So, the year’s half over and in these short six months, the amount of amazing wrestling that’s been going on has been insane. Why don’t we look back at the last half-year and reminisce about the best of the best, the worst of the worst, and everything in between? We’ll use the Observer award categories/the ones we use at the end of the year for WH2K awards for simplicity’s sake, with some cut out and some being foregone conclusions (poo poo, you think anyone but TNA is winning Worst Promotion?). Here’s my thoughts. What are yours? Let’s talk!
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
1. Adam Cole
ADAM COLE, BAYBAY! The now-former RoH and the longest-reigning champion in PWG history has had a great half-year, becoming the King of the Indies and putting on amazing performances with many different wrestlers from all around the world. There’s not many more people who can sell a match with his face better than Adam Cole. There’s not many more people who can want to make you see him get beat up better, especially on the indies, where anybody with talent will get cheered regardless. There’s not many wrestlers in the world who are better at this point than Adam Cole, and for this first half-year of 2014, there ain’t nobody better.
A few years ago, the kid called Helios was a skinny goober who did lots of flips and never chained them together. Now, after a tour of the world over, he’s come into his own and became the first gaijin to hold the top title in Dragon Gate in many years as well as win the annual New Japan Best of the Super Juniors and dazzle people in PWG and other American indies every show. He’s putting on MOTNs every show he wrestles on. He’s still improving, and he’s still been one of the top wrestlers in the world overall, and especially in the first 6 months of 2014.
3. Daniel Bryan
Despite an unfortunate end to the reign that should have been his crowning achievement, the man was put over the strongest one person’s ever been put over at WrestleMania, and maybe the strongest anyone’s ever been put over in one show in WWE history. Finally gaining closure to his 8-month storyline in the biggest and best way possible despite all the twists and turns and dirtsheets and rumors and returns, he’s still one of the Wrestlers of the Year.
MATCH OF THE YEAR
1. The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family, WWE Elimination Chamber 2014, 2/26/14
After running roughshod over the WWE over the previous 14 months, The Shield finally ran into a force that they couldn’t crack on this night, the group that rivaled their own for intensity and mystique and had crowds going nuts over the mere prospect of the two groups fighting. This match had it all: an incredible atmosphere (with the crowd chanting “this is awesome” before the bell rings), great action and the perfect story and ending, with the DAMNED NUMBERS GAME catching up to the Shield, but not without Roman Reigns making people believe he could take out three dudes at once. Endlessly rewatchable. Amazing match.
2. Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii, NJPW The New Beginning, 2/11/14
Coming off a loss at New Japan’s biggest show of the year after seemingly being destined for the top but being turned on by the fans, it would be tough to blame Tetsuya Naito for getting a little despondent and complacent. However, one month later, he has a match with Most Outstanding Wrestler candidate Ishii that rivals the five-star match that Ishii and Shibata had six months earlier. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, this is a match that will probably have your mouth dropping to the floor at multiple points throughout the match.
3. Andrew Everett vs. Trevor Lee vs. Cedric Alexander, PWG Mystery Vortex II, 3/28/2014
I wouldn’t blame you for not knowing who any of these three people are, but if you watched this match I don’t think you would forget them. Some would call this match too spot-monkeyish and having too many contrived indie moves and not letting the sequences breathe, but gently caress that, this match rules a shitload and it’s basically a 13-minute sprint to get all the coolest moves in and jump in, around, and over the ring and make you get really amped up and wanting more.
MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
Most exciting matches in the world. Has gotten the chance to show what he can really do and does it really well. Gets showcases in the top two promotions in Japan as well as in America as well.
2. Tomohiro Ishii
Small hoss Tomohiro Ishii has gotten many showcase matches since his phenomenal performance in the 2013 G1 Climax and has made the most of them, putting on incredible matches every time he steps in the ring and beats the hell out of his opponent, making it go a long way to make it seem like wrestling’s real. He’s making the most out of this late-30s run and running over everyone in his path.
3. Kazuchika Okada
With Hiroshi Tanahashi not wrestling as many high-profile singles matches supposedly due to a lingering back injury, Okada has been at the top of the card in 2014, fighting all oncomers but eventually losing his belt to Bullet Club leader AJ Styles. He’s still young but has been putting on some of the best matches in the world over the last three years, and his match quality is still incredible.
TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR
1. The Young Bucks
They held the IWGP Jr. Tag Championships, the PWG Tag Championships, and the RoH Tag Championships all at the same time. If you think these two are spot monkeys who do dumb moves that don’t make sense and don’t know how to put together a wrestling match, here’s what I’ve got to say to you:
*lies on the mat and crotch chops endlessly at you for five minutes*
These two lovable dopes Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish have come a long way from being the less interesting parts of Future Shock and the guy who it has been said about : “who the gently caress is Bobby Fish” to become a top-flight tag team and 3-time RoH Tag Team Champions. They love MMA and are friends with Filthy Tom Lawlor. Right, and they put on great matches all the time.
3. The Shield
I’LL NEVER FORGET YOU
FEUD OF THE YEAR
1. Bullet Club vs. New Japan Pro Wrestling
Bullet Club has been running loops around the rest of the New Japan roster, generally being #toosweet for them, winning almost all the belts in the company. The string doesn't feel run out yet, although that might not be the case if it goes on for the rest of the year.
BEST MAJOR SHOW
1. WWE WrestleMania XXX
This show made me happier than any other wrestling show in my life. Therefore it is the best.
2. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8
This show had good matches too I guess. 4 MOTYCs? Enh. Not bad.
3. WWE Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble! We all booed Batista! We made Daniel Bryan win the championship eventually! Royal Rumble rules!
1. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Although they only run roughly a dozen shows per year, each one is of the highest quality and is so good and makes you want to support them forever. There’s simply no bad matches on a PWG card (Adam Thornstowe doesn’t count). They’re also gonna bring you the best tournament of the year in two months, so yeah, they’re the best.
2. New Japan Pro Wrestling, King of Sports
Though match quality hasn’t been as stellar as last year’s first half, and although Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki is still running, NJPW has still been the best in the world at making me wake up at 4 AM to watch Japanese wrestling. Their collaboration with RoH has also been aces.
3. Ring of Honor
RoH finally seems to be getting things more on track, starting with working iPPVs and not having them crap out all the time. Their matches are, as always, great and their storylines have been pretty dang good too.
BEST ON INTERVIEWS
1. Paul Heyman
MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER’S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA. MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER’S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA. MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER’S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA. MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE UNDERTAKER’S UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLEMANIA.
2. Dean Ambrose
Who the gently caress would have thought that this guy could be the scrappy and lovable face who’s threatening to dismember former friend Seth Rollins? When the nuclear apocalypse comes, only three things will remain: cockroaches, Twinkies, and Dean Ambroses.
1. Tomohiro Ishii
This motherfucker hits really hard!!
BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER
1. Kyle O’Reilly
The Daniel Bryan Memorial Technical Wrestler of the Half-Year is current PWG Champion Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly chains together technical mat wrestling and complicated submissions together like it’s nothing, and there’s very few people who are doing the things that he’s doing.
BEST HIGH FLIER
1. Trevor Lee
Yo this guy rules a buttload. He’s got his character down in the ring pat, he hits really hard and he can do some sweet high flyin’ stuff. Really good wrestler!
These are my picks for the first half-year so far. It’s been a great year. If it keeps up, this will be a fine year for wrestling indeed.
|# ? Jul 3, 2014 19:47|
|# ? Apr 26, 2019 13:51|
Wow I agree with basically none of the contenders.
|# ? Jul 3, 2014 20:11|
Wow I agree with basically none of the contenders.
Agreed, I think they're all bad.
|# ? Jul 3, 2014 20:17|
Mystery Vortex II is still in its plastic wrap on my cabinet so that match sucks. Other than that I agree with basically all of these contenders.
|# ? Jul 3, 2014 20:20|
Hey, this is a weird question but you referred to Ricochet as a gaijin. Do Japanese people ever call black dudes round eyes?
|# ? Jul 3, 2014 21:18|