Ringside Remembrances: Happy Thanksgiving
Jay Shannon draws upon five decades as a devout wrestling fan to look at the past, present and future of professional wrestling.
“Live every day like it’s your last…some day you will be right” — Benny Hill
I hope all of you are having a wonderful time with your friends and families on this day of Thanksgiving. As for me, I’m spending the day with my extended family up here in Fallon. I thought I’d share some of the things in wrestling that I’m thankful for, this year…
Bill Apter and our Mystery Leader:
It was close to a decade ago that these two great people first gave me the chance to share my thoughts and rants about the sport that I’ve loved since I was about 3 years old. I’ve had a million great experiences, thanks mostly to these two great people. I’ve met many of my idols doing this job, including Bill, himself. Thanks to both of you for letting me live my dream, each and every week.
The Re-Birth of Tag Team Wrestling
Wrestling goes in cycles. While the Women’s Division might be in a valley, tag teams are at another peak. WWE has especially expanded one of my favorite parts of this great sport. Singles wrestling is fun and all but there is something just a little more special about watching two (or more) guys bonding together to take the fight to their foes. Best team of the year? It’s a toss-up between The Shield and The Wyatts and the Rhodes Brothers. I’m leaning more towards (Gol)Dustin and Cody. Hopefully, this trend of tag teaming will continue and expand. With the arrival of Xavier Woods as R-Truth’s new partner, things are looking up. Hopefully, TNA will follow suit. Ring of Honor is also really pushing the tag scene, including some old friend…The Young Bucks aka Generation Me.
The Decrease in Pay Per Views (by TNA)
Sadly, budgets are tight for many people these days. TNA made a smart move and reduced the number of PPVs from 12 down to 4. That gives the fans something extra special to look forward to. It also gives TNA time to fully flesh out storylines before putting them on something that the fans have to shell out $30-40 for. Way to go, TNA. Wish WWE would follow suit.
The End of the (WWE) Brand Extension:
I always hated splitting WWE into 2/3 groups. That really limited the talent pool on a given show. WWE is suggesting that they are going to unite the WWE and World title. That would be awesome. I’m still not convinced that they are going to actually do it, but I can hope. I think there should be a Raw champ, a Smackdown Champ and those two alternate going after the WWE/World title. Plus, live events are restricted with who is going to show up.
There are so many things that I can say about this great site. Not only have I been able to enjoy writing for close to a decade, I’ve also been able to have so many opportunities. This wonderful site allowed me to work for a local wrestling group for close to 3 years. I’ve also made some of the best people while doing this. Joey, Lee, Frank, Stuart, Chicago Ed, Peter, and so many others have become dear friends, even though we haven’t actually met, in person. In addition, I’ve been able to meet and get to know some actual wrestling Legends. Hearing all the great stories from people like Jimmy Hart, Kevin Sullivan, Greg Valentine, and so many others has been a joy that is beyond words. I hope to be doing this writing for many years to come.
The Expansion of Ring of Honor:
While I do appreciate both WWE and TNA, RIng of Honor brought something fresh and exciting into my little office, starting earlier this year. I’ve already been working on my Year End Awards and (slight spoiler alert) RoH got the nod for Match of the Year for their Champions vs All-Stars 8 man elimination match. That match was one of the best matches that I’ve seen in many years. The characters are unique and different compared to the somewhat stale groups coming out of the other two big groups. I hope to be able to enjoy RoH for many years to come.
There are so many other things that I am thankful for, this year. First and foremost, I am thankful for my loving family. They put up with me screaming at the screen when someone does something stupid or evil. They tolerate my hours of end of creating posters and such for the various wrestling companies that I work with. Included in that family is my dear friend, Darren Antola. Darren is the owner/President of Rivalry Championship Wrestling. Through him, I’ve had the experience of going to Poland, having dinner with some of my childhood heroes and have been able to expand my knowledge of this business to levels that I never thought could happen.
Most importantly of all…I am thankful for all of you. Without you, I’d have no one to share my thoughts with, other than my cat/sidekick, Speedy. Grin. Speedy has taken the place of my late cat, Buster. But, as I was saying, you ladies and gentlemen make all this worth it. Seeing an e-mail from someone who has read what words just makes my day. I appreciate those who disagree with me just as much as those who agree. You are all special to me and you are all part of a huge extended family.
May the holidays bring you much happiness, excellent health and the love of friend and family.