2015 PWI Awards

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Jack-Hammer, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Jack-Hammer

    Staff Member Moderator

    Mar 26, 2009
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    Earlier today, Pro Wrestling Illustrated announced the winners of its annual achievement awards. As with any sort of awards or rankings regarding pro wrestling, it'll have its supporters, detractors, some mix of both, some who don't give a damn one way or another, etc. and this year is probably no different.

    Wrestler of the Year
    Winner: SETH ROLLINS
    1st Runner Up: Jay Lethal
    2nd Runner Up: Roman Reigns
    3rd Runner Up: John Cena

    Tag Team of the Year
    Winner: THE NEW DAY - Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E.
    1st Runner Up: The Young Bucks - Matt & Nick Jackson
    2nd Runner Up: The Wolves - Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards
    3rd Runner Up: reDRagon - Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly

    Match of the Year
    Winner: BAYLEY VS. SASHA BANKS - 30 Minute Iron Woman Match For The NXT Women's Championship At NXT TakeOver: Respect
    1st Runner Up: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley - NXT Women's Championship At NXT TakeOver: Respect
    2nd Runner Up: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins - Triple Threat Match For the WWE World Heavyweight Championship At The 2015 Royal Rumble
    3rd Runner Up: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens - Elimination Chamber 2015

    Feud of the Year
    1st Runner Up: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
    2nd Runner Up: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena
    3rd Runner Up: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada

    Most Popular Wrestler of the Year
    Winner: DEAN AMBROSE
    1st Runner Up: Brock Lesnar
    2nd Runner Up: Finn Balor
    3rd Runner Up: Shinsuke Nakamura

    Most Hated Wrestler of the Year
    Winner: SETH ROLLINS
    1st Runner Up: Ethan Carter III
    2nd Runner Up: Kevin Owens
    3rd Runner Up: Bray Wyatt

    Most Improved Wrestler of the Year
    Winner: ROMAN REIGNS
    1st Runner Up: Nikki Bella
    2nd Runner Up: Sasha Banks
    3rd Runner Up: Bayley

    Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year
    Winner: BAYLEY
    1st Runner Up: John Cena
    2nd Runner Up: Kevin Owens
    3rd Runner Up: Roman Reigns

    Rookie of the Year
    Winner: MOOSE
    1st Runner Up: Tessa Blanchard
    2nd Runner Up: Braun Strowman
    3rd Runner Up: Dana Brooke

    Stan Weston Award

    Comeback of the Year
    1st Runner Up: Sheamus
    2nd Runner Up: Roderick Strong
    3rd Runner Up: Daniel Bryan

    Woman of the Year
    Winner: SASHA BANKS
    1st Runner Up: Nikki Bella
    2nd Runner Up: Charlotte
    3rd Runner Up: Paige

    The awards are fan voted and, for the most part, it's hard to argue with most of the choices, at least in my opinion. The 2015 awards mark the first time a female match has won not only match of the year, but the two top candidates were female matches.
  2. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
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    The few things that stand out to me.

    I believe this is the first time a women's match won match of the year. Not only that but I believe this is also the first time the same two people were in the match of the year and first runner up. I didn't bother to look it up so I could be wrong. Personally I would have reversed the winner and runner up but I'm at least glad these two won match of the year. Well deserved.

    No offense to Dean Ambrose but him winning most popular tells me there just isn't someone the fans are behind as much as some guys in the past. Past winners like Hogan, Sting, Austin, Rock, etc. were ridiculously over with the crowd. Ambrose is popular but I don't see him anywhere near those guys. We need a mega star we can all get behind again.

    I don't understand all the support for Roman Reigns as most improved. I don't mean that as an insult. I know people mean it as a compliment to say he has improved but I think he was good last year and he's still good. Curt Hennig was upset when he won the award in 1987. He said most improved in 1987 means you didn't think I was any good in 1986. That's how I look at it with Reigns. Reigns was good in 2015 but he was just as good in 2014. And why is the most improved on the cover of the magazine instead of the wrestler of the year?

    Ric Flair, Bob Backlund, Lex Luger, Owen Hart, Steve Austin, The Giant, Goldberg, Kurt Angle, and Randy Orton are some of the names that won rookie of the year in the past. Charlotte, Tim Zbyszko, Veda Scott, Ace Hawkins, David Otunga, Mike Sydal, Joe Hennig, Hornswoggle, The Boogeyman, and now Moose are the last ten winners. With the exception of Charlotte that's a decade of crappy rookies. I guess the days of the instant superstar are over.

    PWI doesn't have the reputation it used to. For years I bought the magazine every month but for the past several years I've only bought the year end issue. Despite their credibility being questioned by many the year end awards are still fun to read and discuss. I look forward to picking this up.
    Mustang Sally and L@RISANO like this.
  3. Reflection

    Reflection is a happier and wiser man

    Oct 3, 2011
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    My first and foremost remark is that I love the results. I'm happy and much more in agreement with the PWI awards, compared to the way the tide is turning here at WZF awards.
    1. Wrestler of the year- No surprises there. Cena might have had the best concept (US title open challenge), but Rollins was really the man and held the greatest title in the business for the majority of the year.
    2. Tag Team of the year- Again, this doesn't come as a surprise either. The New Day has been on a roll ever since they were allowed to do their thing. They even earned their spot in the main event of a few RAWs.
    3. I'm very, very happy to see two women's matches leading the way for Match of the Year. I don't know if this has ever happened before, nor can I guess if it will ever happen again (now that most of them are no longer in NXT), but I hope it does. Moreover, I'm glad that the spam-fest of near-falls, a.k.a. John Cena vs Kevin Owens, has been ranked below three other matches. If it had won, it would create a bad precedent that having lots of false finishes, is the easiest and most effective route for choreographing a potential Match of the year.
    4. Feud of the year- I would have gone for John Cena vs Kevin Owens, but it is understandable why they picked Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker. Lots of OMG! moments and actual surprises, and not to mention- those two being the most larger than life characters in the WWE.
    5. Despite primarily performing in the upper mid card and booked either in mid card-ish feuds or as a second fiddle to Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose often received a stronger and more uniform reaction than his erstwhile Shield pack-mates... who are apparently the biggest face and heel of this generation and the one to come.
    6. Most hated wrestler of the year could have been awarded to EC3, IMO, based on what I saw of him in the few episodes of Impact that I watched. Performing in front of a small audience, and one that is not as dedicated or invested as the WWE ones are, EC3 still managed to get a good amount of hate from the spectators.
    7. Most improved wrestler- Hmmm... I don't know about this. I can't figure out why The New Day are not even in the top-4. Roman Reigns seemed more at ease this year, but he still has a weak point, in addition to the Superman Punch being his overused get-out-of-any-situation button. Nikki probably didn't win this because of the (valid) saying that "anything is an improvement over zero."
    8. I agree with Bailey's climb being the most inspirational. Climbs are always more inspirational than title defences. "This is America, the land of opportunities... I will defend the title of the United States of America each week... You want some, come get some." Good for getting a positive reaction, but not as inspirational.
    9. Some actual rookies, thank God. Unfortunately, I don't know any of them.
    10. R.I.P. Hotrod. :( Well deserved. I'm not qualified to comment positives and negatives on this.
    11. Bitter, jealous, low-blowing, LOLing, tapping-out Undertaker. In WZF lingo, that's not what I would predict in my bingo card.
    12. In spite of a disappointing main roster debut angle, and an even more disappointing team that she was made a part of... Sasha Banks, was by all means, the woman of the year, delivering two of its best matches. I just wonder why Bailey isn't in the top 4, for Paige accomplished pretty much nothing this year.
    Overall, again I'm very happy with the PWI awards 2015, and I feel that all of these were well thought-out and appropriate.
  4. Rayne

    Rayne Sally Section

    May 21, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Pretty much obvious choices across the board. It's a little surprising that Nikki Bella didn't make the Most Hated list, since she had absolutely nuclear heat earlier this year, but a lot of fans convinced themselves that their feelings were real. In the same category, it's tough to say Seth Rollins was "most hated"; he's the type of heel that could do a face turn and have the audience behind him next week. Outside of Eva Marie, it's tough to say that anyone out there currently is truly "hated".


    -I could watch a three-hour RAW of nothing but New Day. Just park them in the ring, and have everyone else work off them
    -How in the hell did Bailey not make the top four women?
    -Dean Ambrose being the fan-voted most popular wrestler is the most damning indictment of just how bad professional wrestling has gotten.
    -Which is not me saying that he's not good, but like Brain said, that no one's popular right now.
    -Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble and headlined Wrestlemania, and yet is a perfectly understandable choice for Most Improved. That's the 2nd most damning indictment of just how bad professional wrestling has gotten.
  5. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Rear Naked Bloke

    Aug 24, 1973
    Likes Received:
    The sheer irony of having a popularity contest to name the most hated wrestler, driven home by all four (Rollins, EC3, Owens and Wyatt) being pretty well liked. A more appropriate name for the category might be "Wrestler who you realise you're supposed to dislike but actually quite like." Seth "superplex into falcon arrow" Rollins could win every year.

    The sheer peculiarity of Bayley and Sasha Banks having the two best matches of the year yet neither making the top four wrestlers, presuming they're eligible, and Bayley winning most inspirational wrestler but not even making the list for women. Paige? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Roderick Strong had a great year; I didn't realise he'd made a comeback. I was embarassed every time The Undertaker was on screen.

    All in all, as with any list that isn't my personal one: daylight robbery.
  6. jpickens

    jpickens Pre-Show Stalwart

    Jul 13, 2006
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    Once again PWI readers show there WWE bias the only category that the WWE is not guaranteed a winner is rookie of the year.
  7. Rayne

    Rayne Sally Section

    May 21, 2009
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    It should come as a "oh, duh" conclusion when you realize that the WWE is by quite a ways the most watched professional wrestling organization, and the PWI awards are fan-voted. Go figure that the company with the most fans frequently gets the most votes.
  8. jpickens

    jpickens Pre-Show Stalwart

    Jul 13, 2006
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    It's bullshit Jay Lethal Not only held his companies singles belts at the same time but was close to going two years undefeated and had nothing but five star matches.
  9. harrythem

    harrythem Championship Contender

    Feb 26, 2010
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    and the 5000 people that watched ROH probably voted for Lethal but, worldwide, he's a mere dot on the wrestling landscape.

    Using a much more professional award show as an example that it has made international headlines that a nobody from Brazil won goal of the year because the awards are always dominated by the biggest names in the world.

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