The Slammy Awards may not be quite on par with a Grammy or an Oscar in terms of prestige, but it’s undoubtedly still a piece of hardware any WWE superstar would love to adorn their mantle with. And, as with any awards ceremony, there’s bound to be some controversy over who takes home a certain award.
(Give Leo a damn Oscar!)
The WWE’s year-ending award ceremony came and went on this Monday’s Raw and there was no shortage of controversial selections. Two, perhaps surprisingly, involve a heated rivalry between two all-time greats. Whether or not their program was truly the year’s best remains up for debate. But we’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s take a look at a selection as criminal as Leonardo DiCaprio’s lack of an Oscar.
Tag Team of the Year
This is undoubtedly the most inexplicable error on the WWE’s annual awards show. The Usos entered 2015 with the WWE Tag Team Championships in their grasp, but surrendered them to the tandem of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro at February’s Fast Lane. Jey Uso suffered a shoulder injury the next month and was sidelined until September.
Since his return, the Usos have been an ally to Roman Reigns and simultaneously in pursuit of regaining tag team gold. Aside from the injury, their 2015’s been fine, but one can’t simply disregard the fact that the supposed tag team of the year wasn’t competing for half of it. It’d be like if J.J. Watt missed eight games this year and still came away with the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
— Jason Solomon (@solomonster) December 22, 2015
The Uso's are tag team of the year even though they were gone for half of it. NEW DAY WERE ROBBED! #Slammy
— WhatCulture WWE (@WhatCultureWWE) December 22, 2015
Even had the Usos been around all year, it’s hard to argue against The New Day being the true tag team of the year. The trio held tag team gold for much of ’15 and, beyond in-ring success, went from seemingly destined for failure to arguably the most entertaining thing in wrestling today. As a result, the tag team division looks healthier than it has in years.
Match of the Year
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (Hell in a Cell)
This one isn’t near as egregious as the category before it. In fact, a compelling argument could be made that Undertaker and Brock Lesnar did indeed put on the match of the year inside a Hell in a Cell. Few would argue that it wasn’t at least the best of their three-match series dating back to WrestleMania 30.
The brutality was there in spades. Blood spewed as Lesnar showed his toughness in casting a concerned doctor aside. Perhaps more importantly, The Undertaker put on a showing that belied his age and quieted his doubters. The hatred felt real in this one and the intensity was there to match. I rewatched this match immediately after its end and will probably revisit it again on the WWE Network sometime soon.
— Riz. (@johncenaAm) December 22, 2015
— Adam (@Adam_Lewis10) December 22, 2015
All that said, Brock Lesnar did have one better match in ’15. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins at Royal Rumble may’ve been one of the earliest contenders for match of the year, but it held up. This match was fast-paced and it seemed liable to end at any moment. Lesnar looked like every bit the conqueror he’s been touted as, but, as was the case a few months later at WrestleMania, it seemed as though the triple threat stipulation could work against him. This match also served to make Rollins look like a bona fide title contender.
Feud of the Year
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
I know it may seem like I’m trying to rag on Undertaker vs. Lesnar, but I promise that’s not the case. I grew up a huge Undertaker fan and, like many, had some trepidation over how a continuation of their program would fare after their WrestleMania 30 debacle. To say I was pleasantly surprised would only be a tremendous understatement.
The feud itself had several great moments. Their brawl on an edition of Raw, which necessitated practically the whole roster to separate them, was a great and memorable way to kick things off. And speaking of kicking, The Undertaker’s repeated use of the low blow was a surprising, yet interesting, tactic. It seemed as if to say Undertaker was fully aware that he’d need to pull out all the stops in order to topple the one in 21-1.
Still, these are two part-time guys who went weeks at a time without confrontation.
— Patrick Eichner (@DZShowOff) December 16, 2015
— SUNNYJ:-) (@sunbabe08) December 16, 2015
That’s way different from Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, the latter of whom seemed to torture his former comrade on a weekly basis. Their tale’s a simple, yet compelling, one. The story of a friend (Ambrose) betrayed and hell-bent on revenge. There were plenty of fun moments in this one, but when it came time to turn the heat up each man delivered. Their WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank is on the short list of 2015’s best matches. The fact that this program didn’t even garner a nomination is more than a little jarring.