Chestnuts. Bowel movement.
Breakout Star of the Year: Presented by John Laurinaitis
Other nominees: Fandango; Big E. Langston
As much as I praise the Shield, I can’t help but think that the Wyatt Family has done just a good a job in their take over of this company as the Shield, metaphorically speaking. My arguments have been made in the “Tag Team” and “Faction” categories, and you could argue that “Breakout Star” could be divided into individual and group categories (though I’d likely say Reigns standalone is the real breakout star) but in terms of impact, from the sheer reaction both groups get to the way they play their parts so well, it’s hard to determine between the two. The number of belts can’t be a determining factor either because this is about who’s made the greatest impact since they started versus how successful they’ve been thus far in the ring.
Yeah, I know how that looks and sounds but it makes something akin to sense. What really interests me is that Big Johnny is gonna be in the spotlight again! I like John Laurinaitis, and not just because I do a mean Johnny Ace impression. If he references “People Power” and points his finger and maintains that wooden smile that would make even the Enzyte guy take on a pensive look of confusion, it won’t MATTER who wins because WE win.
“THIS IS AWESOME!” Moment: Presented by Christian
DiZ pick: Bryan wins the WWE Championship @ SummerSlam (write-in)
Nominees: Bryan wins the WWE Championship @ Night of Champions; Ziggler cashes in his Money in the Bank contract; Big Show knocks Triple H out; Kofi Kingston hops on a chair @ Royal Rumble
Two things. One: I told you that there would be a few write-ins. Two: when someone says “THIS IS AWESOME!” there’s a good chance the first name to come to mind isn’t “Christian”. No disrespect or anything, but really? Christian? Couldn’t of… couldn’t of brought Edge back for a night to present with him?
I’m just nitpicking. When the crowd chants “THIS IS AWESOME!” (clap, clap, clap clap clap) they usually talk about something so great or a match so spectacular that they’re moved to do something… out of the ordinary! Like stand up! Or cheer! Or pay a bit more attention to what’s going on!
Still nitpicking! Saying something is awesome has always been something “niche-y” for me, likely because I have such high standards. I don’t dislike Summer Rae: I just REALLY liked Andrea Lynn. I don’t hate Kofi Kingston: I just REALLY think he’s happy being mediocre. I don’t want Jerry Lawler off Raw: I just… well, actually, maybe I do… the point is it takes something TRULY incredible to make me do the “THIS IS AWESOME!” (clap, clap, clap clap clap) thing, and of the four things they gave me I can’t say any of them really made me jump up and say it.
Kofi Kingston always does something at the Royal Rumble to stay in longer, but like when I spoke of Heyman and his insane volcano rant, it’s expected. It’s hardly anything special too. Doing a handstand to walk around and get back in the ring? Meh, it was nice, sure. Riding a chair to do it? Meh, it was nice, sure. As gimmicky as the Royal Rumble is you might be surprised to find that the one thing I don’t care for so much in that gimmicky match is – wait for it… – GIMMICKS! We all KNOW the smiling African is athletic, but oh my God: who, the hell, cares?!
The Big Show knocked Triple H out.
And? That doesn’t even get a funny video to go with it: it’s just standard! This is professional wrestling/sports entertainment: I EXPECT random acts of violence! How is a very expected act of violence awesome?!
Everyone was ready to see Dolph Ziggler cash in his contract for the longest, and when he did the roof exploded. We were happy, yay, but at the end of the day it wasn’t “awesome” so much as “due”. The same can be said of Daniel Bryan during Night of Champions, so I’m a bit confused as to why his win at SummerSlam wasn’t even up for grabs. Much like anything special, nothing quite beats the first time, and the first time Daniel Bryan won the coveted WWE Championship, with a crowd firmly and utterly on his side, with the crowd chanting and him in the corner gearing up to shove his knee into Cena’s face, THAT was an awesome moment, THE awesome moment in an awesome match. That’s my vote.
Mark Henry jumping is a close second too. Seriously: the man jumped. No running start, just a stationary jump. With that Mark Henry became the most terrifying character to ever exist in the world of professional wrestling and sports entertainment.
Beard of the Year: Presented by Santino Marella
DiZ pick: wait, THIS is getting a presenter but tag team doesn’t…? Wow… anyway, the Wyatt Family (crowned winner)
Other nominees: Daniel Bryan (uncrowned winner JUST because of that picture), Damien Sandow, Zeb Colter
In a last minute decision, I gave this to the Wyatt Family as opposed to Daniel Bryan. I may be old fashioned, but to me the ultimate sign of manliness, next to indulging in a language that doesn’t carry a phrase even remotely similar to “thank you”, is the facial hair. All great men have facial hair, and some of those great men shave the facial hair, knowing full well that they would be even more awesome if they kept the facial hair. But they also know how much of an aphrodisiac a man with good facial hair can be though (i.e. – me) so in order to give the ladies a well deserved break they chill.
Yes, whether it’s a magnificent mustache, or a bountiful beard or some succulent sideburns, facial hair is without a doubt a wonderful thing, so this category is missing a few people: Big Show, Brodus Clay, CM Punk, etc. This award is dedicated to the men who wear their facial hair with pride, and dignity, and stand like Captain Morgan in the malls, bars and concert halls because they know that their facial hair is code for, “I am sexy, and you will acknowledge me!”
That being said, this particular award is for beards, and that eliminates Colter because his defining feature is his magnificent mustache. Bryan and Sandow are two sides of a very interesting coin, because Bryan is unkempt and impulsive whereas Sandow is cleaned up and tactical, another nod to that Spartan/Athenian thing I mentioned yesterday.
Those Wyatt boys though: we’re talking three big guys with big, frighteningly amazing beards that reach their neck and stick out to kingdom come, and to top it off there are THREE of them. Three big beards on three big people, and one of them is even red. They win by default.
Trending Now (#Hashtag of the Year): Presented by Cody Rhodes and Goldust
DiZ pick: no seriously, Faction of the Year gets no presenter but this does…? Can’t pick a winner.
Nominees: #FollowTheBuzzards; #BelieveInTheShield; #BestForBusiness; #WeThePeople
This is one of those things you can track through quantity if you’re savvy enough. I actually like all four hashtags, even #BestForBusiness, but what about some of the lesser known ones? Like #MillionsOfDollars, or #ItsClobberinTime, or… or that awful #ChingleChingle? Can’t pick a winner in this one because frankly it’s pointless. It’s not even like the award belongs to anyone but the internet people who MADE it popular. Remember Angry Miz Girl? SHE deserved that award. She GOT that award.
Fan Participation of the Year: Presented by the Primetime Players
DiZ pick: “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Other nominees: Fandango-ing; “Let’s go Cena!/Cena sucks!”; “What’s Up?”
Remember when everyone made a big deal of Jason Collins when he came out as gay, effectively making him the first gay athlete to actively play in a major professional American sport? Yeah, me neither. Told y’all that would pass by quick. Do you even know who he plays for at this point? Me neither, but I don’t follow the NBA or basketball in general all that much so it may just be my lack of interest. I bring this up to say the same about Darren Young. Everyone made a big deal out of him being gay, and then we just stopped caring. If anything it’s a nice nod to how far we’ve come in accepting people’s differences. The greatest sign of acceptance is total apathy and universal treatment.
Fan Participation of the Year is yet another category that stands as something the fans should have versus a particular Superstar or Diva. But unlike the previous one, how the crowd responds corresponds with the success of it. Take “What’s Up?” for example. “What’s Up?” is singular: it’s is only utilized in the times when R-Truth is out and serves as a call-and-response with the audience. At the same time, it shows the ignorance of the people in attendance. When a man asks “What’s up?”, he expects an answer, not the say question thrown back in his face, that’s not nice, it’s just not nice. Next time R-Truth screams “What’s up?”, tell him about your day. He asks “What’s up?”, talk about work a little bit, Mr. Killings is a terrific listener. He raps. Kind of. Kind of rappers are great at listening.
The same can be said of “Let’s go Cena!/Cena sucks!”. For one, it’s divisive, the new standard for the fans and detractors of John Cena alike. But the chant is restricted to John Cena and John Cena alone. That doesn’t SOUND like a problem, and in the grand scheme it isn’t, but in terms of fan participation it serves as a very isolated occasion. It’s a LOUD isolated occasion, but unless Super-Soldier (an amalgam of Superman and Captain America; he’s a real comic creation too) is out and about, it’s not done.
Now, that leaves Fandango-ing and Bryan’s ode to the affirmative. Fandango-ing would be a sure fire winner IF it was a reaction by the crowd FOR Fandango. What do I mean? Fandango-ing became a “thing” in that now infamous Raw following Wrestlemania. The crowd was hyped. They started humming and hokey-pokey-ing and singing ChaCha LaLa why? Because they were bored! Because they were so uninterested in what was going on in the ring that along with doing arena wide waves and impromptu chants! Make no mistake: that amazing crowd was amazing in spite of the show going on that evening. If anything, they serve as a cold reminder that if the product isn’t entertaining then they’ll find a way to MAKE it entertaining. It wouldn’t hurt to go back and watch that episode of Raw to see if it was even that good to begin with. Fandango acknowledged the craze but didn’t actually embrace it; nor did Andrea Lynn, but she’s in my book of “women who can do no wrong”. Frankly I never understood WHY people started doing the John Witherspoon when the song came up.
Or the Ronald Isley, whichever you wanna call it.
But the Yes! chant is interesting. What you rarely hear is people chant FOR Cena to come out at any juncture. You don’t often hear that; you don’t hear them insert his name into things that he has no business in, like say a match between Tons of Funk and whoever. But the Yes! chant can permeate so many things, literally. In times where Daniel Bryan isn’t even a factor, the Yes! chant will erupt because people want to see Daniel Bryan. You could say that in this respect Daniel Bryan has surpassed Cena, because there isn’t a divisive element about him. People more or less universally love the goat. They root for him because he has shown himself to be the underdog, much like Chris Benoit did, and he had his Wrestlemania moment with Eddie Guerrero.
Yes! has prevailed because people WANT to see Daniel Bryan. The associate the word with Daniel Bryan, and in the span of a few years Daniel Bryan has become THE guy in the WWE. Sorry, casual viewers, but just because he doesn’t have an immediate rise it doesn’t mean they’ve just forgotten about him.
Extreme Moment of the Year: Presented by Mick Foley
DiZ pick: Mark Henry jumps (write-in)
Nominees: Shield triple powerbombs the Undertaker; Ryback spears Cena through the LED light board; CM Punk gets revenge on Heyman; The Wyatt Family crushes Kane
Look, I’m just gonna make it plain one more time. Just skip to 6:16. Hashtag: done.
“LOL!” Moment of the Year: Presented by the New Age Outlaws
DiZ pick: Zeb Colter “twerks” (write-in)
Nominees: doesn’t even matter.
Insult of the Year: Presented by The Miz
DiZ pick: AJ Lee versus the Total Divas (aka “AJ asserts herself as the HBIC in the WWE)
Other nominees: Stephanie McMahon degrades the Big Show; Paul Heyman disowns CM Punk; Zeb Colter offends the Universe
This was a no brainer. And you’ll have to excuse me because as I write this that gif of Colter “twerking” is showing and making me laugh. It’s not just the twerking, but the way Swagger’s eyes seem to follow Zeb as he goes up and down. Freaky. Anyway, AJ Lee’s promo damn near mirrors, albeit in a lighter fashion, CM Punk’s pipe bomb that set off so many alarms way back when. One of the earliest, and I’d argue valid (and play devil’s advocate too), arguments about the show Total Divas is that it does nothing but paint the Divas in the same light as some reality show nonsense akin to the Karadashians or something. Well there’s truth in that: the show really isn’t all that great. As far as scripted programs go, this one is quite “meh” at times, but there is a certain appeal to it. That being said, it WAS odd to me early on that the show focused on a handful of Divas leaving the others out in the cold (and at this point they’re leaving one of the Total Divas out in the cold too).
AJ Lee has been champion for a while now and it’s safe to say that she brings a breath of fresh air to a division overloaded with women who, if given the leeway, could probably pull off something all their own too. But part of that breath is that she doesn’t seem like the other Divas. She’s not a model in the traditional sense but she’s quite attractive; she’s no powerhouse; she doesn’t do traditional wrestling attire. She’s a character all her own who, for some reason, adopted a big Samoan bodyguard for… some reason. She goes in the ring, skips, plays mind games and wrestles. She wrestles. She’s not a doll; she’s an action figure.
The insult would have been better if the WWE seemed to follow up on it: that’s to say if they continued on with an actual war between the Total Divas and those who must not be total. I don’t mean seven-on-seven elimination tag matches but legitimate conflicts, or the Total Divas getting the Divas championship whereas those who aren’t… total (?) bring back the women’s championship. That’s conflict, and AJ sparked something great with her insult. The lack of decent follow-through is all that has left her all but wonderful pipe bomb as little more than a pleasant afterthought.
Match of the Year: Presented by Bret Hart
DiZ pick: Undertaker vs. Punk (Wrestlemania 29)
Other nominees: The Rock vs. John Cena (WM 29); Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (Battleground); Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules)
I’d call shenanigans, but I will contain myself. I still say that the matches of the year belong to Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins, but they can’t be part of this list because they weren’t PPV matches, I guess. Besides, the Undertaker/CM Punk match stands beside them as tremendous. For one, I don’t think it’s a match either one of them wanted. This is just my personal speculation talking, but I think I recall Punk saying he never wanted to have this match, and I don’t know about the Undertaker but I’m always weary about who he wants to face.
All the same, regardless of the feelings that might have been in that ring, it was a classic, 5-star match, and that’s saying something. That’s why I can’t speak on this match so much as just show it. Enjoy, viewer.
Double-Cross of the Year
DiZ pick: Mark Henry’s “retirement speech”
Other nominees: Triple H costs Daniel Bryan the WWE Championship; Shawn Michaels superkicks Daniel Bryan; Paul Heyman costs CM Punk a chance that the Money in the Bank contract
We were all fooled. We were all duped and we KNOW we were all duped. That man came out in his salmon-colored suit that I’m sure cost a good chunk of money and told the world that he was leaving the active roster of the WWE. He welled up, acknowledged the crowd, played along with them, he had me, in all my facial haired masculinity, dropping two tears in a bucket. He held that WWE Championship and looked so right. I was ready to say, “Damn you, WWE creative, DAMN YOU for not letting that man have ONE WWE title run!” And he dropped the mic. Cena came back into the ring to hug the man and hold his hand up in triumph. Mark Henry. What a guy! He’s a man! Such a man. He’s a real man’s man. And a classy man. A good man. That hug with Cena, that was worth it, it was good, it was a sign of respec… why is Henry lifting him up? WHY IS HE SLAMMING HIM?!
“YOU THINK IT’S THAT EASY?! I STILL GOT A LOT LEFT IN THE TANK!”
It was epic. I can use words all I want, but everything is summed up in this gif I made of Mark Henry picking up his jacket, dusting it off and throwing it over his shoulder. Like a boss. No other double-cross even comes close to this Grammy winning performance.
That’s right: that was such a compelling performance he deserves a MUSIC award for it!
Diva of the Year: Presented by Eve
DiZ pick: AJ Lee
Other nominees: The Bella Twins; The Funkadactyls; Natalya; Kaitlyn; Eva Marie
First of all: I LOVE Eve. Gonna be glad to see her again. Second, this was actually the hardest category for me to determine. Some people joke about the women’s division in the WWE but me, looking at who was up for these awkward looking awards, I had to really think about it.
I could eliminate Eva Marie right off the back because, and pardon my French, she’s a bitch. And I don’t mean the good kind, I mean she’s just awful. I liked her when she smacked Jerry Lawler, but after that I stopped liking her. So that left AJ, the Bellas, the Funkadactyls, Natalya and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn kind of fell off, but she was always something of a powerhouse, and I’ve always liked Kaitlyn. Natalya is another powerhouse and she can actually move in that ring. The Funkadactyls are… well, I love and respect one and the other is pretty meh to me. And the Bellas are cool enough, but much like the Funkadactyls I only really appreciate one of them. Then there’s AJ. She’s cool.
So it really read more like: AJ, Brie Bella, Naomi, Natalya and Kaitlyn to me, and if I was going off of pure in-ring ability or athleticism, I’d cross of Kaitlyn for relative absence. Brie had to show up more with Nikki gone, and to her credit she stepped up. Naomi is athletic but her abilities are growing too.
I’m not being funny right now. That’s good. I like funny. So let’s skip the logistics. If I was going to choose the woman I enjoyed watching the most, it would be a toss up between Kaitlyn and Naomi, the former because of a Janet Jackson moment and the later because Mystikal is great. If was going off of success, then AJ Lee, for maintaining her title and being smart enough to hire a Samoan to watch her back.
I’ll be frank: it’s hard to be humorous with this because I’m taken back to that fatal four way match between AJ, Natalya, Naomi and Brie Bella at Night of Champions, which I have to admit wasn’t just a good match but one of the better matches on the card. That’s saying something: it was a LAME PPV. All four of them, by that regard, with that showing alone, a worthy of Diva of the Year, but my vote goes to the champion because she IS the champion. Granted, a championship does NOT mean you deserve a year-end award. Speaking of which…
Superstar of the Year: Presented by Shawn Michaels
DiZ pick: HAMMER! He’s too legit to quit!
Oh, okay, I’ll be serious. Shoot…
DiZ pick: Daniel Bryan
Other nominees: John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar
Is an explanation even needed? Two-time WWE Champion Daniel Bryan is, without a shadow of a doubt, THE Superstar. The WWE didn’t strike gold with Bryan Danielson: Bryan Danielson came in, found the gold mine and plowed through it on the way to the blood diamond mines a thousand miles away. Calling him good is an understatement: his only real wrestling competition in the company comes from those who came up in the indies like him. He’s just as entertaining whether being a cowardly heel, or a corny face or a determine rebel with a cause. He’s bested all challengers, broken through any barriers that the lures of sports entertainment might have ever even tried to throw in his face and he does it all without introducing a comb to his face.
Cena and Orton are champions. Who cares? Punk is every bit Bryan’s equal. I say yes, but all the same, who cares? Lesnar can eat a table. I don’t give a f***! Daniel Bryan, through face and heel, good and bad, beard and shaved, has been the face of this company to the audience that cares about the company. I said it before and I’ll say it again: when you think of the Rock, you think of the WWE. When you think of Hogan, you think of professional wrestling. When you think of Cena, you think of pop culture. Will Bryan EVER be that big? Probably not, but the WWE SHOULD be concerned that someone in Tibet, weaving a basket out of wheat and cricket feces, knows the name Cena but don’t know what the hell he does.
No, Daniel Bryan is the finest example of a man paying his dues and making it big, from nothingness to greatness, and he took every step so he would be sure to cover the entire path. The man is living the life: he’s famous, he’s a multiple time champion, he’s engaged to the nice Bella, he doesn’t have to worry about a barber, and he not only has a clean victory over the human embodiment of pop culture at the second biggest PPV on the WWE’s calendar but he has a chant that follows him. A chant all his own. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Yes. Yes! Yes! Yes!
YES! YES! YES!
And that concludes the DiZ expositions on the Slammys for tonight. What are YOUR thoughts regarding the awards?