AS I SEE IT 10th annual Year in Review Awards
AS I SEE IT
As 2006 moves into 2007, it's time for the 10th annual AS I SEE IT Year-End Review.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
As usual, I should note that my selections are based on what I've actually seen this year, either live, TV, or via tape/DVD; which primarily means North American wrestling.
2006 PROMOTION OF THE YEAR:
Ring of Honor
Between offering a incredibly high level wrestling product over the entire year that saw a top-notch regular roster, plus outside talent from Dragon Gate, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and TNA featured on an every show basis; and running the top storyline of the year with CZW (see below); along with my pick for the Wrestler of the Year, top two independent matches of the year, the independent card of the year, and the top three independent wrestlers by our fan vote (see below in all cases); who else could you reasonably pick?
2005 winner: Ring of Honor
2004 winner: Ring of Honor
2003 winner: Ring of Honor
2002 winner: Ring of Honor
2001 winner: WWF
2000 winner: WWF
1999 winner: WWF
1998 winner: WWF
1997 winner: WCW
2006 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling NOAH/Full Impact Pro
In an era where championships have been made to mean nothing as promotional devices, having been given to TV actors, storywriters, and son-in-laws; being a wrestler...and one of the best... was more than enough for "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson.
Danielson represented Ring of Honor around the United States, Europe, and Japan, as champion from September 17, 2005 to December 23, 2006. He did so throughout the fall despite wrestling with a separated shoulder since August 25; so that he could play out the Ring of Honor storyline that would see longtime east coast favorite Homicide win the title in the promotion's final show of the year, Final Battle 2006 show at the Manhattan Center.
Danielson was a mainstay of the CZW-ROH Angle/storyline of the year (see below), which began on January 14, when ROH moved a show scheduled for the Boston area to the Philadelphia National Guard Armory on limited notice due to issues in the Boston market. This was a show that saw Danielson submit CZW's Chris Hero with a Cross Face Chickenwing to retain the ROH World Championship, and began a program with the two promotions which many saw as ever occurring only when hell froze over (which was later used as the show's title).
Danielson defended against Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley, Delirious, Colt Cabana, Nigel McGuinness, Sonjay Dutt, Samoa Joe, and KENTA. He also worked ajor tag matches with Samoa Joe against Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global Honored Crown Heavyweight champion KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji.
2007 will likely see Danielson finally get the srugery he's so badly needed for months, which will leave a major hole in the Ring of Honor lineup.
2005 winner: Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor/TNA/independent
2004 winner: Chris Benoit, WWE
2004 winner: Chris Benoit, WWE
2003 winner: AJ Styles, NWA-TNA/ROH/Zero-One/independent
2002 winner: Kurt Angle, WWE
2001 winner: Chris Jericho, WWF
2000 winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley, WWF
1999 winner: Chris Benoit, WWF
1998 winner: Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: Eddie Guerrero, WCW
2006 WORST WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:
He's back. Need I say more?
2005 "winner": Boogeyman, WWE
2004 "winner": Heidenreich, WWE
2003 "winner": Nathan Jones, WWE
2002 "winner" Shane Douglas, Major League Wrestling/XPW
2001 "winner": Buff Bagwell, WCW/WWF/independent
2000 "winner": Kevin Nash, WCW
1999 "winner": Hulk Hogan, WCW
1998 "winner": Giant Silva, WWF
1997 "winner": Hulk Hogan, WCW
2005 TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR:
Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, Ring of Honor
Since TNA managed to finally break team AMW up after an nearly year-long storyline that featured the team constantly fighting with one another; why not look at the most consistent tag team I've gotten the chance to watch this year...Austin Aries and Roderick Strong?
Aries and Strong defended the Ring of Honor title for several months, working notable matches with American Dragon/Jay Lethal, Jimmy Jacobs/BJ Whitmer, Dragon Gate's Blood Generation (CIMA/Naruki Doi), Homicide/Ricky Reyes, Samoa Joe/Matt Sydal, Jimmy Rave/Alex Shelley, The Briscoe Brothers to retain the Tag Team titles, an Ultimate Endurance with The Briscoe Brothers, Irish Airborne, and Matt Sydal/Jack Evans; before finally losing the ROH Tag Team titles to Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli at the September 16 Ring of Honor Manhattan Center debut.
Aries and Strong then finished 2006, defeating KENTA and Davey Richards in an October 16 Braintree, MA match, viewed by many as one of ROH's top matches of the year, one final challenge of Hero and Castagnoli to regain the ROH tag titles, then in November working Shingo/and co-ROH World Tag Team Champion Matt Sydal and the other co-tag title holder Christopher Daniels/Matt Cross in separate matches.
2005 winner: America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2004 winner: America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2003 winner: America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm), NWA-TNA
2002 winner: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, WWE
2001 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
2000 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1999 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1998 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
1997 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
2006 ANGLE/FEUD OF THE YEAR WINNER:
CZW-Ring of Honor, 2006
This year's CZW-Ring of Honor storyline was an example of what happens when 2 independent promoters work together, instead of engaging in the ego-tripping, turf-protecting, self-massaging exercises that all too many consider an everyday part of being an independent professional wrestling promoter (or the major wrestling promoter, for that matter). Two promoters...GASP...actually did business...to (even bigger GASP) DRAW MONEY; instead of worrying about whether "their guys" were protected to look good. Both promoters put over the competing promotion in the main event slot of each other's shows, to further the next stage of the feud.
The angle began on January 14, when ROH moved a show scheduled for the Boston area to the Philadelphia National Guard Armory on limited notice; a show that saw Danielson force CZW's Chris Hero to submit to the Cross Face Chickenwing to retain the ROH World Championship.
But the angle really kicked in when when both promotions ran the ECW Arena on March 11, 2006 in a scheduled day/night doubleheader.
At the end of the Ring of Honor show (the afternoon show), in a wild, over the top brawl, ROH and CZW went at it, as Zandig charged the ring with a barbed wire bat, and Wifebeater charged the ring with the long-banned (by the busybodies of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission) weedwhacker, along with Lobo and CZW's locker room others, ran out Samoa Joe and the ROH students who'd hit the ring. Two wrestlers brawled out into the crowd and into adjoining Swanson Street.
CZW finally cornered Ring of Honor's BJ Whitmer in the ring and taped him to the ropes. They stapled dollars to his face and ran the barbed wire bat over his face. Zandig spraypainted CZW over the ROH logo on the ring apron. CZW "took control" of the video screen and their music played to end the show. Zandig went off in a shootfabe interview on Ring of Honor on the mike. CZW's Justice Pain and Hardcore Nick Gage hopped in the crowd challenging the Ring of Honor fans.
Gabe Sapolsky then set up the stands at the April 22 ROH Philadelphia stands with "CZW bleachers" and "ROH bleachers" for the promotion's 100th Show Celebration before a packed Northeast Philadelphia National Guard Armory of well over 1,000, despite the Philadelphia Flyers opening the Stanley Cup playoffs that night.
The blow-off angle on July 16 took place before what may have been the largest ROH crowd in Philadelphia history (the pre-sale for the event was the largest in Philadelphia, even larger than the December 17, 2005 Final Battle show featuring All Japan talent), a fact even more remarkable given the competition of the Bon Jovi stadium show at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park last night and being well into the Jersey shore season.
The main event finale of the show had CZW's Cage of Death (version 2005, with a multi-sided cage on the floor) under War Games/The Match Beyond rules. The Cage included two ladders, two tables wrapped in barbed wire, and multiple trash cans inside; with the match featuring
Necro Butcher, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb, Eddie Kingston vs. Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, Adam Pearce, Ace Steele, and Homicide.
If you've not purchased the DVD by now...do so.
Again, for all the other promoters out there...this is what happens when pomotions work together. Working together will help everyone make money...make bruised egos feel much, much better...and allow people, both promoters and workers to do what they love....and allow us as fans to watch the spectacle.
2005 winner: Batista vs. HHH, WWE
2004 winner: Chris Benoit vs. HHH vs. Shawn Michaels
2003 winner: Danny Maff/Maffia "retirement angle", Jersey All Pro Wrestling, September 27, 2003, Rahway, NJ
2002 winner: AJ Styles-Jerry Lynn, NWA-TNA/Ring of Honor
2001 winner: ECW turns on WWF, July 9, 2001, Phillips Arena, Atlanta
2000 winner: The Stephanie McMahon-Vince McMahon-Shane McMahon-HHH-Kurt Angle soap opera
1999 winner: Test (Andrew Martin)-Stephanie McMahon Wedding angle
1998 winner: Vince McMahon as heel promoter versus Steve Austin
1997 winner: nWo-WCW angle
2006 WORST/MOST TASTELESS ANGLES OF THE YEAR:
The "Eddie Guerrero storyline"...in all its forms
In what will top the infamous Katie Vick skit, Tim White's suicide sketches, and the various WWE angles involving proctology in the all time tasteless storyline device in WWE history; WWE kept dragging out the corpse of Eddie Guerrero to be used in the Chavo Guerrero-Rey Misterio, Jr. storyline... with widow Vickie Guerrero turning heel and siding with Chavo over Rey Misterio, Jr., then continues it all the way (together in storyline with Chavo) to the present day with Chris Benoit, posing the question if Vickie is "mismanaging Eddie's estate".
Fans have let their feelings be known loudly and publicly on more than one pay-per-view event, booing attempt after attempt to use Guerrero in storyline....and not heel heat, we're talking get the hell off my wrestling show heat. WWE has simply ignored fans displeasure and continued to use of Guerrero as a storyline device 13 months after his death.
Vince, would it have really pissed off WWE stockholders to have paid off Eddie's contract to Vickie...without dragging her through this continual, embarassing...bordering on eternal... use of the corpse of your most beloved wrestlers?
2005 "winners": Jim Ross proctology skit and Tim White "suicide" sketches, WWE
2004 "winner": Lita/Kane/Matt Hardy pregnancy/miscarriage angle
2003 "winner": Vince-Stephanie McMahon angle for "control of Smackdown" and father-daughter No Mercy match
2002 "winner": Katie Vick angle, WWF/E
2001 "winner": Vince McMahon "Kiss My Ass" angle, Monday Night RAW, November 19, 26, and 28
2000 "winner": Stacey Keibler-David Flair and Mark Henry-Mae Young "pregnancy angles", WWF
1999 "winner": The Paul Wight/Big Bossman "cancer angle", WWF
1998 "winner": Ric Flair "heart attack" angle and the Hawk/Scott Hall drug angles, WCW/WWF
1997 "winner": DeGenerationX/Nation of Domination "racial angle", WWF
2006 MATCHES OF THE YEAR:
WWE: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Steven Regal/ David Taylor vs. Hardys vs. MNM, Ladder match for the world tag team titles, WWE Armageddon
Independent: For sheer wrestling, try topping "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA, Glory By Honor V, New York, NY, September 16, 2006
For sheer mayhem and crowd heat, the CZW/ROH Cage of Death War Games/The Match Beyond match; with Necro Butcher, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb, Eddie Kingston vs. Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, Adam Pearce, Ace Steele, and Homicide.
2005 winners: WWE: Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Independent: Samoa Joe- Kenta Kobashi, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Triple H-Chris Benoit-Shawn Michaels, WWE, Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, June 12, 2004, Dayton, Ohio and CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, October 16, 2004, Chicago Ridge, IL (tie)
2003 winners: WWE: Chris Benoit-Kurt Angle, WWE Royal Rumble 2003, Boston, MA January 19, 2003; Independent: Steve Corino-Homicide, Ring of Honor, "Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies" Fairfield, CT, August 16th, 2003, NWA-TNA: America's Most Wanted-XXX (Christopher Daniels/Elix Skipper) steel cage match, Nashville, TN, June 25, 2003
2002 winners: WWE: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit, No Mercy, Little Rock, AK, October 20, 2002; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Spanky vs. Doug Williams - 60 minute Iron Man Match, Ring of Honor, Philadelphia, PA, July 27, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz - Tables, Ladders and Chairs II - WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001; Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Scoot Andrews vs. American Dragon, East Coast Wrestling Association, Wilmington, DE, September 22, 2001
2000 winners: WCW: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett, "Bash At The Beach", Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL, June 9, 2000; WWF: "Tables, Ladders and Chairs" Match - Matt/Jeff Hardy vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Edge/Christian, SummerSlam, Raleigh, NC, August 27, 2000. ECW: Psicosis-Yoshihiro Tajiri, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 19, 2000
1999 winners: WCW: Chris Benoit-Bret Hart, Monday Nitro, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, October, 1999; WWF: Matt/Jeff Hardy-Edge/Christian, Tag Team Ladder Match, "No Mercy", Cleveland, OH, October 17, 1999; ECW: Rob Van Dam/Jerry Lynn, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 28, 1999.
1998 winners: WCW: Chris Jericho/Eddie Guerrero-Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko, November 29th, Knoxville Civic Coliseum; WWF: Mankind (Mick Foley)-Undertaker Hell in a Cell Match "King of the Ring" PPV, June 28, 1998; ECW: Jerry Lynn-Rob Van Dam, August 8, 1998, ECW Arena
1997 winners: WCW: Rey Mysterio, Jr.- Eddie Guerrero, WCW "Halloween Havoc" PPV, 10/27/97, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV; WWF: Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, "In Your House: Badd Blood" PPV, 10/5/97, Kiel Center, St. Louis, MO; ECW: Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Masato Yakushiji-TAKA Michinoku/Dick Togo/Terry Boy, "Barely Legal" PPV, 4/13/97, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
2006 CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:
WWE: WWE WrestleMania 22, April 2, 2006, Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
This show's highlights included the RVD-Shelton Benjamin-Ric Flair-Finlay-Matt Hardy-Bobby Lashley in Money in the Bank ladder match, JBL-Chris Benoit US Title match, Mickie James-Trish Stratus WWE Women's Championship match, Rey Mysterio-Randy Orton-Kurt Angle Triple Threat/World Heavyweight Championship match, and John Cena-HHH matches.
Independent: Glory By Honor V Night 2, Manhattan Center, New York, NY, September 16, 2006
This show featured two Match of the Year nominees Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji vs. Nigel McGuinness, along with Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli defeating Austin Aries and Roderick Strong to win the ROH World Tag Teamchampionships, Homicide and Samoa Joe defeating the Briscoe Brothers....and the first New York appearance in years by Bruno Sammartino.
2005 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Ring of Honor, "Joe vs. Kobashi", New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: At Our Best, Ring of Honor, March 13, 2004, Rex Plex, Elizabeth, NJ
2003 winners: WWE: WWE Wrestlemania XIX, Safeco Field, Seattle, WA, March 30, 2003; Independent: All Japan/Ring of Honor Final Battle 2003, Philadelphia, PA December 27, 2003; NWA-TNA: NWA-TNA Super X Cup, Nashville Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN, September 3, 2003 (taped August 20 and 27, 1993)
2002 winners: WWE: WWE Summer Slam 2002, Fleet Center, Boston, MA, August 25, 2002, Independent: Ring of Honor "Road To The Title" Philadelphia, PA, June 22, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001, Independent: 2001 Super Eight tournament, ECWA, St. Matthew's Parish Hall, Wilmington, DE February 24, 2001
2000 winner: WWF "Fully Loaded", Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, July 23, 2000
1999 winner: "Anarchy Rulz", ECW Odeum Sports and Exposition Center, Villa Park, IL, September 19, 1999
1998 winner: "Survivor Series", St. Louis, MO, Keil Center, November 15, 1998
1997 winner: "Barely Legal", ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, April 13, 1997
2006 WORST CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:
WWECW December to Dismember, Augusta, GA, December 4, 2006
For any wrestling fans that had any sort of delusions remaining about WWECW, they were taken back to a cold reality; with illusions totally shattered after the debacle of a PPV called December to Dismember.
The PPV was a two match PPV with the six man "Extreme" Elimination Chamber making Bobby Lashley the "new ECW World Champion". Sabu, advertised as being part of the PPV, was "injured" (translated: punished for recent heat with WWE) and removed from the Elimination Chamber match, replaced by Bob Holly. Additionally, after his escapades in July, there was no way Rob Van Dam was getting the belt back.
So...your new Veloc...er... ECW Champion...Bobby Lashley. Yup....Nothing says ECW like Bobby Lashley.
Viewers paid a full price of $39.95 for this 2 hour and 19 minute PPV. Along with the 2 matches I mentioned above, there were four other matches thrown in there to fill in time...such time as Vince McMahon bothered to fill in at all. 2 hours and 19 minutes. That's flat out ridiculous.
2005 "winner:" WWE Armageddon PPV, Providence, RI, December 18, 2005, WWE
2004 "winner:" WWE "Great American Bash", Norfolk, VA, The Scope, June 27, 2004.
2003 "winner:" WWE No Mercy, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2003
2002 "winner": World Wrestling All-Stars Eruption, Melbourne, Australia, April 13, 2002
2001 "winner": WCW "Sin", January 14, 2001, Indianapolis, IN.
2000 "winner": WCW Slamboree, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, May 7, 2000
1999 "winner": WCW Fall Brawl 1999
1998 "winner": WCW Fall Brawl 1998
1997 "winner": ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2006 BEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:
TNA Impact, TNA, Spike TV
With the changes to the negative in OVW, TNA Impact wins this award almost by default. If IMPACT had a two hour slot to actually flesh out the angles and storylines that are often rushed in their current one hour format...it'd be easier to give this award with more enthusiasm
Yet, where else does a mainstream audience get to see AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chrtistopher Daniels, Kurt Angle, Christian Cage, Austin Aries, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Homicide, Low Ki, and Petey Williams, to name a few?
2005 winner Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2004 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2003 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2002 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY (airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2001 winner: Monday Night RAW, TNN
2000 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network and TNN
1999 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1998 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1997 winner: Monday Nitro, Turner Network Television
2006 WORST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:
What can you say about a network who actually complains about a crowd reacting to a professional wrestling event, and forces a wrestling promotion to punish wrestling fans by taking away a PPV from their venue for being too expressive?
What can you say about a "wrestling show" that was neither sports nor entertaining to anyone with a mental age of 2 or above, one that totally betrayed the spirit of the show and the promotion it claimed to imitate...a show that in its first weeks featured a steady product of vampires, zombies, and "exhibitionists" who showed less skin than most teenage girls?
2005 "winner": WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2004 "winner": WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2003 "winner": The Wrestling Federation (yep, that was actually their name) aired in Philadelphia, southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern New Jersey on WGTW Channel 48
2002 "winner": WXW Rage TV - aired in Philadelphia, northeastern Pennsylvania, north central New Jersey, and syndicated in parts of American Samoa, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
2001 "winner": Monday Nitro, WCW, TNT
2000 "winner": Monday Nitro, TNT
1999 "winner": Monday Nitro, TNT
1998 "winner": Music City Wrestling TV
1997 "winner": USWA Television, USWA
2006 TV ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR:
Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
As in 2005, Tenay continued his streak of the best announcer not named Jim Ross, Dan Wilson, or Steven Prazak. His obvious knowledge of wrestling history, melded with his getting over storylines that sometimes defy all logic and sense. This takes place even with the burden of having to get over 90 minutes of action shoved into a 60 minute package.
Honorable mention...yes he does color...and yes, he speaks Spanish... goes to Leobardo Magadan of MX 52's CMLL telecasts (available to most readers in the US with Comcast Digitial Cable). He comes off as the kind of heel announcer that Jonathan Coachman would like to be when he grows up.
2005 winner: Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
2004 winner: Dan Wilson/Steven Prazak, NWA Wildside
2003 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2002 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2001 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
2000 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1999 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1998 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1997 winner: Mike Tenay, World Championship Wrestling
2006 WORST TV ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR:
Josh Matthews, WWE
Matthews wins this along for his participation in the infamous "Lunchtime Suicide" skits with Tim White; which included White making the following suicide attempts: shooting himself...in the foot... in the now-infamous skit which made PPV, hanging himself from the ceiling, throwing a toaster into a bathtub in which he was standing...complete with WWE fireworks special effects, slitting his wrists with a straight razor, complete with inserted sound of the noise of spurting blood (and shooting "blood" ala the Julia Child Saturday Night Live sketch),"suffocating" himself by placing a plastic bag over his head, running out into traffic to attempt suicide, sticking his head in an industrial fan, being shot by a sniper (dressed like a terrorist)...ended with a skit wheren Tim White shoots Josh Matthews with a rifle.
Not one dime drawn. No rationale for upsetting people who saw the depictions of Tim White's "suicide attempts" as lacking in any humor, full of bad taste (even by WWE standards), and possibly contributing to kids imitating what they were seeing, which happened once in a mock attempt that was quickly removed from YouTube.com.
Vince McMahon is really, really, lucky that no kid ever actually imitated it, or more likely, that a greedy or grief-stricken parent didn't blame him for their child's problems that caused a real-life suicide. It would have created a PR disaster even Vince Mcmahon couldn't have handled. Imagine Vince McMahon having to explain to Bill O'Reilly why he had the inherent right to air a suicide storyline.
Josh Matthews's tag line before each "suicide attempt" was "That wouldn't be wise, Mr. White".
Neither was his participation in it.
2005 "winner": Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat/WWE Monday Night RAW, WWE
2004 "winner": Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat and WWE Monday RAW, WWE
2003 "winner": Jonathan Coachman, WWE Sunday Night Heat, WWE Monday RAW
2002 "winner": Jessica Dally, WXW Rage TV
2001 "winner": Tony Schiavone, WCW, TNT and TBS
2000 "winner": Tony Schiavone, WCW
1999 "winner": Tony Schiavone, WCW
1998 "winner": Bert Prentice, MCW
1997 "winner": Tony Schiavone, WCW
2006 FAN VOTES
Best US wrestler
Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor/TNA, Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor, CM Punk, WWE/ROH
Best US independent promotion
Ring of Honor, CZW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Best match of the year/independent
Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA, Ring of Honor, Glory By Honor V Night 2- New York, NY, September 16, 2006; Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuiness, Ring of Honor, Unified, Liverpool, England, August 12, 2006; Naomichi Marufuji vs. Nigel McGuinness, Ring of Honor, Glory By Honor V Night 2- New York, NY, September 16, 2006
Best match of the year/WWE or TNA
Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Steven Regal/David Taylor vs. Hardys vs. MNM, Ladder match for the world tag team titles, WWE Armageddon; Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker, No Way Out; Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, TNA Turning Point 2006
2006 NEWS STORIES OF THE YEAR:
The return and failure of "ECW", TNA gaining prime-time slot on Spike TV, WWE getting new competition...from UFC,
2005 stories: Deaths of Eddie Guerrero, Shinya Hashimoto, and Chris Candido, WWE drug testing policy, WWE return to USA, Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita real life and storyline triangle, Jim Ross replaced as lead announcer on RAW, TNA move to Spike TV, WWE and Bret Hart make peace
2004 stories: Brock Lesnar leaves WWE to try out for the NFL, RF Video/Ring of Honor's Rob Feinstein implication in a pedophile sting, Pat Patterson retirement/resignation, TNA Fox Sports Net slot
2003 stories: The epidemic of deaths within wrestling (many of which involved past or current drug and alcohol use), NWA-TNA survives for another year, continued problems with WWE house show/TV taping business, controversial and active Philadelphia independent scene
2002 stories: The WWF "brand extension", dropping WWE house show business, PTC forced to surrender, NWA-TNA, Philadelphia independent wars
2001 stories: WWF purchase of WCW, ECW closes its doors, WCW "Invasion angle" goes nowhere, WWF ratings and live attendance drop
2000 stories: Mainstreaming of wrestling continues, WWF-ECW-TNN-USA TV network roulette, WWF goes public, PTC censorship attempts continue... but with organized efforts fighting them, WCW set to lose as much as $80 million
1999 stories: Deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Hildebrand, Foley's "Have A Nice Day" goes to #1 on New York Times Best-Seller List, WWF CD DEBUTS at number 4 on Billboard Chart, ECW TV on TNN, Parents Television Council censorship attempts
1998 stories: Changes in WWF product (making it more adult in nature), ECW's 1998 problems, Mainstream attention given the wrestling business, Jesse Ventura's election to Governorship of Minnesota
1997 stories: Brian Pillman death, Bret Hart leaving WWF/Title Change Doublecross
That's the AS I SEE IT year in review.
Until next time...
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