@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on TwitterIf you haven't listened to the 2016 Centy Awards podcast yet, you can read our thoughts in today's post. Chad and I started doing the awards in 2011 as a way to honor (and ridicule in some cases) the men, women, and storylines in the world of professional wrestling.
Wrestler of the Year:
Kevin's pick: Charlotte Flair. Picking a female as Wrestler of the Year is a first here at the Centy Awards. Charlotte has proven she's one of the greatest with her four championship wins since joining the main roster in 2015. Her undefeated singles streak on pay per view is something we've never seen before either by a man or woman.
Chad's pick: "Broken" Matt Hardy. If you’d told me at any point in the last ten years I’d be picking Matt Hardy as wrestler of the year and not be ironic, I would have thought you crazy. But here we are at the end of 2016 and I firmly stand behind this pick. Then again 2016 has been a crazy year. The “Broken” character started as cringe-worthy but quickly became one of the many reasons to tune into Impact Wrestling. Teaming with Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy), the 2016 version of the Hardy Boyz have probably shown the most character development in their 20+ year career. I can honestly say I am eagerly awaiting Final Deletion. Most Hated:
Kevin's pick: Inconsistency. First, it was with the Shane McMahon-Undertaker match. Shane lost and was supposed to disappear from WWE. Now he's the Commissioner of SmackDown Live! I have no problem with that, but why have the stipulation in the WrestleMania match? Also, when are we gonna get the scoop on Triple H helping Kevin Owens win the Universal Championship?
Chad's pick: Impact Grand Championship. For all the positives Impact Wrestling did in 2016, my least favorite was creating the Impact Grand Championship. At first, I was interested due to the Grand Championship taking place of the King of the Mountain title. If wrestling fans are never subjected to another King of the Mountain match, they’ve still suffered through too many KOTM matches. My problem with the Grand Championship is the usage of rounds. I understand wrestling in rounds is popular in Europe where TNA has a sizable audience but in America, the only rounds in wrestling are the drinks you have while watching wrestling. Most Underappreciated:
Kevin's pick: Kevin Owens. I don't mean by fans, I think WWE is underappreciative of the current Universal Champion. He seems to be in the shadow of Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. I'd love to see a couple of convincing title defenses. But over the next few years, he'll continue to grow in WWE and be one of the all-time greats.
Chad's pick: Impact Wrestling. Long time readers of My 1-2-3 Cents know I have a love/hate relationship with Impact Wrestling. While I used to be a huge fan of TNA, the poor booking and business decisions they have made over the past ten years very nearly drove me away from the company. Something happened in 2016 that I don’t think any wrestling fan saw coming, Impact Wrestling got a focus and stayed the course to pretty logical booking and a focus on (with the exception of the Hardyz) new(ish) younger talent. Unfortunately due to a poor track record, a lot of fans haven’t witnessed the re-re-re-rebirth of Impact Wrestling. Most Overrated:
Kevin' pick: GOLDBERG. This isn't so much a slam against Goldberg as it is WWE writers. When Michael Cole called Goldberg "the greatest champion in WCW history" didn't sit well with me.
Chad's pick: Initially I wanted to go with Shinskue Nakamura but my disinterest in Nak has been discussed on here before so I thought I’d go in a different direction. Having seen him in the Cruiserweight Classic and a few appearances in Chikara, I still don’t understand the appeal of Zack Sabre Jr. Going back to the Impact Grand Championship rules, maybe Sabre Jr. is only appreciated if you enjoy European style of wrestling. Breakout Star of the Year:
Kevin's pick: "Broken" Matt Hardy. See Chad's description for why he picked Hardy as Wrestler of the Year. I just wish TNA would monetize and pretty promote this storyline/character. It's always been their downfall.
Chad's pick: Juan Francisco De Coronado. Chikara's last true heel disbanded the United Nations this year and in my opinion, really came into his own. Show of the Year:
Kevin' pick: SummerSlam. AJ Styles vs. John Cena stands out to me on this show. It's what made AJ a SUPERSTAR. Yes, he was great before that, but now he's truly hanging with the GOATs. Finn Balor and Seth Rollins had an outstanding match as well as Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
Chad's pick: NXT Dallas: The End. Being in attendance for the show helps make this show be more memorable than it may have been if I was just watching on TV. Star on the Horizon:
Kevin's pick: Renee Young. An unconventional pick, but I think Renee is one of the most underutilized talents in wrestling. She does a great job on Talking Smack, the pre-shows and WWE's Snapchat. I'd love to see her join one of the commentary teams in the next year or two.
|Crummles and Defarge|
Courtesy: Chikara Pro
Female of the Year:
Kevin's pick: Eva Marie. I guess I'm seeking heat for this pick. Since I named Charlotte Wrestler of the Year, I went with Eva Marie for Female of the Year. Her reasoning for not getting into the ring each week was one of the most entertaining storylines of summer. I hope she's back in the ring sooner rather than later.
Chad's pick: Charlotte. Undefeated in singles matches on Network Specials. 37 Time Women's champion. Enough said.
|Conrad Thompson & Bruce Prichard|
Kevin's pick: Conrad Thompson (@HeyHeyItsConrad). Conrad is the co-host of The Ric Flair Show and Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for the My 1-2-3 Cents podcast earlier this year. Conrad interacts with listeners of his shows on Twitter like no one I've seen before. He's a great guy too as he and Bruce raised money for the American Cancer Society. I can't say enough good things about Conrad and Bruce and their show.
Chad's pick: Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump). He is a WWE Hall of Fame inductee so I’m counting him. And I don’t pay attention to most wrestler or celebrities on social media. This includes the President-Elect. I only know what Trump is doing on social media because 95% of people on my social media feeds get upset, complain and throw derogatory in Trump's direction while 2% think Trump is making America great again. Biggest Fall From Grace:
Kevin's pick: Rusev. 2016 was an up and down year for the Bulgarian Brute. League of Nations could have been a great thing, but the concept fell flat. Then he regained the U.S. Championship and had a decent run until crossing paths with Roman Reigns. Here's to hoping 2017 sees Rusev climbing back to near the top.
Chad's pick: My wrestling fandom. While I watch RAW, Smackdown, Impact, Lucha Underground on a weekly basis and the monthly Chikara shows when they are posted on Chikaratopia, I don’t pay that close attention to the shows. I couldn’t tell you why Randy Orton is a member of the Wyatt Family. Don’t know the majority of the story lines in Lucha Underground. I enjoy the shows but there’s something about wrestling today that just doesn’t stick with him an hour after a show is over.
|Heath Hatton visiting Dalton|
This year the award goes to Heath Hatton from Stride Pro Wrestling. He is a friend of mine and has gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others. Heath has put in countless hours on benefit shows and traveled to visit Dalton about a week before he died. He's an all-around good guy and a great performer in the ring.
Do you like our picks? Who would you award in 2016? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook.