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TheSmartMarks.com: One Year Later

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Guest TSMAdmin

TheSmartMarks.com: One Year Later


I can’t believe it. I simply can not believe it.


It has been 365 days since TheSmartMarks.com opened up with its first column, Jay Spree’s DVD News Report.


In the past year, TheSmartMarks.com has grown immensely, gaining a loyal fanbase here in the U.S. as well as in Australia and the U.K. To say that this was easy to do would be a bold lie though.


For those of you out there who are unaware of how we came to be, let’s turn the clock back a little over a year ago.


Towards the end of March of 2002, TheSmarks.com had announced that they were closing and joining up with 411wrestling.com, taking most of their writers with them. The message board, however, was not to come along since 411 already had their own forums and it was basically left to die. A few users of the forum decided to band together in order to keep the board operating as well as create a new site in which we would be able to broadcast our opinions on the wrestling world. We then held a vote to decide what we would call ourselves now that The Smarks was gone. Although the name “Vanilla Midgets” had been proposed and had a lot of support, the name “TheSmartMarks.com” prevailed, although it was admittedly very unoriginal. The first article was posted on May 5th, 2002 and since then, however, nothing has been the same.


Jay Spree and O.R. Polk Jr.were the only writers of TheSmarks.com to stay on board with the new TSM and so we had lots of openings. New talent was elevated, so to speak, as guys like Jared “JHawk” Hawkins, Dr. Tom, Retro Rob and myself became part of the new writing staff.


As much as I would like to admit it, it wasn’t just the hard work and dedication to get better and improve that we all showed that helped to get us here, but some well timed breaks.


Retro Rob’s wit and charm SOMEHOW was able to land an exclusive interview with Trish Stratus, which we then pimped to many wrestling newsboards, leading readers to TSM for the first time.


Dr. Tom and Retro Rob began cross-posting their Smackdown and Confidential recaps on other websites as well, giving not only them exposure, but TSM as well.


Brandon Truitt came onboard and gave us one of our biggest assets….tons of shoot interview reviews. His reviews caught the eye of former wrestler Tom Zenk, who began to plug TSM as well, most recently plugging Peter Ramon’s “The Year in Crap: 2002” article.


Around the same time, NWA:TNA started up and I became one of the very few reviewers out there who was able to view the program consistently and be fair about the product. Due to this, I was able to cross post my weekly TNA Diatribes on other popular wrestling sites, such as Lords of Pain, Pro Wrestling.com and Online Onslaught. I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit where credit is due. Due to a BIG plug in Jeremy Borash’s “From the Inside” report, a lot more people found TSM for my TNA reviews and began following myself and some of the other guys on the site, like Brandon.


Even writers from 411Wrestling such as Jay Bower, Bob Barron and Tim Livingston have constantly plugged TSM and I couldn’t thank them more.


Every month, our numbers increase. Every month, more readers are finding TSM and that we are one of the best sites on the internet for weekly TV recaps and opinions. But that doesn’t mean that we are getting complacent.


We’re all trying to stay consistent with the high standard of writing that we have set and make sure that TSM is here to stay and stay for the long haul. O. R. Polk, Jr., Dr. Tom and others have been striving to provide us with great pop culture reviews, covering DVD’s, current movie releases as well as the occasional sports rant in order to give TSM a broader audience. The “new breed” of TSM writers such as Bryan Staebell, Patrick Spoon and Joseph Mann (Archives coming soon) are all finding their own niche on the ‘net with their unique styles and I recommend all of their work as well.


Thanks to every single one of the guys who contribute to TSM, I’m confident that our readership will grow as well as our standing in the Internet Wrestling Community.


Before I sign off, I’d like to give my special thanks to certain people who truly helped this place grow with all of their hard work.


Jay Spree – Your loyalty to TSM means more to me than you’ll ever know. You had plenty of chances to join other sites with more exposure, but have always remained true to us. I will always remember that.


Dr. Tom – The Hardest Working Man on TSM. With over 110 articles written in the past year, there is no doubt in my mind that you are the most dedicated writer that we have. Although your time has now been limited due to personal engagements, nothing can ever take away what you’ve done here.


Mike (The Admin) – While it always seems like it’s a wild goose chase to hunt you down, when I’m finally able to track you, you help to keep this site running very smoothly and I commend you for that.


Paul Gullas – Your gorgeous site design (especially the revamp you did a couple of months back) have made this place a great place to look at and user friendly and because of that, you’re just as responsible for this sites growth as anyone else.


Stephen Popick – You know I just had to put you in here. You helped me out when things were looking bleak for me, financially and never hesitated to back me up until I got back on my feet. Thanks a lot, Pops.


William Helmick – For the first few months, I’ll admit…you were the guy that ran this place. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing (or what I was getting into) but you grounded me and got me to do what needed to be done until I was able to make decisions on my own. Your devotion to every single aspect of this site is unmatched and I still hold your opinion in the highest regard today.


Last but not least, I’d like to thank the naysayers. The guys that stated this place wouldn’t be around in six months, like the guy that ran this place prior to the TSM era. Proving you wrong was all the motivation most of us needed to strive. Even with interest in professional wrestling dwindling, I’m sure that there will always be some outspoken smart mark looking for a place to have their voice be heard….we’re going nowhere.


Hopefully, I can say something similar to this in the next couple of years.


Happy Birthday, TSM.


TSM Owner

The Dames, Damian Gonzalez.

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