Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Wrestling Wonders Awards 2014

Wrestling Wonders Year End Awards 2014

Wrestling Wonders presents the annual Awards of the past year that was 2014. Celebrating the cool, crazy and simply delusional decisions of the past wrestling way forwards, Max Waltham respects its winners with honest and hard earned recognition. The winners are selected by their hard work, rightful earning of such achievements and not favourites or ‘men of the minute’ hype. To be nominated is one of the highest achievements alone.

Congratulations to all who made 2014 the best to could be and to better the landscape for 2015. As ever, we are always watching.

Awards written and awarded on December 30th 2014.

Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Antonio Cesaro, Joe Doering

While a credible list and tough choice of the best five of the year, one was the clear stand out Wrestler of the year. Shield frontman Seth Rollins became the breaker and breakout star in a full on transformation of skill, style and scorching hot scenarios.

Closely followed by Daniel Bryan and Joe Doering, Bryan’s unfortunate up/down title hoorah with injury indecision and time out was unpredicted but troublesome.

Doering’s victory to stabilise a new front for All Japan was a welcomed decision which has worked for AJPW, Doering and fans.

Orton and Cesaro maintained structure to WWE and while supporting acts, came into their own with precision, skill and dominance to keep profile at the very top, even if some booking decisions were rather awkward.

Stephanie McMahon, Lana, Alicia Fox, Vickie Guerrero, Gail Kim

The prestigious woman of the year is a tough and tricky one to win. This isn’t only about female’s rolling around on the ground; it also includes any female who manages to deliver tenfold. There were two strong runners, but when it came to the crunch only one Woman led the way. Vickie Guerrero wins Woman of the year 2014. With her intrinsic attention to detail, scorching promos and ability to work both honourably and dishonourably, she stole the spotlight even if WWE didn’t want her to full have it.

Stephanie McMahon came a close second but her roaring nature cost her fluidity in promos that Guerrero so expertly put in. It was a close call but Steph has had one of the most incredible returning years to television as a natural shoe in for Mr. McMahon’s new age form to continue the family name as a horrid figure.

Lana shone as the one to annoy crowds and hold her own boosted success as a new and beautifully intriguing lady.

Gail Kim was at the top of her national appeal of wrestling females while Alicia Fox excited briefly with her crazy attitude, despite her ‘hidden’ influence in black and white internet aura.

Villiano IV Vs Blue Demon Jr, Undertaker Vs Brock Lesnar (WM), The Shield Vs The Wyatt Family, Rob Conway Vs Satoshi Kojima, Money in the Bank

Match of the year was a tough decision to witness. With all five being of high value in their own right and with careful consideration to the detail and skills on offer, there was a clear winner. While the victor of the briefcase itself, Seth Rollins and opponents with him put in the most outstanding match in recent memory for the Money in the Bank match. Fresh, new and talented all men played their part and made an explosive winning moment meaningful.

While most memorable for its shocking outcome, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker’s historic Wrestlemania match really stood up in the face of veteran action with debate. Both really went for it and the match was a tough and wonderful joy to witness. The outcome, many, including Max Waltham feels was a mistake. Regardless it happened and while was used for sales hype afterward, the pair’s battle was one for the ages.

The Shield’s collision with The Wyatt’s was a dream match becoming a reality. Unsure who to side with and aware everyone would benefit fans lapped it up and the action was so clean and precise all six men can be proud of this extraordinary feat.

MAD BLANKEY Vs Team Monster, Bray Wyatt Vs Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose, Lashley Vs Eric Young, Rob Conway Vs Satoshi Kojima

2014 gave us some great feuds. Though some very still minimally lacking and could have done more in terms of options. Though there was only one that stood out and was truly amazing. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose stole the show. With their high flying, strong and significant actions both made this feud work above all else, making it the standout winner.

Bray Wyatt and Danie Bryan came runner up with a tense but short spun series that had too many quick changes and not enough time to develop. Though it was one of the best in its short spun series.

Rob Conway and Satoshi Kojima put on a great challenge for the NWA title, while MAD BLANKEY and Team Monster made a fulfilling feud between them. Dropping to last place was Lashley and Eric Young. Weak and champion by default for being 'his time' under loyalty package to TNA, Young tried but wasn't too great. Lashley made most of this work. 

Shaun Tempers, Emma, Sasha Banks, El Torito, Candice LaRae

2014 had a strong mix of rookie's. All five were outstanding int heir own right and made every involvement meaningful.

The rookie of 2014 is Shaun Tempers. Displaying skill and technique with a level of might and interest, somewhat unknown Tempers has promising signs to develop further for fans. 

Candice LaRae drove the Independent scene wild. She had skill, style and mixed it up in intergender matches alongside male supporter Joey Ryan. Making her own place, LaRae has shown impressive ability to stand strong among the guys and deliver where necessary. 

Following from these are Emma, Sasha Banks and El Torito. These three are strong ones to watch, especially Emma and Banks, who will be able to go, given their green lights. Emma also stole the show at the Survivior Series PPV where she really bounced back with sheer skill and capable intrigue for wrestling, especially women's. 

Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Eric Young, Dean Ambrose, Anthony Nese

It was a terrible time for Daniel Bryan. Riding high last year with his crowd momentum as WWE's number one and making it this year at Wrestlemania, his crown was unfortuneately lost.

The Hero of the year was Dean Ambrose. Over the late corse of 2014, WWE needed a new guy to challenge the indifference of John Cena. They foudn it in Dean Ambrose. Crazy, skilled and hardcore(ish) Ambrose made fans cheer louder in 2014. Down to challenging change and adding something different to the ordinary, the Lunatic Fringe did that in battles with Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt. Though Ambrose is stalling now and WWE need to make adjustments, Ambrose takes the trophy for 2014.

As with his downplay from injury, Bryan lost out to Ambrose. However, Bryan still held and holds a lot of value and maintained his core to stay in second.

John Cena took a back seat in WWE to allow some others a chance to arise though was still, naturally, kept to hover around. If WWE continue this then Cena will have future pponents to play with and maintain his position overall. 

Anthony Nese put in a good show on the independent scene with hottness and skill that fans could all respect. Nese can adapt on the circuit to both sides but shone when he showed his signs of honourbiity.

Eric Young qualified but it was still rather weak. 

Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, Rusev, Stephanie McMahon, Minoru Suzuki

This year delivered a tough batch of baddies in wrestling. From Brock Lesnar ending a favourite legend's defining era of decade dominance in the Streak and Rusev's frustrating patriotism upsetting fans, the choice was hard. All put in smooth and strong interest as a dishonourable foe. The winner is none other than Stephanie McMahon. Her deliverance, annoying presence and tough stance taking backchat form no-one made her a force to be reckoned with. She even did it with class, style and precision no-one else could come close to.

Lesnar was a close second with Rusev following. Wyatt and Suzuki followed on afterward where all made an interesting 2014 in wrestling. 

Personality / Game Changer
Brock Lesnar (The Streak), Joe Doering, Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA, Rob Conway

This award is for someone that has done something for wrestling that changes the landscape considerably in some way be it intentional (usually) or not. 

There wasn't anyone anywhere who could not get away from the winner. Brock Lesnar shattered the dreams and hopes of all fans by breaking The Undertaker's undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Whatever the reasons behind it and whether it should have happened or not, it was the most shocking, game changing moment in wrestling. 

Joe Doering was a close second. Taking the All Japan Heavyweight title and becoming All Japan's newest torch bearer of the company changed the landscape of AJPW, for the better. 

Third was Rob Conway, who held the National Wrestling Alliance together. His perfection in tag matches and heavyweight structure has kept real wrestling values in place.

Naomichi Marufuji was the next in line to replace KENTA, who left for WWE. As the leading man for Pro Wrestling NOAH, Marufuji has maintained the position with dignity and significance. He has held his place and made title matches meaninful on his own merit, among the transition.

KENTA joined WWE over the Summer period from Pro Wrestling NOAH. While it was his time to go, it was a key steal from the Japanese market to WWE. The only question is can the renamed Hideo Itami make it in WWE? 

Batista, Angelina Love, Lashley, Hulk Hogan, Taryn Terrell

There was only one real comeback this year. Charging his way through, Batista dominated with a Roya Rumble victory. His return held fan investment on every situation and was able to deliver wrestling potential. His performances at Elimination Chamber and Payback were two of his best on return after negative fan response. 

Lashley returned to defeat Eric Young as TNA's mainstay champion. While Lashley has improved over the last year from his return in TNA, saddled with loser and real-life criminal MVP, TNA dropped the ball again in places. Though Lashley's attempts to make it work has been a beneficial return once considered as questionable, even if TNA use their heavyweight title as a cheap bargaining chip. 

Angelina Love returned to TNA after being dropped the past year by cash strapped Dixie Carter. Though after a good start, Love was in trouble. Dixie instantly switched her from face of the Knockout's division to the plus one once again. Re-starting her The Beautiful People pairing with gal pal Velvet Sky, TNA, and it performers in question sank back into comfortable past years of uselessness. Weak booking and lack of interest from a cheap attempt to get guys to look at these models was plain sad.

The Hulkster Hulk Hogan returned to WWE. Back home and in comfortable settings, Hulk has been helpful to WWE with brief appearances and an 'overseas ambassador' to promote WWE intentionally.

Taryn Terrell's return was shortly interrupted and daft, though her comeback was improved in her wrestling capabilities, which was appreciative.

Tag Team
The Uso’s, Time Splitters, The BroMans, The Ascension, IronGodz

This year's tag teams were  mixed bag but the top five made the strongest for quite a long time in tag team wrestling.

Among them are the winners IronGodz. The formation of Rob Conway and Jax Dane was not only compact and talented, both work off one another smoothly. They support themselves and opponents to near perfect matches and stimulate the audience and the scene. 

Closely behind were The Uso's and The BroMans. After them were Tiime Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA) with The Ascension next in line. All were closely together in contention and again, boost tag wrestling to the best year its had in quite some time with a wide selection.

Pay Per View
Money in the Bank, SHIMMER Volume 70,Summer Action, G1 Climax, Wrestlemania XXX

A few PPV's were considerable while others were exceptional.  

2014 delivered with its greatest one yet, Money in the Bank. While often as top gap PPV in-between, the match type and the skill of all those involved made the pay per view outstanding. The bank matches themselves were tender, shocking and enthralling and that was a great asset to those involved in them. The supporting cast on the PPV also contributed to the action outside of the bank battles as a healthy balance. 

SHIMMER's women's wrestling has really taken off leading the way. With all female wrestling at the forefront and interesting for fans, while adding intense and skillful wrestling, Volume 70 was one of SHIMMER's most standout PPV's. Talent, connection and surprise all the women and its company can be proud of coming up as a close second.

All Japan's Summer Action PPV saw new heavyweight champion Joe Doering become the shining light for the company in times of stress. Though the PPV and its lead up to Doering's moment was filled with skill and clever interludes to balance the show well.

Wrestlemania XXX was a little bit of a letdown as the new branding of WWE's future era to come is shaping its way. However, this didn't stop it delivering some notable matches including Daniel Bryan's epic victory as Heavyweight champion with Batista and Randy Orton and of course Brock Lesnar defeating The Undertaker's historic streak. 

New Japan's G1 Climax tournament was weak in its crowning choice of ignorance. Though the participants and the upheld detail by the likes of Minoru Suzuki, Togi Makabe, Tetsuya Naito and others were decent for a noomination.

Dixie Carter’s travelling circus, Adam Rose Express, CM Punk abruptly walks out on WWE, Bo Dallas’ inspiration, Kurt Angle’s denial of inebriation on plane

Dixie Carter is her own worst nightmare. Can she ever do anything right? Whilst some thought it may be an inside joke, she actually brought along a circus troupe of superstars to TNA screens. Her management and disastrous stealing of ideas from Max Waltham to tarnish her own reputation was quite a feat. Unable to deliver excellent ideas and no clue how to put them into the spectrum of wrestling with strong outcomes and further reasoning alien to her Carter has scooped this gong three years in a row! She is truly clueless and her throwaway ideas on TNA TV not only cheapen the wrestling business but herself, her workforce, her company and her investors of time and money. Clueless and stubborn behaviour of her own ego failing to get people who can make her mess a success is simply pathetic. Carter's lack of direction seems to be as lazy as her eye. No-one can ever genuinely trust Dix to lead TNA to any level of glory.

Kurt Angle publicly asking for a WWE job after his TNA contract was up only to lie again about being inebriated on a plane with photographically evidence doing the rounds was the latest installment in Angle's lunacy. Lying and embarrassing, Angle is a washed up mess doing himself no favours. 

CM Punk sent shockwaves last January. After the Royal Rumble CM Punk legitimately quit and walked out on WWE. Without prior warning and frustrated with the running of WWE and story involvement, Punk said he was finished with Pro Wrestling. Since he has joined UFC awaiting his first fight. Though Punk's handling of the situation could have been better, it wasn't best received by fans during the fallout of a divided split among groups with fans, insiders and wrestling companies.

Adam Rose and the Lex Express of lunacy version PG wasn't WWE or Rose's finest hour.

Bo Dallas' limp inspirational being was a turn off, despite his attempts to make the thing work. It was doomed from the start.

Jeremy Borash, Chris Jericho, Tommy Dreamer, Triple H, Alberto Del Rio

What a list! There were certainly a lot of false-faced facades on offer here. Liars, deceit, claculated decisions and shameless money makers. 2014 had 'em and only five people were needed to share it around. Charming. 

Though there was a clear winner. Alberto Del Rio took the biscuit. Bad mouthed. physically abusive and demeaning thereafter, Rio was an outrageous being who used his new found celebrity moment to Hoeski himself out. Using the race card to claim on WWE as well as taking random bookings and interviews, Rio used all that allowed themselves to be used to play a poor me sadact. Rio used media, companies and feeble back room chat shows to get himself above an aggressive assault of his nature, all the while blaming WWE with a racism taunt to excuse his outlandish behaviour. Shameless.

Chris Jericho returned to WWE for another short period. Was it for the fans? The dream matches? No. Jericho wanted the money, then came for the celebrity profile and scarpered. Jericho used WWE and in desperate times WWE allowed it. Jericho left and has since returned in a quiet non-televisied role, gaining more money.

Jeremy Bore-rash just wouldn't go away. With his one dimensional announcing, gaining voice and draining enthusiasms from everything the man claimed he was Dix's right hand man. Even believing he is "an owner" of TNA while he is luck to have a job was simply ludicrous. Launching tacky and shameless tv shows in other countries to seem like he knows what he's doing and carried by Dixie Carter because she is entirely clueless is another reason TNA is a complete dump site which will seemingly never change. The so called "nicest woman in wrestling" who enjoys being nasty, has also allowed Borash to ruin company perception by being verbally catty and abuse in a passive manner to others. Ain't she sweet?

Triple H and his lack of business management upgrading failed concepts from NXT to the main roster were embarrassing. Using these favourable at the time concepts to get fan support on his side as a management figure were plain sad. Triple H needed to latch on to fan support by trying to cleverly play a game in which he would upload NXT's raved about stars by fickle internet fans on tacky dirt sheets. An irony in which WWE often hated, now Triple H sought the consul of dirt sheets in order to con the fans to believing he was in it for them to ride the crest of a wave. The irony is that Triple H was swept away with it. Triple H's pet projects Kharma, Sin Cara, Paige and others have all failed upon arrival. All because Tripe H wants to ignore the sole reason of success which stares before him. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Tommy Dreamer is now officially Dixie Carter's b**ch boy. Used for playing out his already diminishing relevance of ECW some twenty years ago, Dreamer took a few jobs with TNA. Yeah, everyone needs to pay the bills, but damn, this wasn't it. Sloppy, sad and all about a management angle gone completely wrong, this was not Dreamer's final hour to a comeback. 

Antonio Cesaro, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Anthony Nese, Jessie Godderz

There were quite a lot of hotties this year and the top five were certainly on form. From the beef of Jessie, the hunk of Orton and the built vanilla essence of Cesaro challenged by Reigns and Nese it was hard. 

Though through careful speculation the winner was clear. This years Hotty is Antonio Cesaro. The Swiss Superman with hotness oozing and all his open legs and tight action in the ring was unparalleled. As soon as he stood, Cesaro was hot, hunky and meaningful. It shone out of him and he did not stop giving. Then so is the reward. Well deserved and delicious, will he be able to keep hold of it for 2015? 

Runner up was the contestable force in Randy Orton. Jessie Godderz and Anthony Nese soon followed with Roman Reigns ringing up the rear.

Open Legs
Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Adrian Neville, Jessie Godderz, Randy Orton

Quite a lot of legs were on offer this year but again, in minimal standing. At least the boys are being braver but it takes more than one moment or a passing, cheap open to try and win. Hotness is optional but environment and interaction could be key to swaying the votes in your favour. Like the action go for it and put some oof behind it.

Of the last five who gave it their all one took the golden gong. This years 2014 Open Legs goes to Antonio Cesaro. A giver constantly and done in tasteful and smooth ways, with a hot finesse bagged the beauty under close competition.

Dean Ambrose came close second with a wide and impressive open full frontal with bulge. So close, honestly, but Cesaro nabbed it in his tights and smooth legs. 

That competition was very closely contested by Jessie Godderz. He's best came whilst working a generous match with Sam Shaw and Angelina Love. This sure was loving.

Randy Orton gave good standing on the ground followed by Adrian Neville wide flying open legs in an aerial NXT leg split.

Randy Orton, Sheamus, Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Jey Uso

2014 gave some interesting back views. Though their was still a few played down or not a lot of contention. Raise the bar, lads. Though five made it to careful consideration.

It's a double winner! Both winning front and now back is Antonio Cesaro. While there was tough competition, damn, just one look at that image (on Social Media, check page tab above)and you can clearly see, pure perfection. Classy and dignified yet a glorious, smooth shape and conditioned butt was Cesaro's crowning glory.

Sheamus had both on show in one nomination! Though Shea gave it his all, it was a close call. It was still considerable and appreciated by many.

Yeowch! Seth Rollins steered into second after fully going for it, only a tad was missing in the visible shape, it was a welcomed and tender image that will stay with many in their mind.

OMG! Jey Uso got pantsed by The Miz on a WWE show. Though it was accidental, there was a generous sight on offer for all those that are keen to see (or say) Oooh-so! Or A**-Oh!

Randy Orton always gives good on his entries. Need we say more? Perfect shape, smooth arch and gracious display. Though this year misses out after some stiff competition.

Rising Star
Joe Doering, La Sombra, Sanada, Roman Reigns, YAMATO

This award has been renamed Rising Star. Formerly the Newest Development to Excel award still has the same meaning. 

There was one standout winner. Joe Doering claimed the biggest prize in All Japan, its world title. Rising up as the company's newest star, shining at its brightest, AJPW made a new star relevant with audience and gave him the chance to develop greater to the company overall.

La Sombra continues to be the high-flying dominate ace of Mexican wrestling today. He is skilled, stylish and clever in his projections. Mexico need to hold on carefully to this one. They should make sure he does not battle any ignorant fellows that would tarnish his young and rising reputation for a chance moment on screen.

YAMATO was a sheer dominant force in Dragon Gate but is stuck in a point of stalemate. DG have kept him grounded by giving him its secondary title, which he has elevated tremendously but has been rebuked for the main gold. DG have a star in its midst but the longer they hold off due to bookers' attitudes of failure proving to be egotistically right than making the right call for wrestling is starting to diminish the brand.

Sanada follows on. As most written about in the Wrestling Wonders Pro 50 Wonder List - (Click link here to read) - Sanada started out rough, then grew in TNA. Though the indecision of booking from TNA management ruined the potential. As a comedy act with no direction, Sanada is going downward instead of up.

Roman Reigns comes up last. He is a trier though immense pressure is now put on him to be WWE's 'top man' which is difficult for the former NXT rookie. While Reigns is learning on the job and meets WWE's requirements of 'big men' who also look a little sexy, the rest on offer is not as such. Hopefully this will change for Roman, but it will not be overnight. He should be placed in mid-level matches and build over the next year with a strong profile as a tough character. He should probably adopt tights and lose the whole 'Shield' attire seeing as he isn't actually in that anymore. It doesn't make him look tough.

Paul Heyman (The Streak broken), The Authority (Authority always wins), Bray Wyatt (Eater of Worlds), The Rock (Shock confrontation of Rusev and Lana), Lana (Battleground)

Paul Heyman's quality was on offer once more. Speaking on behalf of client Brock Lesnar to boost the uproar from the broken Wrestlemania Streak of The Undertaker, Heyman basked in the glory. Though follow up were good and there it wasn't enough this year to top the list. 

The winner of this year was down to two. Bray Wyatt stole the show as the Eater of Worlds. Telling everyone jus thow it is and to respect his culture superstars disagreeing found out the hard way through their selfishness. 

Second were the supreme powerhouse The Authority. Anyone failing to support their respectful rewards turning into a level of stroryline bias distorting the full impact of their reasoning was still considerable. It was the second most powerful speech of the year.

Lana held her own level of competence despite controversial offerings. 

Heyman filed in third as Lana and The Rock followed on. 

Max Waltham Appreciation
Joan Rivers

The late great Joan Rivers was an intrinsic force in the professional wrestling world early on. Her most notable work with the WWE then WWF as a ring announcer and appearance at Wrestlemania 2 between Mr. T and Roddy Piper's fight paved the way for comedy in wrestling. While in later years classed as foul mouthed in comedy circles often forgotten by many is the high level of skill and talent to present that unique aura. Rivers was unrelenting and would not cave in to social pressure. Her testament was boundless and wasn't afraid to offend for a reaction. Her reactions were vital to making wrestling a way of engagement and opened more ways forward for other now celebrity stars of mostly WWE to cement wrestling legacy. Rivers will be sorely missed and always managed to deliver regardless of being loved or hated for her talents. 

Rivers had dealings with the mighty Hulkster Hulk Hogan around the time with chatter and continued in later years this current era with modern stars as well. All the while a fashionista herself, adding glamour to the scene, she added intense depth to the wrestling world and for that Joan Rivers is marked as one of the greatest stars for many a time, ever unique. 

Wrestling Wonders Hall of Fame
Hulk Hogan, Earthquake, Mr. Fuji, Joan Rivers, Kendo Nagasaki, Vincent J. McMahon, Dino Bravo, Bob Orton Sr

The year's class of 2014 is a formidable line-up. 

No-one can deny the star of the wrestling world and Vince McMahon Jr's brainchild, Hulk Hogan became the unstoppable character worldwide. Everyone knew his name, was interested in his on-goings and his heart-whelming stories. Hogan was beloved for numerous years at the top of his game, unable to be sidelined from his perch. While later years of PR attitudes have been detrimental to his star, Hogan has made more than enough ground as wrestling's number one superstar. With epic feuds, childhood dreams and passionate interactions, Hogan does deserve his past achievements of recognition.

Tag team supremo and singles force Earthquake is most famous for stabilising tag team wrestling. His Natural Disasters team with Typhoon was a real turning point in his career. As a singles wrestler too, the mighty monstrosity was captivating at his very best. Fans were thrilled, engaged and upset which proved the success of the star within. 

Japanese manager Mr. Fuji was simply mesmerizing. From his dirty deeds ringside and his unknown intentions for his stars, Fuji was a dominant character on the outside. Strong smiles, cheeky tactics and and gentlemanly cane made Fuji an instant favourite. With skill, talent and an artistic way forward as an outsider making the best of the situations, Fuji goes down as one of wrestling most engaging managers which fully pleased fans one way or the other. 

Strong, confident and cocky, Joan Rivers led a new way for women in wrestling. From ring announcing and talking with Hulk Hogan to being a classy lady where appropriate, Rivers was instrumental in wrestling circles often forgotten. Joan's later support never forgetting her roots still proved despite never truly showing it, Rivers too was a strong lover of the wrestling world. She led a role that took women to the next level, even if she wasn't a full on in-ring wrestler.

The masked British wrestler with a mysterious aura and tantalising approach, Kendo Nagasaki is honoured. Unknown, classy and skilled, Nagasaki would not reveal himself to anyone until his terms decided the grand revelations. Making his opponents built up as equals, strong rivals and workability as a team, Nagasaki was simply wonderful. Kept on every word, instance and decision, never knowing what would come next, the star was truly a mesmeric and guiding force to look towards. Inspiring and confident, Nagasaki is one of wrestling's unsung heroes who paved the way for the world of British wrestling and globally as well. 

Vincent J. McMahon was the man who made the WWE possible today. Then known as Capitol Wrestling (CWC) McMahon Sr developed the wrestling business from learning the ropes at a young age. Transforming the business into the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) McMahon Sr understood what worked and how to maintain wrestling principals. Retaining these details and branching out with television years ago, he was able to continue the success of expanding the business to a wider audience. Understanding the then regional wrestling handshake deal, McMahon made a success of this territory without overstepping the mark to maintaining wrestling values with healthy alternatives. Though McMahon's alternative was always the one to top the bill and always figure out how to get bums on seats.

Dino Bravo was one of WWE's most stable figures in WWE's mid card scene. Along with strong tag's and cool interactions, Bravo's showcase of smooth and sweet style was respected. His selfless ability to help others and guide with training as well outside of retirement was a shining example to all the wrestling world of his passion and care for the profession. Having fought almost everyone of note worth at the height of the WWE/F's golden era of new age oldies, fans respect his necessary entitlement to respected veteran. 

Bob Orton Sr may be minimally unknown to today's younger audiences but Randy Orton's grandfather was "The Big O" in Stampeded Wrestling and for good reason. Taking the world by storm, Orton is well known as the originator of the now rightly reduced Piledriver manoeuver. Able to carry it well and work with others to exceptional fan thrillers, Bob Orton then Bob Orton Sr to establish himself from his incoming family, lined out ways forward for future generations. That foundation laid was an outstanding display of might and skill which is still going strong with today's youngsters. 

Most Improved
Ethan Carter III, Lashley, Dean Ambrose, Curtis Axel, Charlotte

Over the year improvement was clear. A lot of stars bothered to better themselves on different aspects. Though there was one clear winner. Curtis Axel is this years winner. His attention to detail and way he worked others to success whilst improving hos own style was better. While fans may not instantly recognise this among his downplayed persona on television, Axel helped others to better actions and kept his own place. 

Runner up was Ethan Carter III. While saddled with the dodgy surname in wrestling Carter III nee Bateman not only made his name in profile but really sold others and held his own skillset int he ring. Still getting better and improving everytime, Carter III has a chance at making a success of himself in the future if TNA get behind it. 

Charlotte rose drastically on NXT to a high standing. Lashley really improved himself further and Dean Ambrose is growing along considerably. 

The Authority take over WWE, Undertaker loses Streak at Wrestlemania, Stephanie becomes a Jailbird, TNA’s fake secret investor in MVP, CM Punk walks out on WWE

There was no other dominating story than the winner. The Authority of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H taking over WWE was the best 2014 had to offer. They left nothing to imgaintiaion and went for the jugular. Based on 'someone who shall not be named in all WWE programming yet formulates the foundation' WWE tried to do the whole self-assured angle. Confident, able to stand own ground and develop new ways forward to any situation with solution, WWE, with its own fine tweaks wasn't fully a Waltham, but envisaged the essence among them. Though the star was lead female Stephanie McMahon who really drove the angle forward with promise, stern and sophisticated promise and annoyance. Though mildly trying to suggest this adjustment form WWE bosses was a reflection on the significant other essence, Steph was hated even further for it. Well, it made good TV, that's for sure. Until fans complained, that is because they couldn't get their own way thanks to Triple H's previous pandering.

Runner up was Undertaker's lst streak at Wrestlemania used by WWE for cheap press reports. Following in third was TNA's fake investor storyline in real-life criminal MVP. What a let down that was for fans after being billed as the biggest change to TNA history after TNA really did consider selling off TNA and then lied about it, insulting its fanbase, what's left of it.

Dixie Carter also issued her own copycat mentality as always of Max Waltham and WWE. This time Dixie invented the cheap and tacky, no thought included, Dixieland. Dix thought her version of Waltham's Wonderland would work. After insulting her fans, their intelligence and filled with daft losers and personal choices self-destructing the TNA show, Dix proved she had no clue what to do. She even lied about selling off the company and offering WWE rejects Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk offers to come in and play with the world title as an accessory for OMG! factor moments. A story in which the real life escapades of Dixie Carter diminish all that was once salvageable to TNA. Now no-one wants to touch nor associate themselves with Dixieland. Not even buyers or TV people. No-one is grinning like a Cheshire Cat now.

Steph becoming a jailbird was a humourous and fun thing that was pretty good for a short, few weeks story. The interactions and the smile from one of her authorities taking away The Authority wasn't planned but still a sweet smile. Like a sprinkle of sugar on your sweet raspberry cake. Mmm. Steph's interactions also were priceless.

Hardly a storyline, though some fans did think it was one at sometime. The reality of a story that become a mild story in itself was an odd paradox that kept people unsure what to think, even when insiders gave them the answer. 

Seth Rollins, Rob Van Dam, La Sombra, Kota Ibushi, Adrian Neville

There was no-one more willing to put on a stunning showstopper of high-flying skill. That award goes to Seth Rollins. Crazy, meticulously planned and considerable in all its rights, Rollins thought about logical perspective and boosted the outcomes. Fans were thrilled and lapped it up. The respect on offer for Rollins in high profile matches where these instances occur was again, adored. 

La Sombra was runner up with stunning and fluent flight. Rob Van Dam impressed in his return to really work at changing perception which was once again now relevant. He put those moves carefully into his performance. 

Following in fourth and fifth respectively are Kota Ibushi and Adrian Neville. Both really delivered where necessary in their matches. 

Stephanie McMahon, Lana, Ashley Remington, Antonio Cesaro, Brie Bella

This was a good choice on equal playing field. All had beautiful outfits and wonderful style. It wasn't about who was 'Best Dressed' only to take all their clothes off in photoshoots after for Victoria's Secrets or Playboy.

From Antonio Cesaro's jackets, colour tights and smooth style to Stephanie McMahon's elegant and impressive range of 'off the rack' glamour it was a tough call.

Though one lady shined through all her beauty and pipped Steph to the post. With smooth silk, style and sheen Lana and her suits personified pure fashionable panache. Clean and effective with a velvet undertone, this woman had it from pinstripes to professional. Pure class.

Stephanie McMahon tried extremely hard and we can see that. She almost had it, but again, was beat by Lana. Steph had great corporism in her suits, gowns and dresses. Her hotpants Helmsley-McMahon era were both yes and no, but overall she was also daring with her dresses. She put on an incredibly good spread and looked radiant in them.

Cesaro's small but smooth changes were good. His tights had not too little, but not too much. The jacket was slightly daft and could not be taken seriously, though Cesaro's sequins were workable by him alone to a degree.

Ashley Remington proved delightful at one CHIKARA event dressed as a sailor. Though it might seem obvious, there were a lot of levels within his layers and colour combinations. His pale green tights fitted the, erm, brief considerably. The brief with the beef. There's a new one for you. :)

Brie Bella's Payback outfit with hubby Daniel Bryan was elegant, sophisticated and beautiful. A few other outfits were also in line that added to her nomination.

WWE, Dragon Gate, All Japan Pro Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance, SHIMMER Women’s Athletes

The big one for all companies. Who stole the show this year as best wrestling company? Without a doubt it was WWE. While some of their programming was off and the costly WWE Network affecting some staff and shows, WWE pulled out enough stops where it counted. It launched Daniel Bryan in his coming of age story, kept Randy Orton at the top of his game and brought back a few oldies but goodies with Brock Lesnar and Batista. Capitalising and making the programming, where appropriate count, WWE were able to produce the goods and take the crown. No-one else could match it.

Surprising to many it may be, though SHIMMER Women's Athlethes came in second. Absent was strong competition and the irony of female wrestling as all brand participants was shockingly good. All the women put on excellent shows and strive for the best in their own way. Without pandering to audiences and able to deliver on strong action, it has shot up the charts as the number two promotion.

Able to move forward and give newer, fresher options with a continental outreach, AJPW made a good choice, for Doering's first AJPW Heavyweight title run. Looking to enhance a more global outreach and a smoother style, All Japan is moving in the right direction with its programming, stars and development as a strong and capable company.

The National Wrestling Alliance are coming up strong thanks to Rob Conway holding it together and putting a new, modern and charismatic stance on the show. Though it will need other options than just Conway, NWA should make sure he is not prematurely dropped like last year's short title reign. This lost NWA a good level of momentum.

Dragon Gate manages to ring up the rear. It was better than other absent and futile promotions often banded around as fun, but is still lacking in areas due to stubborn ego. That will be its test. Once Promotion of the year in 2012, Dragon Gate has dropped its ball. It needs to listen, make newer, fresher changes and stop relying on favourites if it is to be fully taken seriously once again. 

Until next year, let's see who will deliver, score big and make agreeable changes for the better of the professional wrestling landscape. If you would like to get in touch about anything or interest in joining a potential awards panel please contact on Social Media or E-Mail etc. Only serious and numerous inquires please, thank you. All correspondence will be considered.

You're Welcome!

© Max Waltham 20th January 2015
All Rights Reserved

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