By Will Pruett
Full disclosure: To retain his sanity, Will Pruett watches the 90 minute edit of Raw on Hulu. He has no regrets.
Most Magical (even though he’s a Hufflepuff): Roman Reigns takes this award without question. He haphazardly tossed a chair into the ring from the top of a steel cage and it landed ready to be sat in! It was the best wrestling moment I’ve seen since Wednesday. Also, Roman is totes a Hufflepuff. He might be a Cedric Diggory-style decent Hufflepuff, but that doesn’t make him any less Hufflepuffy.
Best No-show: This was a super competitive category this year with stars such as Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Ronda Rousey, and John Cena all vying to take home the coveted Slammy Award Award. Heck, add in the online-only Slammy Awards and you’ll see Stephen Amell and Steve Austin (the two Steves) added to this list. Seth Rollins was almost in the running for this one until he found his way to the stage on crutches. With all of these competitors, I’ll go with Brock Lesnar for this one. His hometown was robbed of seeing him celebrate his massive Slammy success. I hope Brock puts the terrible (but expensive) trophies on his mantle right next to some animal he was off slaughtering when this show was happening.
Best Cameo: This award goes to Seth Rollins, who was the only upper echelon star to appear on this show. Rollins was a nice change of pace from the epic parade of no-shows.
Most Deserved Award: While I disagree with the name of the award and the presentation of it (more on those things later), no one deserved an award more than Nikki Bella. While the WWE main roster women’s division was being constantly maligned, Nikki produced a solid body of work over her long title reign. The failure to tell coherent stories in the division has been proven not to be her fault (they’re worse now than ever). Nikki is a decent wrestler who had a career year. Give her the time the NXT ladies get to prepare their big matches and the time in the match itself (plus maybe a storyline or two that respects women) and you’d be amazed what she’s capable of. Seth Rollins is a very close runner up here.
Silliest Concept: The Coke-sponsored “Hero” award was basically just a PSA for WWE disguised as an award. I’m sure it’ll look great in the video file WWE emails to Coke today, but it’s a silly thing to promote.
Worst Concept: This prestigious award goes to fan voting. Fan voting is most of what’s wrong with wrestling. Wrestling fans (in general, not you fine reader) aren’t bright (they may be merry). I don’t care about the opinions of wrestling fans. I don’t care whether the fans have a voice. Let’s script these awards and allow them to make sense within WWE’s narrative (like the 2008 and 2009 Slammys) instead of letting dummies (not Destination America executives, but actually dummies) choose.
Best Dressed: Kalisto looked super slick with the three piece suit and mask look. Dare I say his wardrobe was on fleek? It wouldn’t take much to turn this humble, kind, athletic, and dynamic english speaking superstar with Latino heritage into a star. Kalisto is absurdly smooth in the ring and, if protected with the correct opponents, could generate some new fans for WWE. Runners up in this category include, but are not limited to, Nikki Bella and Seth Rollins.
Most Intoxicated: This is a no-contest. On this Raw and basically every Raw, Ric Flair is the most intoxicated person we see on screen. He couldn’t stop slurring his way through the convoluted setup for “Match of the Year”. It was almost embarrassing. He’s still a better promo than Charlotte.
Most Demeaning Award: Although it wasn’t an extra demeaning award this year, I’ve still got to hand this one to “Diva of the Year” both for its use of the outdated and sexist “Diva” branding and for its use of the already-not-funny Steve Harvey joke. We’re all better than this.
Least Relevant Group: On a show full of heel factions I cannot get passionate about, a babyface faction wins this one. Team ECW is somehow still a thing. This is unacceptable. Even when losing, I can’t justify any time or passion being wasted on these dudes anymore.
Best Award: This isn’t a winner here. I’d like for there to be, but The Slammys attempting to be the People’s Choice Awards of wrestling annoys me.
Best at Yelling and/or Slapping: In a weird way, Stephanie McMahon (who handedly wins this award) totally reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence. Does anyone else feel this way? She’s like Jennifer Lawrence if JLaw was constantly yelling. I know Stephanie’s heel work is often deservedly praised, but on this show, she switched into yelling mode and never switched out of it. Comedy (or good heel promo ability) is in contrast. Poor Todd Phillips never saw her coming after him.
Tag Team of the Millennium: New Day. Always New Day.
The Slammy Awards are never good and they’re rarely relevant. Even at 90 minutes, this was a completely skippable show. WWE thinks this is a fun concept, but it’s the kind of fun people tend to mock wrestling for doing too much of. We are all, as a collective community, better than this.
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? If they aren’t super annoying thoughts, hit me up with them! Check the Twitter twitter.com/itswilltime or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...