Happy freaking new year! Two important pieces of business to take care of before we get started with this week's TWS:
First, I am nursing one MOTHER of a hangover today, so if you wouldn't mind, please try to keep the noise to a minimum. Second, it's time for my annual look back at the year that was, not playing this for laughs, but trying to remember 2007 as seriously and somberly as possible.
Or not. Whatever.
With that, I bring you The True Wrestling Story of 2007 (Part One).
K-Fed and J-Cen size each other up.
John Cena (remember him?) suffers a rare clean pinfall loss on Monday Night Raw to the one person in the world less popular than him: Grammy award-winner Kevin Federline.
The Doctor of Thuganomics also becomes the first WWE superstar to pin Umaga (real name: Gilbert McEachern). Promoters are furious because they wanted to headline WrestleMania 23 with an Umaga-Federline match.
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell. I liked it better when they were called The Undertaker, Kane and Paul Bearer.
World Wrestling Insanity poster-boy Triple H is injured in a match at New Year's Revolution between DX and Rated RKO. Randy Orton and Edge are wished all the best in their future endeavors.
So is Max Moon, for some reason.
Canadian Bulldog soundalike Christian Cage wins the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, fulfilling his boyhood dream of not having to continually job to Jeff Jarrett.
In an effort to promote its "extreme" ECW brand, former TNA star Monty Brown is brought in as Marcus Cor Von, which sounds kind of like the main antagonist on a soap opera ("I can't see you any more, Brock. I've been seeing Hunter Hearst-Helmsley and Marcus Cor Von behind your back.")
Bam Bam Bigelow cartwheels himself into an early grave. Bam Bam is survived by his wife Pebbles. Folks, the jokes are in MUCH poorer taste as the year drags on...
Hated archrivals Batista and The Undertaker, set to wrestle each other at WrestleMania, are forced to -- get this -- team up against WM opponents John Cena and Shawn Michaels. As if there no was underlying tension there or anything! From there, the four close chums team up to fend off Edge, Randy Orton, MVP and Mr. Kennedy. The natural progression continues, with Batista, Taker, Cena, Michaels, Edge, Orton, MVP and Kennedy facing off against Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Deuce, Domino, The Boogeyman, Finlay, Max Moon and Tito Santana.
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell.
Blue-collar hero Donald Trump challenges eddie punchclock-type Vince McMahon to a match at WrestleMania, less in the sense of actually wrestling him, but more in the sense of standing at ringside and looking disinterested. Trump reveals during a radio interview that his wringer will be none other than ECW Champion Bobby Lindsay. Note to The Donald: Misspelling wrestler names was my old gimmick. Step off, BITCH!
Vinnie Mac chooses Umaga to face Lindsay in "The Battle Of The Billionaires" at WrestleMania, while the originally-rumored match of Hulk Hogan vs. Big Show takes place at an indy show in front of two thousand people in Memphis. Talk about mixed-up priorities...
In an effort to promote its "extreme" ECW brand, WWE fires Test and books former schoolteacher Matt Striker as a top heel.
Mike Awesome (real name: Jim Awesome) is found dead in his home in Tampa. The scary part? It's still better-received than any of the gimmicks Vince Russo came up with for him.
WWE inducts Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Nick Bockwinkel, Curt Hennig, The Wild Samoans, Mr. Fuji, The Original Shiek and Max Moon into its Hall of Fame. I wonder why they never seem to include Randy Savage? Maybe someone should ask JR about that on his blog or something....
In an effort to promote its "extreme" ECW brand, wrestlers such as Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Sabu and The Sandman are continually booked to look like chumps against Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn, Elijah Burke and Marcus Cor Von.
Former Club WWI guest Bad News Brown dies, leaving his entire fortune to a pack of angry, snarling Harlem sewer rats. Also, Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd and "Golden Boy" Arnold Skaaland go to the big... um, legends show (?) in the sky. Thankfully, this is about as tragic as 2007 will get...
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell.
Stone Cold Steve Austin (real name: Melvin O' Toole) returns to WWE television, and oh -- by the way -- he has a film coming out soon to promote. "The Condemned" will go on to shatter all previous WWE Films box-office records. Unfortunately, that ain't saying shit.
If Mr. McMahon learned ANYTHING from "You Can't Do That On Television", it's that you never say "I don't know."
Donald Trump, Bobby Lindsay, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Max Moon shave the head of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon at WrestleMania 23. Let me get this straight: when they do it, it gets cheers, but when I try it, all of sudden it's a felony?
Vinnie Mac becomes ECW Champion. In a related story, Shane Douglas slits his wrists.
Mr. Kennedy wins the annual "Money In The Bank" match at WM23. Good for him; he'd have to be a complete idiot to screw up this push.
In an effort to promote its "extreme" ECW brand, the show centers around whether C.M. Punk will join a band of washed-up losers or a band of slightly-younger losers.
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell. Oh, and Christian Cage and Kurt Angle get thrown in there, just because.
Umaga continues having a career year by losing the Intercontinental Title to literal unknown Santino Marella, the bastard lovechild of Gorilla "Marella" Monsoon and Luigi, The Pizza Chef From The Simpsons.
Randy Orton (real name: Felipe Sanchez) is sent home from a European tour after trashing a hotel room and acting like a douchebag in general. In other news, the sky is blue.
TNA has another one of their "all-cage" piece of crap PPV's. Because the first three times it failed weren't enough.
Hardcore Holly is out of action, joining the injured list for the first time since -- what, 2006?
Former Olympic Hero Kurt Angle captures the TNA Championship in a match involving Christian Cage and Sting. TNA fans are thrilled that finally, they've escaped the Jeff Jarrett-esquestigma of having a champion that dominates all their programming.
WWE, determined to prove they aren't just recycling old storylines, has Canadian Bulldog catchphrase-stealer Edge (yeah, that's right - I still haven't let that one go) use his "Money In The Bank" title shot to win the belt after the champion already completed a hard-fought match.
Ring Of Honor (motto: "Just like backyard wrestling, without the passable production values") finally makes it to pay-per-view. Although more people probably watched "The Condemned".
That is to say, they watched "The Condemned" on opening night.
That is to say, they watched "The Condemned" on opening night, in the movie theater down the road from me.
And the movie theater down the road from me didn't even show "The Condemned", if you get where I'm going with this.
MVP (real name: VIP) wins the United States title, defeating (opponent removed by wwe.com).
In an effort to promote its "extreme" ECW brand, WWE agrees to part ways with Sabu.
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell. Even though the earlier TNA bullet point kind of implies otherwise. Crap.
The Undertaker, Bobby Lashley and Shawn Michaels succumb to injury. WWE's answer for a top babyface to push? Max Moon.
Road rage. No... sorry, you misunderstood. I said "ROAD."
Mr. McMahon dies after an "accidental" limousine explosion that just happens to be televised. And on his Appreciation Night, no less! The FBI calls in Daniel Beck, its finest indy worke... I mean, special prosecutor, to try the case.
Bobby Lashley (real name: Robert Lindsay) wins back the ECW Title. Thankfully before Mr. McMahon's tragic passing, or else the belt wouldn't have nearly the amount of prestige it does now.
TNA programming revolves around the conflict between Abyss, Sting and Father James Mitchell. Gotta love the "copy and paste" function.
A pay-per-view that is dubbed "Night Of Champions" features Deuce and Domino, WWE Tag Team Champions of 2007, versus Superfly Snuka and Sgt. Slaughter, AWA Tag Team Champions of 1987. At ringside? Rick Martel and Tony Garea, WWWF Tag Team Champions of 1967.
In an effort to promote its ECW brand, WWE holds its annual "One Night Stand" PPV with, like, three people that might even be somewhat related to ECW. Also, they allow Rob Van Dam to run out his contract.
Sensational Sherri Martel permanently checks into the ol' "Heartbreak Hotel." And the place I'm going to is gonna be WAY worse than that, especially if a certain man upstairs reads this column.
Kurt Angle went over Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christian Cage and ChrisHarris in the same match on PPV. Why can't he act more like John Cena , who, uh, did the same thing against Bobby Lashley, Mick Foley, King Booker and Randy Orton... never mind.
NFL semi-star Frank Wychek teams up with Jerry Lynn for some reason to wrestle Ron Killings and Max Moon. Oddly enough, this convinced TNA to use football players more frequently.
In a horrible, senseless tragedy no wrestling fan will ever forget, Chris Benoit allegedly murders his wife and son before taking his own life. Oh, don't worry... I'm not going to have a field day with this one. The mainstream media beat me to it.
If you want to know what happened the rest of the year, tune in next week for The True Wrestling Story of 2007 (Part Two). In the meantime, if you don't mind... I have to go puke. Happy new year indeed!