Although it hasn't been as consistent as other WWE traditions, the Slammy Awards have brought on many moments that coincide with the allure and mystic of the longstanding wrestling company.
Whether it be Owen Hart taking the trophies and calling them his own, his brother Bret ripping Shawn Michaels during his acceptance speech or AJ Lee’s pipe bomb-like promo when she was Diva of the Year a couple of years ago, the Slammy Awards have, for the most part, been met with success.
While the Slammys have awards such as Superstar of the Year, Rivalry of the Year, Extreme Moment of the Year and Hashtag Moment of the Year, amongst others, they are all regarded as positives for the respective winners. However, us over here at The Sportster love to put a twist on things, the Slammy Awards notwithstanding.
The year of 2015 has not been kind to the WWE. While the first half ushered in new talent thanks to emerging superstars and divas from NXT, the on-screen product has taken a considerable drop off since August.
Bad booking, lackluster feuds and devastating injuries have crippled WWE programming to a point where ticket sales, merchandise sales and viewership numbers are as low as they were in 1995 - right before the Attitude Era was born.
Because of this, there are a number of awards that needed to be handed out; however, unfortunately for the WWE stars who win these awards, they aren't a positive. With 2015 having been such a down year for WWE, we felt it'd be more appropriate to hand out the worsts of the year. With that being said, check out our Reverse Slammy Awards of 2015.
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17 Worst Theme Song - Brie Bella
There is no denying that Brie Bella, along with her sister, have improved leaps and bounds since their original WWE run. The beautiful women signed on as models and valets, and improved enough to play a prominent role in the Divas Revolution storyline that took place over the summer.
However, everyone should thank Nikki. Because she was the leader of the Bella Army, the sisters and Alicia Fox typically walked out to her theme song. Unfortunately, when Brie competed in a match on her own, both fans in attendance and watching at home were succumbed to the worst theme song in the WWE this year. Whether it was the ear-piercing “Brie Mode” to start the song or the generic mix of house music and teen pop, the music didn't excite people when she came to the ring - it only made fans cover their ears.
16 Worst Gimmick - Stardust
When I say that Cody Rhodes’ gimmick of Stardust was the worst of 2015, that is no way, shape or form a sign of disrespect to Rhodes. While the character began as a short term feud with his brother Goldust, Rhodes dove right into the gimmick, made it his own and ended up using his odd promos, face paint and an array of colors to end the year.
The reason why I consider the Stardust character the worst gimmick of this year is because it is holding back a wrestler who has the potential to be a main event player. Rhodes has the look, mic skills, in-ring talent and charisma to flourish as one of the top faces in the company. Unfortunately, the Stardust gimmick can only take him so far. The character will never be taken seriously on WWE television.
15 Worst Tag Team - The Ascension
Whether it’s the in-ring action, storytelling or unique characters, NXT has become arguably the hottest source of professional wrestling in the world. Unfortunately, there are some talents who haven’t shined like they did in developmental. Case in point - The Ascension.
While performing at Full Sail University, both Konnor and Viktor were among some of the most imposing and popular talent on the roster. However, once they were brought up to the main roster, they have floundered. Fans were displeased at the fact that The Ascension looked like a Road Warriors rip off. Once their wrestling abilities, poor mic skills and lackluster personalities were broadcasted on a national stage, the duo fell to the bottom of the card.
14 Worst Storyline - The Damien Sandow Saga
Towards the second half of 2014, there was arguably no more popular than Damien Sandow. Using the gimmick Damien Mizdow, the stunt double and tag-team partner of The Miz, Sandow’s outlandish antics on the ring apron catapulted him into fan favoritism. With The Miz growing jealous by the day, the crowd continued to show full support to Sandow.
Everyone was clamoring for their split, as Sandow would hopefully establish himself. At WrestleMania 31, the crowd went berserk once Sandow eliminated The Miz in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. With the split confirmed, the former partners went back and forth in a small feud fighting over The Miz gimmick, and Sandow eventually moved on. Unfortunately, after cutting a heartfelt promo as himself on RAW in late April, he fell back down to the comedy role, as he began to impersonate Randy Savage. The WWE could have had a popular wrestler on their hands, instead, the creative team killed all the momentum that Sandow had.
13 Worst Announcer - JBL
Trying to pick the worst announcer for WWE is quite hard. I understand that the job is tough, especially when Vince McMahon is screaming into the headsets every chance he gets. However, if there has to be a choice, the worst announcer has got to be JBL. While Jerry Lawler is terrible in his own right, his move to Smackdown puts him more in the background.
As the lead heel announcer on WWE’s flagship television show, JBL’s job is to show support to every bad guy, justifying their every move in any situation. Unfortunately, JBL instead comes off as overbearing and annoying while typically stumbling over his words. The sad thing is, when he started off on Smackdown many years ago, JBL portrayed the same character on commentary while a bringing a certain edge and toughness. However, he never comes off as that kind of color commentator nowadays; he’s just a hindrance, not a help.
12 Worst Feud - Dolph Ziggler & Lana vs. Rusev & Summer Rae
When looking back at 2015, WWE programming was at one of its low points. However, there was no worse feud than the debacle of Dolph Ziggler and Lana against Rusev and Summer Rae.
The original thought process behind the matchup was valid; although both men had cooled down from being so over towards the beginning of the year, Ziggler and Rusev looked to get the best out of each other during their summer clash. To add, with reports of Lana turning into the next Sable, the only way to get her away from her Russian gimmick was to have someone save her from Rusev. Unfortunately, this feud was much better on paper. A lack of chemistry between both men hurt the feud, while a broken wrist to Lana ended it. To add salt to the wound, Lana announced on Twitter that her and Rusev were engaged in real life, which not only angered Vince McMahon, but also forced the two to get back together on screen.
11 “This Is Awful!” Moment Of The Year - Roman Reigns/Sheamus Promo on Raw Before TLC
While there were many poor moments throughout the year, this very recent moment may have topped the rest. Although the Roman Reigns and Sheamus feud fell flat in and of itself, the final buildup before their championship match at TLC was the worst of any other final promotion for a feud.
With the WWE opting to use their multi-man tag team match in the beginning of the show, it was obvious that their 20-minute promo segment was going to be saved for last. Unfortunately, said 20 minute promo went about 15 minutes too long. With both Reigns and Sheamus being weak on the mic, giving them the final spot on Raw just to talk was a bad decision. Adding to said decision, the creative team’s decision to make Reigns crack corny jokes like saying Sheamus had tater tots made the product feel more PG than ever.
10 Worst Promo - Roman Reigns “Suffering Succotash”
I know most of the WWE Universe hasn't been fond of Roman Reigns this year. While I’ve tried my best to support him, there is no doubt that he deserves to win(?) two reverse Slammy Awards. When Reigns was on his way to being the next face of the WWE, he originally displayed signs of an ass-kicker that the fans could get behind. Unfortunately, the decision to give Reigns extended promo time made him cringeworthy.
That was never highlighted more than during a segment on Smackdown in early January with Seth Rollins. Interrupting Rollins while he was bragging about beating Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan’s careers, Reigns came out and told the WWE World Heavyweight Champion that he was full of something. What was he full of, you ask? “You’re a sniveling little suck up sellout full of suffering succotash.” That didn't do any favors to Reigns. Yes, he got abused on Twitter. Deservingly so.
9 Worst Booked Finish - Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, SummerSlam
While the Royal Rumble match deserves to be listed here, I’m going to stick with regular matches.
Unfortunately, the worst booked finish of 2015 was also on one of the most highly anticipated matches in some time: Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at SummerSlam. The match itself was good; due to the injury Undertaker suffered in their match at WrestleMania 30, the contest suffered. However, both men were ready to go at SummerSlam, and the exceeded expectations…that is, however, until the very end.
Due to a terribly done false finish, the fans went home booing instead of cheering Undertaker’s victory. Clearly trying to set up a third match without sacrificing either man, the creative team came up with an ending that no one got into.
8 Worst Promotional Tactic - Paige Disrespects Reid Flair
Similar to that of the Roman Reigns and Sheamus “This Is Awful” Moment of the Year, the worst promotional tactic of 2015 also went down recently. Building up to their showdown at November’s Survivor Series, both Paige and Charlotte decided to take things to the next level to get the WWE audience intrigued in their Divas Championship Match.
Unfortunately, the way the two women agreed to elevate the program backfired. In a contract signing that ended Raw, with Charlotte in an emotional state, she spoke about how she fought day in and day out in honor of her brother who passed away. Towards the end of the segment, Paige belted out “you’re wrong sweetheart, because your little baby brother didn't have much fight in him, did he?” When the crowd gasped, it wasn't in a good way; instead of enhancing the match, the promo put a negative spotlight on it.
7 Worst Finisher - Seth Rollins Pedigree
Many would say that former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins was the best male wrestler of the year. Although the way he was booked wasn't well done, his in-ring ability was second to none, as he constantly put on the best matches at every pay-per-view. Unfortunately, there was one bad thing about him in 2015 - his finisher change.
While there was never a concrete reason that Rollins had to stop using the Curb Stomp, the general consensus was that the WWE brass didn't want to promote the move, both due to concussions and so kids wouldn't do it at home. Since Rollins became the protégé of Triple H, he adopted the future Hall of Famer's finisher, the Pedigree. Unfortunately for him, the move never got over. Not only were fans disappointed that Rollins - an innovative wrestler in his own right - couldn't come up with his own finisher, but he also never executed the move the way Triple H did.
6 Worst Pay Per View - Royal Rumble
Every single year, the WWE starts off the road to WrestleMania with arguably their second biggest pay-per-view of the year - the Royal Rumble. In an event with such high stakes on the line, there have been many great moments at the show, whether it be in a match lower on the card or the Royal Rumble itself.
Unfortunately, the 2015 version of the show failed to live up to any of the previous expectations. Of course, there was one exception: the triple threat match between Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins and John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was one of the best contests of the year. Unfortunately, the rest of the show was lackluster, at best. Featured in sub par tag team matches on the undercard, the Royal Rumble match came with much criticism.
The booking of the match was particularly bad; whether it was eliminating Daniel Bryan so early or having the Big Show and Kane take out every top face, the fans revolted - and with Reigns winning, the fans booed that much louder.
5 Worst Title Reign - Ryback As Intercontinental Champion
At WrestleMania 31, fan favorite Daniel Bryan walked away as the Intercontinental Champion. The plan was to bring prestige to the belt that has been tarnished over the past decade. With John Cena winning the other secondary championship, two of the company’s best wrestlers were reportedly planned to have a unification showdown at some point, building the titles back up in the process. Unfortunately, soon after Bryan won, he had to relinquish the title due to injury.
At the Elimination Chamber event, the vacant Intercontinental Championship was on the line, and Ryback emerged victorious. While Ryback claims he could be WWE’s next biggest good guy, he floundered while holding the crown. A lackluster feud with the The Big Show and The Miz combined with a staph infection in his knee, Ryback never became a viable option as the Intercontinental Champion.
4 Worst Match - Ryback (c) vs. Big Show, Money in the Bank
It was hard to pick a really bad match in 2015, because the in-ring action is not the problem in WWE. It's as good as ever in terms of the pace and athleticism set forth by today's wrestlers. Unfortunately, the WWE chose to begin Ryback's Intercontinental title reign in just about the worst fashion; taking Ryback's slower pace and making it even slower. His title defense against Big Show at Money in the Bank was a dud and immediately set Ryback in the wrong direction.
2 Worst Female Wrestler - Tamina
As mentioned earlier, the Divas Revolution was one of the biggest storylines that took place in 2015. With Paige, Nikki Bella and Naomi impressing on the main roster while Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch earning a promotion from NXT, the WWE had introduced many new faces. Tamina was chosen to join Naomi and Banks to make up Team B.A.D.
Unfortunately, she was never able to establish herself as a credible threat. On the outside, Tamina would act as the muscle of the group; however, when she competed in matches (which was a rarity in and of itself), she was the one who always took the pin fall for her team. While there’s a chance that Tamina could still grow as a performer, it doesn't look like the creative team is behind her enough to give her any sort of push.
1 Worst Male Wrestler - The Big Show
With the Big Show fully entrenched as one half of the Authority’s muscle, both he and Kane were arguably the two biggest heels on the roster. That was cemented during the Royal Rumble, as the two big men eliminated nearly every face in the match. The unwarranted push of Big Show continued; not only did he win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, but he also was a fixture in programs with Roman Reigns and in the Intercontinental Title picture. Listen, Big Show has earned many people’s respect and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. However, when fans are chanting “please retire” during each and every match you’re a part of, that’s a sign of a bad wrestler and one that has to, well, retire.
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