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  Aug 26, 1999

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SLAM! Wrestling Editorial: What I'm thankful for
By MATT GARDNER -- SLAM! Wrestling

BENOIT Matt Gardner welcomes The Canadian Crippler's recent push.
 With my Thanksgiving turkey digesting through my body I would like to take some time to reflect on what I am thankful for in this past year of wrestling. Come along with me on this journey. Or don't. I'll leave that up to you loyal SLAM! readers.

I'm thankful for Smackdown!, for without that I probably wouldn't be back at SLAM! full time.

I'm thankful for the women of wrestling who I lust for every Monday and Thursday nights. Occasionally Sundays too. Ms. Kitty, Kimberly, Ivory, Stephanie, Ryan "Symphony" Shamrock, Spice, Debra, Terri, Gorgeous George, and my favorite and yours, Torri Wilson.

I'm thankful for Chris Jericho. Wasting away in the WCW early in the year, he jumped ship and wlll soon be the WWF's golden boy ala Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin.

I'm thankful for the McMahon family. Without Vince, Linda, Shane and Stephanie I know wrestling wouldn't be as cool as it is right now. Vince's promos in early 99 as the evil Mr. Mac-Mahon were classic and who can forget his surprising turn as Greater Power. Linda is a calming effect, just like a mother. Shane has really come into his own this year and has a bright future. And Stephanie has proven worthy of TV time and Andrew Martin's life-long love at least while on TV.

I'm thankful for Vince Russo and Ed Fererra. They have been a vital part of making WCW watchable again and for that they deserve some awards. Also, who knows where the WWF would be without their influence in the past.

I'm thankful for the oppurtunity to watch matches featuring Owen Hart, Rick Rude, and Gorilla Monsoon. All three were great performers and apparently wonderful people to be around. They will be missed.

I'm thankful for Chris Beniot's push. It took forever but The Crippler is finally getting what's been owed to him for so long.

I'm thankful for not having Sable around anymore. She's an egomaniac whose career will go no where with out the guidance of the WWF. We can only see her nude body so much before we move on to another big-breasted blonde. Good riddens, and please stay gone! That goes for Marc too!

I'm thankful Bobby Heenan, Joel Gertner and Jerry Lawler. Their antics and opinions make each broadcast they announce that much more enjoyable.

I'm thankful for Jim Ross, Mike Tenay, Gene Okerlund, Joey Styles and Tony Schiavone. Most of the time there a bunch of BSers, but there trademark voices have become something of legend. They too bring something to the table that makes each match they call so much better. Although, I still haven't fully forgiven Tony for giving away the results of Mick's title match. Speaking of Mankind.

I'm thankful for Mick Foley. I read his book in about 4 days and barely stopped for a breather. How can you not respect a man who has given so much for the sport he loves? He's one of the great people in this world and from the sound of it his presence on televison will soon be no longer. I'm glad we've had a Mankind-filled year. Will I ever forget his World title victories? The Rock and Sock Connection? Probably not.

I'm thankful HHH as a heel. He's becoming one of the greats right before our eyes.

I'm thankful Bret Hart. Maybe we can finally put this Montreal screw-job stuff behind us and move on. He's a World Champ again so let's watch as The Hitman makes more history.

I'm thankful for Jim Duggan. In a year where he has fought through cancer and come back stronger than ever. He reminds me of why I loved wrestling in the 80's. He's a vital member of the WCW roster who will always be a King in my book.

I'm thankful for ECW. Finally I have somthing good to look forward to on Friday nights. Paul Heyman has come a long way and should get more credit. Before long ECW may be as famous as The Big Two. With stars like RVD, Jerry Lynn, Sabu, The Impact Players, Candidio and Sytch, Raven, Sandman and Dreamer things can only get better.

I'm thankful for Taz. Why? The best reason is because I know he'll make me thankful for the year 2000. He's a force to be reckoned with, so get ready WWF.

I'm thankful Ric Flair. He's still stylin' and profilin' which is a testament to his greatness. He is a consumate professional whose character was put though storyline hell this year. He's not done yet though. He'll never be done.

I'm thankful for the Outsiders, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. They're funny as hell no matter how far out there they get. We get it.

I'm thankful for The Rock. With Austin out of the picture he should step up and become the WWF poster boy. He really went over this year whether he was a heel, a face or a tweener.

I'm thankful for a thriving tag team division. In past years we've had to witness such atrosities as The Body Donnas, The Blu Brothers, The Godwinns, and The Dancing Fools. Watching the Ladder Match involving Edge and Christian and The Hardys is a testament to how far we've come and how much further and better it will get.

Wrestlers I'm thankful for, for various reasons: Al Snow, The Big Boss Man, Kane, Booker T, Jeff Jarrett, Kidman, Curt Hennig, Vampiro, D'Lo Brown, The Godfather, Meng, Test, Roaddogg, Rob Van Dam, Raven, Steve Austin, Buff Bagwell, Shane Douglas, Sid, Chyna, X-Pac, The Undertaker, The Big Show, Dr. Death, Test, All the WWF tag teams, especially The Dudleys, The Acolytes and The Hollys, and for British Bulldog. I work him all the time, but I respect his intestinal fortitude for coming back after a career threatening back injury.

I'm thankful for so much more, but I want to know what you the fans are thankful for? It's been a busy past year, is there something I failed to not mention? Email and let me know r thoughts on 1999!

Matt Gardner is a reporter here at SLAM! Wrestling. He writes our weekly Smackdown! reports. Matt can be reached by e-mail at

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