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Yes, folks, it’s that time again for tradition to take over, where we honor those we feel most deserve the coveted Golden Rantie Award for the first half of the calendar year 2009.  Okay, so I know that this isn’t necessarily tradition seeing as how I’ve never done this before.  But hey, tradition has to start somewhere, so I’m starting tonight!  I’ll be giving out some of the more obvious awards (best wrestler (male and female), best finisher, etc.) and some…unorthodox ones (like the Mike Knox Award for “How the fuck do I still have a job?”).  Most of these are going to be made up straight off the top of my head, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the First Ever Semi-Annual Golden Rantie Awards! *insert applause here*

Our first award of the night is one that many young up-and-comers in the world of sports entertainment are gunning for.  But there can only be one.  This half-year’s Rookie of the Year (So Far) goes to…

Tyson Kidd.  The last graduate of the Hart Dungeon truly lives up to his claim that he “broke the Hart Family Dungeon mold” when he graduated.  This kid (no pun intended) is quick, agile, and can mat wrestle with the best of them.  I bet he could beat Jack Swagger in a traditional wrestling match.  Not only is he well-trained at ground wrestling, but he’s a terrific high-flyer, and can pull off some beautiful moves from the top rope.  Mix that all together with a touch of throwback to the mid 1980’s style, and you’ve got a recipe for immense success.  Sure, the Hart Dynasty will help him for now, but there are big, BIG things in the future for this guy.  I look forward to his first world title win.

Our next award is, well…not as prestigious.  The For the Love of God, Just Retire Already! Award goes to…

The Big Show! Yes, this lumbering mass of humanity is definitely over the hill.  His career has dwindled to jobbing to John Cena for months, followed by an unimportant upcoming feud with the cruiserweights of Raw.  His glory days are behind him (were they ever truly there to begin with?), and he just needs to hang up his boots once and for all.  It’s time to pass the Monster on Raw gimmick to Mark Henry, who’s apparently going to take a run at the Monster Face gimmick, a very rare breed indeed.

Okay, we’re 1% done with these awards, so let’s get a move on!  These next four awards all have one thing in common: turns!  Yes, for ages, the turn has caused so much fan reaction that, in some cases, people have threatened wrestlers with death!  I’m really just making that up!  So, the award for Best Face Turn goes to…well…my goodness, ladies and gentlemen.  It appears we have a TIE in this category!  In that case, the WINNERS of this award are:

John Morrison and Mark Henry! Yes, I’m as surprised as you are that I’m giving a positive award to Henry.  But damnit, the man’s worked his ass off for ten years, and with his performance against Randy Orton two weeks ago, he’s leapt into the spotlight.  Which I’ll admit I find hard to believe, seeing as how I can barely envision Henry leaping anywhere in the first place.  But it’s well-deserved.  He’s paid his dues, he’s taken his spots, and it’s time to let him have his moment in the sun.  Morrison, on the other hand, was a face turn made out of necessity, as the Smackdown face roster was heavily depleted by the 2009 Draft and injuries, and damned if Morrison’s not taking full advantage of it.  He’s on track for a World Title shot very soon, perhaps after Summerslam (or even *GASP* AT Summerslam?) with CM Punk.  These two had a sensational feud a couple of years ago, and there’s no argument from me for rehashing the feud.  These two ought to make a real impact in the near future (you see how I used the word “impact” like the WWE announcers do 800 times an episode?  Because they’re probably trying to make fun of TNA?  HUH?).

On the flip side, the award for Worst Face Turn goes to…

Montel Vontavious Porter! Yes, I realize that he was a face last year, but I’m grandfathering in MVP’s turn.  You know why?  Two reasons: first, the way in which he was turned face was one of the most degrading ways in which to turn a major heel into a major face: he lost 5 straight months’ worth of matches.  Not cool.  Second, he’s just not a very good face.  We’ve seen his work for years on Smackdown as a heel, and he was by far one of the best at pissing off a crowd.  Plus, he was great at controlling a match while not engaging in Swagger Tactics (see several of my previous articles for the definition of Swagger Tactics).  He’s just not convincing as a face.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear the crowd chant his name, because he’s well deserving of the praise.  But I wish they’d chant his name because they’re impressed by his in-ring skills, not because he’s a happy-go-lucky guy.  Also, his face turn appears to have been stalled completely what with HHH back and chasing Orton again, and Cena now in the mix.  Will MVP ever get his shot at glory?  Maybe, but he’ll have to turn heel again to make it convincing.

The Best Heel Turn award goes to…

CM Punk! I realize that his heel turn isn’t fully complete (but then again, I haven’t watched Smackdown from yesterday yet, so don’t spoil anything for me), but I love that they’re going the slow burn to Heelsville with Punk.  Though they’re not quite going about it how I would have.  Still, having Punk as a heel helps bolster a Smackdown roster that’s desperate for strong talent.  And since there’s going to be a gaping hole in the lineup with Edge gone, it falls to Punk to be the next great elitist, egotistical…well, punk, that he can be.  I look forward to him turning fully heel and poking fun at the audience for not being as good as he is.

And the Worst Heel Turn award goes to…

Matt Hardy! Everyone wanted Christian to be the guy to cost Jeff Hardy the WWE Championship, reunite with Edge, and reign supreme over Smackdown for years to come.  Instead, we get a lame-ass Matt Hardy heel turn and Christian on ECW.  What the hell?  Hardy’s been nothing but a whiny little whine-bag who can’t keep his whine-hole shut.  He’s one of the least convincing heels ever, he’s bad at controlling a match the way a heel should, and his heel character is so bland and dull that I sometimes forget that he was entertaining.  For the love of jeebus, turn him back!

The Mike Knox Award for “How the Fuck Do I Still Have a Job?” award is a very prestigious award.  But not prestigious in a good way.  This year, there were many, MANY nominees…and it appears that they’ve all won!  This year’s winners are (in no particular order):

The Brian Kendrick, Festus, Jamie Noble, Jillian Hall, Maryse, Hornswoggle, Charlie Haas, Curt Hawkins, Jesse, Jimmy Wang Yang, Funaki, Ricky Ortiz, The Great Khali, Layla, DJ Gabriel, Ezekiel Jackson, Tyler Reks, Zack Ryder, and (of course) Mike Knox!

Some of these choices are more obvious than others.  Guys like Knox, Ezekiel, and Ortiz have shown little to no improvement in the ring and shouldn’t be pushed because of their limited movesets and limited charisma.  Some guys, like Gabriel, Jesse & Festus, Kendrick, Noble, and any other cruiserweight on the roster, simply were never given pushes equal to their talent level, which is a crying shame, since guys like Jesse and Jimmy Yang are tremendous talents and deserve more than the pathetic excuse for screen time they get.  And some…well, it’s pretty obvious why people like Khali and Maryse should be gone.  I know it seems a little harsh to put Tyler Reks on the list, since he’s had all of two TV matches.  But his last match with Ryder was a 13 minute suckfest, and he’s not showing me anything impressive in the ring.  Plus, he’s lost his first two matches.  When was the last time you remember a new talent losing his first two matches only to become a multiple-time world champion?  I challenge you to find one.  Because I’m too damn lazy to find out for myself.

The “Holy Shit, What Am I Going To Do Now?” Award goes to those whom I deem should not have been released by the company.  And guess what?  We’ve got ANOTHER TIE!  This year’s award goes to:

Every Samoan wrestler released by WWE! For the purposes of this award, I’ll narrow this list down to four: Afa Sr., Afa Jr., Umaga, and Sim Snuka.  Afa Sr. was a backstage guy, and I think that severing ties with one of the true legends of the sport was a big mistake, especially since his son was also cut.  You probably knew him as Manu for the all of ten minutes he was on TV.  I always thought he had more talent and far more potential in the ring than either Rhodes or Dibiase.  Sure, he wasn’t the best talker, but that’s what having a manager is all about!  Afa Jr. had tons of potential, and he was dropped like a hot cup of coffee.  Snuka…well, I know he wasn’t really Samoan, but he was at least pretty talented in the ring and on the mic.  But when they broke up Deuce & Domino, it was pretty well his career death knell.  I think, had WWE kept Manu and Snuka in Legacy, we’d have a much more entertaining faction ruling Raw right now.  And you all know my thoughts on Umaga.  Sure, his character was ruined when he spoke perfect English to CM Punk.  But he was still one of the most entertaining guys to watch in the ring.  Sure, there was controversy about drugs, but I think that had he agreed to go to rehab, he would have come back and been right at the top for a long time.

Which reminds me, the Chris Jericho Award for Largest Improvement in Vocabulary Award goes to…

My goodness!  We have an upset!  The winner is, in fact, Umaga! We may have to change the name of this award.  Jericho had the lead for quite some time, calling the fans mucilaginous tapeworms and whatnot, but damnit, when you go from grunting and speaking in what I could only guess was some form of Samoan to speaking perfect goddamned English in a heartbeat, you’ve got to win this award.  Sure, WWE tried to cover up the whole incident by glossing over the details of how Umaga challenged CM Punk to a Samoan Strap Match, but the damage had been done (and the award secured).  Congratulations to Umaga, the only man to win two awards and not be employed by WWE!

The Worst Title Reign Award goes to…

Batista! His not-even-one-day title reign was utterly pathetic.  Yes, they needed a way to get him off TV because he got injured YET AGAIN.  Just because he was built up to win the title doesn’t mean he actually HAS to win the title (SEE: every Jeff Hardy build EVER).  Who cares if Dave’s only got a year or so left in him?  Just because a guy says he’s not going to be wrestling much longer doesn’t mean you have to abide by his every request.  Look at what they did to Lita when she retired.  It was horrible.  And this horrendous title reign only ruined what was a promising run by Randy Orton, who had to start over again the week after.  What?  It killed any momentum Orton had, and now I no longer care about his title reign.  Just let MVP win already!

The Most Pointless Title Reign Award goes to…

Maryse! Dear lord, SHE’S the longest reigning champion in the WWE?  Give me a fucking break.  No offense to the ladies of WWE, but a second women’s championship should never have been created.  They should have brought back the Cruiserweight Championship and given guys like Jimmy Yang, Jesse, Jamie Noble, and Chavo Guerrero something to do besides get beat up by midgets every week.  But nooooooooo, you had to create a new title, NOT put it on Natalya, and then give it to the lease qualified woman employed by the company today.  I pray that Mickie James takes the Diva’s Championship away from Maryse, because if she doesn’t I will no longer taken women’s wrestling seriously (and I barely do right now).

The Ken Kennedy “Paper Tiger” Award for Flimsiest Pile of Flesh goes to…

Holy crap!  A Three-Way Tie!  The winners are: Batista, Edge, and Ken Kennedy! Boy, I’d sure love to see these three in a Triple Threat Match and see who doesn’t break a bone or tear a muscle.  I know I’m being a little harsh on Edge, since he was doing fine for about three years (and probably more), but when it rains, it pours, and this guy’s getting so many unfair breaks (no pun intended) it just isn’t fair.  Kennedy wasn’t improving in the ring, but I think he could have been a great color commentator to join JR at the Smackdown desk, but that…well, it never came to fruition, and that disappointed me.  And Batista…well, the less of him we see, the better.  I look forward to his retirement next year.

The Chavo Guerrero “I HAVE NO SHAME!” Award goes to…

What a shock!  Chavo Guerrero! Good lord.  This man has been beaten up by midgets more times in his career than a midget wrestler.  And I’m not even counting his matches against Rey Mysterio!  (OOH, cheap shot!)  But seriously, how can Chavo wake up in the morning and like his job?  He was embroiled in a feud with a cross-dresser who was eventually dismissed by Donald Goddamned Trump (that’s his actual middle name.  Don’t believe me?  Go check Wikipedia, the world’s simultaneously best and worst source of information), and has constantly been in a losing battle with a fucking leprechaun for more months than I’d care to remember.  Doesn’t anyone remember when he was a Cruiserweight Champion?  He was great back then.  Now, he’s the most embarassing excuse for a wrestler in WWE.

The “For the Love of God, Give This Man a World Title!” Award goes to:

William Regal! I’d hoped that when he got the move to ECW, it meant more exposure for the angry vet from Blackpool, England.  I’d hoped it meant title opportunities and massive beatdowns on anyone who stood in his way.  Sure, there’s still plenty of time for that to happen.  But I’d hoped it would have started the minute he stepped foot onto Tuesday nights.  I was hoping he’s go murder Zack Ryder, tear through Goldust, have a great bowling-shoe ugly match with Kozlov, whip Christian, and finally have the brawl of the century against Tommy Dreamer and win the ECW Title.  Sure, most purists don’t recognize this as a major World Title, but it’s about the best that most mid-carders (in Vince’s mind) will ever get.  Do you honestly expect guys like Matt Hardy, Kane, Mark Henry, and Jack Swagger to ever win a WWE Title or a World Heavyweight Championship?  I think not.  And Regal falls under that very unfortunate category, so at least give him an ECW Title run where he can just destroy everyone in his path until some young whippersnapper comes along and beats him in a fluke, then Regal pounds the shit out of him for weeks on end but never wins the title back.  *sigh*

And now, because this show is running long, let’s breeze through the final few categories without explanation:

Best Female Wrestler: (TIE) Mickie James and Melina!

Best ECW Wrestler: Christian

Best Smackdown Wrestler: (TIE) CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, and John Morrison

Best Raw Wrestler: Evan Bourne and John Cena

Yes, I couldn’t leave Cena out of the awards.  And yes, he is the best on Raw.  Any haters out there can kiss my grits, because he does his job better than anyone else in the company, and if you hate him and boo him, then he’s doing his job all the better.  So just cheer for him already, because he’s the most entertaining guy on Raw, damnit, and nobody else will come close any time soon.

So there you have it.  The very first Golden Rantie Awards!  Be sure to tune in in December for the second awards ceremony.  Well, please tune in every day.  Several times a day.  I get a huge ego boost when I see a nice number of hits on this site.  The day it was likned on Wrestleview I had over 200 hits.  Since then, there has been more than 10 views just once.  Let’s keep reading!  Go back and read the archives!  I encourage you to read, comment, argue, link to me, do whatever you want!  Just don’t plagarize.  You wouldn’t like me when I find out you’ve plagarized my work.  I turn into The Incredible Bulk and squash the universe…

I think it’s time for me to stop.  Until next time…

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