Hey everyone! This is David Stephens, your weekly ECW Recapper and author of the WrestleView columns ?That’s a Wrap? and ?WrestleView Road Trip?. It’s time for the 2009 edition of the ECW Year in Review.
In professional wrestling it is generally frowned upon to ‘steal? other wrestler’s signature moves. It’s also looked down on to commit gimmick infringement. I?m about to do the wrestling column equivalent, as this piece is a blatant rip-off of my colleague and friend Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Year in Review. A lot of these award categories are word for word plagiarism, though I did throw some of my own creative kindle in for sections.
2009 was an interesting year for ECW. The show had its ups and downs, as well as an ever changing roster. The show was snubbed for PPV Title Matches for three straight months, a dry spell that was broken when Shelton and Christian put on the match of the night at the TLC PPV. Let’s take a look at this year’s awards.
Worst Feud of the Year
Helms/Hurricane v. Burchill/Ripper
By far the longest ‘short feud? I have ever witnessed. If this had ended after the three matches it deserved, then I would hardly be complaining. Instead this feud continued week after week, regardless of how many times the commentators or wrestlers themselves stated that it was over. A feud that included Burchill being fired from ECW? twice. By the time Burchill came back incognito as the ?Ripper?, the feud was dead. The plus side is that it gave these two wrestlers weekly matches on either ECW or Superstars, but it simply became too tiring. Maybe if Burchill had returned as an evil pirate super villain I would be singing a different tune, but the Ripper just didn?t cut it.
Best Feud of the Year
Christian v. Regal
This is the feud which not only cemented Christian’s reign as Champion, but also showed that Regal still has some juice left in the tank. ECW has become a place where new guys can gain footing and old guys can try and find themselves again. Regal put together an interesting run which included the creation of his ?Ruthless Roundtable? (Kozlov & Jackson). Even though the team has since fallen apart, his matches with Christian comprised a good portion of the entertaining moments of 2009.
Worst Gimmick of the Year
A surfer dude that hits on the General Manager. He never impressed in the ring, and turned into another Ricky Ortiz. He has disappeared from the roster, but I can?t say I miss him. He is currently in FCW getting repackaged, a much needed change from this horrid gimmick.
Best Gimmick of the Year
?Regal? Regal & Roundtable
As I stated before when discussing the feud of the year, Regal’s success would not have been possible without the Roundtable and the havoc that they unleashed on the roster. Kozlov and Jackson both grew as wrestlers, and Regal regained the spotlight. Where this gimmick ends up is anybody’s guess, but it handedly wins gimmick of the year.
Worst Moment of the Year
The Abraham Washington Show with Special Guests the Bella Twins
I believe this was the second ever Abraham Washington Show, and the guests of honor were the Bella Twins. I had been one of the few people talking up the Washington Show after its first week, but even I couldn?t justify this atrocity. The Bella Twins were awful in their acting that made even the worst thespian seem like a God. Abe had yet to come into his own so this moment was just a train wreck (and not the good kind).
Best Moment of the Year
Zack Ryder & Rosa Mendes Daydream
Every now and then wrestling needs to be campy, and that’s exactly what these two put together. The daydream segments were absolutely hilarious. Even though they had no real match implications there was something terribly funny about the moments. Perhaps it is the fact that the viewer did not have to take much of a leap to imagine that Ryder’s mind was working exactly as the dream segments suggested.
Rookie of the Year
Who else can I give it to? Sheamus debuted and looked to be gunning for the ECW Title right off the bat. All too soon he was gone from the brand and captured the WWE Championship from John Cena over on RAW. Even if I weren?t to count that since it technically did not occur on ECW, his domination and matches on the brand would still have garnered him this award.
This gal was fired after a few bumbling weeks as the ECW announcer. I?m not one to immediately be down on a wrestler, so believe it or not I took the time to visit her MySpace page and listen to her single. Worst. Decision. Ever.
Best Diva of the Year
Well, I sure as hell wasn?t going to give it to the Bella Twins.
Best Tag Team of the Year
The Hart Dynasty
These guys are just absolutely fantastic. The team formed on ECW and really hit a nice stride. Over on Smackdown they have not had all that many opportunities, but maybe Bret’s appearance on RAW will give them a nice rub. I always enjoyed watching Tyson Kidd, and he has been very nice to my friends and me in real life. A real class act.
Biggest Loss of the Year
Matt Sydal was a pleasure to watch in the Indies. A lot of times when guys come to the WWE they have to massively scale back their moveset. Evan Bourne has managed to hold on to a lot of his great moves as well as have the Shooting Star Press unbanned. While there are still some moves of his that I?d like to see (moonsault from the position of standing on his opponent’s back!) he has been a real joy to watch. We lost him to RAW in April during the draft, and he has not done all that much over there. I would have liked to see him make a run with the ECW Title before leaving and I believe he was gone well before his time was up.
Bull’s Eye & KA-RA-TAY
Vance Archer’s Bull’s Eye and Yoshi Tatsu’s KA-RA-TAY take the award this year. Yoshi’s straight up kick to the face is rather brutal. It is similar to Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise, but it just seems to be a bit more shocking. Archer’s Bull’s Eye is another one of my favorites. It allows Archer a moment to taunt the audience before crashing to the mat. I?m a big fan.
Worst Match of the Year
Brie Bella (with Nikki) def. Katie Lea Burchill
If you haven?t caught on by now, I?m not a big fan of the Bella Twins. This match is the perfect example. This disgraceful slopfest was more befitting of an Intro to Pro Wrestling class than national TV. I have been saying all year that Katie Lea deserves better. This pretty much seals that case.
Best Match of the Year
Chris Jericho v. Christian October 20th 2009
As much as I hate to give the Match of the Year to someone who isn?t actually on the show, the Champion was involved so I can get away with it. These two Canadians put on a hell of a show that brought the house down. Christian and Jericho are two guys who are nearly universally regarded as being able to have a match with a blow-up doll and still steal the show. (To be fair that honor belongs to Kota Ibushi, but nonetheless my point stands)
I was going to give this one to the Bella Twins, but Ortiz actually surprised them in worthlessness this year. Not only did he fail on ECW, he managed to go over and fail on Smackdown. When he was released in August from his WWE contract, I doubt that anybody was surprised.
Christian held the ECW Title for the better part of the year, in fact Christian is now the longest reigning New Era ECW Champion in History. He had the match of the year with Jericho, stole the show at TLC with Benjamin, and had the feud of the year against Regal. His run with the Title shows that Vince has faith in him, and I?m looking forward to seeing him move on to some really great things during this second run in the WWE.
Best Commentator Team
Todd Grisham & Matt Striker
This past year was a constantly changing rotation for the commentator desk. The year started strong with Grisham and Striker who really clicked. It’s no surprise that they have been reunited over on Smackdown. At times Striker can go a bit over board, but his knowledge and passion for the business is always evident. Grisham is a nice compliment to Striker’s smarky and sometimes heelish antics.
Best Theme Song
Oh Radio ? Zack Ryder
I like this song so much I decided to cover it. Seriously.
Most likely to be gone in 6 months Award
Where did he go? Award
Where did he come from? Award
Best belly-roaring laugh Award
Worst Rent-a-Center Credit
This is in reference to when his set was destroyed and he complained that this destroyed his credit with Rent-a-Center, actually his mother’s credit!
Most likely to be a Video Game character Award
Most likely to be a porn star
Seriously what is up with those pants and mesh shirt?
Most likely to have a nose bleed Award
Sorry Josh, but it DID happen on your debut
Most uncomfortable bromance Award
Caylen Croft and Trent Baretta
Most likely to float around the company but never hold a major singles title Award
That’s going to wrap up this year’s awards. Thank you all for reading. Have a fantastic New Year!