**Warning: These columns (and the next two 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. I hope to maybe do a special “Mr. V” column either on Wrestleview.com or on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DeskofMrV). Until then, pleased be entertained by Mr. V, the host of the Third Annual Golden Yardstick Awards!**
* Mr. V #143 may contain the Wrestleview Reader Standings as of TNA’s Genesis. With two more weeks until the end of our Predictions from the Faculty season it is time for everyone to see where their rank is after over twenty PPVs predicted.
Well my Wrestleview Students, 2011 has ended. And sicne I wait to do the Year-End Awards when 2011 officially ends, it is now the appropriate time to hand out awards that we deemed were the absolute worst of professional wrestling in Part 3 of 4 of this series.
With that I WELCOME YOU ALL TO THE 3RD ANNUAL ROTTEN APPLE AWARDS (Part 3)!
Of course, thanks to Wrestleview staff member Gregory “Grash” Walek for the logo to celebrate the festivities! Thanks, Grash!
That Rotten Apple looks disgusting! Yes class, this is what happens when one leave Red Delicious Apples in the V-fridgerator for a whole year. And it looks like there are a couple bites here. ICK! Well, time to put each one in a Ziplock bag (for freshness of course) and hand them off to someone else. Besides, it is time to do some massive cleaning in the residential area.
This year is going to be a bit different. After doing these awards alone for two years and with a new teaching position I knew this could not be done individually. Hence why there were not any “Mr. V” columns over the past few months. So I decided to bring in some much needed help with a remarkable member of the Wrestleview Staff. So these picks were chosen and debated (twice) by myself and ROH on Sinclair, WWE Superstars, FCW Recapper, and Wrestleview International Roundtable’s Jason Namako! I thank Mr. Namako for his service in helping complete the 2011 ceremonies.
Now, the rest of the rules have been pure for the past two years.
– First off, all biasness goes out the window. So even though I am all about professional wrestling in the Pittsburgh scene, don’t expect to see Kurt Angle, Shane Douglas, or Corey Graves winning any Yardsticks because they are based from “Pittsburgh, PA”.
– Only World Wrestling Entertainment, Impact (TNA) Wrestling, and Ring of Honor Wrestling will be represented. We may have a random nominee from the independents, but the three mentioned promotions are the ones I watch every week.
– There will be 21 Golden Yardsticks featuring various categories (including Wrestler of the Year)
– Mr. Namako and I decided to not have a new category. However, it was agreed that Best Newcomer and Best Guest Host stay retired.
This week, I will hand out NINE out of 30 Awards. By the way, if you want to provide educated and honest feedback on this feature send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If one does not like my selections, don’t expect an apology from any of us. The Internet is a global podium.
Let’s get to the ceremonies, shall we?
Please check out the last two columns to see who won the first 16 Golden Yardsticks
The criteria to have the worst gimmick would be one that no one really cared about in 2011. Nobody could get into the character that a company provided for us. We had many gimmicks that came very close of becoming a dishonorable mention or a winner for this dubious award. However, soon we will provide the three worst.
Last Year, the Rotten Apple went to Orlando Jordan as the “Wild Card” from TNA Wrestling. I think many of the wrestling fans completely forgot about this gimmick. Since arriving as “The Wild Card”, Jordan saw little (if any) time in the Impact Zone and was released in the summer of 2011.
Now, here are the three nominees for “Worst Gimmick”.
Anarquia – There are many professional wrestlers that use a “stereotype” and get over with a company. No matter how much Anarquia tried, he failed to get any reaction with this gimmick and depended on his Mexican America teammates Hernandez, Sarita, and Rosita. On the mic, he just failed to captivate the crowd no matter how loud he was trying to speak.
Mr. Anderson – In 2010, Anderson debuted in TNA with much fanfare and kept his loudmouth gimmick. While it succeeded in the WWE and TNA for years, this year was his worst. He stooped too low to call his fans “@$$holes” and his ability to get over his gimmick failed. While it may not be his fault with the booking style for the majority of the year, Anderson was annoying in most segments. Who could ever forget him making “fart noises” during a backstage interview?
Jinder Mahal – There was something about his “Punjabi Millionaire” gimmick when he debuted on Friday Night Smackdown and talked to The Great Khali. However, when Mahal started talking and performing in the ring no one around our group thought he merited anything. Regardless of how hard the WWE is booking him every week since his debut, he fails to enthrall the audience.
While some gimmicks get over in the wrestling community, many gimmicks never stick. These three were truly rotten for those watching on television. While it was easy to pick the worst three, Mr. Namako and I debated on who was the worst. And after a few minutes of deliberations, we decided that the 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Gimmick goes to…Jinder Mahal!
Mahal wins this Rotten Apple because the WWE forced this gimmick down our throat with a terrible storyline and has him buried leading to 2012. The talent does not fit the gimmick at all, which was why it was an easy choice that Mahal earned Worst Gimmick. Anarquia was not featured a whole lot and was protected enough to not expose him too badly. Grouping him with good talents with Hernandez and Sarita helped. Anderson may need a new gimmick soon, well either that or rehash it a bit. His gimmick was quickly declining as the year ended. However, it did get over a few times, while Mahal never truly caught the eye of the viewer.
2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Gimmick – Jinder Mahal as “The Punjabi Millionaire” (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Anarquia as “The Mexican Stereotype” (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Mr. Anderson as the “Leader of the @$$hole” (TNA)
Previous Rotten Apples: Cody Deaner (2009); Orlando Jordan (2010).
Others that were considered: Aksana as the tempting mistress to Teddy Long; Curt Hawkins as “The Party Starter”; Yoshi Tatsu dressing smiliar to The Great Muta; Brian Kendrick as “The Wizard of Odd”; and Angelina Love as a Zombie.
WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR
In 2011, we experienced some pretty solid feuds in WWE, TNA, and ROH. However, we saw some feuds that were atrocious. And except of just listening to the reactions of jeers from the crowd (and not because one was a heel), these companies continue to feed us the same garbage feud for weeks upon weeks. We will show our choices for the 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Feud of the Year very soon.
Last Year, Orlando Jordan won his second Rotten Apple after the miserable feud he had against Rob Terry. A year has past, and I still never truly got why they feuded the way they did. Did Jordan want to woo him? It was those kind of feuds that made the wrestling audience appalled and disgusted. Since the end of that feud, Jordan was released by TNA and Terry became “Robbie T.”, a bouncer type gimmick for TNA Television Champion Robbie E.
Here are our nominees for 2011’s Worst Feud.
D’Angelo Dinero vs. Samoa Joe – The story went mere months, but it made an impact of how bad this was. Here we have two professional wrestlers who are still in the prime of their careers and have a very bad feud that had moments that made the average fan cringe. Who remembered Okato getting crippled by Dinero? Or when Dinero showed a video of pigs feeding while mocking Joe’s family? Again, I can’t fault the talents, but the people who write the stories for them.
Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara – How sad is it that we added one of the biggest singings this year in this category. Well, it all started at Money in the Bank when Sin Cara was powerbombed to a ladder by Sheamus. After brief speculation, Sin Cara was indeed suspended for 30 days. So in that span to keep carrying on the Sin Cara name, the WWE booked a new Sin Cara (known now as Hunico). After Sin Cara #2 attacked Daniel Bryan, the original Sin Cara (The Mistico one) returned and started a feud that was underwhelming. What could have been a pleasure, turned into a disaster. Since then, Hunico is trying to hook into a storyline, while the Sin Cara is healing from a ruptured tendon he suffered in November.
Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love and Winter – This was the longest feud among the three, as it officially started back in 2010 when Winter appeared only in mirrors and not in front of anyone to gain Love’s attention. After weeks of suffering through this feud, Winter was booked to “drug” Love into joining her and taking out Velvet Sky. It was successful, as Love turned on her best friend in April. While the feud is over after Sky won the Knockout’s Championship from Winter at Bound for Glory. Since then, they rarely have been seen in the division and there was no real closure to this awful storyline.
There were so many feuds that were terrible, but only one can receive the Rotten Apple from Mr. V’s fridge. This was a tough decision for us, but we decided to give the Rotten Apple for Worst Feud to…D’Angelo Dinero vs. Samoa Joe!
Believe us when we type this out, both don’t deserve this award. Both Dinero and Joe are very good at their trade, they are just booked into this feud that went nowhere and was part of their unsuccessful 2011 in TNA. However with some appalling moments and a lackluster story inside the ring, this feud should be forgettable. As with the other two feuds on this ballot. Sky vs. Winter and Love was terrible for many reasons, including when Love was fed “medicine” to Winter to help get Sky out of the picture. The battle of the Sin Caras was rushed because of the faults of Sin Cara #1, and again it was unfortunate. Our guess is that the WWE were not sure how to start and end this, but give them credit for ending the feud in a way inside Mexico.
2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Feud of the Year: D’Angelo Dinero vs. Samoa Joe (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love and Winter (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara (WWE)
Previous Winners: ODB vs. Cody Deaner (2009); Orlando Jordan vs. Rob Terry (2010)
Others that were considered: Jinder Mahal vs. The Great Khali; Alex Riley vs. The Miz; The Big Show vs. The Corre; Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole; D’Angelo Dinero vs. Devon; John Morrison vs. R-Truth; Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn; Eric Young vs. Television “stars”; Hulk Hogan vs. Sting; and Mr. Anderson vs. Sting.
MOST APPALING STORYLINE OR MOMENT
Students, there were some awful storylines out there in wrestling this past 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 fans just did not like it at all or showed signs of regret just by watching that moment. There is no reason for that kind of moment to be brought forth for millions to witness.
In 2010, I gave this award to the Mr. Anderson concussion storyline from late 2010. It appeared that Immortal were not concerned about the dangers of concussions and in that story demanded a concussed wrestler to compete. It was a risky storyline and moment that did not pay off.
Here are our choices for the Most Appalling moment.
Angelina Love taking “medicine”, joins Winter – It was one of those moments that made us ask “why are they doing this”? As previously mentioned in this column, in order for Winter to get Love all to herself she made Love “drink” something and within weeks, Winter and Love teamed up on Velvet Sky.
D’Angelo Dinero mocking Samoa Joe’s family – Again, this was something from the Worst Feud page. On one episode of Impact Wrestling, Dinero was booked to cut a promo on how disgusting Joe’s family was and that he was a “good pope”. The appalling moment happened when Dinero showed a pig feeding her piglets. The video was to mock Joe’s family. Since then, Dinero was involved in another horride storyline with Devon, while Joe is now in the tag team ranks with Magnus.
Michael Cole mentioning Lawler’s dead mother days after her passing – The story went like this. Lawler, just days before he was going to wrestle for the WWE Championship against The Miz was told that his mother passed away. Many people gave Lawler credit, as he wrestled a solid match despite this. However what happened afterward on the following Monday Night Raw was that Cole (who obviously was supportive of The Miz) started poking fun at Lawler for not getting the job done. He ended it by asking what his dead mother would have thought about his loss. It made Lawler snap. Whether it was permitted or not, many thought this was deemed “too soon” or “should never been said”.
These three were our “worst storyline/moments of wrestling”. While some may have been the popular choice, we decided to go against the popular choices and went with what we believed were in a way offensive. This choice was very clear cut for Mr. Namako and I, as we picked a “winner”. The 2011 Rotten Apple for Most Appalling Storyline or Moment went to…Michael Cole!
No matter if it is scripted or not, no man should ever do something like this. What I mean is poke fun at a passing of a family member on a high pedestal, especially on a show like Monday Night Raw. A lot of us even mentioned if we were Jerry Lawler, Cole would be eating out of a straw. If a moment like that makes a man want to do that, then the Rotten Apple is deserved. The Winter “medicine” was a distant second. We thought it was way too long and, though storyline, doing that to someone is a terrible thing. The Dinero promo was a moment that should never been aired. We nominated it mainly because it was one of those “don’t mix family with business” moments.
2011 Rotten Apple for Most Appalling Storyline/Moment – Michael Cole mocking Lawler over a death in the family (WWE)
First Runner-Up – Winter making Angelina Love take “medicine” (TNA)
Second Runner-Up – Dinero showing a pig feeding piglets, said it was Samoa Joe’s family (TNA)
Previous Winners: LayCool mocking Mickie James’ weight and appearance (2009); The Mr. Anderson Concussion Storyline (2010).
Others that were considered: Jeff Hardy’s appearance at TNA Victory Road; Michael Cole bullying Jim Ross; Daizee Haze’s condition to wrestle; and Tara and Madison Rayne running over Mickie James with Tara’s motorcycle.
WORST TELEVISION COMMENTATOR
Students, out of all our awards that we gave out I look forward to this one. We all know who we enjoy as an announcer in professional wrestling. Now class let’s find out the commentator that I thought was the worst. What falls into the worst commentator criteria you ask? There are a lot of factors actually. First, when one is a commentator they have two rules. One must attract the audience with what is going on in the ring and one must explain why some methods worked or why it did not. A bad commentator does not attract the viewer to that is going on in their respective program. These commentators lack preparation, common sense, and awareness of what is going on in the match in front of them.
Last year, Mike Tenay was the winner of the Rotten Apple. I gave it to Tenay over Michael Cole because of his numerous interrogations targeted at his broadcasting partner, Taz. Also, the way he called a match was careless and it seemed like he was more focused into finding out what was going on with the heels then what the action was in the ring.
Here are our nominees for Worst Television Commentator.
Booker T – He debuted as a weekly commentator after he competed in the 2011 Royal Rumble and many welcomed him in the commentary booth. However, that was short lived when he used multiple clichés, self-promoting, and a lack of awareness of the action. While some of his lines were hilarious and how he had multiple “Fave Fives”, his lack of attention and constant bickering hurt him in the long run.
Michael Cole – Once again, Michael Cole is nominated for a Rotten Apple. He has already won one and is nominated for another. Again, he is the voice of the WWE that is killing the product. Once we got annoyed by his overuse of the word “Vintage”, now he just appears to have freedom on the commentary booth and goes on tangents rather than calling what is going on in the ring.
Taz – When Taz was introduced as the new color commentator of TNA, it was an improvement from Don West. However, after listening to him for over a year many wish that Don West would come back to call the action. Taz messes up consistently and, while calling some moves and action, lacked awareness and focus of the action inside the Impact Wrestling ring.
Even though these three were not at their “A” game most of the year, the worst commentator was an easy choice for the selection committee of myself and Mr. Namako. The 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Television Commentator goes to…Michael Cole!
Cole takes great pride that he is a 3-time Slammy Award Winner, but we now wonder if he would be happy if he found out that he won two Rotten Apples this year? From his constant bullying to his commentary team (Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross) to ripping some of the world champions this is not the message that the WWE wants for their product (or do they want it). If Cole continues this trend, the WWE should seriously find a new “voice” for their company or else it will be a long few month of listening to Cole. While Taz is not as spirited with the action as he was in years past with the WWE, he will provide some constructive feedback when there is a hold applied or a suplex executed. For Booker T to not be considered for this award again, he needs to talk about the wrestlers inside the ring and less on his accomplishments.
2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Television Commentator – Michael Cole (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Taz (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Booker T (WWE)
Previous Winners: Michael Cole (2009); Mike Tenay (2010)
Others that were considered: Matt Striker; Jerry Lawler; and Mike Tenay.
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 wrestle inside the squared circle.
Last Year, I was ripped apart for rating WWE’s Alicia Fox worse than Lacey Von Erich. My reasoning for this was that Fox was employed by the WWE for the year while Von Erich left after the fall of 2010. Well, Alicia Fox is still in the WWE and while they placed her as a babyface late in the year, she still needs a lot of work in the ring. Sadly, Mr. Namako and I nominated her for this award this year.
Here are the nominees for Worst Women’s Wrestler.
Alicia Fox – Last year’s Rotten Apple winner showed signs of improving, but thoughtout the year she has been a hazard inside the ring with her Scissor Kick finisher. Also, the majority of her offense has been subpar, as she is now mainly hitting one or two spots for a victory. Now she is using a new finisher, which is a Somersault Leg Drop and at times she missed the mark, including once leaving a shiner on Beth Phoenix’s face. While she had a couple good matches this year, a lot of her work was left to be desired.
Gail Kim – Like Fox, Kim was nominated last year for this award because of her inconsistent work in the WWE. Though she did not appear on Raw or Smackdown much, she did appear on WWE Superstars and she had a very disappointing streak. What made matters worse was that she eliminated herself in a Battle Royal and quit the WWE. Since that moment, she returned to where she was successful, TNA Impact Wrestling in October. She undeservedly won the Knockout’s Tag Team Championship in November and a few days later was TNA’s Knockout’s Champion. She left the WWE because she was being held back. From what we saw in TNA, there might have been a reason why the WWE let her go.
Mickie James – A focal point to the Knockout’s division, we just thought with the depth of the TNA Knockouts she might have been overpushed. The matches that we saw over the year saw her lack storytelling in almost match. One point is when she get attacked for a extensive time then she miraculously comes back and lacks all that selling. There were moments where she would hit her finisher and it was just not executed properly. One case was when she hit the Mickie-DT on Angelina Love and it almost looked like she broke Love’s back.
In the end, there were three women that did not have “it” this past year. So bad that even some of the less experienced Divas or Knockouts fared much better. This year, we decided to go with a women’s wrestler that just did not deserve the push she received. So, this year we present the 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Women’s Wrestler to…Mickie James!
This really pains us to do this, as I am for one a fan of Mickie James for years. James was one of the reasons why I enjoyed women’s wrestling when I got back to watching it on a weekly basis. But the 2011 Mickie James was just not great in the ring and lacked a valid story outside of the ring. We hope for better things in 2012 because James is much better than what we witnessed. Kim struggled to get any time on a bigger WWE program and it was understandable why she left the WWE. However, the way she left was because of a lack of talent on her end and she got a undeserved push on Impact Wrestling, especially after that great story with Velvet Sky that earned her a Knockout’s Championship. While Fox was not in the Diva’s Championship mold this year, she still showed very small improvement and showed that she can still seriously hurt a wrestler because of her clumsiness.
2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Women’s Wrestler – Mickie James (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Gail Kim (WWE/TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Alicia Fox (WWE)
Previous Winners: Lacey Von Erich (2009); Alicia Fox (2010)
Others that were considered: Brie Bella; Naomi; Melina; Angelina Love; Rosa Mendes; Aksana; and Toxxin.
THE WORST MATCH OF 2011
In 2011, there were many matches that made you stand up and applaud for all the hard word and time they put in the ring at that particular time. One point was the 2011 Golden Yardstick Winner (CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank). On the other side of the equation, there were matches that made one want to throw a tomato, their remote control, or even a “rotten apple” at whoever either booked the match or executed the match.
Last year’s Rotten Apple went to the match that kicked off the Bischoff/Hogan era of TNA Impact, the Steel Asylum Match from January 2010. We know, the match where Homicide tried to climb out of the cage but could not because his gloves were a bit slippery? It was a match where the TNA Impact Zone called it “bull$h!t”?
While the three nominees were not as bad as last year’s worst, there are the matches that might possibly deserve a Rotten Apple.
John Cena vs. The Miz, WrestleMania XXVII – They set up this match to be one of the greats. It was the main event at WrestleMania! Usually, a match of this magnitude must step ahead of every other match on the card. Instead, the sequences were sloppy and never really got going. The way the match ended was very confusing and terrible for WrestleMania standards. It originally ended in a double countout (in a dangerous spot where The Miz suffered a concussion) much to the dismay of those that paid to see the show. The Rock demanded that the match restart. The Rock then took out Cena and The Miz retained the title in a “WTF” moment. Perhaps too much was a bad thing when it came to booking the biggest match of the company’s year.
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler, WWE WrestleMania XXVII – This match was supposed to end this ridiculous and at times offensive feud between the Raw commentators. Cole was “training” with Swagger and when he made his way to the ring it did not look like Cole did any training whatsoever. Lawler did his best to make the match watchable, but this was one match that could not be saved by “The King”. In our opinion, whoever booked Cole getting offense in should have been yelled at, as it really killed the crowd (I should know, I got fourths at the annual Meat-a-Mania held at my place. The only time of the year where my kitchen had pounds and pounds of beef, turkey, chicken, pork, bacon, etc. ready for consumption). Not only was the match terrible, but the result was that Michael Cole won via DQ because the Anonymous Raw GM thought Steve Austin was impartial as the referee.
Sting vs. Jeff Hardy, TNA Victory Road – Well, this is a favorite for the award not because of the match (ok, that is possible) but it was because of the appearance of Jeff Hardy. Sting looked like he was ready to have a quality wrestling match, but when the smoke cleared during Jeff Hardy’s entrance he appeared groggy and needed help. The match probably ended as soon as the reader read this passage, as Sting just quickly put this match to rest while agreeing that the match was BS. Jeff Hardy left Impact for months after this terrible offering and TNA actually gave people who bought the show months of free TNAOnDemand. Jeff Hardy since asked for one more shot, and so far in 2012 might have made the most of it (for now).
Well, there you have it. Three matches that were some of the worst we have seen in 2011. We hope to never see these names under this category in the years to come of these ceremonies. All three were worthy of the Rotten Apple, but Mr. Namako and I may shock you by stating that the 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Match of the Year goest to…The Miz vs. John Cena!
We had a very long debate on which three should have been nominated. In the end, we thought that while Hardy vs. Sting was a monstrosity, The Miz vs. Cena was equally as bad for the effort that these two put on during the biggest stage of any professional wrestling event. Thousands of wrestlers dream of being in that spot, and what we all witnessed was a subpar effort by The Miz and John Cena. The Rock did not even save the inevitable of this awful match. Let’s hope The Rock and John Cena wash that main event from last year out of our heads. While Sting vs. Hardy was awful, months later we are glad it ended the way it did. Mainly because Hardy could not compete and instead of dragging it to a long match Eric Bischoff made the call to end it quick despite Hardy “not being there”. It was a black eye for TNA, but we hope Jeff Hardy can stay clean and have an amazing 2012. Lawler vs. Cole had low expectations, so we were not surprised by the outcome. However, we were surprised that Cole got offense in and the match went over five minutes.
2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Match of the Year – The Miz vs. John Cena, WWE WrestleMania XXVII (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Sting vs. Jeff Hardy, TNA Victory Road (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler (WWE)
Previous Winners: 25-Diva Battle Royal won by Santina Marella at WrestleMania XXV (2009) and The Steel Asylum Match from the 1/4/2010 episode of TNA Impact (2010).
Others that were considered: Roderick Strong vs. Homicide from ROH’s 9th Anniversary Show; Flair vs. Sting on TNA Impact; and Garrett Bischoff vs. Gunner.
Last Week, I presented a Golden Yardstick for Most Underrated (which went to Drew McIntyre) for having a lot of talent but not booked with the right program. With the Yardstick for Most Underrated I wanted the winner to be one who worked real hard yet did not get rewarded. In the Overrated category, the standards were simple. The Rotten Apple will be the one who, in our 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 they would find a way to main event or win a championship in professional wrestling.
Last Year, Rob Terry was the winner because despite his limited style he was able to be a Television Champion for TNA Impact Wrestling. It showed that with clumsiness and the lack of awareness one can succeed with gold.
Here are the three that either main evented or won a title when they should not be near that level.
Anarquia – Anarquia lacked mic skills. He would scream to the Impact Zone and not get a true reaction even though he was paired up with some strong talents in the Mexican America faction. Despite his limited ability and his inconsistent quality of wrestling, he was able to win a TNA World Tag Team Championship and retained it for months. Was his tag team partner deserving of the title? You bet! However, Anarquia was more of someone that did not look the part of a tag team champion for any company, let alone TNA. Let’s hope in 2012 I am wrong. Remember, Mr. V has no problem being wrong.
Mr. Anderson – This year, Mr. Anderson regressed almost as fast as Hines Ward did with the Pittsburgh Steelers (yes, Steeler nation, I went there). Anderson appeared out of shape and at times looked like a hazard when doing something out of his element. His promos were basically rehashed week after week and he actually needed help from the crowd to get the promo over (where in years past it was easy for him). Despite regressing, he was able to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, join Immortal, and then never to be seen from in the last few weeks of 2011.
John Morrison – This hurts because at one point someone (including Mr. V) thought he was a star. Morrison looked the part that could have made him one of the greatest. However, he was not taking the company seriously and it showed. He missed time with an injury, but the matches he participated in were very subpar for a guy that was “can’t miss” two years ago. Still, he was involved in a couple WWE Championship matches and a United States Championship match in 2011 yet did not show the audience why. He was released late in 2011 after his contract ran out, and it may be for the best. Let’s hope that Morrison discovers that ability that made him an Intercontinental and ECW Champion in years past.
All three made headlines for the year, but should they have all that publicity from their respected companies? Mr. Namako and I did not think so. No one stood out, but after a while we came to a decision. The 2011 Rotten Apple for Most Overrated goes to…Mr. Anderson (Anderson)!
When Anderson won the championship in TNA the first time, he earned it. However in 2011, he missed his marks on numerous occasions and he appeared to lack any signs of improvement. There were times in tag team matches that he was very limited over the course of the year. This second title reign was not earned, but just provided for Anderson. No one may know the reason for his decline, but it made Anderson a bit more overrated than the other two nominees. Morrison’s stock fell toward bankruptcy this past year. We hope that next year he finds that “mojo” that made him a can’t-miss professional wrestler. Anarquia was an early favorite, but after he lost the World Tag Title in TNA he was not overrated, as he was booked fine after his run.
2011 Rotten Apple for Most Overrated: Mr. Anderson (TNA)
First Runner-Up: John Morrison (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Anarquia (TNA)
Previous Winners: Booker T (2009); Rob Terry (2010)
Others that were considered: Michael McGillicutty; Sin Cara; Richie Steamboat; Rob Van Dam; Alex Riley; R-Truth; Kyle O’Reilly; Ezekiel Jackson; The Miz; Mickie James; Sting; Charlie Haas; Jeff Hardy; and Alberto Del Rio.
MOST DISSAPOINTING WRESTLER
In the dictionary (Webster’s of course), “disappointing” means “failing to fulfill one’s hopes or expectations”. This award will go to one who had a very high ceiling but failed to reach even a little bit of their potential with a company.
Last Year, Ted DiBiase, Jr. was the first winner of this Rotten Apple. When Legacy disbanded, many thought DiBiase, Jr. would have been the breakout star. Little did we know it was going to be Cody Rhodes. While Rhodes thrived in 2011 by beating Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania and then winning the Intercontinental Championship, DiBiase Jr. still struggles to find an identity. Perhaps the “DiBiase Posse” gimmick will hook the fans in this year.
Here are our nominees for Most Disappointing Wrestler.
Abyss – It is difficult to call “The Monster” disappointing after he won the Television Title in January and the X Division Championship in May. He was given a gimmick where he would read and quote Sun Tzu. What made the gimmick disappointing was that he is built to be a monster and should have acted like a monster for the Immortal faction. However, the moment he lost the X Division Championship he struggled to maintain his standing. As a matter of fact, he was verbally assaulted and destroyed by Immortal. What made it disappointing was that he was booked to be a threat in 2011. In the end, he was just an afterthought and it was disappointing to watch his stock fall into (no pun intended) the abyss.
John Morrison – Another disappointing character and wrestler. Early in 2011 he was feuding for the WWE Championship against The Miz where a few years ago many predicted Morrison as the champion and Miz as an afterthought. He is a gifted athlete, but was lost in the shuffle and when WrestleMania was booked he was in a six-person tag team match that involved Snooki from the Jersey Shore. Also, another disappointing stat was after the match they said he refused to celebrate with Trish Stratus and Snooki. He had a losing streak that spanned months until he was thrown in to the United States Title picture, but lost his match to Dolph Ziggler. Since then, Morrison has been released and wrestling fans around the world wondered “why” Morrison wasn’t at his fullest potential. Well, maybe he matures and comes back on television in 2012.
Sin Cara – Earlier in 2011, he was signed away from Mexico with loads of fanfare. He is an icon in the Lucha Libre style of professional wrestling. After watching years of his work, we thought he would make an immediate splash in the WWE. Let’s just say 2011 has been disappointing for Sin Cara. He never fit with the WWE style the moment he jumped off the trampoline to make his extravagant debut to the WWE. He struggled to wrestle with the likes of Tyson Kidd and Evan Bourne that made people wonder how he made it to the WWE that quickly. And that was not all. He also suffered a serious injury that will take him out of Wrestlemania and he also got one strike against him on the WWE Wellness Poilcy. 2011 was indeed a disappointing year for Sin Cara.
So, in this category there were three wrestlers who had high expectations. However, they all suffered setbacks with their character development in 2011. We had it easily down to one professional wrestler while it was difficult to find the other two candidates. So with that we present the 2011 Rotten Apple for Most Disappointing Wrestler to…Sin Cara!
Obviously, this was not the year for Sin Cara. The media covered his WWE signing and unveiling of the new mask. Fans were waiting on bated breath for his debut and the vignettes looked spectacular. After months of witnessing what Sin Cara did in the ring, it left us wondering if he will ever fit the style of the WWE. It is possible, look at a guy like Rey Mysterio. But if Sin Cara wants to be in the same boat as Mysterio, he will have to improve his wrestling style, and soon! Morrison had a disappointing year as well, but we thought down the road he was not followed loyally and while the expectations were high Morrison did not fall harder than Sin Cara. Abyss had his moments in 2011, but his year suffered huge setbacks for unknown reasons. All three have potential to make a name for themselves in 2012. Let’s see if they can reach it.
2011 Rotten Apple for Most Disappointing Wrestler: Sin Cara (WWE)
First Runner-Up: John Morrison (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Abyss (TNA)
Past Winner: Ted DiBiase, Jr. (2010)
Others that were considred: D’Angelo Dinero; The Usos; Booker T; R-Truth; Ezekiel Jackson; Kharma; HHH; Jack Swagger; The Miz; Eric Young; Kazarian; Gunner; Mr. Anderson; Jeff Hardy; and Mickie James.
THE WORST WRESTLER OF 2011
Well students, you have read eight previous Rotten Apple categories and now it is time for the final Apple. The fridge is finally cleared from these rotten fruits. However, there is one more in this bag. This Rotten Apple is the “Rotten of the Rottens” This is the Worst 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 considered worthy of this last rotten apple but we only chose three nominees.
Last year, the winner was Rob Terry. After years in TNA to find a true identity, perhaps he is fitting in well as the bodyguard for TNA Television Champion Robbie E. Plus, in a way Rob Terry improved enough to not receive a nomination for the final Rotten Apple. But here are the three worst wrestlers of the year.
Anarquia – Will this category finally win him the rotten apple? We won’t know for a few moments, but if anyone was one of the worst in TNA Impact Wrestling look no further than Anarquia. He showed that he was not ready to appear in front of millions of television viewers with his in-ring ability. He struggled with the basics and painfully botched some of the moves as well. On the mic, as already typed he struggled on his delivery. He may stand out one day in TNA, but in 2011 he needed too much help to establish himself as a TNA wrestler.
Jinder Mahal – Mahal looked the part when he debuted on Friday Night Smackdown. He had some presence in him that perhaps he could be a good mid-card level wrestler for the WWE. However, when he started to wrestle the problems ensued. Often in our notebooks we found him to struggle even with a hold or a knee strike. As a matter of fact, I thought his knee strikes were the worst I have ever seen in my years as a wrestling fan. He wrestles too far away and I just find it hard to believe he lasts next year. I hope I am wrong.
Sin Cara – It is a tough choice based on his popularity, but I never heard him talk or show any emotion inside the ring (which I get, he wears a mask). However, we expected maneuvers that we never would see before and were left with disappointment. He was rarely consistent and even the WWE commentary team could not help him with some of the mistakes he made. It was reported that he wanted to just make the splash in the WWE without any time in FCW. That probably made it more the difficult. Remember, Dos Caras Jr. spent time in FCW to learn the WWE trade as Alberto Bandaras. Almost a year later, Bandaras had a great gimmick and entered the WWE arenas in luxury. That man is Alberto Del Rio. At least in 2011 Sin Cara is no Alberto Del Rio.
Well, I am glad (can’t speak for Mr. Namako) my V-fridgerator does not stink anymore after handing out all these moldy monstrostities. Now my fridge smells like Arm and Hammer Baking Soda and pizza (which will be in the oven very soon, this column is making me hungry for some good food). But this column is not about my appliances, but for the “winner” of the rotten. It was very difficult, but Mr. Namako and I made a choice. This will upset some and spark debate, but we award the 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Wrestler of 2011 to…Sin Cara!
This was tough, but we believed that Sin Cara was the worst mainly because he could just not work with anyone. They were either too slow for Sin Cara or Sin Cara never understood the flow of a WWE match. If we were biased, we would have gone a different route. But in 2011, even Sin Cara’s fans would say that he did not belong in the WWE. Don’t blame the booking, they tried with Sin Cara. In the end, Sin Cara risked danger almost every time he was in the ring and at Survivor Series it cost him many months due to injury. Mahal came very close to winning the award, but he did not nearly have the publicity or the fanfare. Mahal did not have lofty expectations, but still struggled on a show that usually produces quality wrestling. Anaraquia was off on his matches more often than not, but later in the year he did show some presence that can make him a consistently booked wrestler either in TNA, OVW (TNA’s Developmental and he is no stranger there), or in the independents.
But this year because of failing even the simplest expectations, we send our last Rotten Apple to Sin Cara. We hope we are wrong about this and wish Sin Cara and the others a successful 2012. We are pulling for you all.
The 2011 Rotten Apple for Worst Wrestler of the Year: Sin Cara (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Jinder Mahal (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Anarquia (TNA)
Past Winner: Rob Terry (2010)
Others that were considered: Rob Terry; The Great Khali; Michael Cole; Grizzly Redwood; Mr. Anderson; and Mark Haskins.
Next time, I will present the “very best” in professional wrestling, the FINAL part of the 2011 Golden Yardsticks. The Categories will be awarded for:
The Wrestleview Lifetime Achievement Golden Yardstick (2010 Winner: Adam Martin).
**This Year, we are happy to present the Lifetime Acheivement Yardstick to Web Developer and Forum Manager Tom Van Stone!
Women’s Wrestler of the Year (2010 Winner: Sara Del Rey)
Tag Team of the Year (2010 Winner: The Kings of Wrestling)
Most Outstanding Wrestler (2010 Winner: Rey Mysterio)
The 2011 Wrestler of the Year (2010 Winner: The Miz)
Well, that does it for me. 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, here are the ways:
THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE IS NOW AIRING ON SATURDAYS
The Teacher’s Lounge every week provides a complete rundown of the past week’s events in professional wrestling in a 90-minute program for the Wrestleview Radio Network. Join Dave Stephens (WWE Raw Recapper) and I as we embark on what happened in the past week. We also play a few games as well. For more visit vip.wrestleview.com.
That does it for me. You may now leave my classroom in an orderly line and please do not find cross anyone living under bridges. They may make you solve riddles that you can’t answer. So NO to them! Until next time, you are…DISMISSED!