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Wrestler of the year


tiger_rick

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Good thread in the MMA board (https://ukff.com/topic/137725-fighter-of-the-year/) got me thinking about this. Who's your wrestler of the year? There are a few weeks to go before WWE goes into hibernation for Xmas and New Year but unlikely to change anyone's perception at this point.

Up to SummerSlam, I probably would have said Roman Reigns. Taking the year as a whole though, mine is gonna have to be AJ Styles. His work on the mic and in the ring has been tremendous. He's had the best matches of the year with Reigns and Cena and good ones with Ambrose. He made Gallows and Anderson interesting for a while. He's had a cracking series with a job guy.

 

He's the best around at the moment. And he's a complete package I never envisioned as a possibility in a million years.

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Styles without question, I don't think anyone comes close. He's been superb in the ring- from his Wrestle Kingdom match against Nakamura to his WWE title matches, and as others constantly note his mic work has been so impressive.

 

Samoa Joe would probably be 2nd for me- he's been outstanding in NXT this year, like Styles in the ring and also on the mic. His promos have never been better, and his feuds with Balor, Nakamura and Regal range from very good to excellent.

 

Jericho probably 3rd for me. Reigns has been decent in-ring and I think he's improved outside of it as well, less cheesy that he has been, with a more 'don't give a shit' attitude after WrestleMania. Cena hasn't been around long enough to be considered, for the first time in god knows how long.

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Haven't caught much wrestling at all but from what I've seen and read, nobody's come close to Styles. He should be a runaway when it comes to voting time. Like Punky's said above, even his mic work has been superb which was always the part of his game that was lacking. People were surprised at how well Daniel Bryan and CM Punk did in the WWE system but give it another year or so and Styles could eclipse what either of those two did. 

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The improvements he's made on the microphone and as a character as a whole, AJ's been the man in WWE this year. If anyone remembers that first night on Raw, where they did that camera angle where Jericho looked 9 foot tall and they wouldnt let AJ even speak, things looked a bit shakey. It was like "oh fuck, they havent done anything to hide his weaknesses." Yet now he's an absolute star in the company. He's outshone Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose by a mile. He's really good on the mic and a bit of a prick as a character. Top man, who has earned everything he's gotten.

 

I'd have him work the Undertaker at Mania. I reckon that could be a absolute blinder, in the Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart ilk.

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Yeah, just reading the title only one name came to mind and that is AJ. In January he'd already busted out a MOTYC against Nakamura, was headed to WWE and people were as worried for him as they were excited. His Rumble debut will surely go down as one of the greats. A stunning and surreal moment. He loses the Jericho feud at Mania and everyone fears the worst, then he puts on  a hell of a programme with Reigns and an arguably even better one with Cena, delivering every time in the ring and showing his astonishing development as an all-rounder. Cena deserves credit for helping AJ become a made man even if it's the only major thing he does this year. Now Styles has an aura only Cena & Orton can match on Smackdown, and not very many match it on Raw either. Also, on the Club, AJ's presence will benefit Finn Balor tremendously at some point. There's an obvious story to tell there.

 

Naka & Joe have been great, as with others in NXT but NXT's an hour show that those guys don't even have to appear on each week. AJ's got Smackdown on his back.

 

So my second and third choices with that in mind are probably Charlotte - carrying the women's division to new levels, best match at Mania - and Chris Jericho - best character in the company full stop - with an honourable mention to Enzo & Cass for being bulletproof and bags of fun

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My picks are pretty much the same. I love Reigns and think he had a cracking first half of the year, starting with a decent program with Sheamus/League of Nations/Authority leading into Mania season. It was when he won the belt he came into his own though, I don't think he put a step wrong from Mania up until losing the belt to Rollins, and I loved him showing a more heelish side at times during his reign. Probably the title reign I've enjoyed the most over the last few years. However, I don't think he's been as good since coming back from suspension, and he really needs to tell whoever is writing his promos for him to fuck off. 

 

I can't really see past AJ Styles. One of the moments of the year in his debut, a strong feud with Jericho (when Jericho was still annoying everyone), an incredible series of matches with Reigns, the heel turn/feud with Cena/alignment with the Club was really good and he's obviously the MVP of Smackdown. Cooled off a little now, probably due to the Cena/Ambrose stuff going on too long, but his interactions with Ellsworth are fantastic. 

 

Other than those two, I don't think anybody even comes close. I love Triple H but he was only around for a little while, Lesnar has had his most boring year since returning, Cena has been in and out all year so has struggled to be as relevant, Orton got very boring very quickly again, Rollins is still terrible outside of actual matches, Owens has been exposed massively the past few months and Jericho has only been good value for the past couple of months now (plus he subjected us to that feud with Ambrose which discounts him immediately). 

 

Samoa Joe has been fantastic this year too, but outside of a couple of matches with Balor I'm struggling to point to any much-see matches (the Nakamura match left me cold for the most part). 

 

Actually, The Revival! They're fucking great and are the team The Club wish they could be, their matches with American Alpha and DIY are my favourite tag matches since the Shield days and the sooner they come up, the better.

 

So yeah, my top 5 would be Styles, Reigns, The Revival and Joe. In that order.

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The answer is blatantly Rohit isn't it?

 

In a gallant second place, AJ Styles. He's been the best thing about wrestling all year and has had some belters. He's not scared to show a bit of arse either it would seem as the Ellsworth stuff has been great and I think lesser guys could have come out of it looking shit but he's still clearly the bollocks.

 

But yeah, Rohit.

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This shall come in handy when awards season comes round!

 

I have to go with everyone else. It's AJ Styles. He's fully earned that 'Phenomenal' name this year.

 

Other than him, I would put Nakamura in contention, just because he's got an aura around him that nobody else this year has been able to match, and for me personally, I'd give a mention to Jack Gallagher, who I only saw twice but each time captivated me so thoroughly I'd put him far ahead most people I've been watching all year.

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I have a premonition that it shall be.......

 

 

Broken Matt Hardy!

 

Just for the Abraham Lincoln and Smokin' Joe Frazier sketches, if nothing else!  Although Brother Nero made the latter what it was really!

 

If only Senor Benjamin would step in a ring, then there really would be no question.

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It's not making for a very exciting thread (good idea though it is) but it's hard to come up with anyone except AJ Styles. He's so completely at home in WWE this year, and making matches actively worth looking forward to. I was watching Hell in a Cell on Monday thinking excitedly, "who is AJ facing tonight?" before I remembered this was a Raw PPV.

I watched AJ live in 2003 and thought he was a dull spotmonkey typical of the new generation. It's fantastic how far he has come. From those superb matches and promos with Cena, to corkers with basically all of the Shield, this was his year.

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