Alright, long time readers know that we don’t usually do show previews here on the site. In fact, I’m not even sure if “preview” is the right word for this particular article. Last week in the RAW on DVR review, I looked at the six nominees for WWE Superstar of the year. This morning I’d like to take a deeper lookat the Slammys, since the nominees have all been revealed.
Match of the year
2008 Royal Rumble Match
John Cena shocked the world and returned nearly two months before anybody expected him to, winning the Royal Rumble and ensuring he’d be in the main event at WrestleMania 24. Then he decided he didn’t want to wait two months and challenged Randy Orton at No Way Out and lost. Somehow, he was still in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, but became one of the few people to win the Royal Rumble but not win the championship at WrestleMania.
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (Career Threatening Match, WrestleMania 24)
I was there, so I may be a bit partial, but this is my pick. I think, however, that this might be my pick even if I wasn’t there. The raw emotion going into this match, with it potentially being Ric Flair’s last match, and taking on an opponent who was reluctant to take on the challenge, but swore that he’d not hold back. When HBK looked at The Nature Boy and said, “I’m sorry, I love you,” before Superkicking him into retirement, it cemented this match’s status as a true wrestling classic.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Wrestlemania 24)
I enjoyed this match live, but I don’t think this match lived up to the hype. CM Punk’s win was treated as a complete afterthought until he shockingly won the World Heavyweight Championship from Edge the night after Night of Champions. More on that later. The match lost some of it’s luster early when the man reportedly slated to win it, Jeff Hardy, was suspended on a wellness policy violation. While Jeff wasn’t replaced, there was still a Hardy involved, as Matt Hardy came out and cost MVP the match. John Morrison’s moonsault with a ladder and Shelton Benjamin’s crash and burn through a ladder were highlights of an otherwise sub-par Money In The Bank Ladder Match. Still, it was an awesome match to see live, and if it weren’t for Flair/Michaels being nominated, I’d give this one the nod.
Undertaker vs. Edge (Hell in a Cell Match at SummerSlam)
Seriously? This match was nominated? It probably wasn’t even the best Edge/Undertaker match of the year, let alone the WWE match of the year. Yes, it was the culmination of a very long feud, with Undertaker finally getting revenge for all of the things the dastardly Edge had done to him over the past nine months. Yes, it ended with a cool spot, with Undertaker sending Edge to hell (more on that later, too), but it wasn’t worthy of being nominated for match of the year.
Diva of the Year
As evidenced by the last two Cyber Sunday Pay Per Views, Mickie is one of the most popular Divas on the roster. She’s also the only hiccup in the Women’s Championship reign of fellow nominee Beth Phoenix, winning the title from The Glamazon on RAW from London, England on April 14th, holding it for four months before Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella defeated Mickie and then-Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston in a Winner Take All match at SummerSlam.
While it’s long been known that I myself am not a fan of Kelly Kelly, there’s no denying that she’s improved significantly in the ring since coming to RAW from ECW without being drafted earlier in the year. I’m still not a fan, but, reportedly, Vince McMahon is. All that said, Kelly Kelly hasn’t really done anything of note this year.
When 2008 started, Beth Phoenix had already been Women’s Champion for nearly two months. After losing the title to fellow nominee Mickie James in April, she managed to regain the title just four months later at SummerSlam and still holds it to this day. Being the dominant Diva on the RAW brand, Beth was the sole survivor in a RAW vs. SmackDown traditional Survivor Series match that also featured the other three nominees in this category. If that’s not a strong enough reason to think that The Glamazon will be the Diva of the year, the fact that she’s also beaten all three fellow nominees in singles competition this year should be.
Only once in a Championship’s lifetime does somebody hold it for the first time. For the WWE Diva’s Championship, that moment was shared with Michelle McCool. While Beth Phoenix was destroying the competition on RAW, McCool was lovin’ life and dominating the SmackDown Divas. I don’t see Michelle winning this, for the sheer fact that she’s recently lost to The Glamazon on SmackDown, as well as losses to Maryse and Maria.
OMG Moment of the Year
CM Punk cashes in Money In the Bank and becomes the World Heavyweight Champion (Raw, June 30)
This is my pick. When the WWE Draft sent WWE Champion Triple H to SmackDown, the RAW brand was left without a champion. Batista and John Cena both had chances to take world championships back to the brand at Night of Champions, but Edge and Triple H managed to keep the titles on SmackDown. Not content to take his title and hole up on SmackDown, Edge showed up on RAW the next night to brag about his victory and to proclaim that nobody on RAW would ever get another crack at his belt. Batista, upset with his loss to the Rated R Superstar the night before, came to the ring and destroyed Edge. Moments later, CM Punk showed up with a referee and the Money in the Bank Briefcase, hitting the Go To Sleep, and putting Edge’s championship reign – and RAW’s world championship drought – to rest.
Undertaker sends Edge to Hell (SummerSlam)
At Survivor Series in 2007, Edge crashed a Hell in the Cell match between The Undertaker and Batista, costing the dead man a chance at the World Heavyweight Championship. Over the course of the next nine months, Edge made The Undertaker’s career a living-dead nightmare. At SummerSlam, the Demon of Death Valley finally got his revenge. In a Hell in the Cell match, Undertaker used every weapon that Edge had used on him over the last nine months. After picking up the victory, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off of the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas. Flames rose up through the gaping hole left by Edge’s unconscious body, resembling the flames of hell. It’s a pretty cool sounding spot on paper, but I wasn’t all that impressed.
Floyd Mayweather punches Big Show and breaks his nose (No Way Out)
The Big Show made a return to the WWE at No Way Out, cutting a promo and assaulting an injured Rey Mysterio. Mysterio’s friend, professional boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather happened to be in the crowd, and got in the face of the World’s Largest Athlete. An over confident Big Show mockingly dropped to his knees to see eye to eye with the much smaller Mayweather, and got punched in the face for his trouble, getting his nose broken in the process. While this set up one of the most publicized main events in WrestleMania history, I wouldn’t really call it an “OMG moment.”
John Cena’s surprise return at the Royal Rumble (Royal Rumble)
As mentioned earlier, John Cena returned a full two months earlier than anticipated from a torn pectoral muscle and went on to win the Royal Rumble. Not only that, but he set the record for the shortest time that the eventual winner spent in the rumble match. He spent 8:28 in the ring, passing Brock Lesnar’s record of 8:59. I’ll admit it. I, the very vocal John Cena hater, even marked out when Cena returned. It’s very rare in this day and age that a secret like the return of a Superstar could be as unexpected as Cena’s Rumble return was. Credit where it’s due, this is definitely a top contender to win this one.
“DAMN!” Moment of the Year
Khali Kiss Cam (SmackDown, Nov. 7)
Ugh. Well, “ugh-lee” would best describe this moment. The Great Khali kisses two fat ugly women. DAMN! BORING.
Jim Ross in sailor suit (SmackDown, Oct. 31)
Jim Ross looked absolutely miserable in his sailor suit. DAMN!
CM Punk disguised in Mariachi Band, lays out Chavo Guerrero (ECW, Jan. 29)
Chavo Guerrero reigned as the ECW Champion after taking the title away from CM Punk a week before. During Gurrero’s victory celebration, one of the Mariachi Band members turned and struck Chavito with his guitar, then revealing himself to be CM Punk. DAMN! This one is my pick.
Santino Marella attempts Melina’s Entrance (Raw, Dec. 1)
Following Melina’s victory over Jillian Hall, Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix started an argument with her as she celebrated. Santino said that anybody could perform Melina’s entrance, then made an attempt to do so, but fell right on his… uh… meat-a-balls. DAMN!
Tag Team of the Year
The Miz & John Morrison
The Shaman of Sexy and The Grand Mizard of Lust. The Guru of Greatness and The Chick Magnet. Whatever you call them, John Morrison and The Miz are simply the hottest tag team property in the WWE. Not only that, they’re BoredWrestlingFan.com’s top two friends on MySpace. They came into 2008 having already been WWE Tag Team Champions for three months, holding them for another seven, before losing them in a fatal four way match at The Great American Bash without being in the deciding pinfall. In this category, there are winners, and there are losers. Be jealous!
Priceless (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase)
Cody Rhodes held the World Tag Team Championship with Hardcore Holly when 2008 began. On May 26th, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase hit the scene and introduced us to his son, Ted DiBiase, Jr, who boldly predicted to Rhodes and Holly that he would find a partner and win the World Tag Team Championship in his first match. The following month at Night of Champions, DiBiase announced that his partner hadn’t yet arrived, but that he’d start the match on his own and his partner would be along later. Within moments, we found out that DiBiase’s partner was there all along, as Rhodes took out Holly and pinned him, becoming the first person to ever win a championship from himself. Priceless would dominate the RAW tag team scene for the next four months, holding the belts for all but one week of that time. This team of second generation stars may be the future of the industry, but we’re awarding the present in this category.
JTG and Shad Gaspard were released from the WWE on September 2, 2007, not to be seen by WWE audiences until March 31st, making a shocking return the night after WrestleMania 24. They’ve launched a successful WWE.com show, “Word Up,” and had a high profile feud with The Miz and John Morrison, but other than that have done little of note since their return.
Carlito & Primo
Primo debuted on the RAW brand the night after SummerSlam, being introduced by Mike Adamle, but then blown off so Adamle could go suck up to John Cena. Primo debuted the following week, defeating Charlie “Charlito” Haas. A few weeks later, Carlito returned to SmackDown, and brought his little brother with him. After goading Hawkins and Ryder into giving them a title shot, the Colons made the most of it, capturing tag team gold, holding onto it since. Of course, when you don’t defend a title, you can’t lose it. They’ve been too busy hanging out with the Bella twins to defend them.
Best Finishing Maneuver
Randy Orton’s RKO
Orton successfully defended the WWE Championship for the first four and a half months of the year with the RKO, save for WrestleMania, where he won by punting Triple H in the head. Personally, I would’ve nominated that punt kick for Best Finishing Maneuver, but hey, whatever, the RKO is a great finisher in it’s own right.
Undertaker’s Hell’s Gate
After taking out numerous Superstars with the move, including keeping his WrestleMania streak in tact by using it on Edge, then having the move banished by SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, The Undertaker has gone back to using it, complete with a cool new name, the Hell’s Gate. It’s certainly been an effective and memorable maneuver, which could certainly give ‘Taker the nod in this category.
Big Show’s Knockout Punch
The WWE certainly made use of the fact that The Big Show trained in boxing during his time away from the business. He’s knocked out everybody from Brandon “The Thrill” Hill to The Undertaker. I’m emphatically against a punch winning this category though.
Evan Bourne’s Shooting Star Press
Before Bourne came to ECW, the Shooting Star Press was on the list of banned moves by the WWE. After demonstrating to the higher-ups that he can hit the move safely every time, they allowed him to use it. Since then, Bourne’s high flying antics have wowed WWE audiences and given Bourne the nickname “Air” Bourne. This is probably the only move in this category deserving of a win.
Extreme Moment of the Year
Jeff Hardy’s Swanton Bomb on Randy Orton from the Raw set (Raw, Jan. 14)
This is the hands down winner of this category. In his quest to win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, Jeff Hardy gave the pre-HD RAW set a memorable sendoff when he climbed it and delivered a crushing Swanton Bomb to then WWE Champion Randy Orton.
Undertaker falls off ladder through table as Edge wins TLC Match (One Night Stand)
I would have actually nominated this match for OMG Moment of the year, as the stipulation in the match was that the Undertaker would be banished from the WWE if he didn’t win the match. Still, it was a huge bump that ‘Taker took in that match.
JBL throws John Cena off stage into car windshield (The Great American Bash)
In a match where both competitors destroyed each other, the final blow came when JBL threw Cena through a car windshield. When JBL picked up the victory, he had to be helped out of the arena. This moment couldn’t have been that extreme though – Cena walked out of the arena on his own.
Chris Jericho smashes Shawn Michaels’ head through Jeri-Tron (Raw, June 9)
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels embarked on a major feud over the course of the year. It was kick started on June 9th when HBK was the guest on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. In a scene reminiscent of Michaels throwing former partner Marty Janetty through the window of the Barber Shop, Jericho sent HBK face first into the obscenely expensive Jeri-Tron 6000, causing eye problems for the grizzled veteran.
Couple of the Year
Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix
Glamarella have certainly left a mark on the WWE this year, even capturing championships at the same time, defeating Kofi Kingston and Mickie James in a Winner Take All match at SummerSlam, giving the world the Honk-A-Meter in the process. My pick.
Edge & Vickie Guerrero
A thorn in The Undertaker’s side, The Rated R Superstar and SmackDown’s General Manager have had their ups and downs over the course of the year, but have managed to stay together, which has usually also managed to keep Edge’s waist warm with a World Championship.
William Regal & Layla
After destroying Jamie Noble, William Regal stole away Layla from our favorite RAW redneck. They haven’t really done much together, so I don’t really see how they could win.
Finlay & Hornswoggle
What? Seriously? How does a father and son qualify as a couple? Unless Finlay… um.. You know what, I’m just going to skip this one.
The following awards are deemed too unimportant to air on RAW, so are therefore being deemed too unimportant to give more than a quick prediction for.
Best WWE.com Exclusive
Nominees: The Dirt Sheet, Word Up, Santino’s Casa, Out-think The Fink
I’ve only seen The Dirt Sheet out of the three shows, and I absolutely love Out-Think The Fink. I’m going to go with Miz and Morrison’s Dirt Sheet in this one.
Breakout Star of the Year
Nominees: Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Vladimir Kozlov, Ted DiBiase
Every single one of these guys have had a hell of a year, making this a tough one to call. My guess is that it’s going to be Evan “Air” Bourne.
Best Musical Performance
Nominees: R-Truth’s entrance (SmackDown, Sept. 15), Santino rapping to Akon (Raw, Nov. 17), Edge singing “Heaven” to Vickie (SmackDown, Feb. 15), The Miz & John Morrison Rap (“The Dirt Sheet,” Aug. 29)
What, no Jillian? Santino’s rap to Akon is a close second, but I’ve got to give the nod to Miz and Morrison’s rap on The Dirt Sheet. It was hilarious, they even had a music video for it.
Announce Team of the Year
Nominees: Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole, Jim Ross & Tazz, Matt Striker & Todd Grisham
I absolutely love Striker and Grisham on ECW, but the hands down winner of this award have got to be Jim Ross and Tazz.
Nominees: Charlie Haas as “Haas” Hogan (Raw, Oct. 13), Charlie Haas as “CHL” (Raw, Sept. 8), Charlie Haas as “The Glamahaas” (Raw, Oct. 27), Charlie Haas as Mr. Perfect (Raw, Sept. 22)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Charlie Haas is going to win this one. Kidding aside, I laughed my ass off at the CHL gimmick, but hands down, the Mr. Perfect impersonation was absolute gold.
How accurate am I? We’ll find out later on tonight.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Who do you think is going to win? Drop a comment and let me know!
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