Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Turkey and Turnbuckles

Once upon a time, Thanksgiving and Christmas were two of the biggest nights in wrestling. After stuffing themselves with turkey and all the trimmings, fans could look forward to seeing their favorite stars in action. The cards were usually packed with stars and often served as the blow-off for many feuds. For years, Jim Crockett Promotions ran a Thanksgiving show which saw the culmination of many top feuds (In fact, the great site Mid-Atlantic Gateway has a special feature on the Thanksgiving shows that I recommend you check out!). This would culminate in Starcade:A Flair for the Gold and lead to the pay-per-view revolution that would forever change the landscape of wrestling. Thanksgiving was just one important day for the big holiday shows. Another one was Christmas. Probably the best remembered Christmas show was World Class Championship Wrestling's Star Wars holiday shows. These shows would eventually lead to Star Wars shows on Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Eventually, the success of PPV's like Starcade and Wrestlemania would lead to these holiday supershows showing up as PPV's. For a few years, Thanksgiving meant Starcade and Survivor Series. I remember how excited I was when I found out the WWF was running a show on Thanksgiving in 1987. The show turned out to be a pleasant surprise and I really enjoyed some of the tag team matches. It was an exciting change of pace from singles matches and it quickly became an annual tradition.

While I miss the holiday cards, I am happy that the wrestlers have the days off. I don't think anyone should have to work big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's a time for family and friends to enjoy a night off and each other's company. Still, there's a small part of me that wishes I could tune in to some wrestling every Thanksgiving.

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving with their friends and family.

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