The PG Era Rant for the 77th Annual Slammy Awards, December 8, 2014. Would Michael Cole lie to us?
Live from Greenville, SC.
Your hosts are Cole, JBL, and Lawler on Raw; Byron and A-Ry on the Pre-Show; Renee Young and Booker T on the Pre-Show Stage; and Seth Green on the stage.
Pre-Show award winners (an asterisk means the award was presented live):
- Insult of the Year: The Rock toward Rusev/Lana*
- Fan Chant: “You Sold Out”
- Double-Cross: Seth Rollins
- Animal of the Year: The Bunny
- Best Actor: The Rock
- Tag Team of the Year: The Usos*
- Who's NXT: Sami Zayn
- Anti-Gravity: Seth Rollins, Payback
- Faction: The Shield
- Best on Twitter: Dolph Ziggler
- Breakout Star: Dean Ambrose* (absent)
- Guest Host: Hugh Jackman
- Couple: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
- Rivalry: Daniel Bryan v. The Authority
- Hashtag: #RKOOuttaNowhere* (accepted by Seth Rollins)
Tonight's main event is John Cena against Big Show.
Jerry Lawler introduces Seth Green to host. I need to get that cover of Muscle & Fitness Lawler says Green's on. Seth says that unlike other predetermined awards shows (I just got crushed by 400 lbs of irony), this is YOUR show. Miz and Sandow interrupt the opening remarks to ask to be in Green's next project. Green, however, prefers Sandow. All this sets up the “This Is Awesome” moment, with nominees Occupy Raw, Stephanie's arrest, Sting sends the Authority packing, and the Hogan/Austin/Rock beer summit. Voting continues on the WWE App until after this match.
Dolph Ziggler v. Seth Rollins. Rollins kicks Dolph down to start, but Dolph launches Rollins to the apron and dropkicks him to the floor as we go to break.
For the record, I think the right number is 64 based on what Scott posted for 1987. Then again, the WWWF/WWF/WWE began in 1963, so the maximum is... why am I thinking about this? Anyway, those two being out here means it's likely the Authority end is in the lead.
Ziggler/Rollins, continued. Rollins stands over Dolph, but a slugfest breaks out before Rollins gets a kneelift. Rollins with elbow smashes and a running kick for two, then we go to the chinlock. Crowd is loudly behind Dolph, which rallies him into getting a jawbreaker. Rollins airballs a Stinger Splash, but Dolph doesn't, and he follows with a Rude Awakening and Heart Attack Elbow for two. Sky High DDT is blocked, and Rollins goes for the buckle bomb, but Dolph with a sunset flip for two. Superkick misses, but the Sky High DDT doesn't, getting Dolph two. The two duck kicks, but Rollins gets an apron enzuigiri. He goes up, but Dolph meets him there. Rollins goes for the Murderdeathkill powerbomb, but Dolph backdrops him off. Joey Mercury shoves Dolph down, and the Curbstomp ends it at 7:24. This didn't need a commercial break mid-match. **
And your winner of the This Is Awesome moment of the year is: Sting's debut! Then again, Sting isn't here, but a ticked-off Rollins is, chasing Seth Green away. Rollins says Sting cost him the biggest win of his career and is solely responsible for eliminating the Authority. Rollins accepts on Sting's behalf because Rollins believes he deserves it more.
The New Day pose by the Slammy statues AS a Slammy statue. Funny stuff. Kofi's up next.
Occupy Raw was robbed.
We review some of the awards from earlier.
Kofi Kingston v. Stardust. The two trade hammerlocks to start, with Stardust getting the advantage. Kofi kicks away, but misses a blind crossbody and Stardust with a springboard Binoic Elbow. He stomps away by the ropes before raking the eyes. Kofi fights back, but a short elbow by Stardust leads to a chinlock. Hairpull slam keeps Stardust in charge, but Kofi with a kip-up rana (!!). He stops a blind charge and begins the comeback, ending with a new variation on the Boom Drop. Running knee in the corner and Kofi goes up, and the frog crossbody ends it at 2:57. *1/4
Johnny Ace introduces the nominees for Surprise Return of the year, but first he wants People Power back. Your nominees are: Hulk Hogan, Batista, The Rock, and Ultimate Warrior. Voting is underway! And here's how you get the WWE App (I thought we were done with this). Winner to be named after the break.
So the Game of War ads are just Evony ads in live-action, right?
And the Surprise Return of the Year is: Ultimate Warrior! They play a video tribute to him.
Backstage, Seth Rollins thanks security for letting him do everything, but Paul Heyman finds him. Heyman's here to accept all the Slammys for Brock Lesnar. They remind us that if Seth Rollins beats John Cena (Seth: “IF?”), Cena is no longer on tap to face Brock Lesnar. Does that make Rollins next? He does have the briefcase, and therefore can face the champ whenever he wants. And when Rollins decides to do it, no one will see it coming. Heyman, though, has a rebuttal: Brock Lesnar may as well be Champion for Life. Rollins can still be the future of the WWE – which was obvious from the day Rollins took out Lesnar at Night of Champions – but John Cena, not Brock Lesnar, is the one in the way. If Rollins wants to be the future, he must make John Cena the past. Rollins is hyped.
We get a look at NXT Women's Champion Charlotte, who... is out for a match!? Hey now, that's next!
I believe this makes Ultimate Warrior the first posthumous winner of a Slammy.
NXT Match: Charlotte v. Natalya. This is essentially an ad for NXT R-Evolution. Charlotte's WHOO is as good as Ric's. Natlaya cheks with Tyson, so Charlotte jumps her from behind and attacks. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, but charges hit elbow and Natalya gets a sleeper. Package jawbreaker by Charlotte gets two. Mounted punches by Charlotte, but Natalya slaps her and reverses a kick block to a leglock, which Charlotte in turn reverses to a chinlock. Natalya runs into a CHOP, then dedicates the next one to Kidd. Flair kneedrop gets two. Another one hits, but Natalya takes advantage of some stalling and tries a Sharpshooter. Charlotte reverses to a figure-four try, but Natalya with the inside cradle for the pin at 2:30. Tyson Kidd celebrates like he won. Way too short, but Charlotte looks like she could fit in. 3/4*
Presenting the OMG Shocking Moment is... wait for it... Santino Marella. Crowd is underwhelmed. And no, Luke Harper taking a shower doesn't as a shocking moment. And before you ask, yes, the Cobra is helping present. Your nominees: Seth's double-cross, Nikki Bella crushes her sister, a children's choir taunts John Cena, and the Streak ends. Go vote!
At NXT, Charlotte and Natalya were given 15 minutes and stole the show. They get to Raw and it's a 2-minute match that is background to Tyson Kidd. As a fan of women's wrestling, all I can say is Kevin Dunn delenda est. I mean, would 5 or 6 minutes kill them?
And it goes without saying that winner of the Shocking Moment of the year is: Brock Lesnar! Paul Heyman accepts on Brock's behalf and says very little.
And now, we hear instead from Bray Wyatt. He talks about meeting Sister Abigail for the first time – she was sitting in a rocking chair, the same chair Bray Wyatt used, and the same chair Dean Ambrose destroyed last week. He says Ambrose destroyed a piece of Bray Wyatt by taking an irreplaceable part of Wyatt. So Wyatt had to get even by taking something from Dean – his voice, on SmackDown. “Does that shock you? Does that frighten you?” Bray is a monster, he's fear incarnate, and he despises everyone. He sees them only as moths drawn to his flame, and people will be burned. And this Sunday, he will bring hellfire from the ladder, conquering Dean Ambrose and looking down at his mangled body as the world is not allowed to cry. Ambrose deserves it all, that's why. It comes in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. (Oh my.)
But wait! An ambulance pulls up to the arena... and out steps Dean Ambrose! He's got a neck brace but is otherwise healthy. And he has a table in the back of the ambulance, as well as ladders and chairs, which he throws onto the ramp. And then, to make a point, he yanks off the neck brace. He carries the ladder and chair to the ring, but Bray Wyatt is not backing down. Ambrose throws everything into the ring, including the ladder into Wyatt, then gets more toys and chucks them onto Bray. In the ring, he sets up the table, but Bray bails out (not unjustifiably so, mind you). Ambrose even offers himself onto the table for Bray to get back in, then when Bray tries, he pegs Wyatt with a chair.
Cole: “What is wrong with Ambrose?”
JBL: “Is there anything right with Ambrose?”
Dean takes the mic – his voice has fully recovered – and promises he'll put Bray in the ambulance. With weapons, Ambrose is the monster, and he promises to eat the Eater of Worlds.
Seth Green returns (still pumped up over Dean's antics) and introduces Jerry Lawler to go over the Diva of the Year nominees: Brie Bella, Paige, AJ Lee, and Nikki Bella. Voting continues on the App.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Dean Ambrose is the modern Roddy Piper. Stuff like laying on the table begging for Bray to attack proves it. He's got that vibe.
And the Diva of the Year is: AJ Lee! (The four Divas were waiting together backstage and got photobombed by Titus O'Neil for no reason.) She's happy that she has redefined “Diva” – you no longer have to be girly. She hopes next year the winner is an NXT alumna (she names them all), because they're next in line for the throne... but AJ is still queen, and will be Divas' Champion again.
Renee Young interviews John Cena. He talks about how Vince said people need to step up, and how Seth Rollins was offended and will make a statement on Sunday... but first, he has to face someone who thought he stepped up, but proved to be a puppet. First, he's a puppet for HHH, then for Seth Rollins. And on Sunday, a tables match – which can end instantly. Seth doesn't to pin or submit John Cena (which is good, because he can't); but if he puts Cena through a table, Seth steps up and Cena may have to step down. Champions wins big matches, so it's go big or go home for Cena. He's going to show the world tonight instead of tell by slamming Big Show, and then he'll step up on Seth Rollins. If people think he's done, bring your lunch, because this Sunday, the “spineless, gutless little SOB” goes through a table.
I dunno what's wrong with Cena, but even when he delivers on interviews, it sounds redundant. And while that seems to work with Hogan and Rock, it's not working here. It just shows he's one step below those guys – but we all are in the business.
Erick Rowan v. Luke Harper. Luke Harper brings a ladder with him for grins. It's a slugfest to start, with Rowan getting the better of it with headbutts. Avalanche in the corner, but Harper returns with a dropkick for one. Stomps and Gator Roll, into a chinlock. Rowan breaks out, but walks into a superkick for two. Rowan backdrops out of a powerbomb and unloads with clotheslines and another Avalanche. Full nelson slam gets two. Harper kicks Rowan away and bails, but Rowan follows to the outside only for Harper to use the ladder for the DQ at 2:03. 1/2*
Harper leaps off the steps, but straight into a forearm shiver by Rowan, who sends him into the stairs with a fireman's carry drop. Rowan tosses the stairs into the ring, but Harper catches him only to get tossed. Harper eats stairs and bails.
Backstage, Naomi is celebrating the Usos' Slammy win from earlier. Jimmy and Naomi get cute, but Naomi reveals that she heard from Miz's agent. The agent is real, but Jimmy doesn't buy it. Whatever the case, Naomi has a screen test later this week. Jimmy will come along because he doesn't trust Miz, but Naomi takes this as a personal affront because that makes perfect sense, right?
Adam Rose and company come out for LOL Moment of the Year. Are Rose and Bunny getting along this week? Rose wishes he was hosting (he mutters that the people in charge are clueless) before presenting our nominess: Mr. T's Hall of Fame speech, WeeLC, Damien Sandow's copycat act, and Vickie Guerrero dunking Stephanie. App vote time!
Um... why wouldn't Naomi want Jimmy with her for the screen test ANYWAY? I mean, it just makes sense that you'd want your husband there for moral support. Instead, she takes his desire to be with her as offensive. How does this make sense?
Before we reveal the winner, here's some more awards from earlier.
And the winner for funniest moment of the year is: Damien San^H^H^HMizdow! Needless to say, Miz shoves Sandow out of the way and does his speech for him. Crowd: “WE WANT MIZDOW!” Miz: “Yes, you want Miz now!” Miz then finally gives credit to the person who deserves it the most: his face.
Rusev and Lana head to the ring as we learn Rusev/Swagger III is on for TLC for the US Title. No stipulations, which doesn't bode well for the challenger. Lana says the real funniest moment is everything about America. Oh, and shut up. But the real joke is the Real Americans. This, needless to say, brings Jack Swagger out on his own with a mic. Jack says what goes around, comes around. He promises to break Rusev's ankle to get even for Colter's leg, and the war is on! Rusev sends Swagger into the barricade, but Rusev misses the superkick and hits the barricade instead, hurting the ankle!Swagger slams him ankle-first into the barricade. This of course leads to the Patriot Lock, and Rusev taps! (Once, but still.) Officials have to yank Swagger away. Crowd begins a We The People chant as Swagger tries to drag five refs with him to get to a hurting Rusev.
WE THE PEOPLE. Also, Jack – I love you and all and you've got a great act, but there's a reason they gave you Dutch as a manager. Swagger sounded like he was about to forget his lines and wanted to get them out before he got caught up in the moment.
The New Day will face the Dust Brothers on the TLC(S) Pre-Show.
The Usos and Ryback v. Kane, The Miz, and Damien Sandow. Seth Green joins commentary and is a fan of Sandow. Kane and Ryback start, with Kane getting a headbutt. Ryback with a Thesz press and mat slams, followed by the Stupid Splash for one. Kane clubs away on Ryback and slams him as the crowd wants Sandow. Ryback with a diving shoulder tackle for one, and Jimmy comes in with an axhandle to the arm. Jey in, and he gets a sunset flip try, but Kane pulls him away and nails an uppercut. But first, Seth Green takes a selfie. Miz in with a headlock takedown. Miz knocks over Jey, but Jey recovers with a hiptoss and headlock takedown of his own. (Sandow is imitating everything Miz does, as always.) Miz with a kick in the corner, and he and Sandow show off (crowd is on Sandow's side). Jey avoids a whip and chops away, which brings Sandow in to chop himself. Jey suplexes Miz (and Sandow by proxy), then tosses Miz (and Sandow by proxy) as we go to break.
The real issue's going to be how things go when Sandow eventually gets tired and fights for himself. It's been noted by a few of my friends that it's all fun until he gets in the ring, and there might be a reason they're keeping him on the sidelines.
#6ManTag, continued. Kane has Jey in a chinlock. In a related note, I can finally tell the two Usos apart. Jey escapes with a jawbreaer as we find out Ryback did a stalling suplex on Miz (and Sandow by proxy) during the break. Kane cuts off the hot tag and brings in Miz. Miz taunts Jimmy, but Jey tries to fight back only to get hit with the Million Dollar Move. Miz stomps away and knocks Jimmy off the apron before keeping Jey from Ryback. Unsuccessfully, it turns out, as Ryback gets in and goes to town on Miz. Spinebuster, Kane saves. The Usos run into Kane's goozle but escape and superkick Kane out. Jey dives onto Kane, leaving Jimmy with Miz. Miz sends Jimmy out, but turns around into the Meathook and Shell Shock for the pin at 9:57. Sandow writhes in pain alongside Miz while Seth Green tries to raise Ryback's hand. Emphasis on tries. So the Usos hoist Green on their shoulders. Perfectly acceptable six-man. *3/4
We go back to the first ever Slammy Awards in 1986. And to think we're up to 77 now. Of course, they got to 37 by the next year, so who's counting?
Ricky Steamboat comes out to present for Match of the Year. Steamboat goes over his Matches of the Year before presenting the nominees. Your nominees are: WM30's main event; Cena/Wyatt Last Man Standing; Shield/Evolution I at Extreme Rules; and the Authority's Last Stand at Survivor Series. Begin voting now, and after this break, we'll announce the winner.
Hm. I had these matches at ****3/4, ****1/4, ****1/2, and ****1/4 respectively. So that should tell you where my vote went.
Next week, Raw and SmackDown are live, as is the Tribute to the Troops! And yes, I'll be recapping the Tribute live, assuming I remember.
But first, the Match of the Year is: Cena/Authority! And to accept the award, Dolph Ziggler. Steamboat shares some private but hopefully kind words with Dolph. Dolph promises he's going to build on that moment. He did what everyone else would do – entertain with all his heart when jobs were on the line. The Slammy truly belongs to the fans!
AJ Lee v. Summer Rae. Summer pats AJ on the head and shoves her down. This irks AJ, who unloads with a Thesz Press but walks into a wheelbarrow slam for two. Hammer Throw and spinkick gets two. Leg choke against the middle rope and she gets a seated cobra clutch. “Diva of the Year, huh?” She slams AJ down for two, and back to the cobra clutch. Crowd chants for the most over Diva, inspiring AJ to put on the Black Widow for the submission at 2:19. Summer Rae continues to be awful. DUD
And in a surprise return, Rob Van Dam is back to present the nominees for Extreme Moment. Fun bit as his chyron appears on the screen, but without his name on it. RVD says it couldn't be anyone else. The nominees are: Brock Lesnar gives John Cena ALL the German suplexes; Kane Tombstones Daniel Bryan three times in a row; Chris Jericho dives off the cage onto Bray Wyatt; Seth Rollins puts Dean Ambrose through “cinderblocks”.
You know, now that I'm thinking of it, that Rollins/Ambrose street fight deserved to be a Match of the Year contender.
But, your Extreme Moment of the year is: Chris Jericho off the cage! But rather than get Jericho, we get Fandango to accept on his behalf. He thanks Chris for losing to him in his debut match.
Saint Mick and Noelle give us more WWEShop stuff. (A replica Slammy goes to Al Snow, because of course it does.)
Renee Young is with Big Show. Show promises that he'll be focused tonight. He's still mad that the fans won't forgive his mistake. But what he does to John Cena tonight isn't a mistake. He'll knock John Cena out, and then take care of Erick Rowan, who's out of his league. The mistakes are theirs, not Show's.
So who do you suppose Scotty from Orlando is that was getting the Macho Man DVD? Scotty Taylor? Scott Hall? Raven? Discuss if you want.
More pre-show Slammy recapping.
And now, Booker T will present Superstar of the Year. Your nominees are: Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, and Seth Rollins. VOTE! DO IT! DO IT NAOUGHW!
In kayfabe, this is easy: Brock Lesnar. But that's not how you decide the vote.
Chris Jericho will be your guest authority figure next week in Detroit.
And the Superstar of the Year is: Roman Reigns! And he's here to accept in person! And not via satellite, as he himself notes. “It's not the brass ring, but it's pretty damn good, and I love it.” He says he doesn't care who is at the top of the stairs, he's going to step up to them. Believe that.
I didn't buy into the hype before, but if that Slammy voting is legit, then I'll get behind Roman Reigns as Royal Rumble winner.
Main event: John Cena v. Big Show. We review the punch by Big Show at Survivor Series for what feels like the 100th time. Show with a shot to the gut to start, then works over him in the corner. HASHTAG. Hammer Throw on Cena, and Show just stands over him. CHOP OF DEATH misses, and Cena tries to fight back, but he bounces off of Big Show on a shoulderblock. Show walks over Cena. Big slam follows, then an elbowdrop for two. Repeated kicks to the gut follow, then the CHOP OF DEATH connects. Avalanche misses, and Cena gets a DDT. Cena runs into a Bravo Side Slam for two. Show kicks Cena around, then dominates a slugfest and clubs Cena down. Cena kicks Show away, but leaps into a bearhug. Cena breaks it, then escapes a chokeslam into a sleeper. Show drops to one knee, but he snapmares to break. Cena goes for tackles that stagger Show, then ducks the KO Punch and lands a back suplex. Five Knuckle Shuffle follows, but Show catches him with the goozle. Cena escapes the chokeslam again, and he gets the AA for the pin at... no, for Seth Rollins to race in for the DQ at 5:40. You're protecting BIG SHOW? 1/2*
Rollins, Noble, and Mercury beat the tar out of Cena before Rollins gets a ladder and Noble and Mercury get a table. Rollins climbs the ladder, threatening a Curbstomp off of it, when Dolph Ziggler races in and tips the ladder over. Rollins bails, and security gets destroyed. Big Show recovers and knocks Dolph and Cena both out, but this brings out Erick Rowan. Rowan is caught from behind by Luke Harper, allowing a double-team that sends Rowan into the stairs. Crowd wants Ryback. Show chokeslams Rowan off the stairs (seriously, he bounced), and now here comes Ryback. He sends Show into the post, then Meathooks Harper in the ring. Table is set up, and Harper's the target, but while Harper's up for Shell Shock, Kane appears and goes nuts with a chair on Ryback. Dolph returns and is caught by Show, but he escapes a chokeslam and superkicks Show repeatedly until the giant's out. Harper then wheelbarrow slams Dolph through the table, so Cena AA's Harper only to get Curbstomped by Rollins. He calls for help from security as he clears the announce table, and he wants to make an example of Cena. It's the Shieldbomb to Cena through the announce table. Rollins taunts Cena's body to end as the heels stand tall.
Why in heaven's name couldn't that match just end with a clean finish?
HOW I'D BOOK IT:
- New Day beats the Dust Brothers when Kofi pins Goldust.
- Miz and Damien Sandow beat the Usos when Sandow pins Jey (after Jimmy chases Miz off, Sandow decides against imitating the chasing and in favor of winning the match).
- Erick Rowan pins Big Show with help from the stairs.
- United States Champion Rusev defeats Jack Swagger by disqualification when Swagger uses Zeb Colter's crutch as a weapon, leading to a future cage match.
- Ryback pins Kane with the help of chairs.
- Dolph Ziggler claims the title from Luke Harper to regain the Intercontinental Title.
- John Cena puts Seth Rollins through a table to go to the Royal Rumble.
- Nikki Bella defeats AJ Lee with interference by Brie, leading to a triple threat match at the Rumble.
- Dean Ambrose pins Bray Wyatt in the TLC match.
MATCH TIME: 32:50 over seven matches
BEST MATCH: Rollins/Dolph
WORST MATCH: AJ/Summer
NIGHT MVP: Roman Reigns
Matt Perri does Main Event. Tommy Hall does SmackDown. Scott Keith does 1996. Logan Scisco does 1998. Zanatude pokes Southern States Wrestling with a stick. And you provide the discussion.
And the Slammy for Recapper of the Year goes to... Brian Bayless? I want a recount! Our e-fed is not a recap!!