Retro TJR: The 2000 WWE Johnny Awards

The year 2000 was my favorite year in World Wrestling Entertainment (then Federation) history. It was a year full of great matches, main event performers in their prime, a very healthy tag team division and a roster full of 20-somethings with bright futures. It was in the heart of the Attitude Era and probably the best year for PPVs in WWE history as well.

For this retro TJR post, I thought it would be cool if I shared my 2000 Johnny Awards column. It was the first time I ever did them and regular readers of mine would know that I’ve done them every year since 2009. Look out for the 2015 version in late December.

This was originally written in November 2000 because they were based on the RSPW Awards that counted things from November 2, 1999 and November 1, 2000 that year. The RSPW Awards were based from a wrestling newsgroup that was pretty popular back in those days. I think the awards still exist to this day. I actually found a link to all of the RSPW Awards up to 2008 and here are the 2000 results (look for my comments as John C. there) in case you are curious. All of the categories come from them and what you’ll see below are my written comments that I sent in as well.

What I’ll do is paste in my top three for each category, my comments from back in 2000 and then add in some new comments in blue font. There were other categories as well, but for whatever reason I didn’t include them in my post. It was 15 years ago, so I don’t remember why.

As they used to say on Conan O’Brien’s show…In The Year Two Thousand…In The Year Two Thousand…In the Year Two Thousand…

Opening Comments
The year 2000 was a good year for the wrestling business in that the WWF had tremendous success. The addition of the Radicals helped them out greatly as they improved their workrate, created more coherent storylines and developed a lot of their younger stars without relying on people like Steve Austin, Vince McMahon or the Undertaker like they did in years past. Meanwhile, the gap between the WWF and the competition widened with the continued failures of WCW and the loss of a TV deal forcing ECW to scratch and claw their way to survive. The wrestling business is no longer a two horse race and because of that the WWF product could become stale again although with the roster they currently have that sort of thing would be extremely hard to do. People like Mick Foley and Bret Hart, who racked up several Johnny Awards (that is, if I actually did them years ago) during their careers, called it a career although they left under entirely different circumstances. While Foley’s departure was met with a lot of fanfare, Hart left in utter silence as his legacy faded away thanks to an errant kick from a green monster named Goldberg. This was a great year for the WWF although for me what I will remember most is the retirement of two legends who helped make wrestling what it is today.

At the time, we didn’t know WCW would be dead within six months. We just knew they were fading fast. The same cold be said about ECW. Nobody really know what their futures were at that point. As for the Goldberg comment, I was pretty pissed off that he ended Bret Hart’s career with a kick to the head, so I called him green because even though he was a top guy, in many ways he still wasn’t very good.

1. Best Wrestler
1st: Triple H
2nd: The Rock
3rd: Kurt Angle
Comments: This year was definitely the year of The Game, Triple H. His emergence this year was tremendous as he became a terrific worker capable of carrying anybody to a good match along with his improved skills on the microphone that made him the most complete package the WWF has seen since HBK in the mid-90’s. He was an easy number one choice in a year that featured the emergence of plenty WWF stars. At number two, I have to go with The Rock because of his improved work in the ring, his excellent promos and his ability to make all of his matches watchable. Picking a third person was tough although in the end I had to go with Kurt Angle because he was impressive from start to finish. Angle just beat out Chris Benoit and Booker T. in the end because Benoit’s three months in WCW hurt his career more than it helped him and I couldn’t put Booker any higher because his competition is nowhere near the competition in the WWF.

People might read that and be shocked with all the praise I gave him, but Hunter deserved it. He was amazing in that year, which was the first full year for him as a main event guy. It helped that he was booked really strong as the top heel that won a lot of matches too. The Rock really emerged as the top face too. Kurt Angle was a rookie, so for him to be in the top three shows how highly I thought of him back then. No Steve Austin because he missed that year with neck surgery.

2. Best Tag Team
1st: Edge & Christian
2nd: The Hardy Boyz
3rd: The Dudley Boyz
Comments: My fellow Canadians Edge & Christian were the greatest WWF tag team this year with the Hardy Boyz coming in a close second followed by the Dudleys. Even though E&C are great in the ring, they will be remembered mostly for their interviews and vignettes where they developed several humorous phrases that “reeked of awesomeness.” The Hardys and Dudleys had a great year as they helped give the WWF their best tag team division ever.

No doubt about the top three. I think the order is right too.

3. Best Heel
1st: Triple H
2nd: Kurt Angle
3rd: Chris Benoit
Comments: Triple H wins here because of his magnificent work both in the ring and on the microphone allowing himself to be the best heel the business has seen since Ric Flair was in his prime. There’s nothing better than an old school heel who backs up his words by kicking ass in the ring and that’s exactly what Triple H did. Rounding out the top three are Angle & Benoit who both had good success as main event heels although neither could come close to the standard that Triple H set.

Hunter had to win since he was best wrestler. Angle being there showed how good he was even as a rookie. I probably overvalued Benoit because he did well in his first WWE year, but really didn’t stand out aside from his in-ring work.

4. Best Babyface
1st: The Rock
2nd: Booker T.
3rd: Mick Foley
Comments: The Rock is the obvious winner here as he usually received the most pops all around the world. Booker T. had a great year in WCW even though he rarely performs in front a big crowd, he has to deal with inept bookers and it took far too long for him to reach the top but once he made it there he proved just how good he is. Even though Mick Foley retired in February (only to come back for WrestleMania) he gets my third spot because during his last three months in the WWF he got tremendous ovations from the crowd who thanked him for his fantastic work over the years.

The Rock was a no-brainer winner for this. I was always a huge Booker T fan and he was a big reason why I watched WCW until the end. I probably should have considered Chris Jericho for it because he was a face at this point and did a consistently great job, but I loved Foley’s work at the end of his full time run.

5. Best Worker
1st: Triple H
2nd: Chris Benoit
3rd: Booker T.
Comments: Although I never thought I would say this a year ago, Triple H was the best worker in wrestling this year. He consistently had the best match with opponents ranging from Kane to Rikishi to TAKA to Foley to Jericho to Benoit to Rock proving that he could have a good match with anybody. That’s the definition of what a good worker is. I think Chris Benoit took a while to adapt to the styles of some WWF wrestlers so he didn’t really find his groove until the summer although once he did that he pulled off some beautiful matches with everybody. Rounding out my top three is Booker T. who has been one of the lone bright spots in a company that had a lot of dark clouds. Even though his matches were not legendary like Triple H or Benoit, he worked harder than anybody in WCW and was able to pull good matches out of everybody he went up against.

I think Hunter deserved the top spot even though I wouldn’t even call him a top ten worker ever. It just shows how great he was that year. Benoit’s not celebrated anymore, but he really was one of the best in-ring performers ever. I’m probably overrating Booker a bit here.

6. Best Flyer
1st: Jeff Hardy
2nd: Kid Kash
3rd: Christian
Comments: No doubt about it, Jeff Hardy takes this award. The guy is insane when it comes to the things he does in the ring although one has to worry about his future if he continues this reckless pace. While Rey Mysterio was the best flyer a few years ago he really has slowed his pace down so I had to go with Kid Kash and Christian as my other two. Had I seen more of Essa Rios he probably would have been here too but because of his push being stopped in the spring I really couldn’t judge him based on that.

Jeff Hardy was an easy winner of this. He really had a fantastic year as a breakout star. I’m surprised I left off Rey Mysterio, but he really did slow down in that year.

7. Best Technical Wrestler
1st: Chris Benoit
2nd: Dean Malenko
3rd: Lance Storm
Comments: Benoit leads the way here once again. Nobody comes close to the crispness of his moves or the ability to apply those moves on men of all sizes. Malenko gets the second spot here because he is still a technical wrestling king despite the fact that he was not utilized very well by the WWF. Lance Storm rounds out the top three due to his excellent work in WCW where he has been trying to get technical wrestling over with a crowd that would rather see a table.

I think those are three solid choices that were among the best technicians in that era.

8. Best Brawler
1st: Triple H
2nd: Mick Foley/Cactus Jack
3rd: Mike Awesome
Comments: The Game wins again. More often than not, Hunter’s matches have been tremendous brawls that go all around the arena so he was the easy choice once again. Mick Foley gets the second spot here as he ended his career using the same reckless style that made him famous in the first place. Finally, Mike Awesome gets kudos for his work mostly in ECW where he had some magnificent brawls with the likes of Masato Tanaka and Spike Dudley.

Hunter benefited from being in a lot of gimmick matches. If Foley didn’t retire he probably would have won. I was a huge fan of Mike Awesome in ECW because he did things nobody else was doing and made it look easy for a 6’6″ guy like him.

9. Most Favourite Wrestler
1st: Eddy Guerrero
2nd: Booker T.
3rd: Chris Benoit
Comments: As far as I’m concerned, Eddy Guerrero is a wrestling God. Although I despised his angle involving Chyna, I was happy to see his true colours come out when he turned heel during the summer. Hopefully the WWF can realize his greatness so that he can capture the glory he never received in WCW. Booker T. has been a favourite of mine for a long time so I was very happy to see him be the number one guy this year. I have always liked Chris Benoit, but this year I got a chance to see a lot more of him in a role that suited him well (as a badass heel) which is why he cracked my list. Jericho falls out of the list because his character grew too stale for my tastes although I’m sure he’ll bounce back if he turns heel or develops a serious side like Austin or Rock.

This just shows how much I loved Eddy Guerrero. We’re coming up on 10 years since his death this year, so reading this back today warms my heart. I just remember being so frustrated with how poorly used he was in WCW, so when he got to WWE and was in the midcard I was pretty happy. Who won this award from the RSPW voters? Triple H. Again, that just shows how good he was that year.

10. Most Improved Wrestler
1st: Triple H
2nd: The Rock
3rd: Scott Taylor (Scotty 2 Hotty)
Comments: In the first five or six years of his career, Hunter had very few great matches. This year alone I could rattle off at least a half dozen matches that were four stars or greater and for that he is a runaway winner for this award. The same can be said for The Rock as he added more moves to his repertoire, he had a better sense of ring psychology and he became consistently good at just about everything. My third choice may be a surprising one but I really felt that Scott Taylor (Scotty 2 Hotty of “Too Cool) improved tremendously this year as he made us forget about the horrendous Too Much tag team. His performance against Dean Malenko at Backlash stands out for me. I can’t give Angle any mention here because I had not seen him before his WWF debut.

I think those are the right choices. Hunter and Rock both upped their games to become true top guys. Nice recognition for Scotty, who went from a nobody to somebody that year.

11. Most Overrated Wrestler
1st: Goldberg
2nd: Shane Douglas
3rd: Road Dogg
Comments: If Goldberg was as good as he said he was, he’d have had a few good matches under his belt by now. However, all he has to his credit is a decent match with DDP two years ago and a good brawl with Steiner from this year but overall he’s been an overrated wrestler in the same mold as The Ultimate Warrior. Shane Douglas will always suck and the Road Dogg has done nothing to impress me in the last year so they round out my list. Hogan and Nash don’t make the list because they were out of action for most of the year but fear not fellow Hogan and Nash bashers, they shall appear later on.

Goldberg didn’t impress me much after he got to the top of WCW in 1998. It seemed like he got complacent and lazy. Being the top guy should lead to a guy getting better. In his case, I think he lost his passion for the business. I’m not sure why I was so harsh on Douglas. I liked him at different points in his career, but felt like he should have been better. Road Dogg as a singles guy bored me a lot. I liked him in tag teams. The reason I mentioned Hogan is because he won that award every year from 1993 to 1999. Consistent!

12. Best Wrestling Gimmick
1st: Edge & Christian as Teen Idols
2nd: Kurt Angle as American Hero
3rd: Lance Storm as Canadian Hero
Comments: No doubt about it, Edge & Christian had the best gimmick this year. The way they transformed themselves from quiet members of the Brood to cocky, arrogant heels was a pleasure to witness. Their way of making up words, playing theme songs with a kazoo and their classic five-second pose are things I will never forget. Kurt Angle had a great year too playing a heel that in his own mind believes he is a hero. To me, that sort of stuff needs to happen more often in wrestling and because it is original, it has captivated audiences. Lance Storm rounds out the list as a cocky Canadian who has tried his best to put wrestling on the map despite the lack of talent that surrounds him.

The E&C duo were the most entertaining performers in wrestling that year. Kurt Angle was right there with them. Remember Team ECK? Classic. As for Storm, I’m Canadian so of course I loved that gimmick!

13. Best Wrestling Move
1st: Triple H’s Pedigree
2nd: Chris Benoit’s “Crippler” Crossface
3rd: Dean Malenko’s Super Implant DDT
Comments: Since this is the year of Triple H, I have to give credit to the WWF for making his finisher into the most deadly move in wrestling. Who could ever forget the Pedigree through the table that gave Kurt Angle a concussion during Summerslam? I think the WWF did a great job in making the crossface a credible finishing move even though Benoit never did force a big name to tap out to it in a big PPV match. Still, they did more for the move in eight months than WCW did in four years. I’ll never forget the Dean Malenko Super Implant DDT on Scott Taylor from Backlash earlier this year. Even though I only saw it once, that made the list just ahead of Jerry Lynn’s cradle piledriver and Tajiri’s Tarantula.

I have always been impressed with the Pedigree and with Hunter winning so much, I guess it stuck out in my mind in those days. Looking back on this, the Jeff Hardy Swanton Bomb was the winner and I can see why because it fresh in those days.

14. Best Match
1st: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (01/23/00 at Royal Rumble – WWF Street Fight)
2nd: Edge & Christian v. Hardy Boyz v. Dudley Boyz (08/27/00 at Summerslam – Tag TLC)
3rd: Rock v. Triple H (05/21/00 at Judgment Day – Iron Man)
Comments: Choosing a winner for this category was very difficult because there were several matches that stood out in my mind. In the end, my top match was Triple H vs. Cactus Jack from the Royal Rumble in a magnificent brawl that featured great heat, psychology and the kind of brutality that makes you appreciate everything that wrestlers do for the fans. It was a terrific start to what would be a memorable year of WWF PPV matches. The TLC match at Summerslam was also memorable as six guys did everything they could to put on a show for the fans and they delivered. At Judgment Day, Triple H & The Rock proved to the world that they are the best overall wrestlers in the business by busting their ass for sixty minutes in a match that few people thought they could pull off. It was excellent even though I am not a big fan of the Undertaker run-in finish deciding the title. Other memorable matches included HHH/Jericho from Fully Loaded, the ten man tag from Raw in February, Rock/Benoit from Fully Loaded and the HIAC match from No Way Out that ended Mick Foley’s career.

All great matches that I’ve seen many times. If I had to rank them again it would be the same order and all of them would get five stars from me. The TLC match was the overwhelming winner from the voters.

15. Best Feud
1st: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack
2nd: Triple H vs. The Rock
3rd: Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
Comments: The HHH/Cactus Jack feud was one for the ages as they did a remarkable job in making us believe that Jack would come out on top in the end. Their PPV matches had me on the edge of my seat as Jack did the J.O.B. for The Game in order to make him the most credible WWF champion in years. I had a hard time believing that the WWF could keep me interested in a HHH/Rock feud again but they did it this year thanks in large part to the involvement of Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels and the memorable Ironman match. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz helped to revitalize a stagnant WWF tag team division so they get my third vote. While HHH vs. Kurt Angle had a lot of promise, the WWF dropped the ball with it so I had to omit it from my list.

I loved Hunter’s feud with Foley. So great seeing Foley bring the fire as Cactus Jack and they gave us two outstanding matches as well. Hunter and Rock had several amazing matches that year while the tag teams were fantastic also. In the voting, three of the top four were Triple H feuds with his rivalry with Kurt Angle also getting mentioned.

16. Worst Wrestler
1st: Hulk Hogan
2nd: Kevin Nash
3rd: Lex Luger
Comments: Even though they spent a lot of time out of action I can’t ignore the fact that Hogan, Nash & Luger scraped the bowels of sucktitude yet again to run away with this award yet again. People like Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather can take solace in the fact that they are the worst in the WWF so if you don’t recognize WCW than you can consider them as my “winners.”

Hogan and Nash finished in the top two. So many shitty matches that often times main evented shows. Voters picked David Arquette for third just because of how mad they were that he was WCW Champion at one point.

17. Least Favourite Wrestler
1st: Mr. Ass Billy Gunn
2nd: Chyna
3rd: Buff Bagwell
Comments: I wasn’t really sad when Mr. Ass out of action with a shoulder injury. He has to be the most annoying wrestler of all time yet WWF management still pushes him for some unknown reason. Chyna was pushed down our throats WAY too much this year so she makes the list for that along with the fact that she is the most undeserving IC champion ever. Buff Bagwell thinks he’s so good yet he has never done a thing to impress me.

Damn. That comment I made about Billy Gunn was pretty mean. I can say that I never really liked any of those three performers, but Gunn was fine in a tag team. I just hated him as a singles wrestler.

18. Most Underrated Wrestler
1st: Taka Michinoku
2nd: Christian
3rd: Crowbar (Devon Storm)
Comments: I still can’t believe the WWF in unwilling to use Taka Michinoku. His only brush with fame was a great match with Triple H on Raw but other than that he was treated like a lowly jobber instead of the exciting youngster that captivated us three years ago. I’m aware that he’s out with a serious shoulder injury, but I still think they could have used him better while he was healthy. I think Christian has more potential than any young WWF wrestler so he makes my list here. He’s still being featured on WWF programming, but he could do a lot more in the future. Crowbar showed me a lot this year both in the ring and on the microphone.

I thought Taka was a great performer and I hated that they turned him into a joke just because he’s a smaller foreign wrestler. I was always a Christian mark, so had to mention him here. The winner of this one was Al Snow with D-Lo Brown in second.

19. Worst Wrestling Gimmick
1st: Mae Young pregnant
2nd: Goldberg’s new win streak
3rd: “That 70’s Guy” Mike Awesome
Comments: Tough category because there were so many bad things this year. Mae Young being pregnant and giving birth to a hand had to be one of the most pathetic things I’ve seen on a wrestling show. Goldberg’s win streak starting up again put the nail in the coffin of WCW as far as I’m concerned because it was a sign that Vince Russo had given up with coming up with anything creative. There’s nothing worse than saddling a great wrestler like Mike Awesome with two bad gimmicks (The “Fat Chick Thriller” & “70’s Guy”) but Russo proved to us once again just how bad things can be when he is in charge.

There were so many choices. Mae Young being pregnant and giving birth to the hand was the no doubt winner for me. I barely remember the new Goldberg streak now, but it did happen and I thought it was awful. The gimmick of Awesome actually won the award because fans were so mad that this great performer from WCW was treated like such a joke in WCW. The guy was pretty big and capable of good matches, yet they totally buried him. Shout out to GI Bro, Oklahoma and Naked Mideon as well.

20. Worst Match
1st: 06/25/00 Pat Patterson v. Gerald Brisco (hardcore evening gown)
2nd: 06/11/00 Sting v. Vampiro (human torch)
3rd: 02/28/00 Sid Vicious v. Tank Abbott (WCW Nitro)
Comments: Patterson vs. Brisco at King of the Ring was one of the worst matches I have ever seen anywhere. I’m emotionally scarred for life because of that “match.” The Sting/Vampiro feud was a huge flop capped off by the horrible human torch match that saw a stunt man take a fall as a fake Sting. The fact that WCW hyped Sid vs. Abbott as a big match is laughable as neither man has any talent and they never will.

What’s sad about this is I remember all those matches very well and I hate myself for remembering them. They were so f’n bad! From the old dudes in evening gowns to the stunt man bumping for Sting and then Sid/Abbott was awful. Patterson vs. Brisco won this award by a lot.

21. Worst Feud
1st: Pat Patterson v. Gerald Brisco
2nd: Big Show v. Big Boss Man
3rd: Vampiro v. Demon
Comments: I’m still crying over the fact that I actually witnessed the Patterson vs. Brisco feud. Big Show vs. Big Bossman was horrendous and I’m still trying to figure out why WCW even tried the Vampiro/Demon feud in the first place.

This just goes off the last one with Patterson/Brisco being awful. Vince McMahon probably thought it was hilarious, but for those of us watching at home it was ridiculously bad. Show vs. Boss Man was a feud because of Boss Man tormenting show over his dad’s death. The casket ride was memorable at least. I can’t say I remember much about Vampiro vs. Demon although the whole Demon character was a bad idea. Show vs. Boss Man won this award.

22. Most Disappointing News Item
1st: WCW releases Bret Hart, who then retires
2nd: Mick Foley loses Hell in a Cell match with Triple H, ending career
3rd: ECW taken off TNN
Comments: I think Bret Hart’s retirement was the most disappointing because he left with such little fanfare. Mick Foley’s retirement was sad as well although with his new role in the WWF as commissioner he still feels a part of the action unlike Bret who has disappeared from the wrestling scene all together. Finally, I’m going to miss watching ECW on TNN because I rarely missed a show while it was on and I’m hoping it reaches the Canadian airwaves once again.

All of those things made me sad. What I didn’t put was David Arquette winning the WCW Title, which was voted as the winner by the voters. It’s easy to why. It just didn’t bother me as much as others because I thought it was silly.

23. Best Second (Manager)
1st: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
2nd: Shane McMahon
3rd: Steven Richards
Comments: Stephanie & Shane did a great job this year in following their father’s footsteps while Steve Richards crawled his way out of jobber hell into a spot as a character that generates a ton of heat.

Praise for the McMahon kids back when they were fresh. I should have mentioned Lita and Trish as well because they really impressed me in their first years in WWE too.

24. Best Interviewee
1st: The Rock
2nd: Kurt Angle
3rd: Triple H
Comments: Before this year The Rock was a good talker who had a lot of potential on the microphone. This year, he stepped up to the plate and delivered solid promos on almost every show that remained fresh rather than relying solely on his catchphrases like he did during Russo’s WWF tenure. From his debut at Survivor Series ’99, Kurt Angle has impressed me with his microphone work week after week. He needs to work on his serious side a bit more but that’ll improve as he becomes a more experienced performer. Triple H, although improved over last year, comes in third mainly because he tends to talk too much when he is out there while The Rock and Angle get to the point a lot more succinctly with some humour mixed in. Edge, Christian and Mick Foley just miss out on this category.

No doubt about this one with The Rock in first. Probably the best talker ever. Looking back on this, I probably should have put E&C in third because they were gold on the microphone.

25. Best Angle
1st: Chris Jericho wins WWF title from Triple H on a fast count
2nd: Triple H marries Stephanie McMahon
3rd: Radicals turn on Mick Foley to get WWF contracts from Triple H
Comments: When Jericho “beat” Triple H for the WWF title on Raw earlier this year it received a huge reaction from people at the arena and from me in my living room. Even though the reign lasted for only five minutes it was still the most memorable angle from the year. If you would have told me that Triple H marrying Stephanie McMahon would carry WWF storylines for most of the year I would have laughed in your face. I must give credit to the WWF for starting the angle out right with the surprise wedding between Hunter and his drugged bride. The Radicals turning on Foley during their second week as part of the WWF was great to see as it gave them heat immediately with the WWF crowds. It was a great surprise that also gave us the best Raw match of the year with the ten-man tag on February 7th.

There were so many good ones to pick. I think Jericho nearly becoming WWF Champion was amazing. It’s been 15 years and I still remember it well. Hunter marrying Stephanie was brilliant. That was in late 1999, but as I said the awards are from November 1999 to October 2000, so it qualified. That angle with the Radicals was great too. People wanted to cheer them, but screwing over Foley made them heels.

26. Best Major Show
1st: 08/27/00 WWF Summerslam
2nd: 01/23/00 WWF Royal Rumble
3rd: 05/21/00 WWF Judgment Day

Comments: Probably the toughest category to pick of them all. I’d say that at least eight of the WWF’s PPVs this year alone were better than anything last year so it was tough to choose just three. In the end I went with Summerslam first basically because it was solid from top to bottom with a terrific TLC match, a great submission match and a solid main event. Royal Rumble gets my second spot for its magnificent main event and solid Royal Rumble match. Finally, Judgment Day beat out Backlash for the final spot because it was a wrestling heavy PPV that was capped off by the fabulous HHH/Rock Ironman match.

This was probably the best year for PPVs in WWE history, so it’s tough to pick just one. If I had to pick it again, I may have Backlash in first just because of the quality matches on the entire show and the final moment where Austin helps The Rock win the WWE Title. Also, that 2000 Rumble PPV is pretty awesome. I don’t remember that year’s SummerSlam as much as the other shows, so that’s part of it too. The winner by reader vote was Royal Rumble first and SummerSlam in second.

27. Best Promotional Move
1st: WWF signs Radicals
2nd: WCW ceases to acknowledge Hulk Hogan on television
3rd: WCW gives world championship to Booker T.

Comments: I think when the WWF signed the Radicals they improved the thing that got away from them during the Russo era and that is their workrate. By signing those four wrestlers it forced the other wrestlers on the roster to work harder in the ring and as a result we got plenty of great PPVs from top to bottom. It was the addition of the Radicals that helped make that happen. As much as I don’t like him, I have to give Russo credit for getting rid of Hogan. Finally, putting the world title on Booker T. was a great move by WCW because he was the most deserving champion the company has had in a long time.

I agree with that selection. The signing of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn was huge for WWE in early 2000. They got two main eventers out of it with Benoit and Guerrero, who both developed into those spots. The other two didn’t have as much of an impact in WWE as performers, but they added depth to the roster. People were sick of Hogan in WCW by this point, so no surprise that I liked that. I was also a huge Booker T fan, so I was happy he became World Champion. In the fan voting, the Radicals in WWE got the most votes.

That’s a wrap. I think I’m going to post some other retro year end awards pieces every Sunday for the rest of the year. I didn’t write them out every single year in the last 15 years, but I do have a lot of them and in the last six years I’ve done the Johnny Awards under a different format.

What did you think about this trip down memory lane? Let me know in the comments below.