Pro Wrestling

Democracy Doesn’t Work: 10 Problems With WWE’s Slammy Awards

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/12/20/10624872/slammy-awards-2015-ballot-predictions Source: cagesideseats.com

Fan voting is a terrible idea. One only has to look at the fact that a guy who has only played six games in the NHL and is currently on his way to the minors is leading their All-Star voting, or the fact that we nearly had an MLB All-Star game containing starters from the two Missouri-area teams. Or you could have just watched the 2015 Slammy Awards, and sat there wondering why, in a company where every single thing is scripted down to the letter, they decide to let their three hour awards show be entirely decided by a random vote of people with access to a smartphone. This led to one of the most awkward Raws in some time, and a series of ridiculous award winners that left most people saying “It’s professional wrestling! Why don’t they just fix the results so they make sense?”

Why indeed…

10. Did They Change The Definition Of “Breakout” When We Weren’t Looking?

Listen, we like Neville. He’s a good wrestler and a nice guy, and there’s no way he should have won Breakout Superstar of the Year. What did he do this year? He played third banana out of four in the Stardust-Amell feud and was possibly the only person in 2015 to lose multiple times to King Barrett. The only person on the nominations list he should have finished ahead of was Braun Strowman, who absolutely nobody was voting for. Even the most wide-eyed and innocent wrestling fan had to know that Kevin Owens deserved this award (and failing that, probably Charlotte), but he’s kind of a jerk, so they didn’t vote for him. If you wanted to know how unimportant Neville is, Kevin Owens came out, incensed over not winning, and picked a fight with the guy who presented the award! Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have him angry at Neville, leading to a match of some sort to showcase the person who is allegedly WWE’s Breakout Star? But no, instead, Neville went on to quietly lose a match to Rusev later that night, ironically because he was unable to break out of the Accolade.

http://tjrwrestling.net/cms-quick-hits-on-daniel-bryan-injury-and-neville-debut/ Source: tjrwrestling.net

9. Kevin Owens Is Going To Cancel Christmas Now

It wasn’t just Breakout Star that Owens didn’t win, he was completely shut out, with his match with John Cena not making the cut in either Match of the Year or the ridiculously self-indulgent “John Cena US Open Challenge Match of the Year”, and, despite having the best debut year in WWE since Kurt Angle, not even getting a sniff at Superstar of the Year. Then, he had to stand in the ring waiting to start his match while Kalisto accepted a Slammy for “OMG” Moment of the Year. Owens’ response was nothing if not predictable.

https://twitter.com/mookieghana/status/679118766060404736 Source: Twitter.com

After Raw ended, with his shutout complete, Owens took to Twitter to let us know the full consequences of our failure.

https://twitter.com/FightOwensFight/status/679146884066369536

Come on, Kevin, you could still win the prestigious Goliath.com Wrestler of the Year award! Don’t go full Grinch on us!

8. The One Deserving Winner

On the bright side, the fans actually did get one right, even if it was only likely due to a dedicated group of Seth Rollins fans and a bunch of vote splitting that likely came with every member of the WWE roster eligible for Superstar of the Year. Rollins’ character was treated shabbily for most of 2015, but that didn’t affect his dominance over the year. Rollins started 2015 with a Match of the Year candidate at the Royal Rumble and just got better from there. He became the first person ever to cash in Money in the Bank at WrestleMania, and technically defeated both Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in the same match to win the WWE World Heavyweight title. He then held that title for most of the year, and was never actually defeated for it, being forced to vacate his position as champion two weeks before Survivor Series due to a severe knee injury. During that time, he had great matches with nearly everyone he faced, including Dean Ambrose, John Cena, and a shockingly good match with WCW legend Sting. It’s surprising that Reigns or Cena did not take this fan vote, but there are few as deserving as the man who actually did win, Seth Rollins. And he was even there to accept the award, which was nice.

http://rollinsphotos.org/displayimage.php?pid=53977 Source: rollinsphotos.org

7. Get Injured. Do Nothing All Year. Win A Slammy. Wait, What?

Seriously, wrestling fans? With all the choices available to you, you chose The Usos as Tag Team of the Year? Does half the fan base have some sort of weird disease where they can’t see The New Day? Even if the “don’t vote for heels” rule is thrown in, there were still other teams more deserving than The Usos. Both the Prime Time Players and the team of Cesaro & Tyson Kidd were great Tag Team Champions this year, they would have been better choices. Did everyone miss the part where one of them got injured at WrestleMania and disappeared for most of the rest of the year, while his brother did terrible color commentary on Smackdown? That’s who you voted for as the best Tag Team in 2015. Good work, everyone.

We here at Goliath are proud to offer The New Day our award for Best Tag Team of 2015, as long as they agree to show up in person at our offices to collect the trophy. Maybe they’ll bring the trombone and we can jam.

http://justyouraveragefan.sportsblog.com/posts/2297923/fan-bracket—the-rock-vs-the-usos.html Source: justyouraveragefan.sportsblog.com

6. Giving Yourself An Award For Being Good People

Listen, WWE is a force in the world of charitable donations, and good on them for that. We would never begrudge them their dedication to so many causes, and given that they have an internationally televised product to promote these causes, we can’t even be that upset when they give time on Raw over to recognize their charitable works. But giving out a Slammy Award in recognition of who did the most charity work just smacks of self-gratification that crosses some sort of line. We appreciate Mark Henry saying that none of those Superstars do charity because they have to, but because they want to, and we entirely believe that fact. It’s the shameless corporate monolith that hands out an award sponsored by a soda company, essentially to themselves, as some sort of promotional back-patting endeavour, that just rubs us the wrong way. We heartily encourage WWE to do as much charitable work as they possibly can. Just don’t turn around and tell everyone how awesome you are because of it.

http://www.bet.com/celebrities/photos/2013/12/celebrity-make-a-wish-stories.html#!122613-celebs-make-a-wish-foundation-john-cena Source: BET.com

5. Pop Culture Reference!

Hey, did you know that Steve Harvey messed up the winner of the Miss Universe pageant on the weekend? Well, even if you didn’t, WWE made sure to give you an instant replay when they handed out the award for Diva of the Year, with R-Truth playing the role of Harvey, and Paige getting to be the one who thinks she wins for a second before crushing disappointment sets in. On one hand, that’s probably the fastest WWE has ever managed to grab on to a pop culture reference, because usually it takes at least a few weeks to explain it to Vince (or a few years, if they wait for him to see it himself). But on the other hand, did they really have to pull this stunt with the women’s award? It’s been such a crazy year for women’s wrestling in WWE that it just seems like one more jerk of the chain to do a skit which takes the award away from one of the company’s best female wrestlers and give it to, well…

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/12/21/10642134/r-truth-pulls-steve-harvey-on-paige-then-announces-nikki-bella-diva-of-the-year Source: cagesideseats.com

4. The Diva’s Revolution Is Definitely Over

There has to be some sort of cruel irony in Nikki Bella accepting an award on behalf of all women in the industry who work really hard, when it’s almost certainly her ties to a scripted catfight simulator on the E! Network that garnered her the lion’s share of the votes. In a year where women’s wrestling looked like it was becoming a legitimate and accepted thing in WWE for the first time in a very long time, when females were having Pay Per View matches that were as good as or even better than those put on by men, it’s disheartening to see the winner be someone who would only qualify for best Women’s Wrestler of the Year if the only other nominee was her twin sister. Sadly, the award is still “Diva of the Year”, so rather than one of those women who actually worked hard to make the division legitimate, we get Nikki Bella sashaying out in something that could barely qualify as a dress and pretend that she wasn’t one of the biggest reasons why many fans became so disenfranchised with the main roster’s women’s division in the first place.

http://www.wrestlingforum.com/women-wrestling/1519905-nikki-bella-3-megapost-read-comments-more-pictures-15.html Source: wrestlingforum.com

3. Does Anyone Actually Want Their Slammy?

The whole point behind any awards show is that you get to see big stars accept their awards. Except in WWE, where all their big stars are either part-time workers, injured, on vacation, or don’t work there, and therefore didn’t show up at all, leading to a parade of wrestlers accepting awards on the behalf of more important stars. Which, if you think about it, is representative of the biggest mistake WWE has been making: prioritizing the nostalgia acts of semi-retired Superstars from “better” times in lieu of actually turning any of their current roster of extremely talented wrestlers into the big stars that fans want to see now. If nothing else, John Cena’s three month vacation (which ends next week) has shown that WWE truly has no new plan for that fateful day when Cena steps away for good. They’ve put all their eggs in his basket, and while Roman Reigns may one day be something, at this point, the fan voting for the Slammy Awards showed that there’s nobody on the current roster that they actually care about when compared to another opportunity to see The Undertaker fall apart before their eyes.

http://shop.wwe.com/WWE-Replica-Slammy-Award/W06538,default,pd.html Source: shop.wwe.com

2. That Wasn’t Even The Best Match Brock Had This Year

Okay, Match of the Year is almost entirely subjective, but how was Brock vs Undertaker from Hell in a Cell even an option? Forget what we said in the header, that wasn’t even the best match that Brock had with The Undertaker this year! The Hell in a Cell match was literally Brock Lesnar destroying an old man for twenty minutes while everyone watching got increasingly more uncomfortable. Almost any other match that was even nominated could have won the Slammy and not gotten more than a slightly raised eyebrow. Except for Triple H vs Sting, which was clearly only a Match of the Year candidate in the universe where one of the participants runs the company, and it turns out, that’s this one. Remember what we just said about WWE making their part-timers more valuable than the people who are actually on the roster? Take a look at this award right here and understand what we’re talking about.

http://wrestlingnews.co/brock-lesnar-vs-the-undertaker-hell-in-a-cell-is-the-wwe-match-of-the-year/ Source: wrestlingnews.co

1. The “Show That Should Air On WWE Network Instead” Award

In the end, the Slammy Awards episode of Raw was bad. The awards segments were awkward, nobody important actually showed up, and due to the odd scripting of the segments, every single match was split up by commercials, despite most of them not being very long. Almost no story lines were advanced in any meaningful way, and the League of Nations spent most of the show winning unimportant matches in order to build to the climax of Roman Reigns destroying them all without breaking a sweat (theoretically, of course, because Roman Reigns is so wet at all times that nobody knows if he sweats or not). The Slammy Awards should not be crammed into a Raw, basically halting all forward progress, especially one week after WWE actually built some momentum after TLC last week. If there was ever a show that needs to be a Network-only special, The Slammy Awards would be one. Even better, go all the way back to the classic Slammy Awards and just have a fancy dress awards show in a small theater instead of a big arena environment. That way, you don’t waste an entire Raw, and the awards show itself would probably come off better as well. Something to think about for next year.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/12/20/10624872/slammy-awards-2015-ballot-predictions Source: cagesideseats.com
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.

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