This has been probably my biggest year for wrestling. I’ve for the first time ever, watched and paid attention to a promotion beyond WWE. So to have an awards article for this year in professional wrestling, it makes sense.
Now for promotions like all the UK/Europe ones (ICW, Progress, etc.), I haven’t gotten a chance to really watch your stuff, so I apologize for not including you, hopefully next year will be different.
Anyways, we’ve got the good and the bad, so let’s get all the shit out of the way first! You’re going to notice a lot of this section is WWE, for obvious reasons.
Most Declining Talent
- Bray Wyatt
- Dolph Ziggler
- The Miz
- Rusev – WINNER
- Wade Barrett
I really wanted to put down Bray Wyatt, but since dealing with Team ECW this month, the Wyatt Family are at least starting to improve again. Rusev however since losing to Mr. LOL Cena Wins at WrestleMania, he’s been getting worse and worse…and worse. The Rusev/Ziggler feud only killed him dead, the only thing making that entertaining was Rusev throwing a fucking fish at Lana. Otherwise, everything he’s done this year has been nothing short of disappointing and infuriating. He was supposed to be a monster, now he’s been reduced to a big bitch. Congrats, WWE.
Worst Debut of the Year
- Daivari (Lucha Underground)
- The League of Nations (WWE)
- Team B.A.D. (WWE) – WINNERS
Submission SororityTeam P.C.B. (WWE)
- Tyler Breeze (WWE)
Taking the hottest woman in wrestling and sticking her with two Divas who to me have little to offer in Naomi and Tamina because why? They’re all black? Well done, WWE, you just killed Sasha Banks dead. Somehow though, she’s barely still alive, fans are still cheering her. But having her twerk with the New Day is not helping. The whole Divas Revolution has been nothing short of a disaster, but out of all of them, Team B.A.D. has been the dumbest of them all.
Worst Return of the Year
- Alberto Del Rio – WINNER
- Chris Jericho
- Erick Rowan
- Eva Marie
Tried to think of a fifth, couldn’t come up with one. After having a hell of a run in AAA and Lucha Underground, one would’ve thought Alberto Del Rio would continue his success on the indies, maybe even trying out New Japan? Nope! He already returned back to the place that pretty much drove him insane after many racist remarks about Mexicans. So a star like him comes back, they must do something fantastic with him, right? Nope! They pair him with Zeb Colter and call themselves the Mex-Americas. Oh! And they’re already separated and he had a match with Jack Swagger at TLC. Uh…yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…?
Worst Handled Talent of the Year
- Roman Reigns
- Sasha Banks – WINNER
- Tyler Breeze
As I said earlier about Team B.A.D., WWE has royally fucked up the Divas Revolution, none bigger than the most popular of the Four Horsewomen, Sasha Banks. She was a fucking star in NXT and she was a heel! She was getting cheered more than all the faces and she was a bitch! So WWE would surely keep that going, right? Nope! Seriously, you keep falling for it. No, Sasha’s barely wrestled singles matches since being called up and other than her wrestling attire and how she walks to the ring, the NXT Sasha Banks is gone. Maybe in 2016 that gets fixed, but all things considered, I’m not holding my breath. After all, she’s not someone’s daughter and she’s not white.
“Where the fuck is he?!” Talent of the Year
- Damien Sandow – WINNER
- Leo Kruger (because fuck Adam Rose)
- Heath Slater
- Zack Ryder
He got over. From doing a shitty comedy gimmick. With the Miz. The Miz. THE FUCKING MIZ!!! He got Daniel fucking Bryan levels of over with that gimmick. And they’ve done nothing with him. Nothing! He turned on Miz at WrestleMania and immediately got eliminated by Big Show after. What the fucking fuck?! Then the weird copycat gimmick continued and then he faded into obscurity with the Mega-Powers gimmick with Curtis Axel. And we haven’t seen him since. What the fucking fuckedy fuck fuck fuck?!!!
“Where the fuck is she?!” Talent of the year
- Renee Young – WINNER
- “The Boss” Sasha Banks
Why isn’t Renee on commentary, WWE?! She’s hundreds of times better than the idiots you have there right now in Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and especially JB-fucking-L. Here’s an idea, put her with Mauro Ranallo on Smackdown, there’s already pre-existing chemistry there (at least I think so, they both worked for theScore at one point). Just please make one announce team on the main roster not suck!
WTF Moment of the Year
- Bray Wyatt losing every feud
- Divas Revolution (all of it) – WINNER
- Jon Stewart costing John Cena the WHC
- Royal Rumble Match
- “Tator tots, son”
Women in sports are skyrocketing right now, especially in fight sports. You already had Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, you made it look like you cared about women in wrestling. NXT has made leaps and bounds in this and Stephanie McMahon claims she wants to show what women can truly do. So what did they do for the “#DivasRevolution” and “#GiveDivasAChance”? Just putting a hashtag on them so they’d trend on social media. That’s all. In terms of wrestling, the quality is better, but is it really that much better when there’s still no good storylines and all the girls are still being stripped (not literally, thank god) of the character they had in NXT that made them good. That spells FAIL!!!
Worst Rivalry of the Year
- Bray Wyatt vs Anyone
- Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev – WINNERS
- Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze
- John Cena vs Kevin Owens (result-wise)
- Roman Reigns vs Sheamus
The fish. Do I need to say more?
Worst Show of the Year
- WWE Battleground
- WWE Hell in a Cell
- WWE Night of Champions
- WWE Royal Rumble
- WWE Survivor Series – WINNER
It was a terrible all-around PPV that ended with the most predictable ending, not to mention the one that EVERYONE EXCEPT WWE apparently knew would not work and just make things even worse ratings-wise. It also came with the lamest and most awkward celebration ever. WWE: “Yeah! Roman Reigns finally did it, everyone! Isn’t this awesome?! Woooooooooooooooo!”. It went off like a fart in church. Hoo…ray!
Worst Match of the Year
- Any Eva Marie Match
- Bella Twins vs Natalya/Paige (WWE Royal Rumble)
- Big Show vs Ryback (WWE Money in the Bank)
- Naomi/Tamina vs Bella Twins (WWE Payback)
- Villanos vs Clowns (AAA Triplemania XXIII) – WINNERS
Do I even have to explain this one? Just watch the match and try not to facepalm. It’s so bad!
Worst Announce Team
- WWE – WINNERS
There really is only one nominee for this award. I can’t think of any other wrestling promotion I’ve watched this year where I’ve been taken out of the match and that even includes New Japan and I don’t speak Japanese! JBL and Cole specifically have cemented their legacy to me as the worst announce duo I may ever hear. I’d rather listen to Art Donovan say “how much does this guy weigh?” to every single guy of every single match or every single show for the rest of my life than have to bear with the absolute garbage these two spew from their mouths. Either call the damn match or shut the fuck up. You’re not funny, you never were funny. Shut the fuck up!
Worst Non-Wrestling Talent of the Year
- Booker T
- Byron Saxton
- JBL – WINNER
- Michael Cole
- Ric Flair
What did I just say, JBL?! Shut. The fuck. Up!
Worst Tag Team of the Year
- The Ascension – WINNERS
- The Bella Twins
- Blake & Murphy
- Los Matadores
- Wade Barrett & Sheamus
Cool music, cool look (while slightly LoD copied), absolutely garbage team. Shouldn’t have ever been called up to the main roster. I know they’d done everything they could in NXT, but man…they still look so green. I’m not saying fire ’em (yet), but they need to rejuvenate their careers and learn some more.
Worst Female Wrestler of the Year
- Brie Bella
- Eva Marie – WINNER
When you beat out a girl who tried to pin her opponent who was lying on her stomach, you have to be really bad. And Eva Marie is just that. She’s never going to be an even remotely decent wrestler, she does not have it. WWE wants her in the spotlight and you know what? That’s fine, but don’t have her as a wrestler. You clearly view her as the prettiest girl you have, SO MAKE HER A VALET!!! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST YOU MADE SO MANY WOMEN DOING THIS, WHY HAVEN’T YOU TRIED THE SAME THING WITH HER?!!!
Worst Male Wrestler of the Year
- Big Show
- Erick Rowan – WINNER
- John Cena, LOL!
- Yujiro Takahashi
He’s just not that great and insignificant in a group of guys that while they’re losing too, they at least pull off decent matches. Strowman has an excuse, he’s green as grass, but Rowan’s been around a while now. And he’s still really nothing special. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone next year, but then again WWE seems to not want to fire anyone unless they call the fans ‘pricks’. Which you know that’s what they think of the smart mark crowd.
And now for the stuff that actually matters, the good stuff!
Most Improved Talent
- John Cena
- Johnny Mundo
- The New Day
- Roman Reigns
- Tetsuya Naito – WINNER
I didn’t give a flying fuck about Naito when I first started watching New Japan, I just didn’t like his gimmick as a babyface. This heel Los Ingobernables Naito however, is fucking fantastic. The ego he carries and the way he moves so slowly to piss off the crowd is just awesome to watch, he plays the crowds up so well. Not to mention the matches he’s had this year have been really great to watch as well.
Best Debut of the Year
- Apollo Crews (NXT)
- Asuka (NXT) – WINNER
- Micheal Elgin (NJPW)
- Prince Puma (Lucha Underground)
- Samoa Joe (NXT)
Anyone who can have a good match with Dana Brooke already has gained a few points. That’s not really a shot at Dana, she’s still green. But Asuka has shown what a dominant female athlete looks like in professional wrestling. The mix of submission holds and strikes are badass and let’s be honest, no one has better facial reactions and movement during matches than Asuka right now, not even close. I want her to destroy the main roster, but then again they’d probably kill her dead like they’ve done to everyone else. So keep her in NXT. Pretty please.
Best Return of the Year
- Alberto el Patron (Lucha Underground/AAA)
- The Dudley Boys (WWE)
- Kane ~Demon~ (WWE)
- Rey Mysterio (AAA) – WINNER
- Vince McMahon (WWE)
After seemingly going into retirement as WWE wouldn’t let him go, Rey’s finally getting back into the thick of things in AAA. It’s so nice to see him wrestling again and he looks like he hasn’t lost a thing. I cannot wait to see him debut in Season 2 of Lucha Underground in January!
LOL! Moment of the Year
- Dean Ambrose Psychological Test “Hoooooooooo!” (WWE)
- Joey Ryan’s penis overpowers opponent (DDT) – WINNER
- The Rock’s “Fallopian Tubes” promo on Steph at WrestleMania (WWE)
- R-Truth thinking he’s in a match that he’s not in (WWE)
- The Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice (NJPW Invasion Attack)
I really, REALLY wanted to put the Young Bucks/RPG Vice match as the winners of this award. But I just can’t say no to this:
HOLY SHIT! Moment of the Year
- Angelico cross body from balcony (Lucha Underground)
- Angelico dropkick from balcony (Lucha Underground) – WINNER
- Kallisto’s Salida del Sol from top of the ladder (WWE)
- Pentagon Jr. vs Vampiro (Lucha Underground)
- Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania (WWE)
It was going to be either Angelico moment from Lucha Underground, that much was for sure, it was just a matter of which one. So I went with the one that looked like he could’ve easily broken his neck taking that bump. Goddamn how is this guy still alive let alone walking doing this shit?! Side note, good on him and Jack Evans for rejecting a WWE contract, I don’t want to see them doing 25% of what they’re capable off on RAW, I want the full 100%!
- Bayley vs Sasha Banks (NXT) – WINNERS
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada (NJPW)
- John Cena vs Kevin Owens (WWE)
- Prince Puma vs Johnny Mundo (Lucha Underground)
- Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens (NXT)
When you have arguably the two best matches on NXT, it’s a pretty easy choice for this award. I mean Cena/Owens was a good feud, but it ended terribly (aka Cena wins, LOL), while the Sasha Banks/Bayley feud had a wonderful story and an even better ending at Brooklyn, along with the follow-up 30-minute Ironwoman Match. Some of the best wrestling I’ve seen and it came from two women. Who knew that was possible, WWE.
Best Wrestling Promotion
- Lucha Underground – WINNER
I had zero expectations for when I started Episode 1 of Lucha Underground. By Episode 3 I was hooked and refused to say any other show was better. And it continued all the way to the very end, I began to like more and more talent on that show and added more matches to the must-watch list for people who like professional wrestling. If Season 2 is anywhere near as good as Season 1 was, they’ll likely be repeating next year.
Show of the Year
- Wrestle Kingdom 9 (NJPW)
- NXT Takeover: Brooklyn (NXT) – WINNER
- NXT Takeover: Respect (NXT)
- Ultimate Lucha (Lucha Underground)
- WrestleMania 31 (WWE)
Banks vs Bayley, Balor vs Owens, Vaudevillains with Blue Pants, the debut of Apollo Crews. This card was stacked and when it’s in a massive building like the Barclays Center and is sold out with one of the most vibrant crowds of the year, you have a recipe for the show of the year, without question.
Match of the Year
- Bayley vs Sasha Banks (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn) – WINNERS
- Brock Lesnar vs John Cena & Seth Rollins (WWE Royal Rumble)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura (NJPW G1 CLIMAX Final)
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kota Ibushi (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9)
- Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma (NJPW New Beginning in Sendai)
Like I’ve said the past couple awards, one of the best matches I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The drama was all there, you saw grown men cry when Bayley won the title. The action was all there as well and even the entrances got special attention. This is a must watch for wrestling fans, I don’t give a flying fuck if you think women’s wrestling is a joke, this match is far from one.
Best Announce Team
- Lucha Underground
- NJPW on AXS – WINNERS
You have one of the best announcers (who isn’t Jim Ross) today calling some of the best matches of last year, it’s hard not to vote for Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett. Here’s hoping when he starts on SmackDown! in January, which I plan to watch, believe it or not (I have to see how Mauro handles it), he makes a stale product look vibrant again.
Best Non-Wrestling Talent of the Year
- Corey Graves (NXT)
- Dario Cueto (Lucha Underground)
- Lana (WWE)
- Paul Heyman (WWE)
- Renee Young (WWE) – WINNER
This woman needs to be on commentary, she’s so much better than what they give her. She’s stuck on the pre-shows with Shucky Ducky and a bunch of interchangeable talent, she’s above this. Everyone’s positive she’ll leave WWE for ESPN when her contract’s done, which I honestly wouldn’t blame her. But she loves wrestling so damn much, you know it’ll be a tough decision for her.
Tag Team of the Year
- Angelico, Son of Havoc & Ivelisse (Lucha Underground)
- Cass & Enzo (NXT)
- The New Day (WWE)
- REDRAGON (ROH, NJPW, etc.)
- The Young Bucks (ROH, NJPW, etc.) – WINNERS
To all those who either don’t get the Young Bucks or straight up hate them, you just don’t like things that are fun, do you? Who cares if they’re a couple of high spot monkeys, they do it better than anyone else in this business and they are fucking entertaining when they do it. SUCK IIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!
Female Wrestler of the Year
- Candice LeRae
- Io Shirai
- Sasha Banks – WINNER
No doubt about this one. As much as I love Asuka, there’s no woman in the wrestling business this year that has done more for the sport of professional wrestling as Sasha Banks. She, along with the rest of the Four Horsewomen have made women’s wrestling matter again. But out of the four of them, she’s leaps and bounds the best right now. It’s a crying fucking shame WWE is ruining her right now on RAW.
Male Wrestler of the Year
- AJ Styles – WINNER
- Finn Balor
- Kevin Owens
- Ricochet/Prince Puma
- Shinsuke Nakamura
For a guy I never gave a fuck about while he was in TNA, holy shit have I become a giant AJ Styles mark. After freeing himself from TNA he’s shown the entire wrestling world that it wasn’t him, it was fucking TNA. He’s had some of the best matches all year, pretty much any match he’s been in has been 4 stars or more. And not only is he lighting it up in New Japan, he’s lighting it up in Ring of Honor and other indie promotions. This guys is just killing it right now. Hell no he shouldn’t be going to WWE, not with the tear he’s on right now.
So that’s the Radical Wrestling Awards for 2015. What did you guys think? Did I pick the wrong ones? Did I miss someone? Let me know in the comments below!
Really?! Tater tots?! I hate you so much right now, WWE…
I wrote an article two weeks ago about how I was going to stop watching RAW and Smackdown and just concentrate on NXT, the one WWE-branded product that hasn’t been insulting my intelligence this year. However that doesn’t mean I’m not keeping up with what’s going on, I just go through other channels, reading articles and podcasts, particularly Wrestling Soup and Solomonster Sounds Off. And everyone seems to be in agreement:
WWE sucks a massive bag of dicks right now.
Just hearing the words “tater tots” being used to describe in a nutshell the promo that was spoken by the person in the company right now who’s supposed to be “The Guy” according to the beyond out-of-touch Vince McMahon & Co. is just making everything even more embarrassing than it already is. Is it sad that the only thing people are really raving about from last Monday’s RAW was Sasha Banks twerking? And even that pisses me off cause they’re using her wrong too!
Is there anything on the show right now that they’re getting right? I’d say no, even including the New Day, who are starting to get a little over-exposed now. But they can’t figure out what to do with anyone not named Roman Reigns. Charlotte’s wavering between heel and face, Sasha Banks has been removed from the character that got her to where she is, as she’s now turning into the girl with the #booty. So many other guys and girls are either looking childish and poorly written, or they have nothing going on except for that they can wrestle a bit.
How is it that there are thousands of random fans and journalists/bloggers/podcasters who are thinking up better angles and ideas than the supposed genius of wrestling booking, along with a giant team of supposed experienced writers?! How the fuck is that even possible?! The majority of fans can’t write better than people doing Netflix/HBO original programming, so why is it that they can write wrestling better than the BEST company that does it?! It makes zero sense!
There’s a lot of discussion going on the wonder if maybe, just maybe Vince McMahon being his usual stubborn self and having his “I know what you really want” attitude running full-speed ahead is continuing on this downward spiral regardless of the ratings continue to drop, because he wants to prove his still knows what will work in the end. I’d hate to tell ya, Vinnie Mac, but when your ratings are lower than they’ve been in over 20 years, I don’t think it’s a matter of pride anymore. Sooner or later, something’s gonna give and I don’t know whether that’s sponsors pulling out cause of low ratings, your stock price lowering cause of the poor attendance and merchandise sales, or anything else that could be caused by this rapid decline, but something will cause an absolute breakdown if this doesn’t stop.
We’re not asking you to cave to every demand we have, just two of them: One, start writing stories and characters that are consistent and make sense. And two, stop insulting our intelligence. Is it sad that promotions that are solely centered on comedy wrestling still have far better stories than WWE right now? Take CHIKARA for example, they have more meaningful storylines than WWE and they’re all about fan interaction.
Most of all though, what we really want to see, is meaningful women’s wrestling. Not Divas wrestling, women’s wrestling. NXT has that (except when Eva Marie wrestles, then it becomes a natural disaster) and what happened because of it? This so-called Divas Revolution you also fucked up on. Companies like STARDOM in Japan, Shine and Shimmer in the US, they get women’s wrestling. How does a small company get it right and the one with millions of dollars can’t even get them to have a match without screaming at each other and pulling hair? It’s pathetic.
So yeah, it’s depressing to hear about almost anything WWE-wise. And like I said in my NXT article, I don’t want anyone moving up to the main roster now. Cause until Vince and his regime are gone, I don’t want them fucking my favourite wrestlers up.