Rookie of the Year:
Velveteen Dream (NXT)
He came up on the show Tough Enough as well basically just a generic wrestler. After a few quick losses where his gimmick was seemingly guy who wears American flag pants he was reintroduced as "The Velveteen Dream" a crossover between Prince and Jimi Hendrix.
Most Improved Wrestler:
Cody Rhodes (ROH/NJPW)
Samoa Joe (WWE)
There are few things that get me as hyped as when the Samoan named Joe makes his way to the ring. First off when he speaks you believe that he is legit going to hurt you. Hell in his Ring of Honor days the chant the crowd had for him was "Joe's gonna kill you."
And when he is in the ring he has a mix of power and speed that is just awe inspiring. And when he locks in the Coquina Clutch...your night has decided to make an abrupt end. I would love a title run for this guy. Just give him a mic and get the hell out the way.
Dalton Castle (ROH)
A lot of people may not be familiar with the Party Peacock but I think when you watch him you will be enthralled. From the flashy entrance with the Boys to his how do you say unique in ring mannerisms there is no one you find your self rooting for harder. Also the stalling German suplex this former amateur grappler throws is absolute perfection.
Wrestler of the Year:
Kazuchika Okada (NJPW)
|All hail the Rainmaker|
Top 3 Wrestlers to Look For in 2018:
3. Juice Robinson (NJPW)
The former CJ Parker in NXT has been reborn as Juice Robinson in Japan. And goofy name aside he has really begun to hit his stride. At first he was just another gaijin to take some pinfalls but now he has emerged as a fan favorite and even has found himself in a few high profile matches.
2. Aleister Black (NXT)
The former Tommy End made his debut and instantly solidified himself as a man who could easily be tearing it up on Monday Night Raw or Smackdown. A trained kick boxer he has strikes for days.
1. Keith Lee (Evolve)
I really wasn't too familiar with Keith Lee beyond one appearance I saw of him on Ring of Honor TV. After hearing about him on the twitter I decided to do a deep dive on Youtube and holy crap am I glad I did. From PWG to Evolve he went all over the country and he put on amazing matches.
Top 3 Matches of 2017:
3. Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream (NXT Takeover: War Games)
This was a master class of building a story and having the payoff totally exceed all expectations. And while I love Black, the man who did the heavy lifting psychology wise and on the mic would be the Velveteen Dream. Holy crap did he come of age.
He toed the line of making his hyper sexual, obsessive weirdo character go too far and nailed what was needed to perfection. A feud based on having someone else say your name doesn't sound too hot on paper but son of a bitch it worked. And the end of the match where Black finally says his name lets me know that this feud is far from over and I am here for it.
2. Pete Dunne VS Tyler Bate for UK Championship (NXT Takeover: Chicago)
Coming into this match I didn't know what to expect but on a stacked Chicago card these two UK natives went out there and completely obliterated the show. Tyler Bate the mustachioed champion came in against the Bruiserweight Pete Dunne.
1. Kenny Omega VS Kazuchika Okada (Wrestle Kingdom 11)
There you have it folks. My opinion on the highs of the professional world for the calendar year 2017. I watched way more wrestling than a man with an infant should but I do this for you. The tens of readers.
Keep it sleazy folks, I'm out.