It’s that time again. Voting ends on 12/01/02. Even though these are called the 2002 Awards, technically the time period these awards cover is 11/01 to 10/02. In other words, this month’s Survivor Series does not count, but last year’s Survivor Series with the end of the Alliance does. I’ll tell you who should win these awards in my own not-so-humble opinion.
Summerslam 2002 was the Best Major Show. It also had the Best Match of the Year when Shawn Michaels returned to battle Triple H. This match exceeded everyone’s expectations. A close runner-up to the match of the year is Rock/Hogan at Wrestlemania.
Kurt Angle gets the awards for best wrestler and best heel. He makes everyone he wrestles look better and is a really good heel. Angle has the current record of most consecutive PPV matches by a WWE superstar at 30-something straight. Nobody else is even close. He is the WWE’s MVP. Chris Benoit gets the awards for best worker and best technical wrestler. Benoit has won these awards the last three years in a row. I have no doubt this will be his fourth.
Hulk Hogan gets the awards for Best Babyface and Worst Heel. Regardless of his workrate or the feeling of the smarks, the arena goes crazy when Hogan shows up. He has been known to generate standing applause for over ten minutes. Nobody in the WWE gets more fan support. The fans wouldn’t accept it when he was a heel. It didn’t matter if he ran the Rock over with a car. At Wrestlemania the fans went against the script and cheered for Hogan against the Rock. After years of growing up with the Hulkster, they wouldn’t buy Hollywood Hogan as the bad guy. So, he gets these awards.
Steve Austin gets two awards also. One for the Best Interviewee, because his promos were always the best in the business. He came up with all the “What’s.” This became such a big catchphrase that crowds were using it during all wrestling interviews. Austin used it as a heel and a face to embarrass his opponents. The Most Disappointing News Item was when Steve Austin walked out on the WWE. I hope he comes back in time for the 2002 Royal Rumble. He already entered it, so please come back, Stone Cold.
Rob Van Dam gets the awards for Most Favourite Wrestler and for the Best Flyer in the WWE. He wins a close battle over Rey Mysterio. His Elimination Chamber splash that injured Triple H was not considered since it occurred after the deadline. I think he gets the most height on his five star splash. If there are three splashable targets lying in the ring, he can hit any one of them from any angle. He can also make adjustments in mid-flight. He is a great high flyer.
Tajiri is the most underrated wrestler in the WWE. He was getting monster pops as a face back in 8/01 when they decided to kill his heat by jobbing him to X-Pac, Rhyno, and William Regal in back to back PPVs. He uses his lack of mic skills to his advantage in his interviews. He has a great sense of humor dressing up as a doctor to visit Maven and dressing up as Disco Stu on the Halloween Smackdown. He has an innovative offense helped out by the stiffist kicks in the business. He can do suplexes, high flying moves, submission moves, and anything else you like. He should be headlining the cruiserweight division. The most improved wrestler is Trish Stratus . I used to view her as pure eye candy. But, she can take bumps with the best of the female wrestlers. She has improved a lot in the last year.
The Dudley Boyz win the award for the best tag team. This includes the 2001 Survivor Series when they unified the Tag Team Titles by defeating the Hardy Boyz. They have the best Tag Team finisher in the 3D. It’s a shame they never won this award before. They are arguably the best tag team in wrestling history.
The Best Feud this year was Eric Bischoff v. Stephanie McMahon. They are both general managers each trying to put on a better show. Eric invaded Smackdown to ruin the Billy and Chuck wedding by posing as a priest. Stephanie had Rikishi give Eric the stinkface in response. Stephanie seems to get the best of this feud by having the Smackdown roster support her, while the Raw roster doesn’t care for Eric. Smackdown has also been getting the top tier wrestlers from Raw to jump to their show; while Raw gets the midcarders that Smackdown doesn’t want. This could be why Smackdown gets much better ratings. WWE SmackDown! is the Best TV Show hands down. The Best Promotional Move made by the WWE was naming Paul Heyman head writer of SmackDown!
Jackie Gayda wins the awards for Worst Wrestler and Worst Worker. She is horrible. In Tough Enough, she didn’t care about wrestling as much as partying and making out. As eye candy she looks good. But, the WWE should’ve known she couldn’t wrestle before they picked her to win Tough Enough. Her winning shows they care more for style over substance. Her getting sent down to OVW after a horrible match with Trish Stratus was a punishment she deserved.
Ric Flair wins the award for the Most Deteriorated Wrestler. He is nowhere near as good as he used to be. He has no moves except chops and kicks. He can’t do even do the flair flop anymore. He has no place inside a wrestling ring.
Lita wins the award for the Worst Colour Commentator. I like her, I even have one of her posters, but she has a voice for posters as well. She got the announcing job on Heat because of her looks. All of the editing and voice-overs on Heat can’t help her out.
The Worst Wrestling Gimmick was having Chris Jericho as Stephanie McMahon's lapdog. Never has a World Champion been booked so poorly as Chris Jericho’s title run. His title run was considered a huge failure, through almost no fault of his own. It could’ve really been something special. He was a pawn of Stephanie when she was trying to get back at Triple H.
Triple H walks away with the most awards I’ve ever given out in one year. The year of 2002 was “All About the Game” for all the wrong reasons. He was on all the merchandise; DVDs, video games, T-shirts, TV segments, angles, title matches, internet columns, etc. He wins awards for Least Favourite Wrestler, Most Overrated Wrestler, Worst Babyface, Worst Interviewee, and Best Brawler. I’ve proven I’m not a Triple HHHater by giving him best brawler. People who call him a technical wrestler have no idea what they are talking about. He is best at taping his fists and pummeling his opponent’s head with them. He is a street fighter, using chairs and his favorite sledgehammer to set up his pedigree.
As a Babyface, he still choked his opponents and acted like a heel. His real title run was so bad it was scrapped in less than a month when he lost to Hulk Hogan. His interviews are change-the-channel bad. It’s not just the “Uhhs” used as a suffix on every word. He doesn’t know when to stop. He turns a 5 minute segment into a 20 minute one. His interviews to open Raw helped kill the ratings. The only segment worse is an Al Wilson segment, and I can cut him some slack since he’s not a wrestler.
While Triple H is taking home all these awards, I’ve got some other ones he can take also. He may not have been solely responsible for these next ones, but he deserves most of the blame for them as well. Triple H v. Kane was the Worst Feud of the year. They tried to work a Necrophillia angle, Worst Angle, and they didn’t need to do it that way. Triple H ended up trying to be a cool heel by making tasteless jokes. Kane’s character turned into a murdering, necrophiliac, retard who never got his revenge on Triple H. The feud was so bad, it made people look forward to an Undertaker/Lesnar main event. Triple H vs. Undertaker (RAW – 8/26/02) was the worst match of the year. Raw’s main event was so bad, Undertaker left Raw for Smackdown the next day. It was a plodding, slow paced match that was even worse than their KotR match month’s before. The crowd was silent, begging for Brock Lesnar to come out for the run-in. (If there was a category for Worst PPV Main Event match, their KotR would win that too.) The Worst Promotional Move was the next week when WWE revives the World championship, and awarded it to Triple H. They took away one of Brock Lesnar’s titles, even though he deserved to be the undisputed champion. Then they gave it to Triple H, just because he was the biggest name on Raw after all the other big names left the show. He didn’t even earn his fake title in a tournament. By not referring to it as the WCW title, they are just causing more confusion over whether that title, or the WWE (Smackdown) Title is the real one. It elevated nobody while making Brock Lesnar and Triple H both look weak.
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Chapter Nine: ”King Cage” -King Cage, King of the Cage, the Old School Hero, the King of Hardcore, the Hardcore Hero, the Hammer, Black Jesus, Luke Cage, probably the most beloved wrestler in the last twenty years.