Good morrow, fancy eating persons! The last few days have had me feeling some kind of way, mostly gassy, but also particularly jovial. While rubbing my impressive chin hair and contemplating over a cup of warm milk one evening, I got to thinking about A.F.R.O. and the upcoming Slammys. They’ve always come across to me as something pointless, but there have also been some great moments in random behavior, such as CM Punk’s tribute to Johnny Ace. Why, it still brings tears to my eyes to this day, from the “anatomically correct” dummy to the masterful use of The Touch. There will never be a better moment in award show history.
But this is the ‘E! This is the second most patriotic company in the United States of America, behind only Yankee Candle, where it’s Christmas EVERY day, tomes of the founding fathers are ten dollars and any music available for purchase is as diverse as bluegrass or country. ‘MURICA! And one thing we ‘Muricans do better than anyone (except for maybe the English) is do something again and again until it works right! And the Slammys are a perpetual work in progress. They’re a constant anomaly, but not for why you might think. An award for pre-scripted events is one thing, but to be given such a thing from the very company? I’d dare to call it inconceivable but I do not think it means what I think it means.
Besides, with any award show, the people (i.e. – we) tend to get upset any and every time things don’t go the way we plan for them to go. Trust me, one way or another we will be horribly disappointed by the Slammys, because at some point there’s going to be an award given that doesn’t reflect who we think should have won (I’ll just leave this here…) but until then, it’s fun to put your own spin on what’s sure to be an evening of fun and vulgarities (on your part).
I am not immune to such things, and I have decided to use this time, YOUR time, and an excessive amount of space on this humble website to go through my picks for the Slammys for ALL the categories (yes, ALL of them), from my picks to the presenters to why I think some win out over the others. After all, sometimes we just have to have a bit of fun, right?
We’ll start with the WWE.com exclusive awards. These have no presenters so we’ll just work our way up.
Catchphrase of the Year
Nominees: “Yes! Yes! Yes!” – Daniel Bryan; “That’s what I do!” – Mark Henry; “Faaaaahn…. screw you, it’s Fandango’s saying; “Follow the Buzzards!” – Bray Wyatt; “We, the People!” – Real Americans; “Believe in the Shield” – The Shield
Yeah, I have no earthly idea which of these deserves to win more than any other, and that’s saying something. Daniel Bryan’s catchphrase is simple to remember whereas Mark Henry’s is awesome. Bray is creepy and the Shield has made a believer in the lot of us, and that’s not even mentioning that “We, the People!” has made many of us stand up and chant along with the heel humor of two Americans and a powerful Swede. I suppose the better thing for me to say is that the only “loser’ is Fandango’s catchphrase, because frankly it isn’t much of a catchphrase so much as an eternal reminder that people don’t care to pronounce his name correctly. So you lose, Fandango. Probably would’ve tied had you kept the brunette…
DiZ pick: Raw after WM 29
Other nominees: WWE Payback; Summerslam; Raw in England
THIS was the crowd that started it all. THIS is the crowd that gave us “Fandango-ing”. THIS is the crowd that introduced random chants about random things at random times, the crowd that let us know that if they were not amused then they are going to talk that mess. After a decent, but far from revolutionary, showing at the grandest stage of them all, the following Monday night show gave us a show so packed with energy that we were more focused on them than the actual show, and this managed to piss of some of the Superstars even. Not that it matters: JBL chants came into play. That is all.
Favorite Web Show
Nominees: WWE Inbox; 30-Second Fury; The JBL and Cole Show; WWE Top 10
In all fairness, having never actively watched ANY of these shows outside of clips or showings on TV, I can’t actually cast a fair vote for this. The only things I can speak on are the occasional 30-Second Fury clips they show on TV and the main show inclusion of Bad News Barrett, who apparently started on the JBL and Cole Show. Other than that I can’t speak on it. I abstain.
Best Dance Moves
DiZ pick: that brunette that used to be with Fandango (write-in candidate)
Nominees: Fandango, R-Truth, Summer Rae, The Funkadactyls (runner up); The Great Khali; “Miz-co Inferno”
So have I mentioned how much I LOVE that brunette that Fandango used to walk out with? Her name is Andrea Lynn. She’s a real life dancer and, surprisingly enough, an early twenty-something college student with a killer body and moves that remind me that flexibility is never overrated. I love Andrea Lynn; she brought something special to Fandango’s character, and that something special is character. With Summer Rae on his arm, Fandango is just another guy with another blonde, there but ultimately… there.
And the others? Truth has seizures, Rae pisses me off, the Funkadactyls are a runner up because of this, the Great Khali isn’t all that great with his two left feet and the Miz needs to stick to acting. There are a few write-in candidates.
“Say What?!” Quote of the Year
DiZ pick: “Rise above THIS!” – Damien Sandow to Cena
Other nominees: “Paul, say somethin’ stupid.” – Lesnar; “One stipulation: I’m in my boys’ corner and I’ll be your huckleberry all night long.” – Dusty Rhodes; Paul Heyman’s volcano rant (runner up)
There’s a reason Sandow wins this award for me above Paul Heyman. Yes, Heyman would have had this in the bag were it not for Sandow, but at the end of the day you expect something so outlandish and powerful from Paul Heyman. You don’t take it for granted but you expect Heyman to take the microphone and create something so delightful to the ears and eyes that when it happens it stands as standard. As fun as the “Paul-cano”, as some have taken to calling it, was it was just that: it was fun, and it was good fun, but was it really significant?
I argue “no”. It was fun to watch but what made that particular promo was everything around Heyman just as much as Heyman himself. It was Axel’s obvious struggle to stay in character. It was Ryback’s ease of looking serious and never once breaking his expression. It was Renee Young’s look of pure confusion. In short, Heyman’s “Paul-cano” was a group effort.
And then there’s Sandow. Earlier this season I wrote a piece about how excited I was when I saw Cena get beat up by Damien Sandow. It had nothing to do with Sandow winning or losing: it had to do with making a serious point. The stage was set, for the newly crowned champion Cena and Sandow to do battle, after a threat from the intellectual savior of the masses. Then, following a sneak attack and a subsequent beating, Sandow uttered the hallowed words that stick with me to this day: “Rise above THIS!”
The implications are unprecedented. In those three words were all the hatred and anguish of the people who can’t seem to stand John Cena, those people who see him as Superman. John Cena, the character, has seemed to rise above EVERYTHING. He rose above being in the mid-card (a long, long time ago, I mean), he rose above all challengers, and at this moment in time he can even claim that he rose above cancer, and he doesn’t even have it! But for one moment, for one beautiful moment, Cena was beaten with a chocolate-colored briefcase, a powerful superhuman taken down by an intellectually-superior man, a terrific comparison to the great comic book rivalry between Superman and Lex Luthor, or the historical conflicts between the physical prowess of the Spartans and the mental capacities of the Athenians. If anything, it doesn’t just prove that Superman/Spartans is/are beatable, but that there might just be something that they can’t rise above. I’d argue that John Cena can rise above anything but crying children and marriage-less cohabitation.
Ultimately, yes, Cena DID rise above Sandow, but in those words and the beating that followed, we saw the birth of a potential super villain.
Feat of Strength of the Year
DiZ pick: Mark Henry pulls two trucks with his bare hands.
Other nominees: Antonio Cesaro swings the Great Khali; Ryback Shell Shocks Mark Henry; The Shield triple powerbombs the Big Show
There’s no question why Mark Henry deserves this, and it IS appropriate that the World’s Strongest Man gets the award for the feat of strength. The world record thing is disputed, but the thing that people more or less universally agree on is that Mark Henry dragged two 25 ton vehicles. If Khali is under 500 pounds, and Henry is under 500 pounds, and the Big Show is under 500 pounds, then I think the man who moved more than 50 tons deserves the award for a feat of strength.
Because that’s what he does.
Tag Team of the Year
DiZ pick: The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns)
Other nominees: The Primetime Players; The Usos; Cody Rhodes and Goldust; The Real Americans
With the frankly fantastic run that Goldust has been putting on since his return, it could easily be said that Cody Rhodes and Goldust make the finest tag team in the WWE right now, but when it comes to sheer skill, to pure talent, to untapped potential even now, I can’t even begin to entertain any team outside of the Shield. They made a splash by being a tactical unit and slowly but surely they’re showing out to be something special on solo runs. Roman Reigns is on the fast track to being one of the biggest stars in the contemporary WWE and Rollins, while continually shown as the weakest link of the Shield, maintains a position as arguably the most talented and underrated person on the roster; no, that’s NOT bias speaking. The matches between him and Daniel Bryan are all classic in my book, easily match of the year candidates for the entire run.
Not to mention: they held the tag titles for a good minute and they both have finishers that look VICIOUS when they connect. Rollins’ curb stomp makes me cringe, and Reign’s spear is slowly becoming something of legend. Sorry, Rhodes and 1/2 Rhodes, but the Shield gets this one.
Oh, and I want to put in an honorable mention for the Bella Twins here, because they seem to be the most PG-13/R rated group on TV (I count “Total Divas”) with their constant talk of sex and chests and just anything and everything nasty. Also I like Brie Bella. She seems awesome. I’ll mention this a few times. Bryan Danielson is a very lucky man.
Couple of the Year
Yeah… don’t even care enough to finish this senten
“You Still Got It!” (Superstar Return) Award
DiZ pick: Goldust
Other nominees: Rob Van Dam, The Bella Twins, Bruno Sammartino, Chris Jericho
Rob Van Dam came back and it was a nice little run. The Bella Twins came back and I was stuck with a feeling of “meh” until Brie started to appeal to me and seem like a pleasant human being. Jericho never lost it, and maybe I’m just forgetting something, but I don’t remember seeing Bruno Sammartino in any capacity outside of just having the title as a Hall of Famer now. So Goldust, being around still after really being off the map for a while and not seeming to have lost a step, gets this one from me. He moves well in the ring and I’d swear he never left. Granted, I’ve never really been big on the character, but it is good to see that age hasn’t dulled him. Good on you, Goldust. Good on you.
Faction of the Year
DiZ pick: The Shield
Other nominees: The Wyatt Family, The Real Americans, 3MB
I consider a stable to be three or more active members, so technically I don’t consider the Real Americans to be a faction. Decent tag team, but not a faction in my eyes. 3MB is the modern day Job Squad, and they have their moments but otherwise I can’t say they deserve a top spot. Between the Shield and the Wyatt Family it’s hard to choose. The Shield came in and wrecked shop, systematically dismantling any and every opponent and passerby that crossed their path, or whoever they decided to cross themselves. The Wyatt Family came through and started to do the same, but they played the game of psychological torment and pseudo-cult philosophies, with one man in charge and a pair of big, bearded guys to take on anybody who decided to cross the boss, Bray Wyatt. Both factions more or less followed the same formula coming up: come in, beat up people, offer no clear explanation, show out at a PPV, continue the formula until a storyline came into play. At this point it became a comparison thing. It went a little something like this:
Favorite Member: Seth Rollins (Shield)/Luke Harper (Wyatts). Tyler Black or Brodie Lee (BRODIE LEE!). That’s a tough one. Tyler Black is so accomplished and talented it’s not funny. Seriously, I can’t even make a joke or compose a humorous metaphor. Seth Rollins/Tyler Black/Colby Lopez is, for lack of a better term, The Shit. And with him being portrayed as the weakest member of the Shield (citation needed) you don’t get a sense of that all the time. But he goes through the ring with the speed and agility of a man high on hallucinogens and moves with the swiftness. THAT is why Rollins/Black/Lopez is The Shit. Until further notice, Seth Rollins/Tyler Black/Colby Lopez will be known within the halls of L.E.W.D. as The Shit.
Hmm. Could’ve thought that through a bit more. Then we have Luke Harper. Brodie Lee. BRODIE LEE! Jon Huber. BRODIE LEE! This guy made me a fan after I saw him live, this big six foot monster in flannel moving like a damn cruiserweight. Again, much like Rollins, in the capacity that he’s being used in, people don’t see that. Harper’s role is that of a monster who beats you senseless, and especially with that alligator roll in his arsenal he plays to that position perfectly.
All the same, because Rollins can show out a bit more, I gave the nod to the Shield.
Major Angle: Cerberus (Shield)/Dark Potential (Wyatts). The Shield, after acquiring the gold, went on to be the attack dogs of the Authority. It was a natural transition, and an appropriate one. They had a nightly job in the same vein as, say, the Roots being the house band for Jimmy Fallon. It wasn’t really “exciting” per se, but it did show them off both in the ring and out of it, and even now it stands as a decent angle for them. I like it, but the Wyatt Family stole my heart. I call it “Dark Potential” because you can wrap their entire storyline right now around three people: Kane, Daniel Bryan and that unnamed camera guy. What do they all have in common? They were all kidnapped.
Background: during the Wyatt promos just before they were introduced to the flagship show, the cameraman promos had John Smith #207 going to the compound to interview them, and to this day we don’t know what the hell happened to him. He’s gone. He’s gone and no, it doesn’t seem like anyone in the WWE cared to know where their employee went. Nice way to build morale there, WWE. Anywho, he stands as the first one kidnapped by the Wyatts. Kane was the second. He was beat up at a PPV and taken away by the Wyatts afterward. He was gone for what seemed like forever (oh sure, they care about Kane but what about Joe Whatshisface #69?!) and when he came back he seemed to get revenge. Then, a week later, he pledged fealty to Stephanie McMahon, dropped the mask and became the subject of a Justin Timberlake single.
Ho-lee-crap. Glenn Jacobs in a suit and tie, speaking in a regular voice, is without a doubt the most terrifying thing in the WWE (or it was, until Mark Henry got agile and started jumping from stationary positions) but this is also more than likely the purest essence of who Glenn Jacobs is. He’s the hyper intelligent, politically outspoken near giant who can probably match wits with the best of them. After being abducted by the Wyatt Family he stopped being Kane so much and started being… himself. Say what you will about Viewtiful Joe #-7, but he was a cameraman. After he vanished, he likely went on to do what he normally does.
The point I’m making is that the Wyatt Family, Bray in particular I’m guessing through dark rituals known through backwoods cult practitioners, seems to do SOMETHING to the victim that makes them act like who they really are. So, after abducting Daniel Bryan, the story has been set. They’re out to make him the monster he is supposed to be. If my predictions and/or assertions are correct, I’m thinking that they’re making Bryan into that psycho submission monster he was in the indies. You never know. I’m hoping that’s what the Wyatt Family is going to do. It intrigues me, and the point goes to them.
After a few of these it came down to who I enjoyed seeing more. It was another squash: I like the tactical brilliance of the Shield and the primal violence of the Wyatt Family. So I flipped a coin. Landed between a couple of shoes and stood up sideways more or less. I went the quantitative route, finally, and just settled on who had more gold. The Shield did. They won.
“What a Maneuver!” Award
DiZ pick: Busaiku Knee Kick (KENTA, but utilized as a nameless strike by Daniel Bryan)
Other nominees: Black Widow (AJ Lee); Spear (Roman Reigns); Cesaro Swing (Antonio Cesaro)
This was another difficult one, to be honest. But like the other categories I did a checklist and eliminated bit after bit. First: effectiveness. To this day, I cannot remember any match that Cesaro put someone away with the swing. Fun to look at, but a show of strength first and everything else second. That leaves the Knee, the Widow and the Spear. All three of these maneuvers are devastating: they all put the opponent out. AJ’s maneuver is a submission, which is both a plus and a minus. The pluses are how cool it looks, how no Diva has tapped out of it yet (I think…) and how appropriate the move is FOR AJ’s character. She took it and made it her own, which is similar to what Reigns and Bryan did, but she literally made it look like her own. Reigns’ spear is…
Let me put it like this: Roman Reigns’ spear is how you support whatever argument you have regarding the existence of a higher being. Period. Take that how you will. BUT! But has Reigns really made that attack his own? The Big Show uses it, Ryback uses it, the spear is a common move that Roman Reigns adapted into his style perfectly. So it’s devastating but not so original, even though there are rarely any “original” moves.
So we’re back to the Knee Kick and the Black Widow. I’d swear I’ve seen the Widow more, but the Busaiku Knee Kick, a move popularized by KENTA and adopted by Daniel Bryan, has the distinction of being a clean move capable of laying out John Cena. It was a clean move, a simple strike, and it LOOKS mean. Reigns’ spear looks powerful in no small part because HE looks powerful. Bryan looks like a goat, and that knee looks like it STRIKES like a damn wildebeest stampede (fun fact: that wildebeest stampede from The Lion King? That scene took two years to animate. I miss traditional animation).
The Busaiku Knee Kick (that’s what it’s called) looks mean, hits hard and I’m sure when KENTA saw it from wherever he is in Japan he spit out his cereal and cried, “BITCHI!” when he saw Cena fall. THAT is why this move wins my vote.
That covers the WWE.com exclusives. I’ll do the ones with presenters tomorrow. Good night and big balls!