AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
As 2010 ends, it’s time for the 14th annual AS I SEE IT Year-End Review. As usual, I should note that my selections are based on what I’ve actually seen this year, either live, online, on TV, or via tape/DVD; which primarily means North American wrestling.
2010 PROMOTION OF THE YEAR:
Ring of Honor – Even without Gabe Sapolsky, the promotion has returned toward a direction of workrate-based matches, while trying to figure out how to fit them into a TV/PPV format. The promotion has the best tag team division of any promotion in the United States, featuring the Briscoes, Kings of Wrestling, Charlie Haas/Sheldon Benjamin, All Night Express; as well as the best blow-off to a feud this year with Kevin Steen-El Generico at Final Battle 2010.
2009 winner: WWE
2008 winner: Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Ring of Honor
2005 winner: Ring of Honor
2004 winner: Ring of Honor
2003 winner: Ring of Honor
2002 winner: Ring of Honor
2001 winner: WWF
2000 winner: WWF
1999 winner: WWF
1998 winner: WWF
1997 winner: WCW
2010 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:
Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE/independent/WWE – Few wrestlers were in wrestling news more than Danielson this year. Danielson (as ‘ Daniel Bryan”) was on WWE’s NXT show. Danielson was portrayed as the underdog, “mentored” by The Miz, but with more than one comment suggesting he was a better in-ring talent than Mizanin. Danielson was released by WWE in June after Danielson choked out ring announcer Justin Roberts when NXT jumped the ring in the NXT attack on a June Monday Night RAW, with many feeling it was too reminescent of the Chris Benoit murder/suicide incident. This created a firestorm of criticism from wrestling fans, demending to know how a storyline violent attack could be “too violent”, with many seeing the firing as an attempt to protect the image of US Senate candidate Linda McMahon.
Danielson spent the summer working for independents such as Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. befeore returning to WWE in August at SummerSlam. he currently holds the WWE version of the United States heavyweight title.
2009 winner: Chris Jericho, WWE
2008 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2007 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling NOAH/Full Impact Pro
2005 winner: Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor/TNA/independent
2004 winner: Chris Benoit, WWE
2003 winner: AJ Styles, NWA-TNA/ROH/Zero-One/independent
2002 winner: Kurt Angle, WWE
2001 winner: Chris Jericho, WWF
2000 winner: HHH, WWF
1999 winner: Chris Benoit, WWF
1998 winner: Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: Eddie Guerrero, WCW
2010 WORST WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:
Lacey Von Erich, TNA – In a way it seems unfair to pick on someone who was trying to live out the family dream, but there have been very few who have been put in such a position that they clearly weren’t ready for, and clearly didn’t have the talent for…at a time where women like 75% of the SHIMMER roster and Sara Del Ray aren’t working for a major promotion. To her credit, she acknowledged as much, gave notice to TNA and said she’d try some other things. Here’s hoping she finds success in another field and more happiness than many in her family ever did.
2009 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2008 “winner”: The Great Khali , WWE
2007 “winner”: Adam “Pacman” Jones, TNA
2006 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2005 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2004 “winner”: Heidenreich, WWE
2003 “winner”: Nathan Jones, WWE
2002 “winner” Shane Douglas, Major League Wrestling/XPW
2001 “winner”: Buff Bagwell, WCW/WWF/independent
2000 “winner”: Kevin Nash, WCW
1999 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW
1998 “winner”: Giant Silva, WWF
1997 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW
2010 TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR:
Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli), Pro Wrestling NOAH/Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling Guerrilla/CHIKARA – This pair has worked more consistently across multiple promotions at the same time; with programs in ROH as Tag Team Champions, and concluding the year against the Briscoes; as CHIKARA Tag team Champions; as well as Castagnoli holding the PWG Championship.
2009 winner: American Wolves (Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards), Ring of Honor
2008 winner: Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin (Motor City Machine Guns), TNA/Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, Ring of Honor
2005 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2004 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2003 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2002 winner: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, WWE
2001 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
2000 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1999 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1998 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
1997 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
2010 ANGLE/FEUD OF THE YEAR WINNER
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico, Ring of Honor – Once upon a time, wrestling feuds were put together in a way that they actually meant something. Promos weren’t done with nothing but catch phrases and for comedy/entertainment value. They were designed to further a storyline so as to get people to put their asses in seats, and later to buy PPVs. Few feuds this year on any level in any promotion did this with as much intensity as Steen-Generico. The award-winning tag team was split in a way where there was one clear hard heel, and one clear victimized face. When El Generico’s mask was stolen, the series of shows built to where there was logically only one way to blow-off the program, which was the Final Battle 2010, which featured violence to tell a story, not strictly violence for the sake of shock value….and did it with a great blow-off earlier this month in Manhattan.
2009 winner: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy, WWE
2008 winner: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: CZW-Ring of Honor, CZW and ROH
2005 winner: Batista vs. HHH, WWE
2004 winner: Chris Benoit vs. HHH vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2003 winner: Danny Maff “retirement angle”, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, September 27, 2003, Rahway, NJ
2002 winner: AJ Styles-Jerry Lynn, NWA-TNA/Ring of Honor
2001 winner: ECW turns on WWF, July 9, 2001, Phillips Arena, Atlanta, WWE
2000 winner: The Stephanie McMahon-Vince McMahon-Shane McMahon-HHH-Kurt Angle soap opera, WWE
1999 winner: Test (Andrew Martin)-Stephanie McMahon wedding angle, WWF
1998 winner: Vince McMahon as heel promoter versus Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: nWo-WCW angle
2010 WORST/MOST TASTELESS ANGLE OF THE YEAR
“Stand Up For WWE” as a stalking horse to deflect criticism of Linda McMahon’s US Senate campaign- WWE fans had to watch and see this crap jammed down their throats (along with the “PG” product), when what Vince McMahon really wanted to say was “Don’t pick on my wife”. Somehow, being that straight up about it….I would have dealtv with it a lot better, and probably even agreed with. But to say that WWE is being attacked because a company’s former CEO is using her role in the company as a selling point to elect her..yet says at the same time that this experience can’t be used to criticize her because it’s only a fictional portrayal…is totally hypocritical.
The sad thing is that many of the things that the campaign shows WWE as doing; such as Make A Wish, the Support the Troops events and other charitable events…are 100% true and deserved to be known. But the real erason for that campaign wasn’t that, but a response to criticism, fair or not, of Linda McMahon and what some believed to be her failings as a candidate…or at least disagreement with her politics. Since FEC rules limit what can be said by a company on behalf of a candidate…this is the nonsense we got.
2009 “winner”: John Bradshaw Layfield “hires” Shawn Michaels because Michaels has “lost his money in bad investments”, WWE.
2008 “winner”: Jeff Hardy’s implied pre-show drug overdose…er…”mugging”, Survivor Series, WWE
2007 “winner”: The “death” of “Mister McMahon”, WWE
2006 “winner” The “Eddie Guerrero storyline”…in all its forms, WWE
2005 “winner”: Jim Ross proctology skit and Tim White “suicide” sketches, WWE
2004 “winner”: Lita/Kane/Matt Hardy pregnancy/miscarriage angle
2003 “winner”: Vince-Stephanie McMahon angle for “control of Smackdown” and father-daughter No Mercy match WWE
2002 “winner”: Katie Vick angle, WWF/E
2001 “winner”: Vince McMahon “Kiss My Ass” angle, Monday Night RAW, November 19, 26, and 28, WWF
2000 “winner”: Stacey Keibler-David Flair and Mark Henry-Mae Young “pregnancy angles”, WWF
1999 “winner”: The Paul Wight/Big Bossman “cancer angle”, WWF
1998 “winner”: Ric Flair “heart attack” angle and the Hawk/Scott Hall drug angles, WCW/WWF
1997 “winner”: DeGenerationX/Nation of Domination “racial angle”, WWF
2010 MATCHES OF THE YEAR:
WWE: Undertaker- Shawn Michaels, WWE WrestleMania 26, March 28, 2010; Shawn Michaels had decided it was time to end his full-time career in WWE, and what better place to do it than Wrestlemania, giving it everything he had while he still could telling a graet story and kicking it in the ring.. There are few prime-time players better than Michaels and Undertaker. In 2010, that’s a blessing for WWE. As 2010 moves into 2011, it may be WWE’s curse, as the promotion develops new talent, but doesn’t yet have someone who can capture this level of showmanship, excitement and ring work all roilled up into one.
Independent: Bryan Danielson vs. SHINGO, Dragon Gate USA, July 24, 2010. It tells you that a show and a match is pretty damned good when I cut a day off of my vacation to get home to come to a show and a killer main event like this. Even with Bryan Danielson allowed to do as much so far in WWE, I like my Danielson straight up with no Diva comedy chaser. This match featured false finish after false finish. Even though the crowd was exhausted and dehydrated…this was the match the crowd came to this show to see. The show ended with Danielson offered his services to the World-a faction and the show closed with “Final Countdown” playing and the crowd singing along to close the show.
2009 winners: (WWE)- Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston, TX; (Independent) Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino vs. SHINGO/Dragon Kid, Dragon Gate USA Open The Freedom Gate, November 28, 2009, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
2008 winners: (WWE) Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania 24, Orlando, FL, March 30, 2008; (Independent) Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino/Genki Horiguchi-CIMA/Dragon Kid/Ryo Saito Supercard of Honor III, Orlando, FL, March 29, 2008
2007 winners: WWE: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE Monday Night RAW, London, England, April 23, 2008; Independent: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Ring of Honor, June 9, 2008, Philadelphia, PA
2006 winners: WWE: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Steven Regal/ David Taylor vs. Hardys vs. MNM, Ladder match for the world tag team titles, WWE Armageddon; Independent: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA, Glory By Honor V, New York, NY, September 16, 2006 and CZW/ROH Cage of Death War Games/The Match Beyond match; with Necro Butcher, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb, Eddie Kingston vs. Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Adam Pearce, Ace Steele, and Homicide.
2005 winners: WWE: Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Independent: Samoa Joe- Kenta Kobashi, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Triple H-Chris Benoit-Shawn Michaels, WWE, Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, June 12,
2004, Dayton, Ohio and CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, October 16, 2004, Chicago Ridge, IL (tie)
2003 winners: WWE: Chris Benoit-Kurt Angle, WWE Royal Rumble 2003, Boston, MA January 19, 2003; Independent: Steve Corino-Homicide, Ring of Honor, “Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies” Fairfield, CT, August 16th, 2003, NWA-TNA: America’s Most Wanted-XXX (Christopher Daniels/Elix Skipper) steel cage match, Nashville, TN, June 25, 2003
2002 winners: WWE: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit, No Mercy, Little Rock, AK, October 20, 2002; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Spanky vs. Doug Williams – 60 minute Iron Man Match, Ring of Honor, Philadelphia, PA, July 27, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz – Tables, Ladders and Chairs II – WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Scoot Andrews vs. American Dragon, East Coast Wrestling Association, Wilmington, DE, September 22, 2001
2000 winners: WCW: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett, “Bash At The Beach”, Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL, June 9, 2000; WWF: “Tables, Ladders and Chairs” Match – Matt/Jeff Hardy vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Edge/Christian, SummerSlam, Raleigh, NC, August 27, 2000. ECW: Psicosis-Yoshihiro Tajiri, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 19, 2000
1999 winners: WCW: Chris Benoit-Bret Hart, Monday Nitro, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, October, 1999; WWF: Matt/Jeff Hardy-Edge/Christian, Tag Team Ladder Match, “No Mercy”, Cleveland, OH, October 17, 1999; ECW: Rob Van Dam/Jerry Lynn, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 28, 1999.
1998 winners: WCW: Chris Jericho/Eddie Guerrero-Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko, November 29th, Knoxville Civic Coliseum; WWF: Mankind (Mick Foley)-Undertaker Hell in a Cell Match “King of the Ring” PPV, June 28, 1998; ECW: Jerry Lynn-Rob Van Dam, August 8, 1998, ECW Arena
1997 winners: WCW: Rey Mysterio, Jr.- Eddie Guerrero, WCW “Halloween Havoc” PPV, 10/27/97, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV; WWF: Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, “In Your House: Badd Blood” PPV, 10/5/97, Kiel Center, St. Louis, MO; ECW: Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Masato Yakushiji-TAKA Michinoku/Dick Togo/Terry Boy, “Barely Legal” PPV, 4/13/97, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
2010 CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:
WWE: Wrestlemania 26, March 28, 2010, Glendale, AZ – Between Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, Chris Jericho-Edge. Rey Misterio-CM Punk. and John Cena-Batista on top; Wrestlemania was again the destination PPV for mainstream wrestling fans.
Independent: Dragon Gate USA, Enter The Dragon, July 24, 2010 (aired on PPV on September 10) – As said above, a show had better be pretty damned good to get me to cut a day off of a hard-earned vacation to get home to come to this show; between Danielson-SHINGO, CHIKARA Sekigun (Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Hallowicked, Masato Yoshino) vs. Kamikaze USA (YAMATO, Akira Tozawa, Gran Akuma and Jon Moxley); and BxB Hulk b Masaaki Mochizuki
2009 winner: WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston, TX, Independent- Dragon Gate USA “Open The Historic Gate”, July 25, 2009, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA (aired on PPV as “Enter the Dragon” on September 4)
2008 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIV
2007 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIII
2006 winners: WWE: WWE WrestleMania XXII, April 2, 2008, Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois; Independent: Glory by Honor V Night 2, Manhattan Center, New York, NY, September 16, 2008
2005 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Ring of Honor, “Joe vs. Kobashi”, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: At Our Best, Ring of Honor, March 13, 2004, Rex Plex, Elizabeth, NJ
2003 winners: WWE: WWE Wrestlemania XIX, Safeco Field, Seattle, WA, March 30, 2003; Independent: All Japan/Ring of Honor Final Battle 2003, Philadelphia, PA December 27, 2003; NWA-TNA: NWA-
TNA Super X Cup, Nashville Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN, September 3, 2003 (taped August 20 and 27, 1993)
2002 winners: WWE: WWE Summer Slam 2002, Fleet Center, Boston, MA, August 25, 2002, Independent: Ring of Honor “Road To The Title” Philadelphia, PA, June 22, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001, Independent: 2001 Super Eight tournament, ECWA, St. Matthew’s Parish Hall, Wilmington, DE February 24, 2001
2000 winner: WWF “Fully Loaded”, Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, July 23, 2000
1999 winner: ECW “Anarchy Rulz”, ECW Odeum Sports and Exposition Center, Villa Park, IL, September 19, 1999
1998 winner: WWF “Survivor Series”, St. Louis, MO, Keil Center, November 15, 1998
1997 winner: ECW “Barely Legal”, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, April 13, 1997
2010 WORST CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:
TNA Turning Point 2010, November 7, Orlando, FL- Well, Let’s have Jeff Hardy (who no one wants to see as a heel…to the point it’s hurting house show business) as the new designated heel Champion of the Bischoff/Hogan faction against Matt Morgan. Raise your hands if you took Matt Morgan seriously as a contender. OK, well, neither did anyone in Orlando. Then, there was the 10 man clusterfuck with “Fortune” against the ECW v. Lord only knows what.; which saw Sabu being “fired” as the result of a match stipulation. It might have worked if the fact that Sabu had been released wasn’t widely known online days before the PPV. Followed by that was the yearly burial of Samoa Joe by TNA…this time by Jeff Jarrett, MMA expert. GSP is no doubt quaking in his boots as you read this. Then of course the “retirement” of the Dudleys that no one believed in either…only to feature a Bubba Ray-Devon feud that no one wants to see except TNA’s booking committee.
2009 “winner”: TNA Victory Road 2009, July 19, 2009, Orlando, FL
2008 “winner”: WWE Cyber Sunday, October 26, 2008, Phoenix, AZ
2007 “winner”: TNA Turning Point 2007, December 2, 2007
2006 “winner”: WWECW December to Dismember, Augusta, GA, December 4, 2006, WWE
2005 “winner”: WWE Armageddon PPV, Providence, RI, December 18, 2005, WWE
2004 “winner”: WWE “Great American Bash”, Norfolk, VA, The Scope, June 27, 2004.
2003 “winner:” WWE No Mercy, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2003
2002 “winner”: World Wrestling All-Stars Eruption, Melbourne, Australia, April 13, 2002
2001 “winner”: WCW “Sin”, January 14, 2001, Indianapolis, IN.
2000 “winner”: WCW Slamboree, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, May 7, 2000
1999 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1999
1998 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1998
1997 “winner”: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2010 BEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:
ROH on HDNet, HDNet – There’s no way you can give this award to RAW with a good conscience after watching Michael Cole turn all too many episodes of RAW into a really bad drinking game where viewers take a drink after each time Cole mentions “and I quote”, “WWE Universe”, “Bryan Danielson is a nerd”, “WWE superstar”, and “Vickie Guerrero is sexy”.
On ROH on HDNet, where I’ve been able to watch most tapings of at the Asylum (ECW) Arena…the storylines have been clear and logical, there have been no mystery cyber-general managers, or announcers putting themselves over at the expense of the in-ring action. Sadly in 2010…what a wrestling TV show SHOULD be… has made it stand out as exceptional.
2009 winner: WWE Smackdown, WWE
2008 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2007 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2006 winner: TNA Impact, TNA, Spike TV
2005 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2004 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2003 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2002 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2001 winner: Monday Night RAW, TNN
2000 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network and TNN
1999 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1998 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1997 winner: Monday Nitro, Turner Network Television
2010 WORST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:
TNA Impact, TNA- Where would you like to start? The constant on-air putting over of Dixie Carter Or is it the Bischoff/Hogan//Nash/Flair NWO v 5.0? Or another attempt to re-create ECW? The blowing off of the six-sided ring and the telling of a live crowd that they’d take the changes and like it? The Jersey Shore copy of “Cookie” and Robbie E.?
You get the general idea. Wrestling fans want SO badly for Vince McMahon to get some honest-to-God competition so as to keep him honest and force him to be creative…and TNA keeps failing to deliver it over and over. But TNA’s fans drink more Kool-Aid than ECW fans at their worst…and ignore the kinds of things I’ve mentioned.
2009 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2008 “winner”: TNA Impact
2007 “winner”: TNA Impact
2006 “winner”: WWECW, Sci-Fi Network
2005 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2004 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2003 “winner”: The Wrestling Federation (yep, that was actually their name) aired in Philadelphia, southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern New Jersey on WGTW Channel 48
2002 “winner”: WXW Rage TV – aired in Philadelphia, northeastern Pennsylvania, north central New Jersey, and syndicated in parts of American Samoa, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
2001 “winner”: Monday Nitro, WCW, TNT
2000 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1999 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1998 “winner”: Music City Wrestling TV
1997 “winner”: USWA Television, USWA
2010 TV ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR:
CM Punk, WWE – Punk was thrown out there on TV due to an injury, yet proved far better at getting over storylines through being entertaining and through shooty comments than Michael Cole did on a month of Sundays and with Vince McMahon screaming in his ear (then again, maybe that was part of the problem).
2009 winner: Jim Ross, Smackdown, WWE
2008 winner: Jim Ross, Monday Night RAW/Smackdown , WWE
2007 winner: Jim Ross, Monday Night RAW, WWE
2006 winner: Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
2005 winner: Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
2004 winner: Dan Wilson/Steven Prazak, NWA Wildside
2003 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2002 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2001 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
2000 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1999 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1998 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1997 winner: Mike Tenay, World Championship Wrestling
2010 WORST TV ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR:
Michael Cole, WWE Monday Night RAW: In a shocking upset, Michael Cole repeats as the worst heel announcer of all time. A heel announcer needs to be the color announcer, while the the play-by-play announcer needs to get over the match and storylines. Instead, Cole’s main jobs seemed to be calling Bryan Danielson a “nerd” and telling us how horrible he was rather than getting him over as an underdog, interfering during his broadcast partner’s matches, and primarily serving as mouthpiece for the single most irritating storyline device I’ve ever seen not named Eric Bischoff…the “anonymous RAW General Manager”, which only spoke to “the WWE Universe” via e-mails over a laptop.
2009 “winner”: Michael Cole, WWE Monday Night RAW, WWE
2008 “winner”: (Tie) Don West, TNA IMPACT! and Mike Adamle, WWE
2007 “winner”: Don West, TNA IMPACT!
2006 “winner”: Josh Matthews, WWE
2005 “winner”: Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat/WWE Monday Night RAW, WWE
2004 “winner”: Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat and WWE Monday RAW, WWE
2003 “winner”: Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat, WWE Monday RAW
2002 “winner”: Jessica Dally, WXW Rage TV
2001 “winner”: Tony Schiavone, WCW, TNT and TBS
2000 “winner”: Tony Schiavone, WCW
1999 “winner”: Tony Schiavone, WCW
1998 “winner”: Bert Prentice, MCW
1997 “winner”: Tony Schiavone, WCW
2010 WRESTLING NEWS STORIES OF THE YEAR
Linda McMahon’s failed United States Senate campaign, the consequent attacks on wrestling by politicians and mainstream media for past storyrlines during the Attitude Era, as well as steroid and other drug deaths were featured all over msintream media during 2010…increased awareness by WWE and TNA of the long-term effect of concussions (including the possible effect they may have had in the Benoit family tragedy)….with the retirement of Shawn Michaels and Undertaker and HHH off of TV; WWE finally started a long-overdue youth movement with major pushes for The Miz, CM Punk, Sheamus, Bryan Danielson, and John Morrison. TNA failed miserably at another attempt at Monday Night Wars, getting clobbered in the ratings, before going back quickly to their usual Thursday night taped program.
2009 stories: Congressional steroids report, Shane McMahon resigns from WWE, “The Wrestler” , Death of Mitsuharu Misawa, Linda McMahon Senate Campaign
2008 stories: Retirement of Ric Flair; Filming and high profile of “The Wrestler”; Jeff Hardy finally gets WWE title
2007 story: Benoit family tragedy
2006 stories: The return and failure of “ECW”, TNA gaining prime-time slot on Spike TV, WWE getting new competition…from UFC
2005 stories: Deaths of Eddie Guerrero, Shinya Hashimoto, and Chris Candido, WWE drug testing policy, WWE return to USA, Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita real life and storyline triangle, Jim Ross replaced as lead announcer on RAW, TNA move to Spike TV, WWE and Bret Hart make peace
2004 stories: Brock Lesnar leaves WWE to try out for the NFL, RF Video/Ring of Honor’s Rob Feinstein implication in a pedophile sting, Pat Patterson retirement/resignation, TNA Fox Sports Net slot
2003 stories: The epidemic of deaths within wrestling (many of which involved past or current drug and alcohol use), NWA-TNA survives for another year, continued problems with WWE house show/TV taping business, controversial and active Philadelphia independent scene
2002 stories: The WWF “brand extension”, dropping WWE house
show business, PTC forced to surrender, NWA-TNA, Philadelphia independent wars
2001 stories: WWF purchase of WCW, ECW closes its doors, WCW “Invasion angle” goes nowhere, WWF ratings and live attendance drop
2000 stories: Mainstreaming of wrestling continues, WWF-ECW-TNN-USA TV network roulette, WWF goes public, PTC censorship attempts continue… but with organized efforts fighting them, WCW set to lose as much as $80 million
1999 stories: Deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Hildebrand, Foley’s “Have A Nice Day” goes to #1 on New York Times Best-Seller List, WWF CD DEBUTS at number 4 on Billboard Chart, ECW TV on TNN, Parents Television Council censorship attempts
1998 stories: Changes in WWF product (making it more adult in nature), ECW’s 1998 problems, Mainstream attention given the wrestling business, Jesse Ventura’s election to Governorship of Minnesota
1997 stories: Brian Pillman death, Bret Hart leaving WWF/Title Change Doublecross
Until next time…
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