The point of the FearlessRiOT Forecast is to predict who will come out on the winning end of WWE events and award shows. Therefore, the Slammy Awards has a special place in my heart because it is both a WWE event AND an award show.
Now you can say this isn’t a real award show and it ultimately doesn’t mean anything given that the predetermined nature of sports-entertainment renders everything completely pointless. But you know what? People say that about literally EVERY award show; by the logic of most people, all award shows are rigged and I should therefore just ignore award shows altogether. But where is the fun in that?! Sure, some of the winners may just be used to further storylines, but as a guy who does not mind his occasional lighthearted fun when it comes to WWE’s brand of entertainment, I always get a kick out of this show. So much that I spent hours putting together to date probably the longest Forecast I’m ever gonna do aside from the Grammys, which is gonna take more than one post to cover even though I’m only covering six of the fields (General, Pop, R&B, Rap, Country, and Rock). So let’s end this intro right here and jump right into my final Forecast of 2015: the wrestling event/award show hybrid known as the 2015 WWE Slammy Awards!
Hashtag of the Year
#GiveDivaAChance vs. #SuplexCity vs. #AxelMania vs. #SaveTheTables vs. #RKOOuttaNowhere
Remember when the RKO Outta Nowhere videos were popular…last year? Did that really carry over into 2015? If so, no one faxed that memo to me. I mean, a different WWE meme took over the Internet in 2015; guess what his name is. Take. One. Guess. Meanwhile, Curtis Axel enjoyed a little bit of success with that #AxelMania thing before Hulk Hogan’s career got ruined courtesy of a racist ghost from his very recent past. And the Diva hashtag was the fans’ cry for better treatment of the ladies after that 30-second debacle in February, and it totally worked…kinda. I mean, we got longer matches; now they gotta remember to add stories and character motivations to them. And there, there’s…Paul Heyman, handle this one for me.
Who I Want To Win: Su. Plex. City. BITCH!
Who Will Win: #AndHisNameIsJohnCena…..I mean, #GiveDivasAChance.
Celebrity Moment of the Year
Stephen Amell vs. Cast of Entourage vs. MGK vs. Jon Stewart vs. Wayne Rooney
So…celebrities in WWE. Some people hate it, some people don’t mind it. It usually depends on the celebrity and how they choose to use them. Shockingly, Maria Menounos only appeared for WWE a couple of times over WrestleMania weekend, most notably at the Hall of Fame carpet, so she’s not nominated. Instead, we have a former late night talk show host costing John Cena the title, a rapper getting powerbombed off a stage, the cast of a TV show who came out with a movie where I only cared about it for my Sports Illustrated crush Nina Agdal’s sexy cameo, the star of the CW’s Arrow impressing in his wrestling debut…..and Wayne Rooney. Yeah…
Who I Want To Win: Stephen Amell. Win or fail this city!
Who Will Win: I feel like it’s gonna be Jon Stewart.
WWE Network Show of the Year
Breaking Ground vs. Table For 3 vs. Stone Cold Podcast vs. WWE 24 vs. Swerved
For those of you who haven’t cancelled your WWE Network subscription because of spontaneous frustration over some of WWE’s more unpopular booking decisions, chances are you’ve watched and have been entertained by at least one of a few of these shows. I doubt its WWE 24 considering there haven’t been that many episodes of it. I found Swerved entertaining for the most part, but I don’t know if I’d give it this award. Breaking Ground is a fascinating reality show about NXT while Stone Cold Podcast and Table For 3 are must-watch programs for people who live for wrestlers telling stories and taking us inside their lives and careers behind-the-scenes for a bit.
Who I Want To Win: Stone Cold Podcast; almost all of these are can’t-miss events.
Who Will Win: I’m going with the Stone Cold Podcast with the assumption that they’ll work Austin onto the show.
Best John Cena U.S. Open Challenge
Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Neville vs. Sami Zayn vs. vs. Dolph Ziggler
Yes, WWE created a Slammy Award specifically revolving around John Cena. It was only a matter of time. It’d be like if the Grammys made a category for Best Taylor Swift 1989 Tour Celebrity Guest. To be fair, the U.S. Title Open Challenge was one of the few highlights of RAW throughout the year, so I can’t complain too much. Really, every single one of these matches was awesome…I think. I barely remember the Ziggler one. But the other four I do remember and they were awesome; Sami Zayn must’ve knew his match would be awesome because he was so excited his dislocated his shoulder beforehand by accident. Meanwhile, my boys Neville and Ambrose came so close, but so far.
Who I Want To Win: Cesaro; he sure showed Vince and his brass ring box!
Who Will Win: Probably Ambrose. The guy is super-popular after all.
“Tell Me You Didn’t Just Say That” Moment of the Year
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. Paige
This is one category I’m not voting Dean Ambrose to win. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t understand the Justin Bieber/Seth Rollins thing; Seth Rollins looks more like Thomas Rhett and acts more like Kanye West. Speaking of acting like Kanye West, that was Paige during her heel turn. She went off on her PCB teammates to polarizing results. I admit, I got a huge laugh out of Seth Rollins saying Kane was just “there” at WrestleMania. Not a hard burn, but definitely a hilarious moment. Still more of a burn that “Johnny Idiot Face”, which is a pre-school insult at best. Arthur and D.W. came up with better insults and they’re on PBS. Props on being nominated twice though, Seth. But, you know who I’m rooting for?
Who I Want To Win: Suplex City, Bitch! Yes, I still find that entertaining.
Who Will Win: This is a VERY bold prediction given that Divas barely ever win Slammys outside Diva of the Year: Paige’s rant will net her the win.
Surprise Return of the Year
Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane vs. Sting
Maybe they should drop the word “surprise” from this category name because more than half this field wasn’t that surprising. Jericho returns so much, I just kinda shrug when it happens. I wasn’t invested enough in most of Kane‘s year to be surprised by his return, and maybe the manner in which Sting came back was unexpected, but it wasn’t surprising because we all knew the so-called vigilante would be back eventually. Del Rio and The Dudleyz, on the other hand? Yeah, those were totally unexpected, especially after how Del Rio originally left.
Who I Want To Win: Dudleyz! Maybe I didn’t miss them that much since I did watch their TNA run, but I was glad to see them back in the ‘E.
Who Will Win: The Dudleyz. I’d say Del Rio, but I don’t think he’s popular enough to get the vote even if the results were rigged.
Extreme Moment of the Year
Undertaker & Brock Lesnar vs. Luke Harper vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Neville
Ladies and gentlemen, “extreme” in pro wrestling is NOT dead! Watered down a bit in the mainstream, sure, but it does in fact still have a pulse (the amount of heart it still has is debatable though). And this year, such extreme feats took place on WWE television such as Brock Lesnar and Undertaker brawling around the arena, Luke Harper sending Dean Ambrose express into a ladder, Seth Rollins turning John Cena’s nose into a swirly slide, Roman Reigns getting mad as hell and snapping on people, and Neville diving off a ladder…which is kinda commonplace compared to everything else when an athlete like Neville is involved, but they just had to put Kalisto‘s Salida Del Sol off the ladder in a different category.
Who I Want To Win: Harper sending Ambrose through the ladder.
Who Will Win: Seth Rollins for the visual of Cena’s nose alone.
OMG! Shocking Moment of the Year
Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Kalisto vs. The Wyatt Family vs. Sheamus
Two of these moment were legitimately shocking to me: Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol off the ladder and Seth Rollins’ cash in. Kalisto is an impressive athlete, but even I didn’t see him pulling off that move coming; such an amazing ladder spot. On the flip-side, Seth Rollins made history as the first MiTB cash-in at WrestleMania as he turned the one-on-one main event into a Triple Threat in the closing moments to win the title. That alone made WM31 something to remember. The other three moments? Meh. Sheamus’ cash-in; Orton already did it almost exactly the same. Brock Lesnar turning into the Incredible Hulk isn’t news to me. And Bray Wyatt always kidnaps people; it never leads to much at all. Those three nominees are category filler if I’ve ever seen it.
Who I Want To Win: I can’t choose between the Rollins cash-in and the Salida Del Sol. I’d be find with either winning.
Who Will Win: The Salida Del Sol since it’s so fresh in everyone’s minds.
“This Is Awesome!” Moment of the Year
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton vs. Divas Revolution vs. The Shield vs. The Rock & Ronda Rousey
OK, I will give it to everyone in this category: every moment in here was some degree of awesome. In fact, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna put this in countdown order by how awesome the moment was. Coming in at #5 was the mini-Shield reunion; it was cool to see them back for all of two minutes. Coming in at #4 is Lesnar destroying the car; to me, that was a step-up visually from F-5’ing Michael Cole out of his shoe. #3 is the start of the Divas Revolution; the aftermath was very underwhelming, but that first segment itself rocked. #2 is that RKO to Rollins; I live for moments when Randy Orton can hit an RKO literally out of nowhere and blow my mind. Meaning, the #1 awesome moment and the moment I want to win is…
Who I Want To Win: The Rock and Ronda Rousey thing. I’m not even really a UFC fanatic and I lost my mind over that.
Who Will Win: The Rock and Ronda Rousey thing. Don’t think WWE will stop caring about Ronda Rousey just because Holly Holm knocked her train clear off the tracks.
LOL! Moment of the Year
Edge & Christian vs. The Bushwackers vs. Miz & Mizdow vs. The New Day & The Authority vs. R-Truth
I mention all the time on Twitter how I feel like the IWC has lost their sense of humor when it comes to WWE television or that they’ve come to take the product so seriously that they refuse to be entertained by WWE’s comedy segments. That’s not to say all their comedy segments are funny, but some of them are though. For example, I could watch Edge & Christian’s music battle with New Day all day. I could watch R-Truth forget he’s not in a match for hours on end. It’s always a joy seeing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon prove to be the second coming of Vince McMahon and Taylor Swift respectively when it comes to dancing; add New Day and it’s even funnier. As for the Miz and Bushwackers segments, I guess they could get a chuckle of two assuming I had the assistance of laughing gas. But for the first three segments I mentioned, my gut is busted just thinking about them.
Who I Want To Win: Either R-Truth or Edge & Christian winning is cool with me.
Who Will Win: I legitimately think it’s gonna be R-Truth.
Double Cross of the Year
Jon Stewart vs. Paige vs. Stardust vs. Damien Mizdow vs. Randy Orton
Damien Sandow sticks out like a sore thumb here since he’s the only face. I don’t even know if we could call it a Double-Cross so much as it was Sandow regaining his backbone. Stardust turned on Goldust in a feud that once again didn’t lead to them fighting at WrestleMania. Paige’s heel turn was controversial, but you have to admit it was effective at least to some degree. She was actually the second person this year to turn the same alignment twice in a row; Paige turned heel on the unbelievably gullible Becky and Charlotte twice while Orton turned face on the Authority twice in a matter of weeks. (The hell kind of booking is that?!) And finally, I’m sure Jon Stewart is even more proud of his SummerSlam actions now that it keeps Flair’s record alive AND got him nominated.
Who I Want To Win: Jon Stewart or Paige.
Who Will Win: Probably Jon Stewart.
Rivalry of the Year
Reigns/Wyatt vs. Orton/Sheamus vs. Divas Revolution vs. Cena/Rusev vs. Lesnar/Undertaker
How in the blue hell did they overlook Cena vs. Kevin Owens? That’s like having a “Greatest Vocalist of All-Time” award without at least nominating 90s Mariah. Yet one of the most boring rivalries of the year ended up nominated: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus. I sincerely hope that one gets 0 votes. Well, now that I’ve beat down on the easy target, what do I think of the other feuds? Well, Cena vs. Rusev was OK in some places, but ultimately wasn’t as great as I was hoping for. Reigns vs. Wyatt felt like forever, but at least the payoff was decent. The Divas Revolution feud was (and still is) a mess, but points for attempting to try (in the beginning stages, anyway). And Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar was a feud between part-timers…so why was it the best feud here? Have we been living in 2003 for the last two years? Probably not; that would imply WWE still unused nu-metal songs and creative stage designs.
Who I Want To Win: Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker; I think I’ve said that already.
Who Will Win: Lesnar vs. Undertaker, because common sense.
Tag Team of the Year
New Day vs. The Usos vs. Prime Time Players vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Kidd & Cesaro
Would it be OK if I just filled this section up with New Day segments as a For-Your-Consideration post? I mean, maybe The Usos and the Lucha Dragons will give them some competition, but I can’t say the same for the other teams. As popular as Cesaro and Kidd became, it almost fells like a distant memory now. And the Prime Time Players felt like mostly just Titus this year; Darren is barely even on TV anymore. But you know, it’s all just a forgone conclusion, because I got just three words for my predictions on this one:
Match of the Year
Cena/Rollins/Lesnar (Rumble) vs. Sting/HHH (Mania) vs. Cena/Owens (EC) vs. Reigns/Ziggler/Owens/Del Rio (RAW) vs. Lesnar/Undertaker (HiaC)
Overlooking the fact that there are no NXT matches because the Slammys isn’t really an NXT show, I just have one question: why is that Fatal 4-Way from RAW here? I sincerely mean that; it wasn’t a bad match, but Match of the Year-worthy? No. Hell No. The other three matches, on the other hand, are worthy of the nod. The Triple Threat at the Rumble was chaotic and entertaining, just as it should have been. Sting vs. Triple H was tainted by Sting’s loss, because there’s no way that should have happened; but the match itself was a show-stealer on both a nostalgic and competitive level. Cena and Owens put on a clinic everytime they were in the ring together. And both of Lesnar and Undertaker’s rematches were better than that snails race of a match they put on at WrestleMania 31.
Who I Want To Win: I’m going with the Triple Threat Match from the Royal Rumble.
Who Will Win: Once again, VERY bold prediction here: Sting vs. Triple H.
Breakout Star of the Year
Kevin Owens vs. Neville vs. Charlotte vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Braun Strowman
I think there’s some kind of filter hooked up between the NXT and main rosters that sucks a certain something out of NXT performer when they pass through it. And it has effected three of the nominees here. Neville is still a blast to watch, but the guy has basically become a one-man, single-note stunt-show on the main roster. Charlotte’s weaknesses began to show on the main roster, because even though her amazing in-ring skills remained intact, it is evident that she could use more work when it comes to character and mic skills. Tyler Breeze has become…OK, he hasn’t changed much, but WWE just turned him into a jobber. And Braun Strowman is to the Wyatt Family as Max was to Darla Dimple; there to look big and be scary. Not much else beyond that yet. However, one man has taken the main roster by storm since his debut; not even two loses to Cena can drag him down. And his name is…
Who I Want To Win: Kevin! Effing! Owens!
Who Will Win: KO!
Diva of the Year
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Paige vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
This award has the weirdest history. Twice in history has the award gone to someone that left people scratching their heads. In 2009, Maria won DOTY for a year where she didn’t really do much of note. In 2013, everyone thought AJ Lee had it locked, but Queen Eve Torres ended up handing the trophy to the Bella Twins instead. Well, Maria and AJ are both gone (in the case of the latter, I’m kinda relieved because she stole Slammys from my fave not once, but twice), and we have Nikki Bella looking to earn this award for a second time after the best year of her career. Paige hasn’t had that bad a year; she didn’t win a title, but she was consistently in the title picture. Sure, it annoyed a lot of people, but it speaks volumes about her appeal that she was always in the picture. Naomi also didn’t win a title this year, but her heel turn showed why it would be awesome if she did. Charlotte is the current reigning Divas Champion; not everyone’s cup of tea, but that counts for something. And Sasha Banks is kind of a victim of that NXT/main roster filter in that she was one of the biggest names on the NXT brand, but is treated like just another Diva by main roster creative despite how over she is with fans. Whether that has an effect on fan voting, I have no idea.
Who I Want To Win: Paige or Sasha Banks, mainly out favoritism. Hey, how can you expect anyone to support your fave if you don’t?
Who Will Win: Nikki Bella; if she could win in 2013 for a so-so year, she can win in 2015 for a great year and make her return in the process.
Superstar of the Year
Everyone vs. Everyone Else
Professional wrestling already commands a ludicrous level of imagination in order to make many of their most unlikely scenarios seem like a definite probability. But even in a sport that contains a gem as blatantly-staged-yet-dazzlingly-eye-catching as a Canadian Destroyer, I’m sure even WWE knows that though they’ve allowed EVERY male competitor on the WWE roster to qualify for it, only a handful of people realistically have a shot of winning this award. Dean Ambrose? Sure. Roman Reigns again? Definitely. Bray Wyatt. Possibly. Cesaro? Yeah, assuming WWE doesn’t put the Slammy on a string and keep pull it away from the Swiss Superman like they always do with the brass ring he keeps approaching. But no matter how many votes they get, I doubt WWE will allow the likes of Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Fandango, and especially not Zack Ryder to come anywhere near that podium to even check their reflection on the trophy’s glossy surface.
Who I Want To Win: Dean! Effing! Ambrose!
Who Will Win: Dean Effing Ambrose’s brother Roman Reigns for the second year in a row.
Do you agree with the forecast? Who do you see winning a Slammy Award? Who are you rooting for to win? Tag me on Twitter@FearlessRiOT and let me know or leave a comment below. Then check out the Slammys this Monday on USA Network to see which predictions come true. Hope you all enjoy the show.