The 1997 Slammy Awards!

Happy new year!

This popped up in my YouTube suggestions, I guess based off the recent Slammy Awards a fortnight or so ago. I’ve never watched this before, but it’s from the peak of my fandom (1997) and was always said to be a legendarily snarky event, so thought I’d give it a look.

Todd Pettengill opens with one of his awful song medleys where he references as many wrestlers as he can while they have to do an “Aw shucks, he mentioned me!” reaction, except for Stone Cold, who looks like he’s ready to kill Todd. An unmasked Aldo Montoya sits on Shawn Michaels’ table in a Clark Kent-like disguise of shades. The song goes for almost ten minutes and feels like twenty.

Vince and the King are on commentary for the show.

Award: New Sensation of the Squared Circle

Presenter: Ahmed Johnson, who has skipped the jacket and tie and looks stupider for it. He bitches about having been given something to read by “the agents” and how he’s not a puppet, “otherwise I’d be in the other federation”. No idea what the fuck that was about. He then asks for support for Shawn Michaels and his fake injury, which nobody is keen on.

Nominees:

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Marc Mero
  • Flash Funk
  • Mankind
  • Rocky Maivia

Winner: Who else? Rocky, because it’s early 1997, and we can’t go without pushing him beyond his merit at the time, prompting boos when Ahmed teases that it’ll be Stone Cold. Ah well, Steve, you’ve got Lady Blossom on your table and back in your room, be happy for small mercies. Rocky thanks everyone in a trite speech full of platitudes while Ahmed stares daggers at anyone.

Stone Cold then gets informed he placed second and threatens anyone who voted for Rocky over him and reckons Rocky’s got a hell of a phone bill for all the calls he made for himself. He then cuts a promo on Bret Hart and Ken Shamrock ahead of the match the next night. The crowd just eats it up while Steve just runs through everyone like a bulldozer. What a shocker!

Award: Dressed To Kill

Presenters: Cindy Margolis and the Honky Tonk Man, who does a lame bit about not being able to know her name.

Nominees:

  • Shawn Michaels
  • Sable
  • Marlena
  • Flash Funk
  • The Undertaker

Winner: Sable, who comes up with a limping Marc Mero on his walking stick. Despite being married, they have zero chemistry with one another.

The Nation of Domination make a fashionably late entrance twenty minutes in.

Award: Tattoo (misspelled Tatoo on the graphic) You

Presenters: “Superfans” George and Adam, who I believe were just studio employees that Todd liked. Shame.

Nominees:

  • Drew Barrymore
  • Crush
  • Shawn Michaels
  • The Undertaker
  • Tommy Lee

Winner: The Undertaker, who isn’t in the banquet room, but comes out for a very un-Undertaker-like entrance through the side doors. George pisses his pants in fear. The Undertaker almost corpses, no pun intended. He then goes and sits down with Captain Lou, because I guess his table will have the most booze.

The Miss Slammy award nominations kick off with a dance performance from Tracy and Nadine, the Funkettes, to Firestarter by the Prodigy. At least they’ve got good music, if not the best moves. Apparently 2 Cold was living up to the pimp gimmick by banging his dancers, so they got sacked and written out via an off-screen attack by Chyna.

Award: Match of the Year

Presenter: Jim Ross, who gets the next subtle (not so much) jab in at WCW by talking about how their guys can still go.

Nominees:

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind from In Your House: Mind Games
  • Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin from Survivor Series
  • Undertaker vs. Mankind from Summerslam
  • Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin from In Your House: Beware of Dog
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart from Wrestlemania XII

Winner: Shawn/Bret, with Shawn grabbing his award first and irritating Bret by reminding him he was the winner. Bret. with ponytail and loose bang, says that if Shawn ever finds his smile they can have a match again(!). Bret reminds Steve the only thing he needs to do the next night is say “I quit”. Good little bit with Bret acting the misery guts, but the better match was Shawn/Mankind.

Award: Best Hair Day

Presenters: The Legion of Doom, with neither guy looking thrilled to be there despite saying otherwise.

Nominees:

  • Shawn Michaels
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Mankind
  • Bret Hart

Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley, as if it could be anyone else. Chyna has bigger lats and thighs that Triple H at this point. Hunter beefs with Pat Patterson on his way up in a sign of things to come in real life. He has nothing much to say when he gets up there.

Award: Loose Screw

Presenters: Captain Lou Albano and Sunny. The Capper gets in praise for “Sid Vicious”, which is the only time in his WWF run that he’d be called that.

Nominees:

  • Sycho Sid (hated that name)
  • Mankind
  • Kramer (?)
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Bob Backlund

Winner: Mankind, who takes down the Headbangers in a group hug and looks about as good in a tuxedo as he ever does. Lou does his petting routine on Mankind like he used to with George Steele to calm him down. Paul Bearer comes up and continues his real life feud with Sunny by saying she’s really the loosest screw. Mankind thanks Aldo Montoya for his support in a funny bit of sarcasm and then breaks character by referring to Dewey and Collette in a Rocky moment.

Miss Slammy continues with Marlena being able to recognise cigars blindfolded. She’s lucky Goldust wasn’t sticking his Goldmember in her hand. He says she can smoke that later.

Award: ?

Presenter: Owen Hart barges up and opens whatever envelope it was before the award or nominees can be announced.

Nominees:

  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

Winner: After sneaking a look and not letting anyone else see he declares himself the winner and takes the award with him to double his Slammy count. The King: “You’ve gotta be thankful, McMahon, Owen’s spent a whole year of his life promoting this crummy show.” Davey Boy smiles from his table even while Owen is knocking him. Blink and you’ll miss Martha sat behind him. Owen then verbally knocks Vader and Mankind and then knocks some drinks over Vader on his way back to the table. Vader trips over a chair while chasing him. Brian Pillman noticeably walks up to Owen and shakes his hand in a nice bit of foreshadowing.

Miss Slammy talents shown where Sable does some phoney karate workouts while not even making the right noises as she punches and kicks through wooden blocks.

Double J Jesse James sings “Something’s Gone Wrong”, which isn’t a totally terrible song beyond the lyrics, but doesn’t really fit his country music gimmick.

Award: #1 with a Bullet

Presenters: Some music industry executive and Dok Hendrix.

Nominees:

  • Double J – “With My Baby Tonight”
  • Undertaker – “Entrance Theme”
  • Nation of Domination – “Entrance Music”
  • Flash Funk – “Entrance Music”
  • Sunny – “I Know You Want Me”

Winner: The Undertaker. Luckily Dok’s buddy doesn’t piss himself.Getting everybody else a bit wet is Doink the Clown with a water pistol, in a running gag that goes through the night and does get a payoff eventually. Undi: “Let’s rock in peace.”

Next, the Miss Slammy swimsuit competition. Sunny out first. Vince: “She is the queen of cyberspace, most downloaded in the whole wide world.” Shamrock looks keen and probably hit it.

Chyna is scheduled next, but Hunter pulls the plug (not Chyna’s plug). Hunter: “She doesn’t belong in the valley of the silicone queens!”, as the camera moves to Cindy Margolis. And people like Sunny only have one talent and they can’t show it on TV, plus he’s got a best friend who says she’s not very good at that either. It’s Shit on Sunny Night, everyone.

The Funkettes come out after that much to George Steele’s approval. Todd: “I feel like an Oreo cookie!”

Marlena comes out next and lets Todd hold her cigar, then bends over to show everyone the goods. Shawn demurely applauds.

Sable is last out in a one piece deal, with Marc Mero feigning embarrassment and Kenny liking her even more than he liked Sunny.

Award: “1. 2. He’s Got Him” Best Finishing Manoeuvre

Presenter: Brian Pillman, who gets a dirty look from Steve Austin, and talks about the “uplifting experience of a T&A exhibition”. He was probably planning on working his way through Sable after Marlena and Sunny. Pill then shits on all the “suck-ass” acceptance speeches so far, including a good impression of “Uncle Tom” Ahmed Johnson and accuses Cindy Margolis of being from an escort service for Rocky Maivia.

Nominees:

  • Shawn Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music
  • Marc Mero’s Wild Thing
  • Sid’s Powerbomb
  • Steve Austin’s Stone Cold Stunner
  • Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter

Winner: Shawn’s superkick. Shawn apologises for having dropped the jacket from his suit and then gets a few more digs in at Bret to continue annoying him.

Award: Best Couple

Presenters: Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler, with Todd calling them “the Emperor and the King”.

Nominees:

  • Goldust & Marlena
  • Bill & Hillary Clinton
  • Marc Mero & Sable
  • Siegfried & Roy
  • Triple H & Chyna

Winners: Goldust and Marlena, surprisingly, as they weren’t over at all. Another actual couple with no chemistry.

Even though Chyna was pulled out of the swimsuit contest for Miss Slammy, we get to see her working out. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to swap the order so that this was shown before she pulled out? Nice bit of sweat flicking at the camera.

We get to see the “I Know You Want Me” music video to show off Sunny.

Award: Larry Flynt Freedom of Speech Award

Presenters: Mr. Bob Backlund and Mancow, who tries to act edgy and fails massively.

Nominees:

  • Jerry Lawler
  • Steve Austin
  • Paul Heyman
  • Faarooq
  • Howard Stern

Winner: After Mancow and his lackeys have made a song and dance about why Stern was included (because everyone’s heard of him, unlike you), which sends off Backlund in a very shoot-ish moment, Steve Austin is announced as the winner to the King’s disappointment. Steve cuts his speech short because he’s been told they’re running low on time so he can get at Bret again. He then goes over and beats up Doink to pay off that storyline, with the New Blackjacks alternating between pulling him off and then joining in.

Award: Star of the Highest Magnitude

Presenter: Walter Payton, who I never knew made another appearance after Summerslam 1994. Big round of applause, although Al Snow and the Headbangers try to start an Emmitt Smith chant. Payton actually does a callback to seconding Razor against Diesel (“Last time I saw Shawn Michaels in Chicago I kicked his butt… Nothing between us except air and space!”).

Nominees:

  • Shawn Michaels
  • Steve Austin
  • The Undertaker
  • Sid
  • Bret Hart

Winner: ‘Taker makes it a hat-trick, with a speech that’s strangely out of character for him, thanking the Creatures of the Night and “my Krew” before heading back to his seat.

Award: Lifetime Achievement Award

Presenters: Gorilla Monsoon and Sid – Gorilla having to come out to a live band version of Sid’s music is pretty funny, and he’s almost as tall as Sid. Gorilla puts over his own history and the new stars and then pays homage to the winner, who he describes as a mentor and friend.

Recipient: Arnold Skaaland. A Fink-narrated package mentions how he managed two WWF champions, actually mentioning Bruno Sammartino. Arnie thanks his wife and everyone for being present.

Award: Miss Slammy

Presenter: Todd takes this one, getting a quick apologetic thanks into USA Network for overrunning with the show going long, then taking the results from the call-in through the show.

Winner: Sable, who gets a quick couple of thank yous in, probably under instruction.

Vince and Jerry wrap it up with a recap video.

The Bottom Line: Went just over 90 minutes, and much like the opening song felt double that. I probably would’ve been in hog heaven with this in ’97, but the Sunny knocks just felt mean. Interesting to see ‘Taker somewhat breaking character 23 years before he became a real chatterbox. Also an interesting snapshot when the Rock was the most hated man in the WWF and Stone Cold was about to explode.