It was close.
It was very close.
This year, I decided to eyeball the Gooker voting from start to finish. I generally don’t do that, but there was a morbid curiosity as to what was going to take the feathery crown. Confession time: I will admit some years there are “filler” nominees – stuff that was bad but realistically has zero chance (at least in my mind) or possibly winning.
The year of 2019 was the opposite – there were ten incredibly worthy candidates. What’s even crazier is that tons of potential nominees weren’t able to hit the top 10 and thus fell off the ballot! Trust me, kids – I know a lot of you HATE the Dark Order and were furious with the way Kofi Kingston’s World title reign was essentially forgotten…and those are two just off the top of my head. I know I’ve forgotten many others.
When the voting opened, it was a three way dance, with WWE2K20 having a really “strong” showing. Rightly so – that game was a complete train wreck and was a viable contender. Eventually, though, WWE2K20 petered out, and we had a neck and neck race to the finish line with the Lana-Rusev-Lashley love triangle and Seth versus Bray. And on the final day of voting, the lead changed countless times. Even more amazingly, it was never more than a single digit margin as to who was going to “win.”
As the clock struck midnight, nine votes…yes, just NINE VOTES…gave the Gooker to the tandem of Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt.
Watching over this match several more times for the purpose of writing this induction, I can stand firm in stating y’all made the right choice.
In April of 2019, Bray Wyatt made his return to WWE television in a most unique manner – portraying a children’s talk show host. While many mocked and called for this to immediately be cast into the Gooker basket, I wasn’t so sure. After all, Wyatt had been around forever and his schtick had grown more than a little tired – he needed a refresh of some sort. And what the heck – in recent years I have grown more accepting of off the wall concepts in wrestling. To be fair, I should admit this change of heart is more likely due to the fact that everything in WWE is so homogenized that I just want to see something, anything, different than any of this stuff ever turning out to be, you know, good.
But I figured let’s see where it goes. Maybe it would wind up ok?
In May, Wyatt told us he had a secret, and brought a new character to the FunHouse in the form of The Fiend. (SPOILER ALERT: it was Bray in a scary mask). Smiling happy Bray told the children that The Fiend was there to protect them, and when he played dress up, he felt completely confident and could do anything.
Eventually, The Fiend wasn’t just chillin with the kids in the FunHouse, but competing in the ring. And when he made short work of Finn Balor at SummerSlam, it was obvious he was getting the rocket strapped to his back. By Clash ofChampions, when he had attacked the Universal Champion, Seth Rollins, he was in line for a title shot at the next pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell.
I mentioned above how much I despise the sameness of WWE productions and storylines and this would be yet another example. Why, exactly, was the FIRST match between Fiend and Seth taking place in a cage? Isn’t that something that should end a feud, not begin one? The reason in today’s WWE is Hell in a Cell is locked on the calendar for a particular month – by golly, that’s when we have that particular show! Doesn’t matter if it is logical or makes any sense whatsoever.
That there is reason #3,478 why watching WWE these days drives me completely bananas.
Oh, and here’s #3,479: babyfaces that are totally unlikable. Seriously, look at our supposed hero in the image above: cowering in utter fear at his challenger, a guy who was crawling around the ring in a spooky mask. Who on earth could possibly want to get behind Seth Rollins here?
Can you imagine Hulk Hogan quivering in fear like this?
What about Steve Austin?
Maybe The Rock?
Of course not.
Seriously, in prepping this induction, I created a file named “sethcrieslikeababy.gif”.
And the company wanted us to CHEER THIS MAN.
But the match was made and somehow, amazingly, things got even worse!
Honestly, the opening seconds of the show should have told us everything we needed to know, as it was brought to us by WWE2K20! After twenty years running WrestleCrap.com I feel I can say I’ve pretty much seen everything, but seeing the Gooker winner being sponsored by the second runner up for the award is a whole new rancid territory.
And things are even more off kilter in our main event immediately, as Seth, who I will remind you is the champion, comes out first. He gets in the ring and looks as nervous as he can possibly be. Whether that was just good showmanship or realizing the idiotic booking laid before him, well, your guess is as good as mine.
Soon enough, the Firefly FunHouse video takes the screen, only to melt into a creepier version of Bray’s old theme song. Red light basks the arena, and while I am not entirely sold on this new character, eh, it is slightly eerie so I can give points for that I guess.
The match starts, and…wait a minute.
You’re not going to turn the red light OFF?
So it’s not enough that this match is going to suck, but we have to watch it in an eye-straining crimson hue?
Was Kevin Dunn a huge fan of the Virtual Boy or something?
I really cannot overstate just how horrendous the presentation of this match is. The lighting is bad enough, but then we get the now standard WWE style of nonstop zooming and shaking of the camera as well.
HOW ON EARTH CAN ANYONE WATCH THIS?
I legit cannot tell if this match is good or bad at this point, all I can do is concentrate on how it almost hurts me to watch this. I mean, I know this is the Gooker award winner and thus it’s my duty to take these bullets to the eyeballs but at some point I kinda have to take my actual health into consideration here.
But the stupidity doesn’t stop with red lights and spazzing cameras, oh no. Now Bray goes under the ring and gets a GIANT NOVELTY MALLET, which tops the list of the dumbest foreign objects I’ve ever witnessed. “The weight of that mallet!” Cole cries…as you can tell it’s made of paper mâché.
And Cole…my goodness is he ever at his dirt worst here. He never calls Seth’s challenger “The Fiend” or “Bray Wyatt”. No no. It is always THEFIENDBRAYWYATT. No gap when he says it, literally as if it is one word. Over and over and over again. Could you just once, in the entire match, call him Bray or Wyatt or just Fiend?
THIS COMPANY’S OVER THE TOP NEED TO BRAND ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING DRIVES ME INSANE.
A cavalcade of finishers is up next, as Seth hits, no joke, ELEVEN curb stomps. That would be one of Seth’s finishers I should note. He then hits Wyatt with a chair in the face. And…The Fiend kicks out at one. So Seth keeps going under the ring to find things with which to beat the poor guy, including but not limited to a ladder and a metal tool box.
At this point the crowd begins to turn on Seth and cheer Wyatt, and honestly, who could blame them? At this point Bray is overcoming all the odds in a nearly heroic fashion!
Finally, Seth has had enough and goes under the ring to get the ultimate weapon: a sledgehammer. That would be Triple H’s tool of destruction, so you know HE MEANS BUSINESS. The referee sees this and literally begs Rollins to stop, telling him, and I quote, “Seth…this isn’t you!!!!”
I…I don’t even know what to say to that.
And just when you think things cannot possibly getting any stupider…
…Seth hits Wyatt with the sledgehammer…and the ref calls for the bell???
Yes – this company had the audacity to give us a DISQUALIFICATION IN A HELL IN A CELL MATCH.
The bout where absolutely anything goes, a place where men have been through off the cage and to the floor, where feuds go to be die, where there are no rules.
And they gave us a DQ.
To compound the issue, Bray was back on his feet beating up Seth again, so there really was no reason for the bout to have ever been stopped. The crowd erupted into a loud “bullish**” chant, followed by a plea to “restart the match.”
By the time the show went off the air with Bray locking in the mandible claw on Seth, the crowd booed vociferously, forgoing any of the chants that had been their calling card. Which is honestly too bad.
Truly, the echoes of “Gooker Gooker” needed to be heard.
The Gooker has spoken! Thank you all for making YOUR voices heard and determining the very worst of the very worst for 2019. As WrestleCrap heads towards its 20th year, we humbly ask that you consider tossing a buck or two our way via our Patreon. For $2 a month, you get exclusive content, and for $10 you get access to the legendary WrestleCrap archives. Check it all out by clicking rightchere!