For the last two years WWE has brought back one of my favorite annual rituals, the Slammy awards. Now, for the third time in as many years, we are anxiously awaiting the special Monday Night Raw where WWE tries its best to produce a bad awards show. Of course, the most interesting award to be given is the Superstar of the Year award. Last year it went to John Cena (who won a tournament) and the year before it was arbitrarily given to Chris Jericho (who deserved it). This year we must ask who will be putting the prestigious Slammy on their mantle.
First, we have to wonder how the award will be determined. I doubt we will see another tournament, since we just saw the King of the Ring determined two weeks ago. That only leads arbitrary selection, which is the preferred method to me. WWE has announced the nominees and I will break down why each of them should be nominated and who I expect to win.
Randy Orton: This certainly should have been Orton’s best year ever. He came in as a hated heel and slowly turned into the hottest babyface in the company. Sadly he was hurt by a lack of build to his championship win just when he was starting to take off as a babyface. He still garners great reactions and had a WWE Championship run of substantial length (by modern standards). I don’t see him as the superstar of the year, but anything is possible.
Edge: If this were a Superstar of the first third of the year award, Edge would win. His return as the Royal Rumble was awesome (and that Royal Rumble match itself was one of the best ever). Sadly, Edge’s first appearance this year would also be the highpoint of his character’s year. He switched between heel and babyface multiple times, while also switching brands often. His feud with Chris Jericho suffered from his poorly defined babyface character. He would not see the main event scene again until his rivalry with Kane, which everyone just wants to see end. What began as a career year for Edge has faded quickly.
Rey Mysterio: Forgive me for asking this, but what exactly did Mysterio do to earn this nomination. He was a short term World Heavyweight Champion that no one really cared about. He did not set the world on fire. In fact, he was out for a fair amount of the year injured. The only real accomplishment he had this year was one of the best matches of this year with CM Punk at Over the Limit (worst PPV name of the year). Mysterio winning this award would be a feel good moment, but an inconsequential one. WWE likes to use this Slammy to continue or begin a rivalry, so I don’t see Mysterio winni this one.
John Cena: Well he won it last year, so why not this year? He actually had a relatively good first part of 2010. He won the WWE Championship twice and went on to defeat Batista three times in a row. John Cena’s year would turn drastically downhill with the debut of The Nexus. Cena has been the heel faction’s number one target since their debut. They have kept him away from the WWE Championship and have forced him out of the company (in the story, of course). The fact that Cena is currently fired is why he should not be Superstar of the Year (even if he is rehired by the moment that WWE announces the award). Cena’s work this year has been primarily focussed on getting The Nexus over and it has worked. On the plus side, it has also made his character fresher than it has been since 2005. He doesn’t deserve to win, but Cena has had a good body of work this year.
Kane: Believe it or not, Kane is my pick to win this award. He has had the longest World Championship reign this year. Even though his matches have been borderline atrocious by main event standards, he has been very consistent on the promo side of things. If I could vote on this award, Kane would not be my pick at all, but since I don’t have that power, I have to guess that it will be Kane. Who else can say that they have beat The Undertaker three times in a row? He also has victories over a wealth of main event talent on his “quest” to discover who took his brother out of action. His matches have not been good, but Kane has carried the Smackdown brand at its weakest point in years.
The Miz: I don’t think any regular readers will be surprised when I say that The Miz should actually be the winner of Superstar of the Year. Although I believe that Kane will win, I also believe that The Miz should win. He began the year with the United States Championship and would have memorable programs with Daniel Bryan (getting him over with the WWE audience on NXT and Raw), John Morrison, MVP, R-Truth and Bret Hart. He would also be co-holder of the Unified Tag Team Championship with Big Show. More than all of this, The Miz broke out of the mid card, won Money in the Bank and exams a first time WWE Champion. This was his major accomplishment this year. After he had an amazing year of promos last year, Miz topped himself this year. He backed that up by holding his own continuously in the ring. 2010 has been the year of the Miz.
Also interesting about this list is the names left off of it. Where is Wade Barrett who has saved an angle that looked dead time and time again? Where is Sheamus who entered the year as WWE Champion, won it again and finished the year by becoming King of the Ring? These two guys definitely deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those on this list.
I’m looking forward to the Slammy’s on Monday night, mostly because it cannot possibly be worse than last year’s show. Who do you believe should walk out with the Superstar of the Year trophy?
Tags: edge, john cena, kane, monday night raw, randy orton, Raw, rey mysterio, Smackdown, The Miz, Will Pruett, WWE