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Wrestling Awards - Best Men's Wrestler 2022


Wrestling Awards - Best Men's Wrestler 2022  

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11 minutes ago, Arch Stanton said:

Mox is a pro wrestler. Reigns is a pro wrestler.  You can give me star quality over match quality every day of the week. The business has been crying out for a megastar for a new whole generation, now it's got one. Acknowledge him ;)

He's had one decent match all year, I can acknowledge that.

@RedRooster of course Cena had the same aura around him. And Hogan, and Stone Cold and The Rock. They also got pushed to the point of getting bored of their act and wanting them to lose the title. The difference is, who else do they have in WWE that is at the same level as Reigns? Cody when he returns probably. But Hogan had Warrior, Stone Cold had The Rock, The Rock had HHH, Cena had multiple people over his run. WWE is Roman Reigns, which is great if thats all you're looking for. But the best thing about Roman Reigns is Sami, and thats a byproduct. He's had no great feuds, certainly not in the last 12 months, and one match which was great with a YouTuber who over delivered. 

"If establishing yourself as the biggest star in wrestling in years doesn't constitute winning wrestler of the year, I don't know what does." Adele is the biggest selling artist of the last decade. Doesn't mean her albums are the best though.

Edited by Hannibal Scorch
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Reading that cage match link, it’s true that I had forgotten some of Roman’s matches. In my defence though, some of them had to be removed from my brain for how fucking annoying the finish was. I cannot stand those screwy, save-face finishes they do in WWE. A terrible look that they did at least two of them with Roman this year, first with Seth at the Rumble, then with Drew in Cardiff. Just grow some balls and put people over properly, for fucks sake. 

This Roman vs. Mox is mostly a taste thing and we’re really talking about chalk and cheese. What I do find interesting though is that it only came together for Roman once he got on that part-timer schedule. It’s incredibly telling that in AEW you can build yourself a body of work going out there week after week, getting more and more over as a result, like Mox has, whereas in WWE the only way to break through and become a top tier star is to only show up a handful of times per year. I don’t know if it speaks to the WWE style or the general environment, but if you wrestle on WWE television as much as Moxley has wrestled on AEW television, you instantly become a Dolph Ziggler nobody.

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The UKFF has always been very star power > match quality when it comes to it's collective taste, and that's grand and all. However, you can't excel in star power without having the memorable in-ring performances to back it up. That's what makes an excellent pro wrestler; someone who is consistently good across the board. Can they walk the walk, talk the talk, look the part and read you a bit of Jean-Paul Sartre? Does Reigns tick all these boxes?

As someone who doesn't follow WWE, I only watch their ghastly product when a match or segment gets so much praise that I can't ignore it (see Sheamus vs Gunther, or Cody vs Rollins at Hell In A Cell). All I've heard about Reigns this year is Bloodline this, Bloodline that, oh and here's Brock driving a tractor. He gets rave reviews and acclaim for his part in the Bloodline storyline, so he's got the WWE Talk™ down to a pat. He looks the fucking business and looks like a modern pro wrestling superstar. Brilliant stuff. But when the bell rings, that's where his campaign fails. Besides Brock lifting up the ring at SummerSlam, and him selling for a rich white YouTuber in Saudi Arabia, where is the catalog of great in-ring performances that completes the complete product? From what I've seen, he's been less than captivating. I'm not saying in-ring is the be-all end-all (God forbid), but I am saying that a winning case for "Best Wrestler Of The Year" should be someone who excels in every department.

Reigns obviously came close in 2022, and he has had a great year by all accounts, but was he a rising tide that lifted all ships? Nope, but Moxley was. Moxley was AEW's dependable workhorse, who could be slotted into any program and any place on the card, and by fuck he'd make it memorable. He'd bust his ass in the ring to elevate a match to it's highest possible level, and he'd go toe-to-toe with the very best when it comes to interviews and mic work (and all while sounding like a natural human being in the process). He was there with AEW through thick and thin, and it benefitted the company as well as, and this is most important to me, benefiting the fans.

And that's why Mox is winning the vote right now over Reigns. He walks the walk (quite literally), talks the talk, looks the part AND he probably doesn't fucking know who Jean-Paul Sartre is but who are YOU to say that he doesn't? Go on, I dare you to ask him. Double dare you.

Edited by Accident Prone
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28 minutes ago, Accident Prone said:

The UKFF has always been very star power > match quality when it comes to it's collective taste, and that's grand and all. However, you can't excel in star power without having the memorable in-ring performances to back it up. That's what makes an excellent pro wrestler; someone who is consistently good across the board. Can they walk the walk, talk the talk, look the part and read you a bit of Jean-Paul Sartre? Does Reigns tick all these boxes?

As someone who doesn't follow WWE, I only watch their ghastly product when a match or segment gets so much praise that I can't ignore it (see Sheamus vs Gunther, or Cody vs Rollins at Hell In A Cell). All 've heard about Reigns this year is Bloodline this, Bloodline that, oh and here's Brock driving a tractor. He gets rave reviews and acclaim for his part in the Bloodline storyline, so he's got the WWE Talk™ down to a pat. He looks the fucking business and looks like a modern pro wrestling superstar. Brilliant stuff. But when the bell rings, that's where his campaign fails. Besides Brock lifting up the ring at SummerSlam, and him selling for a rich white YouTuber in Saudi Arabia, where is the catalog of great in-ring performances that completes the complete product? From what I've seen, he's been less than captivating. I'm not saying in-ring is the be-all end-all (God forbid), but I am saying that a winning case for "Best Wrestler Of The Year" should be someone who excels in every department.

Reigns obviously came close in 2022, and he has had a great year by all accounts, but was he a rising tide that lifted all ships? Nope, but Moxley was. Moxley was AEW's dependable workhorse, who could be slotted into any program and any place on the card, and by fuck he'd make it memorable. He'd bust his ass in the ring to elevate a match to it's highest possible level, and he'd go toe-to-toe with the very best when it comes to interviews and mic work (and all while sounding like a natural human being in the process). He was there with AEW through thick and thin, and it benefitted the company as well as, and this is most important to me, benefiting the fans.

And that's why Mox is winning the vote right now over Reigns. He walks the walk (quite literally), talks the talk, looks the part AND he probably doesn't fucking know who Jean-Paul Sartre is but who are YOU to say that he doesn't? Go on, I dare you to ask him. Double dare you.

Fanatstic post and explained exactly why I am heaping so much praise on him. Not even 18 months ago Mox went into rehab to clean himself up. He came back and as you said, every opportunity he was given, every storyline, he made work. When the company was imploding after the CM Punk fallout he cancelled his holiday to stick around and steer the ship. And to boot had banger after banger in matches and feuds. No one has been a more important MVP for any wrestling company in 2022 than he. And if you only watch WWE, or partially watch AEW I understand you wouldn't see it, but that's why him not winning would be the tragedy.  

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It has to be Jon Moxley for me. Reigns has done some great stuff, but most of it outside of the ring. Reigns wrestled eight times on PPV all year, and all very much in the WWE Big Match Formula, and then mostly multi-man stuff on TV. Moxley had the greater range of matches, range of opponents, and so on, plus the work he's done in carrying AEW through a rough patch. I'd say that the only downside in his year was the weird booking of his programme with CM Punk.

There's Jon Moxley matches I can look back on fondly this year, whereas I'd struggle to give you a must-see or classic Roman Reigns match from 2022 - the two most talked about, Logan Paul and Brock Lesnar, had people talking about the other guy, not Roman.

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Thinking back over Moxley's run in WWE, he didn't really have any 'star appeal' in that traditional way but he was popular. He had that sort of scrappy, offbeat appeal that reminded me a bit of Mick Foley's various incarnations. He was likeable because he was relatable. It was his matches and in-ring stuff that was so awful.

Even during The Shield days, he was the clear weak link for me. While Rollins was doing amazing athletic and decent technical stuff and Reigns looked the absolute part and had the really smooth power stuff, Ambrose was over-selling and doing stupid facial expressions and his offence looked ridiculous and piss weak. His promos sounded somewhat natural but even they weakened over time.

He's in the best place for him though, because they'll allow him to do that quasi-ECW thing and swear and blade every other match and others will feed into that and make him look better than he actually is. He obviously loves what he's doing now (and I'm genuinely pleased for him) and hated much of his WWE time, especially as a single, but I don't think I've ever liked a match of his outside of the Regal feud in FCW and it was obvious why I liked tha stuff. Just absolutely not my thing at all and I struggle to see some of the appeal.

Marking Reigns down because of his lack of matches is daft though.

Edited by Devon Malcolm
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Are we voting on best wrestler as the complete package or as actually best from bell to bell? Because I think the best wrestler if we are just judging match quality and nothing else is probably Darby Allin who just doesn't have a match anything less than great and hasn't all year. But if we're judging the complete package it pretty much has to be Moxley. I don't think it should be understated how he basically kept AEW alive when it looked like everything was on the verge of complete collapse. A mammoth undertaking which he knocked out the park. And he's done it TWICE, he was the perfect Champion during COVID times. As good as Reigns is he wouldn't be able to fill that role. And Seth Freakin Rollins is the most overrated wrestler of all time, Moxley's cut more great promos in a month than Rollins has his entire career so he definitely wouldn't be able to step up to that level. Yes his matches this year have had too much blood, but he's genuinely built up an incredible body of work in 2022 and unlike most wrestlers he's not afraid to try new things, change up match structure/style or make out of the box decisions in his matches. Mostly everyone he's gone up against comes out the match looking better than they did going in regardless of wins or loses. He's one of a kind and the heart and soul of pro wrestling.

Also Kingston coming out with the gas can was Mox's idea so he deserves the award for that reason alone.

Edited by LaGoosh
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3 hours ago, Devon Malcolm said:

Marking Reigns down because of his lack of matches is daft though.

Lack of Good Matches. Your sum up of his WWE run was spot on, disagree with your comments on him post WWE, but eh opinions.

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1 hour ago, LaGoosh said:

Are we voting on best wrestler as the complete package or as actually best from bell to bell? Because I think the best wrestler if we are just judging match quality and nothing else is probably Darby Allin who

Complete package. He loses points for being a sex pest danger. 

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3 hours ago, Accident Prone said:

Reigns obviously came close in 2022, and he has had a great year by all accounts, but was he a rising tide that lifted all ships?

Depends what you mean by that. If you take Reigns away from WWE, the company is in a whole load of trouble; and its entire 2022 would look incredibly different. If you take Moxley away from AEW, the company would be just fine. That's not to say his contribution isn't important - of course it is - it's just that it isn't essential. 

When people look back at 2022, I don't think their mind will immediately go to Moxley. They'll likely think of Reigns, The Bloodline, Sami Zayn, MJF and CM Punk - but Moxley just didn't have that stand-out feud or storyline. I don't think, in the long-term, that will make 2022 memorable as the year of Moxley. 

Do consistent ring performances constitute a wrestler of the year award? Maybe, but if that's the criteria we're working to, I'm not sure I'd select Moxley as THE stand-out candidate either. 

If, in some bizarre scenario, AEW had the chance to swap Jon Moxley's 2022 to stake claim to what Reigns has done over the past year, I just can't imagine for one second they'd choose not to do that. 

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14 minutes ago, FelatioLips said:

I can fully appreciate Roman Reigns is the bigger star in the bigger company, but I watch AEW and Mox is the biggest star there so Mox got my vote.

Pretty much bang on the money for criteria isn't it. It all depends on where you lay your eyeballs the most.

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I think we can count ourselves lucky that we've got two such different guys and presentations yet they're both delivering at the top of their games. WWE failed Reigns for so many years and Mox needed to break free to become what he is today. It's apples and oranges really.

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