The Suicide Dive Squad

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*** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES.*** The Slammy Awards are never particularly fun unless something unexpected happens, but they are never particularly fun in the same way actual award shows are never particularly fun unless unexpected happens. And since The Slammy Awards don’t get the same benefit of the doubt that literally any other award show would outside of the ESPYs and the Grammys.

Most of the problems is that natural rhythms (or lack thereof) of award shows run completely divergent of those of a well-run professional wrestling show. There are similarities: the results (meaning who wins the award) of both provide exposition, and the pairings of opponents and presenters the action. But the nature of most award shows’ mismatched/undeveloped pairings — most professional wrestlers at the highest levels are at least familiar with the work of the people they “dancing” with —  completely changes the dynamic of the show. More importantly, although for both victories are awarded, the way in which those victors are chosen and the relative scarcity of the victories for award shows — by nature, there is only one winner per year for award shows — flip the entire dynamic of what’s exciting about sports entertainment on its head.

This shift is what makes any match on the Slammys feel entirely secondary to whatever is happening at the award podium. While this is a common occurrence on Raw, it feels especially egregious when it’s presumably supposed to be celebrating the year’s best performances. Usually the best way to deal with this is to make the story happen in the award segments, but with the Authority gone, until the end of the night — where, at least for your correspondent, the show went from decent to fun if not great (which is better than it sounds) in a way that made it seem like they were trying to say something — the show was disjointed.

Except for Seth Rollins, of course. He began the show being awarded a victory over Dolph Ziggler with some help from J&J Security and a Curbstomp, and taking Sting’s first Slammy award, then ended it standing tall after Curbstomping John Cena — his opponent this Sunday —  to continue his streak as the most useful (and subsequently well-booked) performer in the entire company since he joined the Authority. It will be interesting to see how things change up for him in the ramp-up to WrestleMania, but with he and Ziggler — who has given Rollins a run for his money for MVP as 2014 enters the home stretch — seemingly on a collision course, don’t be surprised if that streak continues all the way through the end of March in San Francisco. *** WARNING: YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE! PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CHILI CHEESE PRETZEL DOG MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT.***

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