Fireworks pop, and the hard-rock always associated with pro-wrestling, at least in the last 10 years, plays on. The fireworks seem to give out and fizzle as the production team obviously scrambles and lights a couple of sparklers and ground snakes to make for a flashy entrance for this years emcee of the 2008 Caliber Winfield Straight Gangster, No Chaser Wrestling Awards, Caliber Winfield!
There’s little applause as he makes his way to the podium, as it stands, no one really knows who he is. For those that do, they know him to be a wiener-boy and out of sheer embarrassment for knowing him, act like they don’t. He walks up and puts up a hand in order to calm-down the smattering of curiosity applause.
“Thank you, thank you” Caliber says as if it were a standing-ovation.
“Now….oh, c’mon, please…thank you, thank you”
“I- – ….”
Before he can finish he’s cut off with a near-defining, booming chorus of Goldberg chants coming through the PA system.
GOOOOLDBERG, GOOOOODLBERG, GOOOOLDBERG
The audience that consists of wrestlers, fans, and other various attendees all look at each other in confusement. Caliber puts his hand over the mic and leans back to speak to someone from behind the curtain.
“You jackasses! You’re suppose to wait for the applause to die slowly then pipe in a SUBTLE chant of MY name! Not Bill Goldberg’s!”
The chants come to a sudden halt and Caliber returns to the mic, trying hard to look as if that just didn’t happen.
“Heh, now, as I was saying. Here we are for th- – – ”
A chant of Caliber comes piping through the PA, defying the impossible by being even louder than the Goldberg ones, cutting Caliber off, and thus returning him to the hand-over-the-mic position from which he once came.
“GUYS! Really?! Show is just starting and this?! This and the ground snake that’s been stuck to my shoe, burning a hole in it?! Forget anything I told you to do tonight, just please don’t kill me!”
He returns to the mic once more, saying a silent prayer that the worse of the evening is over.
“Okie dokie, kiddos. As you already know, I’m Caliber Winfield. Host of the Straight Gangster, No Chaser column on Wrestling 101. My article was formally known as The Knack. But I’m sure you all knew that. Tonight, is a special night. It marks the 2nd annual Straight Gangster, No Chaser Wrestling Awards. Honouring the truly best, and worst from our beloved business. And let’s get down to it, before my tech guys some how crash a jumbo-jet into my eyeball”
“Our first award given out, is the I Can’t Believe They Had A Good Match Award. It’s given to two people whom arguably no one thought could pull out a watchable match, but then proceeded to more than prove us wrong. Last year’s winner was John Cena vs. The Great Khali. An amazing feat, John Cena making a match with Khali more than watchable. But enough of the past, this year’s winner is…..”
2008 I Can’t Believe They Had A Good Match Winner: The Undertaker vs. Big Show – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008 – Rating: * * * 1/4th
I’ve long since disliked the Big Show. I thought he wasn’t bad when he started his WWE run, as his stuff in WCW wasn’t getting my attention. But after about a year, he just became a slow, lumbering ass who in no way shape or form deserved to be a top contender. The guy couldn’t have 3 star matches to save his life. So when I ordered the No Mercy PPV, I was more than ready to take a looong bathroom break when this match came near. However, I didn’t. I actually enjoyed it. The ‘Taker, who’s arguably having the best years of his career, was able to work with Show in a fashion that didn’t make me want to replace my head with a cinder-block. They actually wrestled, kept a good pace, and entertained. Of course, it wasn’t a mega-miracle. As the ending was stupid, and come the end of the day, it still is The Big Show. I had hopes for their Cyber Sunday rematch, but that one, and any since have fallen short to their No Mercy encounter.
“Neither of them could make it this evening, Taker has to stay in character, and the Big Show didn’t want to risk losing calories. So, I’ll be accepting on their behalf. It’s the least they can do for me for having to suffer through Fat-Biker Undertaker, and Andre The Giant’s son, the Giant. Who appeared from rock. Ugh
Right. Well next up we’re going to list all the Technical Awards that were handed out earlier, before the broadcast. They’re the smaller time awards, but still deserve recognition. Congrats to all the winners!”
A regal sounding recording is broadcast over the PA;
“Held earlier in an off-camera ceremony were the Technical Straight Gangster, No Chaser Awards, they are as following;
Worst Use of a Push: The Great Khali, Worst Offense: The Great Khali, Worst Finisher: The Great Khali, Worst Turn To A Funny Wrestler: Great Khali……ah, crap, ok all the awards we’re about to name Khali won, so I’m going to save my breath. Biggest Receiver of the ‘Bad’ Kind of Heat, Least Likely To Pop A Buy-Rate, Least Likely To Pop A Rating, and Most Likely To Receive All These Awards In 2009. Congratulations to all the….er….winner of these fine awards. Back to you, Caliber.”
“Right on. Next up, the award for 2008’s Comeback Wrestler of the Year, and our winner is….”
2008’s Comeback Wrestler of the Year: *TIE* John Cena & Chris Jericho
John Cena is my favourite wrestler. Lots of smarks will say for days how he sucks, and that’s great. I know he isn’t as gifted as Shelton Benjamin, but they’re missing out if they aren’t fans. Hell, 2007 had some of the most memorable matches ever. John’s LMS with Umaga at the Royal Rumble, his showdown with Shawn at WM23, then the next night on Raw, the 4-man battle at Backlash, his ability to make a memorable match with Khali at One Night Stand, and his nice match with Randy at SummerSlam. Now, he gave us probably the biggest surprise of the year when he came back at the Rumble. In an era where almost nothing is kept secret, this was. Everybody was shocked, and I marked out. Now, his match with Randy at No Way Out wasn’t incredible, but it isn’t exactly his skill I’m giving him the Comeback Award for. How many wrestlers that were as hot as John Cena, laid down as often? This year he lost at WM, Backlash, Great American Bash, Summerslam, and Night of Champions. Ric Flair said it himself that this guy is an awesome figure head for our business. He isn’t a whiner, he’s a team player, and does what needs to be done. His loses were all clean as sheets, plus he put on a hell of a performance in most of’em. I was glad to see him win the World’s Heavyweight Title from Jericho, although they haven’t set the world on fire just yet in their matches, give it a bit of time.
Now, Jericho gets it for all the obvious reasons. He came back and was spouting the same stuff he’d been doing for ten years. But then he flipped it on us. Started wearing suits. Cut his hair, wore trunks instead of the pants, and best of all, became a monster heel. His promos this year were unmatched, as well as his actions, and performances in the ring. In an era where most heels want to be dominate, and veer away from the classic “chicken-shit” heel, Jericho embodies that. Hell, he decked Shawn’s wife and then truly believed in his heart it was Shawn’s fault. That’s just awesome, awesome stuff. In what many people felt would be a huge return, followed by a quick fall back to the mid-card, Jericho thankfully proved everyone wrong and completely rocked shit this year. He told us he’d save us, and by God is he.
“Again, I’ll have to accept. Jericho’s out buying a hair-frosting kit, and John is stuck somewhere trying to convince people that the FU is more than just a body-slam. Cheers, mates!” exclaims Caliber before digressing.
Ok, what would be better to follow up Comeback of the Year, than the award for Dropping The Ball, and our big winner is…”
2008 Dropping The Ball Award: Jeff Hardy
Ah, the Rainbow Warrior. Fired from WWE for his drug problems and refusal to go to rehab, he did a stint in TNA, did some memorable things and came back home to the E. Jeff says he grew bored of TNA, whereas they said he became difficult to work with and would miss shows. Well, the beginning of 2008 seemed to prove TNA’s side of the story true. Since Survivor Series 2007, it seemed that Jeff Hardy could truly be in the runnings for a world title. He had a good feud with Randy that resulted in some great matches, came oh so close to winning the chamber at No Way Out, and was a shoe-in to win Money in the Bank. But then his lack of Wellness reared it’s ugly head and Jeff got busted. No one is sure on what, but it doesn’t matter. As a result he was dropped for 60 days. Losing any sort of momentum he had. Upon his return he was set in a feud with Umaga, which wasn’t bad at all, actually, as the two were a good mix and turned out some nice matches. However, come the fall, he just couldn’t seem to get that brass ring, and although he did finally achieve it in a great match at Armageddon against Triple H and Edge, it almost seemed like too little, too late. He’s been given the ball again this time, for what seems like his 3rd chance, and I hope he doesn’t drop it again. Although the 3 strikes your out rule doesn’t apply that much in WWE, I’d be willing to bet the E would make a huge example out of Jeff after giving him so many chances.
“Indeed. Let’s hope Hardy doesn’t drop the ball, or pop the pill that much, if at all this year. The thought of Kozlov as a true runner for the championship is enough to make someone long for the days of Ludvig” Caliber remarks before changing his voice into a German accent…
“Look at these, crumbling buildings!”
“Ah, the evil foreigners” he states reverting back to his original, much stupider voice
“Okie, back to the good times. This next award is our 2008’s Greatest Out-of-Ring Moment, so let’s have it!”
2008’s Greatest Out-of-Ring Moment: Joey Styles Knocking Out JBL
Oooh yes my friend. The greatest announcer in wrestling-history cemented his reputation as a true bad-ass this year by knocking out one ofthe biggest dicks our sport has ever seen, the ‘Wrestling God’, John Layfield. During the Tour of Iraq, JBL was being his usual self; an obnoxious a*shole, bullying as he saw fit and performing what he calls “hazing” on the man who has more talent and credibility than JBL could buy, Joey Styles. A lot of people put up with it, due to the fact that JBL is a ‘veteran’ and has political stroke. However, our main-man wasn’t putting up with that shit for much longer, and as JBL’s obnoxious antics grew to a fevered pitch, Joey Styles knocked him flat on his ass. Every eye-witness account has Joey landing a perfect punch to JBL’s eye; busting it open, blackening it up, and causing quite a bit of embarrassment for this wanna-be bad-ass. Joey Styles has always been the shit to me, this just makes sure I’ll always think that.
“and of course….”
2008’s Greatest In-Ring Moment: Jericho’s Codebreaker on CM Punk – Monday Night Raw, December 22nd, 2008
Of course, enough will be said about Shawn/Flair at WM, and the last 20 seconds of that match are easily the greatest in-ring moment of the year, but like I said enough has been said, so I’m giving it to something else. Nothing beats an awesome finish to a match, especially one that just comes out of the blue, that’s innovative, believable, and best of all, not a cheat to the fans. This was just that. Reminiscent of Shawn’s superkick to Shelton on Raw during the Gold Rush, Jericho rocked Punk with this out of nowhere and caused everyone to mark, just as it should. It’s a perfect example of the greatness that can come from our sport. Haven’t seen it?
“I know you’re probably wondering why we haven’t had anyone come up to accept their awards. Well, reason being that after accepting for a couple people, I like the feeling. I understand why Owen Hart did it. So, for the rest of the night, I will be accepting these awards and more than likely fashioning a necklace out of all of them and wearing it. Kick ass. Alrighty, now that we’ve celebrated our Best in and out of ring, let’s get to our worst”
2008’s Worst Out-of-Ring Moment: Joanie Laurer aka Chyna’s attempted suicide
I give this the Worst Out-of-Ring Moment Award despite the obvious horribleness that is Joanie’s mental status and attempt to take her own life. But another reason this gets the award, is because of how this is just yet ANOTHER bad-light shown on the world of pro-wrestling. Never mind that Ric Flair, a 30 plus year veteran, who’s had almost no massive injuries in the ring, never injured an opponent, and never been involved in anything offensive during his entire career ended it on a high-note and with dignity. Did the news cover that at all? Of course not. That would be a very positive light, and positive thing for our business. Fresh off the heels of the whole Benoit tragedy, it seemed as if our business could go a whole year without anything tragic. However, she managed to squeeze this in at the last moment. I truly feel sorry for her, as she’s a very nice person, and a delight from what I hear, however….I dunno, it just sucks all together. Let’s hope she gets better, takes the E’s offer on rehab, and can make an awesome comeback.
“and in ring….”
2008’s Worst In-Ring Moment: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero [C] – ECW World Title Match – Wrestlemania 24, March 30th – Rating: DUD
They call Wrestlemania ‘the showcase of the immortals’, and the ‘grandaddy of’em all’. So why on earth would they have a 9 second match? Beyond that, why squash a rather decent wrestler like Chavo, for a boring, stale, never-had-a-match-above-3-stars hack like Kane? It was insulting, made no sense, and just further de-valued the title, which WWE seems to love to do everyone that isn’t the World’s or WWE Championship. “Now, Kane couldn’t be here to……uh…ah, what? He’s here. Goddammit. Ok, fine, come get your stupid award….which is mine, really.”
Kane makes his way up to the stage, reaches the podium and raises his hands. Boom! He thrusts them down in a furry only to have the stage hands throw some pop-its on the ground.
Crackle. Pop. Crackle. Pop. Pop
“Uh, sorry Kane. Budget was short. This is all you get…” Caliber explains.
Kane, looking annoyed, turns to the mic
“Well. What can I say? I’ve held all the major titles without ever deserving it. I’ve only had a small handful of decent matches in the 10 plus years I’ve been here. Those that were decent were of no fault my own, but that of much more talented wrestlers. But I’ve not worked hard and deserved this title all my own! Let’s also not forget I was a dentist once! I was also part of a very awesome tag-team once called The Fake Razor & Diesel. So, in closing I’d like to thank the WWE booking time for keeping me so fresh over the years. I guess coming up I’m going to go through a bit of a change. Be prepared to see Kane as you’ve never seen him….a big, brooding, scary, unstoppable monster! Mu ha ha ha!”
Caliber ushers him off stage before returning to the podium.
“Alright, now we’re cooking as we reach the beloved Best/Worst Categories! Now, let’s continue with the bidness….oh, but first we gotta take a break. So enjoy the commercials for VH1’s latest show, F-List Celebrity Hookers Compete For Some One/Thing That’s Aging And Call Each Other Sluts While They’re Wearing A Cabbage Patch Doll’s Swim-Suit And Funneling Southern Comfort Out of Their …. Let’s get it crunk!”
Thanks for tuning in kids, I’ll have part 2 up on Wednesday, and part 3 by Friday, jeeuh.