WWE 2021 Awards: Best & Worst of WWE This Year (Smark Out Moment Awards) | Smark Out Moment

WWE 2021 Awards: Best & Worst of WWE This Year (Smark Out Moment Awards)

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The WWE may have their Slammy Awards, but here at Smark Out Moment we like to take an even closer look at what happened throughout the year and award not just the best, but also point out the worst, and that applies to both what World Wrestling Entertainment had to offer.

I present to you the second half of the twelfth annual SMARK OUT MOMENT AWARDS, aka The Smarkies!

Make sure you let us know in the comments what your choices are for the best and the worst of each award in all of the WWE divisions (Technical Skills, Writing, Programming, On-Air Personalities, and Wrestlers)!

Smark Out Moment wrestling Smarky Awards 2021 Smarkies

[TECHNICAL SKILLS AWARDS]

ENTRANCE

Explanation: This award should take into account everything including pyro, lighting, music, what the superstars do during their entrances, and so on. Your choices can be a singular entrance in particular (such as their upgraded WrestleMania one) or someone's standard entrance that happens every time he/she comes to the ring.

[BEST]: Bad Bunny (WrestleMania 37)

- Karrion Kross with Scarlett
- Damian Priest
- Edge (brood summerslam)
- Shotzi Blackheart with the tank

[WORST]: WrestleMania 37 rain delay

- Many Superstars from Superstar Spectacle
- Mandy Rose slips (WrestleMania)
- Hulk Hogan and Titus O'Neil (WrestleMania)

CLOTHING / ATTIRE

Explanation: Who has the best and worst outfits, whether it's just what they wear during their entrance or if it's their normal ring gear?

[BEST]: Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods (Raw 5/31 Green Ranger and White Ranger gear)

- Charlotte Flair (Superstar Spectacle)
- New Day (Royal Rumble Brodie Lee gear)
- Johnny Gargano (War Machine; TakeOver: Stand and Deliver)
- Carmella (WrestleMania nip slip)
- Charlotte Flair (WrestleMania Backlash)
- Zelina Vega (Money in the Bank)
- Johnny Gargano (WarGames)

[WORST]: Karrion Kross gimp mask

- Natalya (Royal Rumble)
- Charlotte Flair (Raw 8/9) **** super awful body suit

SIGNATURE MANEUVER

Explanation: What is your favorite and least favorite regularly seen wrestling move was that had been featured multiple times as something on a superstar's repertoire. Typically, these are finishers (such as the Attitude Adjustment) but it could also be a signature setup (such as the Five Knuckle Shuffle) or something along those lines.

[BEST]: Keith Lee's Big Bang Catastrophe

[WORST]: Duke Hudson just throws Malik Blade down tot he mat on his face (205 Live 10/22)ny that I've immediately forgotten because they're supposed to be memorable

- Any signature maneuvers that nobody could name applies, because they're supposed to be memorable

SPOT / BOTCH

Explanation: What was the most entertaining spot and what was the biggest disaster of a botch that happened this year?

[BEST/COOLEST SPOT]: Braun Strowman throws Shane McMahon off the steel cage (WrestleMania)

- Bianca Belair's one-handed press to Sasha Banks at Crown Jewel

[WORST/BIGGEST BOTCH]: Failure to open the handcuffs in time for Last Man Standing match (Royal Rumble)

- Mandy Rose slips during her entrance at WrestleMania
- Peacock issues in general
- Nikki ASH beats Tamina accidentally and they play Tamina's music and announce Tamina as the winner
- Alexa Bliss mouth capsule from Extreme Rules

RECOGNITION

Explanation: Perception is everything, so which superstar deserved more credit this year than they received and which superstar was unworthy of all the praise he or she received?

[MOST UNDERRATED]: T-Bar

- Other potential choices on my list were: Asuka, Austin Theory, Baron Corbin, Drake Maverick, Drew Gulak, Johnny Gargano, LA Knight, Mansoor, Noam Dar, Rick Boogs, Sam Gradwell, Santos Escobar, Shayna Baszler, The Miz, Toni Storm and Tyler Breeze

[MOST OVERRATED]: Liv Morgan

- Other potential choices on my list were: Ember Moon, Raquel Gonzalez, Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tegan Nox, Top Dolla and Tyler Bate

IMPROVEMENT IN A SUPERSTAR

Explanation: Which superstar improved their work and saw the biggest upgrade and who saw the biggest downgrade in terms of a regression of their performance, spot on the roster, quality of value and so forth?

[BIGGEST UPGRADE]: Tamina

- Other contenders for my pick were Cameron Grimes, Indi Hartwell, Kyle O'Reilly, Nikki A.S.H., Xia Li

[BIGGEST DOWNGRADE]: Karrion Kross

- Other contenders for my pick were Bray Wyatt and Keith Lee

RING WORK

Explanation: Which two superstars were the best and the worst when performing in the ring?

[BEST]: Johnny Gargano

- Other potential picks I considered were: Adam Cole, Bianca Belair, Cesaro, Damian Priest, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Kyle O'Reilly, Sasha Banks, The New Day, The Street Profits, The Usos

[WORST]: Nia Jax

- Other potential picks I considered were: B-Fab, Eva Marie, Katrina Cortez, Shanky

MIC WORK

Explanation: Who had the best and worst promo skills, charisma, and performing as an entertaining character with all of the verbal aspects of WWE.

[BEST]: The New Day

- Some other considerations were: Cameron Grimes, Edge, LA Knight, R-Truth, Riddle, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn and Tony D'Angelo

[WORST]: Reggie

- Some other considerations were: A-Kid, Ember Moon, Humberto Carrillo, Kay Lee Ray, Liv Morgan, Nikki A.S.H., Ricochet and Tamina

MATCH OF THE YEAR

Explanation: Matches can be from any show, including Raw, SmackDown, NXT, Main Event, 205 Live, pay-per-views and special events.

[BEST]: possibly Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair from WrestleMania 37

  • WALTER vs. Tommaso Ciampa - NXT UK Championship Match — NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 1
  • Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair - SmackDown Women's Championship Match — WrestleMania 37 Night 1
  • Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan - Universal Championship Match — WrestleMania 37 Night 2
  • Ilja Dragunov vs. WALTER - NXT UK Women's Championship Match — NXT TakeOver 36
  • Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly - 2-Out-of-3 Falls Match — NXT TakeOver 36

[WORST]: Tag Team Turmoil or Randy Orton vs. The Fiend (WrestleMania 37, Night 1)

  • Seemingly half the matches at Fastlane
  • Tag Team Turmoil — WrestleMania 37 Night 1
  • Randy Orton vs. The Fiend — WrestleMania 37 Night 1
  • Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch - SmackDown Women's Championship Match — SummerSlam 2021
  • Charlotte Flair vs Nia Jax — Monday Night Raw (Aug 30?)

[WRITING AWARDS]

CATCH PHRASE or SLOGAN

Explanation: This includes any kind of regularly mentioned slogan, taunt, catch phrase, signature sign-off or any verbal sayings of those sorts.

[BEST]: "Acknowledge me."

[WORST]: Ember's Law

GIMMICK

Explanation: Which superstars portrayed the best and the worst characters this year?

[BEST]: Matt Riddle

- Runner-up options were broke Baron Corbin, Tribal Chief Roman Reigns and the meathead idiot version of Austin Theory while he was in The Way

[WORST]: Sleepy Wendy Choo

- Runner-up options: Bray Wyatt / Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, RETRIBUTION

HEEL or FACE TURN

Explanation: The Best/Worst Heel or Face Turn award asks which character turn (whether it was from heel to face or face to heel doesn't matter) was the most effective and interesting and which one was stupid and a mistake.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: all heel and face turns are on this list

[BEST]: Adam Cole turns on Kyle O'Reilly

[WORST]: (TIE) Buddy Murphy wanting to rejoin Seth Rollins, Shane McMahon buh buh Braun for no reason

TITLE REIGN

Explanation: Who had the most meaningful time with a championship to their name, where the matches were good, the feuds were interesting, and you were enjoying their reign, as well as who failed to meet those expectations and perhaps had a boring, uneventful, bad run with a belt.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: all of the title reigns on this list

[BEST]: Roman Reigns (Universal)

- Honorable mentions: Damian Priest (United States), Santos Escobar (Cruiserweight), Ted DiBiase (Million Dollar), RK-Bro (Raw Tag Team)

[WORST]: Nikki A.S.H. (Raw Women's Championship)

- Honorable mentions: Asuka (Raw Women's Championship), Bronson Reed and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott (North American Championship), all NXT Women's Tag Team Champions, A-Kid (NXT UK Heritage Cup), Samoa Joe (NXT Championship)

CAMEO APPEARANCE

Explanation: This award revolves around the old school wrestlers who aren't a regular part of the roster and made a temporary return for a brief one-off appearance. This excludes people who became a regular part of the fold. Which was your favorite to see make an appearance and which one were you less than thrilled about?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All cameos from this year can be found on this list

[BEST]: Ted DiBiase story with Cameron Grimes

[WORST]: pointless Raw Legends Night cameos

MOST SHOCKING MOMENT

Explanation: What was the absolute biggest surprise you had this entire year that you didn't see coming?

[MOST]: Constant releases

- Honorable mentions: Rain delay at WrestleMania, Kay Lee Ray retains over Piper Niven

SMARK OUT MOMENTS

Explanation: What did you consider to be the overall best and worst things to have happened this year? What was the coolest thing to make you happy as a fan and which moment was so horrible that it made you the most disappointed with WWE?

[BEST]: Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks crying at WrestleMania

- Honorable mentions: Finally back in front of crowds, Xavier Woods wins KOTR

[WORST]: Releases

- Honorable mentions: Shayna Baszler with Lilly, Nia Jax "my hole", Eva Marie tripping

STORYLINE

Explanation: What were the most interesting, well-executed storylines of the year and which feuds were the least interesting, terrible ones to watch?

[BEST]: RK-Bro

[WORST]: Lacey Evans love story with Ric Flair and feud with Charlotte Flair

- Honorable mentions: Nia Jax injures herself (her hole, slipping like Mandy Rose), everything with Alexa Bliss and Eva Marie and Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax's relationship with Reggie

[PROGRAMMING AWARDS]

IN-RING SHOWS

Explanation: Out of WWE's in-ring wrestling content, which programs were your favorite and least favorite?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: 205 Live, Main Event, NXT, NXT UK, Raw, SmackDown

[BEST]: NXT before 2.0 if something has to be chosen, but there really wasn't a best

[WORST]: Main Event / 205 Live

TALK or RECAP SHOWS

Explanation: Out of WWE's interview or just chatter-based content, which programs were your favorite and least favorite?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: Afterburn, After the Bell, Bottom Line, Broken Skull Sessions, The Bump, NXT Injury Report, NXT Top 5, Playback, Pop Question, Raw Talk, Talking Smack, The New Day: Feel the Power, This Week in WWE, What the Hell's on Your Cell?, What's NeXT?, WWE Ahora, WWE Backstage, WWE Grit & Glory, WWE Now, WWE Virtual Roundtable

[BEST]: The New Day: Feel the Power

[WORST]: All the recap shows like Afterburn

DOCUMENTARY SHOWS

Explanation: Out of WWE's documentary-based content, which programs were your favorite and least favorite?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: 50 Greatest Tag Teams, 50 Greatest Women Superstars, A&E Biography: WWE Legends, Birth of the Stunner, Chronicle, Day Of, Miz and Mrs, Ruthless Aggression, The Build To, Total Bellas, Untold, WrestleMania Diary, WWE 24, WWE Icons

[BEST]: Untold

[WORST]: Miz and Mrs / Total Bellas

ODDBALL SHOWS

Explanation: Out of WWE's other, miscellaneous and offbeat content, which programs were your favorite and least favorite?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: The Great WWE Debate, The Ultimate Show, UpUpDownDown, WWE's Most Wanted Treasures

[BEST]: The Ultimate Show

[WORST]: The Great WWE Debate

NEW PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Explanation: Out of the brand new shows that premiered this year, which were the best and worst?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: 50 Greatest Tag Teams, 50 Greatest Women Superstars, A&E Biography: WWE Legends, Birth of the Stunner, The Build To, The Great WWE Debate, The Ultimate Show, WrestleMania Diary, WWE Grit & Glory, WWE Icons, WWE's Most Wanted Treasures

[BEST]: The Ultimate Show

- WWE's Most Wanted Treasures is #2

[WORST]: WWE Grit & Glory

PAY-PER-VIEW or SPECIAL EVENT

Explanation: What were your favorite and least favorite pay-per-views or special events from the year?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All pay-per-views and special events are indicated on this list

[BEST]: Crown Jewel

- In Your House was a potential choice.

[WORST]: Fastlane (PPV), Throwback SmackDown (special TV episode)

- WrestleMania SmackDown, Hell in a Cell and others were bad, too.

[ON-AIR PERSONALITY AWARDS]

MANAGER or VALET

Explanation: This includes anybody who regularly accompanies someone down to the ring in some capacity, but is not their tag team partner in the ring.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All managers and valets on the roster are indicated on this list

[BEST]: MVP (if allowing for a wrestler), Paul Heyman (if MVP doesn't count)

[WORST]: Reginald

AUTHORITY FIGURE

Explanation: This includes anybody who was in a position of power over the roster including commissioners, general managers, the chairman and so forth.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All authority figures are indicated on this list

[BEST]: William Regal

[WORST]: Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville

OTHER/EXTRA CHARACTER

Explanation: This includes all extraneous, ancillary, supporting and oddball characters who don't fit into any other classification.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All extraneous characters are indicated amongst the superstars on this list

[BEST]: Zombie referee

[WORST]: Bobby Lashley's girls

RING ANNOUNCER

Explanation: This includes all in-ring announcers who would introduce wrestlers during their entrances.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: Alicia Taylor, Francesca Brown, Greg Hamilton, Mike Rome, Samantha Irvin, Sarah Schreiber

[BEST]: Mike Rome

[WORST]: Francesca Brown

BROADCAST CORRESPONDENT

Explanation: This includes all backstage interviewers, panelists and correspondents.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: Alex Pagan (The Ultimate Show), Alicia Taylor, Alyse Ashton, Booker T, Arash Markazi, Brandon Walker (NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day) Byron Saxton, Charly Caruso, Dan Vollmayer, Denise Salcedo, Dennis Arnell (NXT), Evan T. Mack, Gabrielle LaSpisa (The Ultimate Show), Gaelyn Mendonca (WWE Now India), Jackie Redmond, Jerry Lawler, Jimena Sánchez (WWE Saturday Night), Jimmy Smith (NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver pre-show), John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Josiah Williams, Justin Barrasso, Kayla Braxton, Kazeem Famuyide (The Ultimate Show), Kevin Patrick, Madonna Tixeira (WWE Sunday Dhamaal), Matt Camp, McKenzie Mitchell, Megan Morant, Mike Rome, Moein Al Bastaki (WWE Wal3ooha), Nathalie Mamo (WWE Wal3ooha), Nina Wu (WWE Now China), Peter Rosenberg, Quetzalli Bulnes, Radzi Chinyanganya, Ryan Pappolla, Salil Acharya (WWE Sunday Dhamaal), Sam Roberts, Sarah Schreiber, Scott Stanford, Verónica Rodríguez (WWE Saturday Night)

[BEST]: Matt Camp

- Close-call picks who almost won this were Kayla Braxton, McKenzie Mitchell, Ryan Pappolla

[WORST]: Alex Pagan? Arash Markazi?

COMMENTATOR

Explanation: This includes all members of the commentary teams on all brands, including the foreign commentators.

COMMENTARY: Adnan Virk, Andy Shepherd, Beth Phoenix, Booker T (WrestleMania), Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Jerry "The King" Lawler (WrestleMania), Jimmy Smith, John "Bradshaw" Layfield (WrestleMania), Michael Cole, Nigel McGuinness, Pat McAfee, Samoa Joe, Tom Phillips, Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett + foreign commentary teams (released along with Peacock but appeared earlier in the year)

[BEST]: The duo of Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett

- Michael Cole if you have to go with a singular pick.

[WORST]: Adnan Virk

[WRESTLER AWARDS]

NEWCOMER

Explanation: The Best/Worst Newcomer award applies to anybody who either made their debut somewhere on the main roster or NXT, or were repackaged into a completely different gimmick with a different name.

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All newcomers to the roster are indicated amongst the superstars on this list

[BEST]: Bron Breakker, LA Knight

[WORST]: Ari Sterling, Asher Hale, B-Fab, Giant Zanjeer, Shanky, Lash Legend, Erica Yan, Yulisa Leon, Wendy Choo, Elektra Lopez, Ru Feng, Malik Blade, Dante Chen, x

MAIN ROSTER CALL-UP

Explanation: Which of the superstars who moved up from NXT or developmental to the main roster have done the best and the worst with their promotion?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All call-ups to the main roster are indicated amongst the superstars on this list

[BEST]: Damian Priest

[WORST]: Karrion Kross

TAG TEAM or STABLE

Explanation: Which tag team or stable did you like and hate the most?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All tag teams can be found on this list

[BEST]: RK-Bro

- The Way
- Legado del Fantasma
- The Bloodline
- RK-Bro

[WORST]: Robert Stone Brand

- Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce
- Jinder Mahal, Veer and Shanky
- Robert Stone Brand
- Valentina Feroz and Yulisa Leon
- Zoey Stark and Io Shirai
- RETRIBUTION
- Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner
- Elias and Jaxson Ryker
- Doudrop and Eva Marie

HEEL

Explanation: Who was the most hated villain and which superstar failed the most to get the crowd to boo them?

[BEST]: Roman Reigns

- Bobby Lashley
- Baron Corbin
- Santos Escobar

[WORST]: Eva Marie

- Elias
- Eva Marie
- Nia Jax
- Shanky
- Slapjack
- Jessi Kamea
- Rohan Raja and Teoman
- Ari Sterling

BABYFACE

Explanation: Who was the best fan-favorite hero and which superstar wasn't able to pull off being a babyface?

[BEST]: Riddle

- Big E
- Damian Priest
- Edge
- Riddle
- Cesaro
- Cameron Grimes
- Indi Hartwell
- Bianca Belair

[WORST]: Jaxson Ryker

- Ricochet
- Jeet Rama
- Malik Blade
- Trey Baxter
- Ember Moon
- Valentina Feroz (she smiles, that's it)
- A-Kid (negative personality)
- Amir Jordan
- Ashton Smith
- Levi Muir
- Nathan Frazer
- August Grey
- Tyler Bate (new character blah)

FEMALE SUPERSTAR

Explanation: Which female wrestlers were the cream of the crop and the bottom of the barrel?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All superstars who were in WWE this year can be found on this list

[BEST]: Bianca Belair

[WORST]: (TIE) Eva Marie / Nia Jax

MALE SUPERSTAR

Explanation: Which male wrestlers were the cream of the crop and the bottom of the barrel?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All superstars who were in WWE this year can be found on this list

[BEST]: Riddle

- Roman Reigns
- Bobby Lashley
- Edge
- Damian Priest

[WORST]: Shanky

SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR

Explanation: Judging as a co-ed award out of both the men and women wrestlers who were in the company at some point, who was the absolute best and worst in the company this year?

POSSIBLE OPTIONS: All superstars who were in WWE this year can be found on this list

[BEST]: Riddle

[WORST]: Eva Marie

[SMARK OUT MOMENT RECAP]

The results from your votes will be calculated based on the poll from the 2021 feedback survey questionnaire.

SMARK OUT MOMENT SEGMENT

[BEST]: Fantasy Booking / Mock Draft, Mount Rushmore

[WORST]: TV Ratings

CO-HOSTS & WRITERS OF THE YEAR

[YOUR PICK FOR BEST]: Tony Mango (woo!)

YEAR-IN-REVIEW OF STATISTICS

I'll be giving a breakdown of some of the advancements that have happened over the past year with the Smark Out Moment brand.

LET US KNOW YOUR CHOICES IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

AUTHOR OF THIS POST: ANTHONY MANGO

The founder, editor-in-chief, head writer, podcast host, and more for Smark Out Moment and all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. Tony Mango is not just a pundit/analyst, but also a creative director/consultant, media manager and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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