2008 RSPW Awards

Author’s Note:  In it’s 19th year now, the RSPW Awards are the Internet’s oldest awards recognizing excellence (and anti-excellence) in Professional wrestling.

For the official awards check out:

http://www.rspw.org

I didn’t submit my ballot in time to make the official awards count, but here are my picks for the year 2K8.

Best Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the athlete who was the best overall wrestler of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability,  interviews, charisma, value to his/her promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

**2008**: Chris Jericho

2nd:  Shawn Michaels
3rd:  Kurt Angle

2K8 was Chris Jericho’s Year.  With Cena and Batista in and out with nagging injuries Y2J was given the ball and
scored a touchdown — again and again with it.  The end result?  Two title reigns, the feud of the year
with Shawn Michaels and “Superstar of the Year” recognition at the Slammy’s.

Runner-up awards go to Shawn Michaels (WWE’s other “go-to guy”) and Kurt Angle for maintaining those top
spots on Raw and TNA respectively.  In sum, no one has better matches, cuts better promos and serve
there promotions more reliably then these 3 gentlemen.

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Best Tag Team

Award Description:

To be given to the tag team who were the best overall team of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability, interviews, charisma, hot team moves, value to their promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

**2008**: John Morrison & The Miz

2nd:  Beer Money – James Storm & Robert Roode
3rd:  Motor City Machine Guns – Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin
4th:  LAX – Homicide & Hernandez

As far as WWE is concerned Morrison and Miz were definitely the top tag team of 2K8.  Thrown together ad-hocly they gelled both in and out of the ring quickly cementing themselves as the most entertaining heel duo since Edge and Christian reeked of awesome at the top of the decade.  No tag team delivered the goods in the WWE better than Miz and Morrison in 2K8 (of course no teams were really pushed) so as they would say, “Be jealous!!!”

Runner-up awards go to TNAs top teams:  Beer Money, LAX and MCMG.  What Miz and Morrison were to WWE in 2K8 Beer Money was for TNA.  While not pushed as heavily as Beer Money, both LAX and MCMG are awesome as always.

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Best Heel

Award Description:

To be given to the person who was the best villain this past year. This person should bring out the fans’ wrath. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was in the past year.

**2008**: Chris Jericho
2nd:  Edge
3rd:  Santino Marella

2K8 was Chris Jericho’s year.  After he was neutered with a mediocre push with the “Save_Us” campaign fate intervened and Jericho was handle the heel ball and he scored in spades.  Jericho’s often done his best work as the smarmy, cocky heel and 2K8 proved that.  With huge money promos week-in and week out and a feud of the year against Shawn Michaels Jericho’s top-level heel work propelled him to two title reigns and Superstar of the Year recognition.  After a slow start and a heel turn Jericho finally did “Save_Us” toward the second half of 2K8.

Runner-Ups:  Edge remains one of the WWE’s top heels and sidelining injuries aside the man always returns to reclaim his top heel spot of Smackdown.  Money promos and money matches and his “guy you just love to hate” personality aside Edge is the money man on Smackdown.

Santino Marella continued to blossom into one of Raw’s most charismatic heels in 2K8.  After flopping as an in-ring performer in 2K7 Marella found his niche on the mic and quickly evolved into one of Raw’s most entertaining performers with his unique brand of comedy from Santino’s Casa to the Honk-A-Meter.  Marella continues to be a weekly highlight on Raw and takes #3 in my picks for Best Heel of 2K8.

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Best Babyface

Award Description:

To be given to the person who best portrayed the hero this past year. This person should get lots of fan support. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was in
the past year.

**2008**: Jeff Hardy

2nd:  John Cena
3rd:  Matt Hardy

2K8 was Jeff Hardy’s year of destiny.  Primed for success in 2K8 Jeff brought his game to the ‘A’ level and the ‘E’ was finally ready to hand him that ball and the fans were ready to see it.  Fate intervened as Hardy’s demons seemed to be making one last ditch and Jeff dropped the ball before Mania.  Things went further down hill with his home burning down in real life but he came back with a vengeance upon his return.  Jeff Hardy has seemingly conquered his inner-demons once and for all and has finally seemed to fulfill that top star potential everyone’s seen in him from Day One — and the fans are ready for it!

Runner-Ups:  Love him or hate him, the Dr. of Thuganomics continues to bring the goods week in and week out.  Sidelining injuries aside John Cena is “The Man” in WWE make no doubt and continues to epitomize the “Gold Standard” of the Babyface.

Matt Hardy, much like his brother Jeff, too had his banner year in WWE.  Always noted as a true workhorse and a “go-to guy” Hardy finally got his much overdue reward in 2K8 securing the ECW Title and defending it against all-comers as the true fighting champion he is.  Matt’s a lot like Chris Benoit in the sense that everyone knows how great he is but for whatever reason does not necessarily obtain the same recognition as the “top guys” from the office but much like Benoit, Hardy’s excellent work is not completely unnoticed.  Let’s continue to hope Hardy continues to rise up further to the top in 2K9 and avoids Benoit’s sad fate…

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Best Worker

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler with, on average, the best workrate. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall.  In 1998, it was recombined into one.

**2008**: Chris Jericho

2nd:  Shawn Michaels
3rd:  Kurt Angle
4th:  AJ Styles

Even with a few years worth of ring rust upon his return, Jericho continue shows what a product of the old territory system can do in the ring as he worked circles around just about everyone in 2K8 with big profile matches.

Runner-Up Awards:  Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle are here for obvious reasons being the “go-to guys” in their respective promotions.  Joining them this year is AJ Styles.  While booked as a goofball for a majority of the year in the TNA AJ continued to show in the ring why HE was the top guy in TNA for so many years at its outset.  Thankfully, they are seeing fit to push him as thus again in the new MEM vs. Frontline storyline.

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Best Flyer

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who did the most and the best high-flying maneuvers throughout the year. In 1994, this award was split into two:  North American and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

**2008**: Evan Bourne (Matt Sydal)

2nd:  Jimmy Wang Yang
3rd:  Kofi Kingston

Evan Bourne burst onto the WWE scene in 2K8 and simply amazed with his aerial prowess doing stuff people haven’t seen ever.  Sadly his awesomeness caught up with him putting him out with an injury late in the year but he’s still the shizzle!!!

Runner-Up mentions go to Jimmy Wang Yang who is also ever-awesome in the sky and to other newcomer Kofi Kingston who’s vertical leap just amazes.

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Best Technical Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who has the most technical ability. The number of holds and moves you see this person do and the crispness with which the moves are executed makes his/her matches a pleasure to watch. In 1994,
this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

**2008**: Kurt Angle

2nd:  Shelton Benjamin
3rd:  William Regal

My picks are Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin and William Regal.  They’re three bad @$$ mat technicians who in a different life and time could’ve made a pretty decent living as legitimate MMA guys who do have the legitimate mat cred to back everything up.  Angle’s an “Olympic Gold Medalist who won the it with a broken freakin’ neck” for crying out loud 🙂

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Best Brawler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who brawled his/her way through the year most convincingly. This award would go to Frank “Bruiser Brody” Goodish if he were still around. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American
and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

**2008**: Awesome Kong

2nd:  Undertaker
3rd:  Vladimir Kozlov

I gotta agree with the masses who voted in, Awesome Kong shined in 2K8 as the monster woman’s heel who just DEVASTATED all-comers.  She was booked as a monster and convincingly hung with the men during that one storyline.

Taker takes 2nd place for obvious reasons.  Coming in 3rd is newcomer Vladimir Kozlov who FINALLY MADE IT TO TV after a year or two on the sidelines.  Booked as the “Moscow Mauler” Kozlov convincingly beat the crap out of everyone he crossed paths with in 2K8 and came across as a legitimate threat to the top.

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Most Favourite Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler you like the most, regardless of the reason.

**2008**: Chris Jericho

2nd:  Matt Hardy
3rd:  Kurt Angle

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a mark I am or Jericho, Matt Hardy and Angle.  I’ve always been a Jericho mark (proclaimed as thus at my wedding) and people know Matt’s always been my favorite Hardy.  They also know I worship the ground my Olympic Hero walks on 🙂

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Most Improved Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who most improved himself/herself in all facets of the sport in the past year.

**2008**: Jeff Hardy

2nd:  Miz
3rd:  Morrison

I’ll say it again, 2K8 was Jeff Hardy’s year of destiny.  He came back strong in 2K7 reinvigorated and motivated and turned in stellar performance after stellar performance.  He was primed for the big win at Wrestlemania before his demons made a last ditch effort to claim him. After sitting out he came back stronger and finally won the big one at Armageddon to close out the year.  No one improved more than Jeff Hardy in 2K8.

Coming in 2nd and 3rd place respectively are Miz and Morrison.  I’ll admit to not being a very big fan of the Miz (you can read my previous years ballots) but I’ll give the guy his due, he totally stepped up his game in 2K8.  Miz is more a promo guy than an in-ring performer but he improved in both aspects this year.  He’s transformed to a solid entertainer much like Santino Marella.  Miz became a “good promo” to a “great promo” and a “so-so” wrestler to a “decent” wrestler.

Morrison’s story in 2K8 parallels that of Miz.  Morrison shines more in the ring than on the mic and thus complements Miz well.  Like Miz, Morrison stepped up his game in 2K8 improving from a “good” wrestler to a “great wrestler” and a “decent promo” to a “good promo.”

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Most Overrated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who really has little talent, but has a large place in the spotlight nonetheless. This is a measure of how undeserved a wrestler’s push is.

**2008**:  Batista

2nd:  JBL

Sad to say, but Batista to me is quickly becoming a “Lex Luger” of sorts.  I was and still am a “Big Dave” fan but it seems to me he may have peaked that year he won the title from Triple H.  2K8 seemed to book Batista into a “choker” role of sorts.  Despite title shot after title shot he couldn’t get the job done against Edge nor the Undertaker.  He got drafted to Raw and won the belt from Jericho for all of a week before losing it.  It doesn’t seem the ‘E’ has a whole lot of faith in Big Dave anymore and it’s to both their detriment.  Batista’s still a main-eventer but it seems like Luger before him he’s booked half-heartedly and comes off as a choker as a result and becomes exposed as a result.

JBL, what can I say?  The guy shoulda stayed in the commentary table where he truly excelled.  JBL can still go of sorts (his promos are always money) but his “spot” could be better served bringing new guys up.

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Best Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who had the best character gimmick in the past year.

**2008**: How you say…Santino Marella

2nd:  Charlie Haas
3rd:  Festus

Santino’s fricking brilliant!!!  Nuff said.

Runner-Ups:  I LOVED Charlie Haas “imitation” gimmick.  It’s fun and entertaining (though a bit sad for Charlie as it just signals he’ll NEVER go anywhere and creative has no faith in his own personality) and I get a kick out of it each week.  Festus is fun too.   It took a while as I was just WAITING for a heel to ring the bell to get him back into ‘tard mode to score the beatdown victory (thanks to Miz and Morrison for pulling the trigger!!!).  The gimmick is awfully lame and silly but it has its entertainment value — for now.

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Best Wrestling Move

Award Description:

To be given to the move that is just the damn best thing you’ve seen this past year. This should probably be a “finishing” move or something really spectacular.

**2008**: Evan Bourne’s shooting star press

2nd:  Beth Phoenix’s Glam Slam chickenwing facebuster
3rd:  Awesome Kong’s implant buster

Bourne’s shooting star press and his way of hitting is truly awesome to see and was the most refreshing thing on TV in 2K8.  Same can be said of Beth Phoenix’s Glam Slam chickenwing buster and Awesome Kong’s Implant Buster.  These two powerhouse women have some of the coolest and most innovative moves out of anyone in the business today.  It’s a shame not more attention is given to either women’s division in REALLY developing it.

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Best Match

Award Description:

To be given to the best wrestling match you’ve seen this year, either live, on TV, PPV, or in an arena, or on tape. If it took place in the past year, it is eligible. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall.  In 1997, due to lack of participation on both the NA and non-NA sides, it was recombined.

**2008**: 03/30/08: Ric Flair (career) vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania)

2nd:  03/30/08 CM Punk v. Chris Jericho v. MVP v. Mr. Kennedy v.
John Morrison v. Carlito v. Shelton Benjamin (Money
in the Bank ladder)

Best Match honors DEFINITELY need to go out to Flair’s retirement match.  It was truly a historic moment and a true classic.

Runner-Up mention goes to the Money in the Bank match.

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Best Feud

Award Description:

To be given to the feud that gave us the most heated and best wrestling match(es) of the year. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American and Non-North American.  In 1996, due to lack of participation on the non-NA side, it was recombined.

**2008**: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels

2nd:  Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
3rd:  Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong

Jericho vs. Shawn takes feud of the year.  No feud delivered better matches or promos than these two.

Shawn vs. Flair takes #2 as it was just such a historic storyline in general.

Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong turned in some of TNA’s best matches of 2K8.  Hopefully the ‘E’ uses Gail and doesn’t waste her.

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Worst Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the name athlete who was the worst overall wrestler in the past year. Minimal technical ability, lousy interviews, non-existent workrate, and the charisma of a rock should describe this person.

**2008**:  Chris Harris aka Braden Walker

2nd:  The Great Khali
3rd:  Black Reign

What the HECK happened to Chris Harris?  Here’s a guy who was amongst TNA’s top homegrown talent, someone who had the look and feel of a potential future main eventer who had some small pushes toward that direction in TNA.  He leaves TNA for the greener pastures of the WWE and when he makes the TV screen he’s all bloated, out-of-shape and wrestles subpar matches.  WTH????  Sure the gimmick they gave him SUCKED but how on earth does he go from the bad @$$ Wild Cat to what showed up on my TV in July.  Did the guy enjoy the high life of the WWE catering service a bit too much???  This was probably the saddest story of 2K8…

Great Khali and Black Reign take runner-up mentions.  Sadly, I think Dustin Rhodes has seen his best days in the business as an in-ring performer already.  Black Reign to Dustin was much like Braden Walker was to Chris Harris…

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Worst Tag Team

Award Description:

To be given to the name tag team who were the worst overall wrestlers in the past year. Minimal technical ability, lousy interviews, non-existent workrate, the charisma of a rock, and lousy team moves should describe this pair.

**2008**: Black Reign & Rellik

‘Nuff said.

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Worst Heel

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose casting as a bad guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no heel heat drawn or maybe the fans actually cheered this person, but for whatever reason the heel image just didn’t get over.

**2008**:  Sting

Sting will NEVER make a convincing heel.  WCW tried it and it failed.  TNA’s heel turn is much better but I think people just love Sting too much to sustain it as a legitimate heel run.  The guy gets some boos for his promo work but he still garners a strong pop.

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Worst Worker

Award Description:

To be given to the name wrestler whose workrate is so low it’s barely measureable.

**2008**: The Great Khali

Not much of a worker but I must confess I’m actually digging the “Punjabi Playboy” gimmick.

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Most Deteriorated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose skill has deteriorated the most over the past year. This person should be a shadow of his/her former self.

**2008**:  Chris Harris aka Braden Walker

2nd:  Dustin Rhodes aka Black Reign

What HAPPENED to these two guys?  Both were pretty darn good workers at one time.  They just seemed to lose discipline/motivation and let themselves go.  So sad…

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Most Underrated Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the person whose ability merits a far greater push than the person receives. There may be many such people, but the winner of this award should have the most ability with least push.

**2008**:  Christopher Daniels

2nd:  Paul London

Now, I enjoyed Curry Man but what the hell?  Christopher Daniels is a true TNA Original and one of THE best workers on the planet.  Where the HECK is his push?  He’s buried “fired” two years in a row from TNA’s stupid Briefcase Match concept.  WTF???  I sincerely hope Daniels comes back with a HUGE push in his old “Mr. TNA” gimmick in the MEM vs. Frontline storyline in 2K9 but somehow being TNA I know better than to hold my breath.  What a waste!!!

Off the London and Kendrick team I actually loved London’s work waaaaay better than Kendrick’s.  London CARRIED the Cruiserweight division on Smackdown for several years and in my opinion carried the London/Kendrick team.  Of course, London doesn’t get as much love seeing as “Spanky” was HBK’s prized pupil and London pissed off McMahon by speaking his mind several years back so London winds up unemployed and Spanky gets the big push.  Gotta love politics!!!

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Worst Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who had the worst character gimmick in the past year.

**2008**:  Booker T’s new accent

Don’t get me wrong, I do find it mildly entertaining, but Booker’s “African King” but is pretty darn stupid.  “In my country…”  Ple—-ase.  Everyone KNOWS he’s from Houston, TX.  Texans may have a reputation for thinking they live in their own country but they sure don’t speak like they’re from Africa.

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Worst Wrestling Move

Award Description:

To be given to the move that is the worst thing you’ve seen this year. This shouldn’t be given to a move that was flubbed by a wrestler – the move was performed correctly, but was just too stupid for words. This move should probably be a “finishing” move or something that was meant to be spectacular.

**2008**:  Mr. Kennedy’s Mic Check

2nd:  Miz’ Reality Check

Kennedy shoulda stuck with the Kennedy Assassination which was a BAD @$$ move!!!  The Kenton Bomb was pretty sweet too.  The Mic Check sucks…  Have his injuries caught up with him to where he needed to use a less taxing move?

Miz’s Reality Check is kinda lame but oddly effective.

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Worst Match

Award Description:

To be given to the worst wrestling match you’ve seen this year, either live, on TV, PPV, or in an arena, or on tape. If it took place in the past year, it is eligible.

**2008**:  04/21/08 “Barack Obama” v. “Hillary Clinton”

It wasn’t as atrocious as “Donald Trump vs. Rosie” but it’s pretty darn close.

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Most Disappointing News item

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestling news item that most disappointed you when heard of it. When you first learned of this news story, you couldn’t believe that it was true, and when you learned that it was, you were bummed out for a while.

**2008**:  Joey Styles replaced as ECW commentator by Mike Adamle

2nd:  WWE suspends Jeff Hardy & William Regal shortly after starting major push
3rd:  Bobby Lashley quits WWE

Nothing signaled through true nail in the coffin of ECW as when Joey got replaced by Adamle.  Every last bit of the old ECW died when Joey Styles left the broadcast table.  More on Adamle later…

Jeff Hardy and Regal getting suspended after the start of MAJOR pushes was just sad on so many levels.  Two guys who worked hard to beat demons on the cusp of great things become their own worst enemies and cheat themselves outta due pushes is just so sad.  Fortunately Jeff got his in the end and it seems Regal’s delayed push is coming back now.  Hope they don’t screw things up again.

Lashley quitting is another sad example of wasted time and effort.  I was a HUGE Lashley mark as I just LOVE guys who are the real deal.  Lashley, like Lesnar before him, came in and got a HUGE push.  2K7 was Lashley’s year for sure.  Sadly though things didn’t work out apparently as blink and he was gone in 2K8.  A guy who was a surefire hit who got a major investment poofed.  FAIL.

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Most Obnoxious Personality

Award Description:

To be given to the person who just rubs you the wrong way. This could be anybody involved in the wrestling biz.

**2008**:  Vickie Guerrero

Of course, I think she’s SUPPOSED to come across as obnoxious to which she deserves an Emmy as I just can’t stand seeing her on TV.  Give the woman credit though, she’s succeeding in place of her great husband Eddy and continuing to put food on her children’s table in place of him.

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Best Second

Award Description:

To be given to the manager who outperformed their peers at ringside and behind the microphone in interviews.  This award was discontinued after the 2001 awards and reinstated in 2006.

**2008**:  Ezekiel Jackson & Matt Striker (tie)

“Big Zeke” to me is the money player between himself and “The Brian Kendrick.”  It could very well play out like Shawn and Diesel a decade and a half ago with the big silent muscle eclipsing the cocky heel.  I know **I** for one who NEVER want to cross a guy like Big Zeke in real life.

Striker is a GREAT mouthpiece.  During his run as Big Daddy V’s manager I was a big Striker mark as he just reminded me of guy’s like Bobby the Brain, Jimmy Hart or Mr. Fuji.  Striker’s not much of a wrestler but he truly his a niche on the mic be it an interviewer, manager or broadcaster.

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Best Announcer

Award Description:

To be given to the commentator/announcer who makes the most insightful and entertaining comments while pushing his product.  “Ring announcers” don’t qualify here.  As of 1992, the difference between this and colour commentator will be enforced.

**2008**: Jim Ross

2nd:  Mike Tenay
3rd:  Michael Cole

No explanation needed

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Best Colour Commentator

Award Description:

To be given to the colour commentator who provides the most insightful and entertaining comments.

**2008**: Matt Striker

2nd:  Mick Foley
3rd:  Tazz

LIke JBL, Striker is an AWESOME broadcaster.  It’s just too bad Striker’s stuck down in ECW and doesn’t get as much exposure…

Foley was a great Color guy for Smackdown during his brief summer cup of coffee in the broadcast booth.  It’s too bad things didn’t work out but I do think TNA is using him better.

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Best Interviewee

Award Description:

To be given to the person who gives the best interview in the biz. This could be a wrestler or a manager.

**2008**: Chris Jericho

2nd:  Edge
3rd:  John Cena
4th:  Santino Marella

Jericho has been GOLD on the mic since his return.  He was always a great promo but I think his work with Second City during his time off totally took his game to a new level.  He has been MONEY with his heel promos and does a solid job of both selling the storyline and riling the crowd at the same time.

Edge has always been a money promo as is Cena (I miss the rapping).  Santino is just comedy gold on the mic!!!

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Best Angle

Award Description:

To be given to the best angle you’ve seen in the sport this year.

**2008**:  Ric Flair retirement angle

2nd:  Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels retirement angle
3rd:  Santino Marella IC reign with “Honk-a-Meter”
4th:  CM Punk cashes in Money in the Bank
5th:  Kurt Angle forms Main Event Mafia
6th:  John Cena makes surprise return at Royal Rumble

Flair’s retirement Angle was awesome.  In hindsight I do agree with a lot of the critics who said they missed a lot of opportunities with the Angle but it was what it was and for this old wrestling soul I’ll always love and appreciate the Nature Boy and the classy send off he was given.

Jericho and Shawn produced ***** matches and promos all year.  Santino’s “Honk-A-Meter” was a weekly highlight throughout the Fall.  Punk cashing in MiTB to make Edge his bitch was a true mark out moment as was Cena’s Royal Rumble return (one of the TRUE swerves in a nearly impossible to swerve Internet age).  Angle forming in the MEM is probably THE BEST storyline TNA’s come up with in YEARS which is near on par with the original nWo storyline.

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Best Organization

Award Description:

To be given to the organization/promotion that has the best product. This is the organization whose TV and house shows you just can’t miss.

**2008**: WWE
TNA
ROH

Nuff said

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Best TV Show

Award Description:

To be given to what is on average the best wrestling TV show. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.

**2008**: WWE RAW
Smackdown
TNA

Nuff said

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Best Major Show

Award Description:

To be given to the best major event. This could be a pay-per-view, a TV special, or any big arena event. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.

**2008**: 03/30/08: WWE WrestleMania XXIV
01/27/08 WWE Royal Rumble
10/12/08 TNA Bound for Glory

Nuff said

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Best Promotional Move

Award Description:

To be given to the best move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

**2008**: WWE airs a tribute to Ric Flair the night after WrestleMania

2nd:  WWE rehires Chris Jericho
3rd:  WWE gets Clinton, McCain, Obama to cut WWE-tailored promos
4th:  WWE makes CM Punk World champ
5th:  WWE starts web shows “Dirt Sheet” & “Santino’s Casa”
6th:  WWE backs the comedic stylings of Santino Marella

Flair’s Retirement Ceremony was one of the most classy things I’ve ever seen in a business that is noted for being anything but.  This probably doesn’t count as a “promotional move” of sorts as this usually refers to something that changes the business in terms of hiring/firing talent or giving someone a push but I’ll go ahead and agree with the rest of the voters on this.  Temporarily this DID spark a spike in Flair merchandise so it does kinda count and the fact that it was just, “the right thing to do” was just awesome.

Jericho coming back on was a much needed move.  The E was in a nadar of having legit top stars and someone with Jericho’s cred to fill in a top spot was much needed.  They botched his return a bit by putting him in upper midcard but cream rises to the top and in the end Jericho took top star honors for his heel run.

WWE’s Smackdown the Vote campaign continues to position the company as a responsible corporate citizen and getting the top three candidates to tape segments was an awesome move.  McCain going through all the major catchphrases was the shit!!!

Punk cinching the World Title was a solid move as well but I didn’t like the way they job him out of it later with no return match.  WTF?

WWE’s (or is that Shane-O-Mac’s and Joey Styles?) move into new media was sweet with the debut of web shows like the “Dirt Sheet,” “Santino’s Casa” and “Word Up.”  For longevity and business growth new media is the way to go!

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Worst Announcer

Award Description:

To be given to the commentator/announcer who makes the dumbest comments while pushing his product. This person probably gets you to turn down the TV when he/she is announcing. As of 1992, the difference between this and colour commentator will be enforced.

**2008**: Mike Adamle

Now, believe it or not, I’m a BIG Mike Adamle fan.  I grew up watching him on American Gladiators and when I heard he got picked up by the E I was ecstatic as a person with his resume and background would be a can’t miss in the broadcast booth (hence his BIG salary as he DOES have a legitimate broadcast pedigree).  Of course, life is known for its surprises and as it often does turn out — some things just don’t work out.  Adamle proved incompetent in his knowledge of the product and things were a bit of a trainwreck.  Cest La Vie…

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Worst Interviewee

Award Description:

To be given to the person who gives the worst interview in the biz. This could be a wrestler or a manager.

**2008**: Mike Adamle

2nd:  Great Khali

Nuff said.

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Worst Angle

Award Description:

To be given to the worst angle you’ve seen in the sport this year. It may be the worst because of taste or because of execution.

**2008**: JBL reveals that Finlay, not Mr. McMahon, is Hornswoggle’s father

2nd:  CM Punk loses title without wrestling
3rd:  Kurt, Karen, AJ love triangle

The Hornswaggle Angle was actually very entertaining as far as I was concerned but the momentum all died with the Finlay/JBL swerve.  I suppose it had to end somehow.

Punk losing the title without being pinned (or being offered a return match angle) blew chunks and just shows they weren’t all that serious in his push but I appreciate the gesture of giving him a short run — I guess.

The Kurt, Karen and AJ story was just STUPID on so many levels…  I’m so glad they’ve turned AJ back from being a hick lackey to the legitimate star he was before all the former WWE guys came in.

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Worst Promotional Move

Award Description:

To be given to the worst move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

**2008**: WWE hires Mike Adamle

2nd:  WWE takes World title off CM Punk, doesn’t allow feud with Chris Jericho
3rd:  WWE buries MVP
4th;  TNA wastes a year of Christopher Daniels’ career doing Curry Man
5th:  WWE replaces Joey Styles as ECW announcer with Mike Adamle

The hiring of Adamle looked great on paper but as with anything else you never know what you get till you try it and this just didn’t work out.  That’s life.

Punk being jobbed out of the title was bullshit but in a land of Cena, Batista, JBL and Jericho Punk was lucky to even get the title when/how he did.

MVP being buried is just anti-good business.  MVP is a money star who’s over with the fans and was built up as a legit star.  The guy apparently makes a mistake behind the scenes and is JOBBED for months on end when he could be making money for the promotion.  Riiiight.  Hopefully MVP can come back from this after his “punishment” is over and go on to be the Main Event star he’s meant to be.  Hey, it worked for Triple H right?

Same deal with Daniels.  I enjoyed Curry Man but Daniels is a superstar who was just WASTED in that role which is just a reflection of TNA’s piss poor creative team.  I hope they get things right in 2K9.

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2 responses to “2008 RSPW Awards

  1. Pingback: RSPW 2009 Awards «

  2. Pingback: Wrestling Awards 2K11 (a la RSPW) | The 316 Perspective

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