The WWE Slammy Awards are in question, the winners are usually wrong, it’s still worth going through each award and determining who should walk away from 2016 with each accolade. So, with a few additional categories I just made up, here is how the 2016 Slammy Awards should go down.
Male Superstar of the Year
Candidates: AJ Styles; Chris Jericho; Dean Ambrose; Kevin Owens; Roman Reigns; Seth Rollins and The Miz
This is almost a no contest. AJ Styles arrived in the WWE on January 24th of this year and has taken over the company since. Even as a heel, he gets the biggest pops, has several match of the year candidates and is the current WWE Champion. Styles is the male superstar of the year, with Owens and Miz as joint runners up.
Winner: AJ Styles
Female Superstar of the Year
Candidates: Alexa Bliss; Bayley; Becky Lynch; Charlotte and Sasha Banks
The women’s division has revolved around Charlotte and Sasha Banks since June and the two have delivered, putting on multiple match of the year candidates, breaking records and putting on a feud that will be remembered for generations. Alexa and Becky as SmackDown Women’s Champion’s deserve a mention, but the winner of this award is between the two RAW girls and if you had to narrow it down, Charlotte wins. She retired the Divas Championship and has been the female champion for almost the entire year.
Match of the Year (main roster only)
Candidates: Kevin Owens versus Dean Ambrose (Royal Rumble); John Cena versus AJ Styles (SummerSlam); Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens (Battleground); The Miz versus Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens versus Cesaro (Extreme Rules); The Miz versus Dolph Ziggler (No Mercy); Charlotte versus Sasha Banks versus Becky Lynch (WrestleMania) and Sasha Banks versus Charlotte (RAW)
The main roster is lacking a standout match as I believe the best two matches of 2016 so far both happened in NXT. For sheer significance alone, the winner of this award is AJ Styles versus John Cena from SummerSlam. This was the win that catapulted Styles to the top and the match itself was amazing. Zayn and Owens from Battleground takes the runner up position.
Winner: AJ Styles versus John Cena (SummerSlam)
Tag Team of the Year
Candidates: American Alpha; Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton; Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy; Heath Slater and Rhyno; Gallows and Anderson and The New Day
The New Day just broke the record for all-time longest tag team championship reign. As awesome as Wyatt and Orton have been recently, they haven’t done it for 479+ days. I mean, The Revival is the best team in the world, but since this is a main roster award, The New Day wins easily.
Winner: The New Day
NXT Competitor of the Year
Candidates: Asuka; Bayley; Finn Balor; Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa; Samoa Joe; Shinsuke Nakamura and The Revival
This is not as straightforward as you’d assume. Nakamura seems the obvious answer, but who has carried NXT this year? Nakamura’s match with Zayn was fantastic, but he had a quiet patch after that and his feud with Joe has been good, but not great. You can’t discount Bayley and Balor’s roles for the brand earlier in the year either, but they fall short due to being called up. The winner of this award is The Revival. They’ve brought the house down or stolen the show at EVERY Takeover and probably have the overall best match of 2016 to their name as well.
Winner: The Revival
Breakout Star of the Year
Candidates: Alexa Bliss; Baron Corbin; Braun Strowman; Carmella; Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy; Finn Balor and Rich Swann
While last year we had Kevin Owens, Neville, Sasha Banks and Xavier Woods as possibly the strongest breakout star field ever, this year is a little thinner. Enzo and Cass immediately standout, but despite their massive pops, they haven’t really been given anything substantial to work with as of yet. Strowman comes to mind and you could look at Rich Swann as the breakout star of the Cruiserweights, but I think the winner needs to be Alexa Bliss. She’s consistently been one of the most improved performers over the last two years and is finally getting the push to back that up. She’s quickly become the best on the mic in the women’s division and her in-ring work is excellent. Tye Dillinger wins this award easily if we include NXT.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Rivalry of the Year
Candidates: AJ Styles versus John Cena; The Miz versus Dolph Ziggler; Sasha Banks versus Charlotte; Sami Zayn versus Kevin Owens and AJ Styles versus Roman Reigns
This is a tough award to give because there have been some great feuds in 2016. Dolph Ziggler (with Daniel Bryan) feuding with The Miz comes very close, but the edge goes to Sasha and Charlotte. Two rivals so even that neither can finish the other off, pushing each other to new heights. Along with Becky, they stole the show at WrestleMania, main-evented Hell in a Cell and Roadblock and made the RAW Women’s Championship the most prestigious title on the show. For sheer significance, this is the winner.
Winner: Sasha Banks versus Charlotte
NXT Match of the Year
Candidates: Sami Zayn versus Shinsuke Nakamura (Dallas); The Revival versus Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa (Brooklyn); The Revival versus American Alpha (The End); The Revival versus Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa (Toronto) and Finn Balor versus Neville (NXT March 2nd)
You could almost just rename this award Revival Match of the Year, because they have the majority of the nominations. Zayn and Nakamura was incredible for what it was and could certainly be argued as the overall match of the year, but Gargano and Ciampa winning the tag titles in Toronto from The Revival wins because, unlike Zayn/Nakamura, there was a story and a feud to tell. The two out of three falls match itself was perfect and the surprise of The Revival dropping the titles just makes this even better. We all knew Nakamura would beat Sami and that has to take away from the match slightly.
Winner: The Revival versus Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa (Toronto)
Announcer of the Year
Candidates: Renee Young; Mauro Ranallo; Daniel Bryan; Corey Graves; Tom Phillips and JBL
It’s been a standout year in WWE commentary and that’s not necessarily saying it’s been any good, it’s just been less-bad. Mauro Ranallo and Tom Phillips have stood out in their respective roles, adding some much needed insight and Daniel Bryan’s work during the CWC was elite. However, nobody has been more influential with a microphone in their hands this year than Renee Young. Whether it’s her show Unfiltered, which is arguably the best non-wrestling show on the network or the fact that she holds together the pre-show panels that would otherwise be a disaster, her work is always elite. Oh, and how good is Talking Smack.
Winner: Renee Young
Best Original WWE Network Program
Candidates: The Cruiserweight Classic; Swerved season 2; Talking Smack; Unfiltered season 2; WWE Ride Along and The Edge and Christian Show
Say what you want about WWE’s television product, but the Network is supreme. For the second year in a row this award is super difficult to give because they keep coming up with brilliant shows to fill its 7000 hours of content. The Cruiserweight Classic was amazing from start to finish and gave us multiple match of the year candidates and I’ve already mentioned how good Unfiltered is, but it’s impossible to go passed Talking Smack. As good as the CWC was, Talking Smack has been a revelation for the blue brand and is partially responsible for SmackDown’s dominance over RAW. It revitalized the career of The Miz, gives Baron Corbin and Alexa Bliss a place to show how good they are and gives us incredible insight into how Daniel Bryan’s mind works – which is usually hilarious. Renee and Bryan put SmackDown over while giving the talent a medium that the WWE was never able to generate with post-shows of the past.
Winner: Talking Smack
Pay-Per-View of the Year
Candidates: WrestleMania 32, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, Backlash and NXT Takeover: Dallas
Again, there hasn’t been one Network special that stands out above the rest in 2016. WrestleMania 32 was five hours long and largely a disappointment, Survivor Series didn’t quite deliver on the hype and SummerSlam was a mess from start to finish. The first SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view Backlash was an example in how a shorter event can leave everyone happy and crowned AJ Styles and Becky Lynch, which always counts in its favour. Money in the Bank saw a decent ladder match, Styles versus John Cena and all three Shield members holding the gold which was cool. NXT TakeOver: Dallas was the best of the NXT events and outshone WrestleMania with its stacked card. The winner of this award however is the Royal Rumble. It was the worst pay-per-view of 2015 and they did a fantastic job getting it back to the top – where it should be. The Rumble match itself was the best it’s been in many years and the undercard featured some gems including Owens versus Ambrose and Becky versus Charlotte.
Winner: Royal Rumble.
Worst Pay-Per-View of the Year
Candidates: Extreme Rules, Fast Lane, SummerSlam and Clash of Champions
Thankfully, this is a short list because WWE seemed to confine all of their bad pay-per-view matches onto two cards this year instead of spreading them out. This award is a two-horse race between Extreme Rules and Fast Lane as both shows were overloaded with awfulness. Extreme Rules featured a very subpar match between The Club and The Usos and Dana Brooke coming out dressed as Ric Flair and ruining everything, but the kingpin was the Asylum Match between Jericho and Ambrose. Let’s not even talk about it. Last year, Fast Lane escaped the clutches of worst pay-per-view of the year because the Royal Rumble needed a thorough thrashing, but this year it takes its rightful place. The card featured The Wyatt Family LOSING to Big Show, Kane and Ryback, Charlotte versus Brie Bella and Curtis Axel versus R-Truth on the MAIN CARD. Nothing of consequence happened and the Fast Lane brand is essentially worthless at this point.
Loser: Fast Lane