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.
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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.