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1999 R.S.P-W Awards

Most Disappointing News item

Most Disappointing News item

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestling news item that most disappointed you when heard
of it. When you first learned of this news story, you couldn't believe that
it was true, and when you learned that it was, you were bummed out for a

Previous Winners:

  1991: Scott Steiner gets injured 
  1992: Legion of Doom: Hawk & Animal split up 
  1993: WWF brings Hulk Hogan back and gives him the title 
  1994: WCW signs Hulk Hogan and makes him World champion 
  1995: Death of Eddie Gilbert
  1996: Scott Hall and/or Kevin Nash leave WWF and/or join WCW
  1997: Death of Brian Pillman
  1998: Death of Louie Spicolli

**1999**: Death of Owen Hart

338 first place votes
311 second place votes
302 third place votes

302 11  4 1551   Death of Owen Hart
  3 64 34  275   Death of Rick Rude
  3 47 47  250   Droz paralyzed during a match
  3 49 29  220   Death of Gorilla Monsoon
  2 25 18  121   Death of Brian Hildebrand
  9 10  9   93   WCW signs Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara away from WWF
  1 14 10   67   Phil Mushnick uses Owen Hart's death to advance agenda
  1  9 12   56   WCW removes Lenny & Lodi from television
  1  7 12   50   WWF converts to almost all "sports entertainment"
  0  7 11   43   Ultimo Dragon's career ends
  0  5  6   27   Internet posters disrespect wrestling tragedies
  0  6  4   26   Steve Austin requires surgery
  0  4  7   26   Craig Kilborn makes tasteless joke about Owen Hart
  0  5  5   25   Mankind to retire soon
  0  3  8   25   Rena Mero sues WWF
  0  4  4   20   Death of Giant Baba
  0  2  7   20   WCW awards US title to David Flair
  3  0  2   19   Shawn Michaels retires
  0  4  2   16   Chris Jericho leaves WCW / signs with WWF
  1  0  5   15   Martha Hart sues WWF
  0  3  3   15   WWF slows Chris Jericho's push
  0  1  4   11   WWF gives light heavyweight title to Duane Gill
  0  2  2   10   Fit Finlay injured
  0  1  3    9   Rey Mysterio Jr. reduced to mini Konnan
  0  1  3    9   Psychosis still doesn't get a push
  1  1  0    8   RAW beats Nitro for many weeks straight
  1  1  0    8   Death of Rageina Cage
  0  2  1    8   Taz leaves ECW / signs with WWF
  1  0  1    7   Hacksaw Jim Duggan returns to WCW
  0  1  2    7   Tony Atlas falls on hard times
  0  1  2    7   Sunny does crack
  0  1  2    7   Kathie Lee Gifford uses Rick Rude's death to bring up old grudge
  0  1  2    7   Hulk Hogan unretires
  0  1  2    7   Chris Benoit jobs US title to Sid Vicious
  0  2  0    6   Death of Tony Rumble
  0  0  3    6   PTC attacks WWF (ineligible?)
  0  0  3    6   ECW gets low ratings
  1  0  0    5   WCW doesn't go under
  1  0  0    5   Eric Bischoff reassigned
  1  0  0    5   Creation of SmackDown!
  0  1  1    5   Jeff Jarrett leaves WWF / signs with WCW
  0  1  1    5   Gordon Solie has throat cancer
  0  1  1    5   Gene Okerlund signs three-year contract
  0  1  1    5   Dudley Boyz leave ECW / jump to WWF
  0  0  2    4   Hulk Hogan's leaving WCW revealed to be a work
  0  1  0    3   Warrior's Bitching
  0  1  0    3   Undertaker may face retirement
  0  1  0    3   Sid Vicious in ECW
  0  1  0    3   Sandman returns to ECW
  0  1  0    3   Russo cuts lucahdores TV time
  0  1  0    3   Man of the Year Mankind/Matthew Shepard debacle
  0  1  0    3   Internet newsboards totally become a joke
  0  1  0    3   Hacksaw Jim Duggan recovering from cancer
  0  1  0    3   Fabulous Moolah returns to the ring
  0  1  0    3   Death of Jackie Sato
  0  1  0    3   Death of Emiko Kado
  0  1  0    3   David Flair wins U.S. Title
  0  0  1    2   WCW develops KISS wrestlers
  0  0  1    2   WCW deemphasizes wrestling under Russo & Ferrara
  0  0  1    2   Vince Russo, Ed Ferrara still employed
  0  0  1    2   Vince McMahon, Bret Hart continue feud
  0  0  1    2   Tony Schiavone not fired by Russo & Ferrara
  0  0  1    2   Sting wins World Title
  0  0  1    2   Raven leaves WCW / signs with ECW
  0  0  1    2   Possibility of another Heroes of Wrestling PPV
  0  0  1    2   LWO disbanded
  0  0  1    2   Jushin Liger coming to WCW
  0  0  1    2   Jake Roberts appears drunk at PPV
  0  0  1    2   Hulk Hogan wins WCW Title again
  0  0  1    2   Hulk Hogan turns face
  0  0  1    2   Hulk Hogan lives through the year
  0  0  1    2   Fabulous Moolah wins WWF women's title
  0  0  1    2   ESPN makes tasteless remark about Owen Hart
  0  0  1    2   Death of Therese Theis
  0  0  1    2   Death of Rick Wilson (Renegade)
  0  0  1    2   Continuing WWF markdom of 99% of internet fan population
  0  0  1    2   Chyna retains IC title over Jericho
  0  0  1    2   Chris Jericho turned into a jobber
  0  0  1    2   Chris Benoit pushed
  0  0  1    2   Buff Bagwell's primadonna backstage attitude
  0  0  1    2   Buff Bagwell re-signs with WCW
  0  0  1    2   Brian Christopher Injured


  3  0  0        "Tie" votes
  0  0  1        Death of Hiro Matsuda (ineligible time)

CHRIS BIRD: One thing about wrestling deaths: Gorilla Monsoon's passing is
far less tragic than that of Rick Wilson. Gorilla led a full life and was
loved. Renegade shot himself because he couldn't get work wrestling. And
yet, I am sure that Monsoon will get more votes than Renegade. Such is the
way of wrestling fans.

EDC: Too many Deaths in wrestling this year. It was almost hard to narrow
it down to just 3.

CYBERAL33: 1999 will go down as a tragic year in wrestling. Nothing
reflects this more then the careless death of Owen Hart. Along with the
deaths of other legends like Gorilla Moonsoon, Rick Rude, Giant Baba, and
Jackie Sato. But the top three losses were the wrestlers I watched growing
up as a kid. Owen, Rude, and Moonsoon (as an announcer of course.)  
Monsoon was the man who helped make me love wrestling. He brought a
respect to it in a way similar to Gorden Solie (who I didn't have the
privilage of hearing growing up). He called the moves and always used a
dramatic tone to get over an angle. His call along with Heenan's make it
worth sitting through a Battle Cat/Barbarian match. Rick Rude was the
consumate heel...he had a body that everyman wished they had and used that
to taunt the crowd and his opponents. But the icing on the cake was the
painted tights. Who can forget when he painted Jake Robert's wife on the
tights? Classic. Of course, Owen was a consumate professional and from
everyone's comments he was a great family man and comedian. We'll dearly
miss all five. Rest in peace and thanks for the memories.

RFLAGG13: Geez, what a downer year for wrestling. Many of my favorite
personalities died this year, and none affected me more than Owen Hart.
Partly it was the shock of how it happened, and part of it stemmed from
the fact that I would never see him wrestle again. I truly believe that if
he had lived, his Blue Blazer character would be in main event angles
right now. Second is Rick Rude, who was simply one of the best heels of
all time. Val Venis practically owes his career to Rude's heat gathering
techniques, but Rude was simply the best. Third is Gorilla Monsoon's
death. I grew up listening to Monsoon calling the action, and the
Monsoon/Ventura team was simply the best of all time. All three will be
missed, and my heart goes out to their families.

K. CANZANELLA: The Death of Owen Hart obviously will take this award, as
he was a great wrestler who died in a horrible way doing a ridiculous
stunt. We'll miss you brah. If Owen's death mortally wounded the state of
US wrestling, then Russo and Ferrera taking over WCW bound and gagged it,
and shot it in the face with an elephant gun. The only good wrestling
federation left on free TV became nothing more than a lame WWF ripoff. RIP
US wrestling 1900-1999. Ultimo Dragon's career ending was sad because he
was one of the best junior heavyweight wrestlers ever, but his hand got
messed up by a hack of a Doctor.

SVEN MASCARENHAS: There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for what Mushnik did. None
whatsoever. I don't want to trivialize any person's death, so I'm
boycotting the rest of this category and asking that you remember Jerry
Lawler's words: "Never forget to tell someone you love them, because you
never know if you'll have another chance." Amen to that.

AARON: It's almost not even worth it to nominate anyone else for this
category. Truly a sad year for wrestling.

DON BECKER: This was such a horrible year for wrestling, and it's
difficult to pick any one tragedy over any other, though Owen Hart's
death, especially the way it occurred, hit me the hardest.  Tony Atlas'
financial problems also sucked because it brings up a sad fact of life -
unless you are a top star for a long time or are smart with your money,
being a pro wrestler is no way to make a living.  Ultimo Dragon's
retirement also disappointed me, not only because we'll never see him
wrestle again, but because a different surgeon could've kept Dragon's arm

SHAWN MULLIN: Nothing compares to the death of Owen Hart.  The other
deaths obviously are tragic in their own way, but they aren't really
wrestling stories.  Owen Hart died during a wrestling show, performing a
wrestling stunt, and that's the worst thing that's happened in wrestling
ever since I've followed it.

MAX CHITTISTER: This sums up the year to me: Rick Williams shooting
himself in the head doesn't even make the ballot.

JBELL55146: Owen's death is the worst thing ever to happend in the
wrestling business.  It was the only time pro wrestling made ME cry. Rest
In Peace Owen!

PAUL SHOCK:  There were too many untimely deaths in sport this year.  
Walter Payton, Greg Moore, Payne Stewart, Wilt Chamberlain...the list goes
on and on.  Owen Hart and Rick Rude are two more people who died before
their time.

BLOB: This was a bad year for wrestling as Owen Hart, Gorilla Monsoon,
Mark Curtis, Rick Rude, Giant Baba and several others lost their life.
Owen Hart's was by far the most tragic, not to make any of the others
light, however.

GEORGE CARTER:  Owen's death has been the most disappoting wrestling
related event in my whole life. He did NOT desreve it. No one deserves it.
Seeing Gorrila at WrestleMania was such a sad site to see, and his death
wasn;t a shock, but sad nevertheless. Rick Rude's death also was
depressing. I can't believe that all three of these are all deaths. I
think that I speak for everybody when I say that I hope we don't see one
of these next year, or ever.

JON RICHARDSON: That Mark Madden actually considers himself to be a
respected journalist and is shocked when people don't praise him to the
skies easily gets him number one on this list.  He is hardly ever right
when passing on information, then proceeds to bash both other federations
"company shills", even though their accuracy is superior.  The sheer gall
of labeling himself "the Internet Icon" in merely the icing on the
obnoxious cake.  Sable is the obvious choice for second as she actually
believes herself to be a serious actress, and a marketable personality
without the WWF.  That to this day she is referred to as "the former
Sable" and not as "Rena Mero" proves her wrong.  If Vince McMahon
continues on his current path of attempting to offend everybody he meets,
he'll be an easy number one for next year.

DUNCAN O'SULLIVAN: The death of anyone sucks (usually) so why bother
discriminating against any of them. Hence my answer "X" personality in
regards to that category.

JAN-MORTIZ KAEDING: I didn't want to choose between personal tragidies, so
I left them out altogether.

ELLIOT SPARKS: I think the Most Disappointing News Item category is quite
redundant this year. With nearly a dozen deaths to deal with, it's
inevitable that events relating to those deaths will take the most votes.
But in that light, the award could be interpreted as a chance for us, a
public only exposed to fictional personas, to rate on a scale of 1 to 3
the lives of men and women we genuinely don't have a clue about. While
that isn't the meaning of the award, that is how it could be
misinterpreted, and I don't want to be party to something with that kind
of potential. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I feel quite
content not voting in this category.

JOE GENTILE:  Owen Harts death almost caused me to never watch wrestling
again. i still get sick with grief when I think about it.

SCBRYANT1:  Should be a tie, as one's death shouldn't be ranked above
someone's elses. (toss in all the other people who died this year, too)

RUTGERSGYM: It goes without saying that what happened to Owen was probably
the most depressing thing I had to witness as a wrestling fan, but coming
in a close second are the numerous clowns online who tried to get
themselves over by making stupid and classless jokes about it (and other
wrestling-related tragedies) .  Third goes to Russo and Ferrara
introducing "Crash TV" to WCW, putting more into angles and characters but
wasting the wrestlers who can wrestle, which was always the one thing WCW
had going for it against the WWF.

JOE GAGNE: The loss of Owen and Rick Rude were tremendous losses to the
sport, and it's always sad to see a young wrestler like Droz suffer such a
crippling injury.

JAMES GOWDEY: *sniff*... Rest in peace, Owen. We love you, man!

SEAN FLYNN: Owen, Rest In Peace.  The Duds leaving is a shame, as I think
they would have been huge for ECW now that they're national, keeping that
anything can happen feeling alive.  Hulk came back, millions wept.

MARK SMITH:  It was hard to read down the list of nominations for this
category. Lots of this stuff really sucked to have happen.  Owen Hart took
the top spot.  RIP.

KEVIN WONG: When someone takes a real death lightly, or uses it to further
their own personal agendas like taking shots at wrestling or wrestling
workrate, it isn't disappointing, it's disgusting.  We know what's going
to win, and it's unfortunate that it will.

BRYTON SAMPSON :It's pretty damn hard to choose just three of these. Just
about every nomination accounts for a really, really depressing news item.
Despite all the great things that happened, it was actually kind of a bad
year to be a pro-wrestling fan (Phil Mushnick attacks, Owen dies, WCW's
suck factor increasing exponentially week after week after week, etc)

B. SZPAKOWICZ: Anyone who doesn't vote for Owen's death here should be
shot. Literally. Not just the worst thing to happen this year, probably
the worst to happen in the past decade and possibly ever. And in a truly
sad year for wrestling, Brian Hildebrand and Gorilla Monsoon's deaths get
numbers two and three, and Rick Rude's would get fourth.

SIMON ROBERTS: Nothing can describe the enormous loss of Owen Hart

SEZ OF SEED: I hate this catergory.  It makes you rank death.  Was the
death of Owen Hart really more tragic than the death of Gorilla Monsoon.  
No, of course not.  And what about those who didn't even make my list,
like Brian Hildebrand and The Renegade.  Or the tragedy that befell Darren
Drozdov.  My heart goes out to the families of all these people.

EDDIE KIM:  Not only was I disappointed by Gorilla Monsoon's death, I was
disappointed by the WWF quickly glossing over the issue rather than giving
the man a well-deserved tribute.  Then a few weeks later, they give more
time to the "death" of the Big Show's dad.

RYAN GRANT:  Nothing dissapointed me, saddened me, sickened me more than
Owen's death.  It was great watching him come up through the WWF,
wrestling in great matches all over that I marked out for....and then, he
was gone.  And why did he die?  For the furtherance of my second place
vote, the WWF moving into sports entertainment completely. Senseless,
absolutely senseless.  Then there was Rick Rude's death, another string in
a series of low blows that wrestling delivered this year.

SUGAR RAY: Deaths and severe injuries just plain suck, all of them.

JEREMY SORIA: To echo Zipp, 5/23/99 was the day pro wrestling died. We
miss you, Owen.  The whole debacle with all the RSPWers (and other online
wrestling fans)  usurping slain gay student Matthew Shepard in the online
race for Time's Man of the Year is a painful memory for those who were
thirsting for justice for Shepard's killers. [in the end, justice was
never served for the two thugs, serving life terms instead of being
condemned] The whole point was that it made ALL wrestling fans look like
idiots. It sticks to this very day.  The other debacle was when GLAAD
"strongly warned" WCW about the Lenny/Lodi angle, forcing the two
wrestlers out of a job. This ultra-embarrassing step by GLAAD has caused
two very funny and entertaining wrestlers to stay off TV for life. Sad.

SELENA KYTE:  I would think that Owen Hart's death overshadows everything
else that happened this year because of the type of person he was and the
circumstances surrounding his death.  The tributes and news stories
dominated my hometown of St. Louis the day after when RAW came into town,
so it was hard for me to ignore. Not to diminish the importance of all of
the other important events, but ranking up there for me was the sudden and
untimely death of a woman who was going to start her career under the name
of Rageina Cage.  I exchanged quite a few e-mails with her and she was a
part of the Women's Wrestling Mailing List for a while.  She was
distressed about the portrayal of women on TV these days and wanted to
make a more positive contribution to pro wrestling.  She was ridiculed for
wanting to make this career choice, but she was determined to make her
dreams come true. She attended many matches and received advice from a lot
of people in the business.  She worked very hard to learn various moves
and develop a personality.  I'm quite sure that she would've achieved the
same level of success and fame as a lot of the other women in the business
if she were still alive.  It's sad that well never know what might have
been, but her story serves as a reminder that some dreams are worth
pursuing if it's what you really want to do in life.

MICHAEL STAKELY: Most disappointing news item 1st The two items cannot be
seperated in my mind. 3rd I think WCW has a running competition to see who
they can screw over the most, Benoit or Psychosis. Phantom title reigns, a
one week reign, forced to lose his mask to satisfy Bischoff's ego, and now
reduced to being squashed by Steve Williams.

HEATM:  Anything other than Owen Hart's accidental death is a distant
second.  Having said that, it was a very disappointing year for deaths in
wrestling.  Gorilla Monsoon was someone I grew accustomed to hearing every
Saturday morning on Superstars.  Brian Hildebrand's story was nothing
short of tragic.

ROB EVANS: Most Disappointing News Item - Too many deaths this year.  
We'll miss 'em all.

OTTO "HACK-MAN" HEUER: Most Disappointing News item. As much as I liked
Brian Hildebrand, I decided not to go with any of the "deaths" this year.
This left me with nine items that I still wanted to vote for: 1. Fit
Finlay injured 2. WWF signs Taz 3. Raven leaves WCW 4. Rey Mysterio Jr.
reduced to being mini Konnan 5. WCW removes Lenny & Lodi from television
6. WWF converts to almost all "sports entertainment" 7. WWF sues Martha
Hart 8. Jim Duggan returns to WCW 9. WWF gives light heavyweight title to
Duane Gill

MDB: I refuse to vote on which deaths and injuries were more tragic than
others.  Therefore I go with the Crash TV invasion of WCW.

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