Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2nd Annual WrestlingNerd Awards (Best and Worst of WWE & TNA for 2011) Part I

Well, time to reveal the winners of those polls and talk about the best and worst of WWE and TNA for 2011. The fans/readers have their choice and I will have mine. Well, let's begin. 

Comic Relief Character of the Year
Eric Young
Michael Cole

Fan's Choice-R-Truth
My pick-R-Truth

The results for this category wasn't even close, and I honestly can't blame you. With nearly 70% of the vote, the fan's choice was R-Truth. Truth is also my choice as well. Cole had his moments here and there, but he also had some really annoying moments. Eric Young was second in this poll (which isn't really saying much). If you have read my reviews this year, you will know that I don't find Eric funny at all. He used to be funny…..back in 2007. These days, it just comes off as stupid in my opinion. Of course, people have a different sense of humor, which is why I can see some people liking Young. Eric lost my vote with that stupid deal involving Scott Baio. What did it accomplish? All it showed was an out-of-work celebrity who probably did this entire deal for a turkey sandwich. Damn, the recession is hitting Hollywood. Santino really didn't have a great year in this category. He had a few moments here and there, but it was Truth and his bat s*** insanity that made for the most laughs of 2011. Laughter for days.

Worst Wrestler/Superstar of 2011
Jinder Mahal
Jeff Hardy
Johnny Curtis
Robbie E
Ezekiel Jackson

Fan's Choice- Jinder Mahal
My Choice- Ezekiel Jackson

The results of this poll were a little closer, but Jinder got twice as many votes as the person who was in second place. Abyss and Johnny Curtis were really just throwaway nominations. Still, I don't know what WWE was thinking if giving Curtis all those hype-up videos if they were just going to have him be a jobber/ghost. Then again, I really didn't see anything that special out of Curtis since he looked like your generic wrestler. I have made it well known in my reviews that Gunner has the tools inside the wrestling ring, but his personality is just dreadful. I can't stand this guy talking or doing something. Mr. Intensity? What's so intense about Gunner. My cat makes more intensity in a litter box than Gunner has done his entire TNA career. Jeff Hardy was an interesting inclusion in this poll. Over the last few years, I have lost so much respect for both Matt and Jeff Hardy. Two guys with talent who continue to do stupid things. Jeff seems to be turning it around as of late, but this is the same tune Jeff has played before. He starts to do things better and then he screws up again. I don't want to think it will happen again, but who really knows? Robbie E is someone I felt has done a little better as of late, but everything about this guy is a rip-off of Zack Ryder. And now he's doing that traditional disappearing/reappearing act, something that TNA is really know for with some of their talent. Jinder really was pretty bad to watch, but why did I not select him as the worst star? Well, the guy is still young, so he still has upside. He also has an interesting look to make something out of himself. I still think this guy is underdeveloped, but he's a talent that has a chance to have a future with WWE. Zeke is someone I don't see having much a future with this company.  Big Zeke was second in the voting by the fans. I am not much of a Zeke fan. He has muscles…..great. Why should I care? The man's charisma is pretty underdeveloped. No wonder WWE took the IC title off of him, because he added nothing to the title. Zeke has been given a couple of chances in the WWE and hasn't made the most out of his opportunities. I think WWE is realizing that despite his freakish size, nobody seems to care about him and he might be on the wave of next releases in the WWE. Jinder is someone I can see avoiding the cut and might be able to make something happen. If WWE give Jinder a good program, he might be able to make it work. However, if he can't, then Jinder isn't cut out for this business. For the time being, Zeke is the worst superstar of 2011. 

Rookie of the Year
Brodus Clay
Sin Cara

Fan's Choice- Crimson 
My choice- Crimson

The results for this poll were a lot closer than I would've expected. Keep in mind that Brodus Clay did debut earlier in the year, but there's no way I can give him this honor. Why? Well…..what did he do? He was Alberto Del Rio's bitch for the first half of the year and…..nothing afterwords. Simply put, the other two guys just showed more promise. Sin Cara made some things happen in 2011, but it was a little underwhelming at times. If only they would've done some character development with him. It honestly felt like WWE put him on TV and just hoped for the best. I realize he's rusty with the English language, but you can still build him up properly. In many ways, I had higher expectations for Sin and it simply didn't happen, but I don't think it was entirely his fault. The injury and suspension doesn't help either. A very rough first year for Sin to say the least. This one has to go to the rookie out of TNA. Crimson continues to remain undefeated as a single's competitor and is currently one half of the tag team champions. In many ways, Crimson didn't have that big of a rookie year, but he was good enough. Part of the reason is because he's still green and still needs more development. If TNA wants Crimson to be big, they would feature him every week and have him cut more promos. Instead, he barely talks and is gone for months at a time. Oh, but Garett Bischoff and Gunner make more consistent appearances. Yeah, that's how you build up a talent….

For the most part, I found 2011's rookie class to be underwhelming. 2010 had Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio and Justin Gabriel. Yeah, not the best year for rookies, but Crimson does enough to win this award. 

Diva/Knockout of the Year
Madison Rayne
Beth Phoenix
Gail Kim
Kelly Kelly
Mickie James

Fan's Choice- Beth Phoenix
My Choice- Beth Phoenix

Yeah, another category where I agree with the vast majority. This was a close poll as it came down to Beth and Kharma (47% to 35%). Kelly Kelly and Mickie James are women I can't give this award to. Mainly because Kelly's title reign was underwhelming and dull while Mickie seems to be getting worse in the ring. I know that's a cruel thing to say, but I've seen her do much better than this. Gail Kim got some votes, but it's kinda ridiculous to give it to her since she basically overtook the entire Knockout division in one month. She was also in WWE and really didn't do much there. Just not enough consistency to win this award. Madison Rayne is what I believe to be the most underrated KO. She had a good first half of the year, but her second half did kinda suck. There's nothing amazing about her character, but I feel she plays it rather well and is deserving of getting featured better on this show. Yeah, what the hell were they thinking with that one episode run of being the VP of the KOs? I thought about giving this to Kharma, but I couldn't pick her because she was out of action most of the year. Still, I think you have a pretty strong argument in saying what Kharma did in 1-2 months is more that what any diva/KO did for the whole year. She brought an interest level to the division that has been missing for years. Kharma deserves recognition for what she did in her short run of 2011, but I have to give it to Beth. She has had better years with the WWE, but she put on some decent matches with some interesting finishes. She also made for a better divas champ than Kelly. She might be involved in a storyline that hasn't been interesting in months, but she had the most consistent year out of any diva/KO between the two companies. 

Best PPV of the Year
WWE SummerSlam
TNA Destination X
WWE Vengeance
WWE Money in the Bank
WWE Extreme Rules

Fan's Choice- WWE Money in the Bank
My Choice- WWE Money in the Bank

This wasn't even close. 92% of the vote pointed towards this PPV, and who can blame you. Two great MITB ladder matches, passable Big Show/Mark Henry match, tolerable divas match, Christian wins the world title, and one of the bigger cliffhangers when CM Punk walked out with the WWE Championship. Simply put, nothing came close to the magnitude of what this PPV brought to the table. There would be PPVs that came close like SummerSlam or Vengeance, but it became clear that MITB couldn't be duplicated. I said the same thing in my MITB review earlier in the year when I gave the show a perfect 10 out of 10, which I have never done before. I want to say that WWE had a pretty good year in the PPV category. Extreme Rules, SummerSlam and Vengeance were all pretty good. You can even make the argument that Survivor Series and TLC were up there in quality as well. TNA had a couple of okay PPVs, but they had a lot of crappy PPVs. Destination X was probably the best PPV they put on all year long. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say. Every PPV I just talked about are shows I highly recommend watching or adding to the DVD collection. Then again, maybe we can watch these shows once WWE Network goes in full swing. Money in the Bank is hands down the PPV of the year. 

Worst PPV of the Year
TNA Victory Road
WWE Over the Limit
TNA Turning Point
TNA Hardcore Justice
WWE Capitol Punishment
TNA Against All Odds

Fan's Choice- TNA Victory Road
My Choice- TNA Victory Road

With over 60% of the vote, you folks said Victory Road was the worst PPV this year. Honeslty, I don't blame you one bit. Victory Road can be summarized by Jeff Hardy and his dumbass. Now, the PPV was already going down the crapper prior to the main event. You had Tommy Dreamer winning a Falls Count Anywhere match against Bully Ray, a pointless KO tag title match, a First Blood match in which the winner won by spraying a bottle of ketchup on someone, and a #1 Contender's match end in a double countout. With all that garbage, how could TNA do any worse? Well, let's have Jeff Hardy all f***ed up and send him in a 90 second match against Sting on PPV. What in the world was TNA thinking? Imagine everything that could've gone wrong? Hardy could've gone insane and beat up the audience. He could've injured Sting in the match. Hell, how in the world did Sting agree to do something so reckless? It should've been illegal for them to air this match. In fact, it was so bad that TNA offered people a six month subscription to TNA on Demand in exchange to people who wanted their money back (TNA claimed they only offered people their money back for ending the PPV early, but we all know the truth). Even as I look back on it, that wasn't good enough. TNA should've given people double their money back and have Dixie Carter visit anyone who watched this and give a public apology for having to witness this horrible abomination. Sure, there was some silly PPV moments like R-Truth getting GOT by little Jimmy, or John Cena overcoming the odds for the one millionth time in a I Quit match, but Jeff Hardy's screw up at the PPV takes the cake, rapes it, remakes another cake, gets covered in vomit , gets s*** on, and THEN you finally eats the f***ing thing. And that's a cake nobody wants. Damn you, TNA!!!

Tag Team of the Year
Air Boom
Awesome Truth
Beer Money
Mexican America

Fan's Choice- Tie between Awesome Truth and Beer Money
My Choice- Beer Money

I want to say this was a REALLY close poll. Beer Money and Awesome Truth had the same number of votes. To add to the insanity, Air Boom lost this poll by two votes. Think about it, another two more votes for Air Boom and we would've had a three way tie. Yeah, everyone was divided with this one. I will be happy to note that Mexican America got zero votes. In fact, I kinda threw them in this poll as a complete joke. Hopefully, you got a good laugh out of it. Even though the poll was very close, it was a no brainer that Beer Money was the best tag team. I can understand a lot of love for Air Boom. They put on some exciting matches and jump started the WWE's rise in restoring the tag team division. Then you have Awesome Truth, which featured the pairing of Miz and R-Truth. This was sort of an odd couple pairing since both guys had different personalities. I kinda like it, but the reason I can't give it to them is because they didn't last long enough. Beer Money was hands down the best tag team of 2011. They put on some great matches and were the tag champs from the beginning of the year to around September. Both Robert Roode and James Storm would break up Beer Money and both are working their way in the main event. I know people will make the argument that it's TNA and that's why they don't get enough love. The other argument is how TNA's tag division has been in shambles for most of this year, but Beer Money at least made things interesting to keep you invested. Ever since Beer Money dropped the tag titles, nobody cares about tag team wrestling in TNA. That pretty much sums it all up right there. I try to be fair with these awards and that's why Beer Money was the best tag team of 2011. As for Awesome Truth and Air Boom, sorry about your damn luck. 

Mid Carder of the Year
Cody Rhodes 
Dolph Ziggler 
Daniel Bryan
Zack Ryder

Fan's Choice- Tie between Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler
My Choice- Dolph Ziggler

Another close poll. In fact, Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan got a good chunk of votes in their own right. I couldn't give this to Bryan since he was back and forth all year long. He got lost in the roster when he dropped the US title, but would get drafted to SD in order to shine. He comes out of the blue and wins the MITB, which is still a bit shocking since Bryan didn't have a lot of stock going into the match. In fact, Bryan didn't have a ton of stock when he cashed in MITB in December. At the moment, it seems they are trying something with Bryan, but his 2011 was too much of a roller coaster ride to give this award. Ryder got a lot of his popularity through his Youtube show. He would begin a long program with Dolph Ziggler. It did a couple of things. It showed the WWE that Ryder was more than IWC Kool-Aid since the casual fans were latching onto this guy. It also got Ryder a push through the mid card rankings. I really can't give this award to Ryder because it's called the best of 2011, not just the second half of the year. Cody and Dolph just had more consistent years than Ryder, but I can't take away Ryder's rise in the WWE. Cody and Dolph have impressive resumes to win this award. Both were mid card champions and had them for a lengthy time. Both took different approaches to get to the top. Cody became this shallow person who would try to make people feel just as bad as him. Dolph improved on his overall character. At the beginning of the year, Dolph was just you average mid card talent who didn't seem like would go up in the rankings. All of the sudden, his charisma and mic skills really improved. He has shown that he can be something special in WWE. In many ways, this character reminds me of Mr. Perfect. Both Rhodes and Dolph had some impressive victories over some main event stars. It might have been through cheating, but that's what heels do. Needless to say, both have done very well and it seems both guys are primed to get a world title in 2012. Both are very deserving for this award, but I have to give the edge to Dolph since I felt he made a little more improvement than Cody (just a tad). The other reason I chose Dolph is because he seemed to bring in more opponents for the US title. He worked a long program with Ryder involving the US championship. With Cody, he hasn't done as much as I would've liked with the IC title. I think he's still a good champion, but it would help if had more rivalries with the title and would defend the title more. I think that was the main reason I chose Dolph to win this award, but it was a tough decision. #Heel is on the rise. 

That's going to do it for now. The award show is too much to fit into one article, so come back tomorrow when we dig into Part II. Tell me what you thought of my choices or how this article turned out. See you then. 

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