Welcome to the results of the 2016 Theszies / Rec.sport.pro-wrestling Awards.
Anyway. Here, we present the “worst” Awards – those Awards which celebrate the awfullest things in wrestling during 2015. If this disturbs your sacred chakras, you can go read the “best” Awards here.
This year we had 717 voters participating. 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…
|Ho Ho Lun||49||44||28||433|
CAP’N ANDY: Eva. You’re very pretty and you cannot wrestle. I understand that that was at one point a desirable combination in the WWE, but that era ended just as you got signed. Sorry, bad luck, I know. Nobody’s fault. Now GO DO LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE. Please.
CHAD TROJANFAN: It’s amazing how winning some fictitious “Father of the Year” award can give you years of job security, Titus has never been over, never will be over – and yet WWE still pushes him.
ETRIGANZOLA: I’m breaking my rule of voting for three nominees in every category, because fuck Elias Samson.
GRAPTORS: There has never been a bigger divide between how a wrestler views themselves, and actual reality, than Alex Riley. Never.
FLIPDAWG: I get that Ho Ho Lun is essentially self-taught because there were no serious wrestling schools in Hong Kong for him as he grew up, but guess what – that makes him essentially a backyard wrestler, except he’s from a city where there aren’t any backyards. He’s got one move (his lousy dropkick), no sense of pacing or timing, and every sell is that same goggle-eyed shocked stare. He’s legitimately terrible at this.
TEXAS PREACH: Roman Reigns. Why didn’t you give Roman Reigns as an option here? (Because Roman Reigns wrestled multiple four-star matches in 2016 according to Dave Meltzer – hardly a Roman Reigns mark – and continues to be a reliable if not outstanding money draw, both in terms of merch sales and ticket sales. He is not a good promo, so it makes sense to nominate him in Worst Promos; there’s a reasonable argument he’s being overpushed, so he’s in Most Overrated; and certainly tons of people hate him, so he’s in Least Favorite. But he’s nowhere near the level of the average Worst Wrestler nominee, and frankly we’re tired of people asking the question when you were all asking the same thing about John Cena four years ago and now Cena’s all right because he’s “not being pushed down our throats,” because your real complaint isn’t really with Roman Reigns but with his booking. — MGK)
|SHINING STARS: PRIMO AND EPICO||126||109||51||1059|
|Ascension: Konnor and Viktor||96||61||100||863|
|Golden Truth: R-Truth and Goldust||62||59||49||585|
|Headbangers: Mosh and Thrasher||54||33||22||413|
|Hype Bros: Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley||39||31||31||350|
BIIGDAWG: Why were the Headbangers allowed back? They cut Rhyno, hardline, with their own finisher. Again: why were they allowed back?
MOREY JONES: The Shining Stars are lousy, but it’s not just because of their terrible gimmick; they’re subpar lucha-style workers (the only type of lucha allowed in WWE, it seems) who can’t promo worth a damn and who would be jobbers in WWC if it weren’t for the fact that Vince McMahon somehow thinks having the last name of Colon makes you a good wrestler.
TENKEN: Can we all just admit that Luke Gallows was never very good?
R. MANNING: I’ll probably catch a lot of heat for making the Young Bucks my #1 choice. I don’t care. They’re the sort of pandering spotmonkeys that are the bane of the indies. Got a problem with that? Come at me, bro!
NATHAN KOSMIN: For as great as NJPW is, the bottom of their cards can be absolutely embarassing. Why did so many matches need to have YOSHITATSU and BONE SOLDIER?
|Alberto Del Rio||48||40||62||484|
T. STOCKEL: I went for Brock because at least guys like Titus and Ryback are full time wrestlers. Brock barely shows up, and when he does, he needs the awesome Paul Heyman to prop his substance abused ass up.
MATRIXMAN: Bray Wyatt comes out, picks a random wrestler he doesn’t like, babbles nonsense, build up a match for three weeks, Wyatt loses. Wash, rinse, repeat. This has been going on since his debut. It needs to stop – for the love of God, it needs to stop. This has been going on to a point that it’s the same write-in for why I don’t like him every year.
WORM HUT: Lemme get this straight: A popular wrestler – Seth Rollins – comes back from an extended injury, goes up against an opponent that the fans overwhelmingly hate, and he’s booked as the HEEL? In what bizarre parallel dimension does THAT make any sense?
BIIGDAWG: The dumbest aspect of Ultimata Lucha Dos was Pentagon Darque Chocolate breaking two non-rivals’ arms to get his title match in the middle of the show, stupidly losing after Vampiro attempted to help him because Matanza Cueto is the cannibal demigod hero we all should love, and ending the season by turning somewhat well intentioned psychopath Vampiro into the horrific monster manager he is in season 3. I really don’t get why they did this, although the just deserts of Pentagon Darque Chocolate from the Black Lotus Triad were so nice to watch. It’s like they did the Stone Cold heel turn directly before Wrestlemania 14. We were heating up to have a strong tweener champ, and instead we got a wet fart of a one episode ordeal that had to be rebuilt up.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: Be you face or heel, Stephanie McMahon will go on camera and tell everyone you’re worthless – because the only people that really matter to WWE are the McMahons themselves.
|Andrade 'Cien' Almas||58||70||69||638|
OGMEJA: TJ Perkins going from a star-making performance in the Cruiserweight Classic to whatever he wound up being on Raw should be a damning indictment of WWE Creative’s lack of ability to make any kind of babyface.
ARYEHHS: I know everyone is going to vote Reigns here, but YOSHITATSU is so bad at getting sympathy that the crowd cheered – in Japan – when BONE SOLDIER turned and tried to choke him to death. Just saying.
CAROLYN NEUMANN: Big Show, because he’s probably already heel by now again.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: I understand that Roman’s in-ring work is good-to-great, and that his promos have gotten a lot better. But it’s too late. Every time he shows up, my eyes glaze over and I hit the fast forward button on my DVR. It’s like a post-hypnotic suggestion at this point.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: “Hey, we’ve signed one of the top lucha talents from Mexico. He’s a killer heel with an original, stylish and cool look, and attitude to spare. He can be the cool heel we need.” “That’s great, but how about we take away his mask, make him wear suspenders, and be a traditional white-meat babyface instead?”
|Ho Ho Lun||54||31||20||403|
BIIGDAWG: One of my picks is a middle aged man who can’t punch. The other is a fitness model with strong character work. The fitness model is still slightly worse than the old guy.
NATHAN KOSMIN: Shane McMahon had 2 matches in 2016 and managed to nearly die in both of them while never looking like he posed a danger to any other human being.
C. GUND:: A friend and I agree that BONE SOLDIER basically wrestles like Bad Luck Fale without being his size, so we’ve taken to calling him Andre the Medium.
R. MANNING: Riddick Moss gets my #3 vote simply for having killed Hideo Itami just when he was finally coming back from his last injury. Kane gets #2 as a substitute for the no-longer-held Most Deteriorated award; when you’re even bumping in slow motion, it’s time to hang ’em up. However, as will always be the case until she retires, Eva Marie gets the #1 slot.
FLIPDAWG: Liv Morgan tries so hard and she’s just not very good at wrestling. After almost a year of focused TV time, she still clearly can’t do anything except pre-memorized rehearsed spots. Every move is just sort of embarrassing. It’s a shame, but some people just never get better at this.
|Alberto Del Rio||43||37||48||422|
BIIGDAWG: How to Mess Up A Maniac Character In 12 Months: 1. Build him up crazy strong on the Road To WrestleMania. 2. Feed him to Bork Lazer. 3. Talk show feud ending in a cheesy gimmick match. 4. Inspire hope by having him win both Money In The Bank and the WWE World Championship in one night. 5. Dash hope by making him the nominal/annoying heel against sympathetic Dolph Ziggler. 6. Continue to highlight his weird faults at in ring action with long matches. 7. Have him lose to the best wrestler in WWE. 8. Comedic sidekick. 9. “LOL, I helped my comedic sidekick beat you via cheating!” 10. Get wrecked while his opponent’s butt is saying hello to the WWE Universe. 11. End up where he started this year: Intercontinental Champion.
FRED CAPRARA: I’ll watch wrestlers I don’t like to watch them get beat up, like Charlotte or Reigns (HA), but these three – Natalya, Jack Swagger and R-Truth – make me change the channel. Not even the prospect of Natalya getting elbowed into oblivion by Nikki Bella makes me want to see Natalya on my TV screen ever again.
OGMEJA: Stephanie McMahon is such a home run in this category, I’m half-convinced she was planted there by Roman Reigns supporters.
HAZZALC: TJ Perkins. I REALLY hate TJ Perkins. I hate dabbing. I hate the fact that he was the first cruiserweight champion. I hate having a constant stream of retweets from his account of random fangirls.
MATRIXMAN: Brock Lesnar is consistently the poster boy for shitty part timers. His most unforgivable act was his craptacular performance during the street fight with Ambrose where the lack of weapons, effort of Lesnar’s part, or satisfying conclusion for a two month WrestleMania build make it all unforgivable in my book.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: At some point in 2015, Alberto Del Rio just stopped caring about wrestling. When I watch Jack Swagger or Curt Hawkins, I might not be that interested, but at least they give a damn about putting on a good show. Alberto doesn’t, and his sheer dislike of what he’s doing permeates his work.
CAP’N ANDY: Roman Reigns has gotten worse every single year. He’s overprotected, and what’s worse, he wrestles like it. The WWE’s clearly decided that they’re gonna throw money, exposure, and titles at him no matter what happens, and he’s clearly decided that that means he doesn’t have to try. Which is logical, I suppose, but hardly endearing.
DAVE MORGAN: Even only wrestling once a year, there is no mystique left in the Undertaker, but they’re just gonna keep wheeling him out there as long as he thinks he can go.
OGMEJA: Lesnar’s figured out that WWE can’t survive without him and he gets paid either way, which is why 2016 is the year he stopped trying and just turned all of his matches into suplex-fests.
AKIHANNU: Seems like the obvious choice, but the truth is that even though Bret Hart and Randy Savage also had similarly limited movesets they got the crowd going and elevated their opponents more often than not; Roman can only have good matches with outstanding workers in the other corner. If he would’ve been active 20 years ago he’d have run out of suitable opponents by now.
SURIEL1981: Comparing Nikki Bella’s actual ability and connection with the audience with WWE’s portrayal of her as some kind of deity, I find it impossible to conclude that her choice of bedfellow has not been a considerable boon to her career.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: “Brock has destroyed everyone at the top of the card, including Cena and the freaking Undertaker. Who should finally be the one to defeat him?” “How about an old, retired guy?” “Perfect!”
|STEPHANIE McMAHON AS TYRANNICAL BOSS WHO NEVER GETS PUT IN HER PLACE||100||52||24||704|
|Roman Reigns as THE Guy||81||54||22||611|
|The Club as dominant badasses who never win matches||53||54||51||529|
|Rusev acts exactly like a babyface should but he's a heel because he's a foreigner||45||49||36||444|
|Andrade 'Cien' Almas as suspender-wearing fun guy||43||26||69||431|
BIIGDAWG: The Shining Stars irk me because I have a soft spot for Primo & Epico. They’re good at in-ring work, to the point that they turned me towards rooting for RAW’s tag teams instead of SmackDown’s at Survivor Series. However, because they’re foreign (or at least Puerto Rican), they rip people off with… timeshares. Relatable?
LEWITT: Poor TJ Perkins. Why is he stuck with this video game gimmick? He’s an amazing wrestler that no one can take seriously. What was wrong with the cool, millennial, California guy he go to be in the cruiserweight classic?
IRON MOOSE: Mick Foley’s cognitive decline and on-screen mood swings are profoundly uncomfortable to watch.
NATHAN KOSMIN: Silent Rage being on this list is the only reason I even remember Alex Riley, but now that’s all I can think about.
|ALBERTO DEL RIO'S TREE OF WOE DOUBLE STOMP||137||58||83||1025|
|Dean Ambrose’s Lunatic Lariat rope rebound clothesline||119||80||41||917|
|Roman Reigns’ Superman punch||66||34||22||476|
|Dean Ambrose's suicide dive||43||41||27||392|
|Mojo Rawley's standing buttdrop with dance||33||55||25||380|
T. STOCKEL: Eva Marie has a finishing move? I usually fall asleep by the end of her matches so I guess I miss it.
BRIAN: Every time Ambrose does that stupid soft rebound clothesline a tiny piece of my love for good clotheslines dies.
OGMEJA: I’m sad that this will probably be the last year we can put Alberto Del Rio’s stupid tree of woe double stomp on this list, because it was such an easy choice.
AARON MORTON: Why does Roman Reigns jerk off his wrist before he punches someone?
C. A. QUINN: more like Dean Ambrose’s Suicide Polite Nudge am I right
GRAPTORS: The Tree of Woe Double Stomp will always be my least favorite move. Suspension of disbelief is literally impossible, even in a scripted story world. Like, I buy that putting your feet on the ropes in a pin gives you more leverage on a pin (instead of less, R.I.P. physics). But this move still pisses me off.
|04/22: SHELLEY MARTINEZ v. REBEL||126||30||12||744|
|04/01: Roman Reigns v. Triple H (WWE world title)||82||60||38||666|
|04/01: Dean Ambrose v. Brock Lesnar (street fight)||70||57||52||625|
|05/22: Dean Ambrose v. Chris Jericho (Ambrose Asylum)||48||38||29||412|
|07/11: New Day v. Wyatt Family (Wyatt Compound brawl)||29||49||44||380|
J.D. SPIRIT: Reigns vs HHH from WrestleMania was supposed to make Reigns into a megastar, and it didn’t, for good reason. Reigns is just horrible. There was no reason this match should have went over fifteen minutes; naturally they decided to drag it out to forty. Idiots.
DAVE MORGAN: MY VAG! MY VAG!
KEVIN LEE: I SAID MY VAG HURTS!
DIAL N FOR NINJA: Yeah, the fall from the cell was amazing, but there was a whole 25 minutes or so of dull-as-ditchwater faux MMA that asked us to believe that middle-aged dad Shane was a one-on-one physical threat to the freaking Undertaker. Ugh. Ugh, I say!
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: The Ambrose Asylum match ended with an impressively brutal thumbtacks spot. Unfortunately the twenty minutes that came before those thumbtacks felt more like an hour and a half of the worst kind of mildcore wrestling tedium. Memo to WWE: if you don’t want to use brutal weapons, don’t tease their use just because you want us all to think Dean Ambrose is crazy.
|DARREN YOUNG v. TITUS O'NEIL||93||66||49||761|
|Shane McMahon v. Stephanie McMahon / Smackdown v. RAW||68||37||23||497|
|AJ Styles v. James Ellsworth||52||22||40||406|
|Roman Reigns v. Triple H||47||37||20||386|
|Enzo Amore and Big Cass v. Rusev||43||34||31||379|
MATRIXMAN: This is a triple tie. The New Day’s biggest flaw will be that they never have had a major rivalry to solidify their legacy. Especially with the unlimited potential of their rivalry of the Dudleys, which never went anywhere. Each of these feuds was more awful than the last, never culminating in anything of substance or clarity. Although the League of Nations was a beyond outdated concept, especially in today’s world, if I had to pick what was the worst, it’s easily their rivalry with the Club. Anderson and Gallows making dick and testicle references is beyond my capacity for rational thought.
CAP’N ANDY: New Day v. The Club deserves top “honors” for a segment so instantaneously legendarily bad that the New Day had to come out the next week to mock their own segment and pledge that it would never again be aired on television, while the Club had to change gimmicks just to get its stench off of them. And this was after Big E drank testicle juice.
KYLE LEE: Enzo and Cass vs Rusev was so painfully bad that I now skip over three guys – that were previously favorites of mine – whenever I see them.
TENKEN: Cesaro and Sheamus had to work really hard to overcome the seven-match death march they were assigned. And they almost made it. Almost.
OGMEJA: I threw New Day and the Wyatts on there, just because that feud had such great potential and it only resulted in a Final Deletion knockoff. But absolutely NOTHING should beat Titus and Darren, which is seriously up there as one of the worst feuds of this entire decade.
|DANIEL BRYAN ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT FROM ACTIVE WRESTLING||365||65||61||2142|
|Finn Balor injured during Universal title victory match||66||158||84||972|
|Death of Chyna||62||65||30||565|
|WWE books cruiserweights very badly on RAW||13||24||63||263|
|Hulk Hogan sues Gawker into bankruptcy||31||17||17||240|
RAVEN Z: #1: Linda McMahon made a Trump staffer after a $7 million campaign donation. While it goes without saying that the McMahon probably have a diverse investment portfolio, it cannot be denied that their wrestling empire is their bread-and-butter. It’s also undeniable that many wrestlers, while given a shot at greater fame, have also been horribly abused by WWE. So many of the other “disappointing news item” nominations are directly the fault of WWE management: deaths caused by health issues that could have been treated earlier if WWE had more responsible doctors and policies towards concussions, along with lack of health care; wrestlers being fired/suspended over petty slights; wrestlers being signed to contracts that will not let them find work elsewhere. The McMahons have created a near-monopoly, so that those looking to work in wrestling have to come to them for employment. Their millions have been made at the cost of other human being’s health and safety. That this money was then taken to buy Linda McMahon into a position of influence is heartbreaking, and I fear for those wrestlers’ futures as the McMahons get to influence policy changes to labour and safety laws that will inevitably help the McMahons and endanger the wrestlers.
CAP’N ANDY: Cody Rhodes should’ve been great, but I take comfort in knowing that he still will be, and once the WWE sees what they let go, they’ll get him back – for way more money.
OGMEJA: Everyone that watched the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and was convinced that this division was going to be a can’t-miss. WWE Creative said “Hold my beer.”
IRON MOOSE: Hogan v. Gawker has provided a blueprint for deep pockets to shutter newsrooms.
FLIPDAWG: You tell yourself that Daniel Bryan got to main event the biggest show of the decade and win the big one when he most needed to win it, and that it’s okay. You tell yourself he met the love of his life and now he’ll get to be happily married and settle down with his kids, and that it’s okay. But it isn’t okay.
CHRISTOPHER BIRD: Chyna deserved so much better a life than what she got.
BIIGDAWG: Jennifer Husband. It can’t be topped. This is what his life is now.
OGMEJA: Sweet Jesus, we’ve got some putrid announcers in wrestling today. You know it’s bad when Michael Cole can’t crack the top five. Picking between Striker and Matthews is like picking between a punch in the face and a kick in the balls.
NICK J. MANCUSO: I’m not a violent guy… and I don’t mean it will occur by my hand… but I don’t think there is any person in the entire world who is asking to be punched in the face more than Josh Matthews.
ARYEHHS: I know he calls moves but if Mauro screams “MAMA MIA” one more time I’m going to throw my TV out of a window.
MOREY JONES: “Video games! One ups! Cartridges!” – TJ Perkins, probably
BIIGDAWG: Sasha Banks. At least Roman improved a little over the year. Sasha has one talking point as a face while in kayfabe: she’s the boss. This vibrant-ass Sailor Moon-loving goofball deserves better than “yo, I’m hip-hop, legit boss!”
OGMEJA: Reigns is just so terrible – and it’s made all the more depressing by the fact that he’s pretty much going to be the top guy delivering horrible promos for the next decade.
GRAPTORS: Charlotte Flair may draw a lot of legit heat, but every time she opens her mouth I change the channel. I don’t want to boo her, I just want her to go away.
|SHANE McMAHON BLACKMAILS VINCE AND THEN AGREES TO FIGHT THE UNDERTAKER AND THEN IS REWARDED FOR LOSING||120||83||49||947|
|Roman Reigns repeatedly attacks Rusev and is treated like the good guy||105||99||62||946|
|The Club vow to replace the New Day with the Old Day||91||70||69||803|
|Enzo Amore walks around naked and tries to seduce Lana||78||66||64||716|
|Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks hot-potato the Women's Championship||43||30||40||385|
MATRIXMAN: Shane vs Undertaker was such a bizarre, needlessly convoluted storyline that resulted in a stunt match. The ramifications of what would happen if Shane won or lost were never clearly defined and even after he lost he still got his way. It seems like McMahon’s are having a hard time figuring out if they still want to be villains or not.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: Jesus, that Shane/Vince storyline. At no point did it make rational sense, plus Shane didn’t even win the match! But then he got put in charge of Smackdown anyway! My head hurts just thinking about it.
OGMEJA: WWE creative has 31 writers on staff. I want to know how many of them were fired for the Old Day skit.
|WWE WRESTLEMANIA 32||221||56||49||1363|
|WWE Roadblock: End Of The Line||69||68||45||639|
|TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown||47||41||27||413|
|AAA TripleMania 24||35||17||22||270|
MOREY JONES: I do not fear death, for I have watched WrestleMania 32.
J.D. SPIRIT: This years Wrestlemania was one of the most uneventful and disappointing wrestling shows in a long time, and to make matters worse, it was a WrestleMania – it’s supposed to be the Granddaddy Of Them All, and this year, it was just bad from start to finish.
DIAL N FOR NINJA: Ambrose/Lesnar and Shane/Taker were huge disappointments, and the Reigns/Hunter main event was like watching paint dry. A dull, dull show, made even worse by being, like, nineteen hours long.