Not gonna lie. I love these debates in the comments on what was the worst years in wrestling. Keep them coming (but do keep it civil as well). When I originally began this series, there were three years I had at the top of the list for worst in professional wrestling history. Although I maintain to this day 1995 was the absolute worst... and apparently, so do you by these results...
However, this next year definitely gives it a run for its money. Strap in boys and girls, we're going back to 2007.
THE CASE FOR 2007 BEING THE WORST YEAR EVER
When your year begins with a "rapper" beating the WWE Champion on RAW, you probably have plans for the worst year ever.
And not even WWE could write a script like this.
Of the years that will be covered in this series, this is likely the only one that will be headlined by a professional wrestler involved in a murder-suicide. The weekend of June 22, 2007 would go down as perhaps the most gruesome in recent memory, and not because of what happened in the ring.
Christopher Michael Benoit in a span of three days suffocated his wife Nancy to death and bound her, then strangled his seven year old son Daniel, then took his own life by hanging himself.
Suddenly, the professional wrestling world was under the microscope of mainstream media, and just as they did in the early 1990s with the sex and drug scandals, they pounced. Hard.
The WWE, who at first paid tribute to the late world champion, distanced themselves from Benoit, virtually wiping any mention of him or his history. WWE's drug and concussion policies came into question and were virtually rewritten over the next few months. The death would be a primary cause of WWE abandoning its adult-themed programming and going with something more family-friendly. It was a black eye for WWE, and there were questions as to whether the promotion could answer the proverbial standing ten count. Benoit's death scrapped what could have been one of the biggest WWE storylines in recent memory: the "death" of Vince McMahon and the illegitimate son angle.
Then the WWE was hit with a second scandal just two months later: a Sports Illustrated investigation into the online Signature Pharmacy based out of Orlando, Florida found more than a dozen members of their roster had purchased performance-enhancing drugs after the WWE Wellness Policy was implemented a year earlier, including Benoit. Though the names were not publicly released, among the ten assumed to have been suspended were Edge, Chris Masters, Johnny Nitro, Umaga, and William Regal.
And to cap off their "worst summer ever": Great Khali: World Heavyweight Champion, simply because he was the last big name upright.
In fact, nearly every top star of note went down to injury at some point in the year: Bobby Lashley, Undertaker, Edge, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena top the list.
With December to Dismember bombing the previous year, it brought an end to split-brand PPVs, and a virtual end to the brand split altogether, though they continued to acknowledge it until 2011.
The cruiserweight championship, part of mainstream wrestling since the late 1990s, was retired, with a leprechaun as its last champion. Speaking of champions, Vince McMahon was one. So was Pacman Jones (I'll get to that in a minute). And so was Kurt Angle. I should get to TNA, shouldn't I?
Adam "Pacman" Jones, suspended by the National Football League for the entire season, got into the wrestling ring. Well, at least that was the plan. His team, the Tennessee Titans, said none of that noise, as it violated his NFL contract. Wrestling fans also said none of that mess too. Despite that, the once-disgraced kick returner was one half of the tag team champions. I should point this out again: the man never took a bump on a TNA show. In fact, he wasn't allowed to touch or be touched. And yet, he was one half of the tag champs.
Also one-half of the tag team champions in 2007: Kurt Angle. He was also the other half of the tag team champions. And the X-Division Champion. And the TNA world heavyweight champion. At the same time. Wondered who booked that garbage.
This guy. Yup, TNA brought him back.
The same guy who booked a "Last Rites" match that was so awful, fans chanted "Fire Russo!" on PPV. It happened again a month later during an "electrified" steel cage match. The same guy who (though it wasn't in 2007) booked a world title change on a disqualification.
TNA in 2007 also introduced a reverse battle royal, Feast or Fired, and the "Silent Night, Bloody Night" match.
Scott Hall no-showed a PPV to the surprise of no one. Samoa Joe cuts a shoot promo.
Oh, and it turns out that more than 1 in 3 WWE wrestlers and 1 in 4 TNA wrestlers were on some form of performance-enhancing drugs, including 16 of 25 that tested positive for performance enhancers did so for steroids in TNA.
Speaking of TNA, they and the NWA broke up during that "worst summer ever".
Singer Brooke Hogan.
Fuck, Sensational Sherri and Fabulous Moolah both died too. And Sherri's death was on the same weekend of the Benoit murders.
Wow. I'm gonna have a hard time making a case against it. But I shall anyways.
THE CASE AGAINST 2007 BEING THE WORST YEAR EVER
While the validity of Donald Trump's hair is still under debate, Vince McMahon's hair: very much real, as we saw it all shaved off at Wrestlemania 23. Speaking of Mania, it wasn't terrible. Granted, it's not nearly as good as their first trip to Detroit, but that's a pretty tough bar to leap.
The main event of that show, John Cena versus Shawn Michaels, didn't suck. And neither did their rematch in London, which cleared a good 45 or so minutes on a Monday night a month later. In fact, it may be the greatest match in RAW history. Hard to argue against it.
Undertaker got to see from the top of the mountain for the first time in years as a world champion. Not gonna lie, it felt pretty awesome. Guy deserved it.
It wasn't all bad in TNA. Their company got two things that were thought to bring them a step closer to WWE's perch: a women's division (that was far superior for a number of years to WWE's divas), and a second hour on Thursday night.
Now that I've made my case, it's time to make yours. Is 2007 the worst year in wrestling ever? Vote down there and comment. And be respectful-like and stuff. Poll shuts down three days from time and date of post.