WWE: Bleacher Report's 2011 Slammy Awards Results
After tabulating the votes, here are the results to Bleacher Report's Slammy Awards. Many of you voted for the nine categories listed. Thank you to all who took part in the voting process. Also, let me thank everyone who suggested additional categories as well.
All in all, it really showed the various opinions out there from wrestling fans. It also showed the consistency that many fans believe in certain aspects of WWE. This year has been filled with unforgettable moments that have kept wrestling fans talking, brought in new fans and brought back some old fans too.
Many superstars stepped up their game, as fantastic matches and events are what fans will take away from 2011 in WWE. From Alberto Del Rio's rise to Edge's sudden farewell and all the way to The Summer of Punk, these last 12 months have had a lot to look back on. The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak continued, while the Ryder Revolution was just beginning. Seven different superstars enjoyed their first reigns with a specific world championship, while John Cena became the first-ever 10-time WWE Champion.
What is most important about 2011 is what the fans take away from it. Tonight's Slammy Awards will have silly categories and likely will have winners that the fans won't fully agree with. In this slideshow, outside of Superstar of the Year, both the nominees and the winners were left up to voters. Let's reveal the results.
Superstar of the Year: CM Punk
CM Punk: 53 votes
Mark Henry: Seven votes
Randy Orton: Four votes
The Miz: One vote
Alberto Del Rio: One vote
It was a landslide victory, but could you expect anything less? CM Punk started 2011 as the leader of The New Nexus, giving himself the biggest advantage ever during the biggest Royal Rumble ever.
After a feud with Randy Orton, Punk seemed to drift into the summer without much direction or much of a future. Suddenly, he defeated John Cena on an episode of RAW, took down Rey Mysterio at Capitol Punishment and shifted his attention to the following night, RAW's Power to the People episode.
After becoming No. 1 contender, Punk revealed his contract status with WWE and his intentions of leaving the company with the championship. After some epic promos and lots of anticipation, Money in the Bank saw Punk win his first WWE Championship and walk out of an arena in his hometown of Chicago.
He would return and try to unify his belt with John Cena's interim title at SummerSlam. Punk was successful, but would lose his title to Alberto Del Rio after he cashed in Money in the Bank. Punk would regain the title at Survivor Series and currently holds the championship.
Punk won by an overwhelming margin over the other five men WWE has announced as finalists for their version of the award. Of the six finalists, only John Cena did not receive one vote. The runner-up was Mark Henry, the current World Heavyweight Champion, who has revitalized his career due to his actions in 2011.
Tag Team of the Year: Air Boom and Awesome Truth
Air Boom: 31 votes
Awesome Truth: 29 votes
Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel: Two votes
Big Show and Kane: One vote
Divas of Doom: One vote
Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks: One vote
The Usos: One vote
Until late last night, this was a tie. This year was all about not having a lot of tag teams. There weren't many teams that you could really trust to see on WWE programming. 2011 put a lot of teams together, and a few of them stuck out to fans. The top to vote getters, Air Boom and Awesome Truth, weren't tag teams four months ago. Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne teamed together, won the tag titles and then became the team known as Air Boom. They have been tag team champions ever since, even after Evan Bourne was suspended for violating the Wellness Policy.
Speaking of a wellness policy violation, R-Truth also was penalized by WWE in 2011, but his violation helped to end Awesome Truth. The team, which contained R-Truth and The Miz, was built upon a mutual suspicion of a conspiracy against both of them. Hopefully, they don't try to investigate the last few votes of this competition.
Breakout Star of the Year: Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder: 31 votes
Dolph Ziggler: 16 votes
Cody Rhodes: 16 votes
Alberto Del Rio: Three votes
Alex Riley: One vote
Mark Henry: One vote
Sheamus: One vote
A year ago, Zack Ryder was pretty much a nobody on the WWE roster. There weren't Zack Ryder chants. Ryder didn't have many signs in the crowd. People wondered if Ryder would survive the "spring cleaning", let alone become relevant in WWE.
Ryder took a risk in February, when he started Z! True Long Island Story, his YouTube show. Episodes featured silly jokes and often had to do with how much of a loser Ryder was. There were countless puns about how he wasn't getting pushed, how WWE was dropping the ball and various other mentions to his bosses about how they were not using him the right way.
If it wasn't well-received by WWE, it could have cost Ryder his job. Instead, they saw his popularity and thought dollar signs. Now, Ryder is one of the top draws in merchandise, has one of the strongest fan followings and appeared multiple times on last week's RAW.
Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes both finished tied for second, but they each seemed to hurt one another in voting. If one man's votes were combined with the other's, they could have defeated Ryder by one vote. Ziggler and Rhodes both had fantastic 2011's, but the Ryder Revolution is rolling on strong...for now.
Diva of the Year: Beth Phoenix
Beth Phoenix: 42 votes
Kelly Kelly: 15 votes
Natalya: Three votes
Kharma: One vote
Alicia Fox: One vote
Eve Torres: One vote
AJ: One vote
Snooki: One vote
This would seem like hardly a race, but there were more nominees than I could have imagined. There was even a vote for Maria Kanellis, but I did not count it because she hasn't been a diva at all in 2011.
Beth Phoenix, however, has been a diva, and a dominant one at that. Essentially picking up the war path that Kharma stopped when she left to have her pregnancy, Phoenix, alongside Natalya, have run through the rest of the diva roster with their Pin Up Strong campaign. The dominant diva nearly tripled the votes given to runner-up Kelly Kelly, who has been exposed this year as a viable top-tier face in the divas division.
Fans can recognize talent, though, and can see how talented Phoenix is to be doing what she is doing with the division right now. Not only does Beth need to come out strong and dominant, but make her competition look good while doing it.
Shocking Moment of the Year: CM Punk's Shoot Promo
(Top Six Votegetters Only)
CM Punk's Shoot Promo: 16 votes
Kevin Nash Returns at SummerSlam: 14 votes
CM Punk Wins at Money in the Bank: Eight votes
The Rock Returns to Host WrestleMania: Seven votes
Daniel Bryan Wins Money in the Bank Briefcase: Six votes
Edge Forced to Retire: Five votes
There were many events in WWE that shocked crowds in WWE. In our voting alone, there were 14 different moments that were suggested for this honor. In the end, it was CM Punk's shocking shoot that edged out the return of Kevin Nash at SummerSlam.
Punk's promo drew headlines in multiple media outlets and put WWE in the crosshairs of many places who have not paid attention to a non-steroid-related issue in quite some time. Nash returning and costing Punk his WWE Championship was one thing, but absolutely nobody could imagine that Punk would say what he said. The promo was planned, but the words certainly were not.
Match of the Year: CM Punk vs John Cena (Money in the Bank)
CM Punk vs John Cena (Money in the Bank): 54 votes
The Undertaker vs HHH (WrestleMania): Six votes
The Miz vs John Morrison (RAW): Two votes
Christian vs Randy Orton (Over the Limit): One vote
Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton (Smackdown): One vote
Dolph Ziggler vs CM Punk (RAW): One vote
Randy Orton vs Christian (SummerSlam): One vote
There wasn't much debate here. John Cena and CM Punk put on a rare five-star match at Money in the Bank with a fantastic crowd and very interesting storyline. In the end, everyone walked away happy, as CM Punk was WWE Champion and people everywhere were talking about it.
The Cena critics will forever have to explain how this match works into their argument of John Cena being so stale. It also cemented CM Punk's legacy as one of the best wrestlers of this generation.
Pay-Per-View of the Year: Money in the Bank
Money in the Bank: 51 votes
Survivor Series: Six votes
WrestleMania: Three votes
Extreme Rules: One vote
Strengthened mostly by that Cena/Punk main event, Money in the Bank is widely considered to be the pay-per-view of the year. The two Money in the Bank ladder matches helped crown Alberto Del Rio a world champion, as well as give Daniel Bryan a future world championship match. In the months since the pay-per-view, Bryan has developed into a legitimate threat to the title.
The event also had the first of a series of great matches between Mark Henry and Big Show, as well as Christian winning the World Heavyweight Championship via disqualification, a first in the title's history.
Fans of the Year: Little Jimmies
(Top Six Votegetters Only)
Little Jimmies: 21 votes
Fans who caught CM Punk at Survivor Series: 13 votes
Chicago crowd at Money in the Bank: 13 votes
"We Hate Cena" Shirt Guy: Two votes
The Zack Pack: Two votes
Eight other responses: One vote each
If R-Truth was not serving a suspension, "Little Jimmy" would still be one of the most popular chants at WWE shows. Following R-Truth's heel turn this year, R-Truth would imply that the children who cheered for John Cena were "Little Jimmy". It would all feed into his conspiracy belief, which kept him back from a WWE Championship.
The embodiment of "Little Jimmy" would cost Truth the WWE Championship at Capitol Punishment with the water splashed in his face. Keep in mind that these votes also included the father and son Cena fans, AKA Big Jimmy and Little Jimmy.
The eight responses who got just one vote were very varied. There was one vote for the fan who gave the middle finger to Mr. McMahon at Money in the Bank, another for the fan who was crying at SummerSlam after Mark Henry put Sheamus through the guardrail and even one for fans who dress like referees. Even the infamous rat who scurried behind Alberto Del Rio on an episode of RAW got a vote.
OMG Moment of the Year: Big Show and Mark Henry Break Ring at Vengeance
(Top Six Votegetters Only)
Ring Breaks at Vengeance: 19 votes
The Rock Returns to Host WrestleMania: 11 votes
CM Punk's Shoot Promo: Six votes
CM Punk Wins WWE Championship: Five votes
Edge Forced to Retire: Four votes
Christian Wins World Heavyweight Championship: Two votes
Daniel Bryan Wins Money in the Bank Briefcase: Two votes
Big Show's Elbow Drop at Survivor Series: Two votes
Undertaker Unable to Walk Out of WrestleMania: Two votes
Nine other suggestions: One vote each
It may have happened a few years ago with Brock Lesnar and Big Show, but when Big Show did the same superplex spot with Mark Henry at Vengeance, it still felt fresh and actually felt more believable. What made it even more shocking is that there was still a match that took place after it. The original spot was not planned, and the rest of the action that night was canceled, while Vengeance continued into a Last Man Standing match main event.
Among the other nine suggestions, which only yielded a vote apiece, were Mr. McMahon being relieved of his duties, Zack Ryder winning a match on RAW and Michael Cole insulting Jerry "The King" Lawler's mother shortly after her death.
The Best of the Additional Categories
There were 31 different suggestions for additional categories for this. Here are 10 of the best ones.
Most Improved on the Mic: Dolph Ziggler
The Never-ending Story Award: NXT Redemption
Funny Moment of the Year: R-Truth’s Survivor Series Promo
Stupidest Hairdo: CM Punk
Jobber of the Year: Heath Slater (another voter suggested Santino Marella for the same award)
Worst Feud of the Year: Cole/King (suggested twice)
Best Batista Look-Alike: Mason Ryan
Dumbest Segments of the Year: Johnny Curtis Vignettes
Best Quote: “Oh, shucky ducky” –Booker T (suggested by two voters)
Most Disappointing Feud: Sin Cara vs Sin Cara (suggested multiple times)