Best and Worst of 2018

Since the link is active for everyone to vote on the year end awards, I thought this would be a good time to discuss the candidates. It’s been a crazy 2018 and I want to make sure there isn’t an obvious answer i’m forgetting about while i’m voting.

I’ll start with just Wrestlers of the Year. To me there are several good candidates.

AJ Styles
Seth Rollins
Samoa Joe

Johnny Gargano
Tommaso Ciampa
Adam Cole

Kenny Omega
Chris Jericho

Becky Lynch
Ronda Rousey
Charlotte Flair

Any candidates i’m missing? Who are you voting for?

When does the voting end
Other notable wrestlers of the year could be Zack Sabre Jr., Andreza Giant Panda, Rey Fenix, and Will Ospreay

I thought about adding Rey Fenix to the list of notable “indy” stars who had a great year. But I have a hard time saying he had a better year than Omega (NJPW champ for almost the entire year), Jericho (shocked the industry going to NJPW, hosting his own cruise) and Cody (A big part of making All In happen, led the biggest NJPW storyline of the Bullet Club civil war, making the NWA relevant again).

And i’m not sure when the voting ends. That’s a good question for John and Wai.

I completed my voting earlier today and I found myself gravitating to this manner of thinking:
in comparison to my expectation or all-things-equal
It was almost like Worst didn’t mean worst, it meant biggest disappointment or underwhelming…and best didn’t mean best, it mean in relation to what was expected (as was the case with considering Game Changer Wresting as best promotion due to its relative impact and ability to generate noteworthy moments and events compared to bigger promotions where such is expected)

Other examples:

  • Wrestle of the Year is Cody. Not because he had the best in-ring matches or shocking moments but from the start of the year to finish what he was able to accomplish, took part in, and organized exceeded my wildest expectations for him as a performer and member of the wrestling industry.
  • Worst Woman to me was Bayley - not because she’s terrible in-ring but because where she was to where she is now she is by far the biggest disappointment of any female wrestler
  • Worst on the Mic: Rousey - not because she is so awful but because she is given so much scripted promo and she doesn’t deliver it the way I feel she is capable or how she does in documentaries.

I also found myself considering (and voting as such) that Being the Elite was a promotion and the build to All In was simply too successful to be ignored. That was the show of the year, and the build of the year. And it took place on YouTube. While not a true promotion - what actual promotion came close to building a card and anticipation and pulling off the show in a manner that met/exceeded expectation. By definition that series promoted a show and therefore I classify it as a promotion.

So many angles to choose from but one that sticks out to me as years in the making and on-going was what I called “The Golden Lovers Reunion Tour”…when you consider the moment they reunited…the reactions they got those first few matches in Koruken…the match with the Bucks…and eventually squaring off in the G-1 and the ongoing tease for the rest of the year that they will have one more big match on their own terms…story telling like that in the long-form is still an angle to me. And the payoffs along the way have been so worth it.

I had Okada and Omega IV as the match of the year. There were so many good ones but again - relative to what the standard is, this match changes how I view wrestling and series and rematches. The fact that each match between them ups the ante and plays off the previous encounters makes them more and more special each time.

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I have voted but I don’t know how to check back my answers if that’s ever possible ?

I know I’ve voted worst male wrestler David Arquette, Worst Tag Team Mahalicia, Worst Women match, Lana vs Zelina Vega (the 1st one), Worst theme Punishment Martinez NXT theme, Worst merch the B Team t shirt, Worst Angle of the year apart from Karen, Dean Ambrose’s change of character.

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I did leave a fair few votes empty as I had no opinion on them.

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I agree with your approach in a lot of ways. Whether a wrestler or angle exceeded expectations or not plays a big part in how well it went looking back. I definitely think Cody is a strong contender. He’s been at the center of so much non-WWE news throughout the year. It feels like hes overshadowed Kenny and the Bucks in some ways. And if a new promotion is announced next year then I think we will look back at 2018 and the work Cody did to set the stage for it happening.

Just to make the case for someone from WWE is that they have a harder job than others because they have to overcome the limitations of WWE’s style, stay healthy on a difficult schedule and not be destroyed by WWE’s terrible booking. The fact that AJ and Seth are still held in high regard as top baby faces is very impressive at a time where their booking turns the fans against boring baby faces so quickly.

I haven’t even started to think about the worst wrestlers. But Bayley is a good call because of how far she’s fallen into obscurity and that her partnership/rivalry with Sasha is such a cold dead act. It’s also seemed to kill Sasha’s passion and they are both just going through the motions with no reason to give a shit.

David Arquette is a really good choice and someone I hadn’t thought of. Along the same lines would be Enzo who was fired wayyyy back in January and has managed to be an even shittier person online ever since.

Yes, Enzo close second.

What’s the BEST PROMOTION of the year?

Yes I wasn’t sure. I thought it was WWE, Impact, ROH, NJPW… not sure.

Definitely not WWE

I put WWE as the best one because of NXT and as the worst one because of RAW.

I don’t think you need to put WWE as the best because of NXT. You can just put NXT alone as the best.

And I think there’s a strong case for NXT being the best promotion this year. It’s been consistently good-to-great every week with some really long well built storylines, anchored by the redemption and fall of Johnny Garagano. Every TakeOver has been arguably better than the last. NXT will be my pick for promotion of 2018.

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I think NXT is a show not a promotion.

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It’s not just a show. It has its own touring schedule, it’s own roster, it’s own writers, a different set of rules and different contracts to WWE. Yes it’s owned by WWE but it’s been it’s own thing for a long time.

I’d definitely classify NXT as it’s own promotion but I stretched the definition of promotion this year and to the surprise of absolutely nobody on this forum, I voted BeingTheElite a promotion and here’s the definition I used:

A series of shows that build storyline and promote events or shows. The group must also conduct some kind of business.

The way the NWA (definitely a promotion) has shifted its delivery of content and we’ve seen talent sharing become common (Evolve and WWE both promotions),I see what we consider to be a “promotion” is also shifting.
The case for NXT as it’s own promotion is that it runs live shows, has weekly TV, has a roster, and builds to their own big shows.
My case for BTE is the weekly TV (views on YouTube that beat Impacts weekly TV number). Has a roster, sponsorship deals and ran their own big show along with supporting the promotion of the Jericho Cruise show(s) with story.

But then again, I’m partial

I still consider NXT as just a brand and a tv show. New Japan Pro Wrestling was definitely the best promotion this year with a spectacular & out of this world G1. And their big shows like Wrestle Kingdom and Dominion. I cannot understand how you can pick anything else, fact.


I voted for Big Cass as “Worst Male Wrestler of the year”, feel kind of bad about it now, hope he’s doing ok, poor guy. What did everyone use as worst matches? I voted for Carmella/Charlotte from Backlash, it sucked really hard. I also voted for Roman/Jinder at Money in the Bank, also was the shits.

I treated NXT as a promotion, so I could vote if best promotion. I think of it as a separate promotion run by Triple H. This also let me vote for Raw as worst show, thanks to the last month of programming.

NJPW is the best promotion.

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