For better or worse, 2016 was a memorable year for WWE. Whether it was new signees, the return of the brand split or Corbin’s bald spot, it was an eventful year for WWE. Reports are out that WWE are neglecting to have a Slammy Awards for the 2016 year, so I thought I’d take it upon myself to pick up the slack. I’ve spent a great deal of time considering everything, and I’ve come up with my nominees, categories, and winners. First, allow me to explain to you how this awards edition will work. It will only feature those on the main roster and can be from either brand (there will be an NXT edition of the Slammy’s later on). There are eight categories. There will be Slammy for the best PPV of the year, the top spot of the year, the best rivalry of the year, the best return of the year, the best newcomer of the year and of course, the best superstar of the year for both the males and females and of course, the best match of the year. There can also be superstars involved in multiple categories. Without further ado, here are my personal Slammy Awards.
Best PPV of the Year: Awarded to the best overall PPV featured on the WWE Network that WWE has produced for the 2016 calendar year. Honorable mentions include Battleground, Summerslam, Backlash and No Mercy. Here are the nominees:
Extreme Rules – On this show, you’re getting two incredible matches in AJ Styles taking on Roman Reigns in an Extreme Rules match as well as a fatal four way involving Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Both matches I had at the very least being ****1/2, so that’s grounds for having this as a nominee on its own, but in addition, Rusev faced Kalisto in a decent match over the US Title, and we also had Seth Rollins make his return after the main event to make for a successful show. Honorable mentions include Battleground, Hell In A Cell, Summerslam, Payback and No Mercy.
Money In The Bank – I hesitated a bit putting this show here, but I think it’s earned. John Cena and AJ Styles put up a great bout here (though they would top themselves at Summesrlam), the Money In The Bank ladder match was very good, and Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns had perhaps their best one on one bout. We had the shock value of Seth beating Roman clean in the ring (though in hindsight it may not be as shocking due to Roman Reigns’ impending suspension) and then we had Dean Ambrose finally winning the WWE Championship by cashing in later that night.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs – Smackdown, for the most part has been generally good with their exclusive PPV’s in Backlash, No Mercy and TLC, but the latter was the standout. We had two title changes on this show as The Wyatt Family and Alexa Bliss won the tag titles and women’s title for that brand. The Miz and Dolph Ziggler culminated their feud in a great ladder match for the Intercontinental Title, and finally, AJ Styles outdid himself again in a great TLC match against Dean Ambrose in the main event.
Royal Rumble – The Royal Rumble is generally one of the more exciting PPV’s WWE has to offer, but this year’s was the best in a while. The night started out with a terrific Last Man Standing Match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens and the Royal Rumble match featured great surprises in the forms of Sami Zayn, AJ Styles and Triple H, the latter of who would go on to win the WWE World Championship by eliminating both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
Survivor Series – The allure of this PPV was because of the brand split and the spirit of competition was reignited on this show. While the women’s match disappointed, both the men’s and tag team survivor series matches were both very entertaining. In addition, we saw the return of Goldberg in a ring in a clever finish that no one saw coming, being Goldberg squashing the beast incarnate within 2 minutes.
And the winner is….
No PPV this year had quite the balance that Extreme Rules did for me. Money In The Bank was a close second.
Newcomer of the Year – Awarded to the beset performer who debuted on the main roster in the 2016 calendar year. These can involve new signees or those brought up from NXT. Honorable mentions include Nia Jax, Carmella, Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin. The nominees are…
AJ Styles – He’s the only person to have competed at Wrestle Kingdom and WrestleMania in the same year, gave men such as John Cena, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose some of the best matches in their careers and won the WWE Title. A very Kurt Angle-esque first year for the Phenomenal One.
Sami Zayn – He was brought up to the main roster officially after his final NXT match against Shinsuke Nakamura in Dallas, and while he hasn’t won any titles, he’s had a very under the radar great year in 2016. He has been involved in stellar performances at Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules, Payback, and Battleground without a lot seeming to notice.
Alexa Bliss – She was drafted in part two of the draft on the Network very late, but she showed she belonged on the main roster and finally got her due by winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship at TLC by defeating the top female pick for the Smackdown roster, Becky Lynch.
Finn Balor – Don’t have much to write on here because of his untimely injury at the hands of Seth Rollins at Summerslam, but how many people beat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins clean in their first main roster singles matches? And how many won the Universal Championship in their first PPV match? Finn Balor did.
And the winner is…..
Shocking, I know.
Top Spot of the Year – Awarded to the best spot in a match based on its level of difficulty and epicness of course. The nominees are….
AJ Styles’ 450 Splash to Dean Ambrose on a table – It can’t be underestimated how difficult it is to perfectly execute a 450 splash, but doing it on the outside on a table perfectly? AJ did that.