Superstar Spotlight Presents: End of the Year Awards

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas break and Santa Claus was good to everyone. (Or I hope Krampus didn't pay anyone a visit.) This week I decided to pay tribute to all of the good things (and a few bad things) that happened in professional wrestling this year. The awards were based on both Impact Wrestling and WWE programming; these were chosen strictly on who deserved it, and who didn't. Now as you know, you can't have an awards show without a 'celebrity' roast, so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the people you already love to hate, the Wrestlezone staff!

- Nick Paglino records his Touts in front of the wall that was used as the backdrop in a Repo Man vignette.

- Chris Cash is called the "Voice of Wrestling." I don't know about you, but he sure has a face for radio.

- Kevin Kelly works for Ring of Honor, so I really want to keep up on their shows. I miss seeing "Hermie" on TV every week.

- Justin LaBar doesn't actually host Chair Shot Reality anymore. Scott Hudson's been filling in for him for a few years now.

- Josh Isenberg has yet to notice.

- Bill Pritchard – Yes, me. I still see my own name on Wrestlezone and ask "who the f*ck is this guy?"

- Adam Gorzelsky – TL;DR

- Mike Killam is the best thing on Wrestlezone today. (Said no one, ever.)

And now, to the awards!

Breakthrough Wrestler of the Year: Bully Ray
(Runners Up – Bobby Roode, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan)

Bully Ray has proven he can be a singles star, and he has been one of the best parts of Impact Wrestling every week. It’s easy to say the other nominees should have won, but they were all expected to great things and singles stars, and it was Bully who was written off as ‘just’ a tag team specialist. Bully Ray has always worked well in the ring, and now he has the attitude and character to back it up. He has been a focal point of Impact, and he’s done well whether he was fighting Austin Aries and Abyss, or having an issue with Hulk Hogan over his relationship with Brooke. Bully Ray proved he belongs at the top, and it just a matter of time before he wins the TNA Heavyweight Championship.

Rookie / Character Debut of the Year: The Shield
(Runners Up – Joey Ryan, Aces and Eights, Ryback)

This is a hard category to choose because no one is really a “rookie” unless you are first starting out on the indies, so for this we are looking at a new character debut or debut in a company. I really have to hand it to The Shield for making an immediate impact when they came on WWE television, which says alot because they've barely been a group for three months. The Shield's first match was a co-main event of a pay-per-view, and they won, which not many people can say. They have been booked as being strong and together, and I like that they haven't revealed their exact purpose, but we do know who they are. Aces and Eights started off hot but it seems to be dragging on now, and The Shield look to have come around at the right time, just in time for the Road to Wrestlemania. They are fighting injustice in the WWE, and I look forward to see where it goes from here.

Disappointment of the Year: Ryback
(Runners Up – Brock Lesnar, Aces and Eights, Alberto Del Rio)

Ryback ‘wins’ this category because he was pushed too quickly, and I feel like WWE shot themselves in the foot like they did with Nexus and other angles in the recent past. Ryback was being pushed along just fine, but after he confronted CM Punk and saved Mick Foley I knew there would be trouble. He should have gotten a slower push because it would’ve meant more, and I mean that as far as fan reaction and eventually winning a championship. I think he should have gotten more victories over guys like Wade Barrett and Randy Orton before he was pushed to a title program, and they should have kept teasing the interactions with Punk. Ryback could have dealt with the Shield before the first encounter with Punk, so that he would have been taken out of the match. I absolutely loved the six-man TLC match, but that should have been the blowoff to the feud, and now Ryback should have been building more towards Punk. He could have been a candidate to win the Royal Rumble, and if it finally happened, he could have had a huge rub as the guy to finally knock Punk off of his pedestal. So many things could have happened, but they didn’t, and I think WWE missed the mark a bit on this one. I keep saying ‘could have’ and ‘should have’ so that’s why I called him the disappointment; hopefully WWE can rebuild his momentum and take him even higher because he has the tools to be a main event star.

(Awards continued on the next page…)

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