ProWresBlog 2012 Awards
Thank you for viewing my site. I've had a great time watching wrestling this year and I enjoyed talking wrestling with everyone. As the year comes to a close, it's time for the ProWresBlog awards for 2012.
As always, these awards are based off of my opinion only. Are they right or wrong? Well, they are neither and I don't claim them to be anything else.
Wrestler of the Year - Daniel Bryan
(Please note that I am not taking drawing into account)
As far as the overall package of wrestling, was there anyone better this year? He had great matches galore including ***+ bouts against Ziggler, The Shield, Sheamus, Punk and Tyson Kidd. His team with Kane has been absolutely awesome and gave Kane the best year he's ever had. He's been great as a character and on the mic. He's been the most over guy in wrestling all year. He's also turned what should have been a turd of a storyline into a great gimmick that has carried the company. I have no problems with anyone who wants to pick Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kazuchika Okada because they are totally worthy and good choices for this as well, but DB did everything and made it all awesome. That's the one advantage he had over them in that no matter what crap was thrown at him, it worked. He also made me put a segment where he hugged Kane into my best matches of the month, so that should tell you something.
Hiroshi Tanahashi - As I said, anyone who picks him gets no complaints from me. He's having his best year ever in ring and has truly taken over NJPW. He had two great ****+ matches this year with one of them being my match of the year. I'm interested to see where he goes next year as 2012 is probably his peak as a wrestler.
Kazuchika Okada - Again, anyone who picks him gets no complaints from me. He didn't just come on the scene, he took the scene by storm and owned it. He went from being an unimpressive Ultimo Dragon student to the MVP of Japanese Wrestling. I almost picked him along with Tanahashi for this award and wouldn't have regretted it if I did. 2013 is scheduled to be his year beginning at the 1/4/2013 NJPW Tokyo Dome Show.
Dolph Ziggler - At the end of 2012, Dolph got about as close as cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with as you can be by beating John Cena at TLC. Dolph has been excellent all year as a worker, making the sleeper hold an interesting spot again. The guy bumps and sells like no other and is always a hoot to watch. He has yet to really be given his due but 2013 will be his year.
Antonio Cesaro - Antonio Cesaro has been flat out amazing in the WWE. He's already in their top 5 of workers after 7 months and he makes every show entertaining. I had him in 12 of my top 60+ WWE matches for this year and next year he will undoubtedly be in even more. He's one of the men who has shown WWE how stupid they were in not picking up independent guys sooner. 2013 should be his year but he needs a little more time to connect with the fanbase. The day they start his face turn with "hey" chants, he will be the most over guy in WWE.
CM Punk - He's been pretty much everything you could want a wrestler to be. Good in the ring, entertaining and great on the mic. He's pretty much carried the company along with Daniel Bryan and has been his usual awesome self in 2012.
Match of the Year - Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi - NJPW Dominion 2012
I gave this one 5 stars and it may have been my only 5 star match this year. The heat was great, the work was great and I was pretty sure from the second I saw this that it would be the MOTY. I think anyone knows right from the start when something is going to be a 5 star match and this was it.
Top 10 Matches of 2012
(NOTE - Some of the included matches were based on a combination of enjoyment and star ratings.)
1 - Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi - NJPW Dominion 2012 - Rating:*****
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/njpw-6162012-dominion-hiroshi-tanahashi.html
2 - Brock Lesnar vs John Cena - Extreme Rules 2012 - Rating:****3/4
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/debrockle.html
3 - Kyoko Kimura vs Natsuki Taiyo - STARDOM 8/5/2012 - Rating:****1/2
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/stardom-stardom-x-stardom-2012-852012.html
4- Shingo Takagi vs Yamato vs BxB Hulk vs Naruki Doi vs Masato Yoshino vs Akira Tozawa -Dragon Gate Infinity #261 Rating:****1/2
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/dragon-gate-infinity-261.html
5- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki - NJPW Power Struggle - Rating:****1/2
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/njpw-king-of-sports-review.html
6 - Yoshito Sasaki vs Yuji Okabayashi - BJW 6/21/2012 - Rating:****1/2
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/bjw-6212012-selected-matches.html
7 - Shinsuke Nakamura vs Hirooki Goto - NJPW Power Struggle - Rating:****1/4
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/njpw-king-of-sports-review.html
8 - Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan - Raw 10/22/2012 - Rating:****
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/wwe-monday-night-raw-10222012-review.html
9 - XL vs Kaiser - XNWA Chile (No Date) - Rating:****
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/chilean-wrestling-xl-vs-kaiser.html
10 - Aja Kong and Sonoko Kato vs Ayumi Kurihara and AKINO - OZ Academy COUNTRY OF OZ - Rating:****
Review is here - http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/oz-academy-263-country-of-oz-2012-review.html
Tag Team of the Year - The Briscoe Brothers
Overall, I pretty much had to give it to them. They've been great on interviews, Redneck Kung Fu has been outstanding and as usual their ringwork has been great. As far as an overall package, it is hard to pick against these guys.
Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel - They have been the best tag team of WWE bar none. Their ring work has been great as they were involved either as singles or as tag wrestlers in 14 of my top 60+ WWE matches.
Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander - These two would be a very good choice as well. Their ring work has been great all year and they really show alot of potential.
Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi - A great team and I wouldn't argue it if anyone picked them. Their ring work has been awesome and both guys are great wrestlers, as well as pretty cool people outside of the ring.
Bad Influence (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) - Had they started a little bit earlier together or had better opponents, they probably would have won this. They've been great as characters, on interviews and in the ring. They make me look forward to TNA each week and I hope they get an extended push in the new year.
Rookie of the Year - Yuhi
This was an easy pick for me. Yuhi was ready for main events in under 4 months and is really the complete package. She's young, she's legit, she has fire and she can wrestle. I don't think there is anyone with more potential than her and I look forward to watching her grow in 2013.
Tadarius Thomas - Tadarius Thomas has the second most potential of anyone out there right now, only being second to Yuhi. His style is creative and original and to be honest, it may be his downfall. He is so different that no one in ROH has figured out how to work with him yet, which is a shame. With the right push and angle, he can be a very special talent. I can totally see him being the Bruce Lee of wrestling and I can see him picking up where Cho-un Shiryu never got the chance to leave off. He hasn't yet had the great matches, but once he gets to work with some top level talent, he will. I could see him vs AJ Styles or Low-Ki being awesome matches.
Kairi Hojo - Another Stardom wrestler with lots of potential. She seems to be the complete package and with more experience, she's probably going to be very good. I enjoy her as a smaller girl with lots of power moves.
Manager of the Year - Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman or Paul E. Dangerously is the single most underrated manager ever. He's been awesome whether its been in AWA with the Original Midnight Express, Memphis and Continental with Eddie Gilbert, in WCW with the Dangerous Alliance or in WWE in 2002 with Brock Lesnar. The Mad Scientist hasn't lost a step and is an absolute master at his craft.
Truth Martini - I went from thinking Truth Martini was some low-rent indy manager to seeing his full potential throughout the year. He's been a really good character and one of the more underrated people in ROH. He made the House of Truth interesting for me and his downfall has been just as entertaining as anything else this year.
Best Show of the Year - NJPW King of Sports
No doubt about this one for me. Every match was good and the last two matches were MOTYC. An awesome effort by NJPW and I hope the Dome Show will match it. This show put NJPW back on the map
WWE TLC 2012 - A great show with a shocking ending. Every match offered something and The Shield vs Ryback and Team Hell No was a MOTYC.
ROH Glory By Honor XI - A very good show with two matches being around the **** area.
WWE Extreme Rules - It had my 2nd pick for MOTY along with a great Daniel Bryan match.
Best Television Show - WWE Main Event
This show is a workrate fan's dream. A guranteed 20-30+ minute match with build up plus before and after interviews and another match to end the show.
WWE Superstars - This show would have won this award had it not been for their format change. They killed their golden goose of hidden gem matches by doing recaps and taking the in ring time to 15 minutes of a 60 minute show.
WWE NXT - I love the format of this one. I like seeing the new talent debut and I love JR and Regal at the booth. However, the matches haven't been that great, the wrestlers have dual personalities and the disappearances of different wrestlers makes it hard to get into.
WWE Saturday Morning Slam - I enjoy the show's 30 minute format with a match, a history lesson and another match. The show is usually entertaining and at worst, it's only 30 minutes.
Best Promotion - WWE
WWE has been pretty awesome this year. There's been so many good matches and so many different types of shows that there is virtually something for everyone. I truly think that WWE had the best in-ring work of any company in the world.
Stardom - Stardom has everything. They have young, motivated, talented and good looking workers and as I've said multiple times, if I was going to a create a blueprint to save Joshi, it'd be Stardom. Unfortunately, Stardom has run into bad luck with their two biggest names in Yoko Bito and Yuzuki Aikawa calling it quits and they are basically starting over in May 2013. I feel terrible for the promotion because they've done a heck of a job.
New Japan Pro Wrestling - NJPW had an awesome year. They made Kazuchika Okada the man and built up other stars like Karl Anderson, Yujiro and Tetsuya Naito. They have secured their future for the next few years and should produce great stuff in 2013. However, they need to stop phoning it in on non-important shows and they need to give their wrestlers the time to do their best.
Best Segment - Kane and Daniel Bryan HUG IT OUT
This was an awesome segment. They turned a hug into a match and worked it so well that it oughta be up for best match of the year. Both guys were hilarious and phenomenal in this and this showed how fun WWE can be.
Most Improved - Kazuchika Okada
He basically went from a bland Toryumon trainee to the Japanese MVP of 2012. If that isn't improvement, I don't know what is. I think it is pretty hard to argue anyone else for this award and I'm not even going to try.
Most Underrated - Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd
As I said, these two have been in 12 of my top 60 WWE matches of the last few months, basically being in near 20% of everything that has been good. Nobody talks about them, nobody ever mentions them and tons of people are missing the boat. WWE's most underappreciated individuals.
The Uso Brothers - The Uso's had a great year that no one talked about. They were usually in very good matches and they always bring the quality.
Michael McGillicutty - Michael didn't appear on TV much this year but when he did it was always quality. He's a perfectly fine midcard wrestler who needs to be on television more.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. - Chavo has been in some good stuff but doesn't get the credit he deserves due to his terrible last WWE run.
Kane - I've never been a big Kane fan, but this has been his best year ever. He's been entertaining and has shown charisma that he only ever showed once during his "Kaneanites" speech. It's been a great year for Kane and credit to him.
Antonio Cesaro - He's been the man in WWE and has been used as a jobber as of late. He's one of the WWE's top 3 workers and makes everything better.
Most Overrated - Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is all potential at this point and aside from a good look and one good interview, he has shown nothing. You could pretty much put anyone in his spot in the Shield and get the same or better results.
Worst Promotion - Oz Academy
There is usually nothing more disappointing each month than Oz Academy. It's the company that never learns and does the same bogus crap that it always does. It is amazing how little people like Mayumi Ozaki learned throughout all their years of wrestling. The company is stale(and was stale in 2011), predictable and has a poor outlook for 2013.
Worst Match of the Year - Mayumi Ozaki vs Ayumi Kurihara - OZ Academy GET OVER 10/14/2012
Awful stuff. There was no less than 4 people in the ring at any given time counting the ref and the match was truly a piece of garbage. A shameful booking and wrestling display by Mayumi Ozaki. This is the stuff my Oz Academy nightmares are made of.
Akebono vs Atsushi Onita - Explosion Match 8/26/2012
This was embarassing to watch. The booking of it was not good and the explosions were cheap. Akebono is a nice guy and was a great sumo wrestler(His matches with Takanohana are worth watching) but he isn't a good wrestler. He's slow, he's hurting and I worry that someday he will be seriously hurt wrestling someday. Onita invented this type of match but just had nothing to offer in a poor display.
Worst Wrestler of the Year - Great Khali
Khali has had a bad 2012. He is more immobile than ever and you can tell that just walking is a chore for him. I feel bad for him as he is obviously in alot of pain, but his wrestling time has passed him up.
Brodus Clay - A terrible wrestler with a terrible look and haircut. The Funkasaurus saved his career as I assure you he would have been gone in 2 months without it.
Mayumi Ozaki - Lazy, unmotivated and a chore to watch. Atleast with the two wrestlers above, you know they will be done in 10 minutes, but with her, you could be looking at 15-25+ minutes of interference, blatant cheating and booking stupidity.
Worst TV Show - The reformatted WWE Superstars and ROH TV
This is a split win here as both have their problems. The reformatted Superstars features 2 matches with 15 minutes of wrestling max and tons and tons of recaps. It used to be the greatest show in the world, but it's hardly worth it for me to catch it when there's not much new content. ROH TV is usually a good show but it's everything else that is the problem. The show is always a month or so behind and they replay matches from PPV's that people like me have already seen. There were also tons of audio and visual problems that were rampant throughout the beginning of the year but have gotten better.
Thanks for a fun 2012 everyone. Hopefully I can keep everything together in the new year and reach some of my goals for this blog!