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AEW - DEC 2021


The Natural
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Gonna give some awards here, too.

 

WOTY: Danielson. And this might be the second promotion televised worldwide that he's WOTY for. Dude debuts to a hero's welcome, then turns heel to fill in for Mox against Hangman Page. This after being in the main event of Wrestlemania just a few months ago. This is Bryan's world. We're all just living in it.

Female WOTY: This one's tough, because my tastes tend to divert quite a bit from the mainstream. I'm gonna say Tay Conti. Tay was a rookie with a lot of promise when AEW signed her off of a WWE release. Now she's become one of the most popular female stars in the company, and she has an unteachable stage presence that truly sets her apart. Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa were both incredible before 2021. I'm not sure that's true for Conti, but it sure as shit is now.

Tag Team of the Year: Fuck you. You can't make me. We'll go with the Lucha Brothers, for ending the Jackson's reign of error. I also thought Jurassic Express, FTR, and Santana and Ortiz did some really quality work this year.

Match of the Year: Hard to argue with Omega/Danielson, but I'm going Stadium Stampede. It seems like six years ago, but everything about that match worked. Even the weird ass part where Shawn Spears tried to play "Batman villain of the week" worked. They made Sammy Guevera a star in the same match they featured an Urban Meyer cameo in. I love chaotic, niche shit like this, and it delivered wayyyyy past my expectations. 

Promo of the Year: The tiebreaker between Kingston and Punk is that I think Kingston delivered more over the course of 12 months.

Rookie of the Year: Daniel Garcia. They found themselves a dude. In five years, when the 4 Pillars are no longer the future but the present. Garcia and Brian Pillman Jr will be the future.

Moment of the Year: Of all the great ones that happened this year, I'm going with Ruby Soho debuting. The sheer joy on her face at the reaction she got still gives me goosebumps. There's something about the facial expression someone makes when they realize people really do love them. Cole, Bryan, Malakai Black and Punk all had louder pops when they debuted, but I'm not sure anyone was as happy to be in the moment they were in as Ruby Soho, and I love shit like that.

Other good shit that happened this year: The Ten man tag between Dark Order and Hangman Page and the Elite. Those intros were out of this world and the amount of story told in that one match was staggering. That match managed to make Gallows and Anderson interesting. Think about that. 

 

The emergence of Jungle Boy. If I had to bet 50$ on anyone who hadn't appeared on WWE tv to be a massive, transcendent star for AEW, it would be Jack. The whole package works. The entrance music. The presentation. The tag team with Luchasaurus. It's all badass, and it all works. Jack Perry will be a World Champion somewhere. If it were me, I'd give him the Fernando Tatis Jr deal to make sure he never works for Vince.

The emergence of the women's division: Losing Big Swole sucks. It does. But at least a half dozen women have stepped up huge this year, including Britt, Rosa, Tay, Anna Jay, and RooRoo. Fun to watch a company's weakness become another strength.

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Why not

Male WOTY: Omega - great heel heat. Danielson was close but Omega for the entire year. 

Female WOTY: Baker - Mega star (and I would argue AEW's first real break out home grown star).  They have better pure wrestlers but she is really over. 

Match of the year: Wow so many good ones but I have two. Baker/Rosa Lights out was amazing; imagine this match at say All Out  in front of a hot crowd. Omega/Danielson left me wanting more.  Both matches left me saying please take my money when you do this again. 

Promo of the year:  Kingston/Punk - as good as MJF/Punk is (and it may turn it to be the best single moment on US TV in several years) - Kingston hits that nerve so hard. 

Tag Team of the Year:  Since Lucha Bros won the title (great match) to me the tag teams have taking a step back. I want FTR to be front and center, with LAX all year in 2022. 

My category:  Where I think AEW is doing really well in creating new stars/attractions. 

Male Star on the Rise: Jungle Boy - went from a bit of comedy match/unsure where he fit to being a legit star.  Sammy was my second pick. Jungle Boy has had that Sting like rise in 2021.

Female Star on the Rise: Tay Conti. She has it - the super athletic background and off the chart great looks. How WWE missed on her is crazy.  From Jan 2021 to now she has become a much better worker, and she will never be hard on the eyes.   

Moment of the year:  Punk Chicago - Organic, over the top.  Not as epic as Hogan-Rock in Toronto but as big of a pop wrestling has had in years. The music - him coming out was the LOD pop +++.   Heck the ice cream bars was incredible.

Most interesting development to me: AEW staking a hard claim to Chicago. If WWE/WWF has claimed the Garden as their "home", AEW is saying Chicago is our home.  It is an homage to things like JCP (Greensboro), World Class (Dallas) or even Mid-South (New Orleans), or Florida (Tampa. Miami) .  I like it. 

Edited by chriskbrown50
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2 hours ago, just drew said:

Moment of the Year: Of all the great ones that happened this year, I'm going with Ruby Soho debuting. The sheer joy on her face at the reaction she got still gives me goosebumps. There's something about the facial expression someone makes when they realize people really do love them. Cole, Bryan, Malakai Black and Punk all had louder pops when they debuted, but I'm not sure anyone was as happy to be in the moment they were in as Ruby Soho, and I love shit like that.

....Punk was 98% of the way to full blown crying during his entrance at the First Dance. I would know, I've watched that entire segment back a legit, at least, 15 times. 🤣

I won't be doing an AEW awards type situation until the new year, because they still have a full month of shows and things could change, but my moment of the year is definitely going to be the first 20 or so minutes of The First Dance. Nothing will be able to touch that, in my mind.

(but I definitely did mark the fuck out for Ruby debuting)

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24 minutes ago, DreamBroken said:

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Just confirmed 

What an early Christmas present! Cool how Winter is Coming has become a new tradition starting last year with Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship and Sting's debut.

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AEW YouTube wrestler of the year: Legit Leyla Hirsch. I mark out any time she's on Dark or Elevation, which is pretty much my sole criterion for these awards.

Male AEW YouTube wrestler of the year: JD Drake. Our lad has come a long way in 2021. He's consistently very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. I want him to go back to his old Dick Murdoch style gear some day, even though I like his current look as part of The Wingmen.

AEW YouTube tag team of the year: Bear Country! And people complain that there are no fat guys in AEW. AEW has the best fat guys! Love to see them slowly and organically making their way up the ladder.

AEW YouTube match of the year: Bryan vs MiSu. Could end up being "The Best Match Ever to Debut on YouTube" when all is said and done. Rampage Buy-In currently has over 1.3 million views! I wonder how many of those are from folks like me who have watched it over a dozen times.

Edited by Gordberg
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Where is the confused reaction? Rosa was in the division's best two matches this year and while she hasn't wrestled as much as she could have for contractual reasons and the cycling system aew uses, she's so clearly #1A performer in my mind. Tay looked green as turtle shit in her big match. She's got a world of potential and she's made good strides but man... What? 

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Elevation is going to be weird this week I see- from cagematch,net spoilers.

Spoiler

Tag Team Match

Abadon & Ryo Mizunami defeat Emi Sakura & The Bunny

 

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9 hours ago, Jiji said:

Where is the confused reaction? Rosa was in the division's best two matches this year and while she hasn't wrestled as much as she could have for contractual reasons and the cycling system aew uses, she's so clearly #1A performer in my mind. Tay looked green as turtle shit in her big match. She's got a world of potential and she's made good strides but man... What? 

I thought Britt Baker looked way worse in that title match than Tay did, as long as we’re being honest. Britt is still awkward in-ring and… clumsy? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but yeah.

I’ve yet to see an AEW match with Thunder Rosa that really hooked me that didn’t involve plunder and blood. I’m a sucker for that type of shit so I don’t count the Lights Out match vs Britt. Not to say I don’t enjoy watching her wrestle, but nothing I’ve seen has been blow out, amazingly awesome. I don’t know who would be my women’s wrestler of the year for AEW, honestly. The division hasn’t really done a lot for me yet, but that’s okay because I realize it’s a work in progress.

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Weird as it may sound, JDS is deserving of some recognition for being RotY. He wouldn't win it, but for a guy with zero matches going in to this year, I would now love to see more of him. 

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Couple other thoughts...

Punk and Eddie was probably the best promo in the last 10 years. 

My US MotY is either Hangman vs Kenny, Bucks vs Lucha Bros, or Punk vs Eddie. I lean towards the latter because I love a match that is just two motherfuckers fucking fighting.

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Miro at least deserves an honourable mention in the Wrestler of the Year discussion. In terms of sheer batting average in everything he’s participated in on-screen (matches, interviews, vignettes, in-ring confrontations, everything) I’m not sure anyone comes close in terms of hit rate. 

But from personal preference I’d have to say Danielson. I’ve never got such vicarious pleasure in someone else’s sheer joy of head-kicking-in from Omega to Suzuki and on and on, the switch-up of finishers, that gleam in his eye. So great.

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