Predicting the Outcome of Tonight's 2012 Slammy Awards
Monday night's Raw program will feature the WWE Slammy Awards during the first hour of the show. WWE is proclaiming that this year's awards will be the first ever decided by the WWE Universe. According to the WWE, fans may only vote via the use of the WWE app for smartphones and tablets.
The company must have decided that they only want live voting during the actual broadcast. I tried to vote on Sunday, and the app merely presented a screen that said "Vote for the Slammy Awards next week on Raw." Interesting.
I suspect that WWE has already decided who will win the awards, no matter what the WWE Universe thinks. The company isn't willing to take the chance that someone like Zack Ryder will take over the Internet, influence the voting, and make himself Superstar of the Year.
Also, Vince McMahon isn't going to let the WWE Universe decide ANYTHING if he can help it. He knows what we want, just ask him.
Even though I have my doubts about the legitimacy of the voting, I'm going to predict the outcome in every Slammy category. For each award, I'll tell you who I think will win the award on Monday night. I'll also tell you who I feel should win each award. I'm sure that, in most cases, the two outcomes will not match.
Here are my predictions for the 2012 Slammy Awards. (I'm only doing the "official" categories that will be part of the "fan vote" on Monday night. There are a number of "online only" categories at wwe.com, but none of them are as important as the RawActive categories.)
LOL Moment of the Year
The LOL Moment of the Year is a celebration of the WWE superstar or story that was the funniest. There were a lot of funny moments on WWE TV this year. Some were funny on purpose, and some less intentional.
Who Will Win: Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) spent much of the year in anger management counseling, hanging out in diners, and screaming "I am the tag team champions!" at each other. While I certainly agree that some of those moments were quite funny, the sheer volume of material dictates that some of it had to be good. A lot of it wasn't. I salute Team Hell No for a valiant effort, but their comedy act is starting to wear thin.
To me, the sign of great comedy is either doing something so unexpected that it's funny, or taking something totally predictable and making if funny anyway.
Who Should Win: Mae Young fulfilled both of my requirements for great comedy with her brief appearance on the Raw 1000 broadcast. I was surprised to see her on the show (mostly because she's 125 years old, and I didn't know she was still alive), and her brief segment was predictable, but still funny for all of that. Mae's revelation of her "son," all grown up, even got a reaction from the announcers, who presumably knew she'd be there.
Kiss of the Year
I'm not at all sure why this category exists. I suppose that WWE wants to have John Cena in as many categories as possible. That's the only way I can justify there being a category for making out.
Who Will Win: John Cena and AJ kiss on Raw. This kiss should have signaled the end of a storyline that really wasn't going anywhere. Sadly, the AJ/Vickie part of the story seems to be continuing. The Cena/AJ storyline hasn't been featured in the last couple of weeks, but might be picked up again later.
Who Should WIn: AJ should get the win, no matter what. While Cena also kissed Eve earlier in the year, while a helpless Zack Ryder looked on from his wheelchair, it's AJ that has sucked more face than anyone in WWE this year.
AJ has been linked with CM Punk, Kane, Cena and Daniel Bryan. Those are just the guys we know about. I was tempted to nominate her kiss with Bryan at WrestleMania, since it cost Bryan the World Heavyweight Championship. However, I think for pure entertainment value, AJ kissing Kane was more surprising and much more interesting. I'll take AJ kisses Kane.
WWE's fascination with social media continues. The voting for the awards will be done strictly through the use of their smartphone app. There are announcements online for the show on Facebook, WWE's YouTube channel, and on wwedivas.com. I can't even count the number of times they've tweeted about the voting on Twitter.
Now, they have their own social media Slammy category. Trending Now is also known as hashtag of the year.
Who Will Win: The Rock showed a genuine flair for the social media during his feud with John Cena earlier in the year. The Great One stood in the middle of the ring and spouted catchphrase after catchphrase, only to see the utterances trend worldwide in a matter of seconds. His best effort, and the most popular with fans was #boots2asses.
Who Should Win: To me, this award should go to something the fans came up with. If it's a social media award, it should be awarded to society. My favorite audience chant (which translated into a Twitter trend) was #CodysMustache. To me, that's almost as funny as the actual mustache in question.
Tell Me I Did NOT Just See That
The Tell Me I did NOT Just See That Award is given to the most shocking moment of the year. Aside from the weekly Raw ratings, there hasn't been a great deal of surprising material on WWE TV this year.
Who Will Win: The Shield for their initial appearance on Survivor Series, when the trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns cost Ryback the WWE Championship by powerbombing the big man through a table. WWE has pushed these guys in a way not seen since The Nexus made its debut in 2010.
Who Should Win: Sheamus, for his Royal Rumble win over Chris Jericho. Everyone in the WWE Universe assumed that Jericho, who had just made his much-anticipated return to WWE, would take the Rumble and move on to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship. When Sheamus eliminated Jericho from the Rumble, and won the right to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WHC belt, the WWE Universe was shocked.
Comeback of the Year
The award for Comeback of the Year is an easy one. Jerrry Lawler suffered a heart attack on the September 10th edition of Monday Night Raw. The King was rushed to a Montreal hospital in critical condition and his life was in danger for 48 hours or so following the attack. Lawler returned to TV on November 12, and has been his old familiar self ever since.
Who Will Win: Lawler. Even WWE wouldn't dare to rig voting to give this award to someone else. They would lose another 20 percent of the audience.
Who Should Win: Lawler. The guy was literally dead for 15 minutes, and was back on TV in less than two months. Christian has missed more time with a sprained toe. A side benefit to Lawler's misfortune is that the announcing improved itself while he was gone. (Not because he was gone, just when he was gone.) Lawler's absence caused Jim Ross to come back to WWE TV for just over a month, and also resulted in JBL becoming a full-time fixture on SmackDown again.
Who Would Have Won if Lawler Hadn't Died: Paul Heyman made a triumphant return to WWE TV this year—first fronting Brock Lesnar though his feuds with John Cena and HHH, and now as an associate of WWE Champion CM Punk. Heyman has had almost as much impact on WWE programming as any non-wrestler this year.
Newcomer of the Year
Newcomer of the Year is another relatively easy category to predict. No one has burst onto the WWE scene this year with more fanfare than Ryback. (The Shield is a possibility, but gets edged out because they wouldn't have had as much impact without Ryback.)
The former Skip Sheffield is technically not a newcomer, and in an actual sport, would probably not be eligible for this award. However, in WWE reality, Ryback never existed until he existed on TV, so he's still brand new.
Who Will Win: Ryback. WWE hasn't pushed a new superstar to the top of the card this fast in recent memory. The creative team has cast its lot with him, and will need to stick with him for as long as possible.
Who Should Win: United States Champion Antonio Cesaro is my choice. Cesaro (whose real name is Claudio Castagnoli), emerged from the minor leagues and indie scene to make a solid impression in the WWE this year. The best thing about Cesaro's early run is that he's continued to improve as time has passed. Now, he's in a fairly high-profile feud with R-Truth for the United States title, and will defend the strap at TLC. Cesaro is helping to raise the visibility of the belt, and has become a classic anti-American heel.
In a year, Cesaro will likely be above Ryback on the WWE card.
Match of the Year
It's hard to determine the criteria for a "Match of the Year" award. WWE has had lots of big matches in the past 12 months. Which one deserves to be Match of the Year?
HHH and The Undertaker had a very strong match at WrestleMania. However, it wasn't as good as their contest the previous year, and wasn't even the top match on the card that night.
HHH had another big match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. That match was more notable for the participants involved than for any aesthetic beauty in the ring.
John Cena and The Rock had an epic showdown at WrestleMania. The match itself was good, and was the culmination of a year-long feud between the two superstars. Even more importantly for WWE, the match broke all records for pay-per-view buys.
Who Will Win: Rock and Cena might meet again at Wrestlemania 29 in New Jersey. The company would do well to start the hype now. Also, there's no disputing that the rivalry between Cena and Rock carried the company through a significant part of 2011 and the first part of 2012.
Who Should Win: To me, the Match of the Year should be about wrestling and current WWE storylines. If that criteria is applied, my choice is CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at last May's Over the Limit. This match was a technical masterpiece, going on for roughly 30 minutes and featuring a number of believable near falls. The ending of the match was satisfying and nicely executed. The match also set up a return tilt at Money in the Bank, which might just be my runner-up for this award.
Superstar of the Year
This might be the easiest award on the whole docket. There is only one man who can stake a claim as WWE's Superstar of the Year.
Who Will Win: CM Punk. Punk has held the WWE Championship for every day of 2012, and should retain the title until his match with The Rock at Royal Rumble. Punk has headlined most of the PPV events over the last 12 months, and has delivered outstanding matches and promos as both a babyface and heel.
Who Should Win: Punk. He's been the one consistent thing about WWE TV all year. Punk has faced off with Cena, Bryan, Kane, The Rock, Ryback and just about everyone else of consequence on the WWE roster. He went from the No. 2 babyface on the roster to the No. 1 heel in the span of four days, and until Sunday hadn't taken any time off due to injuries or other issues. In every way that matters, Punk was WWE's Superstar of the Year.
Did I get one wrong? Who would you pick? Speak your mind in the comments section.