The 2014 End of the Year Awards

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AS I SEE IT: The 2014 End of the Year Awards
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
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Happy New Year to all of you!  As 2015 begins, it’s time for the 18th annual AS I SEE IT Year-End Review. As usual, I should note that my selections are based on what I’ve actually seen this year, either live, online, on TV, or via tape/DVD; which primarily means North American wrestling.
It’s amazing that the developmental promotion of WWE has featured better matches, more logical matches, and more logical storylines than its parent company.
Why does WWE give us “Diva” matches that make GLOW look like All Japan Women’s matches when they could give us WOMEN’S WRESTLING matches, like NXT did with Charlotte Flair vs. Nattie Neidhart? You can get them on NXT. Why do we get The Ascension coming off like kids dressing as the Road Warriors for Halloween in squash matches versus a local indy tag team; when we could get accomplished wrestling matches like NXT did with Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville in NXT?
Yes, there’s been dreck, too. But by and large, if we were offered the choice between RAW and NXT, I can guess what choice a lot of us would make.
The NXT Takeover iPPV/special events have been better than many WWE i/PPVs this year. They’ve had logical builds, storylines, and blowoffs to those storylines. Give me more NXT. Please.
2013 winner: WWE
2012 winner: WWE
2011 winner: WWE
2010 winner: Ring of Honor
2009 winner: WWE
2008 winner: Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Ring of Honor
2005 winner: Ring of Honor
2004 winner: Ring of Honor
2003 winner: Ring of Honor
2002 winner: Ring of Honor
2001 winner: WWF
2000 winner: WWF
1999 winner: WWF
1998 winner: WWF
1997 winner: WCW
Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), WWE
For someone who was told he wasn’t tan enough, was too small, didn’t “look” like a WWE wrestler…and who WWE had no intention whatever of putting in the main event slot at Wrestlemania…Bryan Danielson had one mind-blowing year. WWE seemed determined to not put the title on Danielson, and stick him in bizarre storylines, including temporarily putting him in The Wyatt Family, only to have it explained Danielson did it to take them down from inside.
At the Royal Rumble PPV, Danielson lost to Wyatt in a one on one match, and was not inserted in the Royal Rumble match, infuriating the fan base, online audience, and live audience which chanted his name for Bryan throughout the Royal Rumble match and the WWE World Heavyweight Title match. Then, Danielson qualified for the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight title, having to team up with John Cena and Sheamus to defeat the Shield. At the same time the seemingly unending feud with the Authority continued, with Kane as their hit man to injure Danielson before his Elimination Chamber match. At Elimination Chamber PPV, Danielson was one of the final two, but lost to Randy Orton
The online anger continued…so finally on the March 10 Raw, WWE did the #OccupyRAW storyline as Danielson and “fans” occupied the ring and refused to leave until HHH agreed to give Danielson a match at WrestleMania XXX, with the stipulation that the winner would be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Finally at WrestleMania XXX, Danielson defeated HHH and was put in the main event title match. Despite, HHH attacking Danielson, interference from the Authority, and “crooked referee”, Danielson finally won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeating Batista and champion Randy Orton in the WrestleMania main event.
Forget the storyline. The real life twists and turns in his path to the Title included fan rejection of the original designated non-Cena lead babyface Batista, an unending support of Danielson no matter what lamebrain storylines were thrown on air, then the very real walk-out of CM Punk after the Royal Rumble. Danielson was supposed to have been stuck in a WrestleMania XXX match with Sheamus.
Post WrestleMania XXX, Danielson had to beat HHH the night after the PPV, with Orton, Batista, and Kane interference, helped when The Shield made the save. Then more real life intrusion. Danielson was married to Brie Bella, they went on their honeymoon, only to have Danielson’s father die unexpectedly days later. A storyline injury was set up with Kane injuring Danielson in storyline…and reality. While Danielson defeated Kane at Extreme Rules match to retain, he’d apparently been injured and eventually had to vacate the title.
Danielson is finally returning to the ring on tomorrow’s Smackdown taping, and will be part of the Royal Rumble.
THAT is one mind-blowing year.
2013 winner: Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), WWE
2012 winner: CM Punk, WWE
2011 winner CM Punk, WWE
2010 winner: Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE/independent/WWE
2009 winner: Chris Jericho, WWE
2008 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2007 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling NOAH/Full Impact Pro
2005 winner: Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor/TNA/independent
2004 winner: Chris Benoit, WWE
2003 winner: AJ Styles, NWA-TNA/ROH/Zero-One/independent
2002 winner: Kurt Angle, WWE
2001 winner: Chris Jericho, WWF
2000 winner: HHH, WWF
1999 winner: Chris Benoit, WWF
1998 winner: Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: Eddie Guerrero, WCW
The Great Khali, WWE
One last time, I’ll give this award to The “Great” Khali.
OK, I get the idea that Vince McMahon likes big… REALLY likes big. I also get the idea of being able to use him to sell to the Indian market…to the point that WWE and its broadcasting partner, Ten Sports plan to invest nearly $100 million in the market, for technology to improve their programming, live events, and merchandise for kids and adults. But for the love of God, in all the subcontinent of India…couldn’t WWE find one wrestler in who could actually well…wrestle?
2013 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2012 “winner”: Brodus Clay, WWE
2011 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2010 “winner”: Lacey Von Erich, TNA
2009 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2008 “winner”: The Great Khali , WWE
2007 “winner”: Adam “Pacman” Jones, TNA
2006 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2005 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2004 “winner”: Heidenreich, WWE
2003 “winner”: Nathan Jones, WWE
2002 “winner”: Shane Douglas, Major League Wrestling/XPW
2001 “winner”: Buff Bagwell, WCW/WWF/independent
2000 “winner”: Kevin Nash, WCW
1999 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW
1998 “winner”: Giant Silva, WWF
1997 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW
(American) Wolves, TNA Impact Wrestling/independent
No tag team in North America gave us such consistent matches in 2014 at Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. They gave us some incredible matches in TNA including their TNA World Tag Team Championship match at Destination X match with The Hardys, the insane three-way Full Metal Mayhem with Team 3D and the Hardys. If you see the Best of TNA Impact series being aired on Destination America in its various reruns, or have it on your InDemand service, give it a look.
2013 winner: Cody Rhodes and Dustin “Goldust” Runnels
2012 winner: The Briscoe Brothers
2011 winner: The Briscoe Brothers
2010 winner: Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli), Pro Wrestling NOAH/Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling Guerrilla/CHIKARA
2009 winner: American Wolves (Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards), Ring of Honor
2008 winner: Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin (Motor City Machine Guns), TNA/Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, Ring of Honor
2005 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2004 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2003 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2002 winner: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, WWE
2001 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
2000 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1999 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1998 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
1997 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
Daniel Bryan versus The Authority…and WWE booking.
As said above, the real life and storyline paths that this storyline took are mind-blowing to say the least. There’s nothing, save the Atlantis-Ultimo Guerrero build and match (if I understood Spanish, I’d likely give it this award) that compared in 2014.
2013 winner: Daniel Bryan vs. HHH/McMahons
2012 winner: The Rock-John Cena.
2011 winner: CM Punk vs. WWE
2010 winner: Kevin Steen vs. El Generico, Ring of Honor
2009 winner: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy, WWE
2008 winner: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El Generico, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: CZW-Ring of Honor, CZW and ROH
2005 winner: Batista vs. HHH, WWE
2004 winner: Chris Benoit vs. HHH vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2003 winner: Danny Maff “retirement angle”, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, September 27, 2003, Rahway, NJ
2002 winner: AJ Styles-Jerry Lynn, NWA-TNA/Ring of Honor
2001 winner: ECW turns on WWF, July 9, 2001, Phillips Arena, Atlanta, WWE
2000 winner: The Stephanie McMahon-Vince McMahon-Shane McMahon-HHH-Kurt Angle soap opera, WWE
1999 winner: Test (Andrew Martin)-Stephanie McMahon wedding angle, WWF
1998 winner: Vince McMahon as heel promoter versus Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: nWo-WCW angle
WWE having Lana and Alexander Rusev cut a promo on WWE Battleground that made reference to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down by Russian-supported Ukrainian terrorists, killing all 298 aboard, then hailing Vladimir Putin for “making fools out of the United States”. Lana’s line: ‘You blame Russia for the recent current events?’
Look, Lana and Rusev getting old-school “Russian heel” heat is cool, even the 1980s flag vs. flag stuff, but making reference to a terrorist murder where 300 innocents are killed is unacceptable. Period.
2013 “winner”: Dixie Carter as heel TNA owner.
2012 “winner”: A tie between the 2012 Linda McMahon campaign and the use of Jerry Lawler’s heart attack
2011 “winner”: Michael Cole using real-life death of Jerry Lawler’s mother as storyline fodder
2010 “winner”: “Stand Up For WWE”
2009 “winner”: John Bradshaw Layfield “hires” Shawn Michaels because Michaels has “lost his money in bad investments”, WWE.
2008 “winner”: Jeff Hardy’s implied pre-show drug overdose…er…”mugging”, Survivor Series, WWE
2007 “winner”: The “death” of “Mister McMahon”, WWE
2006 “winner” The “Eddie Guerrero storyline”…in all its forms, WWE
2005 “winner”: Jim Ross proctology skit and Tim White “suicide” sketches, WWE
2004 “winner”: Lita/Kane/Matt Hardy pregnancy/miscarriage angle
2003 “winner”: Vince-Stephanie McMahon angle for “control of Smackdown” and father-daughter No Mercy match WWE
2002 “winner”: Katie Vick angle, WWF/E
2001 “winner”: Vince McMahon “Kiss My Ass” angle, Monday Night RAW, November 19, 26, and 28, WWF
2000 “winner”: Stacey Keibler-David Flair and Mark Henry-Mae Young “pregnancy angles”, WWF
1999 “winner”: The Paul Wight/Big Bossman “cancer angle”, WWF
1998 “winner”: Ric Flair “heart attack” angle and the Hawk/Scott Hall drug angles, WCW/WWF
1997 “winner”: DeGenerationX/Nation of Domination “racial angle”, WWF
WWE: Brock Lesnar-Undertaker, Wrestlemania 30, April 6, 2014, New Orleans, LA
There were matches on Wrestlemania 30 that were better, but for the sheer shock value, the way it was played by Paul Heyman, and commentators…Lesnar ending “The Streak” of the Undertaker. My one and only complaint…is that this wasn’t used to get over a young and coming talent that might have benefited. There’s no guarantee that Brock Lesnar is in WWE when 2015 ends, or even a day beyond Wrestlemania 31. But in and of itself…in the post-kayfabe era, there are NO matches that will literally make your jaw drop with shock because of a finish…except this one at Wrestlemania 30.
TNA: The Wolves (Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards) vs. Team 3D vs. The Hardys, Full Metal Mayhem (airdate October 8) – The show name says it all
Lucha: Ultimo Guerrero vs. Atlantis, CMLL Anniversaro 81, September 19 – A long, well-built storyline, an historic feud that culminated in a great match that was old as a wrestling (OK, lucha) match just by watching the production, even if you didn’t understand 10 words of Spanish.
2013 winner: WWE: Undertaker-CM Punk, Wrestlemania 29, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
2012 winners: WWE: Hell In A Cell The Undertaker- Triple H; WWE WrestleMania 28, Miami, FL April 1, 2012; Independent: ROH Showdown in the Sun/Day 2 Davey Richards Michael Elgin, March 31, 2012
2011 winners: WWE: CM Punk vs. John Cena, WWE Money In The Bank, Chicago, IL, July 17, 2011; Independent: Mike Quackenbush- Eddie Kingston, CHIKARA Pro Wrestling, ECW Arena, November 20, 2011
2010 winners: WWE: Undertaker- Shawn Michaels, WWE WrestleMania 26, March 28, 2010; Independent: Bryan Danielson vs. SHINGO, Dragon Gate USA, July 24, 2010.
2009 winners: (WWE)- Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston, TX; (Independent) Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino vs. SHINGO/Dragon Kid, Dragon Gate USA Open The Freedom Gate, November 28, 2009, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
2008 winners: (WWE) Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania 24, Orlando, FL, March 30, 2008; (Independent) Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino/Genki Horiguchi-CIMA/Dragon Kid/Ryo Saito Supercard of Honor III, Orlando, FL, March 29, 2008
2007 winners: WWE: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE Monday Night RAW, London, England, April 23, 2008; Independent: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Ring of Honor, June 9, 2008, Philadelphia, PA
2006 winners: WWE: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Steven Regal/ David Taylor vs. Hardys vs. MNM, Ladder match for the world tag team titles, WWE Armageddon; Independent: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA, Glory By Honor V, New York, NY, September 16, 2006 and CZW/ROH Cage of Death War Games/The Match Beyond match; with Necro Butcher, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb, Eddie Kingston vs. Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, Adam Pearce, Ace Steele, and Homicide.
2005 winners: WWE: Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Independent: Samoa Joe- Kenta Kobashi, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Triple H-Chris Benoit-Shawn Michaels, WWE, Wrestlemania XX, March 14,
2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, June 12, 2004, Dayton, Ohio and CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, October 16, 2004, Chicago Ridge, IL (tie)
2003 winners: WWE: Chris Benoit-Kurt Angle, WWE Royal Rumble 2003, Boston, MA January 19, 2003; Independent: Steve Corino-Homicide, Ring of Honor, “Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies” Fairfield, CT, August 16th, 2003, NWA-TNA: America’s Most Wanted-XXX (Christopher Daniels/Elix Skipper) steel cage match, Nashville, TN, June 25, 2003
2002 winners: WWE: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit, No Mercy, Little Rock, AK, October 20, 2002; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Spanky vs. Doug Williams – 60 minute Iron Man Match, Ring of Honor, Philadelphia, PA, July 27, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz – Tables, Ladders and Chairs II – WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Scoot Andrews vs. American Dragon, East Coast Wrestling Association, Wilmington, DE, September 22, 2001
2000 winners: WCW: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett, “Bash At The Beach”, Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL, June 9, 2000; WWF: “Tables, Ladders and Chairs” Match – Matt/Jeff Hardy vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Edge/Christian, SummerSlam, Raleigh, NC, August 27, 2000. ECW: Psicosis-Yoshihiro Tajiri, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 19, 2000
1999 winners: WCW: Chris Benoit-Bret Hart, Monday Nitro, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, October, 1999; WWF: Matt/Jeff Hardy-Edge/Christian, Tag Team Ladder Match, “No Mercy”, Cleveland, OH, October 17, 1999; ECW: Rob Van Dam/Jerry Lynn, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 28, 1999.
1998 winners: WCW: Chris Jericho/Eddie Guerrero-Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko, November 29th, Knoxville Civic Coliseum; WWF: Mankind (Mick Foley)-Undertaker Hell in a Cell Match “King of the Ring” PPV, June 28, 1998; ECW: Jerry Lynn-Rob Van Dam, August 8, 1998, ECW Arena
1997 winners: WCW: Rey Mysterio, Jr.- Eddie Guerrero, WCW “Halloween Havoc” PPV, 10/27/97, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV; WWF: Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, “In Your House: Badd Blood” PPV, 10/5/97, Kiel Center, St. Louis, MO; ECW: Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Masato Yakushiji-TAKA Michinoku/Dick Togo/Terry Boy, “Barely Legal” PPV, 4/13/97, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
2014 winner: Wrestlemania 30, April 6, 2014, New Orleans, LA
Between the culmination of the Bryan Danielson-WWE real life/storyline saga in the two matches on which he was featured…the (in retrospect touching farewell) appearance of Ultimate Warrior to the shocker finish of Undertaker-Brock Lesnar, and the once in a lifetime in-ring moment of the three modern legends of WWF/E: Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan…this was the card of the year.
2013 winner: WWE Wrestlemania 29, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
2012 winner: WWE WrestleMania 28, Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL April 1, 2012-
2011 winners: WWE: WWE Money in the Bank 2011 – Allstate Arena; Chicago, IL July 17, 2011; Independent: CHIKARA King of Trios 2011/Night One, April 15, 2011, ECW Arena
2010 winners WWE: Wrestlemania 26, March 28, 2010, Glendale, AZ; Independent: Dragon Gate USA, Enter The Dragon, July 24, 2010 (aired on PPV on September 10)
2009 winners: WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston, TX, Independent- Dragon Gate USA “Open The Historic Gate”, July 25, 2009, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA (aired on PPV as “Enter the Dragon” on September 4)
2008 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIV
2007 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIII
2006 winners: WWE: WWE WrestleMania XXII, April 2, 2008, Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois; Independent: Glory by Honor V Night 2, Manhattan Center, New York, NY, September 16, 2008
2005 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Ring of Honor, “Joe vs. Kobashi”, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: At Our Best, Ring of Honor, March 13, 2004, Rex Plex, Elizabeth, NJ
2003 winners: WWE: WWE Wrestlemania XIX, Safeco Field, Seattle, WA, March 30, 2003; Independent: All Japan/Ring of Honor Final Battle 2003, Philadelphia, PA December 27, 2003; NWA-TNA: NWA- TNA Super X Cup, Nashville Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN, September 3, 2003 (taped August 20 and 27, 1993)
2002 winners: WWE: WWE Summer Slam 2002, Fleet Center, Boston, MA, August 25, 2002, Independent: Ring of Honor “Road To The Title” Philadelphia, PA, June 22, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001, Independent: 2001 Super Eight tournament, ECWA, St. Matthew’s Parish Hall, Wilmington, DE February 24, 2001
2000 winner: WWF “Fully Loaded”, Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, July 23, 2000
1999 winner: ECW “Anarchy Rulz”, ECW, Odeum Sports and Exposition Center, Villa Park, IL, September 19, 1999
1998 winner: WWF “Survivor Series”, St. Louis, MO, Keil Center, November 15, 1998
1997 winner: ECW “Barely Legal”, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, April 13, 1997
WWE Battleground, July 20, 2014, Tampa, FL
Between the tasteless and insensitive Lana-Rusev reference to the MH 17 airplane downing; to a bait and switch of a Seth RollinsDean Ambrose match, ending with the inevitable “Super Cena” main event finish…that come from a slap-dash atmosphere when you throw together a PPV only 3 weeks after Hell in a Cell…here you have it.
2013 “winner”: WWE Battleground
2012 “winner”: WWE Over The Limit PPV, PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC, May 20, 2012.
2011 “winner”: TNA Victory Road 2011, March 13, Orlando, FL
2010 “winner”: TNA Turning Point 2010, November 7, Orlando, FL
2009 “winner”: TNA Victory Road 2009, July 19, 2009, Orlando, FL
2008 “winner”: WWE Cyber Sunday, October 26, 2008, Phoenix, AZ
2007 “winner”: TNA Turning Point 2007, December 2, 2007
2006 “winner”: WWECW December to Dismember, Augusta, GA, December 4, 2006, WWE
2005 “winner”: WWE Armageddon PPV, Providence, RI, December 18, 2005, WWE
2004 “winner”: WWE “Great American Bash”, Norfolk, VA, The Scope, June 27, 2004.
2003 “winner:” WWE No Mercy, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2003
2002 “winner”: World Wrestling All-Stars Eruption, Melbourne, Australia, April 13, 2002
2001 “winner”: WCW “Sin”, January 14, 2001, Indianapolis, IN.
2000 “winner”: WCW Slamboree, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, May 7, 2000
1999 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1999
1998 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1998
1997 “winner”: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
It’s a shame that the exposure is limited to WWE Network viewers and international audiences. Then again, if it was available on a NBC/Comcast station, more people would be screaming about the quality of RAW and Smackdown.
2013 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network – By default
2012 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2011 winner: ROH on HDNet, HDNet/Ring of Honor on Sinclair
2010 winner: ROH on HDNet, HDNet
2009 winner: WWE Smackdown, WWE
2008 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2007 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2006 winner: TNA Impact, TNA, Spike TV
2005 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2004 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2003 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2002 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2001 winner: Monday Night RAW, TNN
2000 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network and TNN
1999 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1998 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1997 winner: Monday Nitro, Turner Network Television
TNA Impact, TNA
It’s infuriating when you see “Best Of” shows that feature such quality as “Full Metal Mayhem”, as Hardys-(American) Wolves matches to realize that TNA Impact has become such garbage. There’s time that was given to a Samuel Shaw-Christy Hemme-mannequin sexual obsession storyline. Or the blatantly copycatting of the Daniel Bryan storyline by putting the belt on Eric Young. Then there’s the Dixie Carter poor women’s copy of Stephanie McMahon as heel owner…just to name a few. Part of this was the cancellation to come of TNA Impact on Spike TV, and the lack of knowledge as to whether or not the company would even exist.
As a wrestling fan, I hope the move to Destination America brings a fresh start for TNA, Given the state of WWE programming, any national alternative would be welcome.
2013 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2012 “winner”: TNA Impact , TNA
2011 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2010 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2009 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2008 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2007 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2006 “winner”: WWECW, Sci-Fi Network
2005 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2004 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2003 “winner”: The Wrestling Federation (yep, that was actually their name) aired in Philadelphia, southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern New Jersey on WGTW Channel 48
2002 “winner”: WXW Rage TV – aired in Philadelphia, northeastern Pennsylvania, north central New Jersey, and syndicated in parts of American Samoa, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
2001 “winner”: Monday Nitro, WCW, TNT
2000 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1999 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1998 “winner”: Music City Wrestling TV
1997 “winner”: USWA Television, USWA
The WWE Network, Fans pushing Daniel Bryan into the Wrestlemania main event, CM Punk walking out of WWE, wrestling returning to the ECW (2300) Arena, the end of the most well-known wrestling magazines…what we all called “the Apter mags”, the Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero build and mascara contra mascara match
2013 stories: “The Network”, TNA’s decline, the re-construction of the ECW Arena, George “The Animal” Steele’s biography, issues with Madison Square Garden, and WWE’s “retirement” of Jim Ross.
2012 stories: ECW Arena closing, three-hour RAW, the non-start of the WWE Network, and Ring of Honor’s problems
2011 stories: CM Punk vs. WWE; Sinclair Broadcasting purchase of Ring of Honor; Zack Ryder uses social media to get over; Randy Savage‘s death ; Self destructive saga of the Hardy Brothers; End of ECW Arena as it exists
2010 stories: Linda McMahon’s failed United States Senate campaign, the consequent attacks on wrestling by politicians and mainstream media for past storylines during the Attitude Era, as well as steroid and other drug deaths were featured all over maintream media during 2010…increased awareness by WWE and TNA of the long-term effect of concussions (including the possible effect they may have had in the Benoit family tragedy)….with the retirement of Shawn Michaels and Undertaker and HHH off of TV; WWE finally started a long-overdue youth movement with major pushes for The Miz, CM Punk, Sheamus, Bryan Danielson, and John Morrison. TNA failed miserably at another attempt at Monday Night Wars, getting clobbered in the ratings, before going back quickly to their usual Thursday night taped program.
2009 stories: Congressional steroids report, Shane McMahon resigns from WWE, “The Wrestler” , Death of Mitsuharu Misawa, Linda McMahon Senate Campaign
2008 stories: Retirement of Ric Flair; Filming and high profile of “The Wrestler”; Jeff Hardy finally gets WWE title
2007 story: Benoit family tragedy
2006 stories: The return and failure of “ECW”, TNA gaining prime-time slot on Spike TV, WWE getting new competition…from UFC
2005 stories: Deaths of Eddie Guerrero, Shinya Hashimoto, and Chris Candido, WWE drug testing policy, WWE return to USA, Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita real life and storyline triangle, Jim Ross replaced as lead announcer on RAW, TNA move to Spike TV, WWE and Bret Hart make peace
2004 stories: Brock Lesnar leaves WWE to try out for the NFL, RF Video/Ring of Honor’s Rob Feinstein implication in a pedophile sting, Pat Patterson retirement/resignation, TNA Fox Sports Net slot
2003 stories: The epidemic of deaths within wrestling (many of which involved past or current drug and alcohol use), NWA-TNA survives for another year, continued problems with WWE house show/TV taping business, controversial and active Philadelphia independent scene
2002 stories: The WWF “brand extension”, dropping WWE house show business, PTC forced to surrender, NWA-TNA, Philadelphia independent wars
2001 stories: WWF purchase of WCW, ECW closes its doors, WCW “Invasion angle” goes nowhere, WWF ratings and live attendance drop
2000 stories: Mainstreaming of wrestling continues, WWF-ECW-TNN-USA TV network roulette, WWF goes public, PTC censorship attempts continue… but with organized efforts fighting them, WCW set to lose as much as $80 million
1999 stories: Deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Hildebrand, Foley’s “Have A Nice Day” goes to #1 on New York Times Best-Seller List, WWF CD DEBUTS at number 4 on Billboard Chart, ECW TV on TNN, Parents Television Council censorship attempts
1998 stories: Changes in WWF product (making it more adult in nature), ECW’s 1998 problems, Mainstream attention given the wrestling business, Jesse Ventura’s election to Governorship of Minnesota
1997 stories: Brian Pillman death, Bret Hart leaving WWF/Title Change Doublecross
Until next time…
— Bob Magee