Gooker 2019 – Vote for the Very Worst of the Very Worst in Pro Wrestling!

89 Submitted by on Thu, 02 January 2020, 20:00

GOOKER VOTING IS NOW CLOSED!

Final results are as follows:

Congrats to Bray Wyatt & Seth Rollins – you BARELY squeaked past Rusev-Lana-Lashley to take the crown!  


Another year gone, another year of tons of horrible wrestling.  At some point that has to change, right?

Right?!

I know, I know – we have had a lot of great stuff as well.  But that’s not what we are here to discuss today.  We want to talk the absolute bottom of the barrel garbage imaginable, all of which will be presented to you so you can help determine, once and for all, what was the VERY worst of 2019.  

Who should be deemed Gooker worthy?  Buckle up, kids – crappy waters lie ahead!


The Never-Ending Push of Baron Corbin

Recent years in WWE had seen the company attempt to turn Roman Reigns into the hero everyone wanted to see…even when it was obvious no one wanted anything to do with that.  Learning from its past, the company opted to forgo another super hero push…and instead pushed a heel down all our throats instead.  When Baron Corbin proceeded to kill interest and ratings, the company doubled down and made him king.  One thing is certain: Vince McMahon is nothing if not persistent.


The Librarians

Arguably the biggest pro wrestling story in 2019 was the rise of All Elite Wrestling.  Fueled by a grassroots movement, Cody and friends were able to secure a weekly prime time slot on Wednesday nights on TNT and we finally, after all these years, had at least some form of real competition for WWE.  Which isn’t to say AEW is perfect – their flaws are seemingly becoming more noticeable by the week.  And while they have repeatedly trumpeted they would listen to fans, the fact that The Librarians are carted out on a somewhat regular basis has us all questioning if their hearing checked.


The Draft

Arguably the biggest pro wrestling story in 2019 was WWE moving to Fox.  Yes, I know I started the prior paragraph with the exact same verbiage as I did this one.  Sometimes I do stuff like that just to see if anyone reads my text.  Anyhoo, this year’s draft saw Raw and Smackdown again lose star power simply due to the fact that the company feels it’s best to not having everyone together.  Except when they do, which is frequent.  Look, trying to apply logic to today’s WWE is a fool’s errand.  On the plus side, we got to see the Fox NFL robot (Cleatus!) in the war room.  Is that enough to save this from winning the Gooker? 


WWE2K20

Wrestling and video games have been married together for nearly 35 years.  With that being the case, how is it that wrestling games have never seemed to improve since the heyday of the Nintendo 64? Never has that been more true than with WWE 2K20, a game that was so amazingly broken that it boggles ones mind that it was ever released.  The GIFs alone have made it the stuff of legend.  And just when we thought it couldn’t get worse we learn that on January 1, 2020, the game simply STOPPED WORKING!  I’d note that was incredibly slopping programming, but maybe it was just the company’s way of trying to save everyone from such an atrocious game.


The Collapse of ROH

It could be argued that 2019 was a huge year for all of pro wrestling.  While WWE ratings were bottoming out, they were also getting gigantic TV deals that will make them more profitable than ever.  AEW hit the scene, and New Japan also had folks enthralled for the bulk of the year.  What was somewhat surprising, then, was the collapse of Ring of Honor.  Debatably the number two wresting promotion at the start of the year, ROH saw a downfall that no one could have truly predicted.  Here’s to hoping they can turn it around in 2020.


Crown Jewel 2

Last year’s Gooker winner was back and ready for more in 2019, giving us not only bad matches, but bizarre ones as well, such as Braun Strohman vs. Tyson Fury and Brock Lesnar battling Cain Velasquez.  On the “plus” side, we also got the first WWE women’s match in the country, as Lacey Evans took on Natalya Neidhart.  Sure, both women smiled the whole time and were covered nearly from head to toe, but well, I guess that was a win of some sort.  What was decidedly NOT a win was the fact the crew was stuck (or reportedly more or less held hostage) at the airport and couldn’t leave for over a day following the show.  A show which honestly sucked.  Can Crown Jewel win two in a row?


Bray vs Seth HIAC

Hell in a Cell has served as the final bout in many timeless feuds in WWE history.  Who could forget Mick Foley and Undertaker going at it in one of the truly legendary moments in company history?  Well, take all that goodness and throw it out the window, because in 2019 we saw Seth Rollins get into the cell with Bray Wyatt.  Well, actually we had a hard time SEEING anything at all, as the entire encounter took place in red light that made it nearly impossible to follow.  Not that it mattered, because we wound up with a no contest as the finish.  

Yes, a no contest in HELL IN A CELL.

It may also be no contest to see this walk away with the Gooker Award!


Maria and Mike Kanelis

So let me see if I have this right: Maria and Mike Kanellis both wind up seeing half million dollar annual deals with WWE, despite the fact that neither are regularly used.  Following this, Maria discovers she is pregnant. Following THAT, the WWE storyline has Maria telling the world Mike isn’t the child’s father at all and is nothing but a total loser.  Sounds like someone in creative has issues, doesn’t it?


Rusev – Lana – Lashley

If the above nominee didn’t have you believing that, then this one should remove all doubt.  So real life husband and wife Lana and Rusev are thrown into an arc where Bobby Lashley swoops in and lures the Ravishing Russian into his bedroom.  Each week the story makes less sense, culminating in a wedding on the final Raw of the decade wherein Liv Morgan of all people emerges and claims she and Lana had a lesbian love affair.  This despite the fact that a similar storyline had been pitched to WWE creative by Sonya Deville (an actual lesbian) and was shot down due to it being too controversial.  

All I can say, Sonya, is you should probably be thankful – with WWE at the helm of such a story for you, you may have just avoided becoming a Gooker winner.


Shorty G

An Olympic wrestler goes to WWE and becomes one of its biggest stars, winning multiple world titles and becoming a legend in the process.  That’s what happened with Kurt Angle.  Not so much with Chad Gable.  Despite being an excellent technician, the company instead decides to have him lose to nearly everyone and then mock his height, dubbing him, and I am not making this up, SHORTY G.  Want to know why this company has never had a break out star since John Cena?  How they handled this guy would be a perfect example.


And there you have it, kids!  A whole lotta horrible…but only one can be our feather flocked champion.  Who will it be?

YOU DECIDE!

Voting ends January 11, 2020, so get to clickin’!

 

Written by

Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
89 Responses to "Gooker 2019 – Vote for the Very Worst of the Very Worst in Pro Wrestling!"
  1. lipe from chile says:

    Hey, no (lack of) love for Taker vs Goldberg?
    And what happened to the guy who used to write the top 50 bad stories of the year?

    • RD Reynolds says:

      That’s Justin Henry…great guy, but he’s overloaded with other projects now I believe.

      • Autrach Sejanoz says:

        Ah, that would explain it – shouldn’t be surprised, he’s GOOD.
        Thanks for the info, RD!

      • Robert Lewis says:

        He’s doing a lot of freelance work for Cultaholic, I think. It’s a shame; I always enjoyed reading his top 50 lists for WrestleCrap.

    • King Of Kings says:

      No kidding! Next to the Gooker awards I always looked forward to reading Mr Henry’s top 50 year in review of crap around this time of year.

  2. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    This may well be the first year in some time where I’ve had a VERY hard time choosing who to vote for – I’m having trouble narrowing it down to just two and flipping a coin, as I’ve done in years past!

    Also, no Look Back In Anger column this year?

  3. Brownie_the_3rd says:

    I’ve said it elsewhere but I’ll say it again here, I feel kinda bad for Baron Corbin. I actually think the guy is doing an excellent job what’s been asked of him, it’s just that what he’s been asked to do is f’ing awful.

  4. BeaverCleavage says:

    No Shane McMahon on here?! That’s a gross gross oversight.

  5. Mark Cardoso says:

    No Dark Order for the Gooker??? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    • Paul Sebert says:

      I know a LOT of people hated the Dark Order’s beatdown of the Elite on Dynamite a few weeks ago but… honestly I think the jury’s still out on them. The actual matches they had with SCU and the Jurassic Express were quite good and the Join Dark Order vignettes were actually pretty clever. It’s a goofy gimmick but well… I’m a sucker for supernatural b.s.

    • Arcane Azmadi says:

      One segment that falls flat does not a Gooker winner make, no matter how bad that extra’s punches were. While everyone agrees it didn’t work, the people treating it like “the worst thing EVER!” are just WWE fanboys blowing it out of proportion for a chance to shit on AEW. And if that happens to include you, then no apologies.

  6. Kevin Lonergan says:

    What….no top 50 bad stories this year? And no hate for the Wild Card Rule????

  7. Michael W says:

    As far as Lashley-Rusev-Lana story goes, I thought you couldn’t induct angles that weren’t finished yet?

  8. Chris V says:

    Oh, you had to add the Lashley/Lana/Rusev mess to the list. I thought it might not be listed because it keeps going on, and on, and on….
    Before I saw that, it was a simple matter of the WWE immediately ruining the Fiend character with that Hell in a Cell crap.

    Well, Lashley/Lana/Rusev/Morgan will probably be a nominee for 2020 too, so I guess I can vote for it next year too.

    Also, “Ravishing Russian”…except she only uses the accent on a few words now and otherwise speaks without the Russian accent.

    • Kalle says:

      If anything, Seth was ruined more by it. The Fiend went back to being loved by fans not too long afterward, while Seth got the brunt of the criticism and hate despite not having any input on the match’s booking and had to be turned heel just to save face. :/

  9. George Nolan says:

    Went with the Rusev/ Lana/ Lashley love affair angle. For whatever reason, Vince and pals love pushing these sorts of angles on-and-off over the years, going as far back as the Attitude Era. The crap with Mike and Maria Kinellis might have been unbearable, but this has been getting pushed for the past three months now and this Monday’s developments with it shows WWE is really running it to the ground.

  10. Robert says:

    Doesn’t having Lashley/Lana/Rusev angle goes against the long standing rule of not putting something on going on the ballot for the Gooker?

  11. Lizuka says:

    It should be Shane by a mile. Absolutely insane he’s not even nominated.

  12. Plastic Diver Guy says:

    WWE2K20 looks like the latest work of Fred Fuchs. Someone get Rex Viper Riggs on the line, there’s a new ad to be made!

    *for those who have no idea what I’m speaking of. https://youtu.be/09tBJSgWWe0

    • RagingDemons says:

      He’s going to take you back in the past, to play the game that suck…well you know.

      I recommend going to YouTube to search for a vid by Matt McMuscles on wwe2k20 . The story of how that game became crap it’s just…wow!

  13. Steve says:

    My write in vote is for Kofi losing to Brock in seconds on Smackdown.

    • James says:

      What about The Never-Ending Push of Brock Lesnar? He doesn’t need a title, and yet he was awarded a world title THREE times this year AND MitB. That’s bad enough, but he literally buried Kofi Kingston, putting a major asterisk on the feel good moment of the year.

      • James says:

        LOL, meant to do this as it’s own comment, not a reply.

      • Guest says:

        Charlotte did it better

        Beat Asuka for the Smackdown women’s title clean days ahead of Wrestlemania (with Charlotte working as a heel).

        Beating Lynch for the title at MITB months after she beat Asuka for it just so they could make the main event at Wrestlemania a double title match. Just to immediately drop to Bayley who won a MITB briefcase.

        Beating Bayley at Hell In A Cell just to drop it 5 days later on the premiere of Smackdown…..to Bayley.

  14. System Error says:

    Isn’t the Rusev/Lana/Lashley thing still ongoing? i.e. something that (previously) excluded things from Gooker nominations?

    Kinda forgone to include it here in any case, especially with what happened a few days ago being fresh and anger-inducing in a lot of people’s minds.

  15. John C says:

    Dang, this could be one of the most fetid bunch of contenders ever assembled. Going in I would have picked The Librarians without even knowing they’d be on the list, they completely drove me away from watching AEW weeks ago…but. The draft was so pathetically acted by the backstage “gurus” it made soap opera and reality show performers look like real thespians. Poor Chad Gable, they stripped his name and put him in a small conference looking basketball jersey. Hell In The Cell finish, mind numbingly stupid, for years Triple H runs around bashing competitors with a sledgehammer but this was to far? The idiotic lovey dovey storylines are merely embarrassing. On a purely visceral level, the irritation I felt seeing and hearing The Librarians for the first time probably makes them my pick but not for lack of effort by sucking from the other nominees.

    • Al Boondy says:

      I actually love the Librarians gimmick (although Paige Turner and Dewey Decimate have done it better) … However, I still voted for some so that RD would have to write an entire article about them 😉

  16. Y2G says:

    It has to be WWE 2K20.

    that thing has not had 1 redeemable feature.

  17. Sam Sweeney says:

    Whilst both the Hell in a Cell and Rusev, Lana and Lashley were both awful and deserve to win, my vote goes to 2K20 just for the sheer incompetence of the whole thing.

  18. Strings Rollins says:

    I just wanna quickly add that the devs shouldn’t be blamed for WWE 2K20 in its entirety, especially not the poor overworked and underpaid programmers/artists/etc crunching away only to likely be fired after the game ships. They have to essentially make an entirely new game with all new assets every year, with a development cycle of probably eight to ten months (WAY too short for a video game that has so much stuff in it) and also have to constantly change things in development at the whims of WWE’s demands and their booking (consider that Bayley being portrayed as a face in the game was almost immediately outdated by her turn). And these assets aren’t as cheap to make as they likely would have been in older games in the PS2/N64/etc days so it’s even more work than past iterations and less time can go to playtesting and tweaking and major overhauls.

    It’s still a total disaster of a game but I felt like I needed to throw my two cents in there just so people blame the right parties (WWE and 2K) for this and not the unfortunate devs just saddled with a really unenviable task.

  19. TK says:

    neat, poll closes on my 30th birthday… couldn’t pick just one but both my choices are tied at 20% as I post this

  20. Doc 902714 says:

    You missed out on the obvious Gooker Award Winner of 2019 —– the 24/7 Championship: all of it. A belt that was first won by merely picking it up in the ring. And since then has been won by superstars, male and female alike, celebrity guests, sportscasters, and even political figures (& not just Mayor Kane). 99% of the wins were by schoolboy and idiocy abounds because R-Truth always ends up as champion by show’s end. Even had a pregnant 24/7 champ. Do I need to go on any further?

    • Kevin Lonergan says:

      Amen to that….the 24/7 should be thrown in the trash where it belongs!!!

      • Presidente Clinton Dempsey says:

        To be fair, the 24/7 title is just the Hardcore title but with celebrities involved. While it was ridiculous enough in the Attitude Era alone, this one just amps up the carny-ness of the product tenfold. Though to be honest, if a guy like Messi won it he and WWE would be making headlines.

    • RagingDemons says:

      Actually what it did was the opposite. Thhe 24/7 title were huge pushes for R-Truth and at times Drake Maverick and they were a hit on social media. The 24/7 title had a bigger push and was more popular than Bray, Roman, Rollins, and that redhead whatsherface

  21. K7 says:

    As much as I want to put down Lana/Lashley, there were so many worse last year. That’s just the freshest in memory, so don’t let it cause you to forget the utter disaster that was Rollins/Wyatt HIAC, or the Reigns-level push of one of the blandest in the business with Corbin, or the debacle of Blood Money 3.

    WWE2k20 is also very worthy, as it’s probably the worst WWE game in its history just from a technical perspective, even before getting into the hilariously bad writing in it. But at least that’s hilariously bad and not “unsubscribe from the network” bad that was Rollins/Wyatt or Corbin, or Crown Jeweland the never-ending push for Bork.

  22. Jerry says:

    It may not be as flashy as some other potential candidates, but I am a bit disappointed, you did not add a category for WWE’s “No wrestling during ad breaks” policy.
    It harmed the whole product, good and bad parts alike, for a few months. Also I think, it would make a good induction to read. Well, maybe you can create a regular one for it some day.

  23. Time Lord Soundwave says:

    So did Hornswoggle as Vince’s son, but that didn’t save it.

  24. Time Lord Soundwave says:

    Surprised the Usos/Revival feud wasn’t nominated.

    Ucey Hot, anyone?

  25. Thomas Moffatt says:

    All Things Baron Corbin for me. The King Corbin is even stupider than the Constable Corbin gimmick. Angle losing to him in under 5 minutes at Mania (remember Triple H and Batista got 25 mins+). The guy bores me to tears with his promos. I now, like all things Roman Reigns and all things Miz simply fast forward through anything featuring him.

    The push will not end and I can see Corbin boring his way into a Universal title run. It can only get worse…

  26. rey says:

    remember during wrestlemania, they ran ads for the upcoming superstar shakeup? then on raw and smackdown there was constant talk of the landscape changing. the in one week several stars switched shows.
    then the very next raw, vince comes out and says, “FUCK IT!!!! WILDCARD!!!!”

    the nonsensical wildcard rule has gooker written all over it.

  27. CF says:

    You’re all wrong. RoH’s collapse is far more important to the industry than some half-assed video game, or Yet Another Push Going Nowhere.

  28. Mav says:

    Considering our buddies in Saudi Arabia are killing journalists that kind of has to be No. 1.

  29. Christopher Haydu says:

    Just as in the Democratic country we live in has a system where different areas of the country have lower or higher amounts of electoral votes based on the state’s population, so too should different Gooker award nominees. In my opinion, however many votes the Ring of Honor decline receives, the amount should be multiplied by five because, most likely, Crown Jewel 2 is taking the award. It shouldn’t, though. Ring of Honor was the number two promotion for a long time. The fact that RoH is on the nominee list and TNA isn’t says something. Compare this with Crown Jewel 2. Going in, nobody had any faith in Cain Valesquez and Tyson Fury. Nobody expected them to be good because they’re not wrestlers (I.e. they’re not workers). Add to that the fact that Brock’s not going to work more than ten minutes for a match, and Braun Strowman, while a fan favorite, he’s not Bret Hart in the ring. The matches people really cared about at Crown Jewel 2 were destined to suck, and they did. Nobody was surprised because WWE has sucked so bad over the last year. That’s why a vote for Crown Jewel 2, or any other WWE entry in the Gooker nominee list should not count as much as a vote for Ring of Honor’s decline.

    • Presidente Clinton Dempsey says:

      I respectfully disagree on your take on Crown Jewel not meriting the award. First off, while it was obviois thst the two “legit” fighters wouldn’t win their matches, the angles involved and the aftermath enforced the banality of the PPV. Cain’s loss in hindsight was the correct decision, given his silence over his leg pain and not notifying Vince. However, the story around Lesnar criminally assaulting Rey and his kid never had a proper conclusion where he gets his comeuppance, which is what Crown Jewel was partially meant for. A prolonged one-sided asskicking by Cain over Lesnar that would’ve at first resulted in a referee stoppage (and Cain winning the belt) but ultimately overturned in Brock’s favor and retention as Cain won’t stop beating on him, forcing the ref to reverse the decision would’ve been far more palatable than the two minute-long popcornfart ofa painfully botched pseudo-MMA match that we got instead. It gets worse when you take in account Rey showing his dark side with the pipe, beating Lesnar out of revenge, only to job to him at Survivor Series, thus never getting any redemption for him and Dominic, leaving a bitter taste of inconclusiveness amongst fans.

      On a different note, it seems that Vince may have had planned on having the Fiend beat Seth at Crown Jewel for the sole reason to capitalize on the controversial end to Hell in a Cell. If that was the case, then Vince is a genius for tricking angry Wyatt fans into purchasing/contributing to/watching a show they would have otherwise boycotted.

      As for ROH, they’ve been downhill for some years now. It’s only news if they’re at the brink of cancellation.

  30. El Atomico says:

    I had to go with Mike and Maria. Some of these are a matter of taste, but I don’t see how this one helps anybody.

  31. Lee W. says:

    WWE 2K20 just puts the icing on the cake in terms of why the WWE 2K series has been such a disappointment to begin with anyway.

    • Guest says:

      …..The majority of the 2K WWE games were made by the same developers as the PS1, PS2, and the early PS3/Xbox 360 games. Those games weren’t exactly any better.

  32. Paul Sebert says:

    I had to go with The Collapse of ROH.

    Seriously I can’t wrap my head around someone looking at Matt Tavin and saying “yes this is the man we want to headline our Madison Square Garden Show and become the face of the company.”

  33. Presidente Clinton Dempsey says:

    With all due respect towards the interracial-cuckold-“love”-triangle-turned-nonsensical-lesbian-quadrangle bamdwagon, I can’t fathom how you guys think that this is somehow worse than Crown Jewel 2: Electric Boogaloo. CJ takes the cake without question, not just due to the continuing deal between the Fed and the Saudi royals; not just because of political issues and moral values; and not just because (presumably) the Crown Prince halted their flight to Buffalo as a strongarm tactic to make Vince compliant, potentially risking every one’s lives. No, it was the booking, marketing, and aftermath in general that merits it its well-deserved successful Gooker defense; the first in Crapper history.

    For starters, Vince–for the first time in a long while–broke the bank to get two REAL, LEGIT FIGHTERS in Tyson Fury and Cain Velasquez, presumably under the demands of his now-lord and master Mohammad bin Skeletor (MYAH!), and put them on two marquee matches where Vince rode hard in high hopes that the relevance of Tyson in Europe and Cain in the US would get a temporary surge for the Network’s subscription. Hell, the Lesnar-Cain “match” alone merits a Gooker of its own, considering the months and months of rumors circulating that Cain would be joining the pro-wrestling biz. As soon as he made his first-ever appearance in a WWE show (where fans at first mistook him for Rey’s son), and as he and Brock barely started their feud, WWE immediately went to milk the cash camel and hyped the match hard just in time for Saudi err- CROWN JEWEL, BROTHER! And what was the viewer’s reward for only $9.99? An elephant’s fart of a faux-MMA match that saw Lesnar get his “revenge” win after Cain turned his face into a mashed turnip 9 years prior. Thst’s right, Lesnar obtained the same treatment as Hogan did at Halloween Havok ’98, and FINALLY got his first-ever win against a pesky Mexican in WWE.

    Speaking of Mexicans, WWE missed the biggest opportunity to properly capitalize the most out their market, all just to appease their pet gorilla. Not only did Lesnar successfully defend the WWE title against his real-life bogeyman in combat sports, WWE had the fucking nerve to have Rey job to him on PPV, after a two month-long storyline where Lesnar flat-out assaulted his son and bragged about it. Not many people here know much about Lucha culture or even Mexican culture in general, but–in a similar vein to Rikidozan and Inoki in Japan–it was painful to see the big white gringo dominate the defisnt masked Mexican hero standing up for his family’s dignity. Had Rey won at Survivor Series, demands for more shows in Mexico would have been guaranteed. Not to mention thst the Rumble will be held in Houston, where its metro area has the fifth-highest Hispanic population in the country, and the second-highest in Texas, following San Antonio. They even missed out on an opportunity to reference Mexico’s upset win over then-defending champions Germany at the World Cup in Russia, given Rey’s and Lesnar’s respective heritage.

    So in a way, the gooking- I mean booking of Crown Jewel transitioned into the jobbing and humiliation of perhaps the biggest living Latino superstar in WWE history (and third after Pedro Morales and Eddie Guerrero, respectively) at the hands of an already overpushed individual who takes more money for himself thsn he makes for the company, which resulted in WWE shooting themselves in the foot, now that the majority of the shows as well as the PPV itself are all based in cities that have sizeable populations of a particular demographic that not only hail Rey as a hero, but that the thought of him as a world champion and slayer of gringos would’ve helped the company rack up some profits, especially with November and December being slump times, and taking in considetation the risk of the XFL being a bigger bust than what it was in 2001. And for those reasons alone, I personally campaign for Crown Jewel to be your winner of the 2019 Gooker of the Year Award.

    Sincerely

    Clinton Dempsey
    President Emeritus

  34. Jon Milne says:

    I don’t want Rusev/Lana/Lashley to win because we already have a really stupid love triangle story featuring Rusev and Lana in the Gooker Award Inductions – http://wrestlecrap.com/inductions/rusev-lana-dolph-summer-love-trapezoid-the-2015-gooker-award-winner/ – and besides, even with Liv Morgan’s introduction into THIS nominated angle, I don’t even think the Rusev/Lana/Lashley angle has hit Peak Awful yet. Save it for next year’s Gooker Award when the angle has finished.

    To me, the Gooker this year has to go a nominee which actually had plenty of potential to be really, really, good, and yet instead turned into absolute garbage. Nearly all of the nominees on this list were always going to be awful ideas, with no way to salvage them (especially ROH this year which is looking like the indie version of WCW 2000).

    All but 2 nominees.

    Bray Wyatt has been putting in incredible work as the Fiend, with brilliant promos and excellent feuds with Finn Balor and Daniel Bryan. But the Rollins Hell In A Cell match massively hurt his character, had a stupid amount of no-selling and Rollins getting way too much offence, gave us a mindblowingly stupid DQ in a HIAC match, and required weeks of damage control in storyline before putting the title on the Fiend in a blood-money PPV in Saudi Arabia. The only reason I wouldn’t give this angle the Gooker is because, while damaged, the Fiend has at least been rehabilitated by his Daniel Bryan feud.

    WWE 2K20 however comes after a series of games which, while not spectacular, were at least providing moderate entertainment value and which appeared to be competently functioning and relatively free of glitches. Still not anything like as good as the Smackdown vs RAW games, but whatever. But WWE 2K20 was so laughably incompetent it appears to be really high up in most Worst Game of the Year awards, with nightmare fuel faces, wrestlers who look nothing like their real life variants, extreme epileptic seizures and rope earthquakes, terribly written original characters in the game’s storyline mode, and so many more ridiculously terrible glitches.

    Based on this, WWE 2K20 more than any other nominee deserves the Gooker, with Bray/Seth HIAC a close second.

    Also RD Reynolds, would you consider doing a ranking of the Top 5 / Top 10 Worst Gooker winners? Or I could contact you through email and submit a potential piece?

    • Guest says:

      “I don’t want Rusev/Lana/Lashley to win because we already have a really stupid love triangle story featuring Rusev and Lana in the Gooker Award Inductions”

      Except three things

      That feud lasted like 2 1/2 months, had at least some semblance of an endgame, and was setup to where at least someone was benefiting by the end of it. This angle on the other hand has seemingly lasted longer, has no logical outcome, and eventhough Lashley’s been dominating Rusev throughout he’s being hurt by it just as bad as Rusev is.

      “and besides, even with Liv Morgan’s introduction into THIS nominated angle, I don’t even think the Rusev/Lana/Lashley angle has hit Peak Awful yet”.

      “Bray Wyatt has been putting in incredible work as the Fiend, with brilliant promos and excellent feuds with Finn Balor and Daniel Bryan”.

      The Feud with Finn was not only sub-par but all it was, was a continuation of their 2017 feud but with the roles reversed Finn was the guy going places whereas Bray was the jobber. 2019 Feud Bray’s the guy going places while Finn is the jobber.

      “and relatively free of glitches”.

      Relatively free of Glitches?

      You clearly have never play any of the last gen WWE games, which featured a myriad of glitches one of which has been in multiple games. Another froze the game in specific mode.

  35. Matt says:

    I voted for WWE2K20.

    If WWE2K20 doesnt win then the voting system was hacked by Russia! *snickers*

  36. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    This was the hardest choice I’ve ever had when it comes to voting for a Gooker

    No matter what the E does re Corbin and trying to get him over, he persistently draws something to the left of X-Pac heat; he’s just there, whether he’s playing king or dumping dog food on Roman Reigns.

    The WWE20k release was a full-out embarrassment that got them ridiculed in the mainstream gaming media and is likely screwing them out of thousands as we speak.

    Maria and Mike was a waste of their talent and time, and yet another embarrassing WWE cuckold storyline that got over no one.

    But I had to go with the Lana/Russev/Lashley mess. It’s such a perfect example of what a car crash Heyman writing at his worst combined with McMahon supervising/writing at HIS worst is. Lana’s desperate and wooden overacting as she tries to compensate for the dead crowd, Lashley’s dead-eyed underacting, Russev embodying the shrug emoji as he veers between not giving a damn about or wanting revenge on Lana, the awful d-level Attitude Era castoff plot twists; everything about the angle is awful.

  37. Mitch Colburn says:

    The non-stop push of “The Man” Becky Lynch
    Tessa Blanchard pins Brian Cage
    Tessa Blanchard-Sami Callahan fight segment
    Kofi Kingston wins the WWE Title despite having a stupid gimmick that you can’t take setiously
    Dark Order
    Marko Stunt
    Riho
    Sonny Kiss

    • The Lunatic Binge says:

      huh

      noticing a bit of a trend with your choices

      also what exactly is your problem with sonny

      • Arcane Azmadi says:

        In case it’s not immediately obvious, this guy couldn’t be any more of a redneck if you tied him down and worked him over with a can of crimson paint. Sonny is GAY! and FEMININE!, which obviously makes him Gooker-worthy, just like Becky Lynch, Tessa Blanchard and Riho (WOMEN!), Kofi Kingston (BLACK!), and Marko Stunt (WIMP!). I assume the Dark Order is in there just to make him look like a smark, rather than just a bigot.

        No fucking apologies.

    • Guest says:

      “The non-stop push of “The Man” Becky Lynch?”

      Lynch had three separate pointless title reigns that saw her bury the person she beat for the title?

  38. Joe Derek says:

    Everything Bray Wyatt. Slipknot juggalo who watched way too many Rob Zombie movies. Gibberish promos pretending to be deep, but going absolutely nowhere. Merch machine without the tools to back it up. Horrible worker in the ring, even red lighting cant hide how sloppy he is Ugly puppets, dumb mask, muscle man dance, 4 crappy matches… Superstar of the year. Makes you realize what an awful year it was.

  39. Thun Fish says:

    Another year with plenty of solid choices, to be honest.

    I had to go with Crown Jewel 2 because of the bit where workers ended up stuck in Saudi Arabia for a bit longer on rather fishy circumstances and a rather questionable excuse, especially because I do have a relative that worked with airplane parts that did show some confusion over the delay but make no mistake, it could’ve easily been “The Plan to try and Break Lana and Rusev, pt. 2” or “Wait, what? – A Lecture on how to mess up a Hell in a Cell match” instead.

    Shorty G is that kind of drizzling shit that isn’t really funny (which is the one excuse you could have to push something bad, to begin with), the Kanellis Conundrum is just a smaller variation of the Lana-Rusev thing with people that are less relevant, the Draft was just pointless and stupid and the Librarians are honestly worse on AEW because the rest has been decent to good, I reckon. Ring of Honor struggled through the years so hearing that they’re in such a state now isn’t a massive surprise. It’s a shame, nonetheless.

    WWE 2K20 is the drizzling shits, but the games before it was suspect at best (even with Yukes at the helm), dare I say that one of the selling points of it was how glitchy the game could get at times, especially when Fire Pro World dropped on the market. Granted Fire Pro takes a bit of learning to be playable but still…

    • Guest says:

      “dare I say that one of the selling points of it was how glitchy the game could get at times, especially when Fire Pro World dropped on the market”.

      Fire Pro Wrestling World came in 2017.

  40. Ricky Ray Ciabatta says:

    Really hard to pick, went with WWE 2K20 because I wanted to make a choice.

    Oddly enough, Shorty G was my second pick. Multiple people getting paid six figures saw that name and though “Oh yeah, that’s a good name to give to someone.”

  41. Lightwalker19 says:

    Despite the show being acclaimed by people (and specially Americans who attended it) when it happened, I personally hated Wrestlemania 35.
    Awful show from beggining to end. No seriously, for me, it was one of the worst Wrestlemania I’ve ever watched since…well, Wrestlemania 27.
    But I know some opinions are not going to match with the general consense, because I would have give to this show my vote for the Gooker Award, but I can understand why people loved it when it happened. With that thing clarified, choosing my Gooker nominee is going to be a tough decision to call.

    – So…Right from the beggining, I will dismiss the Librarians and the Shorty G options, because I feel like these type of gimmicks are never going to die on wrestling and will continue to emerge over and over. I guess, sometimes, those goofy segments with these goofy characters are needed in order to relax some shows,
    – I think The Draft wasn’t an annoying as I remembered it. Yeah, a lot of it was notsensical and boring, but also, a little bit of innofensive. If we were talking about it as a stand-alone show, I remember the Smack Down premier on FOX (The October 4th) being a far worse show and one of the worst SD of the year and would be my personal candidate for the Gooker. (But like WM 35, like it isn’t avaiable to choose so..Nope) Also, Cleatus appearing on the Draft is enough to save it from the Gooker.
    – I feel like Rusev vs Lashley and Maria vs Mike are kind of like the same story, but with different characters. Well, I hate these type of storylines, but I think I will not vote for them because, both of them are directresponsability of one person: Paul Heyman, who I think, this 2019 is starting to get the “Vince Russo syndrome” on putting shocking things for the sake of shocking it.
    – Crown Jewel 2 was decent. I remember SuperShowDown (the Arabian event on June) being a worse show, but neither of them were worse than Wrestlemania (by my standards) and neither of them are Gooker-worthy.
    – ROH falling down this year was an atrocious thing to watch this 2019, but with any kind of joking.I tend to associate the Gooker Award with something with a little of it. Maybe this would better asociated it on a potential “The Death of ROH” book o nthe future.
    – WWE 2K20 is something that I would love to see here nominated for the Gooker but I got a lot of laughs when reviewing those glitchs.
    – Corbin is the most boring UpperCard character I remember to watch. Yeah. remember past UpperCard guys like Macho Man, Edge, Kurt Angle or Jericho on the previous eras? Well, Corbin is supposed to be on that category, but he isn’t something that those guys I mentioned were: interesting and funny to watch.
    The only more boring to watch than him, is the Main Hero of the company during this 2019: Seth Rollins. The rivalry between these two has been the most uninteresting storyline I remember, that even got a PPV offering a 2×1 promotion in order to prevent low attendance and it eventually, tanked.

    Witch got me to the final decision: The Hell in a Cell match against The Fiend.
    This match is something from another dimension:
    – Killed Rollins’ popularity, his credibility of being the Ace of the company.
    – Killed The Fiend’s momentum (Even if he is still the world champion by now)
    – Killed the pacing of an aceptable PPV, because before this match, the HIAC PPV was being fun to watch.
    – Killed and Profaned the Hell in a Cell concept as a whole. Something that was worked on previous years, got suddenly blurried because of an awful match. I will not get interested and intimidated by the HIAC concept anymore on the future. That’s something that I have never witnessed during my time as a professional fan.
    The Rollins vs Wyatt is by far, the worthy Gooker winner this year

    • Guest says:

      Despite the show being acclaimed by people (and specially Americans who attended it) when it happened, I personally hated Wrestlemania 35.
      Awful show from beggining to end. No seriously, for me, it was one of the worst Wrestlemania I’ve ever watched since…well, Wrestlemania 27.

      I don’t know too many people who liked Wrestlemania as a whole outside of the main event it was largely hated and even the main even had issues.

  42. His Flatullency the Fart King says:

    I had been watching RAW and Smackdown every week for many years since my last hiatus (be it live or DVRed, sometimes), nothing was really bad enough to make me miss one. Until this atrocious Rusev/Lana/Lindsey divorce/wedding angle came. I just couldn’t stomache watching through RAW anymore (not even on the side) and had to switch it off in disgust whenever such a segment came. I tried again and again, but I’m done with RAW due to it. That said, it might have only been the straw that broke the camel’s back as there was an increasing amount of other things this year that almost made me quit watching (although arguably, the Kanellis thing had me on the brink several times and was just as bad and kind of the “precursor” of this one, but at least it ended while this shit seems to be going on and on and on – does that even qualify for a 2019 Gooker?), some of which are also up for the vote (I’ve caught puking a little bit in my mouth when I hear “Shorty G”, for example) and would also deserve a Gooker.
    Wouldn’t it be possible to simply add “WWE 2019 (excluding NXT)” as a poll option? It just feels like WWE has produced more atrocious crap this past year than ever before.

    But then there is also WWE 2k20. It’s so unfinished and bugged, as everyone knows. What few people know is that on top of all that they seemed to have spent their time implementing measures to prevent modders to mod the game. This even prevents modders to try to fix the game for the clueless devs this year (at least on the PC, the modding scene has been fixing and improving these WWE 2k games since the first WWE 2k game, 2k15 came out, albeit it was never needed to such extent as it would be needed now), even going as far as changing the encryption with patches once it had finally been somewhat cracked and modders started working on some community fixes.
    So yeah, they apparently prioritize putting development time into such things instead of putting all manpower/hours into getting the game done – and after this horrific launch – fixing the glaring issues the game that exist to this day (hell, most of the things they tout as “fixed” in their patch notes of all the patches they have released so far haven’t even been truly fixed to date).
    But WWE 2k20 is a game, WWE isn’t directly responsible for it so I’m not sure if it deserves a Gooker (perhaps a special “Video Game Gooker” could be created for such things) – although they clearly don’t care enough to intervene and “motivate” 2K to get their shit straight or pull the licensing deal and go with a different developer. Then again, a “WWE 2019” option would take care of that. 😉

    While the Librarians over at AEW are indeed awful, I don’t quite care so much as they’re just jobbers with a goofy gimmick (if I think back to how over Blue Pants was in NXT compared to here, I do have to cringe, though). I’d rather see AEW stuff like the Dark Odor or Excalibur (especially when you could replace him with someone like Taz) nominated, although I guess that’s something for this year and hardly as bad as some of the stuff WWE has put out.

    • Guest says:

      “Wouldn’t it be possible to simply add “WWE 2019 (excluding NXT)” as a poll option? It just feels like WWE has produced more atrocious crap this past year than ever before”.

      They gave Shayna Baszler a year long title reign during which she beat Kairi Sane in match that saw her retain when Io Shirai attacked Shayna……eventhough Shayna spent half of 2018 winning matches because of her friends jumping in.

      Beating Io Shirai twice the second of which saw Io turn heel to setup a completely illogical feud with Candace LeRae all so Shayna could feud with Mia Yim……who she already beat for free on NXT.

      Beat Candace LeRae who lost the above feud with Io.

      Had Keith Lee lose a #1 contender’s match for Adam Cole’s title after a good showing in the men’s survivor series match to Finn Balor…….just to then have Finn lose the title match when Johnny Gargano distracted him.

      In other words they do equally dumb shit like Raw & Smackdown

      “although they clearly don’t care enough to intervene and “motivate” 2K to get their shit straight or pull the licensing deal and go with a different developer”

      If they didn’t do that when THQ and Yuke’s was putting out garbage they sure as hell aren’t doing it now.

  43. Big Bad Booty Stepdaddy says:

    not gonna lie……seeing the contenders listed and realizing how many were left off that were just as bad, I’m all for giving the Gooker to the entire wrestling industry for 2019.

    However, since we can’t do that, I guess I’m going with the Lana-Lashley-Rusev angle. WWE seems to have a fixation on cucks with everyone from Rusev to Mike Kanellis to Drake Maverick. Not only is the angle terrible it’s the worst of the bunch.

    Who knew that when WWE said Then. Now. Forever they were talking about how long this thing would last? Not to mention all 3 (now 4) people involved have been grossly misused.

    And honestly as bad as the others are, you can come up with something to make them seem not as bad as this crap. WWE 2K20 might be the most broken game in history but it’s just a game and can be avoided.

    The Corbin push is dumb but theres been worse. The Shorty G gimmick was inevitable. Things like the Librarians dont have the impact to really matter. Bray’s run as The Fiend has been a let down quality wise but even still I can overlook that with all the other times WWE pulled the rug out from under him.

    That leaves Crown Jewel 2 and it’s bad enough to repeat but again, nobody should be surprised at how bad it turned out. And even with the airport delay, it still wasnt AS BAD as the first one.

  44. Steve weiser says:

    I don’t think Lana and Rusev should be on here since it’s ongoing . Here’s hoping it’s not the winner

  45. TV's Mr. Neil says:

    Just think, RD. If two inductions get pushed over the top at the same time, then we have two winners, and you’ll have to do two inductions.

    I defer to the precedent set by the 94 Rumble.

  46. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    Am a hundred percent here for the HITC match winning. Rusev and Lana probably won’t wrap til past ‘Mania so it’s a fine 2020 nomination.

  47. Hulk6785 says:

    I think you should inducted the Love Triangle as a Runner-Up, like with the Divas Revolution in 2015, since it was so close.

  48. The Lunatic Binge says:

    Y’all buggin’ 2k20 should’ve won

    It at least needs an induction, my god

    • Ze Frenchie says:

      Sure… but what would they say? Look at how horrible the game is? I’ve seen plenty of videos, and it’s hilarious by itself. It doesn’t need an induction, where RD, Art and the others take time to pinpoint the ridiculousness of an angle/gimmick.

  49. Steinerliner says:

    I honestly want to see inductions for the Cuckening of Rusev, WWE 2K20 and ROH even if the HIAC one wins the Gooker. Those are worthy of their own inductions

  50. George Nolan says:

    I wasn’t sure why the HIAC match with Fiend and Rollins was chosen at first, as I assumed folks hated it due to the match’s quality as a whole. But after thinking about it, can now see why. Outside of it being a bump for Bray’s new gimmick and WWE booking themselves into a corner, the match finish further tarnishes the HIAC gimmick match’s legacy since it’s supposed to be a no-DQ match known for its brutal nature, yet WWE chose to book a non-finish. The HIAC match was already muddied with WWE turning it into an annual gimmick PPV and now they just killed its entire allure because of the crappy ending they booked for it.

    Guess this is why I don’t go back to watching HIAC matches if they were done after 2008 when WWE went PG. The match was a product of the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras when it was a bigger deal as a feud-ender and we knew things would at least be brutal and spectacular in it with matches as far as violence goes. But being watered down to just being used for an annual gimmick PPV and the wrestlers being limited in how far they can push things, think WWE should just retire the damn gimmick at this point.

  51. Guest says:

    “On the “plus” side, we also got the first WWE women’s match in the country, as Lacey Evans took on Natalya Neidhart. ”

    Yeah the plus side was having two women who had been wrestling since early in the year, who had a blow off to their feud in the middle of the year, had teamed up the week after the end of their feud in losing match, wrestling one another in a completely meaningless match against one another after all this.

    Let’s also pay no mind to the fact that Lacey was godawful in the ring for much of the year.

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