End of Year Awards 2011
So another year has ended in the professional wrestling world, but who outperformed the competition and who stood strong among it enough to gain a nomination? Here, Wrestling Wonders has made its choices based critically and professionally.
Everyone should be striving to gain a 'Waltham award' and we hope others will be inspired to pull out all the stops to gain a nomination for 2012. Wrestling matters. Good Luck!
(p.s. We chose not to upload this until after all award 'ceremonies' were conducted though ours was written as of December 27th 2011. WW has their own mind on decisions made, and not concurring with the status quo.)
Want to join our panel to decide for 2012? See end of awards for details.
Davey Richards/CM Punk/Randy Orton/Prince Devitt
We toyed with this one. Though we went back and forth, Wrestling Wonders came to the conclusion that Hiroshi Tanahashi, not only champion for well over a year, truly delivered expert matches and lengthy in ring showings too. Most matches over 20 minutes and pride in defences proved Tana was a force that could not be contested.
Were proud to present it to him also. Respect personified.
Beth Phoenix/Madison Eagles/Mickie James/Sara Del Rey
WWE didn’t create much of a selection process this year. Though
Phoenix has kept standards high for Women, this marketable area is now open for all other promotions to breakout and deliver true wrestling values to the female market that wrestling fans actually crave to see.
Mercedes Martinez becomes the Woman of 2011. Holding the title for a yearly period near enough, places her in a strengthened position in the world of Women wrestling.
(See coming article for more on this.)
Davey Richards Vs Eddie Edwards
Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose/ Undertaker Vs Triple H/ Johnny Gargano Vs YAMATO/ CM Punk Vs John Cena/
Undoubtfully, Richards and Edwards on June 26th stole the show with their lengthy and structured match at Ring of Honor’s named PPV – Best In The World. Matches in Honor are given ample time, booking generosity and a platform to shine. Who can challenge that?
Gregory Iron/John Cena/Hiroshi Tanahashi/CM Punk/
Orton earned this golden halo, duly down to being the face of Smackdown that everyone tuned in to see. Every face must be cheered to win every match they participate in, though
Rand made audience want him to win. He had the whole outright package, looks, skills, smile, body, talent and verbal communication, despite the mass criticisms.
He delivered to all those to come and cheer for him in attendance and be there to see Randy Orton , and in good spirits.
John Cena cannot claim that accolade. Neither Can the others, sadly, but put up good efforts to connect with fan bases.
Kurt Angle/Alberto Del Rio/Kevin Steen/The Miz
Debatable I’m sure, Christian, however stole the show. It is encouraging to see many potential earners in this category , though Christi tipped the edge. He spat in a competitors face, and used a low blow to gain a World title. He went all out to become hated even when loved. He even stood ground as strongest heel on all brands out there, and for that, he cannot be knocked.
CM Punk/John Cena/Zack Ryder/Randy Orton
The Stinger grabbed this one with both hands. Though some have been popular, Sting was the most. He captivated audiences enough to want to watch his next outing in TNA, even if it was slightly character. Only Sting was truly popular with masses this year.
Cena, Ryder and Orton held positions but as above, did not engage enough in wrestling to maintain all audience types. They can only claim one ‘set’ kids, girls, men, or internet bodies to feel a part of a strengthen community that did not exist. They didn’t gain the audience outright in attendance values on wrestling basics at events.
Randy Orton Vs Christian
Richards/Edwards / Devitt/Ibushi / Styles/Daniels / Angle/Jarrett
Randy Orton versus Christian was undeniably the hottest, vibrant and charismatic contest over the course of 2011. No one could rival this from the first couple of main outings, which put everyone on notice.
Both skilled and understanding how to gain the best from each other while gauging empathy and heat from both Orton and Christian on separate occasions, only added to the pressure cooker.
This feud goes down as one in history books for a long while that was necessary and tough to topple for some time. We haven’t had barely a feud at all with such talent and structure to brag about loudly.
Crimson/Briley Pierce/Richie Steamboat/ Daichi Hashimoto
Ace Hawkins receives the nod for 2011 Rookie of the year. Hawkins delivers despite his size or attitude in ring. Whether you have seen him or not, Hawkins provides a promising role to young and aspiring wrestlers on the
Indies. How he moves up from Rookie is up to him, but he’s just started out, so now he can only move up a level.
Mick Foley/Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner/Trish Stratus
The Rock came back for a few promos and shows. Yet, in these shows, he wiped the floor with everyone. Even those who have been in the industry for years since his departure.
Though this Veteran wasn’t all out for himself, when he returned to action at Survivor Series to support and sell for The Miz and R-Truth, as re-established, upcoming performers.
R-Truth/Kenny Omega/Jim Cornette/Alberto Del Rio
CM Pun wiped out all competition on this one., with That promo and Storyline to boot, Punk ripped the roof off of WWE’s glass ceiling. Well, for 2 months, anyway. Though the hype lived on until December, and still has a fanbase leading into 2012. He turned the business ‘on it’s head’ this past year and receives his award for enthralling us with his pipebombs.
Daniel Bryan/CM Punk/Randy Orton/Prince Devitt
This one goes to the Glamazon for her sterling work over the past year that was 2011. Using the ever destructive Glamslam to crush every female that stood in her path, be it slim, whilst managing to sustain credible force as a finisher. Used dominantly and occasionally differently in spots,
slammed all opponents down into obscurity and remained ever on top. Phoenix
Those in her were viciously stamped out with sheer force by the
The RKO came very close, though fell short on the over use that allowed it to become too easy to land. In those ‘easy’ times to land it, the finisher lacked authenticity and attack, at times, though delivered when it struck numerous times, though was truly powerful in the Christian series.
Orton's RKO was no easy defeat neither. Though
tips the scales due to one fact. Phoenix Rand's RKO was used too easily on few occasions, and when used easily, the finisher, as deadly as it is, lost a little integrity compared with the final result.
Once again, to be nominated states all finishers are powerfully destructive and are pleasing results, but, alas, only one can win.
rose up and grabbed it with both hands. Phoenix
Bull Nakano/Austin Aries/Sting/Bully Ray
MVP claims this one outright. His intense and thrilling display in
Japan after taking a break from WWE to gain his wings and fly allowed him to live his dream in Japan and adapt into it beautifully. Developed, strengthened and interesting, MVP ticked all those boxes for what a comeback in wrestling terms personifies.
Beer Money/Kings of Wrestling/Future Shock/Air Boom
Respected thoroughly for Tag wrestling values, only Bernard and Anderson were able to keep those parameters up.
Bad Intentions held numerous tag titles, while defending credibly and with intent pardon the pun. This makes them uncontested due to the lack of teams giving superb quality to wrestling in a partnership and providing for its audience respectfully.
Why weren’t the Kings of Wrestling winners? It was a close call, however, apart from all teams disbanding along the way, this tandem almost took it, but lacked the fuller on screen connection with the audience as Bad Intentions had, alas, the Kings provided excellent values we can only hope may re-surface in WWE.
Future Shock have also been a notable delight in building esteem, which we would like Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilley to capitalise on. (Sadly they have split in 2012 as a pairing, for now at least).
Money In The Bank/WWE
Mercury Rising/Bound for Glory/ TLC/Best In The World/Ring of Honor
Money In The Bank drew everyone in. The highlight built around CM Punk and his title controversy with WWE’s organisational deterrents, upon waiting for Punk’s fate, two Ladder matches were tantalising us before the nights end to the big climax, where both were fantastic and created two new prospects, both champions, and set for futures in WWE on different and thrilling levels.
WWE must not allow this PPV concept nor the match itself to be wilfully wished away as intended for 2012. Not only does it create opportunity, both Ladder matches built to the ending of the main event. Oh, and the rest of the matches were pleasant, too.
Jerry Lawler/Shockwave The Robot/Santino Marella/Gail Kim
There were a lot of drab moments in WWE. Some highlights, though we can always count on the elite promotion to give us enough contenders. It all seems to stem from there too, ironically.
Michael Cole dons the jesters hat, complete with cane. ‘Sir’ Cole now has another British emblem in his midst.
Cole upkept the goof galore. Oh, and he dabbled in wrestling a little.
Gail Kim sent shockwaves of her own to the world when she was instructed to be “the first eliminated” from the Diva Battle Royal calamity. (Kim was instructed, along with Melina, to leave the match within a minute.) No one in WWE was even aware that Kim ejected herself from participation. Well, it’s one way to do what your told. Kim, with a desire to wrestle, shortly switched sides back to TNA wrestling following this episode. You can see Kim below the stars in the image above.
Another humorous and thrilling wrestling force is Shockwave the Robot. The wrestling machine who break dances and works mechanically in ring gave a fun stance to wrestling once again, and picks up a nomination. Kudos!
Max Waltham/Zack Ryder/Matt Hardy/Mike Bennett
Could Max Waltham claim one for himself. Of course, but even he couldn’t help be enthralled by Chyna’s Twitter comments. Her ‘rants’ on the truthfull subjects on issues with WWE were amusing for many to see, though we enjoyed her point making critiques. Unafraid to voice her opinion is also ever more respected.
Zack Ryder cannot claim such right. Yes, he had a camcorder. Yes, he then influenced over YouTube. However, once he got the Youtubers to watch the product of WWE, Ryder could not deliver what he initially praised. His push, whether you blame WWE or not, wasn’t going to materialise on anything other than some guy gaining a movement in fan base before they all fall out of the tree because Zack choose not to back it up with wrestling credentials. WWE have lost faith in light of this, as have the real fans.
Eve/Aksana/The Bella Twins//ODB
Max Waltham’s Hoeski creation has taken shape. Or the preying mantis, as we like to call it.
There was only one hands down winner on this one. Bimbo Bimbo, aka Kelly Kelly managed to secure this with ease.
With a disparaging presence in the Unified Women’s championship dilution destroying ever core of its credible fibre, Kelly Kelly claimed this for managing to gain a title run without doing a thing to earn it. Someone favours her backstage. Preying Mantis indeed. She got a benefit out of doing nothing, that is what the Hoeski is all about, using her assets the only way she knew how.
Randy Orton/Chris Masters/Dolph Ziggler/The Miz
Fine choices like fine wines. Many will instantly run to Randy, though once we look fuller into the spectrum worldwide, we can easily dash to Devitt.
Prince Devitt proves there is nothing small and unwanted. The pure definition of Hotty, though he had good competition. Of course, only one can win. Devitt stole the show with his skills, stance and demeanour. He didn’t just stand and pose, he stood with poise.
Alex Riley/Dolph Ziggler/Randy Orton/CM Punk
Bringing us to the Open Legs category. A firm favourite of Wrestling Wonders, some men were gracious enough to point themselves at the camera shot and open those legs for us all. Most came from WWE, and I can only commend those who did. Though there were still a fair shortage of contenders. In 2012, we want to be able to see more of a selection pool for nomination. C’mon lads, lets see those legs, and not just once a year in a light manner, full on open and delightful. How many of you men are truly brave and man enough?
This year the bravest man is Prince Devitt.
Alberto Del Rio
Jesse Sorenson/Alex Riley/James Storm/Cody Rhodes
Newest Development To Excel
The greatest year for a prospect was 2011, and it belonged to Alberto Del Rio. World title opportunities at Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules, until last minute changes, then shot him to Money In The Bank and then a cash in to win the title later on in the year.
Jim Ross/Michael Cole Rap Off / Rock/Cena pre Survivor Series Raw / Bobby Roode turns on Fortune after winning world title/ Undertaker,Triple H, Shawn Michaels Pre Wrestlemania Raw
THAT promo. The one in which he broke the WWE’s fourth wall. Bringing the fans watching into the realms of reality that was corporate cloned WWE. Campaigning for change and marking the dawn of the new era of unconventionalism. Though sparked by Max Waltham initially, Punk delivered the promo that shattered the core of wrestling in a positive note. He got fans re-introduced and intrigued with the product and where it would go from here. That promo did all it needed to. It was golden.
Randy Orton/Ted DiBiase/CM Punk/Daniel Bryan
The Rileylicious award, for the best butt in the business, which can be seen from Alex Riley how he fits his tights perfectly, which is a tell tale sign, especially to WWE, that a performer is a prospect if they can fit their tights a certain perfect way.
The award, therefore, heads over to…. Alex Riley.
We were pleased to have some challenges, though Riley earmarked his position at Over The Limit and beyond. Riley gave, and he received.
Macho Man Randy Savage
Max Waltham Appreciation
Does he need an introduction?
The Macho Man provided the wrestling world with numerous levels of charisma, humour and skill. Sadly omitted from the WWE Hall of Fame for 2012, we hope Macho and Miss Elizabeth get their dues next year.
Together both, along with their challengers at their times, provided the staple for wrestling, and for that Max Waltham will forever be grateful.
Austin Aries/R-Truth/Dolph Ziggler/Zack Ryder
Eddie Edwards certainly improved the most this year. The guy even won the Ring of Honor world title when no one expected him too. Shock factor aside, Edwards proved he was credible to hold such position among the big boys and fitted in perfectly. Delivering quality matches with opponents; Ed formed his talent and added further strings to his ever growing bow.
While Zack Ryder may have improved his character, he didn’t improve his wrestling. Enough said.
CM Punk Leaves WWE
The Miz/Alex Riley's bitter break up / John Cena/The Rock Wrestlemania 28 match set in advance/ Kurt Angle/Karen Jarrett/Jeff Jarrett reality love triangle / Sting/Hulk Hogan/Dixie Carter company take over
Punk once again tied in with this. Leaving WWE with the championship opened many possibilities for wrestling and Punk himself. Though once the realisation Punk sold out, and already pre-signed a contract to make this a work, despite being discovered 4 months after, Punk rallied unsuspecting fans along with ease. Like candy picked and placed in his basket like a trail on the floor. It could not have been simpler. It provided the summer in WWE with a different outlook, even though that did not maintain itself, in hindsight. Alas, Punk stole the storyline and veered off script. The scroll is yours.
Ricochet/PAC/CM Punk/Sin Cara
The Kingfisher award, a swift, high flying action man of wrestling has landed. With a shortage of flyers in WWE in 2011, eyes were finally opened up to the Indy’s, where the Kingfisher’s reside. No shortage of stellar flyers, in a small contrived space of seclusion, however, those who were looking were treated.
This year's Kingfisher, is Austin Aries. Aries returned with a new sense of style, character and personality, and has flung into practise adding his high spots to the entertainment schedule with force and precision.
The best flyer in the business, PAC, the British hero flew over all competition with ease. However, the reason we deliberated and couldn’t give it to him was based on one reason. He wasn't opened up to the masses, and Aries gained reputation with the audience. If promotions cater to placing PAC in a spotlight, as with anyone, to utilise their assets to the world watching, it draws the eyes to that promotion and the matches in play. Having grace, landing and connectivity, PAC set the benchmark for this level of aerodynamics.
Vince McMahon/The Bella Twins/Austin Aries/Dixie Carter
Was there any contest? Vickie Guerrero epitomises class. Looking gorgeous in every dress, garment or accessory owned, Vick cannot look anything less than a Fashionista. She even slimmed down and toned up to add to her aura. Congrats!
Vickie Guerrero/Eric Bischoff/Karen Jarrett/Hulk Hogan
Could there be anyone more annoying that John Laurinjitis? The interim Raw GM and Exec in Talent Relations? Mr. Excitement was a perfect fit for a TV role in annoyance, deliverance and interest. Surpassing the Mike Adamle effect, Johnny Larry caught on. Despite being an idiot at hiring certain people, Johnny Ace claimed the most upset and talking points on Raw among its stellar cast, also involved with the CM Punk screwjob attempts.
Beth Phoenix/Randy Orton/CM Punk/Daniel Bryan
Never has any theme been able to become spine chilling and have the presence to match. Kharma has both entangled together and receives the score.
Bryan's theme, originally given as a joke, became a credible reworked anthem that now supports his character, and with the yes yes yes! added to it, keeps his placement in tact.
Phoenix has a theme that instantly sends a siren ringing, while Punk and Orton's themes define them as pure men here to wrestle.
Ring of Honor/Total Nonstop Action/Dragon Gate/New Japan Pro Wrestling
The shining beacon of all in the land goes to WWE. Though they were short on talent evolving, WWE did remain the most interested place in the Universe. It occasionally listened to Universe members, encorporated ideals, and went forth to promote talent. Though, once bored, relied upon old hat performers to increase ratings that were lower than usual.
WWE still remains the promotion to witness, able to put on a show, gain fan response and maintain esteemed profile, the ‘E secure another year at the top.
Though it is highly possible someone could topple that in 2012 and 2013. Though it is doubtful that promotion will ever be TNA, unless they re-hash almost everything available to them.
Join the Panel for 2012
After December we shall be nominating and deciding who has earned wrestling's best achievements for the new year past. If you wish to be on the panel for selecting who should win, a number of overall results will choose, then email, tweet or message us here, or on facebook. The more the merrier, but please give us some information about yourself. Why should you be on the panel. We aren't looking for marks who like a wrestler in portrayal. We look critically and subjectively to talent.
Think you can do it? Contact Us. (Info can also be found at the pages tabs.)
Brief Note - The Wrestlemania 28 Review will be on in a few days time. Keep looking or reading until then. We take time to write our articles, because we don't write illegitimately or catastrophically, with hard time and quality wrestling journalism and Wrestling Wonders' articles stand the test of time.
Remember, don't plagiarise, or steal, but you can share!
© Max Waltham 2nd April 2012