October 7, 2004
SLAM! Roundtable: Giving thanks
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff

Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist

It's turkey time up here in Canada, otherwise known as Thanksgiving. While us Canucks have never had the treat of the "feast or famine" tradition of the Survivor Series, or even a Gobbeldygooker, we still have a a lot to be thankful for in the world of professional wrestling.

Take a moment to sit back and see what the SLAM! staff has to be thankful for, then get to your e-mail, dial us up and let us know what you are thankful for in professional wrestling.

SLAM! Speaks Topic #4 - "What are you most thankful for in professional wrestling?"

Bob Kapur

I'm thankful for the wrestlers that go out every night and give it their all so that I go home feeling like I've gotten my money's worth. The people who do whatever they have to do to make sure that I tune in next week to see them again.

Like Shawn Michaels, Sabu, Paul London, and Chris Sabin, who put their bodies at risk on a nightly basis.


Like Ric Flair, Paul Heyman, and Raven, whose brilliant promos can turn otherwise horrible TV into must-see fare.

Like Triple H, Y2J, Steve Corino, Chris Benoit, Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, the Undertaker, and countless others who can tell equally-compelling stories in matches as short as 3 minutes or as long as 60.

They're the reason I am a wrestling fan today -- and for that, I thank them all.

Corey David Lacroix

What I am most thankful for is being a member of the SLAM! Wrestling roster.

I truly believe we provide our readers with unique stories on a wide spectrum of personalities, events and issues related to professional wrestling. We deliver a great product, second to none.

On a personal note, being a correspondent for SLAM! has taken me to places and adventures I thought I would never see; from countless indy shows in Ontario and Quebec, watching a live wrestling show at the famed ECW arena in South Philadelphia to being stranded along a Mexican highway while enroute to a lucha libre show (which I did make it to on time).

The best part of all, is the untold journeys I have yet to make in the wild wacky world of pro wrestling.

Jason Clevett

I am thankful for the opportunity to bring to light so many undiscovered talents. For many readers, the first time they have heard about some of the best wrestlers in the world is right here on SLAM!Wrestling due to our passion and determination to cover independent talent. People ask me who my favorite interviews have been and expect it to be a big name, but often its the guys like Alex Shelley, TJ Wilson, Apocalypse, Major Hardway, John Walters and other independent talent that provide the most satisfaction. Getting to be a part of this wonderful group of writers here at SLAM! has been a privilege and I am thankful for the opportunities being here has given me.

I am also thankful to the men and women who give so much of themselves to entertain us. I know sometimes we can be critical and it seems we don't love the business. We do, and its for those who give their blood sweat and tears that I thank each time I pop in a DVD or turn on the TV.

Chris Sokol

I am thankful for independent wrestling.

Being able to travel around, find different talent and watch different styles is always refreshing. Indy wrestling provides such a more relaxed environment. You are able to approach the wrestlers more like a person rather than a side show attraction. You are not barricaded behind a wall of security guards and corporate executives, but rather by a simple guardrail. You feel closer to the action, simply because you are.

There is a choice on the indie scene, and for that, I am thankful.

Jon Waldman

There's a lot to be thankful for in wrestling, but I am most thankful for the networks who provide us with hours upon hours of our favourite shows.

Let's face it; there are very few ongoing shows that are afforded the time that WWE has on television today, and companies like WCW had in the past. Currently, there is nine hours of WWE television being broadcast a week. There are some sports organizations that don't get that much broadcast time! Factor in two hours of NWA-TNA, an hour of CMLL, and a couple more hours of various indies and you start to see how much air time the ring wars gets.

Without networks like TSN, Spike TV and The Score, we wouldn't have nearly as much access to wrestling. For that, I am not only thankful, but eternally greatful.

The Last Word

Greg Oliver

This is a very special time in the history of pro wrestling, though you'd never know it from the current WWE product.

Retro is in, whether it's with the various fan conventions, autobiographies or tribute web sites to the stars and promotions of the past. WWE is even recognizing this with the restarting of their Hall of Fame, and value of past, non-Titan matches on various DVD releases.

So I can honestly say that I am grateful and thankful for so many people who are trying to keep the past alive.

There are historians like Scott Teal, J Michael Kenyon, Jim Melby, Don Luce, Steve Yohe, George Shire, Fred Hornby, Lib Ayoub and others who piece together the past and bring it alive again.

There are the dedicated people like Red Bastien, Nick Bockwinkel, Karl Lauer and Dean & Ruth Silverstone who work behind-the-scenes of the Cauliflower Alley Club, a collection of wrestlers that comes close to being an alumni association.

There are the equally dedicated people like Tony Vellano, Mike Capano, Bob Bryla and others who run the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Schenectady, NY without any personal financial goal in mind. It's all about giving back.

There is Mike Chapman, who probably knows more about amateur wrestling than anyone on the planet, putting his money where his mind already is and establishing the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa, with its wing of successful pro wrestlers with amateur credentials.

There are companies like ECW Press and Sports Publishing that have seen the value in getting the stories of these wrestling legends into print.

I get to play a small part in the bigger historical picture, researching for various projects, including SLAM! Wrestling, my first book, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians, and my next one, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams.

I continue to get a rush out of a new interview, some legend of the past that I've dug up to talk rasslin' with.

So most of all, I'm thankful that they are out there to talk to, willing to chat about their careers in and out of the ring, sharing their experiences with me.

And in turn, I'm thankful that you all continue to come back and visit SLAM! Wrestling, and that Canoe.ca sees value in a quality pro wrestling product, and that John Powell convinced me to get back into writing about wrestling back in 1996.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

-- compiled by Jon Waldman


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