Although they have occurred inconsistently over the past 26 years, the Slammy Awards have long been a big part of the WWE. They first debuted in 1986 and have taken place seven additional times since then, and yet another edition of the Slammys will air during this week's episode of Raw.
The Slammys were originally meant to be like other awards shows, but they have since been used to push certain agendas. Even though there isn't necessarily a lot of meaning to the Slammy Awards, there have been several entertaining moments over the years, and the 2012 Slammys will likely produce some as well.
In 1996 and 1997, respectively, the Slammys were held the night before WrestleMania, which is now reserved for the Hall of Fame ceremony. The current Slammy Awards aren't showcased on such a big stage; however, there is still a place for the Slammys in the WWE today.
The Slammy Awards likely aren't thought of in the same way that classic pay-per-views are due to the fact that they have come and gone so many times over the years, but here are the top five moments in the entertaining event's history.
While the more recent Slammy Awards shows have been hit and miss due to the fact that they have been thrown into episodes of Raw, some great moments have still come out of them. One that is especially notable is CM Punk's acceptance of the "Despicable Me" award in 2010 for his rendition of Happy Birthday to Rey Mysterio's daughter.
The moment itself that Punk won the award for was fantastic. It came at the height of his run with the Straight Edge Society, and it was one of a handful of promos that helped Punk reach the next level. Also, Punk's reaction to winning was priceless. At the time, Punk was nursing an injury, so he was filling in as a commentator. He jumped up from the announce desk when his name was called; he embraced Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler looked on disgustedly.
Also, Punk's acceptance speech was quite memorable, as he called out a superstar in the back and said that he never forgot what he did to him. It turns out that the superstar he was referring to was Randy Orton. Punk would soon become the leader of Nexus and engage in a feud with Orton that culminated in a WrestleMania match.
A few years earlier, Orton and Legacy had attacked Punk, which forced him into surrendering the World Heavyweight Championship. Punk never forgot, and it was the driving force in his rivalry with The Viper. The Slammy Awards over the past few years have been fairly inconsequential, but Punk used them to further a storyline, so that moment deserves recognition.
The Slammys have generally been about handing out awards and little else over the years, but the WWE put a different spin on things in 2009. Rather than simply naming a Superstar of the Year, a four-person tournament was set up between John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk and The Undertaker, with the winner having the ultimate honor bestowed upon them.
While it didn't make a ton of sense, since the better man on one night wasn't necessarily the best all year long, it involved the top four guys, and it added some meaning to the event. Cena defeated Punk in the first round via submission while Orton got past The Undertaker due to a countout, so the Superstar of the Year award came down to a showdown between Cena and Orton.
Not surprisingly, Cena came out on top, but the fact that the top match on the show was related to the Slammys made it special. The Slammy Awards are usually pretty much independent from the Raw at which they occur, but in 2009, everything was intertwined nicely. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing the WWE resurrect this concept in the future.
There is no question that the Slammy Awards have evolved over the years and are very different than they were back in 1986, but the WWE can do some unique things with Raw in the equation that it couldn't back then, and the 2009 Superstar of the Year tournament was a prime example of that.
Although the WWE's current PG product gets blasted by many fans for being too corny, it has nothing on what transpired at the 1987 Slammy Awards. Due to the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection and the WWE's involvement with MTV, Vince McMahon was very much interesting in combining wrestling and music at the time. Never was that more apparent than during the closing stages of the second annual Slammy Awards in 1987.
The WWE had just released an album entitled "Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2" and wanted to showcase one of the songs from the album. Because of that, essentially all of the superstars on the WWE roster at the time stood together and sang "If You Only Knew" to close the show. It included interaction between some of the faces and heels, and even solos from the likes of Hulk Hogan and Koko B. Ware.
Most current fans probably think that it was pretty lame looking back, but it's a great piece of wrestling nostalgia and an accurate depiction of the wrestling landscape back then. Although the WWE recently released a short Christmas carol that featured all of today's superstars, it's much different than the 1987 Slammy Awards performance. The Slammys were a special event, and "If You Only Knew" was essentially the featured moment of the entire show.
McMahon probably thought that the album was going to be huge, and while that wasn't necessarily the case, it's hilarious to go back and watch the videos or listen to some of the songs. The song gave the Slammys an actual awards show feel back in 1987, and I highly doubt that we'll ever see something similar in the WWE again.
It's safe to say that nobody did more for the Slammy Awards over the years than Owen Hart. He won his first Slammy back in 1996 for taking out Shawn Michaels and proceeded to brag about it for an entire year. He took things to another level in 1997, however, when he was supposed to present the award for the best bow tie in WWE.
Rather than reading the nominees and revealing the winner, however, Owen simply took the award and gave a hilarious victory speech. He went on and on about how he was better than everyone else and then called out Vader and Mankind due to their lack of Slammys. The fun wasn't over when the speech came to an end, though, as Owen was confronted by Vader when he walked off the stage.
Owen then tripped a waiter, who spilled punch all over Vader. The Mastodon chased Owen through the banquet hall, but Owen got away and Vader ended up wiping out. The mere sight of Vader wearing a suit while still wearing his signature red mask is enough to get a laugh out of any wrestling fan. Owen would continue to tout himself as a two-time Slammy Award winner in the coming weeks and months, and he somehow made it seem like he accomplished something despite the fact that he heisted the award.
For pretty much everyone else over the course of Slammy history, they forgot about the award the day after they received it. Owen made sure that the fans knew that the Slammys were important to him, though, as he constantly talked about them. There are a lot of reasons to remember Owen Hart, and his involvement with the Slammys is certainly one of them.
Much like the musical performance at the 1987 Slammy Awards, Todd Pettengill's introductory song at the 1996 Slammy Awards isn't for everybody. It wouldn't work in the present day since we have already lived through the Attitude Era, but 1996, was just prior to the most prosperous period in wrestling, and the WWE was still trying to find itself.
Even so, Pettengill's musical number at the Slammys is something that I will never forget. He sang about many of the WWE's top superstars at the time, including Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Diesel, The Undertaker and Yokozuna, among others. He also sang to the tune of random songs, and they didn't flow together particularly well, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
As somebody who began watching wrestling back in 1995, Pettengill's Slammy song occurred fairly early in my tenure as a wrestling fan, and it was just something that stuck with me. The current Slammy Awards don't really mirror an awards show, but Pettengill's song had an awards show feel, as it isn't uncommon for the host to sing a little song or to tell a number of jokes about some of the people in the crowd.
The song itself was fairly innocent, but the big shot came near the end when Pettengill had some choice words for then-WCW owner Ted Turner. Vince McMahon was laughing throughout the song, so it's obvious that he had plenty of input, and the shot at Turner had Vince written all over it. Whatever the case, the Slammy Awards truly felt special and important back in 1996, so Pettengill's song deserves the billing of top Slammy moment.