It's time of year. Forget the Slammys, it is time for the Top Rope Awards. And I'm looking for your input in the award process. We want you to vote and help figure out who deserves the awards in various categories. From now until December 26th, I will have polls listed on the side of my blog and I want your help in deciding who gets each award. The winners of the fan vote and my vote will be revealed in my year end blog. There are a handful of awards to vote for, so lets get to it. I will give the nominees in each category with a quick write up about each. I will expand on the winner in my year end blog. This is strictly WWE, I don't watch enough TNA to include anything from there.
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
-C.M. Punk: He seems like the favorite. Punk has dominated WWE TV for the last half of 2011. Punk could pull out a ton of awards here. Punk has had some of the best matches in the WWE all year and has been the most watchable part of WWE programming. Punk seems to be the future star of the WWE and has the backing of the fans and management.
-John Cena: You almost have to include him just because he has been on WWE TV so much. Cena had some good matches with Punk this summer. His interactions with The Rock were well done, and there appears to be some conflict brewing as of late. Cena's star power can't be denied and he deserves consideration for the award.
-Randy Orton: Orton has had a bit of a rebound year this year. He had a tremendous series of matches with Christian this summer, as well as C.M. Punk earlier in the year. He had a fun brawl with Cody Rhodes on Smackdown. Orton has also done a good job of putting over Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler in recent weeks. Orton's match quality has improved this year and he has been the star of Smackdown since May.
-The Miz: The Miz took a tale spin during the summer, but he was the WWE Champion in early 2011 and main evented Wrestlemania. Miz has improved greatly from 2010 and holds himself as a star in the WWE both in and out of the ring.
-Alberto del Rio: Despite short WWE Title reigns, Alberto del Rio has had quite a successful 2011. Del Rio won the Royal Rumble, was in the World Title match at Wrestlemania, won the RAW Money in the Bank match, and has won the WWE Title two times. He has one of the best gimmicks in wrestling with Ricardo at his side. Del Rio has been a fun character to watch in 2011, but his short title reigns have been disappointing.
Match of the Year
-C.M. Punk vs John Cena: MITB: The crowd, the atmosphere, the stakes. It all added up to one of the better matches in WWE recent memory. The match itself was also great. The Chicago crowd added to the match. Punk and Cena have great chemistry in the ring and always put on an entertaining match when they are out there. This one had the great drama of near falls, fast action, and a great crowd to go with it.
-Randy Orton vs Christian, SummerSlam: I really liked this match. I liked it better than their Smackdown match. All of these twos matches this summer were very good. I thought the SummerSlam match had some good drama in it. All of the near falls were believable and the use of weapons were spot on. The fake out RKO finishes were well done in all of their matches.
-Smackdown Elimination Chamber, Elimination Chamber PPV: Many people were looking forward to the RAW EC match, but the Smackdown one definitely stole the show on the PPV. The last ten minutes featuring Rey Mysterio and Edge showcased some great counters, near falls, and drama. You really believed either man could win the match. Edge had a solid last few months of his career.
Triple H vs The Undertaker, Wrestlemania: I didn't have too high expectations going into this match at Wrestlemania. Undertaker hadn't wrestled in months, and HHH hadn't wrestled in almost a year. But these two delivered one big spot after another and made a slow match very exciting in the last 15 minutes. The two veterans delivered on the big stage.
Smackdown MITB Match: Again, Smackdown delivered at a PPV where they had a similar match with RAW. The Smackdown MITB had more drama too it, especially in the end. It also had more impact spots, including Sheamus putting Sin Cara through the ladder. The match was also more wide open and had no favorite, which is a plus for these types of matches.
FEUD OF THE YEAR
-C.M. Punk/John Cena: These two dominated the summer and were the best part of WWE programming. Cena was probably at his best during this program. They have ac chemistry together on the mic and it showed. It almost seemed like Cena upped his game when he was out there with Punk.
-Randy Orton/Christian: Thanks to Edge's retirement, Christian was thrust into the main event scene on Smackdown. Christian won the World Title but immediately lost it to Randy Orton. Orton and Christian went on to have a great series of matches. The feud may have been a little one sided, but it put Christian in the main event picture and showed that he belongs in there.
-Rey Mysterio/Cody Rhodes: Again, this was in the beginning of 2011, but it helped make a star out of Cody Rhodes. Rhodes took his "pretty face" gimmick and transformed into a dark, sadistic evil character hell bent on taking out Rey Mysterio. Rhodes scored the upset at Wrestlemania. This feud showed Rhodes belonged at the top of the card.
-John Cena/The Rock: In the build to Wrestlemania, these two interacted once but it was epic. Then they interacted the night before Survivor Series again. They have also made some exchanges via Rock taped segments and Cena responses. These two will interact more in 2012, but what we saw a little of what to expect in 2011.
BREAKOUT STAR OF THE YEAR
-Cody Rhodes: Rhodes burst onto the scene in early 2012 in his program with Rey Mysterio. Rhodes took a gimmick that I thought was a joke and made it into one of the best gimmicks in the WWE in recent memory. Rhodes has been Intercontinental Champion for a few months now. Ever since Rhodes lost the mask, his character has become stronger than ever.
-Mark Henry: How can I guy that has been around for over a decade be on this list? Simple, Henry has never been pushed in his career as well as he has this year. Henry has been a dominant force for well over half the year. He's been World Champion for the last 3 months, and only recently has he looked like a weak threat. Henry has risen up to the challenge and has made his matches more watchable than ever before.
-Dolph Ziggler: Ziggler has been United States Champion since June. He calls himself "The Show-Off" and it is a title he deserves. He has pulled double duty on the last two PPVs, and has put on some great matches in recent months with the likes of John Cena, C.M. Punk, and Randy Orton. Ziggler appears destined for the main event come early 2012. He's branched out on the mic and I think a separation from Vickie might be best for him down the line.
Wade Barrett: Barrett has made a late push for this award in recent months. "The Barrett Barrage" has gone into full effect in recent months. Barrett was one of the survivors in the traditional 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series. Barrett beat Randy Orton and Sheamus on Smackdown. I would make Barrett my pick to win the Royal Rumble if I had to choose right now. Barrett showed the potential when he was in Nexus, and hopefully the WWE fully capitalizes on it this time.
-Sheamus: Surprisingly the only face on this list, but that's what happens when you have John Cena, Randy Orton, and C.M. Punk on top. But Sheamus has experienced a bit of a character rejuvenation since moving to Smackdown and turning face. The crowd has took to him as well, and you can tell he is enjoying it. I think a Sheamus/Mark Henry World Title feud would be nice heading into the Royal Rumble. Sheamus deserves another main event push if he isn't going to get one at Wrestlemania.
MOMENT OF THE YEAR
-C.M. Punk Shoots on RAW: I'm pretty sure no one saw this coming at all. We knew C.M. Punk was leaving, but no one expected him to go out the way he did. Punk's promo on RAW was something that happens in the WWE once in a blue moon, and Punk was the perfect man to do it. He hit all of the right points without going to far. It launched Punk into super stardom.
-Edge Retires: There was no news of this coming. None at all. We tuned into RAW to find out Edge had an announcement to make, and many thought it was storyline related. But we were all wrong. Edge was forced to retire from pro wrestling. It was sad to see Edge go and not expected at all. Edge had been World Champ for 5 months and the best part of Smackdown. Whether as a face or heel, he always entertained.
-Daniel Bryan Wins Smackdown MITB: Not as big as Edge's retirement, but nobody saw this coming either. Daniel Bryan never really received a good push while in the WWE yet, so no one gave him much of a chance to win the ladder match. But Bryan surprised everyone and won the match. Now the aftermath is a different story, but this moment was something unexpected.
Christian Wins the World Title: It happened due to Edge's retirement, but it was still a great moment to see happen. Christian had been a hard worker in the ring for 10 years but never got the top. I'm sure Christian didn't want it to happen under these circumstances, but it was one of the best moments of the year. It didn't last long, but it lead to Christian's longest main event push of his WWE career.
-C.M. Punk Wins the WWE Title at MITB: I told you there would be lots of C.M. Punk in this. The Chicago crowd loved Punk, and they made his Title win so much more special. Seeing Punk celebrate as Vince McMahon watched on, then seeing him leave through the crowd as McMahon watched on was great.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR
-Sin Cara: Sin Cara came in with so much hype. He was expected to be the next big star in the WWE. The problem was, however, that Cara himself didn't seem ready for the spotlight. Cara was "botchtastic" in his first few months of the WWE. It was so bad they had to move him to Smackdown to edit out the botches. Then Cara was suspended for violating the wellness policy, and now he tore his patella and is out an extended period of time. I don't think Cara was going to be World Champ at this point, but I'm sure the WWE and the audience expected much more.
-Triple H as COO: Lots of us were expecting big things from Triple H as COO. Most of us thought HHH would turn heel and lead to a slow burn build to a match with C.M. Punk, maybe even at Wrestlemania. But instead, everything remained status quo in the WWE. HHH had a short program with Punk, then they were teaming up at a PPV a month later. Now Triple H is facing Kevin Nash at a PPV. It i just one big disappointment, especially the walk out angle.
-C.M. Punk Being Brought Back Too Soon: I love C.M. Punk, don't get me wrong. But myself, as well as Punk, think that he was brought back way too soon after MITB. It somewhat killed everything Punk was talking about before MITB. Had he been held off of WWE TV until later in the year it would have been a much bigger return for him. Punk still appears destined for stardom, but it might have been bigger had he been held off TV a bit longer.
-Daniel Bryan Post MITB: Most people expected Bryan to receive a better push than he has gotten on Smackdown after winning MITB. But Bryan was pretty much buried after. He barely won a match in the following months. After saying that he was going to cash in MITB at Wrestlemania, how do you not go ahead and build Bryan up better? Only recently has the WWE done that, but then they went right away and buried Bryan on RAW against ADR this week. It will be a long process to get Bryan to Wresltemania main event status in the coming months.
-John Morrison: At the beginning of the year, John Morrion seemed destined for a main event push. He had a great WWE Championship match with The Miz on RAW in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. He was in the main event at Extreme Rules, but it all went downhill from there. Morrison's apparent attitude towards Trish Stratus at Wrestlemania caused major problems, as did the problems his girlfriend Melina caused backstage. Morrison was injured for most of the summer and never received another major push. Morrison is now gone from the WWE. Quite a downturn from the beginning of the year.
PPV OF THE YEAR
-Money in the Bank
There ya have it folks. GET TO VOTING!
Until Next Time,
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