I would like to start by saying Happy New Year to everyone! I would also like to thank all of you who voted at the end of the year. Thanks to your votes, I was able to decipher through all the clutter and be able to finally unveil the big winners of 2008.
With that, here are the winners of the 2008 Pro Wrestling Awards:
2008 Tag Team of the Year: The Dirt Sheet
Like I said, you may not like them, but they were one of the most talked about tag teams in 2008. Entering the year, The Miz and John Morrison were WWE Tag Team Champions. They were the hosts of one of the biggest syndicated web shows on WWE.com. They also won the 2008 Slammy Award for Best Tag Team at the end of 2008.
Even better for them, they ended the year the same way they started: As Tag Team Champions. They defeated The Kings of Punk to win the World Tag Team Champions, making them the first team to win tag team gold on both brands in a single year. They are The Dirt Sheet, and in their world, there are winners and there are losers...Be Jealous!
2008 Diva of the Year: Beth Phoenix
Despite being the first Divas Champion, Michelle McCool was not the Diva of the Year. That prestigious honor goes to "The Glamazon" Beth Phoenix. She spent the majority of the year either as Women's Champion or contending for the gold. She sent two huge divas (Candice Michelle and Melina) to the injured list. And she has been involved in an interesting relationship with Santino. Either way, she's the muscle, and Marella is the mouth. But as long as she's the Women's Champion, she doesn't care what happens.
2008 Knockouts of the Year: Awesome Kong & The Beautiful People
While the men of TNA have been focused on each other, the Knockouts have been making some serious noise this year. Awesome Kong did everything in her power to win matches and cripple her opponents. She bloodied Roxxi, decimated ODB and even retired Gail Kim. But it was her rivalry with Taylor Wilde that made everyone focus on the raw power of Kong. She began the year as Knockouts Champion, and she ended the year just as she started. But she wasn't the only one who made some noise in 2008.
You can look, but you can't touch The Beautiful People. They have beauty and brains, but I wondered if they could wrestle. They managed to prove me wrong when they were involved in several key matches in 2008. Despite their animosity for everyone that isn't them, TBP managed to keep themselves in the center of the spotlight for the duration of 2008 with a rivalry against Wilde. But it was their current rivalry that may have sealed their fate as Co-Knockouts of the Year as TNA is poking fun at former VP Candidate Sarah Palin with the "Extreme Makeover" storyline.
2008 Couple of the Year: Glamarella
He considers himself the greatest Intercontinental Champion "of all the times!" He made headlines when he shocked Umaga in his home country of Italy (thanks to Bobby Lashley) to become IC Champion for the first time. But in 2008, he was the co-winner for the 2008 Mic Check Award. His comedy is the reason why he was one of the best characters on RAW in 2008. But his obsession so to speak with The Glamazon is what makes he and Phoenix the Couple of the Year. So for one more day, Glamarella is the greatest couple "of all the times!"
Best World Champion of 2008: Triple H
He considers himself the measuring stick of the business. He has been called the Cerebral Assassin and the King of Kings. But no matter what you call him, he is The Game, and he spent the majority of the year on top of his world. Triple H spent a majority of the year involved in a rivalry with John Cena and former Evolution member Randy Orton. After defeating Orton for the WWE Championship at Backlash and retaining the gold at Night of Champions against Cena, Triple H went over to SmackDown where he was dropped into a war with Vladimir Kozlov, Edge and WWE Champion Jeff Hardy.
That is living proof that he is the Game, and he is that...Damn...Good!
2008 Mic Check Winners: Kennedy & Santino
He has a pretty funny show on WWE.com called Santino's Casa. It's basically a shorter version of what he does on RAW to say the least, but it's still pretty good to watch. His English isn't that good, but that's fine with us. He went from being a great heel to an even greater face. He still plays the role of heel, but when he speaks, people actually finds themselves cheering for the Italian. But unfortunately, he has to share this award with another veteran of the chops.
Just like to remind you that he weighs in at 246 pounds. He hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin! And on top of that, he has a great movie (Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia, which comes out on DVD this Tuesday!) to look forward to. And of course, no one does the old school boxing entrance like him. Even though he's been on the sidelines, he was the reason that William Regal was sent packing as GM of RAW last year, meaning that it was him that started the anarchy of RAW last summer. Because of all this, it's fair to say the co-winner of the 2008 Mic Check Award is: Misterrrrrrrrrrr Kennedy!.......KENNEDY!
2008 Newcomer of the Year: Ricky "Terror Towel" Ortiz
Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston should have a piece of this award as well. Kingston won the Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships in 2008. Bourne won the 2008 Finisher of the Year Slammy Award and was #1 Contender for the ECW Championship at Cyber Sunday. But in retrospect, I can't argue with the fan's vote of Ricky Ortiz as the Newcomer of the Year. The Afro-wearing, Towel Waving Spaniard spent a majority of 2008 undefeated until the end of the year where he lost his first match to Jack Swagger. But either way, those three guys have earned the right to debate who is the 2008 Newcomer of the Year. Sorry Vladimir about your damn luck!
2008 Brand/Broadcast of the Year: WWE RAW
There are several reasons why RAW possibly won this award over SmackDown. For starters, the year started off with a huge bang as Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton were involved in a very physical battle for the WWE Championship. To make it even more interesting, Triple H was involved in a personal war to regain his throne. And of course, there's the return of John Cena at the Royal Rumble...and that's just the first month.
But it was the summer that made RAW one of the best shows on television again. From its fumbling former GM to the ego resurrection of Chris Jericho, RAW had the talent and the animosity to make something out of nothing. When the draft took Jeff Hardy and Triple H to SmackDown, RAW didn't miss a beat. We saw John Cena face Batista one on one for the first time ever. We saw Chris Jericho practically run the show for a majority of the fall. And we also saw the return of RKO.
2008 Boss of the Year: Mike Adamle/Stephanie McMahon, RAW
Adamle made some good decisions during his short tenure as GM of RAW. He gave us Cena-Batista at Summerslam. He gave us the first ever Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. And he also gave us back Stone Cold Steve Austin at Cyber Sunday. Despite leaving due to his animosity with Randy Orton, Adamle left the show on a good note. His successor is looking to continue that...
But she's a McMahon, so why worry? Stephanie McMahon is a former GM herself, and made some pretty good decisions. However, her choice of Superstar of the Year is still debatable. But it doesn't matter. McMahon knows what she's doing, and she's aimed to make 2009 the biggest year in RAW history. With William Regal as IC Champion, The Dirt Sheet coming over from ECW as World Tag Team Champions, not to mention John Cena and Beth Phoenix leading the way, who can argue with her chance of making good on that promise?
2008 Heel of the Year: Randy Orton, RAW
The Age of Orton reigned supreme over RAW in 2008. He spent a majority of the first half of the year as WWE Champion. He defeated both Triple H and John Cena at Wrestlemania. But his biggest match was the one that sent him to the injured list. During his match at One Night Stand, Orton broke his collarbone when he flew over the top rope and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. But despite being injured, he played his role as Ultimate Heel very well during his rivalry with Mike Adamle. There were times when he even played both face and heel during 2008. With that said though, he started the year with a pretty good rivalry with...
2008 Face of the Year: Jeff Hardy, SmackDown
Was there anyone who had a bigger year in the WWE than Jeff Hardy? The answer is no, genius. Hardy spent almost the entire year in the hunt for the WWE Championship. He made headlines when he used a Swanton Bomb from 15 feet in the air on a prone Randy Orton at the beginning of 2008. He spent the beginning of 2008 as #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. But by the end of the year, all the hard work that Hardy did for the entire year paid off.
2008 Rivalry of the Year: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Words cannot describe what this rivalry did for RAW. Thanks to these two individuals, people found a newfound respect for professional wrestling. The rivalry actually started at Backlash when Michaels faced Batista in a war of words involving HBK's match at Wrestlemania that saw the end of Ric Flair's career. It was Jericho that was the guest referee for the bout between the Kid and the Animal. Michaels feigned a knee injury to gain control and the victory over Batista. What followed afterwards was the start of something even bigger...
Thanks to that faking, Jericho and Michaels became the two biggest faces on RAW. Thanks to Cena's injury at Summerslam, Jericho spent the second half of 2008 as World Champion, and one of his biggest victories was a Ladder Match win at No Mercy over Michaels.
2008 Superstars of the Year: Chris Jericho & Jeff Hardy
The biggest reason of why I gave people a chance to pick the Superstar of the Year is because I felt that Stephanie McMahon got it wrong. But according to the consensus, she didn't get it wrong. Unfortunately, she did. But I think I know why everyone is saying that Jericho is the Superstar of the Year. He went from face to heel in the middle of 2008. He was involved in a very physical rivalry with Shawn Michaels. But Jericho was not the biggest Superstar in 2008.
That title belongs to Jeff Hardy. Hardy had a harsh year in 2008. He was suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. He lost his house. He lost his dog. But he started the year fighting for the WWE Championship, and when Armageddon came around, Hardy's lifelong dream finally came true. After multiple runs as IC, one half of the Tag Team and even Hardcore Champion, Jeff Hardy defeated Edge and Triple H to become the new WWE Champion. Now that's a nice finish.
And now, the biggest award of the year. This was a tough decision, but I decided that there was only one way to decide the 2008 Wrestling Writer of the Year. So...
2008 B/R Wrestling Writers of the Year: Shane Howard & Ross
After I placed my vote in this morning, I saw how everyone else saw it. In the end, the result was a tie between two of the best writers in the Pro Wrestling Section. So instead of picking an outright winner, I'm doing what could possibly happen if Texas and Florida both win. So for the first time ever, there are two winners of this prestigious award. When I'm unable to write, Ross and Shane both stepped up and took the reigns of the "Family Business."
I am very proud of the accomplishments that these two were involved in. They put their fate in me to deliver a high octane section, and I will continue to not disappoint. That is why it was only fair to give both of them the award instead of forcing a tiebreaker. Unlike the BCS, I believe in fairness, and no two writers have done their part in bringing the anarchy and madness (other than myself and JB) than Shane and Ross. So gentlemen, you should be receiving your prize in the upcoming weeks.
If you haven't given Zander your information so he can send your victory package off, do so as soon as possible. Again congratulations to all the winners, and continue doing what you do best in 2009.