JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #1: Crippling

For our entire (and now complete) countdown click here.

#1: Crippling
What: Chris Benoit murders his wife, Nancy, son, Daniel, and then commits suicide
Where: Fayetteville, GA
When: June 22-24, 2007

I will never forget the day I heard the news. I received a text message from one of the top wrestlers in the industry who I befriended on a movie set earlier in the year. The message read:

“Dear Ariel,
Chris Benoit and his family are dead. God Bless them all. Call you later.”

My body went numb. I was in total shock. I ran to my computer to confirm the tragedy and he was right: Chris, Nancy and Daniel were all dead. A few hours later, Monday Night Raw aired and, well, you know the rest.

In a year filled with so many great MMA and boxing moments we, unfortunately, end on another tragic wrestling death. Once again, 2007 saw the industry forced to deal with its general slew of deaths but this one was, sadly, on a whole other level.

There’s nothing more I can add to this story. I have been sitting here for an hour thinking of a nice way to wrap it up but I can’t. I hate thinking about it. I hate to think of all the gruesome details. I’m ashamed to admit I ever admired Benoit and, for a time, I was ashamed of the business.

Some say good will come out of this. Congress will investigate the industry and clean it up for good. Maybe so (I doubt it) but it will never be worth it. A little boy and his mother died AS A RESULT of the industry. And If you think this murder-suicide had nothing to do with wrestling well, then, there’s really nothing more I can say.

Further Enlightenment:
Chris Benoit, Family Found Dead [Slam! Sports]
Police Paint Grisly Picture Of Benoit Home [ABC News]
Doping Still An Issue In Wrestling [USA Today]

JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #15: The Bald Billionaire

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ’07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7” from ’07 and the “8” from ’08, add them together and you get 15. Duh.

#15: The Bald Billionare
What: Donald Trump shaves Vince McMahon’s head at Wrestlemania 23
When: April 1, 2007
Where: Ford Field in Detroit, MI

Sure, we’re starting off with a pretty ridiculous moment but let’s be real: Did anyone ever think you would see Donald Trump shave Vince McMahon’s head in the middle of a WWE ring? I sure as hell didn’t. I thought this year’s Wrestlemania was one of the most lackluster of all-time but the site of a bald McMahon running around is one I will surely never forget. McMahon’s facials throughout the ordeal were tremendous.

Further Enlightenment:
Donald Trump Keeps Hair By Winning Billionaire Wrestling Match With Vince McMahon [FOX News]
Trump Gives McMahon A Britney [TMZ]
Bald Debut on ‘Today [WWE]

The End Is Here

I’m stuck in an airport right now and have nothing better to do than dream I was getting ready to watch WWE Armageddon. Actually, there are probably ten different events I would rather watch than this year’s version of the December classic but that’s not the point.

The point is I’ve always liked Armageddon. Maybe it’s because it’s the last PPV of the year or maybe because it actually has produced some great matches and moments.

That said, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and relive the greatest moments in Armageddon history.

3. 1999 – A Sign Of Things To Come: Mr. McMahon vs. HHH: I loved this match and call me naive but I was actually genuinely surprised by the swerve at the end. All three participants (HHH, Vince and Stephanie) did a tremendous job here.

2. 2000 – Six-Pack!: Hey, anytime you have Angle, Austin, Rock, HHH, ‘Taker aaaaand Rikishi you have yourself an awesome main event. Seriously, how out of place does Rikishi seem in this one? To his credit, he did take one sick bump off the cage.

1. 2001 – Undisputed Champ: I know what you are thinking: Jericho’s victories over The Rock and Austin in one night to become the undisputed champ happened at Vengeance not Armageddon. But if you recall, that year WWE decided to drop the Armageddon name due to its proximity to 9/11. So, while it didn’t happen at Armageddon it did happen in December and that, my friends, is good enough for me. By the way, why can’t they have one-night tournaments like this one again?

Happy Thanksgiving…Brother

The following video below is the best way I could wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Remember when the SS was on Thanksgiving night? Ah, the memories…

Sure, growing up in Canada my family never celebrated Thanksgiving but that didn’t mean I didn’t love the WWF’s “Thanksgiving Tradition.”

So, without further ado, the opening of the 1989 Survivor Series. You won’t regret checking it out – it’s a great trip down memory lane.

Allow Him To Reintroduce His Self…

What a tremendous return for Chris Jericho last night on WWE Raw. That was one of the best wrestling re-appearances in a long time. Everything worked. The crowd was simply dying to see Y2J return, his promo was short and sweet and Randy Orton played the perfect heel.

While watching the new and improved Jericho jabber with Orton I was instantly reminded of Jericho’s first-ever appearance on Raw.

The date was August 9, 1999 and The Rock was firmly cementing his status as one of the best in the business. The last few weeks had seen a “countdown to the Millenium” clock on WWE programming leading up to the 8/9 show. Major hysteria had been sweeping the nation that the world would blow up on 1/1/00 so the clock was very timely and mysterious.

While my computer didn’t explode on January 1st, former WCW star Chris Jericho did explode onto the WWE scene when he interrupted The Brahma Bull to introduce himself to the WWE (then known as the WWF) fans. An amazing debut then and an amazing one now.

So, to celebrate Jericho’s return to Raw I thought it would be interesting to look back at his first-ever appearance on the flagship brand of World Wrestling Entertainment. Enjoy.

Remembering The Greatness That Was The Survivor Series

This Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment presents the 21st Survivor Series. When WWE (then known as WWF) only ran four pay-per-views a year this one used to be my favorite. Something about it being held on a Thursday, the Thanksgiving theme and team format always made it fun to watch.

Sadly, the event has completely lost its luster simply because there are usually only a couple traditional Survivor Series elimination matches on the card (right now there is only one). Wasn’t that the whole appeal of the event to begin with! WWE runs 12-14 PPVs a year so why not make one a little different?

Anyhow, since Jarry Park specializes in bringing you enlightening combat sports interviews I thought it would be interesting to showcase some classic SS interviews. These are all great because they feature some of the best talkers in the business.

So, enjoy Jarry Park’s top three Survivor Series promos (also known as the best three I could find videos for)…just for old time’s sake:

3. 1993 Survivor Series – Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart before their ‘Family Feud’ Match (watch out for the late Ray Combs):

2. 1988 Survivor Series – Andre The Giant and Jake “the Snake” Roberts. No doubt Roberts is a troubled soul but his work on the mic is legendary (gotta love Andre referring to Tito Santana as “Frito”):

1. 1993 Survivor Series – Jim Cornette explaining how his team, The Foreign Fanatics (Quebecer Jacques, Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga and Crush), will destroy their opponents, The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Steiner Bros. and The Undertaker). Cornette is still one of the greatest in the game: