These are the awards where we honor, and dishonor, the hard working employees of World Wrestling Entertainment based on their work over the last twelve months. I come to you today to present the very “prestigious” awards that I call the 2010 WWE Johnny Awards! Before I begin, it’s worth pointing out that this is World Wrestling Entertainment stuff ONLY. It says it in the title, but I want you to remember that when you ask why there’s no TNA or ROH in here. It’s WWE only.
For each award, I’ll pick a winner, list some runners up, list last year’s winner and also write a paragraph about why I picked that person.
THE 20 MAJOR AWARDS
- THE SHAWN MICHAELS/RIC FLAIR AWARD
To be given to the person that best combines workrate, character, mic work and everything else into one. Also known as best wrestler. This is similar to WWE’s Superstar of the Year award.
Winner: Randy Orton
Runners-Up: The Miz, CM Punk, Chris Jericho
2009 winner: Chris Jericho
Not a great year for anybody to be honest. They were all okay, but there was nothing exceptional from any of these guys. Jericho’s lack of a great feud hurt him, otherwise he probably would have won again. Punk really only had the good feud with Rey. That leaves Orton & Miz. I like Miz a lot. I think he’s come a long way as a performer, especially in the ring. He could always talk. We know that. This year, though, he started having better matches. I liked the feud with Daniel Bryan a lot. He even put him over multiple times before he got elevated to the WWE Title level. I was torn on the decision. I liked his year just as much as Orton’s, but ultimately when I had to pick I went with Orton.
Randy Orton’s not somebody that had many great matches this year. The thing is if you look at WWE in 2010 there weren’t many great matches, so in terms of workrate nobody stood out. Or at least nobody was allowed to stand out. He always seemed to hit the three star range, but it was rare for him to have a special match. He was consistent in terms of his ability to win over the crowd, to stay over in every feud he was in and there’s no question that the RKO was the most popular move in WWE in 2010. That’s saying something considering the guy has been using the move for seven years. When you turn babyface, to the surprise of many, and your move is that electric for the whole year that’s saying something about how over you are. I don’t want to say he had a great year, but he had a consistently good year. And it was enough for me to name him the best wrestler in WWE in 2010.
Who else is there? John Cena had an average year with only the Batista feud being good while the Nexus one was a huge letdown (more on that later). The Undertaker worked maybe 10 matches on TV all year. Shawn Michaels was gone by WrestleMania. HHH was out for the majority of the year. Kane cut some good promos when he turned heel, but his matches aren’t good enough. Mysterio had a solid, but unspectacular year. Sheamus is a good talent although not exceptional at any one thing.
- THE TRISH STRATUS AWARD
To be given to the best female performer.
Runners-Up: Michelle McCool
2009 winner: Mickie James
I give the nod to Natalya. She did a very good job in her role managing the Hart Dynasty team earlier in the year. It was also really cool to see her get to slap Vince McMahon at WrestleMania when they had the Bret/Vince match. Then in the second half of the year she received a push as a worker, which ultimately led to her becoming Divas champion at Survivor Series. I admit to having a bit of a bias with Natalya because of the Canadian factor, but I also think she deserves everything she has based on the hard work she’s put in. She’s an actual wrestler. Not a diva search contestant or fitness model. I wish WWE had more like her, but apparently they’d rather have more model types. I’ll never fully understand it, but what can you do?
Other than Natalya, the only ones that stand out are Michelle & Layla. I like the Laycool act sometimes, but it can get too annoying at other times. I understand that’s the point as heels. It’s just that it feels like bad heel heat rather than good heel heat. It’s a shame that they released good talents this year too. The division took a step back in many ways. I’m also not sure about Melina’s future. Either turn her heel or maybe she’ll be next to be released. I’ve always liked her talents. It’s just that she’s not being used as well as they possibly could.
- THE GIANT GONZALEZ AWARD
To be given to the worst wrestler or worst superstar in WWE vernacular.
Winner: The Great Khali
Runners-Up: Kaitlyn, Darren Young, Michael Tarver
2009 winner: The Great Khali
Khali wins again. I guess if there’s something to be happy about it’s that he left in the latter part of the year to be on some Big Brother like reality show in India. He’s funny for about 20 seconds as a performer, but after that uncomfortable moment you’re usually ready to move on. Kaitlyn won NXT 3. I don’t understand how. She appears clueless in the ring and her mannerisms are awful. Physically she’s nice, but nothing amazing. There are ten better women looking women in WWE already. I don’t get the appeal of her…if there even is one. I put Darren Young and Michael Tarver in too. They tried it with the black Cena, and then they buried him. And now he’s still on the roster although I’m not sure why. I just don’t think he’s a very good performer. Tarver’s work in the ring is as bad as anybody there is.
- THE STONE COLD/HITMAN AWARD
To be given to the best match.
Winner: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels @ WrestleMania 26 (****3/4)
2009 winner: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels @ WrestleMania 25 (*****)
This is what I wrote in my WrestleMania 26 recap: “This was a fantastic match just like last year. They really pulled out all the stops and told a great story. These are two of the best ever on the biggest stage delivering the goods like only they know how. I loved it. Their chemistry is phenomenal and they built to the finish perfectly. The idea was that Michaels wanted Undertaker to really beat him to earn the win and that’s what happened. It will be hard to top this one as far as a Match of the Year goes.”
I was right. Nothing else really came close. For two years in a row these two men in their mid 40s had the match of the year at WrestleMania. There weren’t other matches that really stood out to me except the two Money in the Bank matches in July, Edge-Jericho at WrestleMania and the Bryan/Miz match at Night of Champions, but I wouldn’t put any of them at higher than four stars.
I saw Morrison vs. Sheamus from TLC and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a ****1/4 match (out of 5*). I’d put it in the top five, but the winner is still a runaway.
- THE DIESEL/MABEL AWARD
To be given to the worst match. What else?
Winner: Kaitlyn vs. Maxine from NXT3
Runners-Up: Hornswoggle vs. Soaring Eagle
2009 winner: Divas battle royal @ WrestleMania 25
I’m sure if I watched NXT season 3 with the divas I could find a worse match. In fact I clearly remember Kaitlyn vs. Maxine from NXT 3 being the worst match I’ve seen. I don’t remember the date. I just remember being told by somebody in the business to watch it because they were wondering why those two got so much time while other good workers barely get any time sometimes. I wish I had that answer. Click RIGHT HERE if you want to watch it. You’ve been warned, fella.
For the runner up I went with Horny vs. the Eagle because it was recent. It was brutally awful. The kind of thing that makes you embarrassed to watching wrestling as an adult male. I guess the kids like it, though. I dunno. The real reason I watched it was because I was told it was bad as anything I’d see all year. And it was true.
I’m sure there are others I’m missing, but those two really stand out for me.
- THE EDGE & CHRISTIAN AWARD
To be given to the two men that function best as a unit. Also known as best tag team.
Winner: The Hart Dynasty
Runners-Up: Big Show and The Miz aka Showmiz
2009 winner: Chris Jericho and The Big Show
Not a good year for tag wrestling in WWE. The Hart Dynasty were a very good team that had the potential to be great if only WWE gave a damn about the division. Since they don’t care, the only real feud they had was against The Usos, which led to some decent matches. The problem is there just aren’t enough teams. Once that feud was over The Hart Dynasty barely had anything to do, so they split the team up and now the titles are on the joke tag team of Santino & Kozlov. I miss when WWE had good tag wrestling. Those days seem to be over now. For shame.
- THE BIG SHOW “KTFO” AWARD
To be given to the person that deserves to be KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT~!
Winner: The anonymous GM angle
Runners-Up: Michael Cole
2009 winner: Michael Cole
Sorry Michael Cole, you are in second this year. That annoying computer beats you. I’m tired of the buzzing in. It’s gotten old fast. They need somebody to be in the role that’s an actual person. The thing is I don’t think they have anybody in mind, so there’s no end in site for this angle. They can actually make a big deal out of it when it happens, but I doubt Vince even knows when that will be. When Edge beat up the computer I marked out. I don’t think I was the only one. Who should be the GM? JBL. Convince him. He’d be great at it.
As for Cole, I hate him less than I did last year. I think the heel persona is better than the dweeb persona he had. Vince was smart enough to know that a lot of people miss JR and don’t like Cole, so let’s make him a heel. It’s worked to a degree though I think everybody still misses JR a lot.
- THE SAVAGE/STEAMBOAT AWARD
To be given to the best feud.
Winner: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Runners-Up: Chris Jericho vs. Edge, CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
2009 winner: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
I think Miz vs. Bryan was the longest singles feud of the year because it started on NXT, then Bryan got fired for a couple of months and they picked up where they left off with some very good PPV matches in the fall. The feud seemed to benefit both guys too. Bryan got put over multiple times on PPV while Miz had some of the better matches of his career in working with a guy like Bryan. I hope we can see that feud continue at the main event level because the backstory is there and the work will be even better.
I had Jericho vs. Edge as my feud I most want to see in last year’s Johnny’s. They got to feud for several months. It wasn’t great, though. Very good? Yes. A notch below great, though. I think Edge was still nursing his Achilles injury when he came back early at the Rumble and his work wasn’t what we were used to. They never had the match of the year contender I thought they were capable of. Yes, I have high standards. It’s because they’ve earned it. Still a very good feud. Just not great.
Punk vs. Mysterio lasted much of the spring and into the summer. It ended with Punk’s head being shaved. They had a lot of very good matches on TV as well as PPV. Everything seemed to be between 3 to 4 stars, but there was not a blowaway match. Kind of like Jericho vs. Edge in that regard. I expected greater.
I can’t give the award to Michaels vs. Undertaker. It was one match. The build was okay thanks to an awesome video package, but it wasn’t enough to be considered a feud.
- THE KATIE VICK AWARD
To be given to the worst feud. RIP Katie.
Winner: Kane vs. Edge
Runners-Up: JTG vs. Shad
2009 winner: Triple H vs. Randy Orton
I try to pick high profile feuds for this one. I’m going with Kane vs. Edge. It involved Kane beating Edge, then Edge kidnapped Paul Bearer and was thoughtful enough to take him to every event Smackdown was at. Then Kane accidentally nearly killed Paul. Or something. We don’t know. The promos sucked. Their PPV match wasn’t very good. Then they had a TV match with very little heat that Edge won clean. Then they realized it must have sucked and changed the TLC match to a four way with Rey & Del Rio. To me that’s an admission of a feud sucking. Forget about the time issue. They know the feud wasn’t good and they called an audible. Kudos to WWE for that, but I still can’t forget how bad Smackdown’s main event scene was for two months while the feud was happening. I should point out that I’d blame the booking for the faults more than the talent.
Remember JTG vs. Shad? No. I do. That’s why it’s here. Why did they get a PPV strap match anyway? I still have no idea. And Shad is released while JTG is barely hanging on.
- THE MORDECAI AWARD
To be given to the worst idea for a character.
Winner: The Dudebusters
Runners-Up: Swagger Soaring Eagle
2009 winner: Santina
We have a tag team winner here. The Dudebusters were Trent Barretta and Caylen Croft. Their gimmick were the guys that sit around all day playing video games and wrestle. And you wonder why it didn’t work? There was barely any effort put into the team, who were decent in the ring. We just didn’t know what the hell it meant to be a Dudebuster. Were they funny? I dunno. Were they smart? Apparently not. I think they got about two minutes total to speak while they were on Smackdown. Oh, and they were there when Smackdown moved to Syfy in some backstage skits. Then Croft got fired. I’d say they earned the award. The writers certainly deserve a pat on the back too.
The mascot for Swagger was meant as a joke. It didn’t help him. It hurt him. They had something with Swagger as champion, then he lost, went to the midcard, became a joke again and then they dumped the Eagle only for Jack to work well again as a serious heel.
- THE ROCK AWARD
To be given to the best person at cutting promos.
Winner: CM Punk
Runners-Up: Chris Jericho, The Miz, Kane
2009 winner: Chris Jericho
It’s a heel party. Last year it was Jericho, this year it’s Punk. I think back to all those Straight Edge Society segments and especially that feud with Mysterio where he would torment his family. It did an amazing job of putting over Punk’s heel character as the guy that would do anything to get under the skin of his rivals. The best heels are the ones that have no interest in being the smartass or sucking up to the fans. Punk believes in his gimmick and it shows in his performance.
I don’t think I really need to talk about Jericho or Miz as far as talkers. You should know they are great. You hear them regularly. Jericho’s cemented himself in that elite group of talkers with Flair, Rock, Piper & Austin for me. The Miz is on his way. He’ll get there, I think. Love him on the microphone. Sometimes he gets nervous, but he’s had a very consistent year on the microphone. As for Kane, I loved his monologues on Smackdown. They were crazy and they worked for his gimmick.
If John Cena wasn’t booked like he was on Sesame Street he’d easily be a top three performer in this category. What they have him say really hurts him.
- THE VINCE MCMAHON AWARD
To be given to the best guest host/star on Raw.
Winner: Bret Hart
Runners-Up: William Shatner
2009 winner: Shaquille O’Neal
The win goes to Bret Hart simply because it was his first WWE appearance in over 12 years. My anticipation for that January 4th Raw event was by far the most excited I was for an episode of Raw in the last three or four years. It was amazing to see him mend fences with Shawn Michaels and to see him interact with Vince McMahon again. Everything after that wasn’t as good, but that night was special to me as a lifelong WWE fan who missed Bret Hart in that company.
I wanted to give it to Shatner simply for the way he “sang” WWE Entrance themes when he was the host. That was legendary. I couldn’t put it over Bret, though.
You know it’s a bad sign when you have to go to Wikipedia to see a list of 2010 guest hosts even though you saw every episode of Raw in the year. Kudos to WWE for realizing this concept was not a productive venture for the company. It’s not Saturday Night Live. Be a wrestling show. It’s what your fans want. Plus, if you can’t even convince The Rock to do it over the course of two years of having guest stars you know it’s not a great concept.
- THE BROCK LESNAR AWARD
To be given to the wrestler that is most likely to be the “next big thing” in 2011.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Runners-Up: Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd, Cody Rhodes
2009 winner: John Morrison
I went Morrison last year. Oops. I should have went with The Miz. That’s the correct answer. I’m going with Del Rio this year. I think he’s right at that main event level and he’s going to be either the WWE or World Champion in 2011, probably in the first half of the year. I fully admit to having a man crush on the character. He can talk, he can work, he has a gimmick where he tells you he’s better than you and he backs it up with his performance. Then there are the facial expressions. He has it. You want to see him get hit in the mouth because that cocky grin of his pisses you off. It’s the kind of gimmick that works. Plus, he’s very good in the ring. He’s not elite. He could be, though. And that’s why I like him going into next year.
As for Bryan, Kidd and Rhodes, they are guys that I think are destined for stardom. Bryan’s the best in-ring worker in the company if only they give him a chance to show it. He’s also more popular than I thought he’d be. I hope they can look past his size and give him the push he deserves. Kidd’s workrate is amongst the best in the company while Rhodes has made great strides in ring as well as in terms of his character development. That doesn’t mean either will be a world champion at this time next year. It just means they have bright futures. A lot of people do, but those two stand out to me.
You can make a case for many others in the company like Ziggler, McIntyre, Dibiase, Kingston and others, but they can’t all make it.
- THE SMACKDOWN AWARD
To be given to the best word/phrase of the year.
Winner: “Let’s hear it for friendship!” – The Flame
Runners-Up: “Fella” by Sheamus
2009 winner: Summerfest by Jeremy Piven
Remember when Jon Heder (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) and Don Johnson (of Miami Vice fame) hosted Raw? Me neither. But I remember The Flame. It was a wrestling persona he created as he teamed with Big Show and The Miz. He delivered one of the cheesiest lines of the year when he said: “Let’s hear it for friendship!” It’s something that stuck with me. I used it all year. If you saw a couple of people arguing what was a good way to calm them down? Just belt out “Let’s hear it for friendship!” and all seems right in the world because it’s so cheesy it work. Thanks to The Flame for bringing that into my world. You are an inspiration. So, how the hell did that movie do that they were plugging? Are we allowed to remember that? Let’s just move on.
I know that Sheamus became a star in 2009, but this year I used the word “Fella” a lot in writing and also in everyday life. I’m sure it annoyed some people too. All the more reason to love it!
- THE SATURDAY NIGHT’S MAIN EVENT AWARD
To be given to the best television show.
Winner: Friday Night Smackdown
2009 winner: Friday Night Smackdown
I don’t feel like giving a winner for this one, but for the first 8 months of the year Smackdown was a very good show that was getting scores in the 6-8 (out of 10) range from me on a weekly basis. The last few months of the year, though, it’s been bad. Still, it’s better than the inconsistent content we see on Raw on a weekly basis. Is it a wrestling show, is it a talk show or an improve show? I have no idea sometimes. Smackdown wins this one although it was not a great year for WWE TV.
- THE BOBBY HEENAN AWARD
To be given to the funniest performer.
Runners-Up: CM Punk, The Miz, Chris Jericho
2009 winner: Santino
Repeat winner. The guy is fantastic. Remember the Tea Time with Sheamus segment? That segment alone wins it for him. He’s money. Great timing with the jokes, great way of messing up names, his physical comedy is very good and even during the matches he’s over huge with a comedic move like The Cobra. I love his work. He’s first place by a mile. Don’t change his gimmick because he’s the best at what he does. And it’s all he should be doing.
I gave a nod to Punk, Miz & Jericho because all of them are great at being sarcastic.
- THE MR. PERFECT AWARD
To be given to the wrestler(s) that is most poorly used (Is underused a good word?).
Winners: Evan Bourne
Runners-Up: Gail Kim
2009 winner: The Hart Dynasty
Last year THD won and then they got a tag team title run. Good to see. I can’t pick MVP because he left the company. I would have picked John Morrison a month ago, but now he’s getting a decent push. I went with Evan Bourne even though he’s presently injured. Remember several months back when the news came out that Cena spoke to management about pushing Bourne? For a couple of months he got something resembling a push. He even had a couple of great matches with Jericho, which included some wins for Bourne. Then it stopped. Out of nowhere. Why? I have no idea. He had to team with Mark Henry and then he got an injury to put him on the shelf for several months. At least we saw that sweet SSP into the RKO. That’s something to hang his hat on.
As for Gail Kim, I’m amazed that WWE even re-hired her since they barely use her. I don’t understand their motivation for not using somebody that’s a good worker like her. If TNA paid their women better I doubt she ever would have left.
- THE WRESTLEMANIA X-7 AWARD
To be given to the best pay-per-view.
Winner: WrestleMania 26
Runners-Up: Extreme Rules, Money in the Bank
2009 winner: Summerslam.
It’s WrestleMania. Nothing else was really close to it. By my count it had five matches between *** to **** and then they had the Undertaker/Michaels match of the year that was a near five star match. That’s a lot of quality on one show. I actually thought going into the show that it could have been the best PPV they’ve ever had. For some reason, though, none of the matches other than Undertaker/Michaels were really special. They were good to very good, but not special. Still, by far the best PPV of 2010 and I’d say it’s one of the better WrestleMania’s ever. We’ll worry about that list come March, I think.
I liked Extreme Rules because it had a lot of rematches from that very successful WrestleMania card with Cena/Batista and Punk/Mysterio having better matches at ER than they did at WM. There were also quality rematches like Jericho/Edge and Sheamus/HHH as well. Money in the Bank had two really good ladder matches that got a lot of time, plus a strong Mysterio/Swagger World Title match.
- THE “SUMMERFEST” AWARD
To be given to the funniest unintentional comedy moment on TV or PPV.
Winner: Alex Riley beats up his own ally during the end of NXT 2.
Runners-Up: Mark Henry chases Nexus even though he’s ahead of them, Mae Young uses colorful language against Laycool
The good thing about live TV is it’s always open for people screwing up. I don’t remember everything, but I remember three moments very well. On the last episode of NXT season 2, the guys from NXT 2 were supposed to beat up the pros. It was as if they were going to be another Nexus group. The thing is Alex Riley, a NXT 2 guy, started beating up Percy Watson, also a NXT 2 guy. Why? I have no idea. It was hilarious. It even lasted for about 30 seconds until he must have got a clue to realize he screwed up. (Watch it here at the 7:10 mark if you want.) He threw him out of the ring, then Watson came back and they were working together.
During a Nexus beatdown, the Raw guys were chasing after Nexus. In a great moment, Mark Henry was way ahead of the Nexus guys and he kept running even though they were behind him. It was classic KOOL-AID~! at his finest. And thanks to the magic of video editing it’s masterfully captured in this youtube video with a song to match it. Rounding out this category there was Mae Young using some interesting words to talk to Laycool. When nobody ever swears all year except for Mae Young it makes it stand out more. I’ll never forget “Give me a match against these sluts!” or “You little bitches let’s go!” from the Old School Slammy Raw and I doubt you will either. Thanks Mae. We love ya.
- THE FOLEY GOES FLYING OFF THE CELL AWARD
To be given to the most memorable moment of the year.
Winner: Bret & Shawn embrace in the ring
Runners-Up: Shawn Michaels retires, Nexus attacks John Cena, Orton’s RKO on Bourne
2009 winner: The Undertaker/Michaels match
Easy call for me here as a lifelong Michaels & Hart fan. I watched those two growing up. I saw Survivor Series 1997 live. I read about all the animosity over the years. Then, there they were on January 4th in the same ring again for the first time in over 12 years. It felt surreal. I didn’t know what would happen. A lot has changed in both their lives since that time, but that moment would tell a lot. Apparently they didn’t talk much before they went out there. Then they went out there and had a special moment. Here’s what I wrote about it on January 4th in the Raw Deal.
This was an epic moment. One of those “I can’t believe this is really happening” type of deals. We were going nuts wondering what was going to be said by each guy. Even the face to face was cool. They each talked about time having passed with Shawn mentioning that he doesn’t think of Montreal with Bret, he thinks about their “Iron” match. He said Iron twice when it should have been Ironman, but you think I’m going to make fun of HBK ever? No. This all led to a handshake and then a hug. I was literally cheering this like I was some 12-year-old kid watching my two heroes because I was that kid a decade and a half ago. They teased Shawn starting at him, possibly ready to unleash a superkick, but it never happened. This 15 minute opening was something I’ll remember for a long time. I won’t be forgetting about it in the 2010 Johnny Awards either.
Here were are 12 months later. Still the moment of the year. Still marking out. Still remembering why I’m still a fan and writing about the business I love.
As for the runners up, the Michaels goodbye was emotional. It was a great speech by him because it was from the heart. The Nexus attack on Cena was the moment of the year from a storyline perspective because it shocked the hell out of us. It’s a shame the rest of the angle didn’t live up to the hype. Then there was Orton’s RKO on Bourne that was the individual spot of the year for me.
THE MINOR AWARDS
These are other awards/random thoughts that I basically made up off the top of my head without going into full details. There are 10 of them. I could probably do 30 of them, but this is a long enough column as it is.
Biggest Off Screen News Story: The departure of several big names
Jeff Hardy, a free agent, shows up in TNA to start the year. Shawn Michaels retires at WrestleMania. Batista quits when his contract expires. Chris Jericho lets his contract expire with no return date set. Those are four main event level talents gone. Then you have Triple H on the sideline for 8 months and the Undertaker being injured more this year than any year of his career. That’s a big void of star power removed from the current roster.
The Feud I most want to see in 2010: Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and Edge vs. Christian
I cheated and picked two. I’ve seen Bryan & Punk wrestle before in their ROH days. It was good stuff. I just want to see it on the WWE stage hopefully at the main event level. It could be special. As for Edge vs. Christian, they’re my boys. The two guys I’ve been watching before they were even in WWE. They feuded in 2001. It needs to happen again. I don’t care who the heel is. I just want to see it again now that Edge is a 10 time World Champion and Christian is somebody that deserves to be at that level. It could really elevate Christian.
The Best Heel or Face Turn: Kane
Kane was directionless for the first half of the year. When he turned heel officially he cut some of the best promos of his career and even had some good matches with Mysterio. I think he should always be heel. Another name I want to mention is Randy Orton. I think he’s a better performer as a heel, but with so many young heels in the company they needed him in the babyface role. He’s had a very good run as a babyface especially thanks to the RKO getting over so much. I didn’t see it coming. He’s done well, though. It works.
Best video package: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
I absolutely loved the Undertaker/Michaels hype package. Check it out RIGHT HERE. Still amazing.
Most Disappointing Feud: Cena vs. Nexus
It started out with a bang. Nexus should have won at Summerslam, though. They didn’t. Then they had Cena join the group, it lasted just over a month, then Cena got fired and he didn’t even miss a show. The angle could have been a huge success. Instead it was a total letdown. I have to mention Orton vs. Dibiase/Rhodes too because that had a lot of potential that also ended badly.
Best Announcer: Matt Striker
The announcers are okay. Not great. Striker’s the one I can tolerate the most. I did like Josh Mathews most of the year on NXT and I think it’s a good thing that he’s the lead guy on Smackdown now. Michael Cole’s better than he was a year ago, but still quite annoying. I’d give the award to CM Punk except he hasn’t been at it long enough.
The Feud that was supposed to elevate somebody, but never really did: Orton vs. Dibiase vs. Rhodes
A year ago you knew that Orton would split with his group. The hope was Dibiase & Rhodes would be bigger stars at this time. In Rhodes case that happened, but only because they re-tooled him. In Dibiase’s case they gave him the money gimmick, it failed miserably and now he’s back to being a bitter heel like all the other bitter heels.
Best Move that Deserves Props: Daniel Bryan’s tie choking
I had to include it somewhere! It’s ironic that at the time of the move it was such a big deal that he got fired for a couple of months, but personally I think he’s become a bigger star because he was gone. Those “Daniel Bryan” chants were huge when he was gone and that pop he got when he showed up at Summerslam was bigger than what he would have received had he not been fired.
Most Improved: Cody Rhodes
He went from having no gimmick except being cocky young heel to being “Dashing” and developing a character that has main event potential.
Most Disappointing Injury: Christian
Triple H? No. Sorry. He missed 7 months of 2010, but I didn’t miss him too much. That’s not to say he’s a bad performer. He’s good. It’s just that he’s involved too much and the main event scene needed some fresher faces in there. I’m mentioning Christian because it sure looked like he was getting a push when he tore his pectoral muscle to end up on the shelf for six months. Let’s hope he’s ready for WrestleMania against the guy who injured him (at least in terms of the story): Alberto Del Rio.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WWE IN 2010
I’d be lying if I said I thought 2010 was a great year for WWE. I don’t think it was. I think it was pretty average all across the board, so I’ll call it a 5 out of 10 if you really want a number.
With that said it was better than last year because at least they have slowed down with the guest hosts/stars that ruined a lot of Raw’s in 2009. There just isn’t a lot of creativity or must see moments anymore. Outside of Bret Hart showing up and Nexus attacking Cena out of nowhere the year really lacked those special sights that make a year special.
A lot of people think the PG rating is to blame. I don’t agree. If you remember the hype from January to WrestleMania was pretty great. They had a strong lineup and it was a good show. The problem was the rest of the year they seemed to lack the same kind of long term planning. It feels like the Nexus angle was written on a napkin. It went in so many directions. It’s a shame. The potential for it was so huge.
I don’t know what 2011 will bring except I know one thing as we head to the Royal Rumble: It’s that Mark Henry will be a threat to win the Rumble. He always is! Do it for us, KOOL-AID~!