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Discussion in '2016 Wrestling Awards' started by klunderbunker, Jan 5, 2017.
The big one.
Kinda wish I'd make a case for Matt Hardy, because he's done something incredibly different. Also can see a very valid argument for AJ Styles. But at the end of the day it can be only one superstar, and for me that's Charlotte.
At Wrestlemania 31, the Women's Division was in its early stages of a very laughable "revolution". They were represented on the biggest show of the year by AJ Lee & Paige vs. The Bella Twins. Some of you may have forgotten because nothing noteworthy happened in it and it was an average match at best. It lasted about 6 minutes. No title defense. Nothing really even on the line. Like, not even a legit reason to fight.
Fast forward to Wrestlemania 32. NXT stars Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks take part in a Triple Threat to crown a new WWE Women's Champion. So there's a belt on the line that's not that butterfly piece of garbage, and the competitors had already made names for themselves in E's smaller brand. They fought for 16 minutes, and you can hear the audience and how invested they are in a woman's match.
Now we have Charlotte undefeated at every pay per view this year. That within itself is legendary. She has had excellent matches with Sasha Banks, a hot feud too. She's starred in several firsts, something nobody else in this list can say. Great Hell in a Cell Match, and a legendary Falls Count Anywhere Match. Charlotte is a superb wrestler, has given several good to great promos such as the one to her father, and has remained a powerful figure in her division. A division that only last year we joked about being nothing more than a glorified piss break.
We've moved on from the eye candy barely-can-wrestle reality TV divas to the empowered women wrestlers and Charlotte is a major figure in this drastic change.
Nobody else has raised the standard in this list. I'd argue some like Kevin Owens have even lowered it. Women's wrestling has undergone a renaissance, and its biggest contributor is Charlotte.
Chris Jericho said funny things.
Asuka kept the NXT Women's Division afloat.
The Miz figured out his wife was important.
Styles spent a fair share of 2016 dealing with a fucking jobber.
Charlotte has had a better year than any other superstar.
Spidey swayed me. Gotta go with Charlotte.
Aj Styles. He had a great year with some great matches since his debut. Fact that he was allowed to lead Smackdown brand eventhough he isnt "born WWE guy" shows how much faith they had in him and that he lived that expectation.
I was going to go with the longest reigning WWE Universal Champion in the history of Professional Sports Wrestling Entertainment, but then I saw that the Best In The World At What He Does is included in the poll.
Matches you should watch of AJ Styles in 2016:
Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 10
Vs. Jericho at Fastlane
Vs. Roman Reigns at Payback
Vs. Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules
Vs. John Cena at Money In The Bank
Vs. John Cena at Summerslam
Vs. John Cena and Dean Ambrose at No Mercy
Vs. Dean Ambrose at TLC
Vs. Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin at Smackdown
I picked AJ but I also picked Charlotte as my MVP in another thread which must make me a giant fucking hypocrite.
Another achievements of AJ Styles:
Undefeated against John Cena in WWE. Yes, undefeated against the face of the company.
Main evented a PPV after just 4 months of debut
Won the big title in 8 months
Did this all despite being the former star of TNA, that too in WWE.
I know this will come off as rude, but I mean it more in a curious sense. You've made valid arguments for years how winning a title makes a wrestler better than anybody else. You even have a thread dedicated to belts you've bought. So how is it you can ignore all the champions on this list and go with the one guy who hasn't won, well, anything this year? He hasn't even been in anything noteworthy. You're opting to go with a moniker (that's not from 2016) here without any explanation given. You're going against something you've defended because Chris Jericho made a few catchphrases. I just see it as odd you're voting acting over wrestling here, which I get it, but from you it just seems puzzling and I thought to ask you about more detail on why that is.
It was a toss up between AJ Styles and Charlotte. And since Charlotte wasn't ever pinned by James Ellsworth, I went with her.
Before January, nobody ever believed AJ Styles would be in the WWE. By year's end, he was WWE champion. Putting all the actual work he has done aside, I can't think of anyone who has exceeded such extreme expectations in such a short time.
AJ was arguably a top 2 or 3 guy in the 2 biggest wrestling companies in the world in the same calendar year and although I think Omega made more of a historic impact by winning the G1 as a gaijin, AJ's the bigger household name at year's end.
2017: the year The Shield let us down. The year the three men who'd been groomed for greatness had the company foisted onto their shoulders - and their legs buckled. In a year that looks incredible on paper but was more often eye-dryingly boring than not, The Shield - and all those on whom we thought we could depend - were a disappointment. All three are conspicuous by their absence on this list, and none of them deserve to be on there.
Roman Reigns' career as an alchemist came to a screeching halt when the chicken shit he was handed at WrestleMania came out the other side as chicken shit. Stephanie McMahon came out and talked for ten minutes, revealing that Triple H personally orchestrated every major terror attack in the last twenty years. The crowd still cheered for him instead of Roman. There was promise in the emergence of a new personality for Roman; a non-chalant, self-assured badass who wasn't concerned with winning anyone over. Two terrific matches with AJ Styles and things were looking up, until it was discovered he was taking too much asparin or something, he was suspended, and his momentum slammed to a halt. A feud with Rusev should have had people begging for a hoss division and the debut of 265 Live, but instead was distinctly underwhelming. A nonsensical turn as Seth Rollins' bestie - he only stomped on your head and stole the world title from you in front of a global audience, mate, don't worry about it - rounded out his disappointing year.
Speaking of Seth Rollins, "Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim." never really came to fruition, did it? A tepid face turn, particularly for someone with the best house of fire routine in the business, accompanied a laundry list of matches high on spectacle and low on emotion.
Dean Ambrose wrestles as if he's underwater and it's not clear why. That he wasn't trusted to last more than a month as the face of SmackDown should tell you everything you need to know.
As for actual highlights, Charlotte - ahem - Flair is a genuine contender in a year of even the most talented wrestlers floundering. She's in the conversation for best promo on the roster - particularly if she's called upon to make her dad cry - and has gone from green to elite in a matter of years in the ring. One can only assume she was afflicted by a curse, or a vengeful Vince McMahon (which amounts to basically the same thing) when she had a terrific match with Sasha Banks, and then another, and then another, and another and another and another. Now both have had the belt three or four times and, although one hesitates to call the feud tired, that path definitely seems well-trodden.
Swap the names and one can basically say the same thing for Sasha Banks, who was the other half of all those decent-to-great matches. She was unfairly maligned for trying to kill herself on a regular basis - Shane McMahon and Mick Foley have been lauded for similar behaviour.
A short shout-out to James Ellsworth. At a point in time when every wrestler on the roster is elite and trades wins and losses to the point that it's unclear why everyone doesn't just shake hands and call it even, it's refreshing to see someone pull on trunks and boots, go out to the ring and get absolutely murdered.
The real superstar of the year, of course, is a Japanese person or Kenny Omega.
Alternatively, it's The Revival, who, unfortunately, are two people. That said, what a two people! As two people go, I'm quite partial to my mum and/or dad, but did they put on a barn burner of a wrestling match at every available opportunity last year? Did they bollocks! The Revival are that good, they could have probably got a pretty good show out of my parents, both of whom are over sixty. American Alpha, #DIY and Enzo & Cass are all under sixty - in their late fifties at worst - and all of their matches with The Revival - whether at Roadblock, at a TakeOver, on a random NXT taping, at a house show in Bumfuck, Illinois - are nothing less than required viewing for anybody who wants to see timeless tag wrestling.
The image of Dash and Dawson holding hands, both in submission holds, both desperate not to tap out, is the moment of 2016. That I forgot to nominate it as such will haunt me to my dying day.
AJ Styles might have been in Japan for a cup of coffee but he was a TNA guy. In fact, he was the TNA guy. There wasn't, and probably still isn't, anyone more synonymous with that company after his eleven-year career there. WWE might have seen his time in NJPW as a necessary rinse under the tap to get the TNA dirt off but it's in his DNA. In a year in which Leicester City won the Premier League and millions of voters worldwide turned out to be stupid, spiteful bastards, AJ Styles being WWE Champion is really only moderately surprising in the grand scheme of things. Then again, it's a little bit uncanny, even now. After the year we've all had, we can probably rally around this one bit of trivia and pretend it's an astounding achievement. We've earned it.
Styles' matches with John Cena this year were a little too similar to the ones he had with Kurt Angle in TNA for my tastes - i.e. it's only really after the fourth finisher that you have to worry if the end is in sight, and there's not really much else to enjoy besides. Styles' matches with Roman Reigns were a little bit more substantial. Add that to his role in the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series matches, his match against New Day as half of Y2AJ, and his newly revealed ability to make Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin somewhat entertaining, and you have enough to make him stand out among a weak crowd.
So, congratulations, AJ Styles: you get the most begrudging award for my wrestler of the year ever.