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AS I SEE IT 1/15: AS I SEE IT 2017 year-end awards

AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

It’s 2018, and
time for the 21st annual AS I SEE IT Year-End Review.

2017 PROMOTION OF THE YEAR

New Japan Pro Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling gave fans countless candidates for
Matches of The Year, including the entire trilogy of Kenny
Omega-Kazuchika Okada, matches featuring Tetsuya Naito and
Los Ingobernables de Japon, Minoru Suzuki and Suzuki-Gun,
the adventures of the Bullet Club, the brutal G1 Climax
tournament, and far, far more.

New Japan ran two nights in Long Beach, CA on July 1-2 to
create a United States Championship, with the July 1 show
airing live giving AXS TV get the best viewership in the
station’s history.

The year saw the adventures of the Bullet Club, including a
merchandising effort by The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega that
saw their merchandise selling at US chain Hot Topix and
become the single largest item in the store…not just
wrestling item, but overall item in the entire store.

2016 winner: New Japan Pro Wrestling
2015 winner: New Japan Pro Wrestling
2014 winner: NXT
2013 winner: WWE
2012 winner: WWE
2011 winner: WWE
2010 winner: Ring of Honor
2009 winner: WWE
2008 winner: Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Ring of Honor
2005 winner: Ring of Honor
2004 winner: Ring of Honor
2003 winner: Ring of Honor
2002 winner: Ring of Honor
2001 winner: WWF
2000 winner: WWF
1999 winner: WWF
1998 winner: WWF
1997 winner: WCW

2017 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:

Kazuchika Okada, New Japan Pro Wrestling

On January 4, Kazuchika Okada started his year by defending
the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kenny Omega at
Wrestle Kingdom 11 in the longest match in the history of
NJPW’s Tokyo Dome shows. He defended it throughout 2017 in
matches against Minoru Suzuki, Katsuyori Shibata (in what
was the last great match of Shibata’s career), Bad Luck
Fale, another classic against Omega at NJPW Dominion, and a
third classic against Omega at G1 Climax.

2016 winner: AJ Styles, WWE
2015 winner: Kazuchika Okada, New Japan Pro Wrestling
2014 winner: Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), WWE
2013 winner: Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), WWE
2012 winner: CM Punk, WWE
2011 winner CM Punk, WWE
2010 winner: Bryan Danielson (aka “Daniel Bryan”), Dragon
Gate USA/EVOLVE/ independent/ WWE
2009 winner: Chris Jericho, WWE
2008 winner: Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Bryan Danielson, Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling
NOAH/Full Impact Pro
2005 winner: Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor/TNA/independent
2004 winner: Chris Benoit, WWE
2003 winner: AJ Styles, NWA-TNA/ROH/Zero-One/independent
2002 winner: Kurt Angle, WWE
2001 winner: Chris Jericho, WWF
2000 winner: HHH, WWF
1999 winner: Chris Benoit, WWF
1998 winner: Steve Austin, WWF
1997 winner: Eddie Guerrero, WCW

2017 WORST WRESTLER OF THE YEAR:

James Ellsworth

Fifteen minutes of fame, which no decent indy fan begrudges
any independent worker, (and promoter of the Maryland based
Adrenaline Championship Wrestling from getting out of WWE)
extended into 14 months of being a one-note joke as a
character. A fairly well-paid joke of a character, but a
joke nonetheless.

2016 “winner”: James Ellsworth, WWE
2015 “winner”: Eva Marie, WWE
2014 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2013 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2012 “winner”: Brodus Clay, WWE
2011 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2010 “winner”: Lacey Von Erich, TNA
2009 “winner”: The Great Khali, WWE
2008 “winner”: The Great Khali , WWE
2007 “winner”: Adam “Pacman” Jones, TNA
2006 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2005 “winner”: Boogeyman, WWE
2004 “winner”: Heidenreich, WWE
2003 “winner”: Nathan Jones, WWE
2002 “winner”: Shane Douglas, Major League Wrestling/XPW
2001 “winner”: Buff Bagwell, WCW/WWF/independent
2000 “winner”: Kevin Nash, WCW
1999 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW
1998 “winner”: Giant Silva, WWF
1997 “winner”: Hulk Hogan, WCW

2017 TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR:

War Machine ([Warbeard] Hanson and Raymond Rowe), New
Japan/Ring of Honor/What Culture Pro-Defiant Wrestling

War Machine gave the most consistent performance over 2017
across multiple promotions, with 2 New Japan Pro
Wrestling/IWGP TAG Title reigns, 1 title with What
Culture/Defiant Wrestling.

2016 winner: reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish), New
Japan/Ring of Honor/PWG
2015 winner: reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish), Ring
of Honor
2014 winner: (American) Wolves, TNA Impact
Wrestling/independent
2013 winner: Cody Rhodes and Dustin “Goldust” Runnels, WWE
2012 winner: The Briscoe Brothers, ROH
2011 winner: The Briscoe Brothers, ROH
2010 winner: Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero/Claudio
Castagnoli), Pro Wrestling NOAH/Ring of Honor/Pro Wrestling
Guerrilla/CHIKARA
2009 winner: American Wolves (Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards),
Ring of Honor
2008 winner: Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin (Motor City Machine
Guns), TNA/Ring of Honor
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, Ring of Honor
2005 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James
Storm), NWA-TNA
2004 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James
Storm), NWA-TNA
2003 winner: America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James
Storm), NWA-TNA
2002 winner: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, WWE
2001 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
2000 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1999 winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy, WWF
1998 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW
1997 winner: Sabu/Rob Van Dam, ECW

2017 ANGLE/STORYLINE/FEUD OF THE YEAR:

New Day/Usos, WWE and Kenny Omega/Kazuchika Okada, New Japan
Pro Wrestling

Two different storylines. One as entertaining as hell with
matches that featured surprising workrate (given that much
of it was on WWE TV), so much so that even the heel Usos
acknowledged as much on air in a promo. The other saw
wrestling fans around the three of the best matches of the
year, matches of a quality and notice that even brought in
the most casual/WWE wrestling fans to seek them out online
through any source they could, whether NJPW or other
streaming sources.

Honorable mention goes to the year-long feud of The Young
Bucks vs. WWE (aka “Cease and Desist”) that included an
“invasion” of WWE in San Antonio, TX on September 25 that
saw Jimmy Jacobs become collateral damage.

2016 winner: Broken Matt Hardy, TNA/Impact
2015 winner: Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
2014 winner: Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority…and WWE booking.
2013 winner: Daniel Bryan vs. HHH/McMahons
2012 winner: The Rock-John Cena.
2011 winner: CM Punk vs. WWE
2010 winner: Kevin Steen vs. El Generico, Ring of Honor
2009 winner: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy, WWE
2008 winner: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2007 winner: Mark and Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen and El
Generico, Ring of Honor
2006 winner: CZW-Ring of Honor, CZW and ROH
2005 winner: Batista vs. HHH, WWE
2004 winner: Chris Benoit vs. HHH vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
2003 winner: Danny Maff “retirement angle”, Jersey All Pro
Wrestling, September 27, 2003, Rahway, NJ
2002 winner: AJ Styles-Jerry Lynn, NWA-TNA/Ring of Honor
2001 winner: ECW turns on WWF, July 9, 2001, Phillips Arena,
Atlanta, WWE
2000 winner: The Stephanie McMahon-Vince McMahon-Shane
McMahon-HHH-Kurt Angle soap opera, WWE
1999 winner: Test (Andrew Martin)-HHH-Stephanie McMahon
wedding angle, WWF
1998 winner: Vince McMahon as heel promoter versus Steve
Austin, WWF
1997 winner: nWo-WCW angle

2017 WORST/MOST TASTELESS ANGLE OF THE YEAR

Jinder Mahal racial promos on Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE

Promotions using racism to get heel heat went out years ago.
There’s a good reason it isn’t done anymore. For a company
that constantly reminds us that they have to be PG because
of their advertisers, the Mahal promos were indefensible;
with the worst on the September 21 Smackdown, including a
Mahal crack that Nakamura “always ‘rooks’ the same” and
referring to him as “Mr. Miyagi”. It was racist enough that
even the Oakland live crowd audibly started chanting “that’s
too far”.

WWE’s lame response to the heat they got? “Just like many
other TV shows or movies, WWE creates programming with
fictional personalities that incorporates real world issues
and sensitive subjects.” Translation: “the character Jinder
Mahal said these things to get heel heat. Too bad if you
didn’t like it.”

2016 “winner” Enzo Amore and Lana, with babyface Enzo
“naked” in Lana’s hotel room coming on to her.
2015 “winner”: Paige-Charlotte (Ashley) Flair angle
involving Reid Flair and his drug addiction death.
2014 “winner”: WWE having Lana and Alexander Rusev Malaysia
Airlines flight MH17 promo
2013 “winner”: Dixie Carter as heel TNA owner.
2012 “winner”: A tie between the 2012 Linda McMahon campaign
and the use of Jerry Lawler’s heart attack
2011 “winner”: Michael Cole using real-life death of Jerry
Lawler’s mother as storyline fodder
2010 “winner”: “Stand Up For WWE”
2009 “winner”: John Bradshaw Layfield “hires” Shawn Michaels
because Michaels has “lost his money in bad investments”,
WWE.
2008 “winner”: Jeff Hardy’s implied pre-show drug
overdose…er…”mugging”, Survivor Series, WWE
2007 “winner”: The “death” of “Mister McMahon”, WWE
2006 “winner” The “Eddie Guerrero storyline”…in all its
forms, WWE
2005 “winner”: Jim Ross proctology skit and Tim White
“suicide” sketches, WWE
2004 “winner”: Lita/Kane/Matt Hardy pregnancy/miscarriage
angle
2003 “winner”: Vince-Stephanie McMahon angle for “control of
Smackdown” and father-daughter No Mercy match WWE
2002 “winner”: Katie Vick angle, WWF/E
2001 “winner”: Vince McMahon “Kiss My Ass” angle, Monday
Night RAW, November 19, 26, and 28, WWF
2000 “winner”: Stacey Keibler-David Flair and Mark Henry-Mae
Young “pregnancy angles”, WWF
1999 “winner”: The Paul Wight/Big Bossman “cancer angle”,
WWF
1998 “winner”: Ric Flair “heart attack” angle and the
Hawk/Scott Hall drug angles, WCW/WWF
1997 “winner”: DeGenerationX/Nation of Domination “racial
angle”, WWF

2017 MATCH OF THE YEAR:

Japan/Independent – Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega, New
Japan Pro Wrestling, NJPW Dominion, June 11, 2017, Osaka Jo
Hall, Osaka, Japan

This was a sequel to the match that many will call their
Match of the Year, with Dave Meltzer calling it “… one of
the greatest pro wrestling matches of all-time, [then] an
even better sequel”, comparing it to the previous match at
Wrestle Kingdom XI, and the classic June 1994 Mitsuhara
Misawa-Toshiaki Kawada match as the best wrestling matches
he had seen in his life. The combination of sheer workrate,
daring, the unfolding of the continuing storyline, and the
execution of the match make this one the top.

WWE – AJ Styles vs. John Cena, WWE Royal Rumble, January 29,
2017, San Antonio, TX

A match that featured what John Layfield called “Big Match
John Cena” married to the consistent excellence of AJ Styles
and the atmopshere of a Royal Rumble PPV; as both Cena and
Styles traded finisher after finisher at a incredible pace
that surprised many who constantly rip John Cena’s “Five
Moves of Doom”.

2016: WWE/NXT Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe, NXT
Championship, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, August 24, 2016,
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY and Independent/Japan
– Shinsuke Nakamura-AJ Styles, IWGP Intercontinental
Championship match, Wrestle Kingdom 10, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo,
Japan, January 4, 2016
2015 winners: WWE- Sasha Banks-Bayley, Iron Woman match,
Full Sail University, NXT Takeover: Respect, Orlando, FL,
October 7, 2015
Independent/Japan- Hiroshi Tanahashi-Kazuchika Okada,
Wrestle Kingdom 9, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2015
2014 winners: WWE: Brock Lesnar-Undertaker, Wrestlemania 30,
April 6, 2014, New Orleans, LA; TNA: The Wolves (Davey
Richards/Eddie Edwards) vs. Team 3D vs. The Hardys, Full
Metal Mayhem (airdate October 8) ; Lucha: Ultimo Guerrero
vs. Atlantis, CMLL Anniversario 81, September 19, 2014
2013 winner: WWE: Undertaker-CM Punk, Wrestlemania 29,
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
2012 winners: WWE: Hell In A Cell The Undertaker- Triple H;
WWE WrestleMania 28, Miami, FL April 1, 2012; Independent:
ROH Showdown in the Sun/Day 2 Davey Richards Michael Elgin,
March 31, 2012
2011 winners: WWE: CM Punk vs. John Cena, WWE Money In The
Bank, Chicago, IL, July 17, 2011; Independent: Mike
Quackenbush- Eddie Kingston, CHIKARA Pro Wrestling, ECW
Arena, November 20, 2011
2010 winners: WWE: Undertaker- Shawn Michaels, WWE
WrestleMania 26, March 28, 2010; Independent: Bryan
Danielson vs. SHINGO, Dragon Gate USA, July 24, 2010.
2009 winners: (WWE)- Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE
WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston, TX; (Independent)
Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino vs. SHINGO/Dragon Kid, Dragon Gate
USA Open The Freedom Gate, November 28, 2009, ECW Arena,
Philadelphia, PA
2008 winners: (WWE) Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels,
WrestleMania 24, Orlando, FL, March 30, 2008; (Independent)
Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino/Genki Horiguchi-CIMA/Dragon
Kid/Ryo Saito Supercard of Honor III, Orlando, FL, March 29,
2008
2007 winners: WWE: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE Monday
Night RAW, London, England, April 23, 2008; Independent:
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Ring of Honor, June 9,
2008, Philadelphia, PA
2006 winners: WWE: Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. Steven
Regal/ David Taylor vs. Hardys vs. MNM, Ladder match for the
world tag team titles, WWE Armageddon; Independent:
“American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA, Glory By Honor
V, New York, NY, September 16, 2006 and CZW/ROH Cage of
Death War Games/The Match Beyond match; with Necro Butcher,
Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb, Eddie Kingston
vs. Samoa Joe, BJ Whitmer, “American Dragon” Bryan
Danielson, Adam Pearce, Ace Steele, and Homicide.
2005 winners: WWE: Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania
XXI Los Angeles, CA, April 3, 2005, Independent: Samoa Joe-
Kenta Kobashi, New York, NY, October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Triple H-Chris Benoit-Shawn Michaels,
WWE, Wrestlemania XX, March 14,
2004, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: CM
Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, June 12, 2004, Dayton, Ohio
and CM Punk-Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, October 16, 2004,
Chicago Ridge, IL (tie)
2003 winners: WWE: Chris Benoit-Kurt Angle, WWE Royal Rumble
2003, Boston, MA January 19, 2003; Independent: Steve
Corino-Homicide, Ring of Honor, “Bitter Friends, Stiffer
Enemies” Fairfield, CT, August 16th, 2003, NWA-TNA:
America’s Most Wanted-XXX (Christopher Daniels/Elix Skipper)
steel cage match, Nashville, TN, June 25, 2003
2002 winners: WWE: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle/Chris
Benoit, No Mercy, Little Rock, AK, October 20, 2002;
Independent: Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Spanky vs.
Doug Williams – 60 minute Iron Man Match, Ring of Honor,
Philadelphia, PA, July 27, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs.
Dudley Boyz – Tables, Ladders and Chairs II – WrestleMania
X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston, TX, April 1, 2001; Independent:
Christopher Daniels vs. Low Ki vs. Scoot Andrews vs.
American Dragon, East Coast Wrestling Association,
Wilmington, DE, September 22, 2001
2000 winners: WCW: Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett, “Bash At The
Beach”, Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL, June 9, 2000; WWF:
“Tables, Ladders and Chairs” Match – Matt/Jeff Hardy vs.
Dudley Boyz vs. Edge/Christian, SummerSlam, Raleigh, NC,
August 27, 2000. ECW: Psicosis-Yoshihiro Tajiri, ECW Arena,
Philadelphia, PA, August 19, 2000
1999 winners: WCW: Chris Benoit-Bret Hart, Monday Nitro,
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, October, 1999; WWF: Matt/Jeff
Hardy-Edge/Christian, Tag Team Ladder Match, “No Mercy”,
Cleveland, OH, October 17, 1999; ECW: Rob Van Dam/Jerry
Lynn, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA, August 28, 1999.
1998 winners: WCW: Chris Jericho/Eddie Guerrero-Chris
Benoit/Dean Malenko, November 29th, Knoxville Civic
Coliseum; WWF: Mankind (Mick Foley)-Undertaker Hell in a
Cell Match “King of the Ring” PPV, June 28, 1998; ECW: Jerry
Lynn-Rob Van Dam, August 8, 1998, ECW Arena
1997 winners: WCW: Rey Mysterio, Jr.- Eddie Guerrero, WCW
“Halloween Havoc” PPV, 10/27/97, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las
Vegas, NV; WWF: Shawn Michaels-Undertaker, “In Your House:
Badd Blood” PPV, 10/5/97, Kiel Center, St. Louis, MO; ECW:
Great Sasuke/Gran Hamada/Masato Yakushiji-TAKA
Michinoku/Dick Togo/Terry Boy, “Barely Legal” PPV, 4/13/97,
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA

2017 CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:

Wrestle Kingdom 11, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan, January 4,
2017

An event that featured the instant classic between Kenny
Omega and Kazuchika Okada, but also saw Tetsuya Naito
defend the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto defeat Katsuyori Shibata to
become NEVER Openweight Champion, and Hiromu Takahashi
defeat Kushida to become the IWGP Junior Heavyweight
Champion. It also saw the Ring of Honor World Championship
change hands with Adam Cole defeating Kyle O’Reilly to
become champion.

The match got added exposure on AXS TV as matches were shown
over a period of weeks, including Okada-Omega I as a one
match, one hour show on the channel; and helped drive
attention to New Japan Pro Wrestling among US wrestling
fans.

2016 winner: Wrestle Kingdom 10, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan,
January 4, 2016
2015 winner: Wrestle Kingdom 9, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan,
January 4, 2015
2014 winner: Wrestlemania 30, April 6, 2014, New Orleans, LA
2013 winner: WWE Wrestlemania 29, MetLife Stadium, East
Rutherford, NJ
2012 winner: WWE WrestleMania 28, Sun Life Stadium, Miami
Gardens, FL April 1, 2012-
2011 winners: WWE: WWE Money in the Bank 2011 – Allstate
Arena; Chicago, IL July 17, 2011; Independent: CHIKARA King
of Trios 2011/Night One, April 15, 2011, ECW Arena
2010 winners WWE: Wrestlemania 26, March 28, 2010, Glendale,
AZ; Independent: Dragon Gate USA, Enter The Dragon, July 24,
2010 (aired on PPV on September 10)
2009 winners: WWE WrestleMania 25, April 5, 2009, Houston,
TX, Independent- Dragon Gate USA “Open The Historic Gate”,
July 25, 2009, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA (aired on PPV as
“Enter the Dragon” on September 4)
2008 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIV
2007 winner: WWE WrestleMania XXIII
2006 winners: WWE: WWE WrestleMania XXII, April 2, 2008,
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois; Independent: Glory by
Honor V Night 2, Manhattan Center, New York, NY, September
16, 2008
2005 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XXI Los Angeles, CA, April
3, 2005, Ring of Honor, “Joe vs. Kobashi”, New York, NY,
October 1, 2005
2004 winners: WWE: Wrestlemania XX, March 14, 2004, Madison
Square Garden, New York, NY; Independent: At Our Best, Ring
of Honor, March 13, 2004, Rex Plex, Elizabeth, NJ
2003 winners: WWE: WWE Wrestlemania XIX, Safeco Field,
Seattle, WA, March 30, 2003; Independent: All Japan/Ring of
Honor Final Battle 2003, Philadelphia, PA December 27, 2003;
NWA-TNA: NWA- TNA Super X Cup, Nashville Fairgrounds,
Nashville, TN, September 3, 2003 (taped August 20 and 27,
1993)
2002 winners: WWE: WWE Summer Slam 2002, Fleet Center,
Boston, MA, August 25, 2002, Independent: Ring of Honor
“Road To The Title” Philadelphia, PA, June 22, 2002
2001 winners: WWF: WrestleMania X-Seven, AstroDome, Houston,
TX, April 1, 2001, Independent: 2001 Super Eight tournament,
ECWA, St. Matthew’s Parish Hall, Wilmington, DE February 24,
2001
2000 winner: WWF “Fully Loaded”, Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX,
July 23, 2000
1999 winner: ECW “Anarchy Rulz”, ECW, Odeum Sports and
Exposition Center, Villa Park, IL, September 19, 1999
1998 winner: WWF “Survivor Series”, St. Louis, MO, Keil
Center, November 15, 1998
1997 winner: ECW “Barely Legal”, ECW Arena, Philadelphia,
PA, April 13, 1997

2017 WORST CARD/PPV OF THE YEAR:

WWE Battleground, July 23, 2017, Wells Fargo Center,
Philadelphia, PA

The Punjabi Prison Match. ‘Nuff said.

Plus an AJ Styles-Kevin Owens match that wasn’t good. John
Cena and Rusev clashed in a flag match that was so boring
it put Ben Askren to sleep (ask your MMA fan friends if you
don’t get it). Plus…in WWE’s infinite wisdom, the one good
match on the show The Usos vs. The New Day…was put on the
pre-show.

2016 “winner” WWE Fastlane, February 21, 2016, Quicken Loans
Arena, Cleveland, OH
2015 “winner”: TNA Slamiversary, Impact Zone, Orlando, FL,
June 28, 2015
2014 “winner”: WWE Battleground, July 20, 2014, Tampa, FL
2013 “winner”: WWE Battleground
2012 “winner”: WWE Over The Limit PPV, PNC Arena, Raleigh,
NC, May 20, 2012.
2011 “winner”: TNA Victory Road 2011, March 13, Orlando, FL
2010 “winner”: TNA Turning Point 2010, November 7, Orlando,
FL
2009 “winner”: TNA Victory Road 2009, July 19, 2009,
Orlando, FL
2008 “winner”: WWE Cyber Sunday, October 26, 2008, Phoenix,
AZ
2007 “winner”: TNA Turning Point 2007, December 2, 2007
2006 “winner”: WWECW December to Dismember, Augusta, GA,
December 4, 2006, WWE
2005 “winner”: WWE Armageddon PPV, Providence, RI, December
18, 2005, WWE
2004 “winner”: WWE “Great American Bash”, Norfolk, VA, The
Scope, June 27, 2004.
2003 “winner:” WWE No Mercy, Baltimore, MD, October 19, 2003
2002 “winner”: World Wrestling All-Stars Eruption,
Melbourne, Australia, April 13, 2002
2001 “winner”: WCW “Sin”, January 14, 2001, Indianapolis,
IN.
2000 “winner”: WCW Slamboree, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO,
May 7, 2000
1999 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1999
1998 “winner”: WCW Fall Brawl 1998
1997 “winner”: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1997, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2017 BEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:

New Japan Pro Wrestling “World Pro Wrestling”, AXS TV

Any TV show that gives me in one year the entire trilogy of
Kenny Omega- Kazuchika Okada matches, the adventures of
Tetsuya Naito and Los Ingobernables de Japon, the G1 Climax
tournament, Minoru Suzuki’s creative methods of torturing a
human being within a wrestling match, and a whole lot
more…wins my vote.

2016 winner: New Japan Pro Wrestling “World Pro Wrestling”,
AXS TV
2015 winner: New Japan Pro Wrestling “World Pro Wrestling”,
AXS TV
2014 winner: NXT
2013 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network – By default
2012 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2011 winner: ROH on HDNet, HDNet/Ring of Honor on Sinclair
2010 winner: ROH on HDNet, HDNet
2009 winner: WWE Smackdown, WWE
2008 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2007 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
2006 winner: TNA Impact, TNA, Spike TV
2005 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY
(airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2004 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY
(airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2003 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY
(airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2002 winner: Ohio Valley Wrestling, WBKI 34, Louisville, KY
(airing in southern Indiana and central Kentucky)
2001 winner: Monday Night RAW, TNN
2000 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network and TNN
1999 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1998 winner: Monday Night RAW, USA Network
1997 winner: Monday Nitro, Turner Network Television

2017 WORST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR:

Impact/Global Force Wrestling, Anthem.

The perpetual winner of this award, TNA/Impact/Global Force
saw multiple reboots in 2017, going from being renamed TNA
to Global Force Wrestling to Impact Wrestling in a four
month period, and story lines and characters being abruptly
shifted each time; all while spending more time fighting
with Matt Hardy than trying to create any continuity for
their TV.

2016 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2015 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2014 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2013 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2012 “winner”: TNA Impact , TNA
2011 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2010 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2009 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2008 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2007 “winner”: TNA Impact, TNA
2006 “winner”: WWECW, Sci-Fi Network
2005 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2004 “winner”: WWE Smackdown, WWE/UPN
2003 “winner”: The Wrestling Federation (yep, that was
actually their name) aired in Philadelphia, southeastern
Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern New Jersey on WGTW Channel
48
2002 “winner”: WXW Rage TV – aired in Philadelphia,
northeastern Pennsylvania, north central New Jersey, and
syndicated in parts of American Samoa, Virginia, North
Carolina, and Florida.
2001 “winner”: Monday Nitro, WCW, TNT
2000 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1999 “winner”: Monday Nitro, TNT
1998 “winner”: Music City Wrestling TV
1997 “winner”: USWA Television, USWA

2017 ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR

Jim Ross and Josh Barnett, New Japan Pro Wrestling “World
Pro Wrestling”, AXS TV

The two went through 2017 with incredible action to cover
all year with their announcing mix of humor, history,and
calling match action, including the first live American TV
special featuring New Japan Pro Wrestling. The year did
feature the controversy involving the call of the live
special that saw at least some think Jim Ross had been a
pawn of a battle between NJPW (who wanted the NJPW World
team of Kevin Kelly and Don Callis to cal the event and AXS
who insisted on Ross and Barnett doping the call).

2016 winner: Jim Ross and Josh Barnett, New Japan Pro
Wrestling “World Pro Wrestling”, AXS TV
2015 winner: Mauro Ranallo, New Japan Pro Wrestling “World
Pro Wrestling”, AXS TV
2014 winner: vacant
2013 winner: vacant
2012 winner: Jim Ross, WWE
2011 winner: Jim Ross, WWE
2010 winner: CM Punk, WWE
2009 winner: Jim Ross, Smackdown, WWE
2008 winner: Jim Ross, Monday Night RAW/Smackdown , WWE
2007 winner: Jim Ross, Monday Night RAW, WWE
2006 winner: Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
2005 winner: Mike Tenay, TNA Impact
2004 winner: Dan Wilson/Steven Prazak, NWA Wildside
2003 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2002 winner: Mike Tenay, NWA-TNA PPV/TNA Explosion
2001 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
2000 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1999 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1998 winner: Jim Ross, WWF
1997 winner: Mike Tenay, World Championship Wrestling

2017 WRESTLING NEWS STORIES OF THE YEAR

Ric Flair health scare, Mauro Ranallo/JBL bullying story,
wrestling sex videos, New Japan comes to US, Alberto El
Patron/Paige soap opera, growth of independent wrestling,
Kurt Angle return

2016 winners: AJ Styles debuting in the Royal Rumble,
‘Broken’ Matt Hardy, the surprise return of Shane McMahon to
WWE TV, WWE’s brand split, TNA’s issues and court battles
2015 winner: NXT growth and touring, women main eventing a
WWE major event for the first time; deaths of Roddy Piper
and Dusty Rhodes, Lucha Underground, numerous injuries to
WWE and New Japan major performers throughout year.
2014 stories: The WWE Network, Fans pushing Daniel Bryan
into the Wrestlemania main event, CM Punk walking out of
WWE, wrestling returning to the ECW (2300) Arena, the end
of the most well-known wrestling magazines…what we all
called “the Apter mags”, the Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero
build and mascara contra mascara match
2013 stories: “The Network”, TNA’s decline, the re-
construction of the ECW Arena, George “The Animal” Steele’s
biography, issues with Madison Square Garden, and WWE’s
“retirement” of Jim Ross.
2012 stories: ECW Arena closing, three-hour RAW, the non-
start of the WWE Network, and Ring of Honor’s problems
2011 stories: CM Punk vs. WWE; Sinclair Broadcasting
purchase of Ring of Honor; Zack Ryder uses social media to
get over; Randy Savage’s death ; Self destructive saga of
the Hardy Brothers; End of ECW Arena as it exists
2010 stories: Linda McMahon’s failed United States Senate
campaign, the consequent attacks on wrestling by politicians
and mainstream media for past storylines during the Attitude
Era, as well as steroid and other drug deaths were featured
all over maintream media during 2010…increased awareness
by WWE and TNA of the long-term effect of concussions
(including the possible effect they may have had in the
Benoit family tragedy)….with the retirement of Shawn
Michaels and Undertaker and HHH off of TV; WWE finally
started a long-overdue youth movement with major pushes for
The Miz, CM Punk, Sheamus, Bryan Danielson, and John
Morrison. TNA failed miserably at another attempt at Monday
Night Wars, getting clobbered in the ratings, before going
back quickly to their usual Thursday night taped program.
2009 stories: Congressional steroids report, Shane McMahon
resigns from WWE, “The Wrestler” , Death of Mitsuharu
Misawa, Linda McMahon Senate Campaign
2008 stories: Retirement of Ric Flair; Filming and high
profile of “The Wrestler”; Jeff Hardy finally gets WWE title
2007 story: Benoit family tragedy
2006 stories: The return and failure of “ECW”, TNA gaining
prime-time slot on Spike TV, WWE getting new
competition…from UFC
2005 stories: Deaths of Eddie Guerrero, Shinya Hashimoto,
and Chris Candido, WWE drug testing policy, WWE return to
USA, Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita real life and storyline triangle,
Jim Ross replaced as lead announcer on RAW, TNA move to
Spike TV, WWE and Bret Hart make peace
2004 stories: Brock Lesnar leaves WWE to try out for the
NFL, RF Video/Ring of Honor’s Rob Feinstein implication in a
pedophile sting, Pat Patterson retirement/resignation, TNA
Fox Sports Net slot
2003 stories: The epidemic of deaths within wrestling (many
of which involved past or current drug and alcohol use),
NWA-TNA survives for another year, continued problems with
WWE house show/TV taping business, controversial and active
Philadelphia independent scene
2002 stories: The WWF “brand extension”, dropping WWE house
show business, PTC forced to surrender, NWA-TNA,
Philadelphia independent wars
2001 stories: WWF purchase of WCW, ECW closes its doors, WCW
“Invasion angle” goes nowhere, WWF ratings and live
attendance drop
2000 stories: Mainstreaming of wrestling continues, WWF-ECW-
TNN-USA TV network roulette, WWF goes public, PTC censorship
attempts continue… but with organized efforts fighting
them, WCW set to lose as much as $80 million
1999 stories: Deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Hildebrand,
Foley’s “Have A Nice Day” goes to #1 on New York Times Best-
Seller List, WWF CD DEBUTS at number 4 on Billboard Chart,
ECW TV on TNN, Parents Television Council censorship
attempts
1998 stories: Changes in WWF product (making it more adult
in nature), ECW’s 1998 problems, Mainstream attention given
the wrestling business, Jesse Ventura’s election to
Governorship of Minnesota
1997 stories: Brian Pillman death, Bret Hart leaving
WWF/Title Change Doublecross

Until next time…

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