to my television screen

~ CM Punk being allowed to remain some semblance of the CM Punk of old

~ The WWE’s glorious DVD collections

~ WWE 24/7 (I don’t even have it yet and I’m thankful for it )

~ Ring of Honor slowly becoming more widespread so WWE homers like myself can experience what all the kids are talking about

~ YouTube and their illegal video downloads

~ TNA, so WWE’s mid-card from five years ago has some place to go

~ JBL on commentary; sometimes it’s my favorite part on SmackDown

~ Santino Marella discovering his comic timing

~ Wikipedia; it’s nice to know there are other wrestling nerds out there (I mean who else would take the time to create entries for Orient Express or The Bolsheviks)

~ Samoa Joe being allowed to remain some semblance of the Samoa Joe of old

~ Jay Lethal’s obscure references in his promos; sometimes they’re the highlight of Impact

~ The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, because it provided so many hours of entertainment for me and friends back in grad school

~ WrestleCrap.com; go check it out, it’s worth the time

~ Lance Storm’s website. It’s refreshing to read the thoughts from a retired wrestler that aren’t bitter, axe-grinding, or trying to put themselves over in order to earn that one last paycheck.

~ The chance to be able to write this column, so I can reminisce about favorite wrestling-nerd moments

The Perspective
We all have things we can be thankful, in our personal, professional and social lives. And no matter how much we in the IWC complain about the current North American pro wrestling landscape, it could be much worse. At least The Gobbledy Gooker didn’t return at Survivor Series this year.

For this week the vault is closed

Linked to the Pulse
David B. discusses Lex Luger versus Tatanka in angle from many moons ago.

Jushin “Thunder” Liger is the latest entry in the Pulse Wrestling Top Wrestlers feature.

Glazer and Kirschner give their thoughts on the latest CHIKARA show.

Recent History
This is the section where I can ramble through my thoughts on this past week in wrestling, whether it be the television shows, pay per views, or any news that came out. Kinda like Vh1’s “Best Week Ever,” but this should be less annoying hopefully.

This week’s Impact was probably TNA’s best of the 2-hour era. I’m really digging Johnny the Bull’s new “Rellik” character. Booker T really looked like a star and a big deal in his contract signing. Kurt Angle and Frankie Kazarian was a really, really good television main event. That’s the type of match that should main event free TV all the time. Here’s to Kazarian sustaining some of that momentum. Oh yeah, and Rain is really hot.

I like The Miz and John Morrison as a tag team and should make for an interesting pair. And the MVP post-match was great; a way a blood feud should progress.

Watching RAW this week was like taking a girl out on a date; it was a necessary chore so that you could get to the good stuff at the end. Chris Jericho’s return was really good but still fell a little flat to me. I guess that what happens when you get your hopes set up so high for something that there is no way that the payoff will ever reach your expectations.

Let’s see, ECW featured five matches, only seven official ECW members wrestled (if you count Shelton Benjamin), and yet that is still over half their roster. Something tells me this co-op with SmackDown! was a smart move. But what happened to that epic Balls Mahoney-Miz feud? I was expecting a proper, five-star, epic blow off to that one.

Apparently the Nasty Boys stunk up the joint at the SmackDown! taping .hahahaha

This Day in History
I figured if we are talking history around here we should pay homage to what has happened on this very day in the years gone by. It will either make you long for the old days or be happy for what we have now.

1990 – WWF Survivor Series was held at the Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT
1992 – Jeff Jarrett won a Battle Royal for the USWA Unified Heavyweight title
1993 – Buddy Landell defeated Jeff Jarrett for the USWA Southern Heavyweight title
1997 – Cueball Carmichael & C.W. Anderson defeated Death & Destruction for the SCW Tag Team title
1997 – Boris Dragoff defeated K.C. Thunder for the SCW North Carolina Heavyweight title
1997 – Joey Matthews defeated The Intruder for the SCW Light Heavyweight title
1998 – WCW World War III was held at The Palace, Auburn Hills, MI
1998 – Billy Kidman defeated Juventud Guerrera for the WCW Cruiserweight title
1999 – Creative Control defeated Kidman & Konnan for the WCW Tag Team title
2000 – Scott Hall was arrested for traffic infractions following a two-car accident and found to be legally intoxicated
2002 – Sabu defeated The Sandman in a TLC Match for the vacant USA Pro-Wrestling Heavyweight Title
2002 – Wayne & The Trekkie defeated The Boogie Knights for the USA Pro-Wrestling Tag Team Titles
2002 – The Amazing Red defeated Quiet Storm, Deranged, & Reefer for the vacant USA Pro-Wrestling U.S. Heavyweight Title
2002 – Homicide defeated The Amazing Red for the USA Pro-Wrestling U.S. Heavyweight Title
2002 – Homicide defeated Xavier for the USA Pro-Wrestling X-Treme Title

1954 – Promoter Jess (Roderick) McMahon died at 72
1967 – Ron Powers was born
1970 – Damien Storm was born
1976 – Lash LaRoux was born
1978 – Stevie Phillips was born
2000 – Yoshihiro Momota died at 54
2002 – Billy Joe Travis died of a heart attack

The Assignment
It’s important to know your history to know where you have come from and where you are going. Back when Nova was in charge of the WWE developmental system he implemented mandatory history assignments for the students of the developmental territories so they would know pro wrestling’s history and they would learn just how many moves Nova created and apparently the best ways to get on-line prescriptions. I feel Nova had a great idea there and every week I will assign a book or DVD for you to check out and learn from. They are not only educational but very entertaining.

Yeah, I didn’t get Batista’s book done yet. It’s taken me longer than I thought. I should’ve read it before I read Jericho’s. Come back next week for my thoughts.

Mark was a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over four years, evolving from his original “Historically Speaking” commentary-style column into the Monday morning powerhouse known as “This Week in ‘E.” He also contributes to other ventures, outside of IP, most notably as the National Pro Wrestling Examiner for Examiner.com and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.