First time doing one of these, but popular demand decrees it. Here goes nothing, comments always appreciated.
The Only Reason I Watch WWE award
Bumps like Curt Hennig on MDMA and hasn’t had a bad match this year. Has been lost in the shuffle a lot, but hasn’t let it get him down unlike John Morrison or Shelton Benjamin. Will hopefully get a real chance to do SOMETHING other than lose to Orton on Raw next year.
- CM Punk before he became the Stan Marsh ”Everything is shit” guy
- Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne Fun, likable and smokes weed. Everybody has friends like them.
The Only Reason I Watch TNA award
Scott Steiner/Bobby Roode (Tie)
Steiner for his general enjoyment despite being a cog in the machine most of the time and Bobby Roode for his promos, matches and promos all working for him. They can only continue their successes (hah, it’s TNA…they’ll be released in March).
- Robbie E Now that he’s no longer with Cookie, he’s goofy as hell which is actually a good thing in TNA.
- Austin Aries Wrestles like a wrestler and talks like one too. Shouldn’t be a skill in a wrestling company, but there you go.
Most Improved Wrestler
Bully Ray (TNA)
Ray’s always been good at promos, but his in-ring work with Devon has been staler than week old bread for years. Splitting from Brother Albatross, getting into shape and having the ability to be goofy or serious with ease has made him a lighthouse in the sea of frustration that is TNA. Teaming with Scott Steiner helped too.
- Cody Rhodes (WWE) Was finally given something fun to work with and has been a blast with or without facemask.
- Mark Henry (WWE) Finally a guy in WWE who does what he says he’s going to do.
Best MV Promo Package
Mark Henry winning the World Title (WWE Vengeance 2011)
Part of Henry’s successful run at the top this year (that’s still strange to type) comes from the unexpectedly excellent booking and the rest comes from WWE’s presentation of him as an unstoppable beast who spent most of 2011 trying to prove he had it. The cutting between the slow-motion WSS and the past fifteen years of failure was stunning stuff. Shame the booking didn’t last, but the fact they were able to use these to make MARK HENRY entertaining at least for a few months is still nothing short of amazing.
- Robert Roode realises being good sucks (TNA Turning Point 2011) Fuck you best friend *smashes bottle*
- The Miz Intro (WWE Wrestlemania 27) Excellent package that tried it’s best to sell a crap character and a worse match
Feud of the Year
Randy Orton vs. Christian (WWE)
You’ve just won your first World title after decades of trying. Sadly you then lose the title on your first defence on SmackDown due to not being 100% after the ladder match a few days earlier. You then lose the rematch at Over The Limit. You demand a rematch but lose despite your foot under the ropes at Capitol Punishment. You demand another rematch because of the shady result and manage to trick your opponent into losing his title by spitting in his face. You lose the No Holds Barred rematch but then spend the rest of the year demanding ONE MORE MATCH. You are Christian. And your feud not only got something entertaining out of Orton, but also made me care about watching a few godawful PPVs I would have otherwise avoided this year. I hope Santa brings you THREE MORE MATCHES.
- Robert Roode vs. James Storm (TNA) Gave us two instant headliners when TNA really needed them.
- John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE) Shame it didn’t last long enough.
Worst Feud of the Year
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett (TNA)
Despite delivering a few good matches, the feud never ended, was centred around the OMG IT’S REAL/Karen Jarrett stuff, Chyna was brought in (!!), Angle looked like crap, all the non-Jeff interviews were painfully awkward and unsettling and it ended the fantastic Double J Double M A skits. Six months of this.
- Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan (TNA) Of all the feuds TNA had to bring back…
- Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler (WWE) Fuck you WWE
Best PPV of the Year
WWE Money In The Bank 2011
I’m not a gimmick match addict, but for whatever reason WWE always delivers on it’s gimmick PPVs (Hell in a Cell aside). TLC and Extreme Rules were very entertaining this year, but I chose MITB overall because of it’s high consistency. Five excellent matches (plus a Diva Piss Break) and an insanely into-it crowd meant it was at least six times more entertaining than Wrestlemania was supposed to be.
- WWE Summerslam/Extreme Rules For being very entertaining non-filler PPVs.
- TNA Destination X 2011 For one night, TNA was brilliant. None it mattered in the long run apart from Austin Aries.
Worst PPV of the Year
TNA Victory Road 2011
For giving us the Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan First Blood Match, the most pointless Ultimate X Match in history, an Ink Inc. match, a horrible RVD vs. Anderson styles clash and Jeff Hardy vs. Sting. Even the poster was awful (Note: Angle didn’t wrestle on the show).
- WWE Wrestlemania 27 Not for being bad, but for being disappointing.
- WWE Hell in a Cell It’s a horrible idea, end now.
Downfall of the year (The Dexter Season Five Award)
Alberto Del Rio (WWE)
The man started off the year winning the Royal Rumble and pinning Kofi Kingston at Elimination Chamber. After losing (in the first match!) his shot at Edge’s title at Wrestlemania and his title to Christian, the man had all the credibility of Daffy Duck. Considering he started off the year as original and refreshing, his character has ended up as the world’s most generic heel…just with a Mexican accent and a towel. Worse still, this flavourless version of Del Rio ended up winning the title to suck the fun out of the Cena/Punk feud. Still delivers in the ring, but the booking has made it hard to give a damn about him.
- Punk/Cena going to shit (WWE) The fans wanted Punk/Cena so they gave us Triple H/Nash/Del Rio.
- Generation Me (TNA) They’re feuding/They’re teaming/They’ve quit.
- Jay Lethal (TNA) Entertaining and over, Lethal was let go for all the wrong reasons.
Shoot Interview of the Year
YouShoot with Sean Waltman (Kayfabe Commentaries)
Kayfabe Commentaries continues to make the best shoot interviews in the world. Aside from Chyna, all of their YouShoots have been engrossing and entertaining this year. I nearly gave Danny Doring this award for how funny his shoot was, but Sean Waltman’s beats it by a nose by managing to be both funny and emotional. Waltman goes into great detail about his suicide attempts and rehab whilst also discussing Lilian Garcia’s ‘big bush’. One of the most open interviews you’ll see, with a guy who doesn’t feel sorry for himself.
- Devon Moore (SmartMarkVideo) The best shoot SMV have produced thus far. The advert SMV put out on YouTube made him look like a buffoon but instead he was honest and opinionated. Good with impressions too.
- Timeline – The History of the WWE 1997 As Told By Jim Cornette (Kayfabe Commentaries) Despite the ungodly name, it’s a Jim Cornette shoot interview and if I have to tell you why that’s a good thing you should probably stop reading now. A lot of shoot ‘reprint’ here, but the new stuff (like the story of HBK’s hair) makes it worthwhile.
- Show of The Year: King of Trios. The obvious choice.
- Favourite Wrestler of The Year: Archibald Peck. Personifies everything good and different about Chikara.
- Match Of The Year: El Generico vs. 1-2-3 Kid (King of Trios) Feel good moment of the year. Emotion is hard to do in wrestling at the best of times.
- Promos Of The Year: Tie between Eddie Kingston’s serious promos and Tim Donst’s humorous ones.
- Best Things of The Year: The success of High Noon, the continued sponsorship, Stan Bush, constantly entertaining shows feuds and pushing new talent, everything about Die Bruderschaft, for having a roster so reliable and good at what they do that they are almost taken for granted (Jigsaw, Hallowicked, Sugar Dunkerton etc.)
- Worst Things of The Year: Storms playing havoc with shows, Steve ‘The Turtle’ Weiner on commentary.
- Botchamania Moment of the year: Getting namedropped by Mike Quackenbush when wrestling Hallowicked. Also: the ring ropes during Klunk In Love.
- Show of The Year: Either Best of the Best X or Prelude to Violence. COD usually wins this award, but due to the lack of feuds blown off and SHITE SHITE SHITE crowd, it was just another show for the Dub.
- Favourite Wrestler of The Year: Adam Cole. You’d never know he’d only been wrestling for a few years.
- Match Of The Year: Rory Mondo vs. Drake Younger (Cage of Death XIII). There’s been plenty of good matches this year, but the overall lack of feuds this year means not many of them have had an impact. So I’ve gone with Mondo/Younger because it was a Hated Heel being destroyed by a Massive Face because that’s always fun. Honourable mention to DJ Hyde vs. Greg Excellent from the same show.
- Promos Of The Year: Robert Anthony. I’m not sure if it’s an insult or a compliment to say he’s been a country mile ahead of everyone else this year. Even when injured. Drew Gulak’s anti-hardcore gimmick deserves a mention.
- Best Things of The Year: BLK JEEZ’s rise to the top (which sadly didn’t go anywhere), Sami Callihan and Greg Excellent impersonating DJ Hyde at TOD X, Hybrident.TV making life easier for us non-Americans, successful shows in the UK, every wXw crossover show, Pinkie Sanchez’s brief appearances,
- Worst Things of The Year: Adam Cole getting signed by ROH, lack of feuds in general resulting in lots of shows with no direction, DJ Hyde promos,
- Botchamania Moment of The Year: Fight Club Pro vs. Philly’s Most Wanted. For those that haven’t been watching CZW this year: PMW were CZW’s biggest heels throughout the summer. FCP were so bad they accidentally turned PMW face as the crowd refused to get behind them and decided to cheer for BLK Jeez & Joker instead.
- Show of The Year: All of them. Seriously, I didn’t care much for PWG before this year because I only associated them with their early shows where it seemed like a giant circle jerk. Now? I’ve seen most of the shows this year and each one has been better than the last. And I haven’t seen Steen Wolf yet.
- Favourite Wrestler of The Year: El Generico. He’s great everywhere, but he gets to be King of The Mountain in PWG.
- Match Of The Year: Oh get fucked.
- Promos Of The Year: Either Excalibur for his hosting/commentary or The Young Bucks for their TNA bashing/praising.
- Best Things of The Year: Super Dragon returning, having so many fun shows with great crowds in that tiny-arse building.
- Worst Things of The Year: Too many god-damn kicks to the head (but in fairness this is a common problem in all indies)
- Botchamania Moment of The Year: The sound guy spoiling Chris Hero’s return by playing his music before he was supposed to come out, causing Excalibur to verbally abuse the sound guy.
Five Or So Random Indy Wrestlers Who Deserve A Mention
- Gregory Irons For going from ”Who?” to ”Everyone Knows Who Gregory Irons Is”
- The Runaways and The Set for improving more and more.
- Kevin Steen for utilising social media better than any other wrestler this year.
- Claudio Castagnoli for still being DAS MAN.
- Mad Man Manson and Rockstar Spud for making people smile under a Tory Government.
Top Five Worst Wrestlers of the Year
5. Kevin Nash
From having to withdraw from wrestling CM Punk because he couldn’t get medial clearance to killing Triple H with DAT JACK-KNIFE to collapsing during that pedigree, it’s safe to say 2011 was not Kevin Nash’s year.
4. Jeff Hardy
For completely derailing the main event of a PPV. The rest of the year wasn’t too good for him, but that’s going on his tombstone. TNA deserves a lot of the blame too, for also having the nerve to push him as the fucking good guy on TV afterwards. Last person in wrestling to fuck that many people at the same time was Missy Hyatt, so congratulations Juff. His brother thrives on publicity so he’s not getting a mention.
3. Rory Mondo
I’ve spent all year mocking him to the point where it’s no longer fun and I’m starting to feel sorry for the poor sod, especially after his beating at Cage of Death. I’ll be constructive instead: Change your gimmick. Right now you’re below Legion of Doom Droz and even Road Warrior Heidenreich. Also, shave your head. No man likes to be reminded about male pattern baldness.
Boring, bland, overpushed, never had a good match, looks as generic as any wrestler can in 2011 (MMA tattoos CHECK, Stupid haircut CHECK Fucking tanned to the gills CHECK), has a winning streak despite not realising people care more about the excitement of the matches rather than the statistics. Edges out Matt Morgan (his clone brother) because Morgan can at least talk on the mic. I found the below image when googling for Crimson and it gave me more enjoyment than his entire run this year.
1. Sin Cara
To the shock of everyone, I’m sure. Gelled like oil and water with the non-Lucha WWE Superstars, which anybody could have guessed. Botched a lot of moves, kept his finisher but ignored the submission aspect of it so it just looked weird, violated the Wellness Policy, was replaced by someone EVEN WORSE (I say this by judging from word of mouth, thanks God for pre-filmed SmackDown), returned and somehow feuded with Sin Could-Cara-Less to much glee from me, got injured during his one contribution to his Survivor Series match. People mess up all the time, but for such a heavily hyped wrestler to continually NOT WORK this much and still be pushed/kept on TV this much is nothing short of amazing.
Ken Anderson, Rob Van Dam and Sting are YOUR TNA headliners this year Ladies and Gentlemen. Anderson has shown no improvement in ring since leaving WWE and the only way his promos could be more annoying is if they were auto-tuned. RVD doesn’t gel with anybody apart from Jerry Lynn and acts like he’d rather be anywhere else. Sting is old. His Joker gimmick this year was perversely entertaining, in a John Waters kind of way.
The Cornette face Award for WHO BOOKED THIS AND WHY WAS HE PAID?
The Miz wrestled John Cena at Over The Limit PPV. There can’t have been many people who thought The Miz had a chance of winning, so WWE…had Cena pound Miz on the Raw before the PPV. Even when Miz was armed with a steel pipe. And if that wasn’t enough, Miz’s lackey Alex Riley was then easily disposed of. Cena then took out a gun and shot Vince Mcmahon in the foot.
AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT. Come Survivor Series and the announced Cena/Rock vs. Miz/Truth match, WWE had Cena easily pin Miz clean on the Oct 31 Raw and thrash Truth immediately afterwards as he did a run-in. It’s supposed to be the UNSTOPPABLE FORCE meeting the IMMOVABLE OBJECT, not FARCE.
Both TNA and WWE have been more bad then good this year, so it would be an exercise in futility to type everything that irked me. It’s one of the reasons why I try and avoid watching Raw and Impact. However, I will mention that it’s a sad state of affairs that CM Punk is hugely over for insulting and burying everyone he faces plus the show he is on. Sure, this happened a lot of the time when Austin and Rock were in their peaks but their opponents were usually made to look good in other ways. Now? Punk says you’re stale and boring…and WWE has you continue to be stale and boring. I still Punk’s character is a big joke on all the male adults watching at home. ”THE TV SHOW YOU ARE ABOUT TO WATCH IS DULL AND POORLY WRITTEN…AND YOU’RE STILL WATCHING. JOKE’S ON YOU”
I think that’s enough bitching and praising…I had fun this year which is the main thing, so please remember:
Enjoy it when it’s good and laugh at it when it’s bad.