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Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 OUR so-called SPORT Year End Awards


2004 Year End Awards

It was another unforgettable year in sports entertainment. Let us take you back as we honor the finest achievements of World Wrestling Entertainment in 2004.


THE AWARDS

Wrestler of the Year
Tag Team of the Year
Match of the Year
Woman of the Year
Man of the Year
Promo of the Year
Classiest Moment of the Year
Gutsiest Performer of the Year
Best General Manager
Best Babyface
Best American
Best Actor

Best Car Show
Best Catchphrase
Best Injury
Sweethearts of the Year
Best Love for Another Man
Best Waste of $1,250,000
Best Ring Attire
Best Boyfriend
Lanny Poffo Poet Laureate Award
Wedding of the Year
Best Bridesmaid
Erection of the Year
Erection-Getter of the Year
Best Lackey
Father of the Year
Best Friends
Comeback of the Year
Best Big Game Hunter
Best Afro
Best Bacne
Most Believable Angle
Best Blow Off of the Year
Best Reward for an Obnoxious Fan
Best Reason to Postpone an Indy Show
Best Website

AND THE WINNERS ARE...


Wrestler of the Year: The Undertaker

(While we're at it, we retroactively award The Undertaker Wrestler of the Year for 2002 and 2003, for the time OUR so-called SPORT has been on hiatus.)
In 2004, he didn't regain the WWE Title. He didn't have any great matches. He didn't cut any great promos. So why is The Undertaker the Wrestler of the Year? Because he's the goddamn Undertaker, that's why. The Dead Man returned to his supernatural roots at WrestleMania XX and forced his brother Kane to question his worthless, solitary existence. He went on to become the most feared part-timer on SmackDown! and posed the only serious challenge to WWE Champion JBL. The Undertaker even had a brand-new match created for him, the Last Ride Match, which he lost thanks to Heidenreich. Here's hoping for a more productive 2005 and maybe even the return of The Undertaker's Lord of Darkness persona.

Tag Team of the Year: La Resistance

A funny thing happened after Rene Dupree was drafted to SmackDown! last April: La Resistance got good. Sylvan Grenier and American sympathizer Rob (now Robert, pronounced Robe-bear) Conway changed their country of origin from France to Montreal, Canada, got snazzy new white and blue gear, and started winning matches. This streamlined La Resistance won the World Tag Team Titles and dominated RAW's tag team division in the summer and fall. And yet, they took care to be extra annoying as Grenier adopted the Iron Sheik's old gimmick of singing his national anthem badly before matches. Finally, a tag team has emerged who are worthy successors to the storied legacy of The Quebecers. Viva La Resistance!

Match of the Year: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX

It was a match for the ages: everyone in Madison Square Garden from ages 9 to 90 hated it and booed Goldberg and Brock Lesnar out of the building. Prior to WrestleMania XX, word had leaked that Brock Lesnar had quit WWE to pursue his NFL dreams and that Goldberg didn't want to stay with the company. The capacity crowd at WrestleMania let the wrestlers and the world know what they thought of them and their career decisions. It was an awe-inspiring display of hostility from a wrestling crowd, the spectacle of which was the one saving grace of an otherwise disgraceful wrestling match. Special referee Stone Cold Steve Austin wisely stayed out of the fans' unbridled expression of hatred for the participants, though ironically, Austin himself quit WWE weeks later.

Woman of the Year: Trish Stratus

The single greatest Diva in WWE history had the greatest year of her career in 2004. After dumping Chris Jericho and re-embracing her darker side at WrestleMania XX, Trish took her ex-boyfriend's place as the most consistently entertaining heel on RAW. She was busy all year: sucking face with Christian, seconding Tyson Tomko, hijacking the Highlight Reel, providing color commentary, organizing Diva Dodgeball, mocking the Tyrell Owens skit with Shelton Benjamin and Vince McMahon, and main eventing RAW with Lita in arguably the best women's match in WWE history. Trish became Women's Champion for a record-setting fifth time and her reign lasted six months, her longest to date. Meanwhile, she perfected her new heel mannerisms such as curtsy bows and crowd taunts. Despite suffering a shattered right hand and a broken nose, Trish dominated the Women's Division. And through it all, Trish made sure to take time out to help her best friend and worst enemy Lita though Lita's difficult year. 100% Stratusfaction has never been a better guarantee.


Man of the Year: Rico

The Man of the Year was completely up for grabs until Rico was drafted to SmackDown! When he switched over to the blue show, he not only showed Charlie Haas how to be a better man, Rico eliminated all wrestling moves from his matches, focusing instead on riding, kissing, and groping his opponents into submission. What kind of man does that? Not just any man. The Man of the Year.

 

Promo of the Year: Ric Flair's "making virgins bleed" promo

Ric Flair provided countless laugh-out-loud moments in 2004, but the one that takes the cake is the promo Flair delivered to set up his match against Randy Orton at Taboo Tuesday. Taking exception to Orton's nickname "The Legend Killer", Flair insisted that Orton is not a legend, but is in fact a virgin. The Nature Boy went onto describe that he has spent 30 years making virgins "sweat, holler, and bleed," causing jaws to drop all around the world from hearing a 57 year old man say this on television. Honorable mention for this award also goes to Flair for a promo he cut in Boston's Fleetcenter where he expounded on the superiority of white ball players over minority ball players and told a fan at ringside that he "plowed" his "wife back in '85!" Ric Flair must never, ever retire.

Classiest Moment of the Year: "Dis the Diva"

After weeks of poorly-conceived segments, the $250,000 RAW Diva Search hit a lowbrow goldmine with a poorly-conceived segment where the contestants cut promos on each other. Eliminated contestant Maria Kanellis kicked things off right by flipping Carmella DeCesare a double bird on the way out of the ring. Joy Giovanni and Amy Weber let loose on Carmella, calling her a "slut" and "whore" and telling her that "having a cock in her mouth" doesn't make her a Diva. Carmella fired back on Joy and Amy, but spared Christy Hemme, about whom she had nothing bad to say. Christy didn't reciprocate and declared Carmella to be a "cum-guzzling gutter slut." This was the highlight of the RAW Diva Search and a proud moment in the annals of RAW. We loved every classy minute of it.
Runner Up: Mae Young lap dances Daniel Puder

Gutsiest Performer of the Year: Shawn Michaels at Taboo Tuesday

Despite his being barely able to walk due to an injured knee, the fans overwhelmingly voted HBK as their choice to face Triple H for the World Title at Taboo Tuesday in October. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, Michaels sucked it up and wrestled, delivering a godly performance on virtually one leg. It truly was the Passion of Shawn Michaels, the single greatest performer in wrestling history. HBK's gutsy performance was a testament to his tremendous heart and is also a superkick to the face of every wrestler who has ever refused to perform because of an injury.

Best General Manager: Eric Bischoff

It's high time Eric Bischoff received some long overdue credit. In 2004, SmackDown! had three General Managers. RAW even had four GMs in the weeks after Survivor Series. But week in week out, RAW's Eric Bischoff proves he's the best General Manager in WWE. When looking at his job performance, including his innovations such as RAW Roulette, Beat The Clock, and the Elimination Chamber, we see Bischoff has always tried to put on the best show he could. This year Uncle Eric lost his long black hair to his nephew Eugene but grew a new set of balls. Formerly Triple H's biggest supporter backstage, this new grey-haired Bischoff now refuses to cater to Evolution. Each week, Eric deals with a locker room of volatile madmen and tries to make decisions that are in RAW's and the fans' best interests. And if he can get rid of Eugene in the process, who can blame him for trying? Not us.

Best Babyface: Vince McMahon

It's always a surprise now when "No Chance in Hell" blares in arenas and Mr. McMahon struts down the aisle in his suit and tie, flapping his arms, and stomping up the ring steps. But an even bigger surprise this year is that Mr. McMahon somehow turned into a big babyface. Whether he's forcing Eric Bischoff into getting his head shaved, ordering Jonathan Coachman to don a dress, riding in Eddie Guerrero's low rider, or rallying our soldiers in Iraq, the crazy, evil Mr. McMahon has been replaced with a crazy, benevolent Mr. McMahon. He hasn't inducted anyone into the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club in months, but we're sure it's only a matter of time.

Best American: JBL

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt. All great Americans. All would undoubtably be thrilled that the WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield has been following in their footsteps and making our country proud. This year, JBL did more than his part to make America better: mocking Hitler in Germany, giving a motivational speech to the troops in Iraq over Christmas, and safeguarding the WWE Title in a stranglehold from 'those people,' people like Eddie Guerrero and Booker T. But JBL's greatest service to his country was the night he patrolled the Mexican border and sent illegal border jumpers packing with Clotheslines From Hell. Now, more than ever, in JBL we trust.

Best Actor: Triple H

No, not for Blade: Trinity, which we haven't seen yet. Triple H's formindable acting chops were on display throughout the summer as he made Eugene think he was Eugene's best friend. For weeks, Triple H showered Eugene with gifts and forced Evolution to hang out with him against their will, all for an elaborate, ill-conceived plot to regain the World Title from Chris Benoit. That plan ultimately failed but as a thespian, Triple H has never been better. The Game closed the year with his most moving and heartbreaking performance yet, baring his soul to Eric Bischoff in a sly attempt to coax the RAW GM into returning the vacant World Title to him. Given his enormous, Calculon-esque talent, it would come as no surprise to see Triple H win another ten pounds of gold - a Best Actor Academy Award - one day.

Best Car Show: SmackDown!

Lacking as many big stars as RAW has, SmackDown! uses several cars to augment its thin roster. Every week, JBL arrives at the arena in his white limosine with longhorns on the hood. Not to be outdone, Eddie Guerrero drives a new low rider to the ring before his matches. And when Paul Heyman kidnapped Paul Bearer and threatened to bury him in concrete, a cement truck was a regular sight. Since SmackDown! already has wrestlers and spokesmodels on the show, there is no reason to ever see World of Wheels.


Best Catchphrase: Chris Benoit is "4 Real"

Despite the Internet smarks who'd long dreamed of the day Chris Benoit would become World Heavyweight Champion, there was some worry that casual fans would not regard Benoit as a credible champion. To remedy this problem, WWE marketing came up with an ingenious catchphrase that succinctly captures the new World Champion: Chris Benoit is "4 Real." Benoit himself personally made sure that there wasn't a fan watching RAW who didn't know he was for "4 Real" by saying his catchphrase over and over again in his promos, sometimes when it wasn't even appropriate.

Best Injury: JBL in a neck halo

He turned tragedy into triumph. His courage and defiance in the face of death touched millions. Just days after The Undertaker nearly murdered him by chokeslamming him through the roof of his own limosine, JBL stood right in the center of the SmackDown! ring wearing a huge neck halo. And though his ten gallon hat couldn't reach his head, it perched proudly above it on the halo's metal rungs. On that night, JBL showed all his fans that our WWE Champion was neither beaten nor broken. On that night, as always, JBL stood tall and proud for America.
Runner Up: Trish Stratus' broken hand and broken nose


Sweethearts of the Year: Kane and Lita

The love story of our time. Shakespeare himself couldn't craft a tale of passion and woe to equal the romance between Kane and Lita. Kane's heart leapt from his chest as he fell for the flame-haired damsel early in 2004. The Big Red Love Machine spent months wooing Lita, and though she initially rebuked his advances, she eventually relented and succumbed to his desire. The dastardly Matt Hardy tried to steal Lita away from Kane, but nothing could keep these star-crossed lovers from consummating their passion for each other. And, on one lovely summer's night, Kane and Lita were wed, the blushing bride already with child. Their marital bliss would be tragically brief as the happy couple lost their beloved child due to the actions of the fiendish Gene Snitsky. The beast Snitsky then wounded Kane, forcing his love Lita to fend for herself. But happy news arrived as the year neared its end: Kane would return and reunite with his loving wife! We watch with baited breath as this drama unfolds...

Best Love for Another Man: Jerry Lawler for Randy Orton

When Randy Orton was part of Evolution and the Intercontinental Champion, he had no greater supporter than Jerry "The King" Lawler. Whenever the fans, his fellow Superstars, and even Good O' J.R. would disparage Orton, Lawler would repeatedly and passionately spring to Randy's defense, extolling his many virtues: his smashing good looks, his chiseled body, his physical prowess. At one point, Lawler's rapture for Orton forced J.R. to conclude that the King was in love with him! But no, it's simply that in Randy Orton, the King must have seen a virile young stallion he could really get behind. Sadly, since Orton left Evolution and forged his own path, the King has cooled off on Randy. But we remember when the mere sight of Randy Orton could excite the King like no other.
Runner Up: Ric Flair for Triple H

Best Waste of $1,250,000: RAW Diva Search and Tough Enough

Was it worth it? Over a million dollars spent, hours of television expended, and several actual wrestlers on the roster released, all for Christy Hemme and Daniel Puder to join our WWE family. To be fair, both Christy and Puder were clearly the most deserving people in their respective contests, and they both make fine additions to RAW and SmackDown! As a bonus, the hottest of the Diva Search contestants also managed to find regular employment in WWE. But perhaps these same results could have been achieved without inane pie eating, seducing Kamala, making out with Mae Young, or men dressing up as women. Perhaps for 2005's Diva Search and Tough Enough, the contestants could, oh, I don't know, compete in ways relevant to wrestling? It'd be nice, is all.

Best Ring Attire: Billy Kidman's Ring Jacket

Not often does a piece of clothing completely capture the essence of a man's character, motivation, and life philosophy. Billy Kidman's ring jacket is that piece of clothing. Kidman doesn't so much wear the jacket as the jacket wears him, and that jacket wore him right out of Velocity and onto pay per view. And soon after, it wore him right back into Velocity. After the day Torrie Wilson said "I do," the day Billy Kidman decided to attend Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff's yard sale was the best day of his life.

Best Boyfriend: Christian

2004 was a big year for relationship advice from the WWE. Kane and Lita taught us how to build a successful marriage while Christian and Trish showed us all what woman is really looking for. Nice guy Chris Jericho was kicked to the curb by Trish Stratus for a man who beat her, humiliated her, and treated her like a piece of meat every time they were in front of the crowd together. Who says wrestling doesn't accurately reflect real life?

Lanny Poffo Poet Laureate Award: Heidenreich

A funny looking redneck with a lisp wearing little red panties and a straightjacket while trying to be threatening is laughably bad. Beat up all the audience plants you want, we're just not buying it. But somehow, adding terrible poetry to the mix makes it laughably good. The lesson: poetry makes everything better. Next year's lesson: attaching copies of said poetry to frizbees is better still.

Wedding of the Year: Kane marries Lita

There wasn't a dry eye watching as Kane and Lita's storybook romance reached its zenith with a sumptuous wedding ceremony on Monday Night RAW. With millions watching, Kane and Lita proclaimed their love for all to hear with touching vows and splendid pomp. It was a star-studded affair as well, with Eric Bischoff delivering a poignant speech, and Lita's beautiful Maid of Honor Trish Stratus upstaging the blushing bride for just a moment. Sadly, Lita's spurned lover Matt Hardy just couldn't abide by his raging jealousy. He selfishly tried to ruin the ceremony and nearly succeeded were it not for the bridegroom's quick action. But nothing could ruin Kane and Lita's night and the Wedding of the Year ended as we all hoped it would; with a passionate kiss and the ecstatic husband carrying his lovely bride away for a romantic honeymoon.

Best Bridesmaid: Edge

Did you know Edge has never been World Heavyweight Champion? It's true. It's surprising you weren't aware, we could have sworn Edge has mentioned it once or twice. At Taboo Tuesday, Edge was all set to become World Champion but the fans conspired and voted for Shawn Michaels to get the shot at Triple H, robbing Edge of his chance. Weeks later, Edge pinned Chris Benoit in a Triple Threat match and would be wearing the big gold belt at this very moment had he not simultaneously tapped to the Crippler Crossface, which led to a vacant World Title. Always a bridesmaid, we're sure 2005 is the year Edge finally becomes a bride. Or else he'll just bitch and moan some more. Which is also fine by us.


Erection of the Year: Rene Dupree

Runner Up: Randy Orton

Erection-Getter of the Year: Trish Stratus as Lita's Maid of Honor

When it came time during Kane and Lita's wedding for anyone who objected to speak now or forever hold their peace, everyone was expecting Matt Hardy to appear and halt the ceremony. Instead, the entire viewing audience sat up and took notice as Trish Stratus, Lita's Maid of Honor, appeared clad in virginal white lace. As Trish strutted down the aisle in all her splendid glory, it's safe to say there wasn't a man watching who didn't have his eyes locked on Trish as she arrived to support her best friend Lita on her special day. Lita was understandably upset at being upstaged at her own wedding and reacted violently, sending both women tumbling down the steps and ending the most groin-grabbingly memorable moment of RAW in 2004.

Best Lackey: Nasty Brian Knobbs

Hollywood Hogan is a very rich and physically powerful man. He could easily afford a motorized wheelchair or hand wheel his own conventional model, but Hollywood Hogan isn't your normal rich, powerful man. He's much crazier and has far, far worse taste in friends. So while recovering from knee surgery, Hogan employed the services of Nasty Brian Knobbs to push him around, freeing his hands to perform a karate-inspired interpretative dance while Knobbs added the vocals. Not since Scotty Anton acted as Rob Van Dam's actual wheelchair has a lackey done his job so well.

Father of the Year: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

The Hogan running wild in 2004 wasn't Hulk but his teenage daughter Brooke, America's newest pop sensation. Putting aside his own goals of earning even more millions in wrestling, Hulk Hogan instead put the power of Hulkamania behind his daughter's burgeoning singing career, personally guiding her though the treacherous would of pop music. Whether it's sage fatherly advice, personally firing up a crowd of star-gazing Brookeamaniacs, or providing a hilarious cameo in Brooke's music video, Hollywood Hogan redefines what it means to be a loving and supportive father. And if Brooke's singing career flounders, Brooke can rest assured her daddy will not only use his influence to make her a WWE Superstar, she will likely become Women's Champion in her very first match. After all, it's nothing but the best for Hulk Hogan's daughter.

Best Retard: Eugene

Runner Up: Pick anyone from the front row

Best Friends: Trish Stratus and Lita

Between her affair and marriage to Kane, concern for Matt Hardy, the abuse from Gene Snitsky, and the loss of her unborn baby, Lita had a tumultuous 2004. But through it all, Lita could always count on her best friend Trish Stratus to be there for her through thick and thin. All year long, Trish went out of her way to offer Lita a laugh, a joke, or just someone to turn to when Lita's troubles became too much for her to handle. Trish organized the other Divas to throw Lita her bridal shower and gladly acted as Maid of Honor at Lita's wedding. Sadly, as it often does between women, jealousy reared its ugly head. When Lita lost her baby and her husband to Snitsky's actions, she began to covet her best friend's Trish's Women's Title. And now their friendship has degenerated into wanton violence. It's a shame; we remember a time when Trish and Lita were B.F.F. Maybe, someday, they can be again.
Runners Up: Triple H and Eugene

Comeback of the Year: Viscera

We had routinely lamented the disappearance of big fatasses from WWE's rings, and lo, as if to answer our requests, Viscera returned. The largest, least talented, and most repellant of the old Ministry of Darkness started off on SmackDown! but now darkens the rings of RAW. We look forward to many hours of watching Big Vis ruining match after match as he throws his enormous, Glad-bag clad, posterior around, routinely squashing smaller and more talented members of the RAW roster. Or maybe we just won't watch Sunday Night Heat so we won't have to.

Best Big Game Hunter: Kurt Angle

In a SmackDown! year sorely lacking in memorable moments, Kurt Angle took it upon himself to provide the fans with a spectacle they would long remember. Our Olympic Hero set out to hunt the biggest game walking the SmackDown! rings: the 7 foot, 500 lb Big Show. Angle knew capturing such a prize wouldn't be easy, even with the help of his lackeys Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns. But eventually, the three of them managed to isolate the Big Show in the SmackDown! ring as Kurt shot a tranquilizer dart into the Show's back. The goliath tried to fight off the effects of the tranquilizer, but teetered and eventually fell. Angle, the victorious hunter, then took his rightful prize, shaving the Big Show's hair. It was man against beast and once again, man prevailed.

Best Afro: Carlito Caribbean Cool

Tropical clothing: cool. Scarface-esque accent: cool. Spitting in people's faces: cool. A hair style that would fit right in with the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox: very cool.
Honorable Mention: Jesus's tireless work in keeping the afro looking its best

Best Bacne: Gene Snitsky

While the rest of the sports world reels from the BALCO investigations, the WWE celebrates its twelfth consecutive year without a steroid scandal. How have they done it? While other organizations deal with messy testing plans, the WWE simply relies on the honor system. Locker room respresentative Gene Snitsky assures Vince McMahon there's no funny business going on. Why would he lie?
Runner Up: Eddie Guerrero

Most Believable Angle: John Cena is stabbed in a Boston nightclub

Oh yeah, this made sense. Hometown boy John Cena had just won the US Title from Booker T and received a hero's welcome in front of his Boston fans at the FleetCenter. He lost the title to Carlito Caribbean Cool and as the story goes, while partying at a gentlemen's club later that night, he was assaulted and stabbed in the kidney. In Boston. Sure, that angle works. It was eventually revealed that Carlito's associate Jesus was the man who attacked Cena, but for weeks we were told Cena was laying in a hospital wounded, not in Australia shooting his first movie The Marine. Making things even more annoying was Cena's return at Survivor Series, with nary a scar or even a bandage to show for his injuries. Now that's good booking.

Best Blow Off of the Year: Jeff ignores Chris Candido

An early 2004 WWA New England show was headlined by Chris Candido and "Dangerous" Danny Davis, billed before the show as "a surprise member of the Hart Foundation." Upon seeing those two hanging out at the front door of the gym the show was held at, conversation among the Back of the Head staff turned to the Wrestlemania match pitting the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis against the British Bulldogs and their partner. Unable to recall that partner, Jeff went to the source and asked Davis himself, completely ignoring Chris Candido in the process. Not one to hold a grudge, Candido yelled at Jeff for taking his picture in the ring later that night.
The Answer: Tito Santana, whom Davis referred to as "That Puerto Rican"

Best Reward for an Obnoxious Fan: Rob dances with Grandmaster Sexay

If a picture is worth 1000 words, what's a video worth?

Best Reason to Postpone an Indy Show: Chris Candido has to pick up Grandmaster Sexay at the airport

The WWA (seriously the most fun indy promotion in the area) ran a show in August in Lynn, Massachusetts with a scheduled bell time of 7:30. When 7:50 rolled around and nothing was happening in the ring, the 80 fans in attendance started to get a little bit restless. WWA Champion Chris Candido himself came out to explain the situation, informing the crowd that he had to pick up his opponent for the night, Grandmaster Sexay, at the airport. Everyone in the VFW hall had a good laugh at that one until Candido walked out the front door with his car keys.

Best Website: backofthehead.com

We spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool.

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