WWE Year End Awards: Best and Worst of 2011
The good, bad, and ugly of WWE's 2011.
THE SPORTS COURIER 2011 WWE YEAR-END AWARDS
Match of The Year: Undertaker vs. Triple H - WrestleMania XXVII; April 3, 2011
- Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio in Ladder match - Extreme Rules
- CM Punk vs. John Cena - Money in The Bank
- Christian vs. Randy Orton in No Holds Barred match - SummerSlam
- CM Punk vs. John Cena II - SummerSlam
All the honorable mentions came close, but nothing can top Undertaker vs. HHH, in what is their second-ever WrestleMania meeting (This wasn't acknowledged until the night after their match. They faced each other 10 years ago at WrestleMania XXVII when HHH was a top heel and Undertaker was doing the American Badass, humanized deadman gimmick).
In a way, it's kind of sad the two oldest members of the WWE roster, who are essentially part-time performers, had the best match of the year, but as the old saying goes, "they don't make 'em like they used to." WWE is severely lacking knowledgable, full-time veterans on the roster, who have paid their dues and know how to work a match with great psychology (Chris Jericho comes to mind). Sure, both HHH and Undertaker took some risks at their ages (over 40) during the match and kicked out of each other's finishers, but every move, every facial expression, and every ounce of emotion had a purpose.
Even though Undertaker had won 18 WrestleMania matches and was undefeated at the grand stage, HHH and him still did a great enough job to keep the crowd hanging on every thread. Barring injury, expect Undertaker vs. HHH III, potentially with Shawn Michaels (the man Undertaker faced at WrestleMania XXV and retired at XXVI) as the special guest referee.
The CM Punk vs. John Cena feud produced three excellent matches (two on PPV and one on RAW), but the lack of creative direction hurt it, along with HHH's unnecessary involvement and WWE blowing through THREE MATCHES between the two in two months. For all the criticism Alberto Del Rio has received for being uninteresting as a character, he has sure made up for it with great matches. Like the guy or not, he's worked his ass off and delivered every time he's in a main event. It also helps working with John Cena, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Edge, and Christian.
Randy Orton vs. Christian was a lopsided feud if fans have ever seen one, but in the end, while overdone, it did produce some of the best PPV and TV matches of the year. The feud proved that Orton wasn't just an overprotected main eventer, but a great in-ring worker head-and-shoulders above most in WWE. It also proved what many fans already know--Christian is a great worker, who can deliver in any situation if/when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, WWE higher-ups just don't see him as a main event star, even with a solid fan following and good to great matches on a regular basis.
- HHH vs. Undertaker
- CM Punk vs. John Cena
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian/Edge
In a WWE where long-term booking is a rarity, Rock vs. Cena has been a pleasure to watch for the most part. The great promos, worked (and somewhat real-life) tension between the two, and the lack of physical contact (until recently) have all played a part in making this Feud of The Year, without the two even wrestling each other yet. If you scratch off the crappy build-up to Survivor Series (hard to forget, I know), WWE has progressed this feud nicely without giving too much away. WWE does run the risk of having Rock vs. Cena mean less after fans saw them team up, but in my view, I think that'll be long forgotten, once the Road to WrestleMania really gets rolling after Royal Rumble. Looking back, it's almost a miracle that WWE has been this patient in the building of this match for WrestleMania XXVIII. Don't screw it up, WWE creative.