December 23, 2004
SLAM! Speaks: Our 2004 highlights
By SLAM! Wrestling
As the year 2004 comes to a close, the SLAM! Staff chose to together to reflect
on the year that was in pro wrestling.
After much discussion on the highs and lows of the year, the question was raised
as to the single greatest moment this year. Here's what we thought.
I am sure many will pick this as the highlight, but it takes on a personal
twist for me. Standing in Madison Square Garden watching Eddie Guerrero, the
Smackdown brand's WWE Champion, embracing newly crowned RAW World Champion Chris
Benoit while confetti rained from above still gives me chills. It's rare anymore
for true emotion to come through in wrestling, but the smiles and tears on the
faces of both the wrestlers and many fans in attendance said it all. For one
night, it was about two best friends who, according to some, weren't big enough/tall
enough/charismatic enough to win the big one, proving the world wrong. In a
year filled with too many lowlights, that one moment shines and will remain
with me for the rest of my life.
As I guy who never missed an edition of TSN's Stampede Wrestling show, nothing
in 2004 will ever compare to seeing Chris Benoit finally rewarded for his hard
work, professionalism and mat skills. Eddie Guerrero reaching the pinnacle too
was just gravy.
The highlight of 2004 was the continued existence of NWA-TNA. Wrestling
has been in a rut lately, in large part due to the lack of any serious competition
for WWE. Vince McMahon, it has been proven, thrives on competition; when there's
a threat he fights back by putting on the best product possible. If NWA-TNA
can capitalize on the momentum from its stellar December PPV, and if Panda keeps
bankrolling it, the company may one day become a viable threat to the WWE. And
push them to being as good as we all know they can be.
While many will be surprised by my selection -- given my eternal leanings
towards Chris Benoit as my favourite wrestler -- it was seeing Eddy Guererro with the
WWE Heavyweight Championship around his waist. After all that Latino Heat has
had to deal with in his life, seeing him on top was definitely a highlight reel
moment that will stick around for years to come.
So now you've heard what we think was the highlight of the year in wrestling;
now we want to hear your opionion. E-mail
us and let us know what you think was the top moment in 2004.
-- Compiled by Jon Waldman