Welcome back to the Wrestlegasm Best in Show Awards. Now you’ve tasted the best preserves and chutneys the region has to offer and managed to pull yourself away from the display of amusingly shaped vegetables we can get on with my part of the ceremony. I’m assuming that you have all enjoyed Boss Lady Ray’s post at the weekend? You did? Excellent. On we go then…
Tempting as it was to give this award to Curt Hawkins, the sudden realisation that nobody actually watches Superstars and won’t have seen any of his fun matches against Trent Baretta meant otherwise. Instead, this award goes to the man who has inspired underwear choices throughout the land…
No… not those, although obviously that is now de rigeur for any self-respecting DIY enthusiast (and please feel free to add your own euphemism if you must.) Dolph Ziggler, resplendent in what I am reliably informed is “snow-leopard”, has been one of the highlights of this year. Consistently putting on great matches through 2010, Ziggler went from being one of the two starting entrants in the Rumble in January (lasting less than three minutes), to winning the Intercontinental Title in July and holding it for the rest of the year, appearing at every PPV for the rest of the year.
He has been compared to Mr Perfect on here before, and he certainly has the confidence, the look and the ability to be a main eventer in 2011. He’s made a start with his World Title shot against Edge at the Rumble this year, and if that’s not a sign of improvement since last year I don’t know what is. Of course, a lot of his heat can be attributed to his relationship with Vickie Guerrero. On paper going from Maria to Vickie last year might have looked like “trading down” but in retrospect it was a genius move.
Nobody can get boos like Vickie, and she has definitely helped Dolph’s cause. But more importantly, and as we have been saying here for a while now, he has the ability to put on great matches every time. Surely 2011 will be the year that Dolph Ziggler puts behind his slightly embarrassing past (from Kerwin White’s caddy, through the Spirit Squad, up to his weird fetish for introducing himself backstage) and become one of the major stars of WWE?
VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION go to Cody Rhodes, Layla and Frightmare. Cody has come on leaps and bounds this year. His “Dashing” gimmick is deliberately annoying and works perfectly, and he seems to be a much better wrestler suddenly. Whether that is because he’s no longer being dragged down by Ted DiBiase and Randy Orton (or worse, Hardcore bloody Holly) or because he’s just trying harder I don’t know. But I now look forward to Cody Rhodes matches, which I couldn’t say this time last year.
Layla also gets a nod, not just because she’s rather fetching in those skin-tight dresses, and not just because she said she liked my photostory that time. She has got better and better this year, and let’s be honest: anyone that can make Michelle McCool watchable is deserving of some kind of reward. The last nod though goes to Frightmare. I know… I know… you’ve never heard of him. Trust me, he’s ace. Frightmare primarily wrestles for CHIKARA and this year won their only singles title, the Young Lions Cup. A relatively short wrestler, who only speaks in gibberish, Frightmare is one of the most exciting young wrestlers at the moment, to the point where he was named Rookie of the Year by Pro-Wrestling Illustrated last year. He’s basically Mysterio, back when Mysterio was exciting:
We were tied on this one, so channelling the indecisive spirits of Masterchef judges John Torrode and Greg Wallace we have decided… dramatic pause… mood-setting strings… dramatic pause… camera focussing on each in turn… dramatic pause… to put you both through! Matt Striker and Ultramantis Black share this award, due to their sterling work on commentary through the year.
Striker was an obvious choice for the Boss Lady, given that she’s obviously completely smitten with him. Oh, and he works here of course, so there’s a touch of nepotism involved. Hey, it’s not what you know… it’s who you know. Having said that, Striker is pretty awesome on commentary. His constant pop culture references (especially in his Smiths period) as well as his innumerable, and frankly nonsensical, nicknames for wrestlers have made him a favourite here in The Bunker. Well, I suppose those pictures of him posing with an ironing board might have helped as well…
As for Ultramantis Black, he was my choice. Again, a member of the CHIKARA roster, Ultramantis Black is possibly the funniest commentator of all time. He happens to be a pretty nifty wrestler too, but as a commentator alongside Bryce Remsburg or Larry Sweeney he makes every match more enjoyable. Hell, the bloke would get the award simply for the fact he managed to throw a Simpsons reference in there…
VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION goes to Punk (again!) partly for his excellent work on Raw, but mainly for his work on NXT and especially Superstars alongside Scott Stanford. Again, I know you probably don’t watch Superstars but you’re really missing out – in fact Scott Stanford may be in the running for this award next year
This was definitely the year that wrestlers embraced the unknown pleasures of micro-blogging. From the first, tentative steps of early adopters such as @IAmJericho and @mikethemiz, the WWE in particular really got behind twitter, to the point of advertising the Rookies’ twitter accounts on NXT. While both myself and Boss Lady Ray follow far too many wrestlers on twitter, none gave us as much entertainment this year as Matt Hardy.
From his inane ramblings about grapes to his constant YouTube videos berating the WWE and boasting of his wealth, Matt Hardy used twitter to help end his WWE career and to alienate a number of fans. Not only was his self-belief delusional at best, but Hardy made a point of lying to the very fans he claims to love.
After being sent home from a European tour, Hardy stringently denied he had been – going so far as to post a bewildering video proving that he was still in the UK. It’s nice to know that Matt thinks so little of his fans that he is prepared to believe that they will not appreciate the difference in being sent “home” (ie. being asked to leave the arena and go back to your hotel) and being sent home (ie. get back to your house and up to your room without any supper Matthew!).
Now, I won’t deny that I dislike Matt Hardy, and that I disliked him before all this started happening. Let’s face it, you only have to look back through my posts on here to see that. But for him to act so unprofessionally with petty jibes at the company that made him the star he unfortunately is (and his brother, despite numerous wellness violations) seems bad even for him. The only thing I can assume is that’s what comes from a life of never having a real job, and having thousands of people chant your name.
Of course, the story did have a happy ending: Hardy is out of my life and is now on TNA where I don’t have to see him.
VERY BRITISH NODS OF APPRECIATION go to Dolph Ziggler (@HEELZiggler) for never breaking character and seemingly only tweeting about Spongebob Squarepants and Porn Stars. Also, and I’m aware we sound like squealing fangirls here, but ZOMG IT’S @CMPUNK!!!!!! Anyone who wages a war on incorrect spelling and grammar on Twitter has my undying love and appreciation.
Ahhh, the bit of the post where I have to attempt to not sound creepy while discussing my crush on somebody I have never met. You know, if Beth hadn’t returned from injury last year, this award would definitely have gone to Kaitlyn. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, both Ray and myself have written about how we’ve fallen for her.
Still, sorry about this Kaitlyn. I’m sure you’ll be devastated by the news that Beth has returned to reclaim her place in my affections. I’ll try not to get too weird about this, but Beth is stunning. I’ve never found muscular arms so attractive before. Fortunately for me, she also comes across as a genuinely nice person out of character. Seriously, nobody ever seems to have a bad word to say about her. Whether it’s CM Punk in an interview claiming “As far as wrestling, the one person i’ve seen work as hard if not harder than me….and come from nothing is Beth Phoenix. I’ve got much unconditional love for the glamazon. She’s been through hell and back. Twice. Nobodys better.” Or co-runner of women’s wrestling promotion SHIMMER, Allison Danger (she of the John Cena reference a bit higher up the article) who had this to say:
Best of all, and the thing that helps me justify my crush beyond simply “she’s so dreamy”? She’s a great wrestler. Not a great female wrestler, just a great wrestler. Full stop. When she came out in the Royal Rumble this year, other than the Khali kiss, she didn’t look out of place at all. When she wrestled against Santino Marella on Raw back in 2008 it didn’t seem strange at all.
Before I end up with a restraining order I should move onto the second part of the Crush Award: MAN CRUSH OF THE YEAR which could go to quite a few people if I’m honest. I’m comfortable enough in my sexuality to accept that the likes of Claudio Castagnoli and Dolph Ziggler are pretty attractive men. But for me, my Man Crush is Ultramantis Black
This might seem a strange one. For a start he’s an evil insect overlord, not the classic traits you look for in a boyfriend. Also he’s vegan, and I love Cornish Pasties, so that wouldn’t work. But he seems so effortlessly cool. His Xmas tattoos are amazing, his taste in music is pretty impeccable, his t-shirt designs are always great (to the point where I own enough to wear one every day of the working week.)
Well, that’s that for now. We’ll be back with a joint post next week to list the remaining winners, and then it’s Rumble prediction time where I’ll go 3-1 up!
You’re not getting a song off me…