2016 Brass Ring Awards Day 1 ( Best Show / Rookie / Moment of the Year)

Credit goes to @papercut for the Brass Ring design
Credit goes to @papercut for the Brass Ring design

Brief Introduction:

If you are reading this, congratulations. You have made it to the other side of 2016 still alive. Much like video games this year, Pro Wrestling has had an incredible year despite the rest of the world sucking. Our humble little thread has gathered and is collectively going to shine a light on the best things about Pro Wrestling this year... from dumb awards to the Top 25 best matches of 2016 to check out. Please feel free to comment in the thread and start discussions with us, we won't bite.

With that being said... let's start!

Wrestling Thread Moment of the Year™ - Matt Hardy Fucking Up Jeff Hardy’s Yard

Previous Winners: 2015 - Shoot Dragon | 2014 - The Hemme Hole

(written by @turboman)

The Wrestling Thread Moment of the Year just might be the most prestigious award that this little thread offers every year. In the first year we documented the night where EVERYTHING CHANGED when Christy Hemme escaped a steel cage through the cut out hole on the side of the cage for cameras to use (thus effectively calling it the “Hemme Hole” from then on). Last year it was given to the moment where Lucha Underground turned from “Solid showcase of today’s lucha talent” into a show where morphing into an actual dragon was possible.

This year, it features the masterpiece that was “The Final Deletion”. TNA is a company with no money left. It’s hard for them to shoot TV when they have to rent out a building, bring in and pay a bunch of wrestlers, pay their TV staff, and put on a show in front of zero paying customers. So instead of doing that, they sent some cameras up to Matt & Jeff Hardy’s house and hoped for the best.

The segment begins with Maxel Hardy’s first birthday. Matt Hardy has one gift to give to Son, and that is to restore honor to the Hardy name by “Deleting” Jeff Hardy. We then cut to an overhead shot of Jeff Hardy’s house (which is next door to Matt Hardy’s house, mind you). Jeff Hardy is just finishing working on his yard. You can tell that Jeff Hardy treats his yard like it is a work of art, cutting out designs similar to all of his imagery on his merchandise and tattoos. You can tell that Jeff Hardy must spend hours working on this yard every week. It must mean a lot to him that this yard is cut with this much attention to detail. Jeff Hardy decides after a long hard day of work, he goes inside and takes a load off by playing his acoustic guitar. Today is a great day for Jeff Hardy.

Matt Hardy then sends a small army of drone robots to Jeff Hardy’s house. The main drone sends a message to Jeff Hardy challenging him to a fight on the property line that night. Jeff immediately tries to take the drones down by swinging his guitar at them, but one gets away. Jeff Hardy tries to chase down this annoying drone on his motorbike. But it was all a trap… a ruse… a diversion!

While Jeff Hardy is away from the house chasing down the drone, Matt Hardy drives up to Jeff Hardy’s house on his own lawnmower with very evil intent in mind. Matt Hardy proceeds to drive straight through the middle of Jeff Hardy’s lawn, ruining everything that Jeff Hardy had put work into for the day. The sense of satisfaction on Matt’s face as his diabolical plan works out is flat out hilarious.

And thus, this set up a fight to the death between the two Hardy brothers which featured a lot more dumb shit. This skit was extremely successful (very briefly) for TNA, and really revitalized Matt & Jeff Hardy for the rest of the year. We live in a backwards world now where the hottest fued in ROH is The Hardy Brothers vs. The Young Bucks and at every WWE show during a bad segment the audience is chanting “DELETE” like we live in the Roman Empire or something (no pun intended).

Runners Up: The Legendary Asshole of Jushin Liger, Glorious Bombs, Teijo Khan, Glow In The Dark Nunchuck Bathroom Fight

Weekly Show of the Year - Cruiserweight Classic (WWE Network)

Previous Winners: 2015 - Lucha Underground | 2014 - NXT

(Written by @drdarkstryfe)

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In February 2014, the WWE announced the creation of the WWE Network. Through this ambitious streaming service, the WWE had goals to provide an incredible amount of content to the wrestling fan of the 2000’s; consumers that are “cutting the cord” in favor of on-demand content services like Netflix. While the biggest selling point of the Network was access to WWE’s monthly PPV’s for only $9.99, there was also promise in original programming that would only appear on the Network.

The Cruiserweight Classic is the result of that promise of Network exclusive content.

Announced in June, the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC) would feature 32 of some of the best talent in the world that weighed at/under 205 lbs.The initial announcement from WWE contained a who’s who of not just some of the best cruiserweights in the world, but some of the pound for pound best performers in the industry today. Stars from independent promotions including Kota Ibushi, Rick Swann, Zack Sabre Jr and Akira Tozawa joined current and former WWE superstars like Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Tajiri, and Brian Kendrick.

The 32 man, single elimination tournament, played out over the course of four months with a weekly show that aired on the WWE Network on Wednesday. Unlike most of WWE’s live programming, this was simply a competition of the best in the world applying their trade without the baggage of a story written in a writers room. Personalities were allowed to shine as wrestlers like Jack Gallagher and Cedric Alexander became household names, and international stars were given their first, big, North American exposure.

Complementing the weekly show was a two man announce team with Mauro Ranallo doing play-by-play, Daniel Bryan providing color commentary, and Corey Graves in front of a green screen. Mauro and Bryan did an outstanding job giving the event a voice and drove home the importance of the event.

The event was considered a huge success. The cruiserweights were slotted into Monday Night Raw on the main roster, given their Network exclusive show, and the Cruiserweight title has been defended at every Raw brand PPV since its introduction. The WWE is also looking into having a similar tournament for women sometime in 2017.

Runners up - Talking Smack (WWE Network), Lucha Underground (El Rey Network), CMLL Super Friday (CMLL YouTube), NXT (WWE Network)

Show of the Year - Battle of Los Angeles Night 2

Previous Winners: 2015 - Ultima Lucha (LU)

(Written by @ht101)

PWG is an American based independent promotion based in Reseda California. This promotion is very much a fan friendly promotion. The shows take place in a super small American Legion Hall that is hot, stinky and very cramped. You would think that the fans would be surly, shitty and some of the worst in the country. That is not the case. Whenever you talk with someone who has gone to a PWG show, they talk about how nice the fans are, what a great experience is and how you are a part of a wrestling family.

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Night 2 of the 2015 BOLA was one of the honorable mentions last year and this year, Night 2 came through and blew all of us away. The tournament matches were all solid to great. Some of the stand out matches were the opener between Dalton Castle and Tommaso Ciampa which was a comedy match at times but it also was an excellent way to warm up the crowd with Ciampa pulling out random WWE finishers to get some heat. While science says the best tournament match of the night was Cedric Alexander/Mark Haskins, I loved Kyle O’Reilly/Matt Riddle more. That match had an amazing slow burn that showed how much O’Reilly hates feet and hands and how Riddle is going to be a humongous star in the future. Both guys went all out and brought the crowd into the match with them.

The reason this show was the best of the year though was because of the two tag team matches that night. The first tag match was between Pentagon Jr/Fenix and Chris Hero/Tommy End. Everyone in the match was at their best and it showed throughout the match. The biggest and most insane spot was when Fenix jumped onto his brothers shoulders and then backflipped off of them onto Hero and End outside of the ring. The main event of the night was the best match of the night as well. We saw Ricochet, Will Ospreay and Matt Sydal take on Adam Cole and The Young Bucks. This match is what a young child would say their ideal wrestling match would be. It’s people flying around, doing insane moves and making the crowd and announcers freak out. There are so many moments that make this match amazing but here is the best one. The biggest and coolest move was when the Young Bucks went for a Meltzer Driver but Ospreay countered it into one of the best cutters I have ever seen then Sydal and Ricochet hit a no big deal Shooting Star Press Meltzer Driver.

For a show to be the best of the year, you need to have matches that you care about, matches that pull you in when you don’t think they’ll be good and matches that blow you away with how great they are. Battle of Los Angeles Night 2 had all of those things and more. Buy this Blu Ray from PWG’s website and see why it’s the best of the year.

Runner Ups: G1 Climax Night 17, NXT Takeover: Dallas, ROH Final Battle, Wrestle Kingdom 1

Breakout / Rookie Of The Year - Jeff Cobb / Matanza Cueto

Previous Winners: 2015 - Chad Gable | 2014 - Alexa Bliss

(Written by @turboman)

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The first season of Lucha Underground featured a year long build of Dario Cueto’s brother, Matanza Cueto. Matanza was a monster who was locked in a cage, and whenever Dario needed to murder any of his wrestlers he would feed them to his Brother. It was (like a lot of Lucha Underground) extremely whacky, but it did help make you imagine what this guy could possibly look like and wonder how he would fit in to the rest of the show. Was he over seven feet tall? If he was as big as you would imagine, how would it be entertaining watching him fight with luchadores who were known for their acrobatics?

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In the 20 man Aztec Warfare match, Matanza Cueto made his debut as the surprise entrant at #21. The man himself is only 5’9”, but he is built like a tank and was able to show off his complete moveset which featured many different types of suplexes and was able to throw around the smaller Luchadores as if they weighed nothing. Matanza won the Lucha Underground Championship on the night of his debut and he continued to hold the title for the remainder of the second season. It was an incredibly effective debut for a new wrestler that made for a great first impression.

It only took a few months after the initial exposure of Matanza before we started to see more of Jeff Cobb. Cobb represented Guam in the 2004 Olympics in amateur wrestling, so him mixing his amateur wrestling abilities and using his size is always extremely fun to watch. By the end of 2016 Jeff Cobb is being featured frequently on popular independent promotions PWG, Evolve, and RPW along with being signed to a contract for Lucha Underground. After his first year it’s easy to see that he is going to be a big name in wrestling for years to come.

Runners Up: Jack Gallagher, Matt Riddle, No Way Jose, James Ellsworth

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