As with every year in wrestling, there have been numerous ups and downs throughout the year. We have decided to come together for the first time ever and selected the highlights and lowlights of 2014. The polls opened a couple of weeks ago and we were met with over 130 total entries, so thank you to everyone who went out of their way and voted. With the WWE and NJPW completely changing their revenue models, pro wrestling has become much more affordable to get into and enjoy, and we hope that those from the outside who don't quite know where to begin would try and take the plunge with this list that will be shown in the next few days. Thank you for taking the time to read these and please feel free to discuss in The Wrestling Thread.
Best Tag Team of the Year
Miz & Mizdow
At the beginning of the year, both of these guys were going nowhere. Not a single person in the world cared about The Miz and Damien Sandow was struggling to remain relevant by dressing up as somebody different every week and looking like an idiot.
Halfway through the year The Miz came back and was embracing the "Movie Star" gimmick (even though in reality, all of Miz's movies were straight-to-DVD). There was a sudden change in Miz's demeanor and his promo's were stealing the show every Raw. A few weeks in, he would hire Damien Sandow to become his stunt double so The Miz wouldn't have to wrestle in matches and then a great tag team was born.
Damien Sandow would then accompany The Miz to the ring during every single match dressed as The Miz and proceeded to do the same match The Miz did on an invisible opponent on the outside. This eventually evolved into tag team matches, and we're at the point now where Sandow is one of the most loved wrestlers on the entire roster and Miz is one of the most hated. It's obvious that they're going to become rivals at some point, but for now they are one of the best duos in pro wrestling.
Best Dirt Sheet News of the Year - The CM Punk Saga
On paper, you would think that WWE completely changing their PPV distribution would be the biggest news that has happened this year. CM Punk, however, is possibly one of the best wrestlers of all time and when he decided to leave WWE (and pro wrestling altogether), it was something so newsworthy that everyone knew about it whether they wanted to or not. For months after, fans were hoping that this was all just some elaborate story and that CM Punk would return one day.
Now that we're almost a year removed from Punk leaving it's pretty safe to say that he won't be returning anytime soon. Both sides of the argument of "Who is to blame? WWE or CM Punk?" have valid points. We have gotten a little bit more info about why Punk has decided to leave in last month's episode of Colt Cabana's podcast, where Punk explains that he was screwed over physically and financially multiple times by the WWE. Now that CM Punk is officially signed onto UFC, the question on wrestling fan's minds has definitely turned from "When is Punk returning?" to "Is Punk returning?".
Runners-Up: Spike TV Drops TNA, Sting Debuts in WWE, WWE Network Announced, Ultimate Warrior passes away days after Hall of Fame/Raw Speech
Rookie of the Year - Alexa Bliss
While there weren't many newcomers that blew us away like Mr. Touchdown did last year in Chikara, we did get to see a couple of new welcome faces on our television/computer screens. Most of them males who are either very athletically impressive, or have great gimmicks (Ashley Remington).
However, over the past two years, we have seen the NXT Women's division grow into a place that shows off some very promising talent that's currently anchored by the daughter of Ric Flair, Charlotte. Alexa Bliss and Charlotte have somewhat similar backgrounds in that before becoming a pro wrestler, they had a sports background (rather than most WWE Divas, who were models). Over the year, we have seen a couple of pretty good matches for Alexa which is impressive considering her lack of experience. We'll see in the future if she's able to grow into another great wrestler in the NXT Women's roster.
The Wrestling Thread's Moment of the Year - The Hemme Hole
Not many people can say that they've watched something that has completely changed the game.
For years, steel cages have had a hole cut out of the side of it for the simple purpose of using it as a way for cameramen to shoot the match through the steel cage. TNA HAS FLIPPED THE SCRIPT ONCE AGAIN. Let me give you brief overview of this amazing match that perfectly describes TNA:
- Sammuel Shaw has been trying to murder Christy Hemme for weeks before this match takes place. Mr. Anderson has always defended Christy Hemme from Shaw, therefore we have a match.
- The match begins with Samuel Shaw threatening to commit suicide by jumping off the cage onto concrete if Hemme isn't at ringside. Hemme complies.
- During the match, the cage door is bumped into the referee who is knocked out.
- While Mr. Anderson is climbing out of the cage, Christy Hemme is being pulled into the cage through the camera hole in the side of the cage, forcing Mr. Anderson to get the keys off of the still knocked out referee and get back into the cage to save Hemme.
- While saving Hemme, Samuel Shaw catches Mr. Anderson in a standing choke hold (which is the worst finishing move ever). Shaw chokes Anderson out.
- Hemme runs away, and Shaw begins to go after her again. The ref finally regains consciousness and sees that Shaw has escaped the cage, declaring him the winner.
This might have been the most perfect example of a TNA match of all time. Super complicated and convoluted. But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that we have seen a new element to every steel cage match from now on: The Hemme Hole. It now bothers me every single time when there is a cage match and nobody takes advantage of the Christy Hemme-sized hole that is on the side of every steel cage.