The Way Too Long 2009 Awards

By popular request… well, like one guy wanted to know my picks, but hell, I have a quota of hate to fill.   This is strictly for stuff that happened on WWE Pay Per View in 2009, and basically just an excuse to have a look back the previous year.  Think of this as the Way Too Long version of a clip show, only this has a lot of added commentary to it.  Take it away!

Award #1: Best Show of the Year
Winner: Wrestlemania 25
Runner Up: Extreme Rules

WWE plans to change Wrestlemania’s name to “Longest Running Episodic Action-Adventuremania” by 2014.

This was a tough call as 2009 didn’t really have any major standout shows.  Wrestlemania had the highest quantity of good matches and thus gets the nod.  You get the match of the year in Undertaker/Shawn Michaels, a shockingly good Money in the Bank ladder match, a pretty entertaining and fast-paced triple threat match, and a fun Legends match.  Since I review based strictly on the DVD releases, Wrestlemania is helped by having the only worthwhile special feature, the Hall of Fame ceremony, and thus it’s the standout disc to own.

A pair of pretty good four-star matches with minimal crap and a highly memorable close to the show bumps Extreme Rules up to the number two spot.  A match-of-the-year contender in Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho that featured the best ending to a match of the year is the standout.  An injury limited Batista’s role in the WWE Championship cage match, plus he was paired with a handicap in the form of Randy Orton but still managed to put on a decent show.  A four-star Jeff Hardy/Edge ladder match looks to cap off the show, but then CM Punk begins his heel turn with a money in the bank cash in to cap things off.  A highly underrated show that everyone should have a look at.

Read the Way Too Long Review of Wrestlemania 25

Read the Way Too Long Review of Extreme Rules 2009

Award #2: Best Match of the Year
Winner: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania 25
Runner Up: Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. John Cena, WWE Championship Match, Survivor Series

The rare Flying Calaway (Zombiticus Nosellatallii) shown here in it’s natural habitat.

This was not as tough a call.  Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels lived up to the hype and was the only match from a 2009 pay-per-view that I awarded five stars to.  Let’s hit the review.

Match of the Year Winner
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
4/5/09 Wrestlemania 25

Shawn and Undertaker’s entrances are both pretty cool, with Shawn descending from the heavens while Undertaker rises up from hell.  Just like the movie Repossessed, it’s the Bell from Hell vs. the Dove from Above.  I still think Taker’s ‘Twilight Zone‘ entry from Wrestlemania 23 was better, but this was a close second.  This should have been the main event, because this was the only match that was built properly and had any chance of not sucking.

Taker misses a punch and gets chopped to start.  Another punch misses and Shawn chops away again.  Jim Ross points out that’s likely more annoying then it is painful.  Shawn gets Taker to the corner and elbows away, then throws a pretty sick chop.  Lawler points guesses that one wasn’t just annoying.  Taker slings Shawn over the top turnbuckle, but Shawn sticks the landing.  He comes off the ropes but fakes a knee injury.  He gets a Thesz Press and some mounted punches, but they just piss Taker off and he gets tossed into the corner for some punches that sends Shawn to the canvas.  To a different corner where Taker brawls him some more and goes for a whip, but Shawn stops it and chops away.  Whip is reversed and Shawn is sent up and down in the corner, then gets backdropped.  Fans are hot for this one.  Press slam and an elbow drop gets one for Taker.  Rope walk by Taker hits, but a running boot in the corner misses and Taker hurts his leg.  Half-atomic drop and a chopblock by Shawn, then a dropkick to his face.  Shawn goes for a figure-four, then stops Taker from blocking it and slaps it on.  Taker has too much reach and is able to slug his way out of it, but the leg is still injured and Shawn dropkicks the knees.  Shawn charges but Taker catches him… then actually takes the time to sell the leg injury before ramming Shawn into the corner.  It’s the little touches that count.  Whip to the corner and a few body-boxer splashes to Shawn, then a snake eyes and a running big boot.  Leg drop gets two.  Taker goes for a chokeslam but Shawn turns it into the Jesus Christ on the Cross…face.  He’s not quite able to nail it and thus Taker is able to turn him over for a two count.   Shawn holds onto it but Taker muscles out of it and gets a sidewalk slam for two.  Shoot-off and Taker lowers his head into a kick, which only manages to piss him off.  Shawn chops away, then goes into the FOUR AND A HALF MOVES OF DOOM~!  Flying forearm, nip-up, atomic drop, then another atomic drop for good measure, but Taker sits-up.  Shawn opts to go with an axehandle instead of the flying elbow, but still gets caught.  Chokeslam but Shawn wiggles out and teases the superkick, which Taker dives down to avoid, so Shawn goes for the figure-four again but Taker hooks in the Hell’s Gate.  Shawn struggles like crazy and ends up in the ropes, then rolls out to the floor.

Taker gives chase and slams him into the stairs.  He sets up for the leg drop on the apron but Shawn avoids it and Taker wipes out.  Baseball slide by Shawn, who then climbs and MISSES a twisting senton on the floor and wipes out completely.  Taker rolls back into the ring to sell the injury of the… uh… baseball slide?  He sucks some air down, then zombie sits-up.  He goes for his no-hands plancha and does it at way too sharp an angle.  Shawn tosses a cameraman (really Sim Snuka) in front of Taker, but it doesn’t help as Taker ends up flying like a lawn dart and lands right on his fucking head.  He actually dented the padded floor doing it.  Jesus fucking Christ!  Fans go silent as I’m sure it looked like Undertaker broke his neck if you were sitting at a certain angle.  Snuka got blamed for it, but it sure looked like Taker botched his end of it simply by the angle he went at.  And god bless him for it, because that might be the best bump ever taken at Wrestlemania.  If it was a botch, it didn’t *look* like one, it just looked like the Undertaker had decided to kill himself and hopefully take Shawn with him, live on pay-per-view.

Long stall follows, presumably buying Taker time to grow a new brain, since I’m pretty sure the old one is now broken beyond repair.  Shawn grabs a ref and instructs him to start counting Taker out.  Shawn will take it, but Taker barely makes it back in at ten.  Huge pop for that, and one of the most effective, not to mention realistic, nine counts ever given.  I remember hating it live, but maybe that had to do with being incredibly impatient following the twenty minute Kid Cock concrete earlier in the show.  Anyway, Shawn tunes up the band for Sweet Chin Music, but Taker catches him and hits the biggest chokeslam he’s ever done for two.  Fans totally bought that as the finish.  Hell, I’m sure after the bump Taker just took they expect any move to be the finish, since it sure looked like he broke his neck and they should really be going home.  Taker goes for the Tombstone, Shawn wiggles out and goes for the Superkick, Taker catches that and goes for another chokeslam, and Shawn wiggles out of that and hits the Superkick.  He takes too long to cover and only gets two.  Shawn’s just a little too fond of that ‘hit the move, then be too pooped to cover’ spot.  Shawn nips up and now he’s pissed.  But Taker catches him and goes for the Wedgie Bomb.  Shawn wiggles out of it and tries a sunset flip, but Taker stops that and loads up the Wedgie bomb again.  This time it hits… for two.  Again, fans are buying EVERYTHING as the finish now.

Taker climbs but misses an elbow off the top rope and it’s a double KO.  Shawn charges at Taker and gets dumped, but he skins the cat… right into the Tombstone Piledriver… for two.  During the live airing, this ended my personal streak of nineteen years without marking out for a kickout.  I went between Wrestlemania VI and this show without popping for a single two-count.  I, along with everyone watching, totally bought that as the finish, and if you claim you didn’t, you are a liar.  Taker sells this with that same, bug-eyed John McClane in Die Hard look that he used when he turned heel in 2002.  He loads up another Tombstone but this time Shawn turns it into a tornado DDT.  He struggles to climb to the top rope and this time he hits the flying elbow.  Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sweet Chin Music, and this time he covers somewhat quickly, but it only gets two.  Fans bought THAT as the finish.  Both guys have nothing left and sort of claw at each other’s faces.  They have an epic slug out, in the same style that Triple H and Shawn used a bunch of times, only this time it actually makes sense and thus doesn’t suck.  Taker finishes it with a boot to the face.  He goes for the Tombstone but Shawn wiggles out of it and chops away.  Shawn gets slung into the corner but gets a foot up on a charge.  Shawn climbs and goes for a diving moonsault but Taker catches him perfectly for the Tombstone to finish.

***** Epic match that will be talked about long after we’re all dead and gone.  If I’m correct and Scott ranked this fourth on his Wrestlemania list, he was spot on, as I would still rank Bret/Austin, Bret/Owen, and Benoit/Michaels/Trips, higher, but this was close.

The WWE is absolutely INSANE to try and follow this up at Wrestlemania 26 with a rematch.  Even knowing that these two might surpass Steamboat/Flair for having the best chemistry in wrestling history, why take the chance that the legacy of their feud could be ruined?  They’ve matched up five times on pay-per-view if you count the 2007 Royal Rumble.  I gave five-stars to their matches at Ground Zero and Bad Blood, four-stars to their casket match at the ’98 Royal Rumble, and I said that everything after they had both entered the 2007 Royal Rumble match was five-stars (full match was three-stars because everything was awful before the Great Khali of all people entered at #28).  Then, over twelve years after they had last feuded, they get together at Wrestlemania 25 and pull off a match that will be talked about for decades.  Kicking the can for the sixth time in 2010 seems like Russian Roulette to me, and last I checked there’s only six chambers in a revolver.

The only match scoring four and three-quarters was the triple threat WWE title match from the Survivor Series and thus it gets runner-up honors.  The review…

Match of the Year Runner Up, WWE Championship
(c) John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
11/12/2009 Survivor Series

“And this is for telling me that 12 Rounds was a good career move!”

The match starts with Shawn hitting Sweet Chin Music on Triple H and knocking him clean out of the ring.  Well that was awesome in about ten different ways and funnier then any backstage skit has been this last decade to boot.  The crowd completely fucking explodes for it.  John Cena’s hilarious mouth-breathing “Fuck yo, he means business” expression is the icing on the cake.  We then cut to an instant replay of the moment just as Cena goes on the attack.  I’m already mapping out which games I’m buying in 2010 with my $1,000.

All we miss in Squint-o-Vision is Shawn avoiding a clothesline and chopping away.  Back to live action where Shawn gets shot off but Cena lowers his head into a swinging neckbreaker.  Shawn fires off a chop, then hits a Thesz Press and mounted punches.  Punches in the corner by Shawn and some more chopping.  Shoot-off to the corner is reversed by Cena, leading to him hitting a facebuster and a fisherman’s suplex for two.  Shawn gets whipped into the corner, going up and down and into another whip that leaves him lying across the opposite corner.  John kicks him a few times, then realizing that Shawn is totally prepped for the FU.  Shawn swings out of it and plants Cena with a DDT for two.  Shawn clips Cena’s leg while the crowd absolutely gives John Cena holy hell just for existing.  Shawn turns this into a figure-four.  Cena struggles for a bit then turns it over, leading to a break.  Yea-Boo trading leads to Cena charging at Michaels but getting side-stepped and dumped through the ropes.  Shawn hits a crossbody over the ropes, and damn that Superkick earlier must have been the most powerful one of his career because Triple H is in a fucking coma.

Shawn gets pissy and preps the announce table for impact.  Cena snatches him up in the FU, but Triple H finally is awake and makes the save, and then Shawn dumps Cena over the guardrail.  HHH then hoists Shawn up after he turns around and spinebusters him through the table.  Fans are digging this fun-loving DX fighting with each other, and suddenly I’m thinking they could make a hell of a Wrestlemania match keeping these two babyface.  I would be fine with it as long as they’re limited to twenty minutes and thus don’t have time to spank off.  Trips tosses Cena back in the ring, shrugs off some punches and hits a spinebuster for two.  Hard whip to the corner by Trips and by gawd he works that move better then anyone else in the business does.  He’s the only guy left who actually makes an effort to make it look like that move should hurt.  He repeats the spot and covers Cena for two.  Another whip to the corner by Trips but Cena gets a foot up.  Shoot-off but Cena lowers his head into a possible Pedigree.  Cena turns this into a catapult for two.  Yea-Boo slug-out ends with Trips shooting off Cena but eating a couple shoulderblocks and the protoplex.  Five knuckle shuffle and damn Cena has a bit of that heelish edge that Rey Mysterio so desperately needs.  Cena loads up the FU, but Michaels saves and posts Cena.

We have the big DX stare-down and it causes a buzz.  The fans are pretty evenly split, but seem to favor Michaels.  Of course they are.  He hasn’t had a run on top since his return.  Oh sure, he had a brief run with the belt for a month in 2002, but otherwise he’s been a total non-factor.  Hell, he’s gone longer NOW without the belt then he has during his original run in the company, back when he was a political nightmare who made life miserable for all those around them.  Anyway, Shawn moves into the FIVE AND A HALF MOVES OF DOOM~! but Trips has it well scouted and hits his flying knee and a facebuster.  Shawn then moves into the doom moves with the flying forearm and a nip-up.  Of course, as previously displayed by Triple H, he has the sequence of events well scouted and thus spinebusters Shawn after the nip-up.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! attempt is backdropped by Shawn.  He climbs for the flying elbow, then actually slips off the ropes a bit.  Cena comes in then and crotches him, but misses the standing leg drop off the top by Trips.  Flying elbow by Shawn off the top, then Cena snatches Trips in the STFU.  Fans are going fucking nuts.

Trips reaches for the ropes, but Shawn slowly climbs in and hooks Cena into the Jesus Christ on the Crossface.  Cena struggle with it for a bit, then remembers that he’s fucking Superman and hoists Shawn up, crossface and all, for the FU.  Shawn wiggles out only to get caught in the STFU.  Smarks can bitch about the move all they want, but it’s fucking over.  Shawn struggles for a bit then gets to the ropes, making the crowd happy.  They clearly want him to win.  Cena and Shawn struggle to their feet, with John presumably having used all his strength pulling on the hold.  By time he gets up, he eats Sweet Chin Music.  Trips is up and he eats a Superkick as well, falling on top of Cena for the cover.  Shawn passes out and falls out of the ring, then the referee turns around and counts to two.  Awesome spot that completely popped the shit out of the crowd.  A minority of fans try to get a chant going for Cena, but the majority shouts them down with a “Cena Sucks” chant.  Both guys struggle to their feet, then Cena fires off the FU on Trips, and leaving both out cold again.  Shawn crawls in and both Cena and Shawn count Trips down for two.  The pace is fucking dead, along with any hope for a five star rating, as I’m sure they’re all checking to make sure they have their notes straight on what’s certain to be a Rube Goldberg finish.

Shawn and Cena are up.  Shawn pushes Cena and goes for the Superkick.  Shawn gets pushed out of it and over to Triple H who loads up a piledriver.  Cena snatches Shawn out of the reverse of it and goes for the FU.  Trips kicks Cena in the gut and goes the Pedigree.  Shawn hits the Superkick on Trips.  Cena then FU’s Michaels onto Triple H and covers the Game for the pin.  Well that was nifty in a Mouse Trap kind of way.

****3/4 You know what, that was a fun match.  Maybe not the most technically sound.  Maybe some of the spots (and especially the ending) were a bit too hokey, but wrestling is supposed to be fun and it doesn’t get much more fun then that.  This was basically a series of short one-on-one matches with a few three-way spots glued on because, well, that’s kind of what was promised.  The hype was real and this will likely be my choice for runner up for match of the year in 2009.  And a total show-saver to boot.

Award #3: Best Wrestler of the Year
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Runner Up: Chris Jericho

“That fish was THIS big!”

I based this award on who consistently delivered the best quality matches on pay-per-view.  I thought Chris Jericho would win but he suffered a few setbacks in tag team matches.  Rey Mysterio shared the most artistically successful feud of the year with Chris Jericho, plus had several other solid match-ups against guys like Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison.  Injuries and wellness violations knocked him out of a couple pay-per-views, but when he was there he usually was the only guy you could completely count on to have a high quality match, and thus he gets the slight nod over Jericho.

Award #4: Worst Show of the Year
Winner: 2009 Royal Rumble
Runners Up: Bragging Rights and TLC (Tie)

Pictured: the scene in the WWE dressing room when the Wellness Policy was first announced.

Bragging Rights and TLC 2009 were both gimmicky shows introduced as a means to try and create a yearly tradition and both failed at planning and execution.  But the Royal Rumble has been around for over twenty years and it completely failed to entertain or provide any matches worth going back to have a look at.  Unlike TLC and Bragging Rights, the WWE spends a lot of time hyping the Royal Rumble match, which is considered a highlight of the year.  When that match fails to be worth going back to watch, it drags down everything else.  The best match on that show was the opening Jack Swagger/Matt Hardy ECW title match which scored a low ***1/4, with only the Cena/JBL match also earning the minimum three-star passing grade.  Thus it’s the clear winner for Worst Show of the Year.

Read the Way Too Long Review of the 2009 Royal Rumble

Read the Way Too Long Review of Bragging Rights 2009

Award #5: Worst Match of the Year
Winner: Randy Orton vs. John Cena, WWE Championship, Summerslam
Runner Up: Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian, ECW Championship Ladder Match, TLC

I went back and watched the four major contenders, those being Edge/Cena from Backlash, Legacy/DX from Breaking Point, and the two listed above.  My previous goal had been to give this ‘award’ to the match that most failed to live up to its status as a top draw to the show.  But ultimately I couldn’t ignore how awful the Orton/Cena match from Summerslam was, which featured Orton trying to really ham up his Viper character by standing around and attempting to look menacing for twenty minutes while doing nothing.  Cena and Orton had previously wrestled each other in seven pay-per-view matches and countless others on TV.  Suddenly, a single punch required nearly a minute of selling.  Cena’s melodramatic selling, which started rearing it’s ugly head after his abomination of a flick 12 Rounds hit, bored the audience and everyone else to tears.  Lillian Garcia botching her end of the finish, a role which required a total of two sentences spoken into the microphone… you know what, fuck it.  Just read the review.

Worst Match of the Year Winner, WWE Championship
(c) Randy Orton vs. John Cena
8/23/09 Summerslam

“Your mouth work is fine, but don’t call me Randy.  Call me Daddy.  No, don’t ask why.  Come on man, you’re ruining the mood!”

We start the match with Cena getting a waistlock-takedown.  Orton reverses and grounds it out, then we break clean.  Lockup and Orton punches Cena down, then takes him to the corner with punches and stomps.  One of the only things Orton does better then most people is stomp.  He should really teach Legacy how to do it considering that 90% of their moveset is stomping.  Orton gets arrogant and pussy-foots Cena, causing John to get pissed and spear Orton down with some punches.  Shoot to the corner and a bulldog for two.  Shoot-off is reversed and Orton gets a back-elbow.  Orton kicks Cena in the gut, and then just stands around a bit.  Ah fuck, it’s going to be one of THOSE matches.  He rakes Cena’s face with his boot, then uppercuts him in the corner.  More punching in the corner, then Orton backs away.  Michael Cole notes that Orton isn’t exerting much energy.  Yea, I agree.  He is lazy.  Hard whip to the corner, then more nothing by Orton as he plays up his viper gimmick.  He stands around forever, doing nothing.  This match fucking sucks.

Another hard whip to the corner, then a whole lot more of nothing.  Orton’s busted his mouth somewhere in this match.  He fires off the Garvin Stomp, backs away to the corner, jerks off a little more, then hits a big flying knee for two.  That actually was a pretty good looking knee drop, but this match is total dog shit in structure.  Cena fights back and the fans boo the shit of him.  Wrap-around backbreaker by Orton gets two, and the fans are getting more into Orton.  Why not?  Orton has barely done anything to John Cena, and yet Cena is forced to lie around and wait while Orton takes his sweet time going from move to move.  After all this non-stop action, Orton feels the time has come to take a break and he grabs a chinlock.  He clutches it on and takes Cena down to the mat.  Cena does a great job of selling it, holding his breath and turning himself purple.  That would be great, except Orton doesn’t even bother trying to make it look good.  Cena fights out of it and hits a couple shoulderblocks and the protoplex.  He goes for the FU but Orton shoves out of it and hits a powerslam for two.  Time to lay around for a bit.  Orton slowly gets up, and then fires off another Garvin Stomp.  He then grabs the ropes and suffocates the entire audience by sucking all the air out of the arena.  If one didn’t know better, they would think that Orton was totally blown up right out of the gate of this match.

Knee drop misses for Orton and Cena tries to fight back, then he whiffs on a flying shoulderblock and tumbles out of the ring for another extended nothing period.  After roughly twenty-nine years Cena climbs up to the apron, where Orton catches him and slowly preps him for the rope DDT.  He hits it, then slowly turns Cena over and covers him for two.  What the fuck is up with this match?  Did they visit the tar pits in LA and decide to do a match in honor of those creatures that got stuck in it?  I bet the upcoming Hulk Hogan/Ric Flair matches will move faster then this shit.  Orton calls for the Punt, but Cena moves out of the way and hits a blockbuster.  Cena climbs and hits the standing leg drop on Orton in a spot so telegraphed that it should have been sent by Western Union.  It gets two.  Cena calls for the FU, looking like a retard while doing it.  Orton holds onto the ropes and both guys clothesline each other for another double knockout.  Yippee skippy.  Both guys stagger up and we have a YEA BOO punch, and the fans are clearly in favor of Orton now.  Cena wins out and backdrops Orton, who blatantly shoves the referee down and draws a DQ.

Lillian Garcia announces that she has received word that the winner of the match is Randy Orton.  What the FUCK?  Lillian fucked up there.  I’m not in favor of editing matches as a general rule, but this was a colossal fuck up and could have been harmlessly cut out of the equation.  Lillian then resets herself and announces that she received word from Vince McMahon that the match is to be restarted and if Orton gets DQed, he losses the title.  Of course, Lillian already announced how the match is going to end.  Thank god she’s out the company and we’re finally free of this shit.

Orton stands around for a while in disbelief, and then he finally decides to return to the ring.  The production fuckwits decide that the time has come to show the replays of Orton getting disqualified.  Orton stomps away, but Cena shoots him off into a sideslam for two.  Whip to the corner by Cena and Orton ends up rolling out of the ring.  Cena gives chase, but Orton throws him into the stairs in a spot that looked terrible.  Jerry Lawler sounds embarrassed to be calling this shit.  In the ring, that gets two, one, and one.  Orton decides to bail on the match.  BUT WAIT~!!  Because Lillian Garcia still hears voices in her head and Vince McMahon has ordered the match to be restarted and now if Orton gets counted out he loses the title this time.  Orton comes in and gets caught in the STFU, kicks off of it, goes for the RKO, wiggles out of the FU, and gets the pin with his feet on the ropes.  BUT WAIT~!! because another referee is out to point out that Orton had his feet on the ropes, and the match is restarted again.  You know, this shit can work.  It did at Summerslam in 1996 with Shawn Michaels and Vader.  Here it’s a disaster.  I’m talking the Titanic running into Chernobyl then having the Hindenburg crash on it disaster.  Cena slaps on the STFU, BUT WAIT~!! because Brett DiBiase makes his debut and attacks Cena.  Security pulls him out of the ring and everyone acts all shocked, because he’s supposed to be like a fan.  The announcers don’t acknowledge him, and it’s played totally straight up.  An idea so incredibly stupid that I kind of hope it encourages a slew of dim-witted morons to run into the ring during matches in an attempt to get their fifteen minutes of fame.  Both guys stand around a bit, and then Orton comes back into the ring.  Then he bails again as John Cena charges at him.  Cena reaches out to drag Orton back in the ring and eats an RKO on the ropes.  Orton covers and scores the pin.  All of that was for THAT ending?

DUD Summerslam has had some epic stinkers over the years.  Giant Gonzalez vs. Undertaker in 1993.  Undertaker vs. Underfaker in 1994.  Mable vs. Diesel in 1995.  Those matches are now all safely off the hook, because we have a new worst Summerslam match ever.  In fact, this match is now the clear front-runner for worst match of the year in 2009.  I’m sure the ignorant ‘smart fans’ will vote for Cedric the Entertainer vs. Chavo Guerrero from Raw because that’s the type of thing they do.  But this match was actually meant to be a big deal and it was one of the very worst matches ever put on by the WWE on a pay-per-view.  Atrocious and slow, with Cena overselling Orton’s punches and kicks, and Orton wrestling like he was wadding in a pool of molasses.  Even before the horrible ending, this was the worst Match of the Year.  The finish only served to launch this into worst match ever territory.  Both wrestlers totally phoned in the wrestling side of things and whoever came up with the finish should have been fired on the spot and blacklisted from the industry.  Don’t be an idiot and vote for a celebrity match… in 2009 it has not gotten any lower then this.  Ever see one of those situations where someone pays money for a product and gets a totally half-assed, unoriginal and uninspired work that zero effort was put into and you end up feeling total pity that they pissed away money on it? Yeah, this was that.

And naturally this match was soooooo good that they had to follow it up with three pay-per-view rematches, one of which was an Iron Man match.  Granted, the Breaking Point match was actually really, really good.  But that’s like saying you get to visit Disneyland but first you have to go to the vet and have your puppy put to sleep, then after Disney you have to go to your mom’s funeral.  Anyway, TLC’s god-awful ladder match features Shelton Benjamin and Christian earns the runner-up honors, but I just posted the review for that yesterday and thus there’s no sense of copying it here.

Award #6: Worst Wrestler of the Year
Winner: Randy Orton
Runner Up: Ted DiBiase

“Worst wrestler of the year huh?  Why if you were a fourteen year old minority I would SO spit gum at you right now!”

In determining my choice for worst wrestler of the year, I had many factors I could consider.  I could take the time to bust on more internet favorites that I don’t care for, such as Christian or Ted DiBiase.  I could go after the obvious targets, guys with no talent like Great Khali or MVP.  Instead, I’ve given the award to Randy Orton because in 2009, it didn’t get any more painful then having to watch him on pay-per-view.  It’s fairly safe to say that the WWE devoted more attention to him then anyone else on the roster, especially in the early part of the year, but when it came time to pay off all the time spent pimping him on Raw, he failed, failed, failed.  Let’s have a look back, shall we?

Royal Rumble: Was in the Royal Rumble Match.  *1/4

No Way Out: A street fight vs. Shane McMahon that scored a DUD (granted this was mostly on Shane McMahon’s shoulders)

Wrestlemania: Gets two stars with his match with Triple H, easily one of, if not THE, worst Wrestlemania main event of the decade.

Backlash: Teams with Legacy to take on the Trips, Shane, and Batista in a six-man tag match for the WWE Championship.  His fans will blame everyone else, because that’s what fans do, but he shares equally in its 1/2* shame.

Judgment Day and Extreme Rules: His silly mentally-ill shtick is dropped long enough to have a pair of pretty entertaining matches with Batista, scoring ***3/4 and ***1/2 respectively.

The Bash: A poorly conceived Three Stages of Hell match with Triple H where the second fall lasts ten seconds, give or take, bores the shit out of everyone and pulls in a one-star rating.

Night of Champions: A horrible triple threat match with John Cena and Triple H where all the spots were so telegraphed that they might as well have just used a static screen with a list of moves instead of actually sending them out there to wrestle.  Scored *3/4

Summerslam: As previously mentioned, he scores a DUD with John Cena and worst Match of the year honors, beating previous Worst Summerslam Match Ever champion Mabel vs. Diesel from 1995 in the process.

Breaking Point: A small miracle takes place as Orton’s methodical snake character lends itself well to an “I Quit” match and thus they pull off a ****1/2 Match of the Year contender.  But this small shinning diamond in a mountain of manure isn’t enough to justify not awarding Orton the worst wrestler of the year honors.  I was as shocked as anyone else was by the quality of this match.  It reminded me of that movie Awakenings where everyone comes out of the coma after many years, has a few moments of clarity, then falls into the coma again.

Hell in a Cell: And back into the coma.  Cena and Orton face off for the fourth straight show, can’t use the gimmick they’re provided because of the TV-PG guidelines, and score two stars in a technically sound but incredibly dull Cell match that didn’t even use the cage.

Bragging Rights: The fifth and final of the Cena/Orton match really hammered home what the problem with Randy Orton’s character is: The bookers, agents, and Orton himself sacrifice match quality in order to let Orton sell how psychotic and dangerous he is, and apparently the only way he can do that is to wrestle slowly and in the most boring fashion possible.  Scores **1/2 in an Iron Man match that shows fleeting moments of brilliance but crippled by artificial pacing issues.

Survivor Series: Irrelevant really, because Orton only participates in the final seconds of the match.

TLC: In what is meant to be as a star launching platform for Kofi Kingston, Orton’s character again requires that the pace be crippled so that he can sell how dangerous and deliberate his character is, knocking what should be a high three-stars or better match down to a ** sleeping pill.

In summary, Orton wrestled in thirteen out of fourteen pay per views.  His average rating was just under two stars a match: 1.98

Given the fact that he is the top heel on Raw and has had more time devoted to developing his heel act then anyone else on the roster, I don’t think there’s anything wrong to say that he didn’t deserve it and fans should expect better.  As far as Ted DiBiase goes, talking about how bad he sucks is like shooting spitballs at the kids getting off the short bus.  Sure it’s fun and laughs are had, but at the end of the day he’s a special boy and it’s not right to pick on him.  He’s been in the WWE for going on two years and only briefly during his Hell in a Cell match, with two of the best workers active today, was he able to show signs that he might one day be a decent professional wrestler.  His fans stick up for him and come up with so many off-the-wall excuses for why he sucks that it simply adds to the never-ending hilarity you get from him.  “The WWE doesn’t want him to wrestle too heelish because he’s going to turn babyface.  It’s their fault.  They handicap him.  It’s Cody’s fault.  It’s Randy’s fault.  It’s the Triple H’s fault because he holds everyone back.“  Keep telling yourselves that and maybe someday you’ll believe it yourself.

He can’t throw a punch.  He can’t even do a stomp right.  He has no personality.  He might be the worst guy on the microphone of the entire decade.  He looks lost in the ring.  The icing on the cake was his performance in the Marine 2 which was universally panned.  Except by a critic at Inside Pulse.  Go figure.  Quite frankly, his acting might be the only thing more painful to sit through then his matches.  Naturally his fans blamed the script.  You know what?  If he had a lick of talent, it would rise to the surface.  It would show in his matches and it would have shown up on film.  I don’t know if Ted DiBiase is completely talentless.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Perhaps he would make a fine businessman.  In college he considered becoming a minister.  Perhaps he would have done fine at that.  Having watched some of his early stuff from Florida, I don’t see where anyone can say that the WWE is holding him back.  He showed no flare for wrestling then.  He is no worse now then he was in Florida, and that puts the whole “held back” argument to rest.

Ted DiBiase Jr. got his ticket punched into the WWE on name value alone.  The thought must be that genetically he was born to be a wrestler.  But wrestling is part performance art, and while he might have the body of an athlete due to who his father was, he doesn’t have a lick of his father’s charisma or talent.  And in wrestling, very few people who have no natural talent for the business ever develop into someone that becomes an entertaining performer.  There are exceptions, such as Brock Lesnar, who by his own admission was not a natural.  But Lesnar was a quick learner.  DiBiase has been wrestling since 2006.  The earliest match I’ve seen of his dated to 2007, and he has not improved one lick since then.  This is not a knock on him personally.  He might be a nice guy.  I’ve heard no complaints about his demeanor or personality.  He might be a fun guy to hang out with.  But as a performer in professional wrestling, he simply doesn’t have it.  I would love to eat crow and watch him blossom into an entertaining presence in the business, but I don’t see it happening.

And that’s all the time we have for now folks.  I want to thank all my readers who made 2009 so very fun and I hope to see a whole lot more of you in 2010.

Big special thanks to Red for making my stuff during the second half the year look more readable.  Red is much more talented then myself and you should certainly check out his review of the 2001 InVasion pay-per-view, which was posted on Scott Keith’s blog.  Further thanks to Travis Leamons for spicing up my articles with graphics and pictures.

Not sure what review will hit next.  Perhaps the Hogan DVD.  But it’s coming.

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