** Columnist’s Note: These columns (and the other three that I will be typing in the upcoming days) are not going to have any Honor Rolls, 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 #107. Until then, please be entertained by Mr. V, the host of the Second Annual Rotten Apple Awards! **
Well my WrestleView Students, 2010 has finally ended. And since I do not do Year-End awards in December, it is finally time to hand out awards of what I deemed were the best (and worst) of professional wrestling in this Four-Part Series.
This week, I decided to take a break with presenting Golden Yardsticks for this past year. Besides, I only have Five more Goldies and they are the ones that we shall all savor for next week.
Besides, in order to realize what was the very best in professional wrestling we must find out what was the WORST of Professional Wrestling. So before I worked on this column, I had to clean out the refrigerator. I noticed something stinking up my fridge and to my surprise, they were apples. Rotten Apples! They were pretty disgusting. However, before I threw them away in my waste basket I had a better idea. Why don’t I present them to the “worst” of wrestling.
With that I say WELCOME TO THE 2ND ANNUAL ROTTEN APPLES AWARDS (Part 3 of 4 in my Year-End Awards)!
Again, I thank Grash for the fantastic logo for this year’s ceremony!
Just look at the Rotties at the right of this picture! That apple looks repulsive! And is there a worm sticking out of the apple? Grash, you really outdid yourself. Gold Star to you in the next edition of “The Teacher’s Lounge”.
Well, in case some of you are new to this year-end column here is how I pick my winners and losers:
– First off, all biasness goes out the window. So even though I am always a Pittsburgh-area fan, don’t expect to see Kurt Angle, Shane Douglas, or Sterling James Keenan winning any Yardsticks this year.
– I am only picking out wrestlers from World Wrestling Entertainment, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and Ring of Honor Wrestling, as they are the only shows I watch every week.
– There will be 21 Golden Yardstick Awards featuring various categories (including the prestigious Wrestler of the Year).
– The Golden Yardstick for Best Guest Host and Best Newcomer has been retired.
– There will be 9 Rotten Apples to hand out as well.
– I added two NEW Rotties. One goes to the Most Disappointing Wrestler. The other will be Worst Wrestler of the Year (but the Most Overrated will still be handed out).
Before I begin with this second installment, let’s review the previous recipients of the 2010 Goldies (short for “Golden Yardsticks”):
Best Gimmick – CM Punk (WWE)
Best Finisher – Randy Orton’s RKO (WWE)
Best Weekly TV Show – Monday Night Raw (WWE)
Best Television Commentator – Josh Mathews (WWE)
Most Hated – The Miz (WWE)
Most Popular – Rey Mysterio (WWE)
Match of the Year – WM XXVI’s The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE)
Most Underrated – Yoshi Tatsu (WWE)
Best High Flyer – Kofi Kingston (WWE)
Best Brawler – Sheamus (WWE)
Best Technical Wrestler – Daniel Bryan (WWE)
Most Charismatic – John Cena (WWE)
Best on the Mic – The Miz (WWE)
Most Improved – Drew McIntyre (WWE)
Comeback of the Year – Rob Van Dam (TNA)
Feud of the Year – El Generico vs. Kevin Steen (ROH)
Well, the WWE so far has produced what could very well be the Best of 2010. Now, did the WWE lay a few eggs as well? I have the answers right on my pieces of paper that I will present to all of you. Here are the nine categories for the 2010 Rotten Apples (or “Rotties” for short).
Worst Gimmick (2009 “Winner”: Cody Deaner)
Worst Feud of the Year (2009 “Winner”: ODB vs. Cody Deaner)
Most Appling Storyline (2009 “Winner”: LayCool bullying Mickie James and her weight)
Worst Television Announcer (2009 “Winner”: Michael Cole)
Worst Woman’s Wrestler (2009 “Winner”: Lacey Von Erich)
Worst Match of the Year (2009 “Winner”: 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXV)
Most Overrated (2009 “Winner”: Booker T)
Most Disappointing (New Category)
Worst Wrestler of the Year (New Category)
So what are we waiting for? Allow me to present the first Rottie for 2010! Better these people to win this dubious awards than myself.
The criteria to be the worst gimmick would be a gimmick that no one really cared about. Nobody could get into the character that a company provided for us. I had many gimmicks that came very close of becoming a dishonorable mention or a winner of this award. There were many gimmicks that were awful, but here are my nominations for the 2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Gimmick.
Last Year, the Rottie went to Cody Deaner from TNA. The forgettable Redneck gimmick not only was awful, but it did not stick. Cody Deaner was not seen in TNA during the year of 2010. I think now he is wrestling in the indies, but here’s hoping he is not doing that gimmick elsewhere.
So, let’s see which gimmicks are worthy of a Rotten Apple.
“Bully” Ray – Years ago, Bubba Ray Dudley was part of one of the most decorated tag teams in professional wrestling. At Bound for Glory 2010, “Brother Ray” announced that they were going to retire and that their retirement match would be at Turning Point (Team 3D lost to the Motor City Machineguns). The fans thought this was “the end”, but instead we get a boring couple of months of Brother Ray attacking people from behind and thus turning into a “bully” according to Brother Devon.
Orlando Jordan – In 2003, Orlando Jordan was a “can’t-miss” prospect in the WWE and after making his WWE debut, he was a part of JBL’s Cabinet. After being released in 2006 and wrestling around the world, he returned to television wrestling in TNA. I don’t know what the gimmick was, but no matter what angle Jordan was in (the “thing” with Rob Terry, straddling guys like Abyss, or trying to build a relationship with Eric Young), it was a lowlight in TNA Programming. While this judge does not care about what he does outside the ring, TNA did no favors with him and “The Wild Card” gimmick that he had in TNA.
Shad Gaspard – He was the big man on a popular tag team in the WWE known as Cryme Tyme with JTG. Then after WrestleMania, he turned on his tag team partner JTG and declared that it was “His time…not Cryme Tyme.” This led to a Strap Match in which JTG eked out a victory, but instead of having a rematch on Smackdown they had a rematch on Superstars. Later, he wrestled in Florida Championship Wrestling with this gimmick and then was released. Here is hoping his acting career was much better than the last-ever gimmick that the WWE provided him.
While most gimmicks fail in professional wrestling, these ones were truly rotten for those watching on television. This was a pretty easy decision because I can’t think of a “worst” gimmick more awful than the one I will present the Rotten Apple to. So, the Rottie for Worst Gimmick goes to…Orlando Jordan!
This was a no-brainer because Bully Ray was only around for a few weeks and Gaspard’s was not around as long as Jordan’s. Also, the moment “The Wild Card” wore a Mardi Gras Mask and doused oneself with oil while watching a Rob Terry match, it was a shoe in and my decision for worst gimmick was set. Look, I know that Jordan came out and I am not against that. But TNA did not do him any favors by making his gimmick very difficult to work with.
2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Gimmick: Orlando “The Wild Card” Jordan (TNA)
First Runner-Up: “My Time” Shad Gaspard (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: “Brother” Ray becoming “Bully” Ray (TNA)
Others that were considered, but luckily did not make the cut: “The Anti-Christ” Jeff Hardy, “Deception” Sting, Heath Slater’s “One Man Rock Band”, Tara and Vickie Guerrero acting like “cougars”, and Robbie E./Cookie’s “Shore” gimmick.
Worst Feud of the Year
In 2010, we experienced some pretty solid feuds in TNA, WWE, and ROH. However, we saw some feuds that were terrible. And except of just listening to the reactions of boos from the crowd (and not because one was a heel), these companies continue to feed us the same garbage feud for weeks upon weeks. Here are the choices for the 2010 Rotten Apple Award for Worst Feud of the Year.
Last Year, the recipients went to the feud between ODB and Cody Deaner. These two had a war of words and in the ring over a Woman’s Championship in which Deaner truly believed he won. Again, Deaner was not seen since the end of 2009 in TNA and ODB sadly followed because TNA had no plans for her.
EV 2.0 vs. Fortune – Before I get ripped apart for this decision, I will first say that I respect what ECW did for professional wrestling in the mid 90s. But last time I checked, this is 2010 and it should have just been a one-night thing. Instead, the Hardcore Legends (as TNA stated) were brought onto a storyline that lasted way too long. While it had potential with Fortune getting into the mix, the execution of the feud was just not good. It ended when EV 2.0 went down one by one until they vanished from our television sets. The biggest question mark in this entire feud was this. Why was EV 2.0 booked to go over Fortune at Bound for Glory?
Orlando Jordan vs. Rob Terry – It all started when Orlando Jordan was stalking Rob Terry when Terry was competing in the ring. Jordan tried to “woo” him with various stragies, but the feud hit its “highmark” with Jordan’s “The O Show” segment on May 5, 2010. The feud for only a few more days after that, and it was a good thing as well. Rob Terry retained his (at the time) Global Championship and both thankfully went separate ways.
Swagger Soaring Eagle vs. Hornswoggle – While we all got a good laugh with this storyline that went on for only a few weeks, it should not have been time wasted on Friday Night Smackdown. They only had one match, but it was good enough to be considered a “Rotten Apple” nominee.
There were so many other terrible feuds, but only one can receive the Rotten Apple from Mr. V’s fridge. This was a very tough decision, but this year I will give the Rottie to…Orlando Jordan vs. Rob Terry!
Jordan vs. Terry was never an attention grabber, and if it was it was not for the right reasons. Terry was not getting over as a champion, but adding Jordan and his craziness to the feud was probably the worst thing that TNA could have done. I do not want to know the explanation of this feud, but I am sure this was in detention for more weeks than the others.
EV 2.0 vs. Fortune did have moments and it did tell a story, but I was more disappointed with some of the booking than the actual wrestling. The guys in EV 2.0 were all short-term guys, so why put them over the biggest faction before Immortal? The Hornswoggle vs. Eagle feud was only a couple weeks, but it was so bad that when the commentators said it, I really felt that it was not something one should put on television.
2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Feud: Orlando Jordan vs. Rob Terry (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Hornswoggle vs. Swagger Soaring Eagle (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: EV 2.0 vs. Fortune (TNA)
Others that were considered, but luckily did not make the cut: Edge vs. Kane; Abyss vs. D’Angelo Dinero; Shad Gaspard vs. JTG; Goldust vs. Ted DiBiase, Jr.; and Hurricane Helms vs. Paul Birchill.
Most Appalling Storyline or Moment
Students, there were terrible storylines out there in wrestling this year. However there is a difference between an awful feud and a horrible storyline. What I mean is that the storyline was so appalling that some pro wrestling fans just did like it at all or showed signs of regret just by watching the story. There’s no reason for that kind of storyline to be brought forth for millions to see. Here are my nominations for Most Appalling Storyline.
In 2009, I presented the Rotten Apple to Michelle McCool and Layla for the “Piggy” James storyline. I thought back then that, while I understand that LayCool were to be the mean girls in the WWE, I thought they took it too far by dumping beverages and food all over Mickie. Luckily, even though Mickie James was since released by the WWE she has found some success in TNA Wrestling.
Abyss’ attack on Rob Van Dam – In the summer of 2010, Abyss debuted a new weapon to go along with his personality. He got a 2 x 4, hammered hundreds of nails and showed it to the audience. At that moment, “Janice” was born. Weeks later, after Fortune was in the Impact Zone attacked members of EV 2.0 we went “to the back” and saw Abyss screaming his lungs out while Rob Van Dam was laid out in a pool of his own blood…I mean Kool-Aid or ketchup. The “injuries” led to Van Dam vacating the title and the rest was history.
Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer – In the words of my good friends at the WrestleView Velvet Room, only one word summed up this cat-and-mouse feud: KAAAANNNNNEEE! In October of 2010, the storyline started when Kane went backstage to see that Paul Bearer, his storyline father/manager, went missing. It turned out that it was Edge who kidnapped him and tormented him throughout the next month. There were some funny moments, but there were some moments that literally made some question the story (Edge pegging Bearer with a Dodgeball comes to mind). After weeks of teasing, Kane “killed” Paul Bearer by pushing him off a ladder and down onto the floor about two stories away. Given the fact that the WWE is trying to target a younger generation, it made some roll their eyes at how this story ended.
Jeff Hardy’s chair shot on Mr. Anderson – Mr. Anderson was chasing for the TNA World Championship after falling short at Bound for Glory. Somehow during the tapings that led to Turning Point, Jeff Hardy hit Anderson carelessly with a chair to the back of the head. The chair shot resulted in a concussion to Anderson which sidelined him for the Turning Point PPV and the Final Resolution PPV (he was the ref and did not wrestle). What made it somewhat appalling was the fact that they tied this real-life injury into a very dangerous storyline in which Eric Bischoff wanted Anderson to wrestle despite the injury.
These three were my “worst storyline/moments of wrestling” for this past year. There were a few more that I could have added, but I thought these three just were not right given the circumstances. One moment stood out to me as the worst. This year, I present the Rottie to…The Mr. Anderson concussion storyline!
I understand that wrestlers can get hurt at anytime. Mr. Anderson’s concussion was an accident, but a very sloppy accident that cost Anderson some money and momentum in his quest to be the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. TNA could have just said “he had a concussion” and let it at that, but instead they decided to make a storyline out of the whole legit injury. I found that selfish because Anderson was not getting paid over a, in my opinion, stupid decision. I just thought that when wrestling organizations are more concerned about concussions in the business, TNA was just a little ignorant on the topic.
Abyss’ attack on Rob Van Dam was a bit goofy and they needed to make Abyss look like a monster that he was portraying, but the way they did it was disgusting. The WWE had their share of moments, especially with the Paul Bearer kidnapping. They could have done a better job instead of just making Edge torment Bearer. In a way, it made Edge look like the heel even though he was portraying the hero in the storyline. However, I personally can’t stand when a storyline is connected to real-life situations (i.e. bringing kids to a storyline), I did not have any other choice.
2010 Rotten Apple for Most Appalling Storyline/Moment: The Mr. Anderson Concussion Storyline (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Rob Van Dam “bloodied” by Abyss’ weapon “Janice” (TNA)
Others that were considered, but luckily did not make the cut: “MATHEW”; NXT Season 2 Beatdown of Kaval; The Daniel Bryan tie-choking incident; Orlando Jordan’s obsession with Rob Terry; Eric Young’s concussion and aftermath; and Serena being shaved in order to be in the Straight Edge Society.
Worst Television Announcer
Students, out of all of awards that I’m giving out I look forward to this one the most. We all know who I liked as an announcer in professional wrestling. Now class let’s find out the announcer that I thought was the worst. What falls into the worst announcer criteria you ask? There are a lot of factors actually. First, when you’re in announcer you have two rules. You attract the audience with what is going on in the ring and you explain why some methods work and don’t work. A bad commentator does not attract the viewer to what is going on their respective program. These commentators lack preparation, common sense, and awareness of what’s going on in the match in front of them. Here are my nominees for Worst Television Announcer.
Last Year, the Rotten Apple went to Michael Cole. Cole inability to call a match and lack of emotion gave him this rotten award. However, this year he is still in the running even though he did improve as a character.
Since only one other commentator was in the running, I decided not to include Ring of Honor’s Mike Hogewood. Last year to this year he improved greatly and controlled his voice tone. He actually had fun while doing commentary and actually was pretty good when calling a match.
Michael Cole – As a character, he has improved tremendously. He came out of his shell, bashing what he liked and who he was inexplicably cheering for. However, there are many times this year where he will just gush over particular wrestlers, show no interest in the action frequently, and at times just space out. One has to be consistent when being a pro wrestling commentator. Again, yeah he improved in his heelish character. But out of all the commentators that have done commentary in the WWE for most of the year he was still at his “vintage” worst.
Mike Tenay – Remember when he was enthusiastic and at times full of energy when calling a match? This year, he sometimes showed this energy but most of the year (especially since the summer) instead of calling a match or giving insight he would just interrogate his color commentator, Taz. The way he acted during his commentary really annoyed me and made a show that, at times, was not watchable even worse.
Taz – One of the things that I really enjoyed about his commentary while he was in the WWE was the fact that he will call a suplex or embark in friendly banter with his commentators. In TNA, he did the same for awhile with Tenay. However, he did his own thing throughout the year it I don’t know if it was by design. He was distracted and very cliché. I know he is a pretty decent commentator. But in 2010, he was a bit subpar.
Even though these three were not at their “A” game most of the year, the worst commentator was an easy choice based on how off-topic he was throughout the year. The 2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Commentator goes to…Mike Tenay!
Tenay just frustrated me and I am sure he frustrated many fans while watching Impact throughout 2010. He lacked awareness of what was going on in the ring and looked lost at times when the camera was on him. It was un-Tenay like, as throughout the years I found his commentary as one of the best. This year though I don’t know if it was the action in the ring but he regressed to a point where the DVR had to be paused as I shook my head (smh in Boutwell-ese).
Cole and Taz were inconsistent when calling the action, but at least they were bearable at times. Taz had some funny liners and moments and provided great insight with the wrestlers inside the TNA ring. Cole’s character was alright, but he uses the same material when calling a match. Though it is a good thing sometimes, it is not good if it is Cole mannerisms. Still to those “Cole Miners”…rejoice! Your leader is not the worst (this year at least)!
2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Commentator: Mike Tenay (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Michael Cole (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Taz (TNA)
Worst Women’s Wrestler
Next Week, I will present my choice for the Best Women’s Wrestler because even though they are not showcased a whole lot there were some talented women in the ring. However, there are times in which some women just did not belong or just not talented enough to step foot and wrestling inside the squared circle.
Last Year, Lacey Von Erich was the Worst Women’s Wrestler. Von Erich thought she would impress because of her last name, but when she entered the ring it was a colossal failure. This year, I did nominate her. Will she be a Two-Time Rotten Apple Winner for this category? There are two others that might have done a worse job than Von Erich.
Here are the nominees
Alicia Fox – Yep, she won a Divas Championship this year. In the word of WrestleView Staff member Dave Stephens “Why”? Well, that is a question many fans wondered as well. She was a very incompatible mess in the ring. There was a moment where she may have prove the fans wrong, but then she usually botched her finisher, which is a Scissor Kick that would make even Booker T scream “What the F*** was that?!?!?”.
Gail Kim – Let’s face it…years ago she was impressive in this division. In TNA, she was the face of the Knockouts and had a great feud with Awesome Kong. However since her return in the WWE, she was sloppy in the ring. While many don’t blame her for earning a good paycheck, she has not backed up her pay with the in-ring product. There were even times where Kim was in a Divas’ Tag Match, and did NOT wrestle for a second. That is a sign of a lack of trust, and it is a shame.
Lacey Von Erich – Clearly, she is in the bottom three. Though she vaguely improved in the ring, she still did not belong as she was severely helped out by Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne (and even Angelina Love at times). Perhaps she realized that she was not in the league of the TNA Knockouts, as she left the company late-2010.
In the end, there were three women that just did not have “it” this past year. So bad that even some of the WWE NXT Divas did a far better job. This year, I decided to go with a women’s wrestler that just did not deserve the push she received. So, this week I will present the Rotten Apple for Worst Women’s Wrestler to…Alicia Fox!
My reasoning was not easy, but it came down to this. While Von Erich was perhaps a bit deserving of this, she only was bad ten months out of the year. Fox was bad all year round. I actually thought this year she could have gotten better in the ring, but at times Fox was more dangerous than she was in 2009! That is not a good formula to keep one’s status as a WWE Diva.
Had she stayed with TNA the whole year, Von Erich would have been a shoe in. But Madison Rayne might have been correct when she said in an interview “Lacey realized that wrestling was not for her”. Von Erich may have looked the part of a TNA Knockout, she knew after a few months that she could not act the part of a TNA Knockout. While Gail Kim is still in tremendous shape, I think she has regressed a bit since coming back to the WWE. It is showing because either she is too quick for the Divas or she may not be as good as she was a couple years ago.
2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Women’s Wrestler: Alicia Fox (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Lacey Von Erich (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Gail Kim (WWE)
Worst Match of 2010
In 2010, there were many matches that made you stand up and applaud for all the hard work and time they put in the ring at that particular time. On the other side of the equation, there were matches that made one want to throw a tomato or even a Rotten Apple at whoever either book the match or executed the match.
Last Year’s Rottie went to the 25-Diva Battle Royal that occurred at WrestleMania XXV. The divas, current and alumni, entered the ring. The viewers did not know who was eliminated or really all who competed in the contest. But in the end, the winner was no diva at all, but Santino Marella (dressed in drag and called “Santina”). In my opinion, Trish Stratus did the best thing by saying “no thank you” to that awful contest.
Here are my nominations for the Worst Match of 2010.
Hornswoggle vs. Swagger Soaring Eagle – The feud started after Rosa Mendes burned a turkey and Hornswoggle took matter into his own hands and attacked the Eagle. The payoff was an abysmal match between the two on the December 10th Edition of Friday Night Smackdown. It was a match that our recapper (Mike Tedesco) probably gave negative five stars, and in my grade book it got an “Incomplete”. Since then, we still get that occasional Swoggle shenanigan on Fridays. As for the Eagle, no word on where he is at. Hopefully, no longer on our television sets.
Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal vs. Orlando Jordan and Eric Young – In 2009, Eric Young was one of the more interesting characters in TNA as the leader of World Elite. In 2010, he gets this “concussion” and we get silly Eric Young once again. Young’s goal was to make his partner play by the TNA Rule Book. What made this match unbearable was that it was at Bound for Glory (TNA’s “WrestleMania). It was more of Eric Young going crazy and attacking Jordan that I felt bad for Moore and Neal. Ink Inc. had no idea how to react, and this viewer did not see it as well. It may have come off as funny to some, but when a company hypes up a card that is supposed to be your biggest event of the year; one must deliver. I just did not get the reasoning for this match for the card.
The Steel Asylum Match on Impact – This is how TNA kicked off the “Hogan/Bischoff” era of TNA. It was a match that had Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Homicide, Jay Lethal, Suicide, Consequences Creed, and Amazing Red. The camera angles were poor in every direction and the cage was very hard to look at. Heck, if Homicide did not go back to Ring of Honor Wrestling, some may actually believe that he was still climbing out of the top of the cage (which I know with him wearing gloves it had to have been tough). The execution of this contest may not have been the best way to start off TNA during 2010. Perhaps the only saving grace was that Jeff Hardy made his return right after the match to take out Homicide. Did I mention that this match ended in a No Contest when Homicide used weapons?
Well, there you have it. Three matches that were some of the worst this wrestling fan has ever seen and hopes to never see again. However, only one earned the Rottie for 2010. All three were worthy contenders, but I am going to write that the Worst Match of 2010 goes to…The Steel Asylum match on TNA Impact!
I leaned toward the WWE match, but when fans of your own program chanted “This is bul****t” when Homicide tried to climb out of the top of a cage it said something to me. This match is one of the reasons why TNA Impact might not have been ready to go face-to-face with the WWE. Personally if I was TNA, I would scrap the Asylum and burn every single piece of visual evidence of that match. Please, do NOT put that match on TNA’s On Demand site. Honestly, this is nothing on the talent that participated in the match, but the organization of it was truly “the worst”.
There were too many other matches that I considered, but I will not add them to the column. Believe me, I could have had ten more matches on this list.
2010 Rotten Apple for Worst Match of 2010: The Steel Asylum Match from the January 4, 2010 Impact (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Hornswoggle vs. Swagger Soaring Eagle (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal vs. Orlando Jordan and Eric Young (TNA)
A couple columns ago, I presented a Golden Yardstick for Most Underrated (which was won by WWE’s Yoshi Tatsu). With that award, I wanted the winner to be one who worked real hard yet did not get rewarded to my liking. In this category, the standard was quite simple. The “winner” will be the one who, in my views, did not deserve the rewards for their work in the ring. The nominees in this category are proof that you can be terrible and lazy in the ring, and you will find a way to main event or even hold a championship or two in professional wrestling.
Last Year, the award went to TNA’s Booker T. Though I enjoyed Booker’s run in WWE, his run in TNA was very sad. He was a shell of what he was, yet in TNA he was rewarded with his own championship and a share of a dominant faction. His departure from TNA (when he was taken away on a stretcher) was not a good way to end the run either. Since I did not see him anywhere in 2010, he obviously will not be receiving a second Rottie.
Edge – When Edge began his in-ring career with the WWE, he was original. When he teamed up with Christian all those years ago, it was entertaining but fans knew they were in for a treat. Let’s move to 2010 and so many think that Edge is pretty much done. It might have been because he was limited due to the Achillies injury, but he just did not deserve what he received in 2010. Though his work was limited and his jokes were few this year, he “earned” his tenth World Championship in the WWE.
Matt Hardy – Back when there was Edge and Christian, there was Matt and Jeff. Both teams were high-energy and exciting to watch. Again, let’s move forward to 2010 where Matt Hardy just could not live past his glory days of the WWE. And while his WWE run in 2010 was serviceable, he just looked terrible and lazy in his last few weeks with the company. Still, with the support of Matt’s fans, he was able to get a serviceable push in the mid-card. However, was he worthy of it because he was talented or because of his last name? Also, keep in mind this is the “WWE” Matt Hardy, as he did not debut with TNA until 2011.
Rob Terry – He was very limited in the ring, all power and very little elsewhere. He started off in WWE’s Florida Championship Wrestling and he just did not hack it. So TNA made him a bodyguard for The British Invasion in 2009. When Brutus Magnus and Douglas Williams separated from him, Terry found his own success and held the TNA Global/Legends/Television Championship longer than he should have in 2010. And now he is back where I think he should be, in very limited time but with a faction like Immortal.
All three made headlines for the year, but should they have had all this publicity from their respected companies? I don’t think so at all. One wrestler really stood out as the most overrated ahead of all of them, and sadly I present yet another Rotten Apple to…Rob Terry!
Sometimes, I just don’t get the fascination TNA had with Terry. Terry is clumsy in the ring and does not do a good job overall. Yet TNA rewarded his “efforts” with a championship that since has been taken away from him (thank goodness).
Edge was overrated in 2010, but in other years he was pretty much booked correctly. Also, in this new WWE era it just seems like Edge can’t get away from the “Rated R” antics that made him popular as a singles wrestler. Still, there were some moments where he performed well enough not be considered the “Most Overrated”. Matt Hardy just made this cut because he thought he could have been the big star for the WWE. However, years ago he lost that energy and that charisma. The fans in the audience would cheer him on, but I often asked why? At least Matt Hardy can generate some offense though. Though Edge and Matt Hardy were overrated in the WWE this past year, Rob Terry set the bar for Overrated as TNA actually made him a focal point in storylines that were not deserved.
2010 Rotten Apple for Most Overrated: Rob Terry (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Matt Hardy (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Edge (WWE)
The following were considered, but luckily did not make the cut: Batista; HHH; Rob Van Dam; Jeff Hardy; Mr. Anderson; Kevin Nash; Sting; Team 3D; Kane; The Great Khali; Tommy Dreamer; David Otunga; and Lucky Cannon.
Most Disappointing Wrestler
This year, I am going to present two new Rotten Apple awards. There will be one for the Worst Wrestler for 2010, but first I want to begin the new with the Most Disappointing Wrestler.
In the dictionary, “disappointing” means “failing to fulfill one’s hopes or expectations”. While this is not who was the “Worst” wrestler of 2010; this award will go to the wrestler who had a very high ceiling but failed to reach even a little bit of their potential with a company. Here are my nominees for Most Disappointing.
D’Angelo Dinero – Again, this is not dedicated to the worst wrestler, but this has been a real disappointment. At Against All Odds 2010, Dinero got one of the biggest wins in his career when won the 8-Card Stud Tournament despite getting attacked from behind. Dinero had so much going for him and then it fell faster than it started. After a few other lackluster feuds, he was a non-factor in the World Title Picture. They hyped Dinero up to do many things in TNA, but he did not get any hardware in 2010 (though guys like Rob Terry, Scott Hall, and Robbie E. earned a title). Here is hoping that Dinero will have a better 2011.
Magnus – Here was someone who was destined for better things in TNA during 2010, but given the fact that he was in a solid program with World Elite he was not seen too much at months’ time for TNA. After branching out of The British Invasion, he teamed up with Desmond Wolfe (another disappointment when it came to the year) to form “London Brawling”. The tag team never really amounted to anything this year, and Magnus did not return to television until a backstage segment with Douglas Williams in December 2010. While I expected moderate success for Magnus, he did not even come close to it this past year.
Ted DiBiase, Jr. – Although I am a big fan of his father, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, I thought that Ted Jr. had a very disappointing 2010. He was destined for big things after playing a role in “The Marine 2” and he even pinned Randy Orton at Elimination Chamber 2010. Early in the year, I thought that he would have at least been a United States Champion and the one to break out of the Legacy faction. Instead, Cody Rhodes did a better job. After feuding with some of the bigger names in 2010, he spent the last half of 2010 in a feud with Goldust over the Million Dollar Championship. Since then, he gave back the Million Dollar Championship and failed in a quest to dethrone Daniel Bryan as a champion.
So, in this category there were three wrestlers who had high expectations. However, they all suffered setbacks with their character development in 2010. I had it down to a couple wrestlers, but I made my choice after pondering it for a few minutes. The Rotten Apple for Most Disappointing goes to…Ted DiBiase Jr.!
I could have went to Dinero or Magnus, but DiBiase was in the cusp of a big push and then was pushed aside for most of 2010. DiBiase starred in a movie (even though it was a straight-to-DVD one, but it still was a movie) and I thought it would lead to a potential face turn and a program with Orton. While he did have a feud with Orton at WrestleMania XXVI, he status fell flat almost right after that match. Despite all the potential given to DiBiase, he continued to disappoint throughout the year. I had no choice but to present him with a Rotten Apple.
Dinero was right up there to win the Rottie, but I thought they pushed him a little better in TNA than DiBiase in WWE. Dinero had some very good storylines, especially when he challenged for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and TNA had him go after Immortal near the end of the year. Still, there should have been more for Dinero as he was super over with the audience and I think in my opinion TNA dropped the ball on him. Magnus was just a minor disappointment, but I felt that TNA wasted an opportunity and could have done more for Magnus all the way through the year. Sorry, but they should have had him in a program on Impact rather than Xplosion.
Again, this does not mean that Ted DiBiase, Jr. was the worst wrestler of the year, it was just disappointing to see how strong he was pushed only for him to be in the lower-half of the Raw card.
2010 Rotten Apple for Most Disappointing – Ted DiBiase, Jr. (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Magnus (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: D’Angelo Dinero (TNA)
The following were considered, but luckily did not make the cut: JTG; Carlito; Desmond Wolfe; Michael McGillicutty; Generation Me; Shawn Daivari; and Matt Hardy.
Worst Wrestler of 2010
Well students, you have read eight previous Rotten Apple categories and now it is time for the final Rottie. The fridge is finally cleaned up from the Rotten Apples. However, there is one more in this bag. This Rotten Apple is the “Rotten of the Rottens”. This is the Worst Looking Apple of the bunch.
The Worst Wrestler speaks for itself. This is the wrestler who was the bottom of the barrel. There were many that were worthy of this last rotten apple but I can only list three wrestlers to choose from. Here are my nominations for the Final Rotten Apple.
David Otunga – Everything about him has been bad after the first season of NXT. The man would struggle at the basic of moves and his finisher was not done correctly for most of his run so far in the WWE. There are so many opinions that he was the worst member of the Nexus, yet he was in there only because of who he is engaged to, musician/actress Jennifer Hudson. Even the way he talks are signs that if he was not engaged to Hudson he would not be involved anywhere near the WWE.
Eli Cottonwood – Even though we have only seen Cottonwood on NXT, he made a lasting mark to the eyes and ears of wrestling fans around the world. The problem? It was not a good impression. He was one of the tallest wrestlers of the year, but he showed too many people that he was not ready for the WWE with his track record on Botchamania. Since NXT Season 2 we have not seen Cottonwood, but in a way I think we all benefit with him being down in FCW.
Rob Terry – We all could just consider this “The Rob Terry Article” with his many nominations. He already won two Rotties (Worst Feud and Most Overrated) and is in the running for a third one because he was consistently bad inside the ring. He at times would mess up a clothesline. He also could not fall correctly and just bumble around the ring when on the defense. There were many unremarkable moments in professional wrestling in 2010, and Terry was accountable for many of them.
Well, I am glad my fridge does not stink anymore after handing out all these moldy, worm-infested monstrosities. Now my fridge smells like Arm and Hammer Baking Soda and pizza (actually had some before I typed this column out). But this is not about my appliances, but for the “winner” of the wrong. This was very difficult, but I decided to give the Rotten Apple for the Worst Wrestler to…Rob Terry!
It was a very difficult, time-consuming decision and if I had more time I would have went a different route. However, in the end I went with “The Freak”. TNA might as well call him “The Horrible” because I did not grade one match of his higher than a C- throughout 2010. If any of my readers are currently teachers (and some of you are), would teachers pass a child with a “D” average? Of course not! They would retain them for another year. Rob Terry was released by the WWE for a reason. TNA signed him and maybe it was a good move at the time, but he is a liability in the ring. No one should trust him as an opponent. That is one of many reasons why I chose him as the Worst Wrestler.
Cottonwood and Otunga are both horrible in their own right, but at least the WWE has not put a title or much time on either of them. Well, that is the case for Cottonwood, who has not been seen since destroying Kaval at the end of NXT season 2. As for Otunga, I think the WWE is doing their best to not expose his weaknesses too much. Honestly, I think if Otunga was “ready”, he would have been the guy to take out Wade Barrett, not CM Punk.
So, Mr. Terry please accept this slinkiest of apples. You deserved them all!
Rotten Apple for Worst Wrestler of 2010: Rob Terry (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Eli Cottonwood (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: David Otunga (WWE)
Here are the other wrestlers I almost went with as the “Worst”, but they did not make the Bottom Three: Michael McGillicutty; DH Smith; Great Khali; Titus O’Neil; Caylen Croft; and Orlando Jordan.
Well, that does it for me this week. I thank you all for reading this column and I hope you enjoyed this column as much as I typed it out. If you want to get a hold of me during the week, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com, or by leaving me a message on Facebook. I do get a lot of e-mails and may not reply in a timely fashion, but I will do my best to give you a quicker reply.
Next Week: The Final Part of the Golden Yardstick Awards!!
Now, students you are allowed to leave the classroom. Please push in your chairs, line up straight, and exit to the closest door around you. Until next week, you are all……DISMISSED!
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