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Things to Be Thankful For
By RAUL SMITH, MOP Squad Sports Staff Writer
Nov 22, 2007 - 7:21:03 PM

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Before I begin today’s series of rants followed by a major announcement regarding an annual tradition, I would like to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.   This weekend, we take time to look fondly upon our lives and be thankful for the things we have…before we storm every Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and any other store I may have forgotten to mention Friday morning to take advantage of Christmas sales.   Me, personally…I won’t be going anywhere near a Wal-Mart or any other store for the next few days.   If I need anything, I’ll just go to one of the local grocery stores that are still hanging in there, delaying the inevitable monopolization of Wal-Mart in this region.


As for things that I’m thankful for, I can honestly look upon my own life and be thankful that I still have my health (well, aside from this wretched bronchial infection I’m fighting), I still have my other job which pays me comfortable money, I still have my family, I still have some of the best friends that anybody could ever ask for, and, much like Matt Hardy, I no longer have my appendix; except mine didn’t burst before the doctors took it out, releasing damaging toxins into my blood stream.   That would’ve been a nasty little picture there.   So, with that said, I will send my well-wishes to Matt Hardy, and I will pray for a speedy and full recovery.   Get well soon, Matt; just because Jericho’s back doesn’t mean Smackdown isn’t in dire need of a little Mattitude.


See, when I had my appendix taken out back in June, I was told by doctors that had I waited another twelve hours, what happened to Matt Hardy would’ve happened to me; so there’s something to be thankful for.   And when Matt Hardy says that it was the worst pain he had ever experienced in his life, all I can say to that is…true.   Appendicitis is the worst pain anybody can experience, and is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody.   Kind of ironic considering the appendix is perhaps the most useless organ in our bodies.   Now, I’m not a professional wrestler nor do I play one on TV, so I can honestly say that while I may have thought in the past that I had a high pain tolerance, the pain tolerance for wrestlers has to be off the charts.   So if Matt Hardy is saying that his appendix bursting was the worst pain he had ever experienced in his life, that makes me feel just a little bit better considering I have to agree with him, having gone through an appendicitis myself.


Also having gone through an appendectomy, I can honestly say that I am amazed as to how optimistic Matt Hardy is regarding how soon he can come back.   But, then again, professional wrestlers almost have to be that optimistic in order to survive in such a cutthroat industry.   Now, I will say that while I’m not a professional wrestler, I do work at a job that is very physical; not pound your co-worker’s head into a mat or a turnbuckle physical, but physical as in heavy lifting, lots of walking, that sort of thing.   So, an injured knee or an appendectomy hinders your ability to do your job where I work.   So I know a little bit about how long it takes to recover from an appendectomy, and I’ll be brutally honest…I’d be shocked if Matt Hardy is back in less than twelve weeks.  Again, I’m not a wrestler, and it took me about that much time to fully recover from an appendectomy.   But, then again, my appendix didn’t go into full Appendicitis DEFCON-1 like Matt Hardy’s did.   So I’d be absolutely shocked if he were back in less than three months.   I’d actually be shocked if he came back in time to make the promotional rounds for Wrestlemania 24.   In fact, I’ll call it right now: John Cena will most likely be back before Matt Hardy is.   Again, get well soon, Matt; I’m pulling for you and I do feel your pain.


Going from a potentially-tragic topic to a mournful one, the wrestling family lost a very kindred spirit recently in the Fabulous Moolah.   I never got a chance to see her perform live, being in the wrestling black hole that is Utah, but I’ve had the opportunity to see her work as of late as well as watch some of her best matches from the 50s and so forth through WWE 24/7.   I would be hard pressed to find anybody that would disagree with what “Classie” Freddie Blassie once said; he said, and I’m paraphrasing now, something to the effect of that Moolah is and will forever be the greatest female wrestler of all-time.   For all the Trish Stratuses, Litas, Gail Kims, Beth Phoenixes, Mickie Jameses, Chynas, Sables, and even the Sunnys, none of the opportunities that they had would even be possible if not for the Fabulous Moolah.   She was to women’s wrestling what guys like Bruno Sammartino and “Superstar” Billy Graham were to men’s wrestling; a true legend, both in and out of the ring, in every sense of the word.   I think it goes without saying that Moolah will definitely be missed by fans of both the old-school wrestling style and the current-day style.   God Bless, Moolah.


As the wrestling industry also takes time to reflect on things that they are thankful for, I, as a wrestling fan, will now deliver to you things that I am thankful for as well:


I am thankful for the opportunity to communicate and interact with other wrestling fans through the medium that I’ve been given.   I realize that I do have a gift, but that instead of abusing that gift, much like I did back in March, I should embrace it and fine-tune it, which I think I have.   I must also realize that I have been given a second chance and that I should not waste it.


I am thankful that we have the opportunity to see such great wrestling action from two separate promotions: WWE and TNA.   Even though TNA has taken a turn for the worse recently, they do still put on excellent quality matches on occasion, but nowhere near where they used to be.


I am thankful for the opportunity to see all three brands of WWE still.   Keep in mind, back in June 2006, Smackdown was taken off all Utah television airwaves for four months before it switched over to the CW Network.   I still haven’t gotten over that entirely.


I am thankful for the chance to see a true legend – not a legend in the making, a legend – in the Undertaker; a man who not only looks like gold in the ring, but does his damnedest to make others look like gold, as well.   It will be a damn shame when he does decide to hang up the boots, the hat, and the coat once and for all and moves on to real estate, because wrestling sure as hell needs more guys like the Undertaker and less guys like Chris Masters.


I am thankful TNA got rid of Test as quickly as they did.   That’s always something to be thankful for.


I am thankful Adam “Pac-Man” Jones is no longer making it rain in wrestling rings and is now back to doing just that at strip clubs, back where he belongs.   Remind me to not go anywhere near a strip club until that man has been put behind bars; afterwards, yeah, I might check one out.   We do have those in Utah, also.   I guess, as a red-blooded American male, that’s something to be thankful for, as well.


I am thankful for WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 for X-Box 360.   Finally, I can have Stone Cold Steve Austin come out to the ring with the Disturbed music.   That entrance song was bad ass! (The music I’m referring to was the entrance music Austin came out to at Wrestlemania X-7 when he defeated the Rock for the WWE Championship)


I am thankful for Chris Jericho coming back.   Let’s just hope he is even 80% as good in the ring as he was before he left to go on tour with Fozzy.   But, if I may complain for a minute…my God, Chris!   What happened to your hair?!   Carlito thinks you went overboard.


Speaking of which, I am thankful Carlito is no longer on my Future World Champions list; so then that way, that’s just that much egg that’s not on my face when Carlito decides to go home to his papa in Puerto Rico…ERR, I mean WWE decides to fire his lazy, pompous ass.


While I’m on Future World Champions, I am certainly thankful for that main event match TNA recently put on between Kurt Angle and Kaz (Frankie Kazarian).   Because of that and other performances, I’m not yet ready to put Kaz up there with Mr. Kennedy, Shelton “I’m Hardcore Simon Phoenix” Benjamin, and Samoa Joe just yet, but Kaz is now on the bubble.


And finally, I am thankful for the major announcement that I am now ready to make…


The WRES-PYs are coming back!


That’s right!   Next month, I will unveil my winners for various awards for the WRES-PYs.   What started out as an annual debate amongst family members and a couple friends who love wrestling has now become a more open debate involving lots more people.   And, much like last year, I am looking for input from you fans regarding unique awards that I should present.   The awards that are already locked in and set in stone are as follows:


Note: each award will be tagged with one of two tags in parentheses; “Overall” means the award is given out to the best (or worst) available candidate from both WWE and TNA, “WWE/TNA” means I will have separate awards for each promotion.


Worst Idea Ever (Overall) – I’ve already got a few candidates in mind (Pac-Man, anybody?)


Best Announcer (Overall) – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to who could make this list.


Best Wrestling Move (WWE/TNA) – this one’s going to be very interesting.


Best Heel (Overall) – self-explanatory.


Best Face (WWE/TNA) – also self-explanatory.


Best Storyline/Program (Overall) – which on-camera storyline or program (feud) captivated our attention the most this year?


Best Entrance (WWE/TNA) – come on!   It’s unfair to compare TNA’s entrances to WWE’s because WWE’s going to win that battle every day.


Best Wrestler (WWE/TNA) – who was the best storyteller, the best overall wrestler, or perhaps the most popular of 2007?


Who to Watch in 2008 (WWE/TNA) – Looking ahead to the upcoming year, who will be on everybody’s radar by this time next year?


If you have any ideas as to any other awards, you can send them to me via email.   As always, I will be leaving the email address at the bottom of this column.   Look for the first part of the WRES-PYs to hit during the second week of December.


To the many that have fallen before this day, God Bless you all, and may you be in a much better place today than you were here.   Your memories will live on, though you are gone.   That means you too, Fabulous Moolah!

Copyright 2007 - MOP Squad Sports

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