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1999 R.S.P-W Awards

General Comments

General Comments

This entire document copyright 1999 by Christopher Robin Zimmerman.  Portions
of this document are copyright 1990-95 by Herb Kunze and used with his kind

Visit Herb's Awards page at <>.

I can be reached by emailing

First, some general comments...

TORREY M. SPEARS: Wrestling, as a whole peaked in 1999 with the mainstream
media... never again will it be some 'backwoods hick' thing.  At the same
time, Sports Entertainment will rule the next millenium..... 'wrestling'
as we knew it is dead.

LARRYBUD: #1 story of the year is Owen Hart's death at "Over the Edge" and
the reaction from it.  #2 story is the tumult in the WCW from the firing
of Bischoff to hiring of Russo/Ferrerra. Thanks for making this possible!

SCOTT GRIFFITH: That was a lot of fun!  Thanks for the effort CRZ, and
keep up the good work.  Sorry I don't read your recaps on Wrestline.  
haha The Netcop is just funnier for my recapping dollar.

SVEN MASCARENHAS: Compared to 1998, 1999 was a horrible year for wrestling
in North America. While Mankind had an incredible year, the success of one
of the true nice guys of wrestling doesn't balance the loss of class acts
such as Rick Rude and Owen Hart. Match quality and lengths dropped across
the board (and almost overnight in WCW), political pressure killed angles,
and others that should have been wiped out at the moment of their
conception were allowed to continue. Yet there were bright lights: for the
first time in a long time, it seemed as if we're finally going to be able
to get rid of the stars of the 80s who somehow stuck around to become the
stars of the 90s. The WWF has a ton of young talent just waiting for
Austin to finally move into acting (now, who does that sound like?) in
Edge, Christian, the Hardyz, Papi Chulo, Kurt Angle, D'Lo Brown and Test.
WCW can look into the next decade safe in the knowledge that they've got
Chris Benoit, Billy Kidman, and especially Bill Goldberg under their wing.
And ECW has Lance Storm, the man who's my pick to be the next Bret Hart,
waiting until Mr. 4:20 moves into the mainstream and gets crushed just as
badly as he did last time. So while the year may have been bad, there were
some notable bright spots and plenty of hope for the future.  Oh, one last
thing: Test gets the consensus Rookie of the Year award, I should think.

BILL LEHECKA: The WWF outdistanced it's competitor this year.  It put on
more cognitave, entertaining shows.  Granted there was a lack of wrestling
compared to WCW, the storylines made up for it, from Rock and Mankind, to
Chris Jericho's introduction to the WWF, it was the year of the WWF.  
That's all I really have to say.  I might add an addendum, if that's OK.  

JBELL55146: WWF and ECW pretty much stayed content with little spurts here
and there while WCW might as well have had Celine Dion singing 'My Heart
Will Go On' cuz they sank faster then the Titanic ever could.  Hopefully
they will get their heads on straight and put forth a good 2000.

JOHN C.: Thanks for allowing me to vote and I look forward to the results
and comments. Take care.

RICHARD BEAUBIEN: Welcome to the year of Sports Entertainment, as WCW went
clearly over to the side of sport entertainment and WWF continued to win
the ratings battle. People changed sides, the front office was shooked up,
and in the end I'm less optimistic about the future of wrestling at the
end of this year then last year. Last year it seemed like the WCW would go
into a new age without Hulk Hogan and provide us with quality wrestling
thanks to the lWo. Hulk Hogan returned, and WCW went down the crapper.  
Now Hulk Hogan is gone again, but we all know he'll be back to pollute the
air waves. And with Russo at the helm, sport entertainment at WCW will
never allow to deliver a quality 10 minute cruiserweight match again. Not
enough T&A I guess...  The WWF continued on it's course, and desptie the
fact the ideas seem a bit bland to me at years end they have remained true
to form. Which is a angle driven, storyline company. The arrival of
Jericho helped liven things up, and the Hardyz and The Holly's entertained
me. But the HHH angle doesn't intrest me, and the WWF had some really big
stinkers this year, mostly involving either the females or Kane and the
Big Slow.  So as we hit Y2J head on, things look grim for a turn to
quality wrestling. The rating are high, and WCW seems determined to become
the WWF so it looks like a shift back to work rate is less and less
likely. And as the old war horses Ric Flair and Brett Hart walk into the
fading sunset, as Chris Benoit seems destined to get the short end of the
stick regardless of who's running WCW.  The fact that Hulk Hogan might be
doing an Austin gimmick soon....  But maybe the new fans may tire of the
new age soap opera. Maybe they'll leave and allow the old fans to come
back, to see the stars of the new generation craft a legacy. Not based
solely on promos and angels, but on great work rate. Maybe we'll have our
Steamboat/Flair for the next cenutry...  Maybe...But I wouldn't count on

DMIKESTER: First off, CRZ, I want to say thank you.  You have given me
many hours of enjoyment and satisfaction at seeing a recapper who really
cares about what he's doing and knows what he's talking about.  There are
only a handful of reporters like you, and you are one of the best of those
proud few.  Thank you. I based the beginning on "wrestling" talent,
something that seems to have been forgotten by everyone except the most
dedicated wrestling fans.  The reason I watch ECW more than WWF now is
because of the wrestling that still exists there.  I also watch WCW when
there's a match like Bret Hart v. Chris Benoit.  I've been going through
the 'Net and many people who have been talking about their nominations
have said Steve Austin is the best wrestler of the year when they don't
even consider how horrible he's become since he became a babyface in the

JAMIE COVILLE: On the "worst" stuff it's hard to pick just three ;)

STACY MCMACKIN: Next year, eliminate the "Best Jobber" and "Best Jobber To
The Stars" categories. The concept makes no sense, a wrestler is a
wrestler.  Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. The only time when
"jobber" was an appropriate term in wrestling was when they actually had
squash matches on wrestling tv shows where one guy ALWAYS WON and one guy
ALWAYS LOST. They no longer do that... everybody sometimes wins and
sometimes loses these days.

GRAHAM PRESTON: This year was pretty lackluster and will become one of the
most notorious years of wrestling history.  Wrestling became Sports
Entertainment, drew massive ratings, and ... Owen.  Hopefully his death
will not be relegated to trivia games, and tongue in cheek references.  
One can only hope wrestling will go back more to its roots whil keeping
some SE, to attract the diehard smarts to the blowjob obsessed typical
10-12 year old catchphrase memorising, DD only, type people.  Thank god
for November '98 to about March '99 Corporation/Rocky type stuff to save
this year from almost complete boredom.  Hopefully this time next year
I'll be writing about Benoit's 5 month title reighn in which he got mega
over, and became a GOD~! to smarks, marks and smarts.  I'm out.

CHRIS VAUGHN: This year's nominees GREATLY upsets me. This poll is VERy
workrate, and by no means covers all aspects of wrestling. It kills me to
see that you cannot even put Hulk Hogan in the best wrestler category.
Yes, he is old. Yes, he's not a great wrestler, but he's still one of the
best entertainers in the business, and wrestling is Sports Entertainment.
Hogan was included in evey category that was in any way a category that
put wrestlers down. Not everyone is a mark for good technical wrestling,
and quality grappling! (IE: Chris Benoit, Bret Hart) Remember, not
everyone shares your opinions on good wrestling.  (Hello!  Where were you
when we were nominating?  Also, you were free to vote for people thta
weren't nominated.  I guess it helps to READ THE RULES, huh? - CRZ)

THE H-BOMB: I can't believe that Chris Benoit won "Jobber to the Stars"
last year. I voted, and ignored him because he did earn wins. He was
deserving of a push, but he wasn't fed to every at Eric Bischoff's whim.
Taka is someone deserving of a push, but at the same time doesn't collect
any wins at all. And that, my friend, is why he is your "Jobber to the
Stars" this year!  "Most Improved" is a tough category this year. I've
only begun watching ECW in September, since I'm in the deprived country of
Canada :) , so I can't acurately give any of their performs any votes.
What I'm left with is WWF and WCW stars, who in most cases always had the
skills, but was finally given a chance by their promotion. Such is the
case with Hardcore Holly. Many people may argue, but he had the skill all
along. It wasn't as evident as "Spark Plug", but in the New Midnight
Express, I got to see his talent. I give Lenny number 1, for the sole
reason that if he had talent, WCW didn't even care to show it. Instead of
jobbing while showcasing his skills, he was plain and simply doing Barry
Horowitz's job.  I didn't vote in either Major Show category, because I
didn't feel that I could vote seeing how I was unable to watch any of the
Major Shows over the past year, because in September of '98 the stupid
cable company pulled pay-per-view.  Call me crazy, but Little Guido always
has good matches, thus I included him as one of my picks for best wrestler
of the year.

TOXICENEMA: After a great year for wrestling in 1998, 1999 was a big
letdown. WCW hit the absolute rock bottom in terms of PPV's, and angle
development. Its choatic, dartboard booking was at the absolute worst this
year. It's too bad, because solid workers like Kanyon, Guerrero and the
like will be overlooked for WWF talent that was pushed correctly (Edge,
Hardyz) . WWF started out really good, but lost its way after WM, not
having a legitimate heel to foil Rock or Austin. They spent most of the
summer trying to create HHH into that mold, boring the audience. But the
audience had no alternatives to turn to. ECW lost a few steps with a
combination of pushing the wrong people (New Jack, Balls&Axl)  and losing
alot of workers (Sandman, Taz, Douglas) .

GREGG MIXDORF:  This year in wrestling seemed to be a down year for in the
ring competition.  With only three matches to really chose from.  I have
gotten sick and tired of the entertainment side of the equation
outweighing the sports side.  Take for example last night (11/29/99) way
to much wedding and not enough action. The wedding itself seemed to last
for an eternity.  I'm digressing here but I think this point needs to be
brought out.  Wrestling needs to start focussing on wrestling again.  
This problem has been amplified by the fact that WCW has gone to the crash
t.v. format.  You no longer can catch a good long match on monday nights
anymore.  You have to wait untill Friday nights and sit through a bunch of
commercial breaks to do so.  I would really like to see ECW go to a two
hour format and allow almost everyone of their matches to go ten minutes a
peice.  This would be great and allow those of us who like actuall in ring
wrestling to be able to see it.  I'm sad to say it but I miss the old
Nitro.  I miss Billy Kidman in a ten minute match against Juventud.  Damn
do I ever miss those great cruserweight matches that Russo seems intent on
getting rid of.  I want more of that and I can't get it.  I thought you
missed an obvious category with best up and comming wrestler. A young
talent who will be very good and very over some day. Papi Chulo is my
favorite young talent in the WWF right now.  I go nuts everytime he is on
Jakked/Metal.  I have begun watching these shows just to be able to watch
him wrestle.  Got to see him and TAKA Michinoku go at it one night.  It
was a terriffic match.  I want more.  I hope that Papi and Amy Dumas do
get paired up like I read somewhere.  That would be fantastic.  Another
guy that has me cheering everytime he is on my t.v. is Kurt Angle. This
guy is a great heal.  I'm amazed at the heat he is receiving so early on
in his career.  I really enjoy his style, kind of reminds me of Brett Hart
in a way but maybe that has more to do with his build and patriotism than
anything else.  The other young guy that I really enjoy is Blitzkrieg.  
Although I haven't seen him for a while I was real impressed with him when
he was on.  A variety of cool moves and great high flying ability.  I want
more Blitzkrieg!  Thanks for this opportunity to vote on this year in
wrestling.  Have a great New year and continues success in the future.

BLANK: Does anyone notice that FIVE of the nominated matches for Worst
Match were from that Legends abomination?  Can we let that die???  I know
you don't accept multiple votes for the same event, but Owen Hart's death
so far overshadowed everything else that it was a statement vote.  Same
with the Heroes of Wrestling -- God, what one card can do to wreck
wrestling...  I didn't order it, and I still thought it was the worst card
of all time...

MARK SMITH: For my comments, I'd just like to say thanks to CRZ for always
busting his ass to make sure things are getting done in the online
wrestling world.  We love ya, Chris.

CHRIS FAIRBANKS: Goddamn, that's a long email!  And it took so long to
copy and paste!  And it's really late at night!  And I have class in a few
hours!  Crap!

BEN MILLER: I hate to point out specific worst ofs, but Kevin Nash as
booker and the Onita matches in New Japan were two of the worst angles,
promotional moves, etc. in the time I have been watching wrestling.  
Without question, 1996 was the greatest year I have ever seen in wrestling
and the reason it became my passion, and I am amazed how far it has fallen
in match quality and risen in profits over the past three years.  I always
like to think of what five American wrestlers I would select if given a
draft, and after this year, I would take Rock, Jericho, Booker T, Juventud
and Benoit.  I think within a year I could deliver great matches along
with cool angles that draw with those four on top and Juvy headlining some

DC1CB1: Watching ECW as I type this. Gertner is making me laugh my ass off
with his Pokemon jokes during the Super crazy match. I prefer to see more
wrestling. I can remember watching wrestling and wondering what was gonna
happen IN the ring. Wish it would get back to that some more.  Got email
address from 3. ANDREW: Triple H is one of the best heels
I've ever seen.

B. SZPAKOWICZ: Well... a strange year. No real dominant wrestlers or
teams, unlike last year, with titles changing all over the place for no
good reason and no one getting more than about 2 months with any
particular belt. Could someone please tell the WWF and WCW that wrestler
getting a nice *long* title reign every once in a while isn't going to
instantly scare away all the viewers? For that matter, neither are matches
going more than five or ten minutes. No particularly great matches either,
though a lot of good and/or fun ones. I'm hardly one of those people who
demands a ***** match on every second show, but one or two matches over
****1/4 would be nice. The only match to have totally blown me off my feet
was the Ladder Match, and even that was badly flawed. No angles to match
Austin-McMahon also, either in longevity or greatness, though a few came
damn close. (read: Y2J, WWF Champion Mick Foley) . And then there was
Brian, and Gorilla, and Ravishing Rick. And Owen. Jesus Christ, *why*? !
OTOH, the sport is just hotter than its ever been, the WWF in particular
batting monstrous ratings and buyrates every time out. And we also saw the
emergence of ECW as a bona fide force in the business. So, all told, was
the year a good one? A bad one? An average? Probably the latter, really,
but mostly it was just... strange.

THERION: Overall comments - the "worst of" sections need a top five
instead of a top three. The best of's manage to stand out, but there were
so many worsts this year that it was hard to choose.

COLIN MACKINNON: Chris, you've been doing a great job with the RSPW
Awards, and it's nice to see you're in charge again this year.  I think I
speak for everyone who voted when I say "Thank you" for a job well done.  
You've also done a fine job with your web site and the RAW/Nitro/Smackdown
recaps, and at times, it's hard to see where you actually find all this
free time. :)  Thanks again, and Happy Holidays.

CRAIG MALIN: DX (NAO/XPac) are terrible as heels because they play to the
crowd so much.  They should follow HHH's lead.  XPac looks like a six year
old riding a mechanical horse when he does the Bronco buster.  I know you
love Blackman but he's gotta learn to at least look at the camera during
an interview!!

SELENA KYTE:  I realize I'm a rarity in two areas so far as pro wrestling
fans are concerned.  I'm a woman who prefers female wrestling to male
wrestling, and I'm a person who prefers to be entertained by some
semblance of wrestling.  Both elements have been in short supply
throughout the past few years; none more so than in 1999.  I've gone from
being angry about the situation to a tolerance and an understanding of
today's form of pro wrestling, which is clearly not aimed towards me.  
Everyone naturally votes for what they regularly see.  For the most part,
I've stopped watching WWF and WCW programming around five years ago.  If
I'm alerted to something worthwhile involving women on a WCW show through
the e-mail discussion group I belong to, the Women's Wrestling Mailing
List, I may tune in to watch the match.  Otherwise, I prefer to dedicate
my time and energy to learning and supporting the women on the independent
circuit and those wrestling in other countries, to the extent that I can.  
My purpose in contributing to this year's poll is to highlight some women
whose actions I felt were deserving of attention this year beyond those in
the WWF, WCW, and ECW.  With one current all female promotion looking to
have more live events next year, and at least three new all female
promotions looking to start up next year, my hope is that more women
wrestling serious matches will be introduced to fans looking for
alternatives to the major promotions.  I would also like to see more
mention of women's pro wrestling matches from other countries besides
Japan, like Australia, Mexico, and Nigeria.  Maybe then, there will be a
more balanced representation on year end polls like this one.

CHAS DORMAN: WWF had a strong year dominating the ratings again.  They
picked up key free agents like Jericho, Wight, and Taz.  Austin vs McMahon
kept things interesting, and when it died down they gave McMahon HHH to
feud with. That feud looks promising as the wedding angle only made that
better. WCW had an off year, but now that Bischoff is gone and the young
guys are getting soem good angles, they shoudl be better next year.  The
"Powers That BE " angle can help them out, but only if they stay away from
Amway commercials and focus on the in ring hinderance of certain stars.  
I look for more competition next year as both shows will get attention for
their "crash TV" styles.

OLIVER DAVIES: Have never seen any Japanese promotions, therefore I can't
vote on them. Other awards I'd give: Most underappreciated match of the
year: Ken Shamrock v Undertaker at Apr. In Your House, Favourite T & A
moment: Mud wrestling on Smackdown, most promising wrestlers: Chris
Jericho, Jeff Hardy, Edge. Most surprising talents: Shane Douglas, Kane,
Most surprising match: Shane v Test at Summer Slam, most memorable spot:
ending of ladder match at No Mercy, Best chemistry: Hands down - Rock and
Mick Foley I've finally gotten access to ECW, I suspect that if I'd seen
more of them this year they would have gotten my vote for promotion of the

JASON BALDWIN:  I don't feel right voting for (or against) anything or
anybody I haven't seen. I'm sure some of the Japanese stars (probably all
of them) are better technicians & flyers, but based on my limited exposure
to their work (none of it from this year) , I can't in good conscience
vote on them.  This sums up my approach to voting:  Good babyface = I mark
out. I like you.  Bad babyface. I change the channel. You bore me.  Good
heel = I boo you. I hate you.  Bad heel = I change the channel. You bore
me.  Simple enough, eh?  And despite its popularity, I thought this was
just a rather pitiful year for wrestling in general. Or maybe I'm just

ROB EVANS: General Comments - CRZ rocks!  Thanks for taking the time to
facilitate the awards once again.

STINGER: ECW Rules. Sports Entertainment (short matches, wedding and Co.)
sucks.  See ya. Wrestling fan from Poland.

General Comments
Best Wrestler
Best Tag Team
Best Heel
Best Babyface
Best Worker
Best Jobber
Best Jobber to the Stars
Best Flyer
Best Technical
Best Brawler
Most Favourite
Most Improved
Most Overrated
Best Gimmick
Best Move
Best Match
Best Feud
Worst Wrestler
Worst Tag Team
Worst Heel
Worst Babyface
Worst Worker
Least Favourite
Most Deteriorated
Most Underrated
Worst Gimmick
Worst Move
Worst Match
Worst Feud
Most Disappointing News item
Most Obnoxious
Best Second
Best Announcer
Best Colour
Best Interviewee
Best Angle
Best Organization
Best TV Show
Best Major Show
Best Promotional Move
Worst Second
Worst Announcer
Worst Colour
Worst Interviewee
Worst Angle
Worst Organization
Worst TV Show
Worst Major Show
Worst Promotional Move
'netter Suggested Awards


Copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications