Welcome to the results of the 2013 Rec.sport.pro-wrestling Awards.
We saw a marked increase in voting this year, thanks to large numbers of voters sent our way from Scott Keith, Wreddit, The Mandible Claw, Botchamania, Old School Wrestling Review and lots of other wrestling fan sites. As a result, this year’s total votes came out to a whopping 767 – well over a 50% increase over last year. We also saw this year a trend I personally welcome, which was some wrestlers actively campaigning on Twitter – at least a little bit – for victory in the Awards. Granted, none of those campaigns worked, but at least one major fan campaign did, as you shall see.
We also saw a whole ton of ineligible write-ins this year. The biggest in the “worst” were generally for older retired wrestlers who weren’t eligible for Most Deteriorated since they were no longer active, like Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair. Batista also got a lot of negative votes but only returned to wrestling in 2014 and thus was not eligible.
Anyway. Here, we present the “worst” Awards – those Awards which celebrate the lousiest in wrestling of 2012. If this offends your moral sensibilities and you instead want to read the “best” Awards, click here.
Finally, I’d like to thank Justin Henry, Christopher Robin Zimmerman, Herb Kunze and all those who have previously run the Awards and contributed to their legacy; everybody who chipped in to promote the awards; all of you voters, of course; and finally and most importantly an extra-double-sized thanks to mgkdotcom’s Tech Guy, James Young, without whose invaluable assistance these Awards would almost certainly have failed to be anywhere near as successful and user-friendly as they in fact were.
And without further ado…
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.
|THE GREAT KHALI||217||114||66||1559|
FILM DIRECTORZ: Now I am ok with someone not being a fantastic wrestler because sometimes their character is good enough to hide it but every time I hear Khali’s music, I sigh and become annoyed. Eva Marie is quite horrendous in the ring too.
ANTHONY RUSSELL: Kofi Kingston has solid basics but he’s as charasmatic as a roll of toilet paper.
THAT I NEVER HAD: Can’t finish a match because of a dislocated finger? Yeah, Sin Cara has been the worst since the beginning. And that blue light, oh god, the light!
FAKE: C’mon, a Worst Wrestler category and Cena’s not on it? Gotta pander to the smarks, man!
COURT: It makes me very sad that the Divas keep getting worse and worse every year. WWE could make a lot of money promoting women’s wrestling properly (see UFC’s Women’s Divsion) but they continue to hire models as wrestlers and give them 2 minute matches with no story. A real shame.
AGENT WIGGS: As long as Khali keeps wrestling he will remain the worst. I feel embarrassed for the guy, truly I do.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: I said this on the Mandible Claw podcast and I am sticking to it: the Great Khali is the worst worker, perhaps, but he is not the worst wrestler. He serves a purpose: he is the Lieutenant Worf of the WWE, the credible threat that an up-and-comer like Antonio Cesaro or Fandango can beat to gain momentum. He is the Beatable Giant and serves a purpose. Please compare to Eva Marie, who is useless in every possible way.
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.
|THE GREAT KHALI AND HORNSWOGGLE||187||79||58||1288|
|Aces and Eights: Wes Brisco and Garret Bischoff||120||67||50||901|
|Bella Twins: Brie and Nikki||77||53||29||602|
|Rybaxel: Ryback and Curtis Axel||43||62||72||545|
|Los Matadores: Diego and Fernando (Primo and Epico)||51||42||48||477|
SLEEPY SUPERHERO: A lot of team on this list were spared because while they’re bad wrestler/bad gimmick/late for their nursing home’s curfew, the Matadores are dopey and uninspired; 3MB matches the weekly theme but is otherwise are forgettable as the wrestlers in the group; Brie and Bella…they have everything it takes to be good (except talent and a legacy) and I still just don’t care.
BOKMAN: *ahem* C’MON BRIE! C’MON NIKKI! C’MON BRIE! C’MON NIKKI!
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 character did not get his heel comeuppance.
|Alberto Del Rio||61||35||25||460|
BOKMAN: For years, Dixie resisted the temptation to plaster herself all over the screen, and worse, try to act. This was TNA, so of course that would not last.
DR. DAFT: Randy Orton could have been a great heel, and a great arch-rival to Daniel Bryan… if he wasn’t stuck being cast as the “pretty boy with a silver spoon in his mouth.” By limiting Randy Orton’s aspirations to simply maintaining his status as champion, and limiting his range to “this is my angry face” and “this is my angrier face” they blew any chance for an interesting character arc. What we’re stuck with now isn’t all Orton is capable of, but it is all that the WWE is capable of writing him as at this point in time.
CAPNANDY: I just want to say: Papa Shango gave me nightmares when I was a kid so I don’t know where you get off with the header image for this question. (So what you’re saying is that you were a chicken when you were a kid? — MGK)
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Eva Marie made a name for herself. It was just not the right one.
To be given to the person whose casting as a good guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no face heat drawn or maybe the fans actually booed this person, but for whatever reason the face image just didn’t get over.
|The Great Khali||60||58||40||554|
SLEEPY SUPERHERO: I get to vote that the Miz sucks TWICE? AWESOME! ::kick::
BOKMAN: I do not dislike the Miz as a whole. He has his moments. But his face turn has really been the worst of the worst- he’s still smug and arrogant, only now those are supposed to be good qualities because he fights bad guys. HHH simply has never worked well as a true good guy; he can’t be the underdog, especially in a corporate role. Turning him back into the evil Authority was a good move.
SMARTPERS: The Alberto Del Rio face run was just an awful experiment from start to finish. Actually, the heel turn was amazing, possibly because he was so uninspired and bland as a face.
IF WORK PERMITS: Again, half of these people are fine. Who the fuck chooses these? (You, the fans! STOP HITTING YOURSELF! — MGK)
To be given to the name wrestler whose workrate and in-ring skill is so low it’s barely measureable.
|THE GREAT KHALI||289||127||47||1923|
XAER0KNIGHT: Poor Captain New Japan; I like him so much and even use his name as a Twitter handle! He just needs a few great matches and NJPW needs some comedic wrestlers to help! i mean in WiF! there is a Mr Azerbaijan. They could bring him in. Right?
BOKMAN: Khali simply cannot move anymore. It’s not even entirely his fault- the WWE should not expect someone whose legs are basically stilts to work weekly matches.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: We really should just name this the Great Khali Award For Worst Worker and get it over with.
To be given to the wrestler you like the least, regardless of the reason.
|The Great Khali||56||54||49||540|
ZBENN: Sheamus, Every time my eyes finally adjust after being blinded by the whitest man alive walking into the ring, they bear witness to boring in ring work.
SCENT OF TOMMY: I enjoyed Xavier Woods’ ring work when he was in TNA, but what is his character? Dancing Power-rangers loving Nerd with a PHD? Theres nothing about his character that would make me want to cheer or support him.
AIBHEAOG: Both Randy Orton and AJ Lee are chosen because of how disappointing they are. They have so much potential, but Orton clearly doesn’t care about the job enough to use that potential, and AJ consistently plays histrionic character types that are regressive and doesn’t do the women’s division any favours, and her forced cutesy delivery-style on the mic is teeth-grindingly bad. Both could be doing so much more.
DR. DAFT: John Cena. This isn’t even personality related. I think he’s utter shit when it comes to selling anything, because he always seems to be attempting to “act” as one would for a group of 4 year olds.
SPNA001: #2 Randy Orton’s theme song. Because it’s the most horrible butt rock I have ever heard. It’s not even inoffensively generic, but it’s just straight up bad. I actually like Orton as a whiny heel but his music makes me hope he doesn’t show up so I don’t have to listen to it. Goddamn do I hate it. (…I don’t think this is legal… — MGK)
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.
REGORN: CM Punk is still popular, but he’s been going through the motions in the last year. Not nearly as interesting as he was a year or two ago. Recent developments aside, haven’t been interested at all in his feuds or promos in a long time.
SLEEPY SUPERHERO: The ones I am tired of aren’t on here. Hogan needs to fuck off. The New Age Outlaws, or as I call them, The Bronze Age Miscreants, are just whoring themselves for the reality show. Someone get them a nap and some Tapioca pudding.
BOKMAN: Someone take Kurt Angle out of the ring before he kills someone. This is just sad. I am not joking when I say I see a potential Chris Benoit situation here.
DANIEL M. DAMICO: I really can’t think of a better winner for this than Rey Mysterio, which is really quite sad considering how good he was. Nonetheless, he’s clearly lost way more than a step. It might be time to hang up the mask.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: The New Age Outlaws didn’t make the list this year because they wrestled one match in 2013 and it was short. I think next year they will get many, many more votes, because they’re wrestling about as well as they always did: which is to say, Billy Gunn is still not very good and Road Dogg tops out at “boring but competent” in the ring at best.
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.
|Alberto Del Rio||71||49||42||586|
ANTHONY RUSSELL: John Cena. Sorry lads, you’re wrong. Money draw he may be (damn kids) but he’s not been in any matches of real interest and he’s a lousy worker. He is overrated, massively so.
HAMBERGERLAR: We’ve seen Brock have a MOTYC with Cena. We’ve seen him have a MOTYC with Punk. After those, who else is annoyed that 3 of his 5 matches so far have been dragging affairs with Triple H?
REPTAIN: John Cena is still the most overrated. The only reason why he draws that much in comparison to others is that he has a lot of diffrent merchandise and that he does more charity then anyone else. But the WWE either overrates him or underrates every other wrestler ever.
BOKMAN: I am not saying Randy Orton is a bad wrestler. He isn’t. But it is unfathomable to me that he is still getting a main event push when he is also getting almost no reaction. That’s mostly WWE’s fault for making him a paper champion, but he’s still the champ going into 2014 and this makes no sense.
CHRIS SIMS: #1 The Rock. (Listen, I know he drew money and I loved Fast Six but Jesus H, it’s a struggle to watch that guy drool through rest hold for 20 minutes of WrestleMania.)
DANIELLE MATHESON: For a guy who only wrestles one match, you’d think Colt Cabana would be a lot better at it. He’s the Ambassador of Independent Wrestling, but man, is there a guy any more bitter and hateful towards the indies and his place in them? Doubtful.
To be given to the wrestler who had the worst character gimmick in the past year.
|ANTONIO CESARO YODELS FOR SOME REASON||88||57||65||741|
|Dixie Carter as an incompetent evil boss||89||41||40||648|
|Alberto Del Rio as a heroic immigrant||57||52||43||527|
|Randy Orton as The Face of the WWE||58||45||37||499|
|Eva Marie is here to make a name for herself||55||46||43||499|
DANIEL M. DAMICO: Alberto Del Rio’s face gimmick made ZERO sense. A guy who’s Mexican Wrestling royalty, who was on track to represent Mexico in the Olympics, is somehow Made In America? I get what WWE was trying to do, but there’s countless better ways to get Del Rio ever than that.
BOKMAN: The Aces and Eights storyline was a great example of TNA failing to execute anything properly. It took forever, they had no hook, they had really undramatic unmaskings, and while I guess there was a payoff, the whole thing felt like nWo leftovers – even more than invading heel stables usually do.
AIBHEAOG: AJ Lee as mentally-unhinged diva. I’m happy any time women get storylines in WWE, but this gimmick just encourages irritating stereotypes about histrionic women, and is wasting what talent Lee has.
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.
|THE MIZ' FIGURE-FOUR LEGLOCK||192||68||55||1274|
|The Great Khali’s chop to the head||109||101||64||976|
|Big Show’s WMD knockout punch||62||36||35||488|
|John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop||39||49||35||412|
|John Cena’s STF||45||28||27||363|
DANIEL M. DAMICO: If you’re going to try to pass on an older move to a new wrestler, you might want to have him practice a couple times first.
AGENT WIGGS: Would it really kill John Cena to make it look like his arms were actually doing something during his STF?
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Between Naomi and Mojo Rawley, this was the year somebody in WWE became convinced that standing butt-smashes looked incredibly devastating. I have no idea how this happened.
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.
|11/24: RANDY ORTON v. BIG SHOW (WWE TITLE)||112||53||45||809|
|11/24: Natalya/The Bella Twins/The Funkadactyls/Eva Marie/Jo Jo Offerman v. AJ Lee/Kaitlyn/Aksana/Alicia Fox/Tamina Snuka/Summer Rae/Rosa Mendes||93||84||30||777|
|11/25: Natalya/The Bella Twins/The Funkadactyls/Eva Marie/Jo Jo Offerman v. AJ Lee/Kaitlyn/Aksana/Alicia Fox/Tamina Snuka/Summer Rae/Rosa Mendes||70||63||56||651|
|04/07: John Cena v. The Rock (WWE title)||78||48||36||606|
|04/07: Triple H v. Brock Lesnar (no holds barred)||47||24||23||353|
DANIEL M. DAMICO: I actually feel somewhat bad about nominating Daniel Bryan for Worst Match, but….ugh. That Battleground title match. The single most disappointing ending to a match all year, which is just enough to push it to the top (or bottom, as it were).
BEN HARRISON: If you took out all the the incompetent and untalented wrestlers from the Total Divas v. True Divas Survivor Series match, it wouldn’t BE a match. It would be Natalya Neidhart, alone, in the middle of the ring, likely working the best booked match of her WWE career… solo.
SPNA001: Triple H vs. Curtis Axel, the one where Triple H gets a concussion from kicking Axel’s ass too much. Seriously, what the fuck was that?
BOKMAN: I have no idea why Triple H/Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania – a match between two at-worst competent wrestlers – was such a tedious exercise. It was downright masturbatory, there was no sense of pacing or momentum, just two big men hitting each other. It really dragged down the evening as a whole.
To be given to the feud that nobody cared about at all this year. When they were pushing the feud on TV, you’d go to the fridge for a snack.
|BIG SHOW v. THE AUTHORITY||87||53||26||646|
|Aces & Eights v. The New Main Event Mafia||72||52||38||592|
|Aces & Eights v. TNA||72||34||19||500|
|John Cena v. Randy Orton||46||35||27||389|
|Fandango v. Great Khali||38||34||36||364|
DR. DAFT: I enjoy Daniel Bryan’s wrestling and how he works the crowd, but this story line was mediocre at best, and should have ended after a month or two. They started it way too early if their intent was to push a win for him at Wrestlemania. Maybe they underestimated how much support he’d gain.
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.
|DEATH OF PAUL BEARER||230||86||45||1498|
|Dolph Ziggler suffers concussion almost immediately after winning WHC title||85||93||68||840|
|WWE releases Jim Ross||66||81||81||735|
|WWE releases Kassius Ohno||22||31||58||319|
MAD CONSERVATIVE CRIMEFIGHTER: I am so absolutely disappointed in Donovan Ruddick of whom I knew for years. Signed by WWE, got very self-conscious about himself, became unable to handle the pressure after falling to injury and get back in the ring, which led to him snapping in Florida. Two lives needlessly thrown away, his own and the victim. This was the #1 story for the St. Louis Wrestling scene for 2013, which I take no pleasure in. And secondly, Buck Zumhofe; I feel horrible for his daughter who I also met. How he got away with this for over a decade undetected I cannot compute.
HOFEZAI: Haven’t watched ROH or anything else with Brisco since he called for more school shootings, and have no plans to resume.
BOKMAN: Summerslam’s poor buyrate. I’m convinced this more than anything is why Bryan never got a title run lasting more than a day- there’s just no evidence that the cheers he gets translate to ratings. Audiences sometimes just don’t like good things.
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. From 1992 to 2012, this award was divided into two awards for announcers and colour commentators. In 2013, it was recombined.
STRONG BAD FREAK: JBL: we get it. Sin Cara seems like a “new man” because it’s actually a different person with SC’s attire. It was amusing the first time you said it, less so when you wouldn’t shut the hell up about it.
AIBHEAOG: I know JBL is the wrong answer and everyone loves him, but holy cow, does he ever drive me batty. At least when Jerry Lawler says something ludicrously stupid, you get the impression that this is probably the best Jerry Lawler is going to do. But countless matches have been ruined for me by JBL’s pointless squabbling with the other announcers. I have a hunch this is Vince pushing what he thinks the heel commentator is supposed to do, but it’s always JBL fighting with Jerry or Michael Cole over some dumb, pointless nonsense, and it completely distracts from the match.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Alex Riley contending for this award really reminds him of when he used to work for the Miz, you guys.
To be given to the person who gives the worst interview in the biz. This could be a wrestler or a manager.
|THE GREAT KHALI||150||75||45||1065|
RMANNING: When three people – Dixie, Curtis, and Randy Orton – who speak English as a native language beat out someone who only speaks Khalese as the worst interview, you know they’re bad.
NICK J. MANCUSO: There is not a moment where I don’t cringe while Dixie Carter attempts to gain heat by serenading us with bland heel promos in her classy-lassie Southern drawl.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Hey, remember that great Adrian Neville promo? Me either! So naturally they teamed him with Corey Graves, who isn’t as good at wrestling as Neville is, but made up for it with… the personality of stale cheese? Wait, how was this supposed to work again?
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.
|BIG SHOW INTERRUPTS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT WWE BATTLEGROUND AND THEN MATCH JUST ENDS INEXPLICABLY||171||97||73||1292|
|Damien Sandow ambushes John Cena/destroys Cena’s arm/cashes in Money In The Bank… and still loses||96||75||65||835|
|The Authority alternate between being heels and faces on a weekly basis||79||61||66||710|
|The Authority believes Randy Orton is the face of the WWE and repeatedly screws Daniel Bryan out of the WWE title||88||52||46||688|
|Ric Flair gives to Miz the figure-four leglock||40||69||58||523|
AARON MORTON: Not sure how WWE expects us not to remember Chris Jericho beating The Rock and Austin the same night to unify the WWE and WCW titles the first time they did it.
BOKMAN: Even if there’s a payoff in sight for this Chikara thing, I fail to see how any payoff would make the whole thing better than, you know, actually having Chikara shows during this time. You don’t drum up business by not doing any business.
To be given to what is on average the worst wrestling TV show. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.
|TNA iMPACT! WRESTLING||236||118||34||1602|
|WWE Total Divas||252||72||44||1564|
SLEEPY SUPERHERO: Nope. Nothing bad to say about people trying to entertain me. EVen Divas gives a view of their real world (even if it is painfully scripted).
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Last year Impact won and I thought that a great injustice, because it had plenty of good moments. This past year has been utterly dreadful and the loss is deserved; TNA doesn’t have faces any more (even moreso than WWE doesn’t have them any more, because everybody in TNA tops out at “selfish scumbag”), it doesn’t have coherent storytelling, and even the wrestling largely went downhill. Awful, awful television.
To be given to the worst 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.
|TNA Bound For Glory||79||47||43||622|
|WWE Royal Rumble||69||21||22||452|
|WWE WrestleMania 29||53||25||24||388|
|WWE Night of Champions||30||48||32||358|
XAER0KNIGHT: WWE still running events like Hell in A Cell and Extreme Rules make no sense for a PG company. No blood, less spots, and using a cage almost every week. Using the cage like that cheapens it.
BEN HARRISON: To be fair, “Turning Point” doesn’t actually say which way the company is supposedly turning.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Still amazed that WWE booked a non-finish for a pay-per-view in 2013. Utterly amazed.
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.
|WWE PUTS DANIEL BRYAN'S PUSH ON HOLD FOR RANDY ORTON/JOHN CENA ANGLE||134||64||67||996|
|WWE continues to push John Cena and Randy Orton regardless of anything else||85||88||67||823|
|WWE constantly promotes the WWE app and its social media presence||78||52||62||670|
|TNA signs Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz to do basically nothing||58||88||52||658|
|TNA begins live tour and loses gobs of money||69||44||23||523|
SLEEPY SUPERHERO: At least the new WWE network will give them something else to talk about other than the app. Unless they talk about the app on it. It could happen.
FILM DIRECTORZ: At least Tout isn’t being mentioned anymore.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: WWE winning this category because people are pissed off about the Bryan push, in a year where TNA has been teetering on the brink of a WCW-style collapse for months now, has made bad decision after bad decision, has wrestlers fleeing the company and no hope in sight? Internet’s gonna internet, I guess.