Welcome to the results of the 2015 Theszies / Rec.sport.pro-wrestling Awards.
Anyway. Here, we present the “worst” Awards – those Awards which celebrate the awfullest things in wrestling of 2015. If this disturbs your chakras, you can go read the “Best” Awards instead: they’re over here.
This year we had 753 voters participating – less than last year, but that was largely because last year we had a large flood of voters from With Spandex and this year WS felt that they didn’t want to campaign overly for the Awards so they limited their linkage to one post. Which meant less voters from them – but more voters coming in from other sites. As always, for next year we encourage all of you wrestling media people to nominate yourselves and your favorites, and try to get your fans out to vote for you. Fair is fair!
As always, thank yous to 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…
AULAYAN: If Eva doesn’t win this, I will be shocked. I feel a little bad about this as she’s obviously been training, but it’s just not natural for her and it shows.
CAP’N ANDY: I know, for a fact, that Sheamus can be great. I’ve seen him do it. I’d like that Sheamus back now, please.
R. MANNING: Despite her improvement, Eva Marie remains only as competent as Giant Gonzales was. When you had to IMPROVE to get on a par with El Gigante–and doing so required a year of one-on-one training with Spanky Kendrick–this isn’t the business for you. Cameron remains the woman who forgot that you can’t pin someone face-down, on live television. And Braun Strowman… well, I’ve got a soft spot for the big lug (probably because of how fun it is to rattle off MST3K’s nicknames for “Space Mutiny”‘s Dave Ryder whenever he’s on screen), but he just… is NOT very good.
SPNA: Alex Riley is terrible at everything and doesn’t tip his servers, so he’s objectively worse than Eva Marie, who is just terrible at everything.
CLAYTON WICK: I’m voting for Kane, Big Show, and Sting this year. Despite whatever contributions these three men might have made in the past, their prominence in weekly WWE programming has been the most visible symptom of the problems the company has with pushing new stars.
DUCK ALMIGHTY: They booked around her well enough in NXT to get some story out of it, but Eva Marie is still by far the worst wrestler working currently. I’m sure she’s doing her best, and she’s probably a nice person, but it’s time to admit defeat and go get a real estate license or something.
FERAL SONS: Ryusuke “Funky Weapon” Taguchi. His offensive arsenal consists entirely of forcibly rubbing his anus on his opponents.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: For all the hatred directed at Eva Marie, she’s on the developmental show, has visibly improved, and has actually managed to provide actual moments of character on the mic. None of these things apply to Braun Strowman, who is only marginally better than the Great Khali.
|KANE AND BIG SHOW||120||75||59||943|
|Team Bella: Brie Bella and Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox||109||88||51||911|
|Axelmania and Macho Mandow||116||57||74||899|
|Ascension: Konnor and Viktor||100||61||81||845|
|Los Matadores: Diego and Fernando||50||72||50||566|
CAP’N ANDY: Kane and Big Show really need a name, but I guess The Avatars of Literally Everything That Is Wrong With the WWE isn’t that catchy.
SPENCER SCOTT: The Vaudevillians have an okay-at-best gimmick that only works because of the NXT crowd. Boring title run, and they’re ultimately destined for a good two weeks on the main roster before being buried to Superstars forever.
O. COURT: The Kingdom were repulsive in New Japan, and made their already weak tag team division a dead waste of a spot on the card, all just so a pervy cameraman could (sometimes literally) shove his camera into the backside of Maria. Bennett is now in TNA where he belongs, because it means I will never have to see him. Taven may be able to wash The Kingdom stink off of him, if he’s lucky.
DUCK ALMIGHTY: I wanted to like Axel & Mandow’s schtick. I also wanted to like my mom’s hot-dog-and-rice casserole. Both were terrible.
AULAYAN: Giving this to Steph. For multiple reasons. First there’s this whole “We’re evil on screen, but in real life we’re fantastic, and we’ll show you the charity work we do on our main product” thing. It’s a bad business move. Movies don’t take a time out and go “In real life, this actor spends lots of time helping people! So don’t hate his character too much, okay?” Reason the second: There’s no comeuppance. She suspends Brock. Nothing. She slaps down Roman AND POOR TOM PHILLIPS and nothing. Until they bring in a woman who’s sick of her shit, she will never get her comeuppance. Reason the Third: Making the Divas Revolution all about her, but not making that fact part of a storyline. Badly done.
R. MANNING: The fact that all three of my votes go to women the WWE hired under Johnny Ace’s tenure as Head of Talent Relations, and that they all got a lot of X-Pac Heat this year, speaks volumes.
D. MESTREPS: Paige, if only because it seems almost impossible for her to get any real heat on her despite numerous attempts to heel it up.
RAPTORS G.: What happens to Alberto Del Rio when he comes to WWE? Alberto El Patron was exciting and energetic. Del Rio seems like he’s sleepwalking through everything.
GLASS GUITAR STRING: With respect to Nikki Bella and Charlotte: this is less about the wrestlers themselves than the problem with WWE creative’s problem with women in general. Judging by the crowds and the seeming motivation each character had, you couldn’t tell who the face or the heel was supposed to be (or if anyone cared).
R. MANNING: Trying to make Undertaker a face against Brock Lesnar was a terrible, terrible idea, particularly when they tried to do it by having him be such an underdog he had to resort to nutshots to get anywhere against Brock – mercifully, that plan got reversed when they heard the reactions. Turning Lana babyface was equally ill-conceived, given that she only got cheers because she’s hot. Dumbest of all, though, goes to whoever the damn fool was who thought that a McMahon could possibly be a babyface. Shane’s the only one with the Face Gene, and even he was more of a face-ish tweener because he was still a smarmy little bastard.
GESP ON SPORTS: Babyface Roman drew more heat than anyone else this year. He even managed to get the Rock booed! The Rock!
DUCK ALMIGHTY: Erick Rowan’s babyface reception was colder than the fish Rusev threw up the ramp.
EVAN J. ROSS: I’ve defended him time and time again, but I think I’ve finally given up on Roman Reigns ever being accepted as a face by the company. The way he’s being booked is completely against the best way his character should go and it’s killing every segment he’s in. Unlike Cena, who had a few good years of face heat with the smarks and casuals, Reigns is starting off with a split reaction. WWE has poisoned the well on a sure thing and I won’t be surprised if they have to turn to someone else in 2016.
MR. JOSH DUDE: Manabu Nakanishi. He isn’t pushed in any way and is just in the big tag matches because he still has name value and pops the crowd so I’m totally fine with his use, but he’s almost completely immobile at this point. I’m always surprised he can get into the ring on his own.
R. MANNING: Eva Marie was so much worse than everybody else, I couldn’t bring myself to even cast second- and third-place votes.
AULAYAN: No one’s getting a vote for this from me besides Eva. Getting a three count pin only for the match to ignore it… nope. Just nope.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: For all of the Eva hate, her problems are ones that can be fixed with time. People complaining about her workrate are actually complaining much more about her lack of ring sense and transitions (her performance of actual moves is at this point passable), and those are things that can be learned over time; the problem is that Eva is basically learning them in front of TV cameras, and that’s not really her fault that WWE threw money at her to do something she doesn’t know how to do. Now, Braun Strowman, on the other hand, is actively terrible at literally everything about wrestling. He deserved this far more.
CAP’N ANDY: If there’s literally anyone out there who doesn’t lunge for the fast forward button as soon as they hear WEEEEEEEEELL, IT’S THE BIG SHOW, I wish them very well in their recovery from the traumatic brain injuries they’ve no doubt suffered.
SECOND PERIOD: Your interface would not allow me to vote for Big Show three times, so my write-in votes for second and third place are Big Show and Big Show. (Nice try. — MGK)
MBKERRDOG: Dragon Rojo Jr. – Another worthless piece of crap I needed to find a space to bury. Injury-prone, lame and boring, and undeserving of holding a CMLL title for four-plus years given the shittiness of his wrestling ability.
SPNA: Tomoaki Honma beat up his girlfriend and then New Japan swept it under the rug and rewarded him with a belt. Fuck both of them, they’re fucking scum.
I AM THE CYNIC: On a technical level there is nothing wrong with Sheamus’ in-ring ability or mic skills. That being said: fuck Sheamus.
LEWITT: I hate R-Truth. I hate his awful mostly-racist faux-minstrel gimmick. I hate his wrestling. I hate his terrible rapping. I hate his flak jacket. I hate it all. I will never not hate R-Truth.
HOMERCUTIO: I used to like Sheamus in the ring. Turning him heel seemed like a good idea at the time, but everything he’s been involved in since coming back has been tepid at best. Maybe he really needs to take a severe beating in every match to be tolerable, or maybe this is all Michael Bay’s fault?
EVAN J. ROSS: We though Alberto Del Rio’s firing was a waste of a true talent. Then he came back and we remembered how much we didn’t like him in the first place.
|Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron)||39||33||52||398|
GLASS GUITAR STRING: Nikki Bella is certainly improved in the ring and a great worker… but that doesn’t cover up her still being a tire fire on the mic, and her character being terribly inconsistent.
W. BROWN: Sexy Star. I’m sorry! I’m sorry! But I really wish that one of my actual favorite female wrestlers were in her spot. She’s just… there. Ivalisse is worlds better.
CORONA: Mistico II. His brother Dragon Lee has far surpassed him already. He too is injury prone but keeps getting shoved down people’s throats by the people that book CMLL.
MATTHEW J. BROUGH: Roman Reigns. He’s edgy, he’s “in your face.” You’ve heard the expression “let’s get busy”? Well, this is a dog who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly.
|ALBERTO DEL RIO AND ZEB COLTER UNITE TO FORM MEXAMERICA||171||87||98||1312|
|The Bella Twins can't decide if they're heels or faces||86||96||80||878|
|Lana as Dolph Ziggler’s girlfriend||72||79||52||701|
|Stephanie McMahon as tyrannical boss who never gets put in her place||70||44||27||536|
|Adam Rose as the Party Pooper||47||32||84||499|
GARBAGE DUMP: That Alberto Del Rio return was just the worst. After leaving WWE and becoming a hot babyface in AAA and RoH, they bring him back in LA to a huge pop. He beats Cena clean as a sheet in under 10 minutes and then we’re supposed to boo him? Because he wants to combine Mexico and the US or something?
CAP’N ANDY: Was MexAmerica ever really a gimmick, or did Vince fall asleep during the meeting and mumble a bunch of nonsense and everyone just did that for a few weeks in case he wasn’t really asleep?
D. GLIDE: That “Lana as Ziggler’s Girlfriend” thing was amazing. Managed to ruin not just one, not two, but four people I previously enjoyed. And they simply wouldn’t let the thing die!
MATRIXMAN: The Wyatt Family lose a match, come back on Raw shrugging said match on. Babble nonsense about how powerful they are, randomly pick a new opponent for no reason. Spend three weeks of build up, lose the match. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
KING STILYAGI: Del Rio is going to burn all of our currency and force us to switch to the Amero!
|ALBERTO DEL RIO'S TREE OF WOE DIVING DOUBLE STOMP||134||67||68||1007|
|John Cena’s springboard stunner||77||79||41||704|
|Eva Marie’s Sliced Red corner shiranui||61||60||41||567|
|Big Show’s knockout punch||55||57||51||548|
|Dean Ambrose’s rope rebound clothesline||60||45||47||529|
GARBAGE DUMP: Brie Bella doing Daniel Bryan’s Yes kicks as a heel. I mean, she has to realize that this is not helping either of them, right?
CAP’N ANDY: I’m pretty sure the official name for that move is the She Calls That The Rear View, actually.
CORONA: If Kazuchika Okada’s Rainmaker is supposed to be a lariat, he should watch some Stan Hansen video on what a lariat is supposed to look like. Otherwise, stop doing it, kid – it looks so contrived and lame.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: Oh my God what was wrong with the cross-armbreaker, just give Del Rio his armbar back, holy cow
J.N. PAVLIC: Hey, Big Show! You know what’s the best way to end a match? PUNCHING! You know, the thing you do… all the time…
STRONG BAD FREAK: I could hit a Killswitch, 619, and The Worm in the time it takes Alberto Del Rio to set up the tree of woe foot stomp.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Braun Strowman’s finisher is literally “I cuddle you to sleep.”
|01/25: ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH||148||58||66||1046|
|05/31: Sheamus v. Ryback v. Dolph Ziggler v. King Barrett v. R-Truth v. Mark Henry (Elimination Chamber IC title)||101||78||51||841|
|09/02: Eva Marie v. Billie Kay||72||67||44||649|
|08/09: Villano III/IV/V v. Psycho Circus||82||29||17||531|
|04/26: Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler (Kiss Me Arse match)||35||54||48||433|
JEDI 10: Sting vs. HHH is by far the worst match of the year. I know Eva Marie is a deer in the headlights, but Sting’s first and likely only match at WrestleMania ends in another WWE circle jerk over the already turned ash corpse of WCW. A complete mess of a match, and the endless HHH and Steph promo made it worse.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: The 2015 Rumble was booked not to tell an interesting story, but to ensure the crowd wouldn’t boo the finish. You know how well that worked out.
TENKEN: Eva Marie was supposed to kick out of a pinfall against Billie Kay, but instead everyone just stopped the match and exposed everything about the business. It was the single worst, fakest spot I’ve ever seen in pro wrestling.
STRONG BAD FREAK: Watching Big Show and Kane casually eliminate people in the Rumble was incredibly surreal and frustrating.
N. JUMAN: Rusev and Cena’s Russian chain match. Do you quit? Do you quit? Do you quit? Do you quit? Do you quit? Do you quit? Do you quit?
R. MANNING: Brothers of Destruction vs. Wyatts just screamed “aborted storyline,” cut the Wyatts off at the knees again, and… well, when Bray is the best worker in the match, you’re gonna be in trouble.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: The reason that Villanos/Psycho Circus match came third despite being on a show relatively few voters have seen is because it was easily, easily the worst match of the year. If you saw it, you knew it deserved the number one vote. The IC Elimination Chamber match, wherein the participants literally did not know what to do for minutes at a stretch and forced Dolph Ziggler to choreograph everybody’s moves in front of an audience who could tell that was exactly what he was doing, was ten times better than Villanos/Psycho Circus. You actually kind of owe it to yourself to seek out and watch Villanos/Psycho Circus to get some perspective on what a bad wrestling match really can be.
|DOLPH ZIGGLER AND LANA v. RUSEV AND SUMMER RAE||290||80||63||1816|
|Roman Reigns v. The Authority/Seth Rollins/Sheamus/League of Nations/Vince McMahon||100||82||41||828|
|Team PCB v. Team Bella v. Team B.A.D.||67||73||61||676|
|Undertaker and Kane v. The Wyatt Family||36||53||47||433|
|King Barrett v. R-Truth||23||62||47||395|
AULAYAN: I wanted to give this to the Dolph/Lana/Rusev/Summer mess…. But it really belongs to Cena versus Seth. That feud made the US title more important than the Heavyweight Title. It was the only title Cena cared about. Cena repeatedly BEAT the Heavyweight Champ for only the US title. It was badly done.
EVAN J. ROSS: I do not understand how the top heel faction (the Authority) spending all its time emasculating its top heel champion (Seth Rollins) is supposed to be the main feud of the company. Add in the Authority’s top (heel) goon harassing the top (heel) champion and the whole thing gives the audience no one to root for.
MATRIXMAN: I still couldn’t tell you who was the heel or face in Charlotte v. Paige.
CAP’N ANDY: “Roman Reigns, we sure do hate you. Have a title opportunity.” “I lost and I am making fun of your testicles.” “WHAT HOW DARE YOU, have another title opportunity.” “I sure am a rebel working against the odds.” “You sure are. Have another title opportunity.”
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: The Undertaker/Kane v. Wyatts feud surpassed “bad” and went into “actively insulting.” I am just going to throw it out there: two old men should not be beating up four men who are twenty years younger than them and bigger and stronger for the sake of giving the old men one last main-event rub. Undertaker and Kane should end every feud at this point on their backs looking up at the lights and eating pinfalls to put over the next generation, rather than putting the last nail in the coffin of the Wyatt Family’s menace.
|DEATH OF DUSTY RHODES||220||131||51||1595|
|Daniel Bryan announces “indefinite” leave from wrestling following further injury||129||92||105||1131|
|Death of Roddy Piper||87||131||52||932|
|Cesaro suffers shoulder injury just as his push was starting to peak||49||38||103||565|
|Seth Rollins suffers major ACL injury and is forced to vacate WWE title||46||76||45||548|
W. BROWN: Holy shit. Sami Zayn missing almost the whole year is, like, ninth-worst on this list. What a shit year.
SPNA: New Japan’s response to the Honma situation of sweeping it under the rug and hoping it goes away is what pushes the situation over the top for me. But hey, if there’s one industry a expect to tackle issues of domestic abuse in a decent manner, it sure as hell isn’t pro wrestling.
MATTHEW J. BROUGH: I’m not sure how “Jimmy Snuka being charged with murder” classes as a disappointing news item. Surely the only disappointing aspect is that it took until now to charge him.
TODD KOGUTT: Wait… Destination America became an all-exorcism channel? Seriously?
STRONG BAD FREAK: Act Yasukawa’s story is incredibly heartbreaking. This woman sacrificed so much to do what she loved, including getting treatment/meds to continue wrestling at risk of possibly becoming sterile, and her career ended in such an awful way. It’s not fair.
CINCY: If 2015 proved anything, it proved that the 1980s are over, at least in pro wrestling. Within a span of several months during the summer, Piper and Rhodes died and Hogan was revealed to have used the N-word in 2006. Also, Snuka was arrested for a 1983 murder – did Vince participate in the cover-up?
EVAN J. ROSS: How bad was this year for deaths? I filled my ballot with deaths and still left off Blockwinkle, Gagne, and Hulk Hogan’s career. Also, there should just be an choice labeled “all these injuries.”
R. MANNING: This was a bad year for color commentary. However, Byron Saxton gets the nod for his “deer in the headlights” performance on Raw after Brock murdered the entire commentary team. You KNEW it was coming, Byron, there’s no excuse for being THAT out of your depth.
SPNA: Matt Striker. “NO SLAPPING OF THE LEGS HERE! STRONG STYLE IS JAPAN’S ANSWER TO IS WRESTLING FAKE!”
BEACHTOWN: Michael Cole is the easy answer, but JBL is the right one. His commentary actively makes the product less entertaining and less hip, does nothing to get the wrestlers over and generally detracts from the entire show.
EVAN J. ROSS: Who the hell thought putting Jimmy Uso on the mic for an extended period of time was a good idea? He’s barely competent during his regular promos.
AULAYAN: Sufferin’ Succotash Roman! You’re trying, but either it’s the scripts and you’re unable to be sincere with scripted promos, or it’s you. WWE should keep the microphone away from you and just let you beat people up rather than talk about their tater tots and shriveled prunes. (Are you eating enough?)
BEACHTOWN: I don’t think I’m sexist because I gave Bayley, Sasha and Emma a lot of positive votes — but between Nikki Bella, Dana Brooke and Stephanie McMahon I didn’t even have room for Eva Marie.
JASON MEYER: He’s been getting slightly better near the very end of the year, but… “sufferin’ succotash” and “tater tots” killed whatever cool factor Roman had.
|DOLPH ZIGGLER/LANA/RUSEV/SUMMER RAE LOVE QUADRANGLE||150||79||59||1105|
|Alberto Del Rio returns to WWE to form MexAmerica alliance with Zeb Colter||78||68||103||800|
|Bray Wyatt steals Undertaker and Kane’s powers – then they destroy the Wyatt Family without trying hard||69||59||72||666|
|Stephanie McMahon arbitrarily creates teams of Divas for the Divas Revolution||42||67||36||483|
|Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble match and then gets saved from a beatdown by the Rock||51||47||30||456|
AULAYAN: They had a chance with Bray at the end of the year. Steal the powers of ‘Taker and Kane, become prominent. It could’ve worked. But no. Creative didn’t even try.
SPNA: I sure love when new young talent gets buried by part-timers who can barely bother to show up yep sure do
OFFICIAL CALEM: Ray Tappan got sympathy with his ESPN profile where he was revealed to be a father of a child with a birth defect. What does WWE do? He gets to be a gossipy TV host.0
|WWE ROYAL RUMBLE||125||35||37||804|
|WWE Survivor Series||100||75||39||803|
|AAA TripleMania 23||120||39||33||783|
|TNA Bound For Glory||41||51||30||418|
AULAYAN: Oh Survivor Series. Between the the Wyatt Family losing with ease and destroying a promising angle and the obvious ending, and the even more obvious cash in…You win this one. I’ve watched exactly one WWE match since you and I don’t even think I’ll be back for the Rumble.
R. MANNING: Triplemania was a special kind of bad this year. I’d probably fill my other two votes with WWE PPVs, but, to be honest, I can’t frickin’ REMEMBER what happened at any of ’em, so I can’t pick the two worst.
AUXILI8IX: jesus christ i don’t remember like any of these shows and i watched almost all of them
JASON MEYER: No main event level title match, no audio production, no chance of anyone coming back for TripleMania 24.