Wrestling Thread's Best of 2014 Awards: Day 4

A special thank you to papercut for coming up with our "Brass Ring" trophies.

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.

Recap of Day One

Recap of Day Two

Recap of Day Three

Best Female Wrestler of the Year - Charlotte

You've got big shoes to fill if you happen to be a descendant of Ric Flair, and it's looking like Charlotte might be up to the task. In the few matches that she was in before 2014 began, you could definitely tell that she was athletic and had some sort of potential if she had a few more years of experience under her belt.

Then she had a match against veteran Natalya during NXT Takeover that might be one of the best women's matches WWE has held in years. Charlotte has been able to have consistently great matches throughout the year since then on NXT PPVs. She has exceeded everyone's expectations very quickly, which has me very excited about her future in pro wrestling.

Runners-Up: Candice Lerae, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Paige

Best Male Wrestler of the Year - Sami Zayn

The best thing you can say about a wrestler is that you can pair him up with absolutely anybody and you will still get at least a good match. Zayn has done exactly that with everyone at NXT and has proven that he will steal the show no matter where he is placed on the card. He also possesses that rare quality of just being a naturally likable person and has grown tremendously in his ability to cut a promo over the last two years. With the way that 2014 ended, it's looking like Sami Zayn will have another great year in 2015 when he starts his feud against Kevin Owens(once again).

Runner-Ups: Kazuchika Okada, Ricochet, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose

Best Non-WWE Match of the Year - Okada vs. Nakamura

First of all, do yourself a favor and if you haven't watched any of NJPW's G1 Tournament from this year, try and fix that. There are dozens of extremely great matches that took place during it. However, the final match was something special. Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada are two of the three biggest stars in NJPW, and they almost have never fought each other before (due to being in the same stable).

The match was a spectacle, managing to fill up a baseball stadium worth of fans who wanted to see the finals. When the match gets into the final stretch, there are a number of brilliant moments that will leave you with your jaw open. One of the best moments of wrestling all year is when Nakamura counters Okada's "Rainmaker". I have probably watched the gif of this counter hundreds of times just to figure out what in the hell even happened, it's something to behold.

If anybody needs any kind of introduction into alternative styles of professional wrestling there is outside of the WWE, this is a pretty great place to start.

Runners-Up: AJ Styles vs. Minoru Suzuki, Kota Ibushi vs. Ricochet, The Throwbacks vs. The Devastation Corporation, The Young Bucks vs. World's Cutest Tag Team

Best WWE Match of the Year - Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

Whenever you have a sold out arena chanting "This is awesome" before the match even begins, you know you've done something right. These two stables that dominated throughout 2013 finally crossed paths in the beginning of 2014. The story was pretty simple: There can only be one dominant group in WWE.

  • This was a match where everybody involved looked like a mega star by the end of it.
  • Eric Rowan continued to prove a lot of people wrong and could perfectly handle his share of the load
  • Luke Harper might be one of the most talented big men of all time
  • Bray Wyatt could be a huge deal if he is used right
  • Roman Reigns is very exciting to watch and is believable when he's kicking ass
  • Seth Rollins isn't going to be left in the dust when The Shield breaks up (something that definitely became true once The Shield did break up)
  • Dean Ambrose is a fucking crazy man

This might not be the best technical match of the year, but it's probably one of the best examples of telling a story during a match, and everybody was more respected by the crowd after this match.

Watch Wyatts vs. Shield on WWE Network, it has much less butt rock than the video below.

Runners-Up: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, Charlotte vs. Natalya, Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville, Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tyler Breeze

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Wrestling Thread's Best of 2014 Awards: Day 3

A special thank you to papercut for coming up with our "Brass Ring" trophies.

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.

Recap of Day One

Recap of Day Two

Promotion of the Year - NXT

The idea of NXT is to be a developmental promotion to get their wrestlers ready for the main roster in the WWE. Over the past year, it's quite clear that there are probably seven or eight talents that are definitely ready for the next step, the only problem is that nobody writing for the WWE seems to know what they're doing anymore and the people that are responsible for NXT are knocking it out of the park. They've got some of the best wrestlers in the world in the main event picture, they have the best women's division in the world, and they are blessed with a very good crowd of fans every week.

One of the best reasons to have the WWE Network is to be able to watch NXT and their PPV's.

Runners-Up: NJPW, PWG, ROH, Chikara

Best Wrestling Game of 2014 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

I vanished.

— ec3 (@EthanCarterTNA) August 12, 2014

Runners-Up: WWE Supercard, Crazy Taxi ft. Hulk Hogan, WWE 2k15, Gang Beasts

Best Feud - Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority

Feuds like Bryan vs. The Authority are so great because after watching the hero having to go through so much hell for nine months, he finally wins the big one.

Daniel Bryan was not scheduled to be in the main event in WrestleMania 30. It all started when he wasn't even in the Royal Rumble which caused the crowd to turn on the winner, Batista. CM Punk deciding to quit also left Triple H without an opponent for Wrestlemania. So due to those things happening along with the audience at every live WWE show giving them shit for not getting what they want, we got to have Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan along with Daniel Bryan being shifted into the main event of Wrestlemania match with Randy Orton and Batista. That night people was able to have the exact conclusion that they all wanted by having Daniel Bryan win the main event.

Runners-Up: Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville, The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family, Kazuchika Okada vs. AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

Worst Match of the Year - Cameron vs. Naomi

Either Cameron has been in pro wrestling for three years and still doesn't understand basic rules or she is secretly the second coming of Andy Kaufman. There's definitely been worse matches in the Diva's division over the years, but I don't think I've ever in my life somebody go for a pin with their opponent laying on their stomach before.

The rest of this match is awful. There are about four or five spots where Cameron looks like she legitimately hurts Naomi, including one place where she sends Naomi face first into the ropes. If you watch the match back again, you see that Naomi was trying to go for the finish of the match but then Cameron cuts her off and then sets up a dropkick (where Cameron lands on Naomi after the dropkick) and then they repeat the set up for the finish of the match again. I'm counting down the days until we just decide to ditch all of the WWE Divas and go to the women in NXT (along with the people putting the matches together in NXT).

Runners-Up: The Gracie Brothers vs. Nakamura & Sakuraba, Naomi/Summer Rae/Layla vs. Rosa Mendes/Cameron/Eva Marie, Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode, Big Show vs. Eric Rowan

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our awards!

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Wrestling Thread's Best of 2014 Awards: Day 2

A special thank you to papercut for coming up with our "Brass Ring" trophies.

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.

Recap Of Day One

Best Entrance - OKADA X RAPTOR

Wrestling is a big dumb spectacle. Sometimes to make a match memorable, you need to let your entrance have something that's extra special and dumb. This collection of entrances embraces that ideology. From dressing as Shao Kahn to wacky inflatable tube me, we've got a great collection of entrances this year.

Kazuchika Okada is the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is very young and extremely successful. He also has a lot of money at his disposable, which is why his nickname and finishing move is called "Rainmaker".

Long story short, he came out to the ring accompanied with a dinosaur in his main event match against Hirooki Goto. I'm not quite sure how or why he has a dinosaur beside him, but he does. Maybe he bought it as a pet.

HE ALSO HAS A GIANT SWORD.

Runners-Up: Triple H as Shao Kahn, Bayley with Wacky Inflatable Tube Men, Timesplitters with a Delorean, Zombie Prince Devitt

Most Improved - Tyson Kidd

There are two things in this world that do not lie: Cats and Facts.

I dare you to name one thing that Tyson Kidd has ever done in the WWE prior to 2014. And no, that dumb haircut doesn't count.

2014 saw a renaissance in a great talent that never really accomplished much in the WWE. Tyson Kidd has become a great main eventer in NXT and has produced a fair amount of great title fights under the gimmick of him playing second fiddle to his wife, Natalya. Now he's consistantly one of the more entertaining people on Raw and he seems to be getting a bit of momentum rolling with his tag team with the also-underutilized Cesaro.

Runners-Up: Sasha Banks, Ethan Carter III, AJ Styles, Bo Dallas

Worst Moment - You Should Have Died In The Womb

You know what's bad in wrestling? Whenever something looks fake. You know who isn't the best of actors in the world? Pro Wrestlers.

This whole Bella vs. Bella feud peaks at this exact moment, with a big giant cringeworthy segment capped off with either the best or the worst line of all time. The only reason that this feud had so much air time was because the E! Network wanted there to be an on-air feud to coincide with WWE's TV show "Total Divas". Eventually the two had a match where one would be forced to be the other Bella's servant. After that happened, they just ended up liking each other again with no explanation whatsoever.

Runners-Up: Samuel Shaw tries to Murder Christie Hemme, The Bunny Humps Adam Rose, Kane/Daniel Bryan/Brie Bella Shit Horror Movie Show, Kathie Lee and Hoda on Raw

Stable of the Year - The Shield

Throughout a good chunk of last year and the first half of 2014, the main event of Raw usually featured a match of three random partners vs. The Shield and it was alway a great match. The Shield as a stable might be remembered as one of the greatest teams of all time. You had the high flyer in Seth Rollins, the powerhouse in Roman Reigns, and a god damned lunatic in Dean Ambrose. With two great feuds this year against Evolution and The Wyatt family that always stole the show on any PPV that featured them. The inevitable breakup happened this year, and you can see just how talented each member of the group was an all three are now considered main eventers by themselves.

Runners-Up: Bullet Club, The Authority, The Wyatt Family, Mount Rushmore

Come back tomorrow for Promotion of the Year, Wrestling Game of the Year, Worst Match of the Year, and Feud of the Year!

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Wrestling Thread's Best of 2014 Awards: Day 1

A special thank you to papercut for coming up with our "Brass Ring" trophies.

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

Heads up: I'm really good at photoshop.

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.

Runners-Up: World's Cutest Tag Team, The Young Bucks, Timesplitters, Devastation Corporation

Best Dirt Sheet News of the Year - The CM Punk Saga

Punk gets what he's always wanted: Another fake brass ring.

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

And all that glitters is gold brass.

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.

Runners-Up: Ashley Remington, Trevor Lee, Fenix, Hanson

The Wrestling Thread's Moment of the Year - The Hemme Hole

Don't ask...

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.

Thanks TNA.

Runners-Up: WeeLC, Bo Dallas Escorted Out of NXT, Daniel Bryan WrestleMania Win, Ending of NXT [R]Evolution

Join us tomorrow as we take a look at the Best Stable, Worst Moment, Most Improved, and Best Entrance.

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