Guest Author - Vance Rowe
2007 - The Year in Review
As they say, “Out with the old and in with the new.” It sure was a topsy-turvy year for pro wrestling with most of it going to be remembered for a devastating tragedy.
The Benoit Tragedy was definitely the lowest point and most talked about point in wrestling this year. It is alleged that former World Heavyweight champion, Chris Benoit murdered his wife, Nancy (Woman, Robin Greene, Fallen Angel) and their son before taking his own life. No one knows exactly what was going through Benoit’s mind at the time and I will certainly not speculate, but I will say it is a tragedy and a horrible time for professional wrestling.
The WWE suspended ten wrestlers in one day this past year for the substance abuse policy and although their names were never officially released, other wrestling and sports websites gave the names of who they believe it was. It was said by the WWE that as of November 2007, any wrestler who was suspended or released due to the wellness policy would have their names published publicly by the company.
There was a lot that happened with the Hogan Family as well. Hulk’s son, Nick was involved in a car accident that left his friend with some permanent damage and Hulk and Linda filed for divorce but there is some speculation that it is to protect the family assets from any fall out from the accident. Hulk said he didn’t know about the divorce filing and found out from some reporter and Linda said she has filed because she is tired of them wasting money on Brooke’s singing career. I guess we will have to wait and see how this plays out.
There were several in ring injuries this past year that put wrestlers on the shelf for months and two of them had to relinquish their title belts. Smackdown champion, Edge had to give up his title due to being out longer than thirty days due to a pectoral muscle tear and John Cena had to relinquish the Raw championship due to pectoral muscle damage as well. As of this writing, Edge is back and is the Smackdown champion again and John Cena is still out and it is speculated that he will be out of action through Wrestlemania. The Undertaker, Bobby Lashley, Triple H and Shawn Michaels were also on the shelf for awhile this past year and Lashley is still out along with Cena.
Beside the Benoit debacle, there are some other notable deaths to report from this past year. The Fabulous Moolah, one of the most history making women in professional wrestling died this year.
The wrestling world lost “Sensational” Sherrie Martel the same weekend that the Benoit tragedy and that had overshadowed her death. It is speculated that she died due to abuse of painkillers and you can read their mini-bios if you follow the links at the bottom of this article.
Other notable deaths this past year include: Bam Bam Bigelow, Brian “Crush” Adams, Tor Kamata, “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd and Arnold Skaaland just to name a few. For the fans of World Class Championship Wrestling, we lost former referee Bronko Lubich and the Missing Link.
Some high points of the year include:
TNA Impact acquiring the contracts of Christie Hemme, Kurt Angle and Booker T with Sharmell, his wife.
The WWE stopped doing the brand pay-per-views and now combine talent from all three brands in their pay-per-views.
The WWE went to visit and perform for the troops again this year and we saw a billion dollar haircut when Lashley and Donald Trump shaved Vinnie Mac’s head at Wrestlemania.
A toast to you, 2007. Thank you for being gone. Let’s hope and pray for a brighter 2008 for professional wrestling and the people around the world.