**Warning: These columns (and the other three that I will be typing in the upcoming hours) are not going to have any Honor Rolls, TV Wars, Detentions, Gold Stars, or anything else. The next few columns will be dedicated to my end of the year awards. If disappointed, my apologies. Mr. V, the WrestleView teacher will be back for column #52. Until then, please be entertained by Mr. V, the host of the First Annual Golden Yardstick Awards! **
Ah yes, classroom?.the time has arrived! I am sure we have a few parents in the area as well. The more, the merrier. Have a seat class. I would have Tony Atlas welcome you all, but Mr. V is so broke that I can?t even pry him away from Abraham Washington. However, thanks to my family I got enough money during Christmas to buy myself a nice to in order to host this upcoming Wrestling Award ceremony. So I will do my very best to host (by myself) the 2009 Mister V Golden Yardstick Awards?Part 1!! Why you ask? Well, because I have so many categories that I would like to present and give you my honest opinion on who I think is most deserving.
Now there will be FOUR columns from Mr. V the next few days, all of them relating to some awards. Three out of the four columns will be that of the ?Best of?, which I will award them with a ?Golden Yardstick?. In real life I carry a yardstick and a cup of coffee when I teach. So it was either the ?Yardies? or ?The Cup of Cofis?. I went the yardstick route for those men and women that went the ?extra yard? to making the teachers and students of WrestleView entertained. Now one out of the four columns will be the ?Worst of?. Those will be rewarded with the ?Rotten Apple? (or simply ?Rottie?). I will dedicate one of my columns to the worst of 2009 in WWE, TNA, or ROH.
Students, also this will be one of the only times I say this?.but I am doing this my way. WrestleView’s Josh Piedra is doing a fan’s vote for the best of 2009 and I encourage all of you to do that. I already discussed my awards idea with him and he is fine with it.
So without further adieu students of WrestleView please allow me to introduce the first category of the Golden yardstick awards.
According to Webster’s dictionary, a gimmick means ?one designed to attract attention or increase appeal. From being a bruiser to being known as an ?Italian? stereotype professional wrestling always used gimmicks. We?ve had our best of gimmicks we?ve had our worst gimmicks, but tonight I have a list of a few wrestlers that I thought had the best gimmick.
Look students, I think we?ve experienced so many good gimmicks throughout the course of 2009. In ring of honor we?ve seen a superhero gimmick in Chris Hero, a European stereotype in Claudio Castagnoli, and other terrific gimmicks. In TNA Wrestling we had Black Machismo, we had a renegade Latin American and we also had a man who through adversity became the world champion. And in the WWE you had a lot Burke on housing chaos you had a man dressed as a woman to win a battle royal and you brought back a gimmick that was at its best almost 10+ years ago.
To find the best endemic in professional wrestling it was a very tough decision. I narrowed it down to three and in my opinion thought were the top this year.
First is CM Punk’s real life ?Straight-Edge? gimmick. This teacher wishes it was not intended for ?heel-like? purposes, but since CM Punk made his lifestyle into a heel gimmick he became a multiple World Heavyweight Champion. His intervention segments were well done for the second half of the year and now his gimmick even reached out to Luke Gallows (known before his straight-edge lifestyle as ?Festus).
You also have Ring of Honor’s Rhett Titus. Sure, he was nothing more than a mid-card talent. However, his ?Addicted to Love? gimmick really caught on with the few fans that attended his shows when they were taped for HD net. Always handing out hotel keys to the women in the front row (no matter the size) he was as entertaining inside the ring as he was outside the ring.
And finally, we have Chris Jericho’s ?the world is against me? gimmick. Since he took this gimmick in 2008 and ran with it, he has become one of the most hated wrestlers in our generation. I could explain a little bit more about Jericho later on in my awards ceremony.
So, after much thought and consideration I award the 2009 Best Gimmick Golden Yardstick to?Chris Jericho!
Jericho’s gimmick was not only good for him but it was also good for business. He was able to carry his gimmick on Monday Night Raw, Friday Night Smackdown, and at one point ECW. With that said I think he deserves this award more than the other wrestlers that I thought about nominating for this category.
2009 Best Gimmick: Chris Jericho’s ?Conspiracy Victim? (WWE)
First Runner-Up: CM Punk’s ?Straight-Edge Preacher? (WWE)
Second Runner-UP: Rhett Titus? ?Addicted to Love? (TNA)
In order to be successful in the wrestling business one must establish his or her own ?finisher?. The finisher could be original or could be copied but effective to keep you in the business for a very long time.
This category could be easily disputed one may like one move in the other another but in no particular order here are my three top choices for best finisher of 2009.
First I want to nominate The Young Bucks More Bang for Your Buck finisher. I do not know much about these two young superstars that have recently signed with TNA, however what I seen them I?m very impressed. If you want to know what is this finisher, it is rolling fireman’s carry slam by Matt Jackson followed by a 450? splash by Nick Jackson followed by a moonsault by Matt Jackson.
The next is John Morrison’s Starship Pain. Though at times it may look like he missed his mark, it is still one of the most difficult finishers to pull off in professional wrestling today. The fact that he continues to use us as a finisher and at times become effective is nothing short of a miracle.
Finally, is Randy Orton’s RKO. Sure it is simple; however he always finds the right place at the right time to hit that move and secure victory once it’s executed correctly. Out of my three nominations, Orton’s is the one that won him a World Championship.
With that said the 2009 Golden Yardstick for Best Finisher goes to?The Young Bucks? ?More Bang for Your Buck?.
What can I say about these guys? In my opinion this was one of the best-kept secrets in professional wrestling and I must give kudos to a fellow WrestleView professor named David Stephens. He even mentioned in the middle of 2009 that this may be one of the best tag teams in professional wrestling. TNA, you got yourselves a steal with this tag team. Please use them wisely.
2009 Best Finisher: The Young Bucks? More Bang for Your Buck (Indies/ROH/TNA)
First Runner-Up: John Morrison’s Starship Pain (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Randy Orton’s RKO (WWE)
Best Weekly Television Show
Well, since we only have six wrestling programs on television today the top three shows were pretty easy. Let me run down my nominations for best wrestling television show.
First I?d like to nominate TNA Impact. Sure, at first the show was getting really bad. From Don West telling off Mike Tenay to some bad booking and storytelling, Impact was one of the worst shows to kick off 2009. However during the summer in the past few months prior to their pay-per-view Bound For Glory, TNA put on some fantastic shows over the middle part of 2009. What will happen when Hulk Hogan appears in the Impact Zone in 2010? We will not know that until Monday. However for the most part Impact was what I thought a pretty decent show for a part of the year.
Monday night raw is another choice of mine. Though at first the shows worst dollar it did start to go down a little. Also during the middle of the year Vince McMahon brought in Donald Trump to be the ?owner? of Raw. After that week we started to get the guest host of the week. We had some good ones Bob Barker, Ben Roethlisberger, even Shaquille O?Neal. We also had some bad guest hosts in Jeremy Piven, Kyle Busch, and Timbaland. With that said the wrestling was not bad, the wrestlers were at the top of their game for most parts, and the booking was at times good.
Finally, I nominate Friday Night Smackdown. Many regard the show was to show that the WWE promoted as wrestling heavy. With good wrestling, good booking, and good commentary teams smack down entertained many a fan of professional wrestling.
After much thought and consideration, the 2009 Golden Yardstick for best major television program goes to?Friday Night Smackdown!
What can I say? During the course of 2009 my WrestleView students agreed with me that Friday Night Smackdown was the best show. Honestly, I did not have to put much thought into this smack down was truly the best weekly television program of 2009. I only wonder if Mike Tedesco will accept this award on Smackdown’s behalf.
2009 Best Weekly TV Show: WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown (WWE)
First Runner-Up: WWE’s Monday Night Raw (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: TNA’s Impact! (TNA)
Best Guest Host
In the summer of 2009, world wrestling entertainment introduced a guest host segment. Usually the guest host promotes a CD, a race, or a charity. However I thought some guest hosts were pretty good and entertaining to watch on some particular Mondays. I would like to nominate the following for best guest host of Monday Night Raw.
My first nomination goes to Bob Barker at age 81, he hosted the legendary TV show the price is right. When he was the guest host many a wrestling fan expected that show to be very good. We never knew how very good the show became. It was a perfect blend of wrestling entertainment that made the fans want a little bit more.
I second choice goes to Freddy Prinz, Jr. Don?t quote me on this, but I thought that he was actually a writer for Smackdown in the earlier part of this year. However, due to opportunities outside the wrestling business he stepped down from that role, but became a guest host in the latter part of 2009. Look, my friends in Pittsburgh know that I am not a fan of his movies but I was surely a fan of the way he presented himself on Monday night raw. He was one of only few that took a very nasty bump for professional wrestler and was able to move from that in the turned out to be a very good show with Prinz as the guest host. Bonus points go to him for mentioning the WWF ice cream bars that in fact could make you sick if you need more than allow.
My last nomination goes to Jesse Ventura. He was probably the most interactive guest host of the year, but did he win a yardstick for best guest host? He introduced the breakthrough battle royal, gave Randy Orton an opportunity to face John Cena for the championship, and with the help of Vince McMahon took us many years back when they were commentating the main event for that night. Bonus points went to Ventura for being both a face and a heel in his role as guest host.
Again show host, the mediocre actor, and a man who knows so much about the wrestling business. Who gets the Golden yardstick? Well this is a very tough call for, but I present the 2009 Golden Yardstick for best guest host to?Jesse Ventura!
It was very tough between Ventura and Barker but I have to go with the man with the most wrestling knowledge. Look, I?ve been a mark for Bob Barker for many years. This teacher Archie took a few days off from school just to watch the price is right. But as a guest host he was fantastic however I had to give the award to Jesse venture a do to the fact that he felt very secure with the settings of the show. He was charismatic is hilarious and he knew what to say when to say it. Though he never won a World Championship for Vince McMahon I will give them a championship ?From the Desk of Mr. V.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Best Guest Host: Jesse ?The Body? Ventura
First Runner-Up: Bob Barker
Second Runner-Up: Freddy Prinz, Jr.
Rookie of the Year
Look, I know my nominations may have some of you yelling ?He has been in the indies for years?! However, I will say that this will go to wrestlers who made their first appearances in WWE, TNA, or ROH. So, here are my nominations for ?Rookie of the Year?.
First all me to nominate Tyson Kidd. Known as ?The last graduate in the Hart Dungeon?, the current boyfriend of WWE Diva Natalya had a successful run in ECW and is now part of ?The Hart Dynasty? on Friday Night Smackdown.
The next nominee is Drew McIntyre. McIntyre was hired (kayfabe) by Vince McMahon to ?end the little parties?, and he did just that in his few months inside a WWE ring. His first year concluded when he beat John Morrison to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Sheamus is my final nominee. The Celtic Warrior has been impressive in both ECW and RAW. He has so many power moves in his arsenal and is able to dominate any competitor in the ring. Oh yeah, and he is the reigning WWE Champion.
This category was pretty easy for me. Had this happen a month ago, the decision would be a whole lot easier to pick the best Rocky for 2009. However, given the fact that we have two rookies winning the WWE championship titles decision was very easy for me. With that said, the winner of the 2009 Golden Yardstick for Rookie of the Year is awarded to?Sheamus!
Sure, we can all agree that Sheamus should not be the WWE Champion. However, we cannot disagree that he is one of the best up and coming superstars in professional wrestling. The way he dominated ECW and Monday Night Raw made this decision a lot easier for me. We do not get many who can make an impact in such a short period of time. Sheamus already accomplished things that many wrestlers tried to do for years in professional wrestling. So the decision really was simple. The Celtic Warrior truly deserves this award.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Rookie of the Year: Sheamus (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Drew McIntyre (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Tyson Kidd (WWE)
Best Wrestling Television Announcer
One of the first things I wanted to do since I was a columnist was hold the pro wrestling announcers accountable. The wrestlers in the ring tell one side of the story, but they can?t say to the audience ?what a perfect bodyslam?. The announcers are there to not only call the action, but tell a tremendous story to the viewers on television. Here are the nominees for Best Wrestling TV Announcer.
Students, I watched EVERY Show on television in 2009. All WWE shows, TNA, and ROH shows I always found a way! And I paid real close to the commentary on each brand. Here are my three choices for the 2009 Golden Yardstick Award for Television Announcer of the Year.
My first nominee is Todd Grisham. The man has improved leaps and bounds since being labeled a ?terrible? commentator early in his career. He called matches in ECW with Matt Striker and did a good job. Then when promoted to Smackdown, he became a real deal when teamed with Jim Ross. Now once again partnered with Matt Striker, he is performing at a level never reached before.
The next nominee is Jim Ross. When I am not out promoting his fine line of restaurant products, I catch Ross? commentary each Friday night. I thought he was absolutely terrific working with both Tazz and Grisham. Sadly, his year was cut short due to health problems. Here is hoping for a safe recovery and a return in early 2010.
Finally, we have Matt Striker. We both are members of an elite fraternity known as ?American School Teachers?. His best work the last couple years came from behind the announcer’s table. Striker may be wordy at times, but he tells a story so well that only few have done better (and none recently). He is truly a breath of fresh air in a really watered-down product.
Three men (once again all WWE) who have been chosen to win this prestigious award for 2009. So, with that mentioned the 2009 Golden Yardstick for Best Television Announcer goes to?.Matt Striker!
The reason why I chose Striker is because he was consistently good throughout the year. Sure, he messes up a few times and bullied his announce partners on a few occasions. But the reason why he got it was because he rarely had a bad day at the announce table. Grisham had a few of them during the year. Jim Ross was in good shape to win the award, but sadly missed action over the last couple months.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Best Announcer: Matt Striker (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Jim Ross (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Todd Grisham (WWE)
Most Hated Wrestler
When I think of the titled ?Most Hated?, I think of a wrestler that the majority of the fans just completely despise. One that makes the fans wants to punch them in the jaw at the very least. A wrestler that is so hated by the wrestling fans that he can just generate enough heat that can warm the entire city of Aliquippa, PA.
Well, luckily I found three wrestlers that can very well get attacked in a dark alley.
The first nomination is Booker T. During his run in TNA, the man was so pompous that he refused to job to younger wrestlers on the roster. When he was with the Main Event Mafia, he did not know if he wanted to be British or be like DMX. No matter what he did, he got booed to a point where someone just wanted to clock him with his customized ?Legend’s (now Global) Championship?. He left TNA by going out on a stretcher at Bound for Glory for reasons not known. He was never heard from again in TNA.
The next nominee is Chris Jericho. The man was great at his trade as a heel. He got so good that even fans threw glow sticks at him and tried to take him out behind the arena. In the ring, he not only got into the minds of his opponents, but the wrestling fans as well.
Finally, we have CM Punk. At the start of the year, he was on top of the world. Then the fans hated on him for cashing in his Money in the Bank case by pinning Jeff Hardy. This created a delicious summer feud between these two top-tier talents which led to the popular Jeff Hardy leaving the WWE for the immediate future. To make the fans hate him even more, he took out Jeff Hardy as he took his final walk up the ramp. Finally, he dumped whiskey in a garbage can?in Philadelphia! That is grounds for being attacked as well.
So here we have it?three men that many fans post YouTube clips on how they want to kill them. The choice was easier than expected from this teacher. I am going to award the 2009 Golden Yardstick for Most Hated Wrestler to?Chris Jericho!
This is Jericho’s second Golden Yardstick (our first ever multi-yardie winner!). Booker T is now out of wrestling for a bit. CM Punk’s fans only want to post YouTube clips on how they hate him. But when you have fans from around the world attacking you, then you must be doing your job as a heel. Kudos to you Jericho on Yardie #2. Maybe you should start wearing a helmet around the arenas.
2009 Golden Yardstick Winner for Most Hated Wrestler: Chris Jericho (WWE)
First Runner-Up: CM Punk (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Booker T (TNA)
Most Popular Wrestler
Throughout 2009 professional wrestling had some wrestlers that you wanted to destroy with your telepathic powers, but then there are some wrestlers that you just can?t help but cheer. These three men are the latter parts. Maybe they were hard-working or the needed a break, these men did whatever they could to make the fans cheer them on. Here are the nominees for Most Popular Wrestler.
First nominee is Christian. Since his return to the WWE on the ECW Brand, the WWE tried to take sound out of the arena when Christian appears. But when Christian enters the ring, you see many signs saying that they are the ?#1 Peeps?. I wish for one moment that someone actually throws Marshmellow Peeps his way so he can make a cheap joke about it. Though he only performed on a show that did not get many viewers, Christian was never booed and always performed to the fans? liking.
The next nominee is Jeff Hardy. He probably is more of a stuntman than a wrestler, but when he even steps on the stage the crowd roars in excitement. No matter what Jeff Hardy did in the ring, he always dazzled the crowd with one extreme moment per match. The fans will always cheer for the Extreme Enigma, even when Jeff’s life outside the ring is difficult to handle.
Finally, I am going to put AJ Styles in this picture. He is easily TNA’s most popular wrestler at this time and it showed when the fans gathered around him when he won his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Still the Champ, AJ still amazes the thousands of fans on hand and the moderate crowd on television with various moves. The moves may include the Pele Kick, 450 Splash, and the Styles Clash.
There you have it, three faces that rarely hear a ?boo? from the fans in the arenas. It actually was a tough call here, but I have to go with yet another WWE superstar. The 2009 Golden Yardstick for Most Popular Wrestler goes to?Jeff Hardy!
It is somber to give Jeff this award though. The fans do love him for his character and how he battled his demons to become a World Champion. But the fact that after he left the WWE he was charged with holding illegal drugs does put a damper on his reputation. Let’s just hope that he can get rise from his troubles and perhaps win the Yardie for Best Comeback.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Most Popular Wrestler: Jeff Hardy (WWE)
First Runner-Up: AJ Styles (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Christian (WWE)
Well, that does it for part one of the First Annual 2009 Golden Yardstick Awards. Eight down, more to go students. So please, keep an eye out for Mr. V #49, which will arrive sometime tomorrow morning hopefully. That will be when I present part two of the Golden Yardstick Awards! Also, later on I will award the worst of wrestling, simply known as the ?Rotten Apples?. Stay Tuned and Stay Warm, classroom. If you want to present some feedback, I am more than happy to accept. Send it my way to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to reading your opinions.
So, until pretty darn soon I am ?The Host of Wrestling’s Most? Anthony J. Valvo reminding you to stay tuned. The Awards have just been started! But until we get another column up you are all??DISMISSED
Later ?From the Desk of Mr. V??.
-ROH Recap for 12/28 (hopefully)
-Mr. V #49
-The 2009 ?Dream Tournament? Quarterfinals Results. (currently being tallied)
And continuing my much-anticipated 2009 Golden Yardstick (and 2009 Rotten Apple) Awards!
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If not for the students, there would be no Mr. V. Thanks for Reading.