2018 Halfway honors (Best of)

So, I figured since we’re halfway through the year, it may be a good idea to throw up a best of and possibly on another topic a worst of for January to June. Fill out your lists with whatever categories you’d like, I’m just going to run with the 2017 ones as a base.

Best Wrestler (Male) - Kenny Omega

Best Wrestler (Female) - Charolette

Best Tag Team - Young Bucks

Best on the Mic - Seth Rollins

Best Announcer - Kevin Kelly

Best Non-Wrestling Performer - Will fill out when I can think of one, Heyman is my go to, but this year was meh

Most Improved - Matt Jackson (The selling of his back)

Best Gimmick - Jericho ‘tranquilo’ persona

Match of the Year - Omega/Okada 4

Feud of the Year - Gargano/ Champa

Best Angle - Omega & Young bucks separation/reunion

Best Pay-Per-View (Wrestling) - Wrestle Kingdom 12

It’s hard to think of some of this on the spot but I’ll give it a shot:

Best Wrestler (Male) - Kenny Omega. Whether I watch his matches or I hear him on podcasts, I’m just so impressed with this performer. I used to argue AJ, but I can’t anymore.

Best Wrestler (Female) - Asuka. I think she is the most legitimate of the women’s wrestlers. She is one if the few members of the roster that I feel like truly is their character.

Best Tag Team - Dolph and McIntyre. I feel like this one will be unpopular but I think they’re a great team. Dolph is great in ring and Drew looks amazing. I also believe their finisher is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. They might not last long but it’s great while we have it.

Best on the Mic - Samoa Joe. I think it’s between Miz and Joe but I’ll tell you why it’s Joe. Miz messes up around one word per promo, every promo. He doesn’t really get called out but it happens every time. Joe feels like he’s speaking as quickly as you would in conversation. Miz is good, but he’s reciting lines. Joe is so much his character that there are no lines.

Best Announcer - Mauro Ranallo. He just makes matches so exciting. Even when he’s over the top I don’t roll my eyes. I just think “who else but Mauro”

Best Non-Wrestling Performer - Zelina Vega. She has added so much to Cien Almas. She is the difference maker in his career.

Most Improved - Baron Corbin. Haircut.

Best Gimmick - Velveteen Dream. I really love wrestlers who commit to a gimmick and really make it work. People always say no one but Undertaker could have made his gimmick work. I know we’re early in his career but soon that might not be crazy to say about Dream. I showed my girlfriend NXT Chicago and she is now a real wrestling fan because of him. That’s some good work.

Match of the Year - Omega/Okada 4. Gargano Almas was the best match I had ever watched. I never felt the way I did for one of the near falls in that match. But this match was just too good to be ignored. It rewarded you for having seen the last three. It was a true series finale. Even if there is a spin off, this will always be the true incarnation.

Feud of the Year - Velveteen Dream / Riccochet. I feel like it made both guys bigger stars. My fingers are starting to hurt.

Best Angle - This probably isn’t the right answer cause I mostly watch WWE and I can’t think of much good. Joey Ryan’s Murderer.

Best Pay-Per-View (Wrestling) - NXT Chicago 2018. Wow.

Best Wrestler (Male) – Kazuchika Okada. Naito, Sanada, Ospreay, ZSJ were all wonderful matches, then he finished off the (half) year with two of my favourite matches ever with Tanahashi and Omega. I also LOVE his new pants.

Best Wrestler (Female) – Shayna Baszler. Love the gimmick and I’ve really enjoyed her matches.

Best Tag Team - Young Bucks

Best on the Mic – Tomasso Ciampa. His mic work really made the feud.

Best Announcer - Kevin Kelly. He’s got tremendous chemistry with Callis and really holds it together when he’s with someone inexperienced or by himself.

Best Non-Wrestling Performer – Vega I guess? I’m struggling tbh. Darryl?

Most Improved – Tough one. Maybe Hiromu? He was great last year but he’s really hit a higher level since January.

Best Gimmick – Crazy Jericho.

Match of the Year - Omega/Okada 4.

Feud of the Year - Gargano/ Ciampa

Best Angle – Golden Lovers reunite.

Best Pay-Per-View (Wrestling) – Dominion.

I don’t watch a ton of New Japan so my answers are a little more WWE/NXT centric than most.

Best Wrestler (Male) - Johnny Gargano. Two five star matches wrestling masterpieces with two different opponents within the confines of “WWE/NXTs” PG style. And he’s still able to be the underdog.

Best Wrestler (Female) - Asuka.

Best Tag Team - Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. Came to an unfortunate end when Sami was recently hurt during an awful singles program against Lashley. But I thought these two were a great heel duo through the first six months. I doubt they’ll still be in the running though by the end of the year. Runner ups would be the Usos who always put on great matches and make the most out of the TV time they are given without embarrassing themselves half the time (like the New Day).

Best on the Mic - Tomasso Ciampa. Jim is right above. Johnny Wrestling has my heart but this feud has been driven by Ciampa’s mic work and acting.

Best Announcer - Nigel McGuinness

Best Non-Wrestling Performer - Zelina Vega.

Most Improved - Shayna Bazler. She’s only been officially on the NXT roster since December and has improved both in the ring and seems much more comfortable with her character on the mic. My runners up would have been Roderick Strong and Nakamura who have both dramatically gotten better as characters since their heel turns this year. And Elias has made big strides this year from what looked like would be a failed NXT gimmick to a highlight of Raw.

Best Gimmick - Velveteen Dream for having an actual gimmick. It’s such an over-the-top character that I thought had no chance of success even in the more “gimmick friendly” NXT. But he has made it work and just kept refining it so far in 2018.

Match of the Year - Gargano/Ciampa 1 at TakeOver New Orleans

Feud of the Year - Gargano/ Ciampa

Best Angle - Daniel Bryan returning. Runner up would be Chris Jericho going to New Japan.

Best Pay-Per-View (Wrestling) - NXT TakeOver New Orleans. Wrestlemania week is still the biggest event in pro-wrestling with so many amazing shows around that time and it’s no doubt that TakeOver stole the week.