Thursday, January 5, 2012

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

Welcome back to Part II of the 2nd Annual WrestlingNerd awards, where we acknowledge the best and worst moments of WWE and TNA. If you haven't seen part I, go back and check out those results. If not, let's a go. 

Worst Match of 2011
John Cena vs Miz- I Quit match at OtL
Big Show vs Mark Henry- Chairs match at TLC
Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross- pick your choice of match
Sting vs Jeff Hardy- 90 second match at VR
Jeff Jarrett vs Kurt Angle- MMA match at Genesis

Fan's Choice- Sting vs Jeff Hardy- VR
My Choice- Sting vs Jeff Hardy- VR

I know, I know. People probably are telling me to just let this go, but I can't. This was a horrible moment in professional wrestling. This is one of those moments where the people who mock wrestling look at it and say "Why do you watch this s***?".  It was a awful moment. So awful that it deserves another award. Now, this vote wasn't a complete run away. The Michael Cole matches were a very close second. Another four votes and it would've won. I was tempted to put the Cole matches as the winner because the whole charade went on way too long. The Hardy/Sting match was awful, but at least it only happened once and for about 90 seconds. I think the reason I didn't give it to Cole is because two out of the three competitors aren't wrestlers, so there isn't a whole lot to expect. What, did you really think Jim Ross was going to wrestle a 5 star match? Come on, let's be a little more realistic. Hardy and Sting are wrestlers, thus you expect more out of them. The John Cena/Miz match at Over the Limit was third in the voting, but it was pretty far in the distance. It was a pretty bad match in its own right. Why? Because it's WWE reusing every Cena cliche. He gets his ass whooped for 90% of the match, they put him in every predicament possible, but still doesn't want to give up. Then Cena gets back in the match, miraculously is recovered from all the "injuries" he got in the match and wins in less than two minutes. What made me even more irritated by this is the fact Miz was tapping out to the STF in a matter of seconds. Way to book your top heel (at least for the time). I get Cena is the face of the company, but this booking does get a little ridiculous. Anyway, got off track for a moment. My choice is Sting and Hardy, so let's move on and try to forget this every happened. Hey, we can at least try?

Most Underused Talent of 2011
Drew McIntyre
Austin Aries
Justin Gabriel
Tyson Kidd
Alex Riley

Fan's Choice- Drew McIntyre
My Choice- Austin Aries

This was a pretty interesting poll, but it was pretty clear your choice was Drew. He had 15% more than the second best, Alex Riley. I was really sadden by the fact Magnus didn't get a single vote. Then again, Magnus lost any vote when he starting motor-boating ODB on public TV. TNA……why? What would get accomplished from…..let's just move on before I have another nervous breakdown. Tyson Kidd did get a few votes, but I can't really give this to him. While I like Tyson as a in-ring competitor, I am not the biggest fan of his charisma. I think Alex Riley can be a great talent for the future of this company. His in-ring ability is nothing amazing, but I like his mic skills and charisma. I think he has a ton of potential. It's kinda weird that he went from his rivalry with Miz to just completely disappearing from Raw. Hell, he was even a strong candidate for the US championship. What happened? Well, there are some reports that Riley got himself in the doghouse. It's the dirt sheets, but based on the fact Riley is mainly on Superstars, this one might be true. It also didn't help Riley when WWE started to give Ryder more screen time. Sometimes, you gotta make the most out of your opportunities in pro wrestling since you might not get a second chance. I still think Riley will get a second chance, but who really knows. I like McIntyre, but I am not completely on the IWC bandwagon. He's a good in-ring competitor and not bad on the mic. Although, his accent is a little tough to listen to, I actually like it. Many speculate that McIntyre's push faded away when he had a public falling out with his then wife and former WWE diva, Tiffany. It's very possible McIntyre lost his push due to this, but one of my big concerns with Drew is that he just seems like your typical generic heel. Guess what? WWE has lots of those. In fact, the world of pro wrestling has many of those. Very recently, WWE has started using Drew on SD, so this could lead to something bigger for the guy. It can even be a second chance to prove himself…..or it can be his swan song. I hope that isn't the case. I can see why the vast majority would pick Drew, but I wanted to go with Aries here. Austin is a guy who reminds me a lot of CM Punk. He makes the X Division interesting, always has something interesting to say, and plays his role very nicely. Now, I know what you saying. Nerd, how can Austin Aries be underused when he's the X Division champ? Well, I personally think Aries is too good for the X Division. The guy has lots of talent and skills and he should be featured on a bigger scale on this show. He's working with cruiserweights, who are normally bland characters who do spot monkey stuff. Aries isn't one of those guys and should be used in the mid card division on this show. Only one problem….TNA doesn't have a mid card division. They have a mid card championship, but would rather use it for stupid comedy segments that involve s***ty celebrities or guys who want to do horrible impressions of crappy MTV shows. What also hurts Aries' chance to move up in TNA is the fact he's a small guy. I know it isn't fair since talent is talent, but size does get taken into consideration and it seems like smaller guys have to work a little harder to make it to the top. Yeah, this business can be cruel. While the fans say the Scotsman is their choice, mine would be the greatest man who ever lived. 

Worst Rivalry of 2011
Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler
Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett
Pope/Samoa Joe
Garett Bischoff/Eric Bischoff
Jinder Mahal/Great Khali

Fan's Choice- Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler
My Choice- Garett Bischoff/Eric Bischoff

This poll was interesting, but Cole and Lawler won this one hands down. At least in terms of the fans. I honestly can't blame you. It was a silly concept for a rivalry, it went on way too long, and it really seemed like a waste of time. When it first started, I thought it was a plan to get Cole off the announcer's desk and either become a GM or a manager for the WWE. I know a lot of people have hated this idea, but Cole is good on the mic, plays his character very well, and can bring in tons of heat. Being a manager was tailor made for Cole. I thought that was WWE's plan, but they shrugged it off and just moved on. I made it well known in my earlier reviews that I was not a fan of the Angle/Jarrett rivalry. It started off okay, but it got more and more stupid with stuff like MMA, Karen Jarrett, s*** falling from the sky, custody battles and a bunch of other dumb things. Of course, leave it to TNA to add insult to injury to have Angle turn heel and work with the same stable as Jarrett after this rivalry was over. It not only made no sense but just made everything even more silly. Pope and Samoa Joe was a rivalry that should've never happened and should've ended sooner. Why did this happen? Because Pope is a shady character and Joe is trying to be a half-assed version of Batman? Half-ass version of Batman? That's being generous. Jinder and Khali was a pretty silly concept. In kayfabe, Khali's sister is married to Mahal and Khali has to do what Jinder is saying or he will make her poor. Oh, and what about the income that Khali brings to the table? Yeah, there was lots of holes in the storyline. The payoff was pretty poor as well. Just seemed like an idea WWE had, but didn't execute it very well. That's why Jinder didn't go over as well as they would've liked….if they wanted to that is. The reason I give this to the Bischoffs is while Cole/Lawler was dumb, it had a couple of okay moments. Cole would create the new version of the troll face. Cole would also get his moments of embarrassment. Sure he went a little overboard when he would win matches, but at least it caught up with him. I never found one entertaining moment with the Bischoff storyline. Garett stands up to his father and…..there you go. Garett was a character I could've latch onto. The guy had the personality of a rock and was just a character I couldn't support. He came off more as weak and lucky as opposed to a guy who's finally going to stick it to his father. This storyline seems to either be on hiatus or is still in progress with Gunner taking Garett off TV. With TNA, you try to figure it out? It also takes the cake when you have Hulk Hogan saying that Garett showed more talent than the majority of the younger stars in TNA, proving that Hogan doesn't know what he's doing with the wrestling business anymore. Plus, the Bischoffs rivalry connects with Immortal, and the further we stay away from that, the better. I can see why the fans would choose Cole/Lawler, but my personally choice would be the Bischoffs. Hooray for pain!!!

Best Rivalry of 2011
Randy Orton/Christian
CM Punk/John Cena
Dolph Ziggler/Zack Ryder
Triple H/Kevin Nash

Fan's Choice- CM Punk/John Cena
My Choice- CM Punk/John Cena

I was split between this one. I really thought about giving this one to Randy Orton/Christian, but Punk and Cena kept my interest level a little more. Dolph and Ryder probably had the best mid card rivalry for 2011. They had a lot of time to build up their rivalry, and I thought it was put together rather well. It bumped Ryder up to mid card status while it got Dolph even closer to the main event. A fun series of events to watch. Orton and Christian were two guys who kept on putting solid wrestling match after solid wrestling match. It all started with Christian lost the WHC in just a few days. This lead to Christian becoming bitter and angry. He would eventually stoop to a full heel turn and would eventually reclaim the WHC. Of course, it ended with Randy got it back, but it was a fun rivalry to watch. The reason I choose Punk and Cena is because of the shock value it brought to the table. When Punk cut that promo, it was only the beginning of Punk's rise to the top. He would engage a mic battle with Cena and the WWE since Punk was someone who wanted change and to prove he's worthy of the main event. With Orton/Christian, the mic battle wasn't some of the best. Then again, a large part of that has to do with Orton's monotone promo style. I personally find it boring. Punk and Cena had some interesting things to say towards one another and put on some great matches as well. That's why Punk vs Cena is the rivalry of 2011. 

Biggest Disappointment of 2011
Douglas Williams
John Morrison
Sin Cara
Alex Riley
Drew McIntyre

Fan's Choice- Sin Cara
My Choice- John Morrison

This was a two person race between Sin and Morrison, but Sin Cara edged out the poll. First, let's talk about the other competitors. Douglas Williams was rising up in TNA. He just beat AJ Styles and won the TV championship….then the wheels just fell off. Now, Douglas really didn't scream main event talent, but why push a guy if you weren't going anywhere with it? It's typical TNA, but WWE has done this in the past, so I can't point squarely on TNA. Riley seemed like he was setting himself up for something big after breaking away from the Miz. As I mentioned earlier in this award show, Riley got overshadowed by the Zack Ryder craze. There was also reports of Riley getting a little full of himself in the back. Bringing up backstage politics is a little unfair, but it really hasn't helped Riley. McIntyre seemed like he was going somewhere on SD, but was left off WM and would end up on Raw. Only recently he has made it back on WWE television. McIntyre clearly took a lot of steps backwards this year. To me, this came down to Sin Cara and Morrison. Sin Cara was hyped up to be one of the next rising stars in WWE, but I didn't like how WWE handled Sin. They put him in very little storylines and really didn't give him much of a build up. It was like they were telling America audiences "SIN CARA……um….he does really cool tricks……LOVE HIM!!!". That's simply not going to cut it. It didn't help with Sin got hit with a wellness policy suspension and would get himself injured at Survivor Series. Things just didn't go well for Sin in his first year with WWE, but I don't think all the blame falls on Sin. I know the IWC would say otherwise, but I don't think everything falls on him. He is responsible for a few things going wrong, but not everything. The reason I choose Morrison is because it looked like he was going to be a main eventer in 2011. Then the wheels fell off. He got a little full of himself with some backstage politics. It seemed like WWE was willing to give Morrison a second chance, but Morrison wasn't doing much to put himself in position for a push. People like R-Truth and CM Punk were showing they were worthy of going further, while Morrison didn't prove he's worth something. Some of the blame for Sin Cara not doing well falls on WWE's marketing of the guy, but Morrison has himself to blame for his bad spot and thus not working out another deal with WWE. You don't get many opportunities to be a main eventer, so you got to make the most of your chances. Morrison didn't do that. Sin Cara at least will still be working for this company come next year, while Morrison might be wrestling in Orlando. That's a disappointment if I ever saw one. 

Best Storyline of 2011
Christian's heel turn/rivalry with Randy Orton
Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler go back and forth
CM Punk leaving WWE with WWE Championship
Robert Roode's heel turn/gets the brass ring

Fan's Choice- CM Punk leaving WWE
My Choice- CM Punk leaving WWE

This was an easy choice. In fact, you folks said the same thing as well since CM Punk got over 88% of the vote. Robert Roode's rise to the top was probably TNA's best storyline for this year. I didn't like how some of it went down, but it was still pretty interesting. Christian's rise was pretty interesting as we;;. I was one of the people that was upset when Christian lost his first WHC, but I also wanted to see where this was all going. It was interesting to see Christian's transition to be a humble guy to being a spoiled brat. I liked this storyline, but not quite the best in my book. Ryder and Dolph was also pretty good. It was WWE testing to find out if this Ryder craze was legit or just a flavor of the month. They did a slow build up for Ryder and the US Championship. As I've said in my reviews. I want to see more slow build ups since it gives the audience enough time to sit back and enjoy the storyline. The other thing I liked about this storyline is that it put some importance to the US title. Most of the time, they crown a mid card champion and…..that's it. No next opponent until they want to give the title to someone else, no character development, and not a lot going around for the character himself. I saw an improvement with the mid card division this year since Cody and Dolph used those titles to make strong cases to be in the main event., which makes a strong case for the Ryder/Dolph storyline. I gave this to CM Punk because he went out there and proved to many people in the WWE that he can main event and can make things fun and interesting. Punk said some things that really caught a lot of people off guard. It really came off as a surprise that Punk would leave the WWE with the championship. The only problem with this storyline is it was rushed. Punk should've stayed off TV for a lot longer than two weeks since it would've added so much to the storyline. The conclusion might've been disappointing, but the beginning and middle were one hell of a roller coaster ride. That's why CM Punk leaving WWE is the best storyline of the year. 

Stupidest Storyline/Segment of the year
Immortal (the entire thing)
Jeff Hardy's "party" before a PPV match
Michael Cole getting out of control
Jinder Mahal
Abyss' out of the blue face turn

Fan's Choice- Tie between Immortal and Jinder Mahal
My Choice- Immortal

Now we look back at more failure of 2011. I will note that Michael Cole was about four votes off from being tied in this grouping. I kinda threw Abyss in there at the last moment, but wanted it known how silly it was since it made no sense. I also added Hardy in here to see how much attention it will get. I didn't want to give it to this because I already acknowledged the PPV and the match itself, so this stupid moment doesn't need any more hardware. There was a lot of people that were upset with the Michael Cole deal. I think I was more ticked off when WWE went out there and tried to let this all die down, but they would continue to go back with it when JR got back in the picture. Why? Nothing was getting accomplished and I was just an excuse to kill the time. It had a few funny moments, but the segments were getting more dreadful than fun. The whole Jinder deal seemed like an idea WWE had brewing, but didn't quite know what to do with it. There was even a point where they kept padding this storyline. That's great, padding a storyline that people were already losing interest in. The reason I pick Immortal is because it was an example of an idea that TNA should've killed a long time ago, but kept it going and going and going. They added new swerves and stuff in other to make it interesting, but it wasn't working. When you have things like MMA, Jeff Hardy, pointless face and heel turns, and random people coming and going, it was a very hard series of events to go through. And here's one more kick in the balls…..this storyline isn't over yet. Why is it still going on? Just get rid of it already and move on, but TNA loves to beat that dead horse. That is consistently one of the TNA's biggest issues, not knowing when to kill a storyline when it has nowhere else to go. Believe me, they love to keep storylines going just for the sake of not knowing what they want to do next. Immortal….f*** Immortal. 

Breakout/Comeback Star of the Year
Bully Ray
Dolph Ziggler
Zack Ryder

Fan's Choice- Zack Ryder
My Choice- Zack Ryder

This was a really difficult choice. I felt all these guys deserve a share of this award since all made tremendous strides to rise up in the rankings. As for the voting, Ryder beat Truth by one vote. Bully Ray is hands down TNA's most improved talent. I have been harsh on the Dudley Boyz/Team 3D for a long time, but Bully went on his own and showed that he can be a great singles competitor. Who knew he had this inside him? If he did this years ago, I think we would be looking at Bully a lot differently. Sheamus made a face turn this year and damn did he show that he can play that part. As much as Sheamus improved, I can't give this to him since he didn't win any major championships and hasn't done much for the last month. I think WWE has big plans for Sheamus in 2012, but this award isn't quite for him. Christian went from upper mid card talent to full time main evener. He finally got to win the big one and prove to WWE that he can be a decent main eventer. He isn't perfect, but Christian did get a chance to shine this year. Dolph has had a pretty good second half of 2011. He went from full time mid card talent to getting an opportunity to jump in the main event. Dolph has improved on his mic skills and charisma and seems like big things will happen in 2012. R-Truth is someone that was a pretty big surprise this year. He was playing face for the beginning of the year and nothing about it was special. He then made a heel turn and who knew Truth had this in him? He was very quirky, but showed that he can be a decent addition to the main event. I don't really see Truth as a world title holder, but he can fill in for the time being if they ever wanted him to. Lots of great choices, but Ryder gets this one. Why? Ryder looked like a guy who was going to get fired or continue doing nothing for the WWE. He decided to take it upon himself and try to get a connection, despite not being on WWE television. He spread the word on his Youtube show and it opened the doors for him. Not only to keep his job, but get featured on a weekly basis. He even worked his way to get the US Championship. Ryder might be goofy, but that's why people follow him and that's why he is in a better spot now than ever before. Zack Ryder, your comeback/breakout star of the year. 

That will do it for Part II. We have six more categories to get through. Check back in on Sunday and see the final results. See you then. 

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