Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Winner Is...

By Chad Smart & Kevin Hunsperger
@my123cents on Twitter

Movies have the Oscar.  Television has the Emmy.  WWE has the Slammy.  We here at My 1-2-3 Cents have the Centy.  Yes, we've decided to come up with some year end awards to present for the best and worst in professional wrestling, aka sports entertainment.  We'll each weigh in on the category as to why we picked the winner.  Some may be duplicate thoughts, but Chad has a much more extensive knowledge of the independent scene, so this could be interesting...

Wrestler of the Year:
Eddie Kingston
Chad's Pick:  Eddie Kingston. The first Chikara Grand Champion has to be Wrestler of the Year. This was harder to choose than I expected. While I expect Kevin to pick CM Punk, I think Punk had a good last 5 months of the year while Kingston had a solid full year. And I'm a Chikara mark so I am obligated to pick one of their wrestlers for this category.

 Kevin's Pick:  Chad knows me oh so well.  I do pick CM Punk for Wrestler of the Year.  Punk in my opinion helped change the game in 2011.  I'll be the first to admit, I'm a bandwagon fan of his.  It wasn't until he started the Straight Edge Society that I started taking notice of him.  He had a good year and I hope it continues in 2012.

Michael Cole made us all cringe
Channel Changer of the Year:
Chad's Pick: Michael Cole. Hands down the "Michael Cole as heel commentator" is one of the worst ideas the WWE brain trusts have ever thought put on TV.  How anyone in charge can't see or not understand how damaging Cole is to the overall product is beyond me. His constant burial of now World Champion Daniel Bryan tells fans they shouldn't take Bryan serious. With WWE seemingly shifting attention to a new generation, all focus should be on creating and establishing new stars not telling the WWE Universe the Superstars getting airtime aren't worth being on television. Dishonorable mention would also go to Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. 1997 called. They want their lead heels back. 2011 is not the time for heelish authority figures who shouldn't ever be in a wrestling match.

Kevin's Pick:  Gotta agree 100% on this one too.  Michael Cole may be the most annoying personality in the history of Monday Night Raw.  I blogged about my dislike for his commentary several times this year and his hand in the constant burial of Jim Ross.  If he's the voice of the WWE, I vote for a big case of larnygitis in 2012.  I also think Hogan and Bischoff could be on this list.  The whole father-son feud between Eric and his boy Garrett makes for unentertaining television.

Promo of the Year:
Chad's Pick: Eddie Kingston's Road to High Noon promo. While I had already made plans to order Chikara's first Internet PPV as soon as they announced the date, the Eddie Kingston promo Chikara posted a few days before the show guaranteed I was going to order the show twice. This promo did exactly what it needed to do. It stressed how important the match Eddie was having against Mike Quackenbush was to Eddie personally and how much winning the Grand Championship would mean to Eddie. This is honestly the only promo I can remember that gave me chills each time I watched it. While CM Punk's Kickoff to the Summer of Punk promo was also really good, in the world of "If it's on TV it's been approved by management," the promo lacked the organic realness of Kingson's promo.

Kevin's Pick:  Having only watched a little of Chikara, I don't know much about it.  But I thought Kingston's promo was real and from the heart.  But in an effort to stop constantly agreeing with Chad, I'm going to go with the Summer of Punk Promo.  Sure it was scripted, but I haven't heard so much buzz about a single promo by a WWE star in years.

Angle of the Year:
Chad's Pick:  While the follow up was botched, it's hard to deny the Summer of Punk redux wasn't the most talked about event of the year. WWE had a storyline that had fans genuinely interested in and unsure what was going to happen next.  Unfortunately, WWE didn't get the post title win time to build and make Punk's return really impactful. 

McGuire vs. Allwardt (courtesy Adam Testa)
Kevin's Pick:  Excellent points made by Chad, but I'm going to do some self promotion here and say the current storyline between AAPW Champion Edmund "Livewire" McGuire and Ax Allwardt has been very entertaining.  These two have taken their hatred for one another to a new level.  There have been back stage attacks, in ring attacks, and even an incident in the parking lot.  It all comes to a head at AAPW Main Event on January 14th.

Randy Orton (from WWE)
Most Hated:
Chad's Pick:  Randy Orton. For the life of me I can't figure out the appeal of this guy. Actually Most Hated is probably to strong and gives Orton too much credit. He's more like Most Useless Waste of Space. Orton is a  John Cena in training. Guy who gets beat up a lot but ultimately wins in the end. I really do want someone to logically explain to me his appeal. And his tattoos are stupid. In a Most Hated in a Fun Way it has to be Icarus. The guy has been on the ChikaraChikara roster. How he can stay so hated on a roster where fans appreciated everyone is a testament to his heelish talent.

Kevin's Pick:  Michael Cole.  You can read my reasoning in the Channel Changer of the Year.  Again, I feel he'd do a better service as a manager, just keep him away from commentary.  Bottom line, he's obnoxious.

Most Under appreciated:
Chad's Pick:  Until the past month I would have said the TNA Originals. But it appears TNA may actually be starting to give them the spotlight. I guess I'll say the WWE tag team division. Though I don't know if it's under appreciated or just under used.

Natalya at the Royal Rumble (from WWE)
Kevin's Pick:  Natalya.  I think there are a lot of good choices here, and I like Chad's suggestion about the tag team division.  I feel like Nattie got screwed out of the Divas title at the Royal Rumble by dropping it to Eve and has really not gotten her traction back since then.  I like her alliance with Beth Phoenix, but Natalya seems to be on the losing end of a lot of her matches.  She's one of the best female wrestlers the company has ever had, they need to let her shine more.

(from ROH)
Most Overrated:
Chad's Pick: Davey Richards. As much as I don't see the appeal of Randy Orton, the fandom of Davey Richards completely baffles me. I went to a PWG show back in January with a friend who had gone to a show with me back in 2007. My friend doesn't follow wrestling and hadn't seen a show since the few shows he saw in 2007. When Davey Richards came out to a chorus of cheers, he was stunned. "Isn't this the same guy everyone booed and called an oompa loompa?" he asked. I don't get the appeal the Strong Style form of wrestling. As much as I like watching wrestlers pretend to hurt each other, I greatly dislike seeing wrestlers actually hurting each other. When Richards won the ROH World Title, he allegedly didn't know the match was over and couldn't remember the last half of the match due to a concussion.  Given the number of concussions in wrestling and the lingering effects they can have one a person, wrestling promoters should encourage a style that is less harmful on wrestlers not more harmful.   Outside of his personal wrestling style, compared to Davey Richards, Randy Orton looks like Ultimate Warrior on the charismatic scale.  I was happy when Davey said he was going to retire at the end of 2010. I wish when wrestlers talked retirement they would actually stick to it. 

Kevin's Pick:  Alberto Del Rio.  All sizzle and no steak as far as I can tell.  The WWE wants us to buy into him, but I'm still not sold.  He may have won the Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, and two WWE championships, but Del Rio still hasn't impressed me yet.  Now that they've paired him with the Bella Twins, I wonder if management thinks he's not over either. However, I've read that Vince McMahon is high on him, so I'm sure we'll see more of a push for the Mexican aristocrat in 2012.

Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler (from WWE)
Breakout Star:
Chad's Pick:  I'm not really sure I want to go with him, but Zack Ryder is the only wrestler I can really think of for this category. I'm still on the fence on if his cult popularity can be sustained by his in ring skills or if he's going to be a flash in the pan. Plus, I think WWE has mishandled Zack by taking him from guy not on TV to US Title in such a quick fashion. I will give Zack credit for creating his own destiny. 

Kevin's Pick:  Good choice, but I'm going with Dolph Ziggler.  He shined in his series earlier in the year with Edge and proved he can be a main event player in my book.  Dolph had his ups and downs throughout the year, but he won the U.S. title and held it for nearly six months which is quite a feat.  He also did a couple of double duties on WWE pay per views this year.  I still think 2012 is going to be an even bigger year for Ziggler.

Only in Wrestling:
Chad's Pick:  Santa Playa and Hornswoggle the Elf.  Viewers of WWE's TLC PPV got to see one of the lamest and probably borderline racist and other ISTs promos with Teddy Long dressed as Santa Claus and Hornswoggle as an Elf. I really want to know who came up with the idea and who decided it should be shown on TV. I don't think you'd see anything like this anywhere else except for maybe on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or South Park.

Snooki with the win (from WWE)
Kevin's Pick:  I'm going to go with the surge of non wrestlers stepping into the ring.  I don't know if it's really a surge, but specifically I'm talking about Snooki and Ronnie from the Jersey Shore.  Each made their wrestling debuts this year.  While I know wrestling is more sports entertainment these days, would you ever see the Situation suit up for the New York Giants?  Or how about JWoww playing for the WNBA?  Of course not.  And what's worse is when these "celebrities" go over in the match.

Show of the Year:
Chad's Pick: Chikara's High Noon. Chikara made their Internet PPV debut and put on a stacked show from top to bottom. While Money in the Bank had the Match of the Year. I don't remember much of the undercard. High Noon on the other hand was the culmination of stories that spanned a year or longer. High Noon was what Wrestlemania used to be. The crowning of Chikara's first Grand Champion was ten years in the making and lived up to the hype.

Kevin's Pick:  I didn't see a whole lot of pay per views this year, so it may not be totally fair for me to make a pick here.  However, I felt like Money in the Bank was the best of what I saw.  

Ophidian (from Chikara)
Star on the Horizon:
Chad's Pick:  Ophidian. While Ophidian had a losing record after his partner Amasis was injured early in the year, I think 2012 will be his breakout year. Ophidian attacking Amasis at High Noon after Amasis announced his injuries were so severe he wouldn't be able to ever wrestle again was the stepping stone for Ophidian's singles career. I am curious to see what Ophidian does during Chiakara's Season 11.

Kevin's Pick:  Cody Rhodes.  I'm not sure if he qualifies or not, as he already is a star.  Maybe I should have switched he and Dolph Ziggler on the breakthrough performer.  Regardless, Cody definitely stepped up his game in 2011 and as far as I'm concerned has outshined his fellow Legacy members (Orton and Ted DiBiase)  I see big things for the son of the American Dream.  Only time will tell if he fulfills his destiny (sorry Alberto)

Female of the Year:
Del Rey & Kharma, from Shimmer
Chad's Pick:  Sara Del Rey. The Queen of Wrestling had a remarkable year after breaking free from the BDK and coming up just short in Chikara's 12 Large Summit. Now that's she demolished Jakob Hammermeier, I expect her to try and make a run at becoming Chikara's first female Grand Champion.

Kevin's Pick:  Kharma.  Her time with the WWE was brief, and I still think she'll be back, but has there ever been so much buzz about a Diva before her first appearance?  I loved the vignettes the WWE put together and how Kharma came in and destroyed all the women who got in her way.  I'm really curious to see where the angle was headed, but Kharma has been on the shelf, preparing to deliver a baby.  I expect big things from her in 2012 and I hope she and my choice for honorable mention, Beth Phoenix have some type of program against one another.

So, what do you think?  Who would you have awarded with a Centy?  Post your thoughts here or on Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube.

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