The Stomping Ground: The Biggest Hiccups of 2011

Sweet monkey Jesus, not another friggin’ column! Sigh.

I’m your lovable yada yada yada.

End intro.

I’m going to steal a page from CB’s book and hold my own year-end awards. However, as I’m quite adept at this, I’ll present a list of the biggest fails of the year in the world of professional wrestling. That’s right: flops, wastes of time, let-downs, and any other synonyms for failure you can shake a thesaurus at.

I’m talking about Mike Gojira’s Biggest Hiccups of 2011.

1. Kharma Debuts a Baby Bump and the Divas Division Goes to Shit
It’s early 2011. We get vignettes promising the debut of Awesome Kong in the WWE and all seems right in the world of women’s wrestling. She crushes heel after heel, then babyface after babyface as she steers toward a confrontation with Kelly Kelly and then inevitably either Gail Kim or Beth Phoenix. And then…she breaks down and cries in the middle of the ring? The following week we learn that she’s pregnant. All that build-up and mystique is dashed to the rocks and Vince McMahon seemingly gives up all hope in the Divas.

But wait! Beth Phoenix and Natalya turn heel and begin to dominate the rest of the Divas! All is not lost!

Except Beth and Natalya are jobbed out at every turn to Kelly Kelly. Oh, and Gail Kim is underutilized and leaves for TNA.

2. Alberto del Rio’s Destiny: To Become a Transitional Champion
Del Rio’s strong point is his ability to put on a stellar show in the ring and look dangerous. He was pushed to the moon during his debut, “injuring” Rey Mysterio and even winning a feud against him upon Rey’s return. Hell, he even won this year’s Royal Rumble!

But lost to Edge at Wrestlemania.

And Christian at Extreme Rules.

Then del Rio won Money in the Bank! He cashes in on CM Punk at Summerslam!

Then loses the title to Cena a month later.

But he won it back at Hell in a Cell!

Then lost it to Punk a month later.

3. Sin Cara: The Most Lackluster Debut in WWE History
We expected so much from Sin Cara upon his debut. A brand-new high-flying luchador? With a good reputation? Sign me up! However, whether it was his inability to mesh with the WWE atmosphere or his inability to get along with del Rio, Sin Cara didn’t have a lot of “oomph” to go along with his expectations. He violated the Wellness Policy and was replaced by fellow luchador Hunico under the mask, who proved to be far more reliable. When Sin Cara’s suspension was up, Hunico was rewarded with a Sin Cara vs Sin Cara feud…which fell flat. At Survivor Series, Sin Cara sustained an injury that will put him out for months. Not bad for Triple H’s first signing, eh?

4. The “Re-energized” Tag Team Division Goes Up in Smoke
Triple H promised us a renewed interest in the tag team scene and he delivered with the duo of Air Boom. Then we had Awesome Truth and it looked like things were really heating up. It turns out the only thing that was “lit” was some marijuana and as a result Evan Bourne and R-Truth were suspended for it. Not at the same time, of course.

5. Christian’s Dreams Are Realized…as a Main Event Jobber
He finally did it! That Creepy Little Bastard finally won the World Heavyweight Championship after over a decade of waiting and we in the IWC were overjoyed. Cut to five days later and Christian loses the belt to Randy Orton, who was just traded to Smackdown. There was much outrage, I can tell you. Orton and Christian feuded over the next few months which ended with an obvious heel turn from Captain Charisma. Sure, he won the belt back, but it was through disqualification. Lame. Since then, Christian has been jobbing left and right to Sheamus and complaining about not getting “One more match.” Yeesh.

6. The Hardy Twist of Fate
From the debacle of Sting vs Jeff Hardy earlier this year, to the mental breakdown of Matt Hardy that I totally lambasted, the Hardy Boys have had one hell of a year. TNA’s insistence on bringing in established talent and pushing them to the moon bit them on the ass twice and I can’t say I feel sorry for the company.

7. The Anonymous Raw GM Remains Anonymous
Obviously with no end-game in sight, the WWE decided to quietly drop the Raw GM and never mention it again. Hell, for weeks after Triple H took over the computer stand remained as though there would be some big reveal at some point. Nothing doing.

8. Kevin Nash vs CM Punk…I Mean, Triple H
Nash made his big return at Summerslam and caused Punk to lose his title to del Rio. Everyone thought this would be the moment Punk would use to break free of the John Cena Ceiling. Instead, due to some medical issue, Nash couldn’t wrestle Punk and the angle was put to rest. Suddenly, Triple H had a problem with Nash, and Punk never actually got his revenge on the man who cost him everything at Summerslam.

9. Winter Date Rapes Angelina Love
The less said about this, the better. Next!

10. Michael Cole Defeats Jerry Lawler and We Never Hear the End of It
Of all the ridiculous, idiotic feuds of the year, Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler had hands-down the worst payoff of all. Lawler had the moral victory over Cole at Wrestlemania, but he needed Stone Cold Steve Austin to pull it off. Furthermore, the WWE decided to reverse the decision so Cole had something else to crow about. Since then, Cole has put down Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, Booker T, and Jim Ross in his quest to be the most hated piece of shit in the WWE Universe. At some point, Cole has to be shut down permanently. Please, for all our sakes.

11. John Morrison Misses His Chance
Morrison’s manhood was in question the moment longtime girlfriend Melina wiped her mouth after leaving Batista’s dressing room. When he allegedly snubbed Trish Stratus this past April, he wound up in the doghouse…this time permanently. A neck injury forced him out of action, and tag team partner R-Truth took the opportunity and ran with it, giving us a tremendous heel turn as a result. Poor Johnny Nitro. At least you’ve still got Melina.

12. Drew McIntyre’s Wife Beats Him
Tough Scottish laddie McIntyre had his ass beat by his not-so-blushing bride Tiffany earlier this year and became the laughingstock of the WWE. How else can you explain his complete lack of a push since being drafted over to Raw?

So those are my Hiccups of 2011. What I’d like all of you to do is vote on which of the 12 you’d consider to be the worst Hiccup of the Year and I’ll post the winner in next week’s column. Also, there’s no shame in discussing any or all of these moments in the comments section below, or even any you feel belonged on that list which I may have neglected.

Mike Gojira’s Year-End Fave Five: Top 5 WWE Superstars of 2011

For the next month, my Fave Five for each week will spotlight a different aspect of the business over the past year. This week my focus is on the top WWE Superstars of 2011.

1. Dolph Ziggler: This man has turned out one of the biggest heel performances of the year. The company has so much faith in him that, for two straight months, he’s wrestled twice on PPV. He has had the best matches on any show he is a part of and has proven he can hang with the main event talent. Losing the U.S. title this Sunday isn’t a push for Ryder. It’s a push for Ziggler to main event the Royal Rumble with CM Punk.

2. CM Punk: This was truly the year of CM Punk. From his jaw-dropping worked shoot to his perfect comedic timing and biting wit, Punk has finally done what no man besides Randy Orton has ever done…surpassed John Cena in popularity.

3. Cody Rhodes: The Dashing One is close to winning his first World Heavyweight Championship; I can feel it. He just needs to have the right timing, and I think it will be at the expense of Daniel Bryan next year. Until then, I believe Cody will continue to improve in the ring and on the mic.

4. Zack Ryder: Long Island Iced Z should be called the “Self-Made Superstar”; after all, if it weren’t for his Youtube channel, he’d be sitting in the back with former tag team partner Curt Hawkins, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Tyler Reks, and Trent Barretta.

5. Sheamus: This was a toss-up between Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Mark Henry. My gut instinct tells me to go with the Great White, as he has had a phenomenal year in terms of fan response. Second only to Randy Orton on the Smackdown totem pole, Sheamus is a force to be reckoned with.

That’ll do for round 2. Catch me later this week for my Not-So-Live Smackdown Report as well as my Roundtable picks for TLC. If you didn’t catch my Tribute to the Troops Recap, what the fuck is wrong with you?! Get on that shit!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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