It’s that time of year again: Monday Night Raw’s about to transform into a cheesy awards show, complete with special guest presenters, cheesy speeches, and long periods of I don’t give a fuck. Hopefully we’ll be spared musical guests.
As a responsible voter, I unfortunately can’t just write SASHA BANKS SASHA BANKS SASHA BANKS and call it a day. Maybe next year, when she’s actually had an important match or two on the “important”shows. I’m adding an NXT pick for each award, by the way, because NXT is better.
Also, I’m annoyed by the idea of social media voting. Too cheap and lazy to build an actual ballot? Hash tags! I mean, come on.
Superstar of the Year
John Cena. No, that’s not a joke. Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge was the highlight of Raw for several months and gave big boosts to Kevin Owens and Cesaro. He had other great matches with Seth Rollins, Rusev, and Brock Lesnar. Cena added to his moveset and really upped his game in a way I haven’t seen another established superstar bother with. Can’t wait for the guy to come back.
NXT: Kevin Owens. Although he only worked in developmental for a few months, Owens really shook things up by destroying Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville, being a boss on the mic, and generally just killing it every week. Hell, he made Alex Riley compelling for a few weeks.
Rivalry of the Year
Reigns vs. Wyatt. Man, it’s been a really shitty year for main roster rivalries. Taker/Lesnar should’ve happened a year ago and made the Dead Man seem a bit petty. The Divas Revolution somehow managed to mostly suck in spite of the talent involved. And how are Rusev/Cena and Rollins/Orton even on the list? Reigns/Wyatt was at least kind of fun. I’m tempted to go off ballot and pick Rollins/Kane just because that was always amusing.
NXT: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. Duh.
WWE Network Show of the Year
Breaking Ground. This sort of look into the lives of WWE’s superstars is long overdue. Super interesting stuff. Great narration from William Shatner.
Double-Cross of the Year
Damien Mizdow eliminates the Miz. Even though we all saw it coming, that moment when the Miz’s assistant finally turned on him and tossed him out of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was a ton of fun. Nobody eats comeuppance quite like the Miz.
John Stewart attacking Cena is totally going to win, but that whole thing was stupid.
NXT: Kevin Owens attacking best friend Sami Zayn following Zayn’s NXT title victory.
Surprise Return of the Year
The Dudley Boys! Bubba Ray and D-von have done yeoman’s work the last few months, giving both the New Day and the Wyatts a solid rub and being damn entertaining foils for both squads. Well done, sirs.
NXT: Samoa Joe’s debut. Does that count? That counts. Like the Dudleys, Joe’s looked great helping to build younger characters in entertaining feuds. Dude at least deserves a spot in the Rumble if not a full-time call up to the main roster.
WWE Tag Team of the Year
The New Day. There are Mondays when I just don’t want to watch Raw. Three hours is a big commitment, especially when it’s often loaded with crap writing and obnoxious commentary. Sometimes I’d rather read or fire up the Playstation or watch paint dry. Whenever I get that urge, though, a single thought almost always pulls me back in: I wonder what the New Day’s up to tonight?
NXT: Enzo and Big Cass. I don’t know if they’ll ever find success on the main roster, but I’m totally going to enjoy their NXT run while it lasts.
Hashtag of the Year
Celebrity Moment of the Year
Kevin Owens powerbombs Machine Gun Kelly off the stage. Because that made me so happy. WWE Network should have an entire show that’s just Owens dumping C- and D-List celebrities on their heads.
NXT: None. Celebrities don’t go to NXT. And this is one of the major reasons why NXT is better.
Tell Me You Didn’t Just Say That Moment of the Year
Roman Reigns says “suffering succotash” in a promo. This one’s not officially on the list, but it needs to be. Six foot tall Samoan bad asses should not be quoting cartoon cats. Ever.
NXT: Corey Graves during Sasha Banks’s entrance at Takeover: Brooklyn. And I quote: “Her Escalade costs more than your house!” Perfect.
Best John Cena U.S. Open Challenge
Sami Zayn. Dude wrestled a hell of a match with a royally fucked shoulder. Kudos.
Diva of the Year
Nikki Bella. She totally put her working boots on and carried that division for most of the year. The NXT Divas get all the press, but Nikki’s legit.
NXT: Bayley. You were expecting someone else? Sure, Sasha’s my jam, but Bayley’s been the heart and soul of this show for a while now. After banishing the Boss to Raw, Bayley’s combination of ring acumen and personality dragged fun matches out of Alexa Bliss, Eva Marie, and Nia Jax. She deserves the top spot.
Match of the Year
Rollins vs. Cena vs. Lesnar. Tons of fun. Proved Rollins can hang with the best of the best.
NXT: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, Takeover: Brooklyn. Match of the Year isn’t good enough; this is my favorite match ever. They should be handed an award on Raw for this one just on general principles.