Posted January 1st, 2019 by 1Wrestling News Team

Ringside Remembrances: 2018 Year-End Awards

Jay Shannon draws upon five decades as a devout wrestling fan to look at the past, present and future of professional wrestling.

“A Superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions”–Conducius

Last year, I was too sick to give out my awards for Year’s Best. This year, I hd so many great stars and matches to choose from that it took me weeks to figure this one out. Let’s take a look…

Rookie of the Year: Ronda Rousey

Yes, I realize she has taken a lot of criticism for getting such a quick push. In my humble opinion, she deserves all she has earned. She has been a dominant champion since winning the Raw Women’s title. Avoiding injury, 2019 should be another great year for the new Rowdy One.

Manager of the Year: Drake Maverick

As Rock Star Spud, Drake was over looked as a hreat to most. I had the honor of meeting him, a few years back, and I knew that there was so much more there than what TNA allowed him to show. When he became the GM of 205 Live, Drake took the Cruiserweights to new levels. Then he stepped in to take over management of the AoP. He quickly led them from obscurity to the tag belts. They are still a threat to the tag straps and the credit goes to Drake.

Announcer of the Year: Renee Young

She became the first woma to earn a permanent spot at an announce desk. She was also there for the Evolution PPV. She has also hosted just about every Pre-Show in WWE, this year. Her style is still a work in progress but she may well eclipse those that work around her and in other organizations.

Comeback of the Year: Shawn Michaels

He Was brought back for the D-X vs Brothers of Desruction feud. Despite a legthy “retirement”, Shawn carried the Lion’s Share of the brutal tag team match at Crown Jewel. We may not see Shawn in the future but for a few weeks, we went back to the late 80-early 90s.

Match of the Year: Jake Strong vs P.J. Black vs Big Bad Steve vs King Cuerno vs Hernandez vs Aerostar vs Dante Fox
Gift of he Gods Championship Match (Ultima Lucha Quatro)

This was an incredible 7-man Elimination Match. This was the Pre-Show for Ultima Lucha Four. This match hd it all: high flying, brutality, forklifts, monkey wrenches, and so much more. Jake Strong (the former Jack Swagger) would eventually take the win. During the main event of Lucha Udergournd’s annual show, Jake would cash in the Gift of the Gods title to capture the Lucha Undergound title.

Feud of the Year: D-X vs Brothers of Destruction

The two matches were not all the special but the hype was incredible. It started with Triple H vs Undertaker. Kane and Shawn Michaels were at ringside and got involved. Tht led to D-X reforming, if for only one night.

Event of the Year: Wrestle Knigdom 12 (January 4, 2018)

This annual event was packed, bell to bell, with somoe of the best action possible. The main event saw Okada vs Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight title. Kenny Omega defended his IWGP US title against Chris Jericho in a “co-main event”. In total, there were 10 great matches and each and every one was a championship match. It was the perfect way to kick off the new year. Sadly, I was still very ill went it went live, but I have gone back and watched most of the show, online. WWE and Impact could lear a whole lot by watching New Japan.

Tag Team of the Year: The Young Bucks

Tag tam wrestling has made a major coomeback, in recnt years. WWE, Impact, Ring of Honor, New Japan and dozens of other companies have fantastic duos. When I came down to who was the best, I was tempted to go with The Bar or Authors of Pain. Then I caught an episode of Ring of Honor where the Young Bucks fought the Briscoes. I swear it was like watchig the Rock and Roll Express rebund. I have had the honor of working with Matt and Nick Jackson, several times, earlier in their careers. They have torn threw TNA, RoH and especially New Japan. And to think, I first met them at “The Golden Arches” as we were going for brreakfast in San Jose, California. If they ever entered WWE, every team in sight would be in serious troble.

Female Wrestler of the Year: Tessa Blanchard

I have to agree with my mentor and dear friend, Bill Apter, on this one. The third generation star walked into Impact and took over. Ahe has had several high profile matches and shined like a diamond in almost all of them. The true sign of a superior wrestler is his or her level of competition. Tessa has feuded with Allie, Su Yung and Taya Valkerie, as well as battling just about everyone other female on the roster. It won’t be long until Blanchard will join names like Charlotte Flair and Natalya Neidhart as proud representatives of their families. She is stage, but it is coming soon.

Male Wrestler of the Year: K enny Omega

Who am I to argue with Pro Wrestling Illustrated? They picked Kenny as the top guy in the world. His feuds with Jericho and Okada are the stuff of legend. Omega has made a few appearance here in the US, as well. He is considered one of the hottest prospects out there. Funny thing is, WWE let him slip away, quite some time ago. Kenmy is still a young man so his future could’t be brighter. An autographed photo of Kenny has a place of honor on my wall of autographed photos.

Shocker of the Year: Roman Reigns’ diagnosis

Wrestlers have had to step away from wrestling for health issues, in the past. Edge had a severe neck injury. Nikita Koloff was seriously injured by Big Van Vader. Roman’s announcement that he had to step away because of fighting leukemia was one of the most shocking announcements of all time. Roman was dealing with a John Cea-like split audience when he revealed his illness. Suddenly, Joe (Roman’s real name) was hearing and seeing huge support across the board. We haven’t gotten an update on him in some time but we are all praying for a full recovery. The only things that have shocked me more were the losses of Owen and Eddie. I give my strongest prayers that Roman will return within a year or two.

In Conclusion:

2018 was one of the best years for wrestling in recent memory. The women came out of the shadows to headline so many television shows and pay-per-views. Tag team battles were incredible. I am so excited for the new year.


–Jay Shannon

Category: Wrestling.

Tags: .

Comments are closed.