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The UKFF Awards 1996


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Started these the last 2 Mondays. Let me know if you think one a week is too regular.


Previous: UKFF Awards 2000 UKFF Awards 1992 UKFF Awards 1999


The UKFF awards only started in 2002. Be interesting (maybe) to see how people would have voted for previous years.


Right, interesting year this one. The biggest story was the creation and explosion of the nWo. It was a strange year for the WWF too. They were stuck between the post-Hogan era with dreadful cartoony gimmicks and endless wrestling odd-job men and the attitude era. There were shades of attitude in the work of Diesel, HBK and Steve Austin but it was being held back by a desperate reluctance to change. ECW had an interesting year too with the Return of Shane Douglas, debuts of RVD and Jericho and Brian Pillman's pit-stop in Philadelphia.




Add your pick and a reason for each category. I didn't leave all the categories in - that would be a bit arduous. Everyone feel free to take part. Just pick the categories you feel strongly about or even add your own.


Best Pro-wrestler of 1996:


Best Match of 1996:


Best Event of 1996:


Greatest Moment of 1996:


Funniest Moment of 1996:


Best Tag Team of 1996:


Breakout Star of 1996:


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996:


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996:


Worst Match of 1996:


Worst Event of 1996:


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996:


Here are my picks:


Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels. A bit meh in truth but he had the only really memorable year in the ring of anyone I watched regularly enough to judge.


Best Match of 1996: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Survivor Series) - It's a tough choice but this is an incredible match with a terrific build and an excellent finish - ripped from WrestleMania 8. It had all the key ingredients this. The anticipation of Bret's return to the ring, a heel who needed his gob shutting, that bit of attitude the company needed to inject and a star-making performance from Austin.


Best Event of 1996: Great American Bash is a terrific card almost top to bottom.


Greatest Moment of 1996: "You people know who I am - but you don't ... know why ... I'm here". Lots of great moments in the early days of the nWo before it turned into waterered-down repetitive shite but this was my highlight. It's just stunning. It comes out of nowhere in a match between Steve Doll and a Beverley Brother. I still get goose bumps. And imagining Vince McMahon's face when he saw it still gives me hours of entertainment.


Funniest Moment of 1996: Kevin Nash chucks Rey Mistero into a portacabin wall!


Best Tag Team of 1996: Should probably say harlem Heat or The Eliminators but fuck it - The Outsiders. The two coolest motherfuckers on the planet in 1996. Even carried Hogan. #troll


Breakout Star of 1996: It'd have to be Steve Austin. There was a period after his King Of The Ring win where they didn't know what on earth to do with him but that program with Bret helped him regain his momentum and he started 1997 in a place far greater than where he ended 1995.


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996: Hulk Hogan.


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996: Stick a pin in the WWF lower-card! I'll go for the fake Razor Ramon & Diesel because they were offensively bad.


Worst Match of 1996: "I respect you, Booker Man" (Superbrawl 6)


Worst Event of 1996: I fucking hate the Royal Rumble. The Rumble match is jobber central and plays second fiddle to a WWF title match without a finish. Openers are garbage. IC Title match is completely unmemorable. The aforementioned Superbrawl 6 is pretty terrible too.


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996: The Iron-man at WrestleMania. Load of shite that should have been incredible. Second choice would be Vader in the WWF.

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels


Best Match of 1996: I'll go Bret vs Austin as well, because I didn't watch Michaels vs Diesel or Michaels vs Mankind at the time.


Best Event of 1996: Survivor Series. Two big top matches, plus the debut of The Rock.


Greatest Moment of 1996: Boyhood dream being realised.


Funniest Moment of 1996: Hogan flubbing his lines in the biggest heel turn ever.


Best Tag Team of 1996: Hall and Nash.


Breakout Star of 1996: I guess Austin? I kind of want to say Mankind though.


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996: Iron Man match. All the bragging about how they could go an hour like the old days, and then it happened, and it made me think the old days must have been really shit because at least these two clowns threw in a moonsault or a ringside goon bump occasionally amidst all their rest-hold boredom. Still got chuffed when HBK won though.

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Sod Michaels, I'm going for Goldust. Consistantly good IMO.


Best Match of 1996: Undertaker Vs Diesel WM. This match was a damn site better than it had any right to be.


Best Event of 1996: SummerSlam. Vader vs Micheals was the icing on the cake of a great PPV.


Greatest Moment of 1996: In retrospect it has to be Austin 3:16 at the rumble.


Funniest Moment of 1996: Warrior the Homophobe


Best Tag Team of 1996: Owen Hart & The Bulldog. Two of my all time faves teaming together.


Breakout Star of 1996: Mankind. Straight into WWE as a main event player. I loved the fact (and still do) that he had different music for before and after his matches.


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996: Mr Perfect, although I was yearning for him to return to the ring.


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996: Can't think of anyone that offended me that much although Savio Vega was someone that never appealled to me. Seeing Yoko in 1996 was shite too compared to how he was three years previous.


Worst Match of 1996: Bret Vs Undertaker at the Rumble was pants.


Worst Event of 1996: The Rumble, such a waste of a usually great PPV.


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996: Vader any time after the Rumble and before Summerslam

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels


Best Match of 1996: Good Friends, Better Enemies - Michaels vs Diesel


Best Event of 1996: Survivor Series 96 or KOTR 96 (seeing Pillman gave me goosebumps at the time)


Greatest Moment of 1996: Sid winning the title at MSG. First time I ever saw a crowd turn on a babyface like that. Or Sting's debut in his Crow gimmick.


Funniest Moment of 1996: "I'm the shit, I'm tellin' ya..."


Best Tag Team of 1996: Hall and Nash.


Breakout Star of 1996: Austin


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996: Have to agree with the Iron Man match. It is one match I have never revisited, and nor do I have any intention of revisiting.

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels, delivering quality main events on ppv and Raw


Best Match of 1996: Austin v Bret Hart Survivor Series, great match just as important in the meteoric rise of SCSA as 'mania 13.


Best Event of 1996: Survivor Series, above plus Sid winning title was great.


Greatest Moment of 1996: Boyhood dream has come true, massive HBK fan back then, special moment


Breakout Star of 1996: Stone Cold Steve Austin


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996: Jim Ross, great on commentary and cut some gold promos.


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996: Warrior, that match v Goldust where he spends it smoking a cigar sums up his 2nd run.


Worst Match of 1996: see above.

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels. Yes, he was a massive twat 23 hours out of the day, but how can you argue with the matches he had. Business may have been poor, but he always held up his end in the ring.


Best Match of 1996: The Outsiders vs Sting, Luger and Savage. Although nothing on Bret vs Austin or Mankind vs Shawn, I have memories of watching it on DSF and legitimately thinking Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were going to run in. I swear. WCW got it so right with the build. Pre-internet, so none of us had a clue what was going on and couldn't find out what was going on until Power Slam came out. Added to the fact I was 11 and didn't give much of a shit about hunting for spoilers. It was some atmosphere watching it. Even now, its one of the few matches that takes me back to that time period. Very much like the Wyatts and the Shield, in the sense that the idea behind the matches and the characters in it were so much bigger than what they did in the ring.


Best Event of 1996: I liked the Survivor Series a lot. The two top matches were class, and it was in Madison Square Garden. I believe the opener was pretty great as well.


Greatest Moment of 1996: Hulk's turn.


Funniest Moment of 1996: Hogan wearing a wig and shades for the first half of his match with Randy Savage.


Best Tag Team of 1996: Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart. Turned the tag division around after being poor for years.


Breakout Star of 1996: Brian Pillman. Austin cut a big promo and feuded with Bret Hart, but Pillman had two companies battling over his signature as if he was Cristiano Ronaldo. Unreal leverage all through his own hard work.


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996: Eric Bischoff.


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996: Ultimate Warrior. Didn't look like he could go at all. All his matches were either short or had no bumps in them. Matches with HHH, Goldust and Lawler were awful.


Worst Match of 1996: 29 vs 2, 8 decker cage or whatever the fuck it was. Another showing how amazing the nWo was. How you can go from the most abysmal shit imaginable to the hottest angle in wrestling in the space of 2 months is mental. Going from Zeus and Bane from Batman and Robin to Hall and Nash was quite the turnaround.


Worst Event of 1996: Uncensored 96. And if anyone says otherwise, go and watch the fucking thing.


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996: The Ultimate Warrior's return. Dreadful.

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Best Pro-wrestler of 1996: Shawn Michaels. Was becoming comfortable as a likeable good guy again and was central to almost everything that was good in the WWF - not just for the two or three matches that are well remembered. There was the Owen stuff, a couple of decent Bulldog matches, as well as loads of fun RAW matches v the likes of Kid, Yoko, Jannetty, Leif, the King, Goldust, HHH, the Gunns etc.


Best Match of 1996:I was torn between Austin/Hitman, Mind Games and the Ironman match. Until I remembered I actually loved the International Incident 6 man as much as any of them, so i'll give that one a shout as it never gets mentioned much.


Best Event of 1996:Survivor Series. Easy choice there, one of my all time fave shows


Greatest Moment of 1996: The Warrior return. I was believing the King and expecting some 400lb fatboy. It probably would've been HBK winning the title if only he'd beaten someone I disliked. Other shouts would be seeing Pillman come out at KOTR and Jake getting his revenge on Lawler after pretending to be drunk.


Funniest Moment of 1996: Probably something Dusty or King said on commentary. Like the lady in the mens room during the Benoit Sullivan brawl. Or the Rubbah shahk. And take your pick from almost any of the stuff the King was coming out with during the Jake feud.


Best Tag Team of 1996: What a nightmare of a question, 1996 was the worst year ever for tag teams before i stopped watching. I dunno, i'd probably find as much enjoyment on the WCW c shows with the Southern Posse, Rough n Ready, and all those types as I got from any of the top teams. Even my beloved Quebecers were going through the motions! I'd probably just settle with Owen/Bulldog even if they only really teamed for the last few months. Should've been the new Rockers too.. :(


Breakout Star of 1996:Austin. Bit of a weaker category this, as it's more fact than opinion based.


Best Non-Wrestler of 1996: Sunny.


Worst Pro-wrestler of 1996: Konan. I could quite happily have him dominate this category from here until 2000. The Executioner was grim too - looked like a guy recovering from a stroke - but at least he wasn't around long enough to be too offensive.


Worst Match of 1996: Probably that Warrior / Goldust nonsense already mentioned. Cornette v Joe Lothario I guess too, but that was just a novelty thing so probably shouldn't count. That infamous Uncensored cage match is too funny to totally hate, but that iron man tag match with Sting, Booker T and LOD was so charmless and lacking any redeeming qualities that it deserves a mention.


Worst Event of 1996: The 3 shows from Superbrawl through to Battlebowl were all muck, but that was par for the course in pre-NWO WCW. Summerslam stands out as being particularly shite in the WWF with only the main and free-for-all as bright spots. The roster was ridiculously thin at that point, but they still could've put on a better show than that.


Biggest Anti-climax of 1996:The Ultimate Warriors run. So much I wanted to see but never got the chance to. Followed by Perfects teased comeback.

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