Friday, 24 February 2017

Wrestling Wonders' Year-End Awards 2016

Wrestling Wonders' 
Year End Awards 

Welcome to the annual awards of 2016. The only respectful Awards honours in Wrestling which everyone should hope to seek nomination and win. Being nominated is almost as much a privilege as winning. All hard work, technique and skills of the past wrestling year from everyone eligible will be honoured with due respect here. There are no imitations. 

Awards received on 02nd January 2017 and finalised in text on 08th February 2017. 

Rusev, Cesaro, James Ellsworth, Seth Rollins, Yamato

Without any doubt, James Ellsworth is undeniably the wrestler of 2016. In his short space ascension over the last three months of WWE as the interfering nag of the Dean Ambrose - AJ Styles feud of childish unimportance, Ellsworth was the only stand out selling point. With his raspy microphone technique, shockingly able wrestling action among a starting jobber role, and enough power to convincingly topple AJ Styles for the WWE World title, stalled by WWE on multiple occasions yet to arrive, has shone beyond incredible belief. Ellsworth was the only true stand out force, character and layered professional to build interest back into WWE and Smackdown's dwindling ratings with rays of hope, which WWE have once more erased on an otherwise pitiful 2016 in wrestling today. Ellsworth claims the top, over WW Pro 50 number one, Cesaro, as this award is based on not just wrestling work but the wrestler of the year, overall, and their on-screen presence or achievements of the year to benefit the sport.

Cesaro was the comeback kid, despite rubbish stories, WWE failing to provide him anything on purpose with bitter hate with a hidden agenda, highly embarrassed by Cesaro becoming the second year in a row's Wrestling Wonders Pro 50 number one wrestler of the year, on technique, style, wit and power. Second to Ellsworth only due to being cast aback. The Wrestler of the year is overall, not just skill based, as is fully respected in the Pro 50.

Rusev and Seth Rollins followed respectively. Yamato continues to be under-utilised by still keeps the wrestling skills at the top of his game. 

Charlotte, Asuka, Dixie Carter, Bayley, Sasha Banks

For all WWE's attempts to rebuild a women's division full of two diva's low and behold, Dixie Carter always manages to come up trumps for all the wrong reasons. Dixie Carter became the Woman of the year with all the focus. Calamitous, clueless and self-destructive on her company's very turbulent waters of finance and misdirection, Captain Carter was the only stand out female figure in wrestling, showcasing her disastrous capabilities to pushing her sinking ship further into the ever fateful iceberg.

Asuka continues to reign supreme in NXT. It is difficult to envisage a call up for her soon, among a lacking roster she would be somewhat tainted by. In NXT, once again rules the roost and will inevitably be called upon. WWE need to get it right and perhaps a draft change around would benefit with a roster of transferred Smackdown women to Raw's pitiful diva's stack up, currently.

Bayley was WWE's next interest with fans. While with cheap pops, party balloons and streamers for the female John Cena for kids, Bail's has got some being, but outside of questioning what remains to be seen. She had a bit of buzz and is mildly popular for the time being.

WWE really tried hard to get Charlotte (the only diva in WWE), a failed wrestler with lacking promos, fluffing words, out of her depth with crowds and losing her rag over, to lacking results. Yes, she had prominence, even if WWE tinkered with legitimacy to put her as front of diva house, but lacked everything required to be anything but towering focal point of inconsistencies. 

Sasha Banks continues to be an irrelevance no-one is really that interested in, even with a few 'poppers' in the crowd now and again. You wouldn't even know she was there. Selfies with Triple H won't help.

James Ellsworth, Volador Jr, Cesaro, Shane McMahon, Seth Rollins 

Public sympathy from a random extra taking falls to no-hoper Braun Strowman, and seemingly set to suffer the same embarrassing plight as many others before him in the reprised role, Ellsworth turned a corner with the crowd. Sick of Strowman and impressed by the little man who had something previously unseen in the break out star, gauge fans handsomely with hope and prosperity. Fans sent a message to WWE and Ellsworth hence forth. The man returned to regular, interfering roles in the World title scene between dullard champ AJ Styles and increasing dud Dean Ambrose. Fans needed something new and Ellsworth, brimming with talent, mystery and thrill become their new beloved that beamed a glowing hero the WWE Universe could truly be proud of. 

Cesaro was once more as over as ever despite lacking progression from the booking committee. The number one wrestler of 2016, however lost out to Ellsworth slightly as its number one hero. 

Shane McMahon's return was encouraging and pleasing but eventually run its course.

Volador Jr provided more excellence in the ring as Seth Rollins slips in, but only just, with a very lacklustre directional switch up. 

Rusev, Minoru Suzuki, Alexa Bliss, BxB Hulk, Yamato

There was only one monster brute that fans could rally behind this year. Rusev was the guy that WWE needed, had and fans lapped up. The change in Rusev's nature, skills and boisterous antics with rants, yells and bashing beatdowns gave the fans that moment they required, to shut down annoyances with skill and entertainment, which included WWE's most failed modern concept of Roman Reigns. Rusev held the role on his own style, passion and encouraging interactions, with the United States championship to further captivate and annoy fans in fuller respect to the Bulgarian Brute who is capable of much more.

Close following was BxB Hulk's impressive leadership of stablemates and directional attitude to his opponents.

Minoru Suzuki always manages to make fun moments of comedy with strong interlaced wrestling action that earn him a comedic nutjob with skill, providing a two in one moment on screen to enjoy somewhat.

Alexa Bliss may have mimicked a comic character in appearance, but was vastly improved on the main Smackdown roster and as Smackdown Women's Champion. Her talent has come leaps and bounds in such a short space of time.

Yamato provided leading force BxB Hulk with strong back up and held his own to encourage more interesting wrestling options for 2016.

Dolph Ziggler Vs The Miz (09th Oct, WWE), James Ellsworth Vs AJ Styles (18th Oct, WWE), Rusev Vs Roman Reigns (25th Sep, WWE), Volador Jr Vs El Barbaro Cavernario (30th Sep, CMLL) Sept, The Vaudevillians Vs New Day (22nd May, WWE)

A tough choice but the match of the year was Volador Jr mixing it up with El Barbaro Cavernario. The expert scuffle with hasty Caveman dives, swift Moonsaults and an even quicker sparring partner in Volador Jr, the pair put on a near thirty minute expert collision that had the fans lapping up an encore. Two of three fall wasn't enough. Brutal brawls, raw chemistry and superb storytelling make these matches and this one a must see for any real wrestling lover.  

In a close second place is the Extreme Rules tag match between the super hot Vaudevillains and the crowd favourites the New Day. With a tense dynamic, a heated passion for both sides and intense power moves countered by technical whizz, the underrated tag team in the debonair 1920's gentlemanly aura was nothing short of engaging and exceptionally putting all the roster to shame, despite fans and WWE not really realising the true values of wrestling entertainment fully. 

Rusev and Roman Reigns' match-up at Clash of Champions made waves that most could not see. Rusev made Reigns his equal, sold like no other and Roman Reigns managed to look like a credible star once again. Their match has power, action, intent and appeal. Despite the series and feud being short, this was a match with interest.

James Ellsworth's messed up booking decisions after pressure from the real life choices of WWE's decision makers was a poor transition. However, with that in mind, that did not stop Ellsworth once more becoming the pocket-rocket, jobber to main card stardom that WWE were too scared to fully utilise. Over, loved, using wrestling talent and succeeding as a growing force, Ellsworth ironically carried WWE lovey and overrated TNA action figure AJ Styles to his first competent match in WWE. 

Many regard Dolph Ziggler and The Miz's clash at No Mercy outstanding. On closer inspection outside of the hype and it was just as WWE booked it. A look as though change was there but in hindsight the pair, whilst worked well with long time, was full of spots, gimmicks and missed opportunities in places. Given the main event spotlight to cover the World title going on first so Vince McMahon and AJ Styles, among its WWE crew could watch the Presidential Debate rather than focus on its own product. The match became another substandard, 'looks great in the moment' of cheap crumbs served with an expectancy for the crowd of cats to take the scraps at the table.

Roman Reigns Vs Rusev, Sasha Banks Vs Charlotte, James Ellsworth Vs AJ Styles, Tribe Vanguard Vs The Jimmyz, Volador Jr Vs El Barbaro Cavernario 

Like 2015 before it, 2016 was still short on feuds which may signal a downfall to wrestling over coming years with cheap and tacky instalments instead.

This year's feud of the year goes to Rusev Vs Roman Reigns. An odd choice for some, but what was achieved in this mini feud from both, abandoned by WWE's writing and creative system, yet still managing to put on a spectacle in every few matches they had in their late year run over the United States title was a joy to watch. Wrestling style, charisma, workability from both to one another's vulnerabilities and believable switch over's coming of the title where capable of so much more than just a stop gap for WWE to allow side attractions in main event failings to play around and cost more viewers to bail on WWE's pitiful attempts at new age entertainment. 

AJ Styles needed a strong option to dethrone his failed title reign but WWE were too scared and thoughtless to do so, however James Ellsworth provided a true underdog story that seemed likely and should have happened to re-invigorate WWE. WWE again, stalled and lost a real option to succeed its audience once more to protect a friend of Triple H's fandom choices beyond business sense.

Hardly a feud but Sasha Banks and Charlotte, by way of lacking competition on the rostered females, were a constant mess and useless back and forth drained, however, there were slim options left outside of this.

Tribe Vanguard follow on as do Volador Jr and El Barabro Cavernario's joyous matches which were less than noticed by audiences despite their grand successes fully respected here.

Chad Gable, Matanza, Clement Petiot, Mojo Rawley, Fred Yehi

Impressing with his improved stance, capable physique and graceful transitions, this raging powerhouse in Mojo Rawley took off in his short space rise among WWE crowds. While some doubt in the draft call up as a joke act, Rawley has sidestep criticism with in-ring attitude, driven success and smooth interactions with partner Zack Ryder and opponents to stand strong among the pack. An early favourite who is capable of more in coming months.

Independent star Fred Yehi has proven to come a close second with his in-ring displays of technique and styled action that have a place as a capable starter to grow further.

Chad Gable naturally came third with his organic approach to the squared circle. 

Matanza climbed to fourth as Clement Petiot provided strong appeal to launch to number five, among all the Cruiserweight lunacy erasing his prominence as a talented star.

Personality / Game Changer
James Ellsworth, Billy Corgan, Tetsuya Naito, Matt Hardy, The Miz

Not much on offer to begin with, but then came along James Ellsworth, who made all rivals look as inconsistent as they have been over 2016. Point of place, strong transitions, in-ring and outside of it, depth of character and passionate crowd followings, James Ellsworth stunned all to rise as the star 2016 desperately needed. Among it all, freelance star finally gained his WWE contract among title matches, destined to be future World champ, if WWE can be bothered to get on with it. 

Billy Corgan was the predictable a saviour of TNA when the company sought a new investment buyer which he jumped at. It would later transpire that TNA duped and conned him out of embezzlement funding by not offering what was stated, to own TNA outright, which Dixie Carter would never give up out of deluded ego. Corgan sued TNA and still has a case. It is a miracle TNA survived an embezzlement case which is yet another choice that has all but ruined TNA by Dixie's deluded iron grasp of controlling obsession beyond reason. 

The Miz was a heap tactic for WWE to employ but still managed to make the Intercontinental Championship have a place, even if credibility is slowly being eroded from it every time Miz holds it by default. 

Matt Hardy chose to plagiarize Max Waltham with a dumb, bad hair-day nutjob and prove another third rate production after Bray Wyatt failed the big leagues. With a disastrous TNA choice, idiots running around in masked suits and mockery to the Waltham name was a puerile embarrassment for all involved, which once more proves one thing alone. They all need Max Waltham even if they are too stubborn to call. There are no imitations. Yet Dixie Carter is another abstract failure alongside her mocking moron Matt Hardy. Using never gets you to the top. Matt Hardy is just the same old jobber with a bit of makeup plastered on and cheap dialogue based on wrestling's one and only. I should be flattered, but the production is just so poor and inherently laughable, a true fit for TNA. 

Goldberg, Seth Rollins, Mascara Dorada, Cesaro, Heath Slater

Cesaro is once again the man with a plan. Despite WWE failing to write, book or give him any creativity, Cesaro is naturally brimming with it from all angles. Whether a cheap Transporter/James Bond stripper gimmick, or a whirling success with spinning top's Cesaro embarrasses WWE's inside hate with pure success every, single time. Mic skills, physicality, technique, aerial actions and ground prowess, and a Cesaro section to boot, the joke is on WWE for not making him the World champion it truly needs that should have been at least two lengthy runs or three times a champ. Luckily he avoided that ugly Universal mess of a title, which needs to be scrapped before Cesaro gains heavyweight gold.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Goldberg came back after years of absence. We like Goldberg but these awards and critique aren't about cheap popularity. Here, have a cookie. Please. WWE used Goldberg to get some buzz from its dripping ratings faster than morphine on life support. WWE need fresh injections, outside of its 'enhancements' so adding clean and beefy babe Goldberg looked a safe bet, but once more WWE were clueless on booking and his first return was a cheap two minute squash match against one of the supposedly most powerful beasts in the scene today, Brock Lesnar. It lacked finesse among such high hopes. One of the main reasons Goldberg left, and failed to return to WWE for many years until this time.

Heath Slater's return to action with a strong place, title success and climbing WWE's ranks was a joy to behold, and narrowly missed out on a place in the WW Pro 50 2016. 

Mascara Dorada and Seth Rollins follow up respectively. 

Tag Team
The Vaudevillains, American Alpha, Naruki Doi and Yamato, The Spirit Squad (Mikey and Kenny), TJ Marconi and Darius Carter

A close call for 2016 by a whisker each for the top three. The tag team of the year, despite company appearances to make it the top, were The Vaudevillians. After careful consideration the pair climbed to the top since their inception on the main roster, working a green team that injured themselves on live television and stabilised the tag division. While treated like dirt by WWE internally, the duo have a strong fit, poise, style and characterisation that was heated from the start without any words said. That in itself was a true talent to behold. The in-ring dynamic and pairing prove a successful unit that is difficult to detract from. Always adding and propping up other teams with incomparable action is often disregarded, but not here.

Yamato and Naruki Doi continue to dominate Dragon Gate and all its roster singularly and as a unit. Though both are in trouble of becoming stale by company booking not fully utilising their talents to the better advantage they can have. The pair work beautifully together and are a must se for any wrestling enthusiast. 

American Alpha were close, but miss out slightly. Fresh, current and able, the funky fresh organic team of submissions, bounce and energy entertain crowds.

TJ Marconi and Darius Carter provided much needed competition on the Independent scene as The Spirit Squad's return brought an air of interest to WWE again briefly. 

Backlash, SHIMMER Volume 90, Extreme Rules, AJPW Champion Carnival Tag, Day 8, DDT Judgement

Despite a lacking card in places all over WWE and the independent circuit some lesser known gems were out there, regardless of all the 'jump on the bandwagon without thinking' once more fans. Extreme Rules was the best show with mixed up actions, technical prowess by those needed like Cesaro and Rollins paving its build up, at a time of lacking developments on the slim roster.

SHIMMER continues to dazzle with its all female splendour that proves once again women's wrestling, as enhanced by this writer, isn't just a 'opportunity' for WWE's failed steal of a female revolution, where these shows prove female empowerment and the right respect in handling it with respect, as we do, is ever more powerful entertainment. 

All Japan Pro Wrestling's tag carnival was fun, skillful and engaging action to behold.

Backlash and Dynamic Dream Team's Judgment cards followed through.

Dixie Carter, Triple H, Kevin Owens, Paige, Roman Reigns

For the fifth year in a row (how does she do it?) Dixie Carter is the kingpin of Goofball's. Not paying her staff, embezzling funds with deceit from Billy Corgan and losing television deals as company has run out of fresh options on its sell by date, Dixie Carter is trudging along the stained wastelands of TNA. With her real life ego incessantly delusional, hateful and failing to get those who would fix TNA for the better, whilst using mockery angles and anything she can get her hands on to stay afloat at the first opportunity has all but sunk TNA as a credible option. With barely any fans in attendance and more financial stress beyond belief in the red, Dixie Carter may well have to file for bankruptcy. TNA has never made a profit in fifteen years since Dixie Carter has been involved. Wow. That's a long time. Of both Dixie's stranglehold and TNA's disastrous bail outs from her daddy. Even the talent are driven away and only use it as a stop gap, which is simply a Max Waltham knockoff with WWE acts' deleted' from the big leagues. If Dixie Carter ever wishes to succeed, she needs to lose her attitude and hateful spawn she embodies. Though all she does is mock, hate and wants to control what she has no control over because she has no idea how wrestling or business, let alone wrestling businesses work. She is too stubborn to ask for help and with it, will kill off her own company instead. Fans have bailed on her for this. Only a handful of weeping hopefuls remain. 2017 will be her toughest year. She already plans to blow more money on going back on the road, which is the choice that all but killed her financial resources. Can anyone beat her next year for the coveted Goofball trophy?

What hasn't been left to say about Triple H's ego ridden, hatefest plaguing the WWE business side and dropping ratings, audiences and respected booking choices with creative input or worthy hiring's? Always politicking for a chance to boast of NXT under his directionless 'leadership' trying to make a brand out of a developmental territory and marring everyone before they begin with a selfie to show off doesn't benefit anyone. Triple H can never put his mark fandom ego aside and prove business acumen with a level of strange breaking of interpersonal relationships beyond professionalism for the benefit of fans, critics, the business and beyond. The results that follow are testament to such failings. It seems Triple H is the only one who cannot see his imbecilic failings to harp on about something for the sake of it. Can he ever take a step back from himself?

Kevin Owens, another of Triple H's ignorant fanboys, gifted everything, failing to work at all instantly in matches and carried beyond belief is no doubt next in line. In his entire tenure in WWE, all he has done for the company is be a constant whiny b*tch thinking this is the Independent circuit and cannot work to the WWE or general wrestling style at all. On screen title holding for the sake of it and plodding along to feel included makes a complete laughing stock of this 'wrestler' who likes to roll around and scream nonsensically.

Paige's disgraced actions, bed-hopping marriage wrecking and public misdemeanours for WWE including being arrested and publicly assaulting fans at karaoke bars were not at all professional conduct.

Roman Reigns escaped being such a bad option thanks to the worsening actions of all above.

Triple H, Paige, Dixie Carter, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio

A deeply unpopular man trying to claim popularity, no not Roman Reigns, but the sneering vitriol of venomous King Cobra Triple H, desperate for fans, whom most of he has driven away once more attempted to use 'fan favourites' with call ups of ignorants to try and gain favour for himself. Fans have not viewed Triple H, who thinks he can latch on to success of immaterialising favourites of his own and a few 'men of the minute' chatter on dirt sheets, to get same interest. All of which has been lost. What a true Hoeski. Unfortunately Hunter still hasn't learnt grace, dignity and respect in how to run WWE's creative and hiring departments that he says he has learnt how to juggle from his own screen ego hatefest, with his actual real one behind the scenes. Evaporating the talented likes in the back for his own idolisation of Indy luvvies and lacking gimmicks who will never cut the mustard and embarrass WWE further, Triple H, in his own ignorance to try and outdo creative genius Max Waltham, who respects wrestling to its fullest values, has met with a brick wall. Fans gone, ratings down, favourite friends as handed champion holders, no action or skill and real talent demoted to the back room showers, Triple H is not the saviour fans may have thought he was. His need for self approval and love by the public to prove his ego right has all but demolished WWE's interior walls. A man who says he is open to talent hiring yet snubs those with it to shine on the brightest pedestal only shines Triple H's disgraced attitude, idiotic booking and ignorant hiring's that again, have killed WWE's future for a very long amount of years to come. Triple H's ego is way too big in his own arrogance to believe he can, because he is protected by money, Vince and his wife. On the surface, Triple H is publicly proving, what he doesn't see, a grand failure of all future that shines as a wannabee McMahon that is successful only for being the grand Trophy husband. Less is more. Lose the ego and success will flourish, but at this point, with his hateful attitude, Triple H, doesn't and never will have it. What's next for WWE? Another tournament and NXT bragging with selfies everytime something happens? Maturity is needed. This is in short supply where Triple H's hateful game playing is nonstop, 24/7 with sheer, bitterness, which further shines WWE to all for what it really is.

Paige takes the biscuit above all else in second place. Trashy, foul mouthed and causing constant PR blunders for WWE attacking fans at karaoke sessions, arrested by law enforcement and dating a married man with kids becoming its home wrecker, Paige has let her ignorant reality cloud her so-called professionalism. You can't make a real hater with no skill a professional. They never were one, and fans are starting to realise just how ugly the 'anti-diva' really is. In other news, WWE had finally grown tired of her after she attempted to play and con WWE out of contract issues, public immaturity over Twitter comments and bragging of injuries WWE did not recognise for payout. The trashiest, ignorant flunkie for WWE, who gave her everything which she never once earned and constantly yelled has proven to resemble real life as most wrestling stars cannot separate from and blame others instead. WWE should just have the guts to release this unworkable mess. There is no future for Paige who has done nothing but embarrass the wrestling world as its second most biggest Hoeski.

Dixie Carter was a dirty player when duping investing sap Billy Corgan. Dixie Carter embezzled funds from him for TNA's purse strings. Dixie Carter should be facing trial and prosecution for such fraudulent actions which have only plummeted her sinking ship lower into the, proverbial abyss. What a disgrace.

Kevin Owens continues to stink out the place with his festering ego, failure to wrestle one match, a disgraced look zapping all of WWE's superstar appeal in look, talent, on-screen skills and budget champion stand in when previous hand me down champion was injured and parachuted random Kev had to be given yet another title from the Triple H fandom society.

Alberto Del Rio also slips in with Paige and on his own merits to be another disgraced ignorant Triple H fanboy who failed WWE on the grandest of scale and took wrestling values with him. A dirty international player overseas and ignorant bunny rabbit jumpers with lanky stick 'abs' that never materialise as an actual wrestler further sullied Del Rio's already apparent personal hate fuelled arrogance. To top that off, he broke it off with his wife to trade in for an equally ignorant, trashy fishnet stockings wannabe tart down King's Cross making a grand disaster for WWE and wrestling with constant PR mistakes and arrests. He also blasted WWE for its treatment of Paige, whom Triple H had re-hired Rio in hopes to use him after he had racially and physically abused a former social media worker backstage last year. Triple H, the grand master of booking 'talent' which proverbially spat in his face, yet Trips blames everyone else who warned him prior to being a gluttonous idiot in jumping in steadfastly with no actual point or reason. He has much to learn. Many believe incapable. 

Cesaro, Randy Summers, Fandango, Rusev, Dean Ambrose

A tough call and some strong contenders but Cesaro once more puts himself back atop the pecking order. An all round presence of hotness radiating off of him, even how he stands beams star quality and exceptional studly qualities. Kind, sweet, daring, and delicious, Cesaro has the true makings of a real man that encourages many fans with such respect. 

Randy Summers is fast approaching the heels of Cesaro and isn't prepared to back down on his hotness either. Close but only slightly missing out.

A surprise to many, Rusev has gone from weird looking dude to oxen stud beefcake in the past year. Skills, style and poise of place, Rusev has the beef to deliver some hot properties to wrestling fans.

Fandango is a cutey for some and Dean Ambrose still had some fans when he occasionally bears his chest from the secluding vest.

Randy Summers, Jessie Godderz, Cesaro, Rusev, Randy Orton

Cesaro once more proves why he is the King of the Manspreader (as well as the back and all round hotness) which is so difficult to dethrone. Style, grace and charismatic displays often misunderstood by audiences adds another entertainment value that cannot truly be described. What a talent. It simply exudes from him oh so naturally.

After a huge backdrop beat down, Randy Summers was knocked for six and in his fall from grace, gave a dignified display which was appealing, beautifully done and kept to a wrestling core run through, which almost nabbed the top spot. 

Rusev did not disappoint in February with a wide opened view, whilst feigning pain from the brutish Roman Reigns. Continuing to sell the action and provide elsewhere, Rusev came very close this year which can be seen in such testing efforts.

Jessie Godderz didn't stop placing himself in the top five with another greatly tantalising and moderate display.

Whilst out of the game for most of the year Randy Orton launched back into his once original award victory years ago with a smooth and graceful turnover pinfall showing how masterful one truly can be.

Cesaro, Eli Drake, Randy Summers, Jason Jordan, Dean Ambrose

After losing his defending crown last year, Cesaro proves to have the best buns in the business. Pert, wholesome and well rounded without being shown off in a distasteful manner, Cesaro, exuding general skill, hotness and dignified tantalisation once more takes the prize again. Can anyone beat him, and is anyone really willing to try? 

Randy Summers continues to bear a teasingly playful fleshy derriere in occasional matches to please fans, audiences and add some more wit to the match entertainment. Carefully done and without any manly inhibitions, Summers always delivers highly.

Eli Drake's booty became somewhat exposed in a cage match with a bloated British ignorant goon in a mask. While a klutz, Drake provided some much needed distraction values with a handsomely shaped backside. Smooth, manly and well shaped, another defining moment of proof wrestlers are identified by how well they fit their trunks from the back. 

Jason Jordan's Smackdown title match in an all gold leotard was brave and for many, interesting. It certainly had a golden shine to it. 

Dean Ambrose added a different view in his tight blue jeans among the action at TLC.

Rising Star
Eli Drake, Aiden English, Kento Miyahara, James Ellsworth, Elliot Sexton

A smart guy in presence, depth, in-ring promos and tone, James Ellsworth once again exemplifies a true professional in WWE, and done so in only a short amount of months towards the end of 2016. WWE and the fans' hottest property may be stalled again currently, but when achieving so much success, Ellsworth was the man WWE so desperately needed, with such charismatic skill that outshone everyone as a shining example of knowing how to work, hold himself and succeed beyond creative booking doubters, based on his size and lack of backstory. How embarrassing, doubly then, for WWE, who have been doing creative work for so long and yet cannot even succeed with or without a creative story, and yet Ellsworth naturally has 'it' to drive audiences and entertainment, which WWE now seem to resent for Triple H's fandom failures in AJ Styles and others, who are not excelling WWE as it should. Fans have left. Only handfuls of hopefuls remain. WWE cares not for them.

Kento Miyahara rose to the top in his short, unseen by many and tender interactions overseas to stand tall in a wrestling business that requires something more. Whilst probably unheard of by the masses who follow the obvious, Miyahara exudes certain qualities that brought fans and audiences to the table with a level of interest for the future, thus far, and put most else to shame.

Eli Drake has been a developing grower in the convoluted mess that is TNA's bungled direction. Despite idiotic booking, dumb and ignorant opponents and random matches, Drake still managed to be the main player that delivered strong qualities and workable depth that TNA seem to be the only ones who don't see his talent holding up the crumbling walls of its infested ego ridden ignorance sinking Dixie Carter's ship.

Elliot Sexton has been a growing regular on the WW Pro 50, unheard of by all, until last year, which was fully respected on his in-ring talents. Whilst stalling in places. Sexton is sitting in a comfortable rising position but could risk it all by being ignorant, complacent and having a short, lacking range of opponents desperate to sell out for some bigger fame, which won't benefit him long term. Thought is needed to his star if Sexton is to arise as he once did.

Aiden English is another initially odd choice by fans who fail to understand his in-ring beauty, talent and charismatic depth that he offers to succeed the tag team division and make others look highly competent. Making his main debut on WWE Smackdown in April, at a very desperate time for WWE, had natural charisma and even more naturally hated jeers, just for being there and become instantly over. WWE resented that level of heat and have since relegated them to pre-shows and stand-ins which is baffling when WWE had such a red hot team to capitalise on, in a much needed time of ratings woes. 

Seth Rollins, Paul Heyman, Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon, The Miz

Paul Heyman, Raw, Nov 28th
Promo's are difficult, in short supply and hard to stand out. Though Paul Heyman managed it once more with his outstanding speeches, and can always be looked at to provide WWE with a glimmer of hope among its wayward direction of lacking love interests. The post survivor Series loss of client Brock Lesnar in two minutes to returning beefcake Goldberg was pure gold. Enhanced intensity, dark anger and strong passion was often missing from any lacking competitor who just doesn't have 'it' when it comes to Heyman's natural plaudits. 

Vince McMahon, Raw, July 11th
The silver tongued McMahon's were of the only interest when the war of words which resembles a real disconnect at heart backstage, was intriguing for fans to see when Mr McMahon named joint commissioners. Unfortunately they were predictable letdowns when they named their General Manager's. Fans and critics were interested to see and appreciate that while the McMahon's are this or that, they can deliver on a promo when needed, give or take. Though less is more in some cases.

The Miz, Talking Smack, Aug 23rd
The Miz unleashed a vicious, berating attack on Daniel Bryan in a Talking Smack episode which was more shock factor than anything else. Though it was trying to seem too authentic that it lacked real clarity for fuller flavour. It'll do, but that was about it.

Shane McMahon (March 14th) and Seth Rollins (Raw, 11th July) both gave commendable promo's to continue a strong place among WWE's all round roster.

Max Waltham Appreciation
James Ellsworth

Never has a man broken through such barriers in a short space of time and climb to the top among all else, often ridiculed on height, body mass and definition. Yet that defining point, with added charismatic depth in vocal abilities, rascal antics and world title material has invigorated wrestling once again. Despite WWE dropping the ball with cautioned cold feet and wimpish booking values, Ellsworth has proven to be that shining example to all that deserves nothing more than the Max Waltham Appreciation for his defining year on a troubled and sinking business in the years beyond to come. 

Wrestling Wonders' Hall of Fame

Andre the Giant, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, Lei Lani Kai, Gorilla Monsoon, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, Captain Lou Albano, Verne Gagne

Wrestling's tallest giant and rightly named the Gentle Giant, never before had the wrestling world seen such a charismatic and graceful seven foot behemoth. Backed up by his in-ring talent, ability to hold such power and command his presence with fans and foes, Andre was a natural that revitalised the business and fully deserves his place as one of wrestling's greatest. The "Eighth Wonder" of the wrestling world will always be welcomed with open arms in every wrestling memory, built on respect alone for his greatest achievements.  

"Mr Perfect" Curt Henning had an illustrious career, most notable with the WWE then WWF, in such a short space of time, climbing the ranks and into the audiences hearts. His style, undefeated streak and Intercontinental Championship battles were the pinnacle of wrestling entertainment. Even as a sidekick when not performing in-ring duties, Perfect maintained his presence. Outside of the WWF, Hennig also made powerful waves in the NWA and national wrestling promotions, proving to have a raw passion and heartfelt talent that kept fans and critics vying for more. 

As a key player who took off in the Rock 'n' Wrestling connection in the 1980's, Leilani Kai did not falter among traditional characters. Adding a different dimension, and a second glance hula girl look, she romped home with female success in tag team stardom with Judy Martin. Along with the Fabulous Moolah, Kai won the Women's championship over Wendi Richter in a transition that added more females to the championship line, which played its part in stabilising the Women's wrestling division.

One of the best ever announcers, alongside his on-air and legendary partner Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon was the true face of colour commentary. Passion, well mannered and heated interactions with "The Brain" were such raw, rugged spats over the matches they called which encapsulated fans with such unique sentiments. Fans had no choice but to be engaged. Later, moving into other on-screen roles, Monsoon defined that a non-wrestling role could be more than lucrative to a successful career, leading the way for many others in the future. 

Fresh out of "Every Girl's Dream" superstud and resident "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert learned early and worked up the ranks with determination. His passion for the sport led him to great battles with now veterans in their own right, including Bob Backlund. Also chaperoned with tag partners and managers including the notorious Paul Heyman, Gilbert had a raw edge of mid card talent that stunned audiences. He also played his role in building independent wrestling circuits and was the originator of the first wrestling expose interview, Looking for Mr Gilbert.

Captain Lou Albano was a fun, nasty and deliriously tantalising companion everyone wanted by their side. His most infamous surge to reinvigorate the business at an all time low, with Pop Rock star Cyndi Lauper, were instrumental in the Rock 'n' Wrestling connection. Outside of his partnering role, Albano was also a dab hand at smashing his enemies in the ring and offering nothing short of passionate, plausible and true iron grit that demanded unique adoration.

Sixteen time heavyweight champion in various promotions, Verne Gagne proves why he is the longest reigning world champion behind two others. Whether it was his work under a mask, or his technical ground and pound, Gagne was the ultimate man of honour. When Vince McMahon Jr bought out the wrestling territories in the United States, as owner of the AWA, Gagne did not cave to financial greed. Keeping the business sturdy and freelance, Gagne is a powerful godfather who contained the Independent scene many often disregard, which can only ever be truly respected.

Most Improved
Rusev, Cesaro, Yamato, Alexa Bliss, Carmella

Rusev continued to improve his game in the last two years, despite being booked badly or as a forgettable shadow to other favourite, Triple H, flavour of the month freebies. Standing tall and constantly rising above critics to prove talent, in-ring style, psychology and poise of place, Rusev continues to amaze and has gotten better in working opponents as an equal with a tantalising outcome for both, especially in his short work with Roman Reigns. 

Yamato is fully developed and continues to add a new dimension every year. Brimming full of talent, skills and indescribable charisma that can only be seen to be believed, which is a wrestling joy, is a constant improvement that stabilises the landscape continually.

Cesaro is another indescribable superstar, while not fully respected in bookings, creativity or fandom blindness, Cesaro continues to boost the scene, stars, opponents and self development with some powerful mic skills to boot. No-one else has ever been able to get themselves over and stay at the top based on such talents, WWE often seem so resentful of. 

Alexa Bliss has been steadily growing as Carmella has shown strong efforts to mix her character and stay relevant on the roster, filled with scores of talented female stars.

Shane McMahon returns to WWE, Delete or Decay, Shane/Stephanie McMahon brand battles, Women's Revolution, Tribe Vanguard Vs VerserK

Storyline's were once more at their weakest in 2016. The only bearable and moderately interesting one was the tone of a Max Waltham returning Shane McMahon, destined to save WWE from its flagging ratings and wayward direction with an altered undertone. WWE constantly find a new flavour of the month to use the same type of basis to try and recreate. Though on this occasion Shane-O did try to have his own aura within the Waltham shell. Months later its petered out and was a mechanism to get Shane McMahon back into a comfortable place with WWE again.

Second best was the sterling battle, often overlooked with Tribe Vanguard's amazing chemistry with BxB Hulk, Yamato and others, though not fully respected by the masses who are not as exposed to it. It was full of style, charisma and attitude that provided some veteran and technical prowess that encouraged a healthier stance in the wrestling business.

Third place is always TNA. A blatant attempt to plagiarise Max Waltham once again and make a complete joke of everything they touch with no ambition or thought was another laughable entry from the sinking ship of Captain Carter. Bitter, twisted and hateful of Waltham in real life, proud dumbo darling Dixie is intent on ending her own company instead of enhancing it for the better. It was simply jobber Matt Hardy spouting inconsistent words, re-forming with Jeff Hardy, and backyard wrestling with a poor way forward not even TNA had a clue were to run with. It was nothing short of embarrassing and a poor imitation that could never be replicated. There is only one Max Waltham and wrestling's failure to call is going to kill it completely. The value is clearly vital to the business' survival. Demand is high, failure is pitiful. Replication is lunacy. Max Waltham is still firmly geared towards.

The brand battles were boring but offered some consolation. 

The Women's revolution was a complete joke, but nothing else was available.

Flamita, Eita, Aero Star, Kamaitachi, Volador Jr

High flyers have been a disaster for WWE over its failed re-launch of Cruiserweight clowns, but was guided to success from our awards of some of the best highflyers in the business. There is no-one currently better than Volador Jr, a superb luchador who isn't about simply jumping up and down or a novelty spot monkey flip. He's also able to mix it up in the ring with his technical prowess.

Aero Star also provides some very powerful qualities in his delivery that makes viewing live or on TV simply spectacular.

Eita knows how to add height to his short stance as Kamaitachi follows up fourth. Flamita also does a few moments of joy, here and there.

Carmella, Sienna, New Day, Emma, Naomi

Short on style in WWE this year, some did manage to hold their won in places. Naomi, of course, destroyed the roster hands down with her funky fresh, glow grooving attire and rejuvenated essence to the business that was a much needed pick me up and vital encouragement to fans who see the true star Naomi seems born to be.

Emma's dark, delightful and masterful look with a darker shade of lips, sunnies and style came very close, despite WWE attempting to change her look, which makes no sense. Emma has got the true look of a star which exudes power and raw magnetism.

New Day attempted to steal the show at Wrestlemania in some cartoon type, Digimon wearing white suits with Unicorn horns atop their heads to bring the Booty O's Unicorn's to the main stage. It was a bit of a throw away laugh, but when they didn't speak, it wasn't a bad look for a one off.

Sienna arrived in TNA after strong praise and workability every year as a stand out force in the Wrestling Wonders Pro 25 (Female performers list) annually as Allysin Kaye. Adding a colourful level of plumage to her headdress, laden with brimming Peacock feathers and a stunning smile, Sienna was a beauty to behold. 

Carmella freshened up the Smackdown roster during its brand split with some real style and a beautiful attitude. Still growing, Carmella at least has the attire to really give herself a raw edge that can be believed as a credible option to move forward as a strong female as feisty as her clothes.

WWE, SHIMMER Women's Athlete's, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Dynamic Dream Team, Dragon Gate

Despite its failure to elevate talent, raise star quality and push ratings further into decline by choosing ignorant favourites who had no place in WWE nor able to work its 'system' under Triple H's fandom mismanagement, WWE still leads by default. While WWE might smirk at this, it is still a serious concern. 'Winning' as the best of a bad bunch is no shining quality and wrestling, further in decline in 2017 and beyond, isn't likely to improve under WWE's assumptions thy will be okay. 

SHIMMER always prove to be close on the heels of WWE, and with its all female roster, despite WWE's gimmicks with band wagon hitchhiking, an all female roster with powerful women's action, respected wholly by Max Waltham alone, SHIMMER is always capable at standing above the remaining promotions with its powerful ladies outshining the poor men of today.

All Japan may have financial woes, but the quality, style, grace and action is still strong and entertaining. 

Dynamic Dream Team manage to provide humour with wrestling skills to add a different dimension outside of mainstream heavy lunacies, but is still very minimal without mixing it up with new stars outside of ignorant mainstays. 

Dragon Gate is only nominated due to its failure of everyone else being so bad, which is never a good quality to behold under such ignorance infesting the company.

Until next year, where everyone should be looking to impress, stand out for the right reasons and stop pandering to the downward spiral that will be 2017, we look forward to seeing who can rise to the challenge instead of talking, jumping and hatefulness. The awards are available and it is the only ceremony in the wrestling world that influences, counts and everyone copies. We lead. They follow.

© Max Waltham 24th February 2017

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