It was yet another year in pro wrestling where the business was either linear or down. In the US, WWE continued to plod through with mind-boggling booking, but WrestleMania saved buyrates from being alarmingly down over the year. In TNA, they continued their usual business strategy of booking for TV ratings and not really giving a damn about their PPV numbers. ROH left HDNet and went into syndication, but the jury is still out on how they are doing.
Our pro wrestling awards will be WWE heavy because it’s the number one promotion in the US. But Alan keeps us honest with his independent and international choices. Alan, Duan, myself, Big D from Superfriends Universe, Ryan Pike from Tough Talk MMA give us their picks for the awards.
Most Outstanding Wrestler Of The Year
Alan – Daisuke Sekimoto and Akira Tozawa
I’m sitting on the fence and splitting this between two men who’ve had years that were utterly incredible. Daisuke Sekimoto basically played the NWA touring world champion role in the first half of the year as wXw champ defending the belt in three different continents. Invaded All Japan with Yuji Okabayashi and won the All Asia titles in one of several classics with Soya & Sanada. Had a MOTYC in his home promotion of Big Japan when Soya and Hama came to try to take back the belts. Won the Fire Festival in Zero 1 in a great final with the usually average Kohei Sato. Has had countless other ****+ singles and tag matches.
Akira Tozawa shares the spoils by having two amazing half years. The 1st half was all in the US where he became a hero in PWG with an absurd amount of MOTYCs, and was the best guy on the DGUSA shows too. Then in the second half of the year he made his return to Japan and instantly was in the main event picture. His title match with Mochi was incredible.
Duan – Dolph Ziggler
A huge breakout year for Ziggler – always gave it absolutely everything inside the ring regardless of his place on the card. There’s not a more consistent performer on the roster.
Ryan – CM Punk
Consistently delivered great promos and delivered great performances in the ring at the right times.
Big D – Daniel Bryan and CM Punk
Despite the storyline going from fascinating to lame WWE garbage, CM Punk managed to completely reinvigorate his career and for the first time became a super-over top babyface. Bryan had good matches up and down the card with guys of all shapes and sizes from Sin Cara to Mark Henry. He won Money in the Bank. He does tons of jobs and doesn’t even complain about it, then ends the year as World Champ. The cream rises to the top.
GG – Dolph Ziggler
He was my choice last year for who I expected big things from in 2011. And even throughout horrendous booking, I think he was the brightest star. For one, I looked forward most to his matches on every PPV and TV taping. Secondly, his selling has become Mr. Perfect-like, taking athletic bumps, and really selling the hell out of the beating he’s taking. Thirdly, I’m not sure there’s a better athlete in the company and if they don’t turn him loose in 2012, it will boggle my mind.
Pro Wrestling Show Of The Year
In the US, pro wrestling was down because WWE was down. TNA was more putrid than ever, which is a shame because they started 2010 with such high hopes. ROH and Dragon Gate USA continue to put out a product that, for the most part, their audiences like, but their audiences are small and hardcore. And based on what Alan has said, there’s some great stuff in some of the bigger independent organizations.
There’s always good stuff. Sometimes, you just have to dig. Alan, Duan, myself, and Stevie J from Angry Marks have listed our picks for our awards. Also, we have Big D making his return to the site for “One Night Only”, giving his thoughts as well. You can find D at Superfriends Universe.
Most Outstanding Wrestler Of The Year
Alan – Chris Hero
Career year for Metropolis’ finest. He tore it up in NOAH, PWG, ROH, EVOLVE and wXw during the course of the year, having one great match after another. Shined in both singles and tags (as part of the Kings Of Wrestling). His matches with Akira Tozawa, the Briscoes, Martin Stone and Davey Richards were crazy good.
Duan – John Cena
Another brilliant year for Cena. He delivered his best work when needed and remains the best reason to tune into WWE TV.
A few highlights from Masato Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid from Dragon Gate USA’s upcoming PPV on September 4th, Enter the Dragon. This is a good preview of the exceptional in-ring work of these atheletes.
Let’s get it Alan!
And now we’re into post-Gate Of Anniversary stuff, and on the road to the “DEAD OR ALIVE” PPV.
Fukui City Gymnasium
Cyber Kong & Yasushi Kanda vs. Naruki Doi & Naoki Tanizaki
First time I’ve ever seen DG in this building. Pretty cool looking and the crowd rules. So anyway, yeah A NAOKI TANIZAKI MATCH~!, let the greatness roll. Kong looked good being all powerhousy and Kanda was good in the general type roll for his team. Naoki sold his ass off and brought the charisma and energy. The hot tag to Doi was awesome as he’s up there with Roderick Strong when it comes to great houses of fire. Real Hazard won after a PINEAPPLE BOMBER, and a newly bald Anthony Dubyah Mori hit the ring to get him some but he was overwhelmed. The save was made by Masato Yoshino of all people, and the crowd went nutrageous.
YAMATO & Ryo Saito vs. Masato Yoshino & BxB Hulk
1. Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Title: YAMATO & Cyber Kong (c) vs. Susumu Yokosuka & Ryo Saito
The story going into this was that Ryosuka may not have had a stable anymore, but they still had each other and they felt that was all they needed to get another run with the Twin Gate. YAMATO and Kong have been the most dominant champs in many months so they were gonna be hard to knock off. The match was as good as you’d expect when you’ve got the two best sellers in the company and two of the best heels beating their asses down. When it looked like Susumu and Ryo had things going their way, we were dealt with a huge shock. As Susumu had the pin, the referee was pulled out of the ring by RYO! The crowd gasped but the genius was that Susumu didn’t know what happened. He called his partner back into the ring for a double team. Everyone in the building but Susumu knew Ryo was dirty and then with his back turned we got this awesome visual as HEEL RYO was about to strike: