Hello once again my students. Once again I am your resident teacher on WrestleView Anthony J. Valvo and I am once again presenting awards in my classroom. In columns number 48 and 49, I rewarded various wrestlers, announcers, and others a Golden Yardstick for their wonderful achievements in professional wrestling over the course of 2009.
However students, there were some wrestlers, some personalities that do not deserve a Golden Yardstick. These people were a few of many wrestling personalities that at times made the business not worth watching. In November, I had no idea what to call these dubious awards. But after much thought, I decided that I?m going to call them the 2009 Rotten Apple Awards (or Rotties for short). Why you ask? Well, in Pennsylvania we reward good teachers with the Golden Apple Award, an award that I would live to acquire. So I decided to change it up a little bit. What would the opposite of Golden Apples be? Well the answer perhaps could very well be a ?Rotten Apple?, which should have been given to a few of my former teachers in Hopewell Area High School. So class, this week I decided to present the 2009 Rotten Apples Awards. I decided to present these dubious awards over my most important Golden Yardstick awards in this column because to respect the very good you have to know what the very bad was in the world of pro wrestling during the course of 2009. So, I ask you to sit back and relax. Enjoy a nice cup of coffee, or sandwich, or whatever you prefer eating or drinking. Class is in session, but there is no homework to be checked. There are no tests to present. All I ask is for your undivided attention as I present to you, my loyal students, the 2009 Rotten Apples.
As you all know from reading my column two weeks ago, I presented the best gimmick to Chris Jericho for portraying a conspiracy victim in the WWE. So, the criteria to be the worst gimmick would honestly 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 an honorable mention or a winner of this award. There were many gimmicks that were awful, but here are my nominations for the 2009 Rotties for Worst Gimmick.
My first nominee ?The Anti-Monster? Abyss. It was not Abyss? fault for being in this category, but rather the company that he works for in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Since TNA’s inception, Abyss was known as a monster, a man of destruction, one that took pleasure by bleeding in front of the fans in the Impact Zone. So how does TNA reward him other than a little title run years ago? They put Abyss in lousy segments in which he talks about his therapy sessions with another bad gimmick in Dr. Stevie. Even though this gimmick was doomed from the start, TNA continued to force-feed us this gimmick and waste valuable time on their television shows continuing with this storyline. So I sadly have to nominate ?The Anti-Monster? Abyss for this Rotten Apple.
The second nomination goes to another TNA creation, Cody Deaner. Apparently Deaner has been known to be a pretty good worker up in Canada. However in TNA Deaner’s gimmick was that of a stereotypical redneck, someone that had a few months all because he won a competition to be ODB’s boyfriend. Did the gimmick work? A lot of the fans in professional wrestling do not believe that. Furthermore, they gave this man a share of the Knockout’s Championship (Mick Foley ?did? state that Deaner and ODB were co-holders of the title and if I am wrong, sorry). He lost almost every match he was in, and was released from his contract in December. His run in TNA will be remembered, but in a disastrous way.
My final nomination goes to Tyler Reks, ?The Surfer? a surfer gimmick. Usually WWE gets it right when it comes to gimmicks and personalities. However with Reks, they dropped the ball. From the very start, Reks? gimmick as a surfer was not convincing. Also, his in-ring ability was to try to get the fans over and did not work well at all. Not a lot of people remember him, as he appeared on ECW for a few months. After a long and uneventful storyline with Paul Birchill, he was sent down to FCW to be repackaged. Here’s hoping that Reks will be able to overcome this lousy gimmick, get the fans on his side, and be a factor in the WWE.
A surfer, a psychopath, and a stereotypical redneck. That sounds like one of those awful bar jokes about the pre?ah forget it! Three gimmicks that we will completely forget in the years to come. The first rotten Apple of the column (and for Worst Gimmick) goes to…Cody Deaner!
Although the nominees in this category were not great gimmicks, Deaner’s was the worst of all it all came down to my decision. TNA started this gimmick by having Deaner win a contest in which probably a few fans thought they had a legitimate chance at winning a date with ODB (let’s just say those fans are not students of Mr. V.). Instead, TNA gave us a bumbling stereotype that lacked charisma outside of Orlando, Florida. Let’s just hope this does not ruin Mr. Deaner’s career in the years to come.
2009 Rotten Apple for Worst Gimmick: Cody Deaner as a redneck (TNA)
First runner-up: Tyler Reks as a surfer (WWE)
Second runner-up: Abyss as the Anti-Monster (TNA)
Worst Feud of the Year
In 2009, 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 fans? 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 2009 Rotten Apple Award for ?Worst Feud of the Year?
My first nominee goes to the WWE’s feud involving Chavo Guerrero and Hornswoggle. I?m sure both men in real life did not mind to be in a feud at all and get TV exposure, but to the fans that have followed professional wrestling for many years, they found this to be a joke at the very best. They abruptly ended the feud, which shocked a few given the fact that many young fans actually enjoyed this feud. However, it was a one-sided unbelievably farce feud in which Chavo jobbed week after week to a leprechaun.
My second nominee goes to the Cody Deaner vs. ODB feud in TNA. Let’s get this straight. Guy wins girl in a farce dating competition. Guy stands up for women and gets destroyed. Guy teams up with girl to in a title match (must be the brainchild of someone, I won?t mention who). Guy pinned girl to win girl title. Guy and girl continue a one-month feud to determine who won that title. Yeah, if I continue to go on with this feud Mr. V will not have a column anymore because his head would blow up.
And finally, a nomination goes to Santina or Santino Marella vs. Vickie Guerrero. This storyline drove me insane. I know it was a comedy act students, but this feud was a complete abomination. I really don?t know how this feud even started. All I know is that this little feud led up to a match on Pay-Per-View. And out of all the things that Donald Trump did on WWE TV the best thing that he did was fire Santina. As for Vickie Guerrero, she was so embarrassed that she walked away from being General Manager of Monday Night Raw (to the sadness of my boss Hunter Golden) and then she once again graced our television sets in another sad-ending relationship to another wrestler with the bad gimmick in Eric Escobar.
Right now, we had three feuds that made the some fans sick to their stomachs. All mentioned above served detention from many a weeks. So which two personalities will serve more than a week in detention? I?ll answer that right now and it was a pretty easy choice for Mr. V. The Rotten Apple for Worst Feud of the Year goes to? ODB vs. Cody Deaner!
I did not give Chavo and Hornswoggle this award because some fans found this feud entertaining. It was nice to see a smaller person take advantage of the former champion. Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina almost won this award, but did not because it did not drag on for a very long time. Marella won his (I mean her) match and Vickie abruptly quit. The reason why I chose Deaner vs. ODB was because it was doomed from the very start. Furthermore, both did over a title that, though may not be prestigious, was once held by talents such as Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, and Angelina Love. A goofy feud for a championship does not belong.
2009 Rotten Apple for Worst feud of the Year: ODB vs. Cody Deaner (TNA)
First runner-up: Chavo Guerrero vs. Hornswoggle (WWE)
Second runner-up: Santina Marella vs. Vickie Guerrero (WWE)
Most Appalling Storyline
Students, there were terrible storylines out there in wrestling this year. However there is a difference between a terrible feud and a disgusting storyline. What I mean is that the storyline was so appalling that some pro wrestling fans just did like it at all. 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.
My first nomination goes to CM Punk exposing Jeff Hardy’s personal demons. We all know the story about Jeff Hardy, how he was a superstar that fell on hard times. But to expose that on a ?PG? show is confusing to me.
Second nomination goes to Michelle McCool’s storyline in which she calls Mickey James ?fat?. Once again you?re promoting a product that you are shooting for little kids and families, so why?d you have a storyline in which you have somebody bullying another person just because of their weight? It seems like to me that WWE continues to be a walking contradiction.
The final nomination goes to Samoa Joe’s Nation of Violence Hitless. This storyline in which Samoa Joe had a hit list to take out the likes of Booker T., Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, and others made this storyline quite appalling. However, I still read from some of my students this past that how it was entertaining since Scott Steiner was involved in his appalling storyline.
Three storylines that were so appalling that I decided to give it a category in my Rotten Apples column. This decision was one of the easiest out of all the awards I have gave out already. The 2009 Rotten Apple Award for Most Appalling Storyline goes to? Michelle McCool’s bullying over another diva’s weight!
I don?t understand WWE’s target to promote a program suitable for children in the preadolescent crowd. When a good guy appears on TV you have kids in the crowds with hands raised and arms flapped around and cheer profusely for guys such as John Cena, Jeff Hardy, and others. I ask this to you WWE. Why do you think it is okay to have a prolonged feud in which a woman is bullying another one because of their appearance? I don?t know how they treat Mickie James off the cameras, but on the cameras I do find this more disturbing than any other storyline that I?ve seen in 2009. I know for a fact that girls (how do I find the right words for it) are very self-conscious about their appearance, especially ones that the WWE are targeting. For the record, I am not speaking on behalf of women that read my column. This is just one of my opinions. So why is WWE, a ?family-oriented source of entertainment?, have characters that act childish because somebody doesn?t look like a supermodel? In my view, I think that it is a wrong storyline to go with when you are trying to attract a new genre to your program. As for the other nominations, I did not pick Samoa Joe because it ended almost as fast as it started and I would?ve picked Jeff Hardy if the awards were handed out a day after Hardy left the WWE, but after what has happened since he left the WWE he did it to himself.
2009 Rotten Apple for Most Appalling Storyline: Michelle McCool bullying Mickey James about her weight (WWE)
First runner-up: Samoa Joe’s nation of violence hit list (TNA)
Second runner-up: CM punk exposing Jeff Hardy’s personal demons. (WWE)
Worst Television Announcer
Students, out of all of awards that I?m giving out I look forward to this one the best. 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.
My first nominee is none other than ?Vintage Michael Cole?. How this man still does commentary after all these years baffles me. Cole is so bad that even fellow peers make fun of his cheesy quotations. It’s a shame that the wrestlers do not have to hear him talk on television. There were a times in which I wanted to mute my television so I did not have to hear him, but I have to listen to him to give you the students an honest on how he is performing.
My second nominee goes to Mike Hogewood of ROH. Out of all the announcers that HDnet could pay to do play-by-play for Ring of Honor, they hire someone that has absolutely no knowledge in professional wrestling. He gets too excited over a simple clothesline, he uses the same clich’s over again, and he lacks major chemistry with his color commentator Dave Prazak.
My final nomination goes to Don West of TNA. For seven years, West was a viable part on the commentary team of the company. And one would think that after seven years somebody could improve slightly on their job. West did not meet the goals of a good color commentator. It seemed like he had to read off of a piece of paper every time he was calling a match, and I think that was one of the reasons why I for one did not like his commentary
I will not hesitate much longer, as I am too wound up to present this award. We know that I gave these three men terrible grades over the course of 2009 but who was the winner of this dubious award known as the Rotten Apple? Well, I took one name out of the equation because the man actually improved but that but it was neck and neck between the other two. The winner for Worst TV announcer goes to? Michael Cole (and if this was real life, I am sure he would jump up and down like when he won a Slammy? for throwing up)!
I have to pick for three for this category, and that is why Don West was on the list. At least Don West improved on his color commentary when he turned heel on his announced team partner Mike Tenay in the early part of the year. Hogewood just started out as a wrestling commentator this year and I wanted to give him more time. But if he still has a job in 2010 by the way he is performing on HDNet, I have no choice but to call him the next Mike Adamle. Michael Cole won this award simply because he’s been with WWE for (give or take) 10 years and still has a very hard time calling the action inside the ring. He also at times comes out as absent-minded as saying the same things over and over again. Mr. Cole, no matter how many times you say the word ?vintage?, ?viper?, or ?controlled frenzy? you still get a bad grade in Mr. V’s book.
2009 Rotten Apple for Worst TV Announcer: Michael Cole (WWE)
First runner-up: Mike Hogewood (ROH)
Second runner-up: Don West (TNA)
Also on a side note, Michael Cole also beat out three other candidates for the Student Choice Rotten Apple that I posted on Facebook!! Way to Go, Cole!! You know are in the same boat as Cody Deaner! Thanks to all who partook in that on Facebook.
2009 Rotten Apple as picked by the Students of Mr. V: Micheal Cole (WWE)
Worst Woman Wrestler
Wow, we?ve seen some pretty bad wrestling from the females in professional wrestling haven?t we? There are many names I could put in as a nomination, but I had to come up with only three. Here are my nominations for Worst Woman Wrestler.
My first nomination goes to both Bella Twins. By far these two women were the worst divas in WWE. They were nominated over other WWE divas because they were by far the least developed inside the ring. Furthermore, they main evented an ECW show the week before WrestleMania (Which I got off lightly, as Dave Stephens had to recap it). Currently they are nothing more than ?eye candy? for the guest hosts of Monday Night Raw.
My second nomination goes to Jenna Morasca. For somebody that’s said she trained ?for weeks upon weeks? before her match with Sharmelle at TNA’s Victory Road, Morasca was just flat out terrible in her one and only match for TNA.
Finally and it pains me to say this, Lacey Von Erich deserved a nomination for this award. There’s a reason why WWE released her as a developmental talent, but TNA apparently needed somebody to replace the very successful Angelina Love (though Love did this to herself) in the Beautiful People faction. If Lacey Von Erich continues this trend in 2010, she will be considered ?The Shockmaster? among women in professional wrestling.
So there you have it class. Three female wrestlers that still need a little bit more seasoning to be accomplished inside a four or six sided ring (well four-sided for all since TNA wants to get rid of the six-sided). However, the choice was pretty easy. The worst wrestler of 2009 and Rotten Apple award winner goes to? Lacey Von Erich!
Morasca was just a one time thing, and then left immediately never to be heard from again. The Bella Twins were so bad that the WWE really never gave them another opportunity outside of the Diva Tournament only because Melina Perez tore her ACL (my thoughts and prayers still go out to you, Melina). However, Von Erich will receive this award based on a ?botched move to good move ratio?. Her ratio is off the charts and therefore is declared the unfortunate winner.
2009 Rotten Apple for Worst Woman Wrestler: Lacey Von Erich (TNA)
First runner-up: Jenna Morasca (TNA)
Second Runners-up: The Bella Twins (WWE)
Worst Match of 2009
In 2009, 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 in which you wanted to throw a tomato or even a Rotten Apple at whoever either book the match or executed the match. Here are my nominations for the Worst Match of 2009.
The first match I nominate is Booker T. vs. Two TNA Referees that even Mr. V can?t name. The match was extremely embarrassing for a former World Champion to be in. What made matters worse, was at this storyline continued only because Booker T. was upset with particular TNA referee named Shane Sewall. This was considered to be my Worst Match of Mid-2009 as well.
My second nominee goes to the 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania 25. At first we were disappointed that Trish Stratus did not want to participate in this fiasco, and now we know why she opted out of it. You cannot tell who is who in the ring unless you check for names on Wikipedia. Even the outcome was a big an utter joke, as a male wrestler dressed as a woman earned a crown to be Miss WrestleMania. And the WWE kept this match on the card, and dumped the WWE Unified Tag Team Match off the Pay-Per-View Card (From what I heard was a great dark match). Very embarrassing.
My final nominee happens to be this match was heavily hyped and turned out to big disappointment. The match happened at TNA’s Bound for Glory between Mick Foley and Abyss. What we expected to be a very spirited hardcore match turned into a catastrophic nightmare. There was no flow to this match, and only a few moments in which it looked dangerous (by the way Daffney took the biggest bump by landing on a barbed wire board). The match was so bad that even the referee in the contest was confused (he hit the mat three time, right?).
So we have three matches that were horrible for the eyes. However, I must choose one of these bad matches as the worst of them all. The winner of the Worst Match of 2009 goes to?The 25-Diva Battle Royal!
The reason why I picked the Battle Royal as the worst now was after much consideration I thought it was dreadful that a man won a match those contested among women. I just hope whoever booked this match at WrestleMania was future endeavored a long, long time ago. They could have done better. From what I heard, they blamed it on Kid Rock.
2009 Rotten Apple for Worst Match of the Year: 25-Diva Battle Royal at WrestleMania (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Abyss vs. Mick Foley at Bound for Glory (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Booker T vs. TNA Referees on Impact (TNA)
Most Overrated (can be considered Worst Male Wrestler as well)
A column or two ago, I presented a Golden Yardstick for Most Underrated (which was won by TNA’s Daniels). 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 criteria is 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.
My first nominee goes to WWE’s Vladimir Kozlov. My, oh my how one man fell so hard. In the early part of 2009, he defeated top talent (most notably a clean win vs. The Undertaker). In the end of 2009, he was relegated to beating jobbers in ECW. Never has one man’s rise ended in a severe downward spiral.
The second nominee goes to Kevin Nash from TNA. Though he appears to be in better shape now than where he was 10 years ago, but it was obvious that Kevin Nash did not deserve the push that he received this past year. His crowning moment in 2009 was when he won the TNA legends championship in an uneventful match.
The final nominee goes to Booker T. from TNA. When he was signed to TNA right after he was released from the WWE after a 60-day suspension, TNA Wrestling boasted that this was a huge signing and I agreed with the company. However, the risks did not match the rewards in 2009. They made Booker T. a champion by giving him his own title (Legend’s Title), he looked very lazy in the ring, refused to let anybody defeat him (remember when he offered discounts to young talent to train them), and finally left the company with a fake injury (while a tag champion) at Bound for Glory while his tag team partner, Scott Steiner, was the highlight of that show. It is a huge disappointment that one man got so much from one company, and did not make much of an impact during the year.
In this column I presented many Rotten Apples, and finally we come to an end. So, who won the Rotten Apple for Most Overrated (or Worst) Wrestler of 2009? Well it was pretty difficult, but I came up with an answer as good teachers are known to do. The Rotten Apple for 2009 in this category goes to? Booker T!
I almost gave his awards to the other two because of how underwhelming they were when they wrestled. However Kevin Nash did not clearly deserve this award because he actually was smart enough to give a wrestler to a push and opportunity. Kozlov did not win this award because though he was in the Main event on the show, he did not win a single championship belt. Booker T. clearly was the winner of this category because not only was he a poor sport inside the six-sided ring but he was equally if not more lousy outside the ring when he refused to job out to numerous young talents. I heard in a few articles in the previous weeks that’s the WWE is interested in bringing him back. Let’s hope that does not happen unless Booker T really behaves better for the sake of professional wrestling.
2009 Rotten Apple Winner for Most Overrated (or worst) Wrestler: Booker T (TNA)
First runner-up: Vladimir Kozlov (WWE)
Second runner-up: Kevin Nash (TNA)
So students, I thank you very much for reading my third installment of the 2009 year end awards. I will try my very best to provide to you in the coming days the final installment of my awards ceremony, which are the Major Golden Yardstick Awards. Among the eight categories for the last yardsticks are going to be Tag Team of the Year, Most Improved, Comeback of the Year, and the 2009 Wrestler of the Year.
Do you have any questions? Comments? I would like to hear what you thought about these awards. Please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com or drop me a line on my Facebook page. Look for me under Anthony J. Valvo.
So class, until the latest Predictions from the Faculty article, I am your resident teacher for WrestleView.com telling you now it is time to get up from your seats push your chairs in, and go to your next destination, class, or wherever life takes my students. Thank you once again for reading my latest column and I hope you enjoy your week. You are all officially?? DISMISSED!!!!
As the old saying goes, if not for the students there would be no Mr. V. Thank you all very much for reading this column and I hope you read again next week.
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