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One smark's WWE Slammy Awards 2015 ballot

Voting for this year's Slammy Awards is now open and winners will be announced next Monday night on a special edition of Raw in Minneapolis. Over the next couple of days, you'll see ballots from the staff here at Cageside, starting with myself.

Superstar of the Year

All superstars eligible
Seth Rollins

He's gone right now, and his WWE championship run was booked in a way that drew the ire of just about everyone on the internet at one point or another (and pissed some folks off ALL the time), but the evidence in his favor is pretty darn compelling. Rollins started 2016 in a Match of the Year contender at Royal Rumble, kicked off a feud that would be canon in not only WWE but in the closing months of one of the most influential late night television runs of all time, followed that up with the most high profile Money in the Bank cash-in of all time, proceeded to be featured in just about every main event and mainstream public relations spot the company had, put on a few more classic matches - including helping Sting to his best match in a decade - and never lost the belt. Arguments for his main competitors include being booked in a hot December angle and revitalizing a secondary belt. Nah, son, make mine The Architect.

Diva of the Year

Nikki Bella
Sasha Banks

I should only include the main roster, I'm sure, but the beauty of the Slammys is you don't have to show your work. So I can just be a mark and throw my support to THE B0$$. Sure, she's been shuffled aside and given a ridiculous knock-off gimmick on Raw and SmackDown, but she ruled the world for more than half the year on the most consistent show WWE produces, and (regardless of what this ballot will tell you) gave us FOUR of the best matches in the company.

Breakout Star of the Year

Kevin Owens
Tyler Breeze
Braun Strowman

Are they serious with this? I'm as big a Prince Pretty fan as you'll find, and Neville's a unique talent. But there's only one name on this list that qualifies as either a "Breakout" or a "Star", let alone both.

Tag Team of the Year

The New Day
The Usos
The Prime Time Players
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro
The Lucha Dragons

What Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods are doing is nothing short of remarkable, but being a tag team has very little to do with it. Faction/stable or gimmick of the year, they'd get my vote. And how entertaining they are, combined with recency bias, will probably win them a lot of votes. But Best Team Ever was very close to breaking big (FACT), Cesaro & Kidd could wrestle the pants off anyone in the world and, while they did benefit from having a third in Natalya, everything about their success was based on teamwork between two performers.

Match of the Year

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (Royal Rumble)
Sting vs. Triple H (WrestleMania 31)
John Cena vs. Kevin Owens (Elimination Chamber)
Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Alberto Del Rio (Raw)
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker (Hell in a Cell)

Given the choices, the Triple Threat from January is the easy pick. It's the hat trick of sports entertainment - larger than life characters performing amazing feats in service of a great story.

Rivalry of the Year

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
John Cena vs. Rusev
Team Bella vs. Team BAD vs. PCB
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins

Another category where none of the options does much for me, but Brock and Taker felt like a showdown of equals where I was unsure of who would walk away the winner.

WWE Network Show of the Year

Breaking Ground
Table for 3
Stone Cold Podcast
WWE 24

Table for 3's provided some laughes and fun moments. I like Breaking Ground, but I get the disappointment from folks hoping it would be more documentary and less 'reality' show. Never really watched anything but clips from Swerved, and didn't know WWE 24 was a recurring show until researching this ballot. And besides, though they may have reined him in a bit and given him less thrilling guests like Paige and Brock, Austin wins for the Triple H show alone.

Double-Cross of the Year

Jon Stewart attacks John Cena
Randy Orton turns on The Authority
Paige attacks Charlotte and Becky Lynch
Stardust betrays Goldust
Damien Mizdow eliminates The Miz

I loved Stewart before this year. I LOVE Stewart after this year. His ability to cut a better promo than half the roster helped, but the SummerSlam angle where his smarkdom turned him heel was brilliant in my book. Mainstream press coverage seals the deal.

Surprise Return of the Year

Jericho teams up with Reigns and Ambrose
The Dudley Boyz return to confront The New Day
Sting ambushes Rollins and Triple H
Del Rio answers Cena's US open challenge
Demon Kane prevents Sheamus' Money in the Bank cash-in

Probably popped louder for Bubba and D-Von, but only Alberto's return legitimately floored me.

Hashtag of the Year


What's happened since has been...unfortunate...but you have to start somewhere, and the uprising following the 30 second Divas tag match on Raw started a long, slow process that is getting us to longer matches and the beginning of what might be character development for women on the main roster. The rest were cute, but that's the only one that meant anything.

Celebrity Moment of the Year

Stephen Amell dives onto Stardust
The cast of Entourage introduces Zack Ryder
Kevin Owens powerbombs Machine Gun Kelly off the stage
Jon Stewart gets on Cena's bad side
Wayne Rooney slaps King Barrett

More than just a fan showing up, J-Stew knew how to work his schtick into a pro wrestling story. Amell comes close, but the Emmy winner did it in the main event of one of the biggest shows of the year (and to cap off a months long run).

"Tell Me You Didn't Just Say That" Moment of the Year

Ambrose calls Rollins "Justin Bieber"
Rollins calls Johnny Manziel "Johnny Idiot Face"
Lesnar introduces "Suplex City" to the world
Rollins says Kane was just "there" at WrestleMania
Paige spoils Charlotte's Divas title celebration

Uh...what? Again, I'll go with the one that's lasted. I guess.

Best John Cena US open challenge

Cena vs. Cesaro
Cena vs. Ziggler
Cena vs. Zayn
Cena vs. Ambrose
Cena vs. Neville

This was tough, and it pains me to vote against Sami. But, WOW, did Cesaro have a great year. And he was on the verge of breaking out so many times. This was one of them. He and Cena had Chicago in the palms of their hands even though the result was fairly obvious. It also gets bonus points for being a key piece of the story that got KO over during the Summer.

LOL Moment of the Year

Edge and Christian battle New Day
The Bushwhackers Hall of Fame speech
The Miz and Damien Mizdow commercial
The Authority dance with The New Day
R-Truth thinks he's in the Money in the Bank ladder match

E & C mark from WAY back. This segment basically had me the moment Captain Charisma produced a kazoo.

"This is Awesome" Moment of the Year

Brock Lesnar destroys J&J Security's car
Randy Orton's RKO to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31
Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks are called up to the main roster
The Shield give Randy Orton a triple powerbomb
The Rock and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 31

These are all good choices, but only one involves a man ripping apart an automobile with his bare hands and throwing pieces of it around like he was the G-D Incredible Hulk.

"OMG!" Shocking Moment of the Year

Seth Rollins cashes in Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania 31
Brock Lesnar destroys everyone
Kalisto hits Salida Del Sol off a ladder through another ladder
Undertaker is abducted by The Wyatt Family
Sheamus cashes in Money in the Bank contract at Survivor Series

Not sure that any of the "shocked" me, but I was impressed by how perfect the SmarkaMania Lesnar segment was put together. Also...ripping a play-by-play man apart with his bare hands and throwing his footwear around like he was the G-D Incredible Hulk.

Extreme Moment of the Year

Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker have a pull apart brawl
Dean Ambrose is powerbombed through a ladder at WrestleMania 31 by Luke Harper
Seth Rollins breaks John Cena's nose
Roman Reigns snaps, destroys everyone at TLC
Neville hits a splash off a ladder onto a group of stars

It wasn't terribly extreme, but it sure was dope.

That's my ballot. Stay tuned for more in the coming days.

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