ZWrestleTalk's 2016 awards for the year in professional wrestling. Triple Z and ZWrestleTalk Writer Dom Bouchard decided the awards.
Superstar of the Year: AJ Styles
Runner Ups: Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe
The long time favorite from TNA and NJPW made the leap to WWE. AJ Styles is being treated like a big time star with victories over Dean Ambrose, John Cena, and Chris Jericho. Styles brought a different type of energy to WWE. It's also great to see a phenomenal talent being treated right. Styles started off the year as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble and ended the year as champion.
Entertainer of the Year: BROKEN Matt Hardy
Runner Up: Chris Jericho
This will be the only award given to a wrestler outside of WWE. I mean BROKEN Matt Hardy carried TNA during a really bad year. Hardy could also be consider TNA's only brightspot right now. Also the Hardy's are embarking on a feud with the Young Bucks which may lead to a Ring of Honor return for Matt and a Ring of Honor debut for Jeff. The runner up does deserve some praise. Chris Jericho truly reinvented himself this year. Jericho was very entertaining throughout the year. This decision was very tough but Hardy is carrying a whole brand on his shoulders.
Rivalry of the Year: AJ Styles VS John Cena
Runner Ups: DIY VS The Revival, Goldberg VS Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns VS Seth Rollins VS Dean Ambrose, The Miz VS Daniel Bryan.
The rivalry we never saw coming. The former face of TNA taking on John Cena. This wasn't the normal Cena rivalry. Styles got the best of Cena. I feel this rivalry was overlooked by many fans. Not realizing the importance of this feud. Most wrestling sites are putting "Sasha Banks VS Charlotte" as the rivalry of the year. I disagree with it. The feud felt force and uninspiring. It was just there to be there. Discussing the runner ups for this category. DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) and The Revival put on fantastic matches. Also attacking each other during NXT TV tapings. The rivalry was real and each match they had was a story.
When Goldberg returned to WWE I didn't know what to expect. I just knew I was giddy. Goldberg came back with agression and heart. His comeback promo gave me goosebumps and really cemented his feud with Lesnar. Even though it has only been one match. The rivalry was more exciting then most of the storylines this year and that truly says something. The underlying Shield rivalry is still great. Although I'm expecting a reunion tour coming soon. The Miz talking smack to Daniel Bryan wasn't a physical rivalry but it was sure an entertaining rivalry. Also elevated WWE Network's Talking Smack.
Tag Team of the Year: The New Day
Runner Ups: The Revival, DIY, American Alpha, Enzo and Cass.
I mean come on The New Day was the most exciting trio in all of pro wrestling. This year was the New Day's year. Breaking the old Demolition Tag Team record. The Resurgence of Tag Team wrestling in WWE was evident this year. It can only get better in 2017. The New Day had feuds with The Club, Sheamus and Cesaro, and the Wyatt Family.
PPV of the Year: Money in the Bank
Runner Ups: NXT TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn, NXT TakeOVer: Toronto, Survivor Series.
Money in the Bank was a great PPV. We had exciting matchups like Styles VS Cena, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Seth Rollins VS Roman Reigns, and the terrific cash in of Dean Ambrose. This was one of the very few good pay-per-views WWE put on this year.
Match of the Year: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Sami Zayn
Runner Ups: The Miz VS Cesaro VS Sami Zayn VS Kevin Owens, DIY VS The Revival.
It was Shinsuke Nakamura's debut match. It was hard-hitting action on both sides. The crowd was hot as ever. It was also a fantastic way to send Sami Zayn off. It was an outstanding contest and a big step for NXT. There could of been mutliple match of the year candidates and winners yet this match in particular stood out. Reason? It was just a solid, entertaining match.
Pop of the Year: Shane McMahon Returns
The incredible energy in Joe Louis Arena made this moment legendary. It deserves recognition as the fans truly wanted to see Shane McMahon return and they got what they want. It's a moment I remember watching live. Other then Goldberg winning there hasn't been a pop quite like this.
Surprise of the Year: The Miz
The Miz with the help of his wife Maryse regained "Main Event" status in 2016. Although The Miz wasn't competing for the major prize he elevated a title. The Miz has made the Intercontinental Championship prestigous again. The Miz is also a top compeititor on SmackDown Live. Earlier in the year he cut one of the most vicious promos to date against Daniel Bryan. The Miz reminded all of us how talented he is this year.
Cruiserweight of the Year: TJ Perkins
Another TNA success story. TJ Perkins was overlooked in TNA. (Yes I know, very shocking that TNA could bury any talent). Perkins went on to win the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and become WWE's new and improved Cruiserweight Champion. Although the Cruiserweight Division got off to a rocky start. TJ Perkins was the bright spot for the division. Losing the title seemed like a early blow but he will bounce back. TJ Perkins is the best Cruiserweight in WWE this year.
Female Superstar of the Year: Charlotte Flair
Runner Ups: Sasha Banks, Bayley, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss.
If you are a frequent reader here at zwrestletalk.com you would realize I'm not the biggest fan of Charlotte. Referring to her as the "Female Roman Reigns" multiple times. Even I have to admit she was the most dominant force in the Women's division this year. Here is how I determined Charlotte being the Female Superstar of the Year.
WWE Network Show of the Year: Cruiserweight Classic
Runner Ups: Legends with JBL, Unfiltered with Renee Young, NXT.
WWE went for a innovative idea in 2016. Doing a 32 man Cruiserweight tournament was a sucess. The fans loved every moment of it. The tournament also spurred the creation of the RAW Cruiserweight Division. It brought back a beloved style of wrestling. A highly-anticipated sequel to the CWC should be in development soon.
Well thanks for reading our ZWrestleTalk Awards post. 2016 was an exciting year for the website as we dropped the "weebly" out of our name. I promise that 2017 will be full of new and exciting things on the website. Keep reading and checking up on zwrestletalk.com.
Follow @TripleZ_87 and @ZWrestleTalk on Twitter.
Dom Bouchard recalls his experience from NXT Toronto and Survivor Series.
Last weekend I had the chance to travel to Toronto to see NXT TakeOver and Survivor Series. It was an absolute blast and me and my kids had the time of our lives, but this is besides the point I wanted to talk about.
When we got to the Air Canada Centre at 5:30 on Saturday, we had to wait outside for about an hour and already we could feel the adrenaline, the energy, and the enthusiasm of the crowd. The crowd was mostly guys in their mid- twenties up to their mid-forties. Not a lot of women, and mostly not a lot of kids. Mine were the only two besides a little girl from Saskatchewan in front of us. It was mostly a crowd of wrestling fans who talked with insider terms. I talked to everyone I could and most people were hardcore WWE fans who knew a lot about the Indies too.
We had chants of NXT and Nakamura outside the building. The energy was palpable and it was an experience by itself. Once we got inside the shirts and merchandise were selling out in record time. A lot of Nakamura shirts and Glorious too. The 12,000 plus crowd was electric and the opening match was absolutely amazing and so we're both the entrances of Bobby Roode and Tye Dillinger. The 10 chant is gonna be over big time now thanks to Toronto! The Revival and DIY put on a fantastic "Match of the Year" candidate. What a performance by Dash and Dawson! These two teams are the best in the world. The crowd was more than appreciative and "Match of the Year" chants echoed through the arena. The main event was amazing. Nakamura's entrance is the best in the business and his charisma is totally off the charts. What a wonderful card filled with action. Here I said it ACTION Wrestling.
This was a tremendously entertaining evening. Both my ten year old and fourteen year old appreciated it too and loved Nakamura, DIY, and Bobby Roode. The walk back to the hotel downtown was awesome. We talked to fans and everybody seemed happy about their evening.
Sunday we woke up early and we visited beautiful downtown Toronto and the CN tower. Later we ate at Boston Pizza getting ready for the big show.Inside the restaurant is had seven different people telling me they loved my King of strong style Nakamura shirt.And then I noticed again a lot of hardcore WWE fans.Then we walked to the arena 30 minutes before the doors opened at 6.And then it hit me.Like a train.Holy shit.This is a different world.Now I can tell you my kids were not the only kids in the crowd.There were as many kids and moms and dads that there were hardcore fans.Totally different vibe.Again I talked to a lot of people and many were seeing WWE filer the first time.A lot of people were excited to see Goldberg and Brock.Many hoped to see Taker o Edge.Once inside the arena the crowd was excited and it didn't show in the opening match.The crowd came alive later especially in the 5 on 5 Raw vs Smackdown match.Everyone was cheering the bad guys and booing Roman and Seth.The only faces who got great crowd responses were Shane and Enzo and Cass.Goldberg was over big time.But there is a particular moment that I will forever remember.During the raw vs Smackdown match as fans were booing Roman,me and my kids were screaming let's go Roman everytime and two men and a little boy next to me asked me why are they booing him? He said i haven't watched WWE I'm a while but last time I did Roman was very popular and he is a great athlete so why are the booing him?I took a good 20 seconds an then I said.You know why,like Bray Wyatt says a lot of people are followers and if someone boo they will boo not even knowing why or even caring why.So if we want to change it chant let's go Roman with me and you will see what I mean.He said you bet. Then we started chanting let's go Roman and a few econds later our whole section was chanting with us.It was a wonderful learning moment for me and my kids.The WWE and NXT are two totally worlds.Both are as amazing as the other but so different.At the end of Survivor Series the crowd was stunned speechless and even when they opened the lights most people stayed in shock.Both nights were memorable and totally different experiences.I can't wait to go back
Creator of ZWrestleTalk. This page I give you my thoughts on the current state of the WWE product. I look back at the history of WWE. Sometimes even predict the future. If your lucky you get comedic articles too.