SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   December 18, 2014



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Detroit


WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs ... and Stairs


NXT Takeover: [R] Evolution


WWE Survivor Series


House of Hardcore VII


Signmania VIII


Beulah McGillicutty







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Tournaments rule. From March Madness to Survivor to federal elections, there's something innately entrancing about watching a field of many whittling down to a single champion. In pro wrestling, tournaments take on many shapes and have many prizes: title shots, bragging rights, even coronations; but they all produce a victor that, at least for that month, is recognized as number one. Whether it's Christopher Daniels triumphing in the Super 8 tourney or Randy Savage laying claim to one of the greatest prizes of all at Wrestlemania IV, tournaments have a way of building their own momentum and excitement as they progress.

From my obvious affection for these events came the idea of a mega-tournament, something that could bridge generations of wrestlers and pit people that were born a century apart against one another. It wanted it to be grander than what you can create on something like the WWE All-Stars video game, though, and for that it needed a lot of wrestlers. One thousand sounded like an impressive number, except I realized later on that a thousand wouldn't break down evenly by two, so The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament took shape.

Here's how the list of 1,024 was built: I started writing down wrestlers just off the top of my head while at home, at work on break, sometimes jotting them down on scraps of paper or sending emails to myself. When I started running out of new ideas I went to the SLAM! Wrestling Bios section. Fortuitously I was also later tasked to review Tim Hornbaker's book Legends of Pro Wrestling, and it was extremely helpful; my wife also made sure that I didn't miss any obvious entrants.

I didn't want just a "Best of" list of entrants, though; there are jobbers and celebrities right in the mix alongside the all-time greats. The only rule is that they had to have wrestled in an official match and not just interfered or taken a bump (sorry, Pete Rose, you are banned from this list). After that, I inputted my list of 1,024 wrestlers into an online randomizer to make the brackets. I decided to go with random placement instead of trying to apply some kind of ranking system since that would be naturally subjective on my part -- on top of the subjectivity of my selections in the first place.

It was always designed to be a Facebook project. The idea of polling through that network just seemed so much more appealing as opposed to using a stand-alone website or certainly any kind of email campaign. The voting isn't supposed to be academic; you can push for your favourites or try to thwart someone that's always rubbed you the wrong way. Whenever possible, links to biographies or stories will be provided for the wrestlers so you can check up on those with whom you are unfamiliar.

The first round alone is going to take just over four months to complete, given a posting of four matches per day. The matches will remain on the page long after they've been posted, though, so even if you're joining late you can still scroll down to the very first match and place your votes.

I can't promise a trophy, a contract, or anything tangible for the winner. I can't promise that the winner will ever learn of the news that his or her name topped 1,023 others. I can't promise that the winner will even be someone that the majority of voters will have ever heard of.

I can only promise that I'm doing this with the purest of intentions, and plan to have a lot of fun doing it.

So, what are you waiting for?

Go to The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament!

Dave Hillhouse is a teacher and screenwriter, and wonders if we'll ever see a championship tournament such as Wrestlemania IV had again.