This week, Dustin Watson reviews the year that was in wrestling.
So another year has flown by, and as we did on the radio show yesterday, I thought I would join the endless year in review shows with my own year in review.
The longest reigning champion in professional wrestling is Ring of Honor's Nigel McGuiness, "McLariat" as he is sometimes referred to by the fans of RoH. He has held the largest Indy's World Title since October 2007. McGuiness is nearing the RoH records of "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe for longest reigns.
In WWE, the longest reigning champion is Shelton Benjamin and his run with WWE's United States Championship. Benjamin took the title from Matt Hardy and has held it since July. While this belt isn't as eagerly defended as other belts, this is still something to look at.
The moment of the year for me was a close one. I had my heartstrings pulled by the Ric Flair retirement speech on Raw. I was entertained by The Rock's Hall of Fame speech, even if he did run a bit long. But in my mind, the moment of the year was just this month at Armageddon when both of the former Hardy Boyz became world champions. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work, and dues paying by two talented siblings. Sure, Jeff has two strikes against him, but he does the one thing a champion is supposed to do -- put a butt every 18 inches and sell merchandise and pay-per-views.
As far as TNA, I think their Superstar of the Year should be Samoa Joe. Joe got the TNA World Title a year or so later than he should have, and then dropped it to Sting. I have nothing against The Stinger, but for Joe to job the belt to him is a true sign of his professionalism, and willingness to do good business. For the TNA moment of the year, it would have to be Mick Foley coming over to TNA. Foley should probably stay away from in-ring competition, but having his mic skills and wrestling mind around is a great asset to TNA and its locker room full of young talent.
In 2009 I hope to see more wrestling. I am tired of the 20-minute tirades that seem to start every single show. The marquee still says wrestling, and that should be the priority. If you want to focus on telling me a story, tell it to me through the match, not a speech. Promos have their place, but not in place of a match.
Dustin Watson is a professional wrestling blogger for the Linn County Leader. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also listen to The Wrestling Genius on "Two-Old Pros Radio Show" live every Sunday on BlogTalk Radio. The show is rated for a mature (17+) audience, and can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/two-old-pros.