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Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

What started as a random curiosity of mine (who would have the best overall rankings in WON voting, is a thing I asked myself) turned into a weirdly ambitious project that I thought other people might be interested in seeing, so here you go.

Love them or hate them, the Wrestling Observer Awards are a pretty big part of online wrestling fandom. It's not just about deciding who the best and worst are in any given year -- the archived awards offer a fascinating time capsule into what the general pulse was at the time (even from snarky-rear end voters who supposedly hated Hogan but couldn't stop voting him for awards, but we'll get to that, I promise).

Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to tally up voting results for the biggest individual WON categories by year, and see how people rank on an all-time scale. To keep this simple, I only included the Top 10 listed in issues (sorry honorable mentions) and used a basic reverse scoring system -- 10 points to first place, 9 points to second, 8 to third, etc. The early awards issues only listed Top 5 by category, so I went 10 points for first, 8 points for second, 6 for third, and so on.

Obviously, trying to do this by looking up individual issues in the archive is a gigantic pain in the rear end. Thankfully, there's a helpful resource site that lists them all in one page right here. So if you feel I missed something or had an oversight, feel free to point it out.

Obvious disclaimer: I'm only going through the categories still active in 2018, which excludes a lot of fluff from the newsletter's early days.. Even Dave will probably admit that short-lived categories like "Most Washed Up Wrestler" and "Hardest Worker" were bad ideas.

----

I'll go category-by-category instead of a huge data dump in one post, just to make this whole thing a bit easier to digest. Without further ado, I present the biggest category of them all.

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR

As a reminder, "Wrestler of the Year" doesn't necessarily mean "best wrestler." It's a more complete package of in-ring talent, character work, drawing power, charisma, and influence. So ... the wrestler of the year, then. Don't think about it so hard.

Full year-by-year results here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing

code:
Ric Flair	125
Kenta Kobashi	84
Mitsuharu Misawa	69
Hiroshi Tanahashi	69
John Cena	59
Kazuchika Okada	48
Shawn Michaels	47
Keiji Mutoh	42
Kurt Angle	39
AJ Styles	37
Toshiaki Kawada	36
Steve Austin	36
Daniel Bryan	36
The Rock	33
Hulk Hogan	30
Chris Jericho	30
CM Punk	28
Bret Hart	27
Akira Maeda	26
Samoa Joe	23
Mistico	23
Shinsuke Nakamura	23
Eddie Guerrero	22
Harley Race	20
Riki Choshu	20
Jushin Thunder Liger	19
Edge	19
Brock Lesnar	19
Vader	18
Manami Toyota	18
Chris Benoit	18
Yuji Nagata	18
Jumbo Tsuruta	16
Tetsuya Naito	16
Kenny Omega	16
Triple H	15
Roddy Piper	14
Ted DiBiase	12
Mick Foley	12
Shinya Hashimoto	12
Randy Orton	12
Kento Miyahara	12
Genichiro Tenryu	11
Bob Sapp	11
Perro Aguayo Jr.	11
Wanderlei Silva	11
Tiger Mask	10
Rush	10
Sabu	9
Kazushi Sakuraba	9
Takashi Sugiura	9
Yoshihiro Takayama	9
Davey Richards	9
Dynamite Kid	8
Bruiser Brody	8
Shinjiro Otani	8
Randy Couture	8
Tito Ortiz	8
Naruki Doi	8
Masato Yoshino	8
Terry Funk	7
Rey Mysterio	7
Prince Devitt/Finn Balor	7
Masaaki Mochizuki	7
Tatsumi Fujinami	6
Steve Williams	6
Jun Akiyama	6
Kensuke Sasaki	6
Takeshi Morishima	6
Nigel McGuinness	6
Mirko Cro Cop	6
Cibernetico	6
Seth Rollins	6
Great Sasuke	5
Goldberg	5
Chuck Liddell	5
Kid Yamamoto	5
Jeff Hardy	5
LA Park	5
Austin Aries	5
Jimmy Snuka	4
Randy Savage	4
Mark Coleman	4
Satoshi Kojima	4
Matt Hughes	4
Shingo Takagi	4
Mark Henry	4
Bobby Roode	4
Ricochet	4
Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno	4
Ken Shamrock	3
Nobuhito Takada	3
Koji Kanemoto	3
Antonio Nogueira	3
The Miz	3
Averno	3
CIMA	3
Sasha Banks	3
Volador Jr.	3
Terry Gordy	2
Chigusa Nagayo	2
Ricky Steamboat	2
Bull Nakano	2
Dan Severn	2
Rob Van Dam	2
Booker T	2
Sheamus	2
KENTA	2
La Sombra/Andrade Almas	2
Kevin Steen/Owens	2
Tomohiro Ishii	2
Kaoru Ito	1
Jay Lethal	1
Thoughts

-- Sorry if the numbers don't fit right on that code, I'm not in a mood to make it look right. It's all there on the spreadsheet in much cleaner form.

-- The top of the list shouldn't surprise anyone -- a veritable who's-who of legitimate GOAT contenders. It's really hard to nitpick anyone in the Top 10 here, they all earned their spot in various ways.

-- I gotta bow my head in shame and admit that Toshiaki Kawada is a total blind spot with me, which became more obvious the further I got along on this. Any match recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

-- I figured Austin's overall standing would be hurt by his relatively short peak, but that peak was so strong it still got him in the Top 15.

-- Likewise, the original Mistico is a joke today, but his mid-2000s peak was something special.

-- The newsletter got started at the tail end of Harley Race's prime, so it's still pretty impressive that he placed well enough with just a couple years left on top.

-- Manami Toyota will be showing up a lot on these lists as the highest-ranking woman.

-- This category gets weirdly skewed in the 2000s with the influx of MMA guys, and it's not until 2007 that they got their own "Most Valuable Fighter" category. So you'll just have to live with Tito Ortiz having more points than Terry Funk.




Up next: Most Outstanding Wrestler
I'm sure there will be no uncomfortable feelings here!

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


This is a great idea for a thread, thanks for doing it

There are plenty of people far more knowledgeable than me about Kawada, but check out ANY of his matches involving Misawa (singles or tags) and you will see one of the saltiest, meanest fucks in the world committing murder acts and it is so. loving. good.

Edit: You know how Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada wowed everybody last year with their 6-star matches? Well Kawada/Misawa got one too back in the mid-90s and it's not an exaggeration to say it is arguably one of the best wrestling matches of all time.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at Apr 21, 2018 around 09:38

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

Oh poo poo, I remember watching the Misawa/Kawada match, so now my Kawada memory is getting jogged. For some reason the full name didn't click with me until now. And that Misawa match is absolutely 6 stars no debate.

I'm also open to a better thread title

Benne fucked around with this message at Apr 21, 2018 around 10:20

SG Bamboo
Aug 21, 2013


Hopping on J-ru's thoughts on Kawada vs Misawa i'd like to recommend one that's maybe not as good as their prime, but still told a great story, NOAH's Destiny 2005.

This was Kawada's first match in NOAH, and the first match between the two since Misawa left All Japan in 2000. It even main evented over Rikio defending the GHC against a young Tanahashi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7J2VBx-Gy8

In term's of Kawada's prime during the nineties, you can't go wrong with Misawa/Kobashi vs Holy Demon Army from 6/9/95, if only for Kawada and Taue relentlessly attacking Kobashi's injured leg to the point where he's laying on Misawa to protect him because Kobashi can't stand to defend himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHsuvDfC8aw

Kawada also had a couple of entertaining 5 minute sprints with Kaz Fujita and Katsuyori Shibata during New Japan's darker times. They're both easy to find on Youtube and well worth a watch.

mariooncrack
Dec 27, 2008


If we're going to talk about Misawa/Kawada, I think we have to mention their most favorite match:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUVA5qchql0

SatoshiMiwa
May 6, 2007



Okada being 6 with 48 mentions and only being 30 is crazy

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

Thanks for the recommendations y'all Now time for our next category

MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER

I was interested to see how much overlap there is between WOTY and MOW, since that seems to spark a confused debate every year. Turns out, not as much as you might think.

Note: I only counted this category in its current form starting in 1986, not counting the "Most Impressive" category it apparently replaced. If that bothers you, just pretend Dynamite Kid finished much higher than he does here.

COMPLETE YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing



code:
Kenta Kobashi	100
Daniel Bryan	85
Chris Benoit	81
AJ Styles	58
Hiroshi Tanahashi	54
Ric Flair	53
Kurt Angle	52
Shawn Michaels	50
Kazuchika Okada	49
Jushin Thunder Liger	46
Mitsuharu Misawa	42
Manami Toyota	39
KENTA	39
Eddie Guerrero	38
Toshiaki Kawada	36
Davey Richards	32
Rey Mysterio	31
Shinjiro Otani	29
Samoa Joe	29
Koji Kanemoto	26
Tomohiro Ishii	23
Nigel McGuinness	22
Shinsuke Nakamura	22
Yuji Nagata	21
Naomichi Marufuji	21
Chris Jericho	20
CM Punk	20
Tatsumi Fujinami	18
Kenny Omega	18
Price Devitt/Finn Balor	17
El Generico/Sami Zayn	17
Owen Hart	16
Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno	15
Jun Akiyama	14
Ted DiBiase	12
Tetsuya Naito	12
Sabu	11
Shingo Takagi	11
Nobuhiki Takada	10
Keiji Mutoh	10
Edge	10
Kota Ibushi	10
Will Ospreay	9
Bobby Eaton	8
Hiroshi Hase	8
Triple H	8
Satoshi Kojima	8
Negro Casas	8
Great Sasuke	7
Jerry Lynn	7
Fit Finlay	7
Ricky Steamboat	6
Juventud Guerrera	6
Steve Austin	6
Tajiri	6
Katsuyori Shibata	6
Seth Rollins	6
Roderick Strong	6
KUSHIDA	6
Dean Malenko	5
Kiyoshi Tamura	5
Billy Kidman	5
Minoru Tanaka	5
Yoshihiro Takayama	5
Takeshi Morishima	5
Austin Aries	5
Cesaro	5
Ricochet	5
Chigusa Nagayo	4
Terry Funk	4
Curt Hennig	4
Ultimo Dragon	4
Mick Foley	4
El Hijo del Santo	4
Perro Aguayo Jr.	4
Akira Tozawa	4
Dolph Ziggler	4
Io Shirai	4
Zack Sabre Jr.	4
Vader	3
Rob Van Dam	3
Yamato	3
Averno	3
Barry Windham	2
Genichiro Tenryu	2
CIMA	2
Black Tiger	2
Tiger Mask IV	2
Brock Lesnar	2
Eddie Edwards	2
Daisuke Sekimoto	2
Matt Riddle	2
Jeff Hardy	1
Momoe Nakanishi	1
Low Ki	1
John Cena	1
Masato Tanaka	1
Thoughts

-- There's a good chance Bryan would be No. 1 if his brain didn't force him into a sabbatical. As it stands, Kobashi is a good choice for the top spot. His combination of consistency and longevity, along with multiple career peaks (the 90s All Japan boom and NOAH's glory years) make him nearly unmatched in the business.

-- Chris Benoit was ... a real good in-ring technician and let's just leave it at that ok byyyyyyyeeee

-- Yeah so given the tastes of WON voters, we expected some top WWE guys to finish low here. Steve Austin got just six points, John Cena finished with a lowly one, and in what I'm sure is a stunning development, Hulk Hogan is nowhere to be found. On the other hand, Shawn and Kurt were both Top 10, so work on your flop-selling and neck bumps, apparently.

-- Manami Toyota really stakes her claim here as the greatest female wrestler of all time, becoming the first (and to date only) woman to win MOW. Io Shirai (who placed well for a relative newcomer) could be this generation's Toyota if her neck holds up.

-- I'm actually surprised Low Ki only got 1 point, I thought he was popular enough with dorks back in the day to place higher. Not that I'm complaining.

-- Dolph Ziggler being higher than Vader is a loving travesty.

-- If you only know KENTA as the old depressing Hideo Itami of today, I strongly urge you to check out his prime work in NOAH. There's a reason his WWE signing was seen as a major coup.

-- I still don't get the Davey Richards love

-- Really impressed to see Ishii rank that high, given that his career didn't really take off until he hit his late 30s. Talk about a late bloomer.

-- What did Fit Finlay do in 2006 that got him fourth place? I only remember him farting around with Hornswoggle at that time.



Up Next: Best on Interviews
The managers get their day in the sun

Benne fucked around with this message at Apr 21, 2018 around 18:34

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

BEST ON INTERVIEWS

Some people believe that talking ability is more important than wrestling ability. Whether that's true or not, there's no denying that the art of the promo is a crucial element in this business. Let's check out who the WON voters thought were the best at talking people into a building.



COMPLETE YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing

code:
Ric Flair	183
Jim Cornette	106
Chris Jericho	104
Paul Heyman	101
The Rock	76
Mick Foley	72
CM Punk	67
Steve Austin	60
Roddy Piper	49
Arn Anderson	45
John Cena	45
Jerry Lawler	40
Kevin Steen/Owens	39
Conor McGregor	39
Shane Douglas	33
Kurt Angle	33
Chael Sonnen	33
The Miz	30
Shawn Michaels	29
Edge	27
Rampage Jackson	23
Christian	19
Santino Marella	18
The Briscoes	18
Eddie Guerrero	17
Jimmy Hart	16
Michael P.S. Hayes	16
Vince McMahon	16
Terry Funk	14
JBL	14
Dana White	14
Bret Hart	13
Kenny Omega	12
Lou Albano	10
Jake Roberts	10
Larry Sweeney	10
Mark Henry	10
Daniel Bryan	9
Bully Ray/Bubba Ray Dudley	9
Michael Bisping	9
Konnan	8
Tito Ortiz	8
Frank Mir	8
Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose	8
Public Enemy	7
Raven	7
Triple H	7
Christopher Daniels	7
The New Day	7
Eddie Kingston	6
Bray Wyatt	6
Stephanie McMahon	6
Jay Lethal	6
Kevin Nash	5
Hulk Hogan	5
Ken Shamrock	5
Frank Shamrock	5
Daniel Cormier	5
Tetsuya Naito	5
Bobby Heenan	4
Randy Savage	4
Al Snow	4
Stevie Richards	4
William Regal	4
Adam Cole	4
Dominick Cruz	4
Bob Backlund	3
Cibernetico	3
Wade Barrett	3
Ronda Rousey	3
Enzo Amore	3
Samoa Joe	3
Nick Bockwinkel	2
Bill Watts	2
Bill Dundee	2
Austin Idol	2
Road Warrior Hawk	2
Ole Anderson	2
Brian Christopher	2
Akira Hokuto	2
Masahiro Chono	2
Pierroth Jr.	2
Phil Baroni	2
Mr. Kennedy	2
Jimmy Jacobs	2
Brock Lesnar	2
Josh Koscheck	2
Big Show	2
Hiroshi Tanahashi	2
Matt Hardy	2
Brian Pillman	1
Rob Van Dam	1
Steve Corino	1
Perro Aguayo Jr.	1
Nigel McGuinness	1
Nick Diaz	1
Austin Aries	1
Lana	1
Rush	1
Zack Gibson	1
Thoughts

-- Flair at No. 1 is a no-brainer, but even then I was taken aback by how wide the gap is. He just hung around this category for decades on end, even when he wasn't doing much other than Being Ric Flair. But hell, people love that.

-- As expected, Cornette and Heyman are the top managers listed, with Paul E. getting a late-career boost by his work as Lesnar's advocate.

-- Good to see Jericho third overall. I'm always impressed by how he's able to constantly reinvent himself, staying fresh and relevant even as his ring work declines. Somehow he was better than ever in 2017.

-- This is one of the few categories where wrestling and MMA mingle freely, so naturally Conor, Chael, and Rampage were the highest-ranked fighters.

-- Someone who was watching in 2007-08 has to explain to me how Santino finished runner-up both years, because

-- Say what you will about JBL's reign of terror, but the votes he got here showed that it was clearly working on some level. Note that Jinder Mahal never sniffed this category, so I think we can finally put that comparison to bed.

-- Nobody will confuse Ronda Rousey for a great talker today, but that "do nothing bitches" video sure convinced a lot of people in 2015.

-- Oh right, Enzo used to be a thing.

-- Really thought Bockwinkel would do better here, but I guess the awards missed most of his prime.

-- Good to see Brian Pillman, Nigel McGuinness, and Perro Aguayo Jr. in the same illustrious company as Lana.



Up next: Most Charismatic Wrestler
No vanilla midgets allowed here!

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


I'm surprised that Austin is (relatively) low on that list, but then I look at the guys above him and, welp, yeah it's hard to argue.

Lid
Feb 18, 2005

Rap terrorist, terrorise, tear it up
Brought gas and the matches to flare it up
Militant Michael might go psycho
On any ally or rival
Born Black, that's dead on arrival
My job is to fight for survival
In spite of these #AllLivesMatter-ass white folk


Harley Race didnt make the list?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


Lid posted:

Harley Race didnt make the list?

Benne noted that the newsletter only started up as Harley was winding down, so he doesn't get represented too well in the awards.

Coaaab
Aug 6, 2006

Wish I was there...


Benne posted:

-- I gotta bow my head in shame and admit that Toshiaki Kawada is a total blind spot with me, which became more obvious the further I got along on this. Any match recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Two matches I want to vet (b/c I watched them last week) that demonstrate Kawada's versatility:

Kawada vs Taue - 01/15/1991 - It's more Taue's show, but Kawada is a big ol' bastard in this. Just two young guns going full force at one another to get the crowd hot. Worked in a brawling style that neither man nor AJPW would ever really go back to.

Kawada vs Albright - 10/25/1995 - Kawada does a little shoot-style. Exhibit 956 of why Kawada's one of the best sellers in wrestling history.

Benne posted:

-- Someone who was watching in 2007-08 has to explain to me how Santino finished runner-up both years, because
I remember his run as a comedy jobber heel quite fondly during this time, first with Maria as a jealous boyfriend and then with Beth Phoenix as the (weak) man behind the (stronger) woman. But maybe that stuff hasn't aged well in ten years' time. To this day, I cannot stop mentally noting the guy as 'Softcore Cody Rhodes,' said in Santino's exaggerated accent.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Kawada has a very strong argument for being the best wrestler of the 90s and was basically in a 2 horse race for wrestler of the year in 2000.

forkboy84
Jun 13, 2012

When I was a wee bairn we couldn't afford food so we ate people's cast-off forks. Now I only consume top quality British eating utensils from Michelin starred restaurants

Benne posted:

-- What did Fit Finlay do in 2006 that got him fourth place? I only remember him farting around with Hornswoggle at that time.

He was a key linchpin on Smackdown in the role of mean and grumpy old man. He worked with Batista, Booker T, and Lashley in a World Heavyweight title match, he was US champion for a couple of months, he was just having Finlay matches on WWE TV. I can't really too many specifics but you might want to start with him vs Benoit from 24th November episode of Smackdown. And there was a Finlay Regal match at Judgement Day which I remember nothing about but the Internet tells me it got over 10 minutes so is presumably worth a watch.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


I found it interesting to see what Japanese stars made it into best talker. Naito makes sense. Guy is super-charismatic and he's hitting his peak when NJPW are putting effort into subtitling promos for an anglophone audience, so people can follow his promos. Akira Hokuto surprises me, though. Did she get mic time in WCW?

Do not even ask
Apr 8, 2008

I'll be busting the moves and I'll be busting the rhymes, we'll be busting up laughing 'cause it's
PARTY TIME!


forkboy84 posted:

And there was a Finlay Regal match at Judgement Day which I remember nothing about but the Internet tells me it got over 10 minutes so is presumably worth a watch.

You're thinking of Great American Bash. The crowd being absolutely baffled on what to make of the match makes it worth watching alone.

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

MOST CHARISMATIC

Pretty straightforward category here. More than just being a great talker, a charismatic wrestler truly captivates audience attention -- every time they're on screen you can't take your eyes off them. It should be no surprise that some the biggest draws in history top this list.

COMPLETE YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing



code:
Ric Flair	137
Hulk Hogan	116
John Cena	111
The Rock	95
Hiroshi Tanahashi	64
Chirs Jericho	63
Sting	56
Shawn Michaels	55
Steve Austin	55
Atsushi Onita	44
Shinsuke Nakamura	43
Brock Lesnar	41
Conor McGregor	36
Riki Choshu	28
Eddie Guerrero	28
CM Punk	26
Perro Aguayo	25
Bob Sapp	23
Michael P.S. Hayes	22
Road Warriors	22
Akira Maeda	22
Goldberg	20
Kurt Angle	20
Daniel Bryan	20
The Undertaker	19
Tito Ortiz	19
Edge	18
Tetsuya Naito	18
Kenta Kobashi	17
Georges St. Pierre	17
Roddy Piper	15
Perro Aguayo Jr.	15
Kenny Omega	15
Mick Foley	14
Rampage Jackson	13
Ultimate Warrior	12
LA Park	12
Yamato	12
Keiji Mutoh	11
Cibernetico	11
Jeff Hardy	11
Chael Sonnen	11
Dusty Rhodes	10
Mistico	10
Rob Van Dam	9
Ronda Rousey	9
Minoru Suzuki	8
The Miz	8
Bret Hart	7
Masahiro Chono	7
Triple H	7
Randy Couture	7
Santino Marella	7
Alberto Del Rio	7
Rush	7
Bayley	7
Dalton Castle	7
Pentagon Jr.	7
Matt Riddle	7
Jimmy Snuka	6
Tiger Mask	6
Chigusa Nagayo	6
Konnan	6
Akira Hokuto	6
Satoshi Kojima	6
Sid	5
Diamond Dallas Page	5
Kevin Nash	5
Magnum Tokyo	5
Kazushi Sakuraba	5
Christian	5
Kevin Steen/Owens	5
Sami Zayn	5
Matt Hardy	5
Kerry Von Erich	4
Vampiro	4
Kid Yamamoto	4
Bas Rutten	4
Josh Koscheck	4
Dean Ambrose	4
Nobuhiko Takada	3
Public Enemy	3
CIMA	3
Forrest Griffin	3
Antonio Inoki	2
Naoya Ogawa	2
Randy Orton	2
Dr. Wagner Jr.	2
Frank Mir	2
Clay Guida	2
Negro Casas	2
Hiromu Takahashi	2
Art Barr	1
Vince McMahon	1
Colt Cabana	1
Zack Ryder	1
Austin Aries	1
Marty Scurll	1
Thoughts

-- Hogan is infamously maligned by WON voters, but this is like the one category where they were willing to give him credit.

-- Likewise, Sting never got much love from the newsletter, which always considered him overrated as a worker. But they at least recognized that his charisma is what got him on top in the first place.

-- Shoutout to FMW ace Atsushi Onita for cracking the Top 10. That was a pleasant surprise.

-- Obviously Conor is the top-ranked MMA guy again. It'll be interesting to see where he places next year now that people realize that his gimmick, uh ... isn't really a gimmick.

-- One of the biggest (and most legitimate IMO) criticisms of the WON awards is how under-represented luchador talent is. They still got a ways to go, but it's nice seeing guys like Rush and Pentagon getting love on recent ballots.

-- We really need to get Minoru Suzuki more votes before he kills us all

-- I can't decide who feels more out of place in hindsight: Bayley or Zack Ryder?




Next up: Best Technical Wrestler
Surely this is Bryan Alvarez's award to lose, right?

D.N. Nation
Feb 1, 2012



quote:

Randy Orton 2

lol

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


Benne posted:

-- Hogan is infamously maligned by WON voters, but this is like the one category where they were willing to give him credit.


But not Dusty, apparently.

Also as much as I love Bret, there's absolutely nothing he did in 1996 that should be seen as "Charismatic". He only wrestled like...8 matches that year anyways.
But Bret getting no votes at all for Most Outstanding Wrestler is a travesty. I get that his prime coincided with the peak of Japanese Wrestling, but...

Supreme Allah
Oct 6, 2004

I choose to expose myself

Nap Ghost

Undertaker doesn't appear on any of these lists yet literally the goat. wrestling observer more like wrestling idiot (observer).

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Supreme Allah posted:

Undertaker doesn't appear on any of these lists yet literally the goat. wrestling observer more like wrestling idiot (observer).

A disgusting lack of respect for the ultimate cop respecter.

NienNunb
Feb 15, 2012

still a threat


the undertaker is immortal and deserves our respect

RealFoxy
May 11, 2011

Band-aids don't fix arrow wounds


Bret's charisma is way over-rated, but as a technical wrestler he was extremely solid. I wasn't from Bret's era, I started watching just barely after the Montreal Screwjob, but I've gone back and watched many old PPVs with Brett and his promos were nothing to write home about

Supreme Allah
Oct 6, 2004

I choose to expose myself

Nap Ghost

MassRafTer posted:

A disgusting lack of respect for the ultimate cop respecter.

Granted he's a terrible person and doesn't deserve to be mentioned alongside awesome noted wife-uppercutters like Macho Man or Steve Austin

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

Bret's best promo work was his heel run in 97 when he just got to play the cranky humorless stiff he really was. Dude always took himself too seriously to really be a natural fit as a good-natured babyface.

SatoshiMiwa
May 6, 2007



The problem with the Undertaker and the WOR awards is that while he was often the best big match wrestler in the WWE he also had way too many dud singles. That probably hurt him during the awards

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


Bret's final year in the company was some of the best stuff he ever did in terms of promos and projecting the presence of a complete superstar. It still surprises me to hear people say he was wooden or uncharismatic, though to be fair he spent a lot of time going up against the likes of Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin who were both out of this world amazing at that type of thing.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Undertaker never put together a great year of matches and never really had a notable drawing year. He drew well on certain house show runs in the 90s, but his major drawing success was in 98 against Austin at Summerslam and then a couple other Austin programs the following year or two. By the time he's having great Wrestlemania matches he's winding down his career and no one gets that much attention for one match a year. He probably deserved some down votes for Box Office in 98 and if you only watched US wrestling maybe some #3s for WoY.

MysticalMachineGun
Apr 5, 2005




Shiki Dan posted:

But not Dusty, apparently.

Also as much as I love Bret, there's absolutely nothing he did in 1996 that should be seen as "Charismatic". He only wrestled like...8 matches that year anyways.
But Bret getting no votes at all for Most Outstanding Wrestler is a travesty. I get that his prime coincided with the peak of Japanese Wrestling, but...

How does Dusty's peak time compare with the awards? Is it a Race situation where his best days were behind him when the awards began?

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


MysticalMachineGun posted:

How does Dusty's peak time compare with the awards? Is it a Race situation where his best days were behind him when the awards began?

Dusty's true peak was a bit before the awards.

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


also Dave and the WOR readership were probably not big Dusty fans

MysticalMachineGun
Apr 5, 2005




Feels Villeneuve posted:

also Dave and the WOR readership were probably not big Dusty fans

Is that due to backstage knowledge or just a general thing about his style? While I could see his actual wrestling not appealing to the Observer crew his promos seem timeless

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


MassRafTer posted:

Dusty's true peak was a bit before the awards.

"Hard Times" was in 1985.

Supreme Allah posted:

Undertaker doesn't appear on any of these lists yet literally the goat. wrestling observer more like wrestling idiot (observer).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbDMPD93Hxc

LOL @ the butt-hurt internet neckbeard dweebs in the comments

Shiki Dan fucked around with this message at Apr 24, 2018 around 16:01

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Shiki Dan posted:

"Hard Times" was in 1985.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbDMPD93Hxc

LOL @ the butt-hurt internet neckbeard dweebs in the comments

And Hard Times was one of 1,000 Dusty promos of fairly equal quality. In the mid 80s there were a ton of fantastic promos. Dusty was at his absolute peak in Florida. He was still big in the early 80s, and that's probably where those votes were popping up.

Feels Villeneuve
Oct 7, 2007

Kanye West - Touch the Sky


I still lose my mind at those mid-80s Crockett TV shows where you have Flair, Arn, Dusty, Cornette, and even Superstar Billy Graham giving promos. When Superstar Billy Graham is like your fifth best talker on your show, you have some good loving talkers.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Man it's funny to think how differently Dusty is viewed now because '85 was when anti-Dusty sentiment was starting to heat up. He was viewed for years later as awful during that time period by many.

Benne
Sep 2, 2011

STOP DOING HEROIN

Speaking of Dusty, here's a category I'm sure he would've done very well in back in the day

BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER

COMPLETE YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing


Officially named the Bryan Danielson Award, in honor of the American Dragon's (ultimately premature) retirement in 2015. Surely the nine-time winner will run away with the overall lead, right?

code:
Chris Benoit	120
Daniel Bryan	116
Kurt Angle	81
Jushin Thunder Liger	72
Yuji Nagata	58
Zack Sabre Jr.	57
Dean Malenko	50
Tatsumi Fujinami	40
Hiroshi Hase	39
Kenta Kobashi	39
Shinjiro Otani	39
Davey Richards	36
Eddie Guerrero	34
Nigel McGuinness	34
Prince Devitt/Finn Balor	33
Minoru Tanaka	30
Manami Toyota	27
Hiroshi Tanahashi	27
Kyle O'Reilly	27
Ric Flair	26
William Regal	25
Dynamite Kid	24
Nobuhiko Takada	23
Kiyoshi Tamura	22
Koji Kanemoto	21
Ted DiBiase	20
Tiger Mask	20
Bret Hart	19
Osamu Nishimura	19
KENTA	19
Naomichi Marufuji	19
Bob Backlund	18
Akira Maeda	18
Doug Williams	18
Cesaro	17
KUSHIDA	17
Owen Hart	16
AJ Styles	15
Shinsuke Nakamura	15
Timothy Thatcher	14
Mike Quackenbush	13
Marty Scurll	13
Fit Finlay	11
Steve Wright	10
Chavo Guerrero Sr.	10
Mitsuharu Misawa	10
Jun Akiyama	10
Roderick Strong	10
Tajiri	9
Blue Panther	9
Eddie Edwards	9
Kazuchika Okada	9
Masa Saito	8
Yoshi Yatsu	8
Keiji Mutoh	8
Ultimo Dragon	8
Volk Han	8
Matt Riddle	8
Hideki Suzuki	8
Jamie Noble	7
Jack Gallagher	7
Yoshiaki Fujiwara	6
Ricky Steamboat	6
Bobby Eaton	6
Shawn Michaels	6
Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno	6
Samoa Joe	6
Atsushi Aoki	6
Naruki Doi	6
Katsuyori Shibata	6
Pete Dunne	6
Black Tiger	5
Christopher Daniels	5
Dory Funk Jr.	4
Paul Orndorff	4
Super Tiger	4
Mr. Perfect	4
Minoru Suzuki	4
Chris Jericho	4
Dolph Ziggler	4
Austin Aries	4
Drew Gulak	4
Rey Mysterio	3
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka	3
Johnny Saint	3
Daisuke Sekimoto	3
Chad Gable	3
Bob Orton	2
Scott Steiner	2
Akira Hokuto	2
Toshiaki Kawada	2
Funaki	2
Lance Storm	2
Satoshi Kojima	2
Milano Collection AT	2
Negro Casas	2
Seth Rollins	2
Johnny Gargano	2
Kendo Kashin	1
Takashi Iizuka	1
Takehiro Murahama	1
CM Punk	1
... oh. Well this is awkward.



Thoughts

-- But hey, Bryan's back, so maybe he'll claim his rightful place soon enough.

-- Other than that, the top of this list went about as expected. Real happy to see my grumpy uncle Yuji Nagata make the Top 5.

-- ZSJ's recent run of dominance has led to Kyle O'Reilly being a runner-up three times. Surprised that Bobby Fish didn't make the cut, since reDRagon (or Undisputed Era if you only know them from NXT) were considered one of the best tag teams in the world for a few years.

-- Apparently Quack was way better than I remember him being.

-- Pretty good bet that Johnny Wrestling will shoot way up the standings after the year he's having.

-- This might be hard to believe if you only saw him in Suzuki-gun the past few years, but once upon a time Iizuka used to be good. It's true, promise!



Up next: Best brawler
Our favorite ugly fat guys finally get their proper due.

Benne fucked around with this message at Apr 24, 2018 around 22:46

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


I imagine Bryan will surpass Benoit even if he doesn't win the award outright again (I don't see him beating ZSJ going forward the way things currently stand)

super macho dude
Aug 9, 2014



Dang shame Virus didn't make the Best Technical wrestler list

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Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Jerusalem posted:

I imagine Bryan will surpass Benoit even if he doesn't win the award outright again (I don't see him beating ZSJ going forward the way things currently stand)

WWE as it's currently booked and produced isn't equipped to let him. I feel like the idea of a wrestler who wins with different submissions every night would blow Vince and Dunn's minds.

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