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Friday, January 25, 2001

SLAM! Wrestling's 2001 Poll Results

2001. It was a year that forever changed the pro wrestling business. A year that shook the industry to its very foundation. WWF rivals -- ECW and WCW fell on hard times and were absorbed by the WWF. For good and for bad, the World Wrestling Federation now has a monopoly (of sorts) on the nationally televised pro wrestling business. Still recovering from the changes brought by 2001, one wonders what 2002 has in store for the industry. What we know now though is what you -- the readers -- and our staff at SLAM! Wrestling thought was the best and worst of 2001. To check the results and observations check out our SLAM! Wrestling's 2001 Poll Results.




Best Wrestler Of 2001 - Male

Chris Jericho (23%)

Second: Kurt Angle (19%).
Third: Rob Van Dam (18%)
Other:
17% voted for Steve Austin.
5% voted for Triple H.
4% voted for The Rock.
3% voted for Chris Benoit, Edge.
2% voted for Booker T.
1% voted for Lance Storm, Undertaker, Tajiri, William Regal, Steve Corino, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner.
0% voted for Diamond Dallas Page.

TOTAL VOTES: 6475.


SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Though there are many worthy candidates in this category, if I had to choose I would pick Kurt Angle as the Best Wrestler Of 2001. No matter which grappler Angle was grouped with during the year (Jericho, Austin, The Rock, Benoit) he was able to bring out the best in them and the best in himself. His series of matches against Chris Benoit -- especially the Thirty Minute Submission Match at BackLash -- were absolute classics and mirrored of Benoit's WCW series against Booker T. Of course, Benoit deserves a lot of the credit too but the level of skill required to work such bouts illustrates how far Angle has come in the WWF. In my mind, he is the most dependable wrestler on the WWF roster. Close seconds would be Benoit (if he wasn't injured for the majority of the year), Chris Jericho (for all the same reasons I stated for Angle) and Rob Van Dam. As far as Van Dam goes, I haven't seen a wrestler have such an impact on the WWF since Randy Savage leapt into action. Let's hope the WWF truly uses RVD to his full potential.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Keiji Muto: THE best wrestler of God's green earth for 2001. Bar none. The fact he had several match of the year candidates with his knees (which are totally shot) is a testament to his greatness. No one even came close to matching Muto this past year. No one. Mexico - El Hijo del Santo: Even in his forties, he's still the smoothest worker in Mexico. Think of him as Mexico's answer to Ric Flair. U.S./Canada - Steve Austin: The guy meant so much to his company this year.

  • Jon Waldman: Chris Jericho Y2K1 was Y2J's year. Not only did he complete the WWF's Grand Slam by winning tag-team, Intercontinental and championship titles (he already held the European belt in 2000), but also had several match-of-the-year calibre bouts with the likes of Benoit and being involved in TLC3.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Steve Austin - The focal point of the company during the Rock and Triple Hís absence, Austin probably had his best year since his first heel run. Matches with Benoit and Jericho proved he could still put on a 5-star wrestling clinic. Even his several turns during the year didnít damage his rep, as the fans now love him more than ever. Finally healthy, he could be even more dominating in 2002. What? 2. Kurt Angle - With Austin, carried the promotion through some lean months. Nearly every match a classic, he could be the best pure wrestler in the game right now. Only potential liability is if the fans get tired of his ďdorky heelĒgimmick

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: RVD. Having RVD wrestling on TV, or live, was a much needed fresh breeze for WWF. His style of wrestling is second to none in WWF. It'll be a long time till I get bored of his moves.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Steve Austin 2. Rob Van Dam Coming all the way back from injury, Stone Cold propped up the flubbed Invasion angle with his heel turn for longer than it had any right to stand. He discovered a previously untapped reservoir of personality along the way, putting it to good use when he finally turned face again. Austin seems to be having fun and his effort in the ring can't be questioned. Possessing the simplest yet most elusive quality a wrestler can have - charisma - RVD stays over even when he's not getting a push. Always a joy to watch, even bigger things probably await him in the future.


    Best Wrestler Of 2001 - Female

    Lita (47%)

    Second: Trish Status (32%).
    Third: Molly (11%)
    Other:
    4% voted for Chyna.
    3% voted for Ivory.
    2% voted for Jackie.
    1% voted for Jazz.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6347.


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: I am going to buck the trend and choose Molly for this one. Sure, Lita knows how to do some spectacular high spots. That's a given. It sure takes more than that though to produce a good match. As far as technical skill goes, Molly has Lita beat. Ivory would've have been my ultimate choice but she didn't participate in many matches last year.

  • John Molinaro: Akira Hokuto - Still the best women's wrestler in the world.

  • Jon Waldman: Trish Stratus. No other female raised her game like Trish did this year. After starting the year as eye candy with Vince, Trish worked hard to prove that she could mix it up in the ring with the best female wrestlers in the fed, en route to her first Women's title.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Lita - Still the only woman fans care about. Not participating in the T&A helps her credibility, too. 2. Trish Stratus - Improved greatly during the year - can actually wrestle now... kind of.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: This is a tie between Trish and Lita. Lita is the best risk taker and high flyer amongst female wrestlers. Trish has shown improvement since she came to WWF and is not afraid of taking bumps. But the main reason I picked the two is because they are both hot.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Lita 2. Trish Stratus Just considering the choices in this category show what a down year 2001 was for female grapplers. Lita's personality and popularity win the day, though she's still a work in progress. And on that subject, Trish made huge strides as a wrestler during the past year. When you consider that she started from basically zero, though, how much does that really say? I can see Jazz in one of these spots by the end of 2002.




    Worst Wrestler Of The Year - Male


    Buff Bagwell (37%)

    Second: Big Show, Billy Gunn (9%).
    Third: Kwee-Wee (8%)
    Other:
    6% voted for Scotty Too Hotty, Lex Luger.
    5% voted for Shawn Stasiak.
    4% voted for Test, Meng, The Wall, Kevin Nash.
    3% voted for The Goodfather, Perry Saturn.
    2% voted for Bull Buchanan, Albert, Rikishi, Rick Steiner.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6453.


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: With so many easy targets, it is darn hard to select just one. Based on a total lack of any wrestling skill or ring psychology whatsoever, I would have to make this a tie between Kevin Nash and The Big Show. Billy Gunn, Buff Bagwell and Scotty Too Hotty may be incredibly annoying to watch but they can sure as hell wrestle. Nash and Big Show's arsenal consist of punches, kicks, stomps, slams...and variations there of. Pretty pathetic. The thing is too that neither of them have even attempted to improve themselves over the years they have been in the business. There are plenty of "big men" like Mike Awesome who have done so. That takes hard work and dedication though. Those are foreign concepts to Nash and Show.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Scott Norton: Why New Japan insists on pushing him is beyond me. Mexico - Brazo de Plata. Give it up already and retire! U.S./Canada - So many to choose from, but I'll go with The Big Show. Honourable mention to: Bugg Bagwell, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash and Billy Gunn.

  • Jon Waldman: Big Show. There's a reason why Big Slow was in OVW. Wight has yet to prove to anyone that he belongs on the main roster, and should be back down for more 'seasoning' soon. The size factor is wearing thin, and unless he can show that he's worth what he's being paid, he'll be back in the minors. That his performance on the 'Weakest Link' was his best all year is not something to be proud of.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Meng - Though the WWF brought him back in an attempt to embarass WCW, it was his matches that were truly embarassing. 2. Rick Steiner - If Scott Steiner joins the WWF this year, they should give him a full-size van as a signing bonus, just so Rick has a place to sleep at night.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: 1-Big Show, why this guy gets TV time is beyond me. Too slow, no wrestling abilities. Scotty Too Hotty: I think I could stand him if he changed his gimmick and got rid of that stupid move, the Worm, but till then he'll be on my worst wrestlers of the year.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Buff Bagwell 2. Big Show Buff's year had to be one of the worst ever. Let's see: WCW crumbled while he was there, he wore out his welcome in the WWF in less than a week and he tried to pull rank in a promotion in its infancy. Wow. Show makes me long for the bygone days of his feud with the Bossman (coffin surfing!). At least that was different.


    Worst Wrestler Of 2001 - Female

    Chyna (38%)

    Second: Trish Status (21% ).
    Third: Jazz, Ivory (12%)
    Other:
    7% voted for Jackie, Molly.
    4% voted for Lita.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6351.


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: The choice is clear. Chyna. Not only does she have about as much grace in the ring as a paralyzed buffalo, she has an inflated ego as well. Her fall from grace was one of the high spots of 2001 for me. Good riddance to bad garbage, I say. See yeah at the next auto show or truck and tractor pull, Joanie. Though I would rather see Truck-A-Saurus in action.

  • John Molinaro: Chyna - The BIGGEST, no-talent, overpaid, over-hyped sloth in the history of the business. As Ray Charles sings: "Hit the road Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more!" Honourable mention goes to Trish Stratus

  • Jon Waldman: Chyna. To put it bluntly, Chyna killed the Women's Division. I still wonder why Chyna did not just stick to being a monstrous valet. She had a great thing going there, but once she entered the ring she proved that there's little that she can do other than the Xena flip. Thankfully, the WWF now realizes that the women can wrestle and get over without having to be T&A (save for Keibler and Wilson, my runners up for this award).

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Chyna - As a shareholder, I have reservations about not re-signing her. After all, she probably brings in more money from merchandising and gate revenues and overall hype than she was paid. As a wrestling fan, though, I say 'Thank you, Vince'. 2. Jazz - She came in as a surprise opponent on a major PPV. She stank up the ring. She wasnít heard from again in 2001. For me, they gave her one match too many.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Chyna. Too big for female wrestlers and small to wrestle men, if she was in a league where she would be wrestling a female her own size she would probably shine a little. Having better looks would help too.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Chyna 2. Ivory The fact that Chyna is still eligible in this category is a blessing. So long Laurie! Boring and annoying at the same time... consider if you will, the enigma that is Ivory.


    Best Canadian Wrestler Of The Year

    Chris Jericho (47%)

    Second: Chris Benoit (24%).
    Third: Edge (16%)
    Other:
    7% voted for Lance Storm.
    3% voted for Christian.
    2% voted for Test.
    1% voted for Steve Corino.
    TOTAL VOTES: 6468.


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: I would really have liked to vote for Benoit here. Since he was "on the shelf" for most of it, Jericho is my default pick. Jericho is a total package. He always could wrestle. He has always had phenomenal mike skills. It is about time the WWF realized he was main event material. At this point, he maybe isn't someone you put the WWF World Heavyweight Title on for a long stretch but I can't believe he hasn't had a more commanding Intercontinental Title reign by now. If the WWF had ever taken the time to trace his career in Japan with Benoit and others, they would have understood that from the start.

  • John Molinaro: Chris Jericho - What a year? Winning the World Title and carving out a place in the main event mix with Austin, Rock and HHH. Honourable mention to Chris Benoit.

  • Jon Waldman: Jericho. Jericho had stiff competition this year, and had Benoit not been injured this would have been a tough award to call. As is I cannot say that Jericho was the best WRESTLER, but best overall performer of the crazy Canucks.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Chris Jericho - Losing the comedy act was the best thing Jericho could have done to boost his worth and helped him finally grab that brass ring. Itís about time he realized his potential, hope they elevate him even more with a lengthy title run. 2. Edge - A too-short feud with Christian was the only negative aspect of Edgeís breakout year. A strong match at MW18 in his hometown could be what he needs to break the main event barrier in 2002.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: 1-Chris Jericho, I like him better as baby face but either heel or face, he can wrestle someone with no talents and make him look good. Hey, he's not the first WWF world undisputed champion for no reason. 2- Benoit is always fun to watch, for a guy his size he can wrestle the bigger boys and convincingly come on top. These two guys have more talent than 90% of WWF roster combined. Excluding RVD.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Chris Jericho 2. Lance Storm I get to vote in this category? Sweet. Actually, this seems like the biggest slam dunk of any category, though it would have been interesting had Chris Benoit not gone down to injury. If Storm is still underrated by anyone at this point, it's a shame.


    Worst Canadian Wrestler Of 2001

    Test (47%)

    Second: Steve Corino (32%).
    Third: Lance Storm, Christian (8%).
    Other:
    2% voted for Chris Jericho, Edge.
    1% voted for Chris Benoit.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6362.


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: I am going to steal a clever line from Mr. Mick Foley here. Several months back I got a Best Of Test tape in the mail. It wasn't too amazed to find out it was blank. Andrew Martin (or Kevin Nash Jr. as we call him around these parts) has been thrust into the spotlight way too soon. Test definitely has the potential though he needs to take a page out of Mike Awesome's book and study, study, study. A tour of Japan or Mexico would do him a world of good. Until he does that, I don't see him excelling in his chosen profession any time soon. He just doesn't have the ring skills.

  • John Molinaro: Test - Can you say Kevin Nash Jr.?

  • Jon Waldman: Christian. This is partly not Christian's fault because he did a damn good job this year as a personality when he had the opportunity. The WWF, however, hot-shotted his feud with Edge and of the two Christian has yet to really show he can be an effective singles wrestler. If the LH division was given a shot, then Christian would have had a tremendous avenue to show off his ability. As it stands though, Christian is at the bottom of the list of hosers.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Test - The fact that he still has a job while most of the former ECW and WCW stars donít is right up there with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the lost city of Atlantis. 2. Test - Yes, Iím voting for him twice... he's that bad

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Test, Maybe if he changed his looks so he wouldn't look like a Kevin Nash Junior I would like him better. He's got the body, too bad he doesn't have half as talent and a better gimmick to go with it.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Test 2. Christian This year's crop was a lot "less bad" than last year's, if that makes any sense. Test still needs a lot of work, and Christian deserves mention just for becoming so uninteresting so fast.


    Best Tag Team Of 2001

    Dudley Boys (29%)

    Second: The Hardy Boyz (16%).
    Third: Edge, Christian, Chris Jericho-Chris Benoit, (14%).
    Other:
    5% voted for Austin, Triple H
    4% voted for The A.P.A., Kane, Undertaker.
    3% voted for Tajiri, Mikey Whipwreck.
    2% voted for The Impact Players.
    1% voted for Danny Doring, Road Kill, The Yung Dragons, Team Canada, The Natural Born Thrillers, Kronik, O'Haire, Palumbo, Three Count.
    1% voted for Christian York, Joey Matthews, Hot Commodity, F.B.I., Swinger, Simon Diamond, The Filthy Animals, Totally Buff, Evan Karagias, Jaime Knoble, Right To Censor, The X-Factor, Albert, Scotty 2 Hotty.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6465


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Another very close call. With Edge - Christian and The Hardy Boys having their tag teams split for the time being, I'd have to say that the Dudley Boys are my top pick. Again, it is a matter of consistency. As opposed to other pairings, The Dudley Boys have remained a steadfast force in the tag team scene. They have persevered and have made the switch from a face to heel team in a clever manner by spoiling many of the maneuvers or gimmicks the fans loved. It was a smart move to turn them heel. Their matches were becoming too predictable with them having to cater to the crowds so much. It is just too bad that they can't cut their ECW-style promos any more. Those were a sight to behold.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima of New Japan: Best team in the world as they took the art of the tag team match to new levels of excellence. Mexico - Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero: They remind me so much of Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr with their cocky ring persona. U.S./Canada - Dudleys: They win it by default as tag team wrestling in the U.S. and Canada stinks.

  • Jon Waldman: Austin, Triple H. Mega-star teams always tend to do well and this team was truly awesome. Austin showed that he could get it done this year and Triple H was as intense as ever. Unfortunately, Triple H went down with an injury before we could see what a program involving these two and the All Canadian Chrisses (ACC) would have been like.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Dudley Boys - Still at the top of the mountain, they need some other teams to compete against to keep tag team wrestling relevant. 2. APA - Okay, so maybe they didn't have the greatest matches or even a worthwhile storyline during the year. But I loved Bradshaw's emotional speech on the 9/13 Smackdown. And, bar none, the funniest moment on any show is when Faarooq says 'Damn!'.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Chris Jericho-Chris Benoit, too bad it didn't last longer or start earlier, they didn't have too many matches but every single one of them was exciting to watch.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Dudley Boyz Exercising my right to vote, I'm choosing just one team here. I've lauded the Dudleys on many occasions for their consistency and reliability, and I'm sticking to my guns. Throw this team in any match, in any storyline and the worst you'll get is still above average. To say they are the backbone of the WWF tag team scene is an understatement.


    Worst Tag Team Of 2001

    Kronik (17%)

    Second: Totally Buff (16%).
    Third: Right To Censor, The X-Factor (11%).
    Other:
    9% voted for Three Count.
    7% voted for Albert & Scotty 2 Hotty.
    6% voted for Kane, Undertaker.
    3% voted for The Filthy Animals.
    2% voted for Hardy Boys, Dudley Boys, Austin, Triple H, The Natural Born Thrillers, O'Haire, Palumbo.
    1% voted for Christian York, Joey Matthews, Hot Commodity, Danny Doring, Road Kill, F.B.I., Tajiri, Mikey Whipwreck, Swinger, Simon Diamond, The Yung Dragons, Team Canada, Edge, Christian, Evan Karagias, Jaime Knoble, The A.P.A. 0% voted for Chris Jericho-Chris Benoit, The Impact Players.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6437


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: I'll say it once. I'll say it a thousand times. Kronik sucks! What was the WWF thinking in hiring these two bumbling stiffs? Their performance in their debut WWF match was so bad that they were taken off television soon afterwards. That about says it all right there. I honestly don't know what happened to these two guys. Years ago, they weren't half bad as Crush and Atom Bomb. Nowadays, they can't even get their timing in the ring right or sell the simplest of moves. Kronik sucks!

  • John Molinaro: Kronik - What was the WWF thinking?

  • Jon Waldman: Totally Buff Luger and Bagwell proved once and for all that big egos will get you nowhere. By WCW's end, both men were hated, and Luger was not even a thought in the mind of Vince when he bought WCW. Bagwell screwed himself over by, well, being Buff Bagwell. Thankfully, it looks like these two are done in wrestling.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Kronik - The question is not whether Kronik sucks. It's whether Brian Adams sucks more than Bryan Clark, or vice versa. Together, itís almost like negative synergy... their 'suckitude' increases exponentially. 2. Totally Buff - See comments on Kronik, substituting Lex Luger for Adams and Buff Bagwell for Clark.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Tie between Totally Buff and Kronic. I like a tag team that can move fast and execute on time. Perhaps as individuals these four guys would do better, oh wait, I take that back.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Totally Buff 2. Kronik Yikes. I guess the thought process behind the formation of Totally Buff was that two wooden performers together magically become compelling. Guess again. Kronik didn't exactly set the world on fire either, and the short WWF tenure of Adams and Clarke was downright laughable.


    Best Hardcore Wrestler Of 2001

    RVD (59%)

    Second: Rhyno (13%).
    Third: Sabu, Terry Funk (4%)
    Other:
    3% voted for Undertaker, Triple H. 2% voted for Steve Corino, Spike Dudley, New Jack, Sandman, Crowbar.
    1% voted for Tommy Dreamer, Steve Austin, Mike Awesome.
    0% voted for Justin Credible.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6435


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: For sure insanity alone, Rob Van Dam and Spike Dudley take the cake and this category. I cringe every time these two take a bump. Especially little Spike who has brought his Human Crash Test Dummy stylings to the WWF with much enthusiasm. Spike doesn't often get the credit he deserves for risking his life and limb the way he does. How he has been able to escape debilitating injury with the shots he has taken in ECW and the WWF is beyond my understanding. Hats off to both of them for being the daredevils they are.

  • John Molinaro: Rob Van Dam - Who else can you pick?

  • Jon Waldman: RVD. Van Dam has shown the WWF that you do not need to conform to a particular style. RVD went out and simply worked his ass off and the fans responded enthusiastically.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Rob Van Dam - Is there any question? He made hardcore matches worth watching again... and brought back a little taste of ECW, seeing how the rest of the guys got buried. 2. Rhyno - Too bad we never got to see him take on RVD. Hope he comes back stronger than ever after his neck heals.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: 1-RVD, having RVD holding the Hardcore belt for a while made me believe that maybe the WWF bookers are using logic, but then he lost it. so who's holding the belt now? who cares?

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Rob Van Dam RVD's WWF hardcore title reign was one of the best examples of a wrestler doing more for a belt than vice versa. A title defense for Van Dam involved both wrestling and foreign objects, breaking away from the stale formula of the past few years of two guys hitting each other with garbage can lids. I couldn't think of voting for anyone else.


    Match Of 2001

    Steve Austin versus Triple H (No Way Out) (15%)

    Second: The Hardy Boys versus Edge and Christian versus The Dudley Boys (WrestleMania). (14%).
    Third: Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit (Royal Rumble) (13%)
    Other:
    8% voted for "Stone Cold" Steve Austin versus The Rock (WrestleMania).
    6% voted for Kurt Angle versus Shane McMahon (King Of The Ring).
    5% voted for Jerry Lynn Vs Rob Van Dam (Guilty As Charged), Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle (WrestleMania).
    4% voted for Jeff Hardy versus Rob Van Dam (Invasion).
    3% voted for Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle (Backlash), Rob Van Dam Versus Jeff Hardy (SummerSlam), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Versus Kurt Angle (SummerSlam), Chris Jericho Versus The Rock (No Mercy), Team WWF versus Team Alliance (Survivor Series).
    2% voted for Kurt Angle versus Chris Benoit (Judgment Day), Rob Van Dam versus Chris Jericho (Unforgiven), Steve Austin versus Chris Jericho (Vengeance).
    1% voted for The Royal Rumble (Royal Rumble), Evan Karagias, Jaime Knoble versus Kaz Hayashi, Yang versus Shannon Moore, Shane Helms (FallBrawl), Shane Helms versus Chavo Guerrero (Greed), Scott Steiner versus Diamond Dallas Page (Greed), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin versus Kurt Angle (Unforgiven), Christian Versus Edge (No Mercy), Rob Van Dam versus The Undertaker (Vengeance), Steve Austin versus Kurt Angle (Vengeance), The Rock versus Chris Jericho (Vengeance).
    0% The APA versus Malenko-Saturn versus The Dudley Boys versus X-Factor, Lance Storm Vs Edge (SummerSlam).

    TOTAL VOTES: 6281


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Any match in the series of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit encounters. The entire string of bouts reminded me very much of the Booker T. and Benoit feud in WCW which were absolutely awesome for wrestling purists like myself. Another technically-sound match that I was very fond of was RVD and Jericho from Unforgiven. I like to see them work another program against each other based on the one match alone.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu (June 8 in Tokyo): THE match of the year by far. A 23-minute mat classic on par with Steamboat vs. Flair in Chicago from 1989. Mexico - El Hijo del Santo & Negro Casas vs. Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero: One of the best tag team matches I saw all year with a classic old school vs. new school storyline. U.S./Canada - Benoit & Jericho vs. HHH & Austin from May 21 RAW: Even though HHH was out for the rest of the year, this match rocked and helped to elevate Benoit and Jericho to the next level.

  • Jon Waldman: TLC2. While this was the best match on pay-per-view, it was not the best match of the year. That honour is co-held, IMHO, by TLC3 form Smackdown and Austin/Triple H vs. ACC from RAW. No one thought that the TLC matches could live up to the inaugural match, but they most definitely did. The tag match showed just how dedicated each wrestler was, especially Triple H.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Austin vs. Triple H (2 out of 3 falls), No Way Out - I've got to agree with the fans who voted for this one for the New Year's edition of Raw. Well thought out, well executed, the match was great from the standpoint of psychology and from bloodthirstiness. Especially loved the finish where both men collapsed, Triple H getting a lucky pin. 2. The Rock vs. Jericho, No Mercy - Taking place before Jericho's full-fledged heel turn, this match was a great face vs. face encounter. Probably had me on the edge of my seat more than any other match this year - truly impressive, considering Iím not that big a fan of either of them. Only thing stopping this match from taking the top spot was the unnecessary interference from Stephanie at the end.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit (Royal Rumble); was that Walls of Jericho on top of the ladder? Is there even a name for that move? whatever that was, it gets my vote for the coolest move of 2001 and consequently the match of the year for the two guys.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz (WrestleMania) 2. Sting vs. Ric Flair (Nitro) The WWF's three premier tag teams probably maxed themselves out on high spots at WrestleMania. TLC I had more shock value, but the sequel is less likely to be topped. Bonus points are awarded because I witnessed it live, with just a small time delay for the light to reach the 700 level of the Astrodome. On an even more sentimental note, Sting and Flair closed out my time as Slam! Wrestling's Nitro reporter. I'm getting teary just thinking about it.


    Worst Match Of 2001

    Undertaker and Kane versus Kronik (Unforgiven) (22%)

    Second: Totally Buff versus Kronik (FallBrawl). (12%).
    Third: The Undertaker versus Diamond Dallas Page (King Of The Ring), Gimmick Battle Royal (WrestleMania). (10%)
    Other:
    9% Trish Stratus versus Stephanie McMahon (No Way Out)
    8% Scott Steiner versus Jeff Jarrett versus Sid Vicious versus The Mystery Man (Sin)
    5% Albert, Scotty 2 Hotty versus Test, Christian (Vengeance)
    4% Bam Bam Bigelow versus Shawn Stasiak (Greed), The Big Show versus Shane McMahon (Backlash).
    3% William Regal versus Rikishi (Judgment Day), Perry Saturn versus Raven (Unforgiven), The Dudleys versus Kane, Big Show (Vengeance).
    2% Scott Steiner versus Kevin Nash (Fall Brawl), Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair versus Dusty and Dustin Rhodes (Greed), Test versus Big Show versus Rhyno (Judgment Day).
    1% Nova versus Chris Hammerick (Guilty As Charged).

    TOTAL VOTES: 6243


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: If we utterly dismiss the Trish versus Stephanie match at No Way Out as two non-wrestlers goofing off, the two which are deserving of another poke are Diamond Dallas Page versus The Undertaker at King Of The Ring and Undertaker, Kane versus Kronik at Unforgiven. Once again, Kronik sucks crap. That one match had more blown moves than Chyna had in her short-lived wrestling career and when they did manage to coordinate something, Kronik could sell it worth a damn. What an embarrassment. Talking about shame, Diamond Dallas Page goes from WCW World Heavyweight Champion to being battered around by the Undertaker in a few short months. Did DDP even mount any offence at all in that...dare I say...match at King Of The Ring? It was an out and out mugging and did nothing for DDP's reputation as a consummate worker or his status as a newcomer in the WWF. Who wants to sit there and watch one guy get his brains beaten in for ten minutes straight? Snore. Not Me.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Choshu & Nakanishi vs. Ogawa & Mukarami: More booking foolishness during a big card at the Fukuoka Dome. What a clusterf*ck! Mexico - None really stand out as pure stinkers. U.S./Canada - Undertaker & Kane vs. Kronik from Unforgiven: The longest 10 minutes and 22 seconds of my life. Honourable mention to every Chyna match.

  • Jon Waldman: DDP - Taker (KOTR). I've seen some crappy matches this year but this one takes the cake. Taker should have jobbed to Page form the start. Instead, we get Page getting the crap beaten out of him by the Undertaker (and later 'Sara-taker'), immediately making the invasion look like a joke.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Chyna vs. Ivory, Royal Rumble - A horrible match, a lame injury angle. I actually felt bad for Ivory for having to participate in this debacle. An embarassment to wrestling fans that would even have been dismal for the WOW pay-per-view. 2. Kronik vs. Kane & Undertaker - The only redeeming quality of this match was that it ended.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Undertaker and Kane versus Kronik (Unforgiven): need I go into details?

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Totally Buff vs. Kronik (Fall Brawl) 2. Trish Stratus vs. Stephanie McMahon (No Way Out) Ugly. That's what you get when you take the year's two worst tag teams and pit them against each other. And Trish versus Steph was simply a blueprint for how not to have an entertaining women's match. I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a special dishonorable mention to Undertaker-DDP (head-scratching booking at it's finest) and Brothers of Destruction-Kronik (enough said).


    Best Wrestling Federation Of 2001

    WWF (80%)

    Second: ECW (13%).
    Third: WCW (7%).

    TOTAL VOTES: 6398


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Not much to go on here. With ECW tanking so early on in the year, the WWF gets my vote by process of elimination and nothing more. My pick here isn't any indication of the WWF doing a wonderful job last year. 2001 rates as one of the worst they've ever had...in my book.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - New Japan: Kind of an off year business-wise for New Japan, but still the clear #1 office in Japan. Mexico - EMLL: With AAA in the toilet, EMLL was the best major promotion in Mexico this year. U.S./Canada - WWF: They win by default.

  • Jon Waldman: WWF. No one else was left standing. They win this one by default.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. WWF - Well, it's the only one that survived, what does that tell you? 2. ECW - Thanks for the memories, guys. Keep fighting, Paul.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: WWF, it's hard to pick either of the other 2 considering they both went out of business.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. WWF Also known as the only wrestling fed by the end of 2001. Next question...


    Worst Wrestling Federation of 2001


    WCW (71%)

    Second: WWF (16%).
    Third: ECW (13%).

    TOTAL VOTES: 6384


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Nobody likes a quitter and that's what WCW did towards the end. They had plenty of opportunities to pull things together or choose another fork in the road and they didn't. Though the decision to pull the plug came from a suit that wasn't associated at all with the federation, WCW masterminded their own demise. That's what happens when people who don't know the first clue about the wrestling business are put in charge

  • John Molinaro: Japan - FMW: As Paul Simon sang 'Still crazy after all these years". In FMW 's case, they're still running that same old garbage sh*t after all these years. Mexico - AAA: They've become a sad parody of themselves and are a long way from 1992-1996 when they were the best wrestling promotion in the world. U.S./Canada - WCW: Rest in Peace.

  • Jon Waldman: ECW. Of the two companies that folded, ECW was somewhat sadder in that they just puttered out. WCW at least stayed strong until the end, while ECW folded up camp without giving the fans what they truly wanted, that being a farewell show.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Women of Wrestling - Thought I'd say WCW, didn't you? 2. WCW - It's hard to be a good company when the bosses just don't care. The boys deserved better.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: WCW, bad booking, bad announcing, bad wrestling.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. WCW 2. ECW Upon further review, this might have been the biggest slam dunk. I had a ringside seat for WCW's slow, agonizing demise. ECW should get a special award for worst money management by a fed in 2001.


    Best Weekly Television Show Of 2001

    Raw Is War (72% )

    Second: SmackDown! (13%).
    Third: ECW TV (8%).
    Other:
    6% voted for Nitro.
    1% voted for WCW Thunder.
    0% voted for Sunday Night Heat.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6393


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: ECW TV. They may not have been around the entire year but what they had to offer blew away almost anything the WWF produced throughout the whole of 2001.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - New Japan World Pro Wrestling: THE best wrestling TV show on the planet! Mexico - EMLL on Galavision: Unlike their colleagues AAA, EMLL knows how to put together a quality TV production. U.S./Canada - Smackdown!: It had far batter main event matches than RAW this year.

  • Jon Waldman: Smackdown!. Prime-time wrestling on Thursdays was great this year, and gave us great matches like TLC3 and Angle vs. Booker T. Full marks here.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Raw - Sometimes, it's even better than the PPV from the night before. If only TSN would keep its hands off of it. 2. Smackdown - Not as must-see as Raw, simply because the results are usually posted somewhere on the web by Wednesday night.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: RAW. If only TSN would stop with their silly censors.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Raw 2. Smackdown Two big heaping helpings of WWF wrestling a week tasted a lot like pizza after a while. It was really good when you were really hungry, but got bland after too many slices. You would keep eating it, though, because it was safer than trying something new. By the end of 2001 the pantry was bare, so pizza it was.


    Worst Weekly Television Show Of 2001

    WCW Thunder (44%)

    Second: Sunday Night Heat (26%).
    Third: Nitro (14%).
    Other:
    9% voted for ECW TV.
    5% voted for Raw Is War.
    2% voted for SmackDown!

    TOTAL VOTES: 6380


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Sunday Night Heat. While Thunder continued to improve near the end of its run, Heat has continued to get worse and worse. Who the hell even watches it any more except if a pay-per-view falls on the same exact night? If the WWF is not going to bother investing any time or energy in it, they should just mercifully put the show to death. Methinks we won't see that any time soon since Heat appears on MTV as part of a deal with ViaCom.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - None. Mexico - AAA on Galavision: Just some brutal matches and the show has no rhyme or reason to it in terms of the matches it airs. U.S./Canada - WWF Heat: Talk about a waste of an hour.

  • Jon Waldman: Heat. WWF really needs to drop this show. It is one-hundred percent pointless, since most of the wrestlers stay in character when interviewed, and second-tier matches are better on Metal/Jakked anyways.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Sunday Night Heat - If it wasn't on, I wouldn't miss it. Besides, it competes against 'King of the Hill'. 2. Thunder - Like Nitro, only worse.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Thunder, Boring.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Thunder 2. Sunday Night Heat No food analogies here, just bad wrestling shows.


    Best Gang Of 2001

    The Alliance (28%)

    Second: Team WWF (26%).
    Third: Team Canada (21%).
    Other:
    8% voted for The Natural Born Thrillers.
    6% voted for Right To Censor.
    5% voted for The Filthy Animals.
    3% voted for Three Count, F.B.I.
    1% voted for Hot Commodity.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6335


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: The Alliance. Purely because it reunited the ECW talent once again.

  • John Molinaro: None - I really don't like 'Gangs'.

  • Jon Waldman: Natural Born Thrillerz. We'[ve now seen the future of wrestling. There's no question in my mind that Mike Saunders and Sean O'Haire belong in the big leagues, and they'll be on the main shows by the end of the year. Jindrak needs time, but he can definitely get it done, and Palumbo, well, he's not as bad as Gunn. These guys made WCW exciting to watch, and I can't wait to see them back on TV.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. The Alliance - If only the majority of them were given a chance to shine. 2. Team WWF - Any team where Albert is given TV time is good enough for me.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: The Alliance, I liked the idea of forming a rebel gang made of two rival companies, WCW and ECW against WWF.

  • Nick Tylwalk: 1. Team WWF Think of Team WWF as the Justice League - the best Vince could gather togther to defend his company. I like it.


    Worst Gang Of 2001

    Right To Censor (35%)

    Second: Three Count. (16%).
    Third: The Alliance (12%).
    Other:
    11% voted for The Filthy Animals.
    8% voted for The Natural Born Thrillers.
    7% voted for Team WWF.
    4% voted for Team Canada, Hot Commodity.
    3% voted for F.B.I.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6357


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Right To Censor. RTC could've been something truly great if the WWF had made it into a "cult" and took it to the next level by retooling them beyond being a one note faction. Alas, that was not to be. Let's hope the talented Steven Richards and Val Venis are given the chance to shine once again as they sure can.

  • John Molinaro: The Alliance.

  • Jon Waldman: Alliance. No doubt here. The group was mishandeled, mispromoted, and not given a chance. Thankfully guys like Booker T and Rob Van Dam have been able to move on and blossom.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Right to Censor - Liked the gimmick when it first started, pity about the wrestling, though. Will Stevie Richards ever find something to do in the WWF? 2. The Filthy Animals - I'd write something more, but I won't waste my time on them.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Three Count, I hate boy bands.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Right To Censor I supported the RTC in 2000, but the wheels came off of their platform in 2001. From heel heat to plain old hate in one easy step.


    Feud Of 2001

    Chris Jericho versus The Rock (17%)

    Second: The Alliance versus Team WWF, Kurt Angle versus Steve Austin. (13%).
    Third: Steve Austin versus Triple H (10%).
    Other:
    7% voted for Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit.
    6% voted for Rob Van Dam versus Jerry Lynn.
    5% voted for Edge, Christian versus Hardy Boys, Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle.
    4% voted for Steve Austin versus The Rock.
    2% voted for Triple H versus Undertaker, The Rock versus Booker T, Booker T. versus Steve Austin, Edge versus Christian.
    1% voted for Rhyno versus Sandman, Team Canada versus The Filthy Animals, Dudley Boys versus Edge, Christian, Hardy Boys versus Dudley Boys, Jeff versus Matt Hardy, The Rock versus Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner versus Diamond Dallas Page, Diamond Dallas Page versus Undertaker. Chris Jericho versus William Regal, Kurt Angle versus Shane McMahon, RVD versus Jeff Hardy.
    0% voted for RVD versus Undertaker.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6347


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle for all the reasons I stated above.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - Keiji Muto vs. All Japan: I loved how Muto, New Japan's top star, took the Triple Crown title to a new level and mowed through All Japan's top stars. Mexico - Old Infernales vs. New Infernales in EMLL: This was the best thing in Mexico all year. Old time heat at its best, which is pretty rare in the age of the Internet and the era of 'smart' fans. U.S./Canada - Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit: I liked the subtle storyline behind this one and the matches were first rate, of course.

  • Jon Waldman: Jericho vs. Benoit. The WWF really let the Chrises go this year with some spectacular matches, including the ladder match at the Royal Rumble. Both wrestlers came out better for it, garnering fan support usually unheard of for pure wrestling in the WWF.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Team WWF vs. The Alliance - I know most people didn't like the way it was executed, but I liked the Invasion storyline. Interesting psychology, as the heels played the underdog role... and actually lost! Plus, it did spawn the best promo of the year, Paul Heyman's rant against Vince on the Smackdown before Survivor Series. 2. Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle - If I could have a compilation tape of the best matches of 2001, their series at the beginning of the year would absolutely make the cut.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Kurt Angle versus Steve Austin. These 2 guys produced some pretty interesting moments and matches during their feud, whether they were playing a heel or a face, they made me laugh and entertained.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Team Alliance vs. Team WWF 2. Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin The Invasion feud gets the nod for its historical trappings, though if there's a wrestling fan alive who thinks it couldn't have been so much more, I haven't met him (or her). None of the singles feuds really blew me away, but Angle definitely seemed to bring the best out of Austin.


    Worst Feud Of 2001

    Diamond Dallas Page versus Undertaker (29%)

    Second: The Alliance versus Team WWF (16%).
    Third: Jeff versus Matt Hardy (13%).
    Other:
    10% voted for Team Canada versus The Filthy Animals.
    5% voted for Scott Steiner versus Diamond Dallas Page.
    3% voted for Rhyno versus Sandman, Chris Jericho versus William Regal, Kurt Angle versus Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle versus Shane McMahon.
    2% voted for RVD versus Undertaker, Edge versus Christian, Chris Jericho versus The Rock.
    1% voted for Rob Van Dam versus Jerry Lynn, Dudley Boys versus Edge, Christian, Hardy Boys versus Dudley Boys, Steve Austin versus Triple H, The Rock versus Kurt Angle, Kurt Angle versus Steve Austin, Steve Austin versus The Rock, Triple H versus Undertaker, RVD versus Jeff Hardy, RVD versus Chris Jericho.
    0% voted for Edge, Christian versus Hardy Boys, Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit, Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle.


    TOTAL VOTES: 6281


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: The Alliance versus The WWF. So fouled up, unsuccessful, bungled and totally screwed up was this angle that fan literally gave up on it and turned off the WWF as a whole. This angle alone will go down in WWF history as one of its greatest failures as an organization.

  • John Molinaro: Japan - New Japan vs. All Japan: Like the WCW vs. WWF angle, New Japan had a million dollar angle all set to go but they somehow managed to botch it badly. Mexico - AAA owner Antonio Pena vs. Cibernetico: A poor man's Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin. U.S./Canada - The WWF vs. The Alliance: I can't even begin to describe how bad this was; how they could screw up a feud like that is beyond me.

  • Jon Waldman: Alliance vs. WWF. Straight up, Vince and the WWF crew botched this one terribly. If only they had brought Flair in at the beginning the Alliance would not have stunk as much as it did.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy - Took forever to get there, and lasted all of one bad match. Waste of time, especially since it looks like they're reforming. 2. DDP vs. Undertaker - Did they even have a match?

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Jeff versus Matt Hardy, they are both great wrestlers as a tag team having them break up and fight each other over Lita just didn't make sense.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Undertaker vs. DDP 2. Jeff vs. Matt Hardy I admit it: I was actually excited when DDP was revealed as the stalker. But after the revelation it was like the WWF's writers suddenly forgot everything they knew about getting heat. A mind-numbing, pointless squash of a feud. The Hardy feud had potential but the WWF seemed afriad to commit to it.


    Manager / Valet Of 2001

    Stacy Keibler (21%)

    Second: Lita (19%).
    Third: Stephanie McMahon (14%).
    Other:
    11% voted for Torrie Wilson.
    9% voted for Paul Heyman.
    6% voted for Shane McMahon.
    5% voted for Mighty Molly.
    3% voted for Bill Alphonso.
    2% voted for Dafney, Steven Richards, Terri, Dawn Marie, Midajah.
    1% voted for Francine.
    0% voted for Paisley.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6359


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Lita for the support she gave the Hardy Boys. She played her role so very well that she actually became the third member of Team Extreme.

  • John Molinaro: None - Managers are useless these days.

  • Jon Waldman: Lita. Lita once again proved that she is one of the top managers in the biz. She did exactly what a manager is supposed to do: make sure their talent wins matches while not hogging the spotlight. Lita helped at the right times, but also hung back when necessary.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Shane McMahon - An old-school manager, who gets involved any way he can to help his man win. As he can actually work the mic, is a good fit for the promo-challenged. 2. Stephanie McMahon - See comments about Shane. Better looking, though.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Lita and Stephanie McMahon, both took bumps at times. Though Stephanie is annoying given more than 10 seconds on mic, I liked her being at the receiving end of Rock and Jericho's ridicule.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Stacy Keibler 2. Torrie Wilson Stacy and Torrie didn't even seem like the best valets WCW had to offer at the time of the purchase, but they managed to find niches in Titanland. Keibler provided endless distractions for the Dudleys and turned The King from a breast man to a leg man. Tajiri and Torrie helped each other get over.


    Worst Manager / Valet Of 2001

    Stephanie McMahon (19%)

    Second: Steven Richards (15%).
    Third: Paul Heyman, Terri, Dafney, Mighty Molly (9%).
    Other:
    6% voted for Paisley.
    5% voted for Bill Alphonso, Shane McMahon, Midajah.
    3% voted for Lita, Stacy Keibler.
    2% voted for Torrie Wilson.
    1% voted for Francine, Dawn Marie.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6316


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Terri Runnels has lost her way. When she managed V.K. Wallstreet (Alexandra York) and Goldust (Marlena), she was a important part of their success and fit the bill as a true manager who was genuinely concerned about the success of her men. Now, Runnels is reduced to doing wet T-shirt contests on Raw and battling a mop for TV time. Too bad. So sad.

  • John Molinaro: Stephanie McMahon - She's just so damn annoying, and not in a good 'getting heel heat' way.

  • Jon Waldman: Terri. Come on. The only memorable feud that Terri was involved in was a mop and she did nothing productive this year. I hardly think it's coincidental that the two men she managed this year, Saturn and Raven, are only on house shows or Metal at most now. Terri should hang up her cougar paws for good and leave the WWF.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Steven Richards - How good could he have been? The RTC deserted him, and Kronik got fired. 2. Terri - Less over than a mop. Better looking, though.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Steven Richards, he's much better as a wrestler than a loud mouth manager.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Stephanie McMahon Somehow, Steph managed to turn the treble up even higher in 2001. Let my voice be one of many saying Steph needs to get off TV. Now.


    Best Pay-Per-View Of 2001

    WrestleMania (52%)

    Second: Royal Rumble (8%).
    Third: Vengeance (6%).
    Other:
    5% voted for Guilty As Charged, SummerSlam.
    4% voted for King Of The Ring, Invasion, Survivor Series.
    3% voted for No Way Out.
    3% voted for WWF King Of The Ring, WWF No Mercy.
    2% voted for Unforgiven, No Mercy.
    1% voted for Sin, SuperBrawl, Greed, Backlash, Judgment Day.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6083


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: SummerSlam closely followed by WrestleMania and No Way Out. As I wrote in my review of SummerSlam..."Even though the finishes of the main events left a lot to be desired, SummerSlam was a fine example of the caliber of entertainment the WWF is really capable of if everyone involved puts some pride and creativity into their work instead of "dogging it" because they currently have no competition to speak of. SummerSlam was a rare happening. It is not often that a pay-per-view is of such high quality that there are no wasted matches on the card. Even the very worst match -- The Dudley Boys and Test against The APA and Spike Dudley -- wasn't a total write-off."

  • John Molinaro: Japan - New Japan vs. All Japan (June 6 in Tokyo): Although the production left a lot to be desired, I liked the best of five series program between the two groups. Mexico - EMLL's El Juicio Final: The legend Perro Aguayo getting his head shaved after a bloody cage match. what else has to be said. U.S./Canada - WrestleMania: The best one ever in the history of the event.

  • Jon Waldman: WM 17. No question here. This one was solid from top to bottom, with great action from TLC2 and Rock/Austin, a solid match between Angle and Benoit and the Gimmick Battle Royal for giggles and retro fun, this was the best of the year, and numbers as one of the best of all-time.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Wrestlemania X7 - It's cliche, but true: WM brings out the best in everyone. Even lugs like the Big Show and Kane didn't stink too badly. TLC 2, Benoit-Angle, Austin-Rock, Triple H-Taker were all Match of the Year candidates. Even the Gimmick Battle Royale was nostalgically funny. Hope next yearís is even better. 2. Summerslam - Solid matches from top to bottom of the card, including a 5-star battle between Austin and Angle.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Royal Rumble 2001. This one was fun. Jericho and Benoit match was the highlight of the show and the 30 men battle royal was actually better than this year's.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. WrestleMania 2. Invasion Both of these PPV's - which I attended in person - will hold special places in my memory. Mania was just an awesome experience, for the atmosphere as much as the actual event. Say what you want about Invasion, but the Austin turn got a big reaction from the fans. I'll never forget walking through the Gund Arena parking lot, hearing people wearing Austin 3:16 shirts curse Stone Cold. Fans gave Hank and I the finger too... just because we were wearing WCW shirts.


    Worst Pay-Per-View Of 2001

    WCW Sin (25% )

    Second: Greed (14%).
    Third: Invasion (10%).
    Other:
    8% voted for SuperBrawl.
    6% voted for Vengeance.
    5% voted for Guilty As Charged, Backlash, Survivor Series.
    4% voted for Unforgiven.
    3% voted for WrestleMania, Judgment Day, King Of The Ring, No Mercy.
    2% voted for No Way Out, SummerSlam.
    1% voted for Royal Rumble.


    TOTAL VOTES: 5957


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Taking WOW out of the equation, we are left with ECW's Guilty As Charged. At the time I wrote..."The troubled promotion still doesn't have a television deal and as students of the game know without a television presence these days you're behind the eight ball. I, myself, am finding it harder and harder to gear up for an ECW pay-per-view with their ability to produce the weekly hype and angles gone. The stress the company is under is taking a toll on their product as last night's broadcast was as hard to follow as an Ahmed Johnson promo and contained more missed spots that you can swing a steel chair at."

  • John Molinaro: WCW Sin - The return of RoadWarrior Animal as the 'big surprise'? Ugh.

  • Jon Waldman: InVasion. I suppose it could have been worse, but for that to have happened Kevin Nash would have had to have been involved. Oh come on. You think this was bad? Wait until Vince names a PPV after whatever the Nash/Hall/Hogan/whoeverelse faction's name is called. Watch this one as a primer for the worst to come.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. WOW Unleashed - Take pity on me... I actually watched this crap. 2. WWF Judgment Day - With the exception of the Benoit-Angle match, this was a disappointing card. A main event weíve all seen too many times, poor showings by the usual suspects, and overall bad booking made even the most die-hard fans cringe.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Invasion: great idea, too bad none of the matches made sense.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Sin One question Eric: how could it have fallen this low? Sin made the WWF buyout seem like an outrageously good idea.


    Best Announcer Of 2001

    Jim Ross (40%).

    Second: Jerry Lawler (28%).
    Third: Paul Heyman (11%).
    Other:
    7% voted for Bobby Heenan, Joey Styles.
    3% voted for Tazz.
    1% voted for Michael Cole, Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mike Tenay, Stevie Ray, Mark Madden, Joel Gertner, Cyrus.
    1% voted for Cyrus, Scott Hudson, Michael Cole.
    0% voted for Kevin Kelly.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6380


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Jim Ross is a dependable and wise mike-man who knows how to interject emotion into a match through his commentary. He may go a little overboard at times but he is a true professional making the talent look as good as they do and covering up for their blunders in very creative and reasonable ways. A skill that is totally lost on the next generation of announcers out there. There is more to an announcer's job than just "calling the action". J.R. understands and therefore will always be heads and shoulders above his colleagues.

  • John Molinaro: Jim Ross - Honestly, who can you pick besides J.R.? He's the modern voice of pro wrestling and is carrying on in the fine tradition of Lance Russell and Gordon Solie.

  • Jon Waldman: Paul Heyman. Heyman proved one thing this year: you do not need to say "puppies" to be funny. Heyman brought some great work to the WWF commenting table, the likes of which haven't been seen since Bobby Heenan. Hopefully the WWF will come to their senses and give him the Smackdown colour position, if not put him back on RAW.

  • Bob Kapur: 1. Jim Ross - It's that simple, he's that good. Can even make a Test match watchable... occasionally. 2. Jerry Lawler - Figured I'd miss Paul Heyman a lot more than I do. But something about Jerry's act makes watching Raw that much more fun - especially now that they're going back to the T&A and toilet humour.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Jerry Lawler. Got to love a sexist, politically incorrect guy on TV. More power to you King.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Jim Ross 2. Scott Hudson If there's only going to be one game in town, you might as well have it called by the best announcer. How J.R. can whip himself into a frenzy when he has so much inside information is beyond me. I always liked Hudson, who never got much of a shot after the takeover.


    Worst Announcer Of 2001

    Tony Schiavone (26%).

    Second: Paul Heyman (13%).
    Third: Stevie Ray (10%).
    Other:
    9% voted for Michael Cole, Mark Madden.
    5% voted for Jim Ross, Tazz, Kevin Kelly.
    4% voted for Jerry Lawler, Scott Hudson.
    3% voted for Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan.
    2% voted for Cyrus, Joel Gertner.
    1% voted for Joey Styles.

    TOTAL VOTES: 6356


    SLAM! Wrestling Picks

  • John Powell: Mark Madden. A blithering, egomaniacal moron and nothing more. The polar opposite of Ross, Madden was only out to get himself over and therefore disrespected and abused the announcer's position he held.

  • John Molinaro: Tony Schiavone - I hate to kick a man while he's down, but without Mark Madden around, Schiavone was by far the worst in the business this past year. He makes Michael Cole sound like Gordon Solie.

  • Jon Waldman: Jim Ross. It's sad to see how JR has had to schill more than call. It almost makes me ill watching Ross have to plug upcoming matches or pay-per-views as much as he does, sinking almost to the depths of Schiavone. There were also several instances where JR mis-named a wrestler this year, which is a definite no-no. I mean come on. Is it THAT hard to tell Benoit and Jericho apart?

  • Bob Kapur: 1. (tie) Johnathan Coachman and Kevin Kelly - I'm not sure which weekend show they do together, but it's horrible. Granted they don't have great matches to talk about, but they should at least try to pretend that they're interested.

  • Pejman Ramezanpour: Tony Schiavone.

  • Nick Tylwalk:1. Stevie Ray 2. Michael Cole Horrible. Miscast. Incomprehensible. Maddening. Just plain bad. All of these adjectives could be used to describe Stevie Ray's tenure as a WCW announcer. Meanwhile, Michael Cole's slowly working on my nerves. The tight shirts, goofy hair and voice all combine to scream annoying. If you put Ivory on color with Cole, you'd have the all-time all-annoying team.


    2000 Year-End Poll Results
    1999 Year-End Poll Results
    1998 Year-End Poll Results
    1997 Year-End Poll Results
    1996 Year-End Poll Results






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