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WWF Slammy Awards 1997

by Scrooge McSuck


Presented on the USA Network on Friday, March 21st, 1997. This one didn't get nearly the hype as the show did the year prior, with no awards advertised, and really feels like a show taking place for the sake of doing a show. Considering the Slammy concept was abandoned again for years after this, it probably tanked, and even more likely didn't fit the style the product was becoming by WrestleMania season the next year.

Just like in 1996, Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary for the show, while Todd Pettengill is the M.C., opening with a montage of musical puns based on the WWF Superstars (and taking the obligatory shot at WCW and Ted Turner). Among the musical bits are tunes set to "The Flintstones" for Rocky Maivia, Summer Nights from "Grease" for Shawn Michaels, and his own rendition of "Sunny" with the classic line "do you miss that runt, Skip". Your mileage will vary, but I thought his musical montage from 1996 was a bit more entertaining. Notable at the tables is the unmasked Aldo Montoya, DOINK (THE CLOWN), the recently injured Marc Mero, and the Sultan in his gimmick. I was hoping to see some heels breaking character and smirking, but unless I missed it, there wasn't any such foul.

Ahmed Johnson comes out to present the award for "New Sensation of the Squared Circle" (but not before taking a shot at WCW). The nominees: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "The Wildman" Marc Mero, Flash Funk, Mankind, and Rocky Maivia. And the winner is... ROCKY MAIVIA, though Ahmed teases it's Steve Austin before making the announcement. He makes sure to put over God before his own family for making him who he is. He dedicates the award to his father, Rocky Johnson.

After the speech, Todd mentions Austin came in a close 2nd place. Austin storms the set to cut a promo. He's never finished second in his life and wants to know who counted the votes, then asks what Rocky's phone bill was for putting in all those votes for himself. He can take the Intercontinental Title whenever he wants, but he's got bigger fish to fry at WrestleMania. He promises Bret will feel the wrath of Austin 3:16. As for Shamrock, he doesn't care about his UFC reputation, he better call it down the middle or else. He ain't the most dangerous man in the world, that man is the man talking to him right now.

Vote for Miss Slammy! Sable, Sunny, Marlena, The Funkettes, and Chyna are the nominees.

The Honkytonk Man (in his gimmick and wearing a snazzy bowtie) and supermodel Cindy Margolis (Honky calls her "Candy" before having his dated hairstyle mocked) are here to present the award for "Dressed to Kill" presented by Dimension Films. The nominees: Shawn Michaels, Sable, Marlena, Flash Funk, and The Undertaker. And the winner is... Sable. Mero escorts her to the podium with the aid of a cane, only a few weeks removed from major surgery. Sable thanks the fans and the McMahon's for letting her work for the greatest organization in the world, as well as Marc and her designer, Sandra Gray.

The Nation of Domination interrupt Todd to announce the arrival of Faarooq. Vince points out Doink in the room, as well as the "Kill the Clown" chants. The next Slammy has nothing to do with the Nation, but Todd is glad they were able to make it. George and Adam are surprised to find out they get to present the next Slammy! Good thing they had tables at this invite-only event. They're presenting the "Tattoo You" Award (misspelled as T-a-t-o-o). The nominees: Drew Barrymore, Crush, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Tommy Lee. And the winner is... The Undertaker. He accepts and makes the geeks piss their pants. I'm sure Vince was rolling with laughter.

The Funkettes perform a dance routine as part of the "Talent Competition" for Miss Slammy.

Jim Ross is out to present the award for "1996 Match of the Year" presented by Milton Bradley Karate Fighters. Ross puts over the magnificent lineup of talent featured in the WWF, and takes yet another shot at WCW, though less low-key than others have been. The nominees: Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind from Mind Games, Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin from Survivor Series, The Undertaker vs. Mankind from SummerSlam, Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin from Beware of Dog, and Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania XII. And the winner is... Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels. Both men approach the podium to accept. Shawn acknowledges this is 2 years in a row for him and brags he won the match before slinking away. Bret thanks the fans for still believing in him, and says when Shawn finds his smile, he can step in the ring with him again. As far as Stone Cold goes, when he finds himself turned into a pretzel, he only needs to remember the magic words "I Quit."

Dok Hendrix shills some WrestleMania 13 denim jackets ($99.99) and hockey jerseys ($69.99). PLUS, Shipping and Handling.

The Legion of Doom come out to present the award for "Best Hair Day" presented by Coliseum Home Video. Hawk says Undertaker "urines for you" and he should supply the fans with catheters. The nominees: Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mankind, and Bret Hart. And the winner is... Hunter Hearst Helmsley?! Wow, I expected a babyface to win. I mean, he does have gorgeous hair, so it's well deserved. Hunter punks out Pat Patterson on his way to the podium. He threatens Todd with violence for the unflattering remarks he made about himself and Chyna during his song that opened the show.

Captain Lou Albano and Sunny are here to present the award for "Loose Screw". Albano goes on a rant putting over the WWF Superstars. The nominees: Sycho Sid, Mankind, Kramer (the Seinfeld character), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and Mr. Bob Backlund. And the winner is... Mankind. He accepts the award after a group hug with the Headbangers and is joined on the stage by Paul Bearer. Mankind thanks a man who is like a father to him, Mr. Aldo Montoya. "With the exception of my kids being born, this was the greatest night in the history of his life, and to my wife who is home sick, Yo Adrian, I did it! Have a nice day!" That's Rocky II, by the way (minus the "Have a nice day" part).

Marlena identifies cigars blindfolded for the talent portion of the Miss Slammy competition. I love at one point she (intentionally) breaks character to call out how terrible one of the cigars was.

Doink the Clown is still being a jerk to some of the guests.

Owen Hart storms the stage, interrupting Todd Pettengill. "Woo! I did it again! And you know what... (Todd briefly interrupts to tell him he's supposed to present the award) I did it again! I have nobody to thank, once again I did it all by my sweet little self! 2-time Slammy Award winner! I knew it, I'm a winner! I did it! WOOO! Hey Bulldog: You may have two titles, but you don't have two Slammy's!" Then he cuts a promo on Vader and Mankind, calling them losers for not being 2-time Slammy Award Winners, either. Vader confronts Owen in the aisle, only for Owen to shove a waiter, dumping a tray of bubbly on Vader. The award was supposed to be for "Best Bowtie". This was GOLD, and the highlight of the show so far.

Sable does some martial arts (like Marlena's video, it's a pre-tape) for her talent.

"Double J" Jesse Jammes is here for a live performance of "Something Gone Wrong". What, was he tired of singing "With My Baby Tonight"?!

Dok Hendrix and John McNally from the record company responsible for Full Metal: The Album are here to present the next award, "#1 with a Bullet" (The Edel Music Award) presented by Full Metal. The nominees: Double J's "With My Baby Tonight", The Undertaker's "Entrance Theme", Nation of Domination's "Entrance Music", Flash Funk's "Entrance Music", and Sunny's "I Know You Want Me." And the winner is... The Undertaker. If this weren't a Northeast based company, Double J would've swept the show with "With My Baby Tonight." Quadruple Platinum.

It's time for THE SWIMSUIT COMPETITION. Sable, Marlena, Tracy and Nadine, and Sunny all make their way out with varying levels of revealing bikinis, while Chyna has refused to lower herself to such embarrassment along the silicone queens, with her no-showing announced by Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Helmsley says Sunny's talent can't be shown on TV and has a best friend who can say she's not very good at that, either. It's attractive women in bikinis, you know what to expect. Lawler continues to push the idea that maybe Chyna has "Crying Game" problems to explain her not wanting to appear.

Brian Pillman is the next presenter. Uh-oh, he's a ticking time bomb and it is late-night cable television! He might say something naughty! He calls what we saw a glorified T&A exhibition and makes our second plastic surgeon joke in the last 5-minutes and insinuates the women are a bunch of strippers. He says Rocky got his date (Margolis) from the escort service. We finally get to the award, "1-2-He's Got Him" presented by PlayStation. The nominees: Shawn Michaels' "Sweet Chin Music", Marc Mero's "Wild Thing", Sycho Sid's "Powerbomb", Steve Austin's "Stone Cold Stunner", and Bret Hart's "Sharpshooter." And the winner is... Shawn Michaels. Again. You know, the fun of the show is having different people do speeches. Shawn apologies for removing some of his clothes, it's hot in there. Oh, and he beat Bret with that move, too. I take it back, the snarking on Bret makes up for Shawn's excessive appearances.

Todd does an awful Stevie Wonder impression as he introduces Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler to give out the award for "Best Couple" presented by Doublemint Gum. The nominees: Goldust and Marlena, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Marc Mero and Sable, Siegfried and Roy, and Hunter and Chyna. And the winner is... Goldust and Marlena. RIGGED. I would've put money on The Clintons. Lawler compares Goldust's outfit to something from Elton John's wardrobe. They do a little innuendo with their acceptance as Chyna stares a hole through them.

We watch Chyna working out in the weight room despite Hunter officially withdrawing her from the competition earlier in the show.

The Slammy competition rolls on (Todd's words) as we see Sunny do what Sunny does best... and it's the WWF running the footage of Sunny's music video and trying to suggest she's singing her theme song.

Mr. Bob Backlund and Mancow (Chicago area DJ the WWF has done business with before) are here for the next presentation. Backlund feels disrespected by the smoke from his cigarette. They're giving out the "Larry Flynt Freedom of Speech" award. The nominees: Jerry "The King" Lawler, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, ECW's Paul E. Dangerously, Faarooq, and Howard Stern. There's a lot of bleeping going on and Mancow cuts a promo on Stern for being an idiot with a terrible movie. Backlund says there shouldn't be freedom of speech as this segment goes off the rails. And the winner is... Steve Austin. At WrestleMania 13, don't expect any less than him giving his blood, sweat and tears, and doesn't expect anything less from Bret. It'll be a hell of a fight, and it won't be over until Bret is back home in Calgary sitting on his ass and watching Stone Cold every Monday night. Then he finally has enough of Doink and attacks him, with some help from the Blackjacks. THE CLOWN IS DOWN!

NFL Superstar Walter Payton (WHA?!?!) is here to present the "Star of the Highest Magnitude" (presented by Stridex) Award. Walter reminds Shawn the last time they met in Chicago (SummerSlam ‘94); he whipped his butt. The nominees: Shawn Michaels, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Sycho Sid, and Bret "Hitman" Hart. And the winner is... The Undertaker. Since it's the equivalent of "Superstar of the Year", might as well give it to the guy fighting for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 13.

WWF President Gorilla Monsoon and WWF Champion Sycho Sid are out next for the presentation of the "Lifetime Achievement" Award. This year's recipient is the golden boy and manager of Champions, Arnold Skaaland. Vince McMahon puts him over as one of the all-time greats in the history of the WWF. He calls it a pleasure and one of the greatest nights of his life.

With time rapidly running out, we've got one last award. It's time to present "Miss Slammy". Todd thanks the USA Network for allowing them to go over a little bit. Lawler cheerleads for Sunny, but Western Union presents the Miss Slammy Award to Sable. It must be a sign of things to come that the lasting impression of the show is Sable. You can tell in the last half hour they were pushing through segments at rapid speed, with acceptance speeches sometimes being as short as 20-seconds.

Final Thoughts: Not much fun to be found here. The show didn't have anything too outlandish happen, other than Doink (a character we haven't seen in well over a year) annoying the other wrestlers. Most of the speeches hyping WrestleMania were for matches we either already sold on or have no intention in watching the show regardless. The use of comedy nominees was overdone without some kind of payoff, and we got the typical toilet humor with the "superfans" wetting themselves over being in the presence of the Undertaker. Besides Owen's theft of a Slammy and Mankind's tribute to Rocky II, I can't recommend checking this out for much more than that.

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