By Mike Mooneyham

July 9, 2006

This year’s Academy Awards are in the books, but it’s not too late for the Phannies, pro wrestling’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Razzies.

Presented annually by The Phantom of the Ring and Bill “Potshot” Kunkel, these mat awards spoofing the worst the business had to offer in 2005 included some genuine rib-ticklers.

Among them (at least the newspaper-friendly printable ones), compliments of The Phantom, are:

WORST PUSH – Discouraged that no one in their right minds wants to listen to John Cena’s “rapping,” the brains at WWE sent an e-mail to fans accusing MTV of refusing to air his video. Fans were also encouraged to contact hip hop stations and demand they play Cena’s CD. The silence has been deafening. Word.

BEST RESPONSE TO A WWE DRUG TEST – Scott Steiner, who said in a recent interview that when he was working for the WWE he was asked to test for steroids. He told the company: “Cool, just send over Triple H in a limo and we can go take ours together.” He said the subject was never brought up again after that.

WORST GRIP ON REALITY – Scott Steiner, who later in the same interview denied ever using steroids.

WORST GRIP ON REALITY (2) – Former WWE wrestler Andrew “Test” Martin. Now that he’s been medically cleared to resume what he calls his career, is asking $2,500 plus transportation for each booking on the indy circuit. Did his doctors treat his injury with LSD?

WORST SURPRISE – Former WCW valet Major Gunns (real name: Tylene Buck). You’d think the geniuses at WCW would have kept her real name; there’s so much more wordplay) is now doing hardcore porn. She sure had us fooled. We thought sure she’d be doing dinner theater in Jupiter, Fla., with Randy Savage.

WORST REPORTER – MSNBC’s Rita Cosby, who covered the aftermath of Eddie Guerrero’s death and set a new record by swallowing everything McMahon was selling whole. She should compete in the annual Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest, such is her capacity for swallowing garbage. We can’t be too hard on old Rita, however. After leaving her job at Fox News, she awakened to the harsh realities of life on the lower rated news network and desperately needs something – anything – to garner ratings. So, she deep-throated McMahon to the extent where she followed the circus to Afghanistan to “report” on the WWE’s attempt to bring stability and peace to a war-torn region of the planet.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

WORST GIRLFRIEND – Chyna, who beat up boyfriend Sean Waltman after he returned from a night at the Playboy Club. Sean, it’s your fault, because you should never tell the big moose where you’re going, though we do commend you for not calling Animal Control.

WORST EXCUSE – The explanation given by TNA for Kevin Nash’s last-minute ditching of their Lockdown PPV. They attributed it to a staph infection in his knee. What Kevin really suffers from, of course, is a stiff infection, as he is the biggest stiff currently in the game. We get the feeling that TNA wasn’t exactly sorry to see him go as they were paying the big fraud premium bucks for “participating” in a six-man tag match. Rumors were strong to the effect that the real reason for Kevin departing was a movie role suddenly came up. Yeah, he’s attached to star in the John Waters production of King Leer.

JUST PLAIN WORST – There is no one more deserving of this year’s award than Lex Luger. Let’s run down the Year in LugerLand: In January he was arrested in Georgia for DUI while driving home from the Wrestle Reunion event in Tampa. As he is currently on probation for his dabblings in the steroid market, the judge told him another arrest would jam him up on the drug charges (which carry a 25-year prison sentence). Then, in March, he spent 19 days in the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Jail on a charge of contempt of court after failing to appear to answer to charges of unpaid alimony and child support. He was good until December (at least he didn’t get caught) until he was arrested at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport after it was discovered he had two outstanding warrants for drug charges. He was held without bail in the Hennipen County (Minnesota) lockup, and then extradited to Georgia for his court appearance on Dec. 22. Seems that the courts are the only place where Luger can be a main-eventer these days.

The complete list of dubious awards was published in the recent edition of Wrestling Perspective newsletter.

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