IT’S BEEN one other action-packed yr for WWE. However which superstars have been the huge winners and losers of 2018?
Solar Sport appears again in any respect the motion and drama for its ends of yr awards:
Becky Lynch has been the standout star of 2018
- 1 Celebrity of the Yr Award – Becky Lynch
- 2 Champion of the Yr Award – UK Champion Pete Dunne
- 3 Most Disappointing Comeback Award – Daniel Bryan
- 4 BOTTLE JOB
- 5 COP THAT
- 6 RAW DEAL
- 7 TWO WEDDINGS AND A PINFALL
- 8 BROCK’S BOOKED
- 9 ROU RAGE
- 10 Greatest Second Probability At A Comeback Award – Daniel Bryan
- 11 Heartbreaking Second Award – Roman Reigns
- 12 WRESTLEMANIA 35 – How are you going to be there?
- 13 Major Roster Match of the Yr Award – Becky Lynch v Charlotte Aptitude (Evolution)
- 14 NXT Match of the Yr Award – Tomasso Ciampa v Velveteen Dream (TakeOver: WarGames)
- 15 Iron Man Award – Seth Rollins
- 16 Rivalry of the Yr Award – Kairi Sane v Shayna Baszler
- 17 Debut of the Yr Award – Ronda Rousey
- 18 Heel Flip of the Yr Award – Charlotte Aptitude
- 19 Should Attempt More durable Award – Shinsuke Nakamura
- 20 Missed Alternative Award – Braun Strowman
- 21 Catastrophe of the Yr Award – Crown Jewel
Celebrity of the Yr Award – Becky Lynch
Becky turned heel on greatest pal Charlotte Aptitude at SummerSlam and caught hearth as “The Man”.
Becky received over on her personal benefit – razor sharp angle, in-ring expertise, and top notch character work. And she or he’s had the largest natural response from followers since Daniel Bryan’s “Yes Movement” in 2014.
Becky’s push has exploded the ladies’s title image – and all with out WWE’s fabricated “women’s evolution” narrative.
“The Man” has been the hottest factor in WWE all yr and ought to have earned herself a spot in the foremost occasion of subsequent yr’s WrestleMania.
The Irish Lasskicker has proven everybody she actually is ‘The Man’
UK Champion Pete Dunne is the longest-reigning title holder in WWE
Champion of the Yr Award – UK Champion Pete Dunne
It’s been a patchy yr for WWE’s crowded roster of titles. AJ Types had a dud yr as WWE Champion. Brock Lesnar solely bothered to present up now and once more as Common Champion. Seth Rollins had an honest reign as IC champ however was caught up in Defend enterprise for many of the time.
Probably the most constant champion on the roster is undoubtedly Pete Dunne.
Not solely the longest reigning champ in WWE, he’s additionally placed on blinding performances throughout each the common and UK NXT manufacturers and was the primary participant in the epic WarGames battle final month.
Daniel Bryan had a hugely-underwhelming comeback
His comeback was not as dangerous as Shawn Michaels’ at Crown Jewel
Most Disappointing Comeback Award – Daniel Bryan
When Bryan introduced he was cleared to compete – and would return to motion at WrestleMania 34 – it was an enormous second. However WWE’s backwards reserving spoiled it.
(Bryan was taken out of the first half of the match by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn earlier than making his heroic comeback – it killed the warmth for the match.)
And whereas his feud with Miz was respectable sufficient in angles and promos, it by no means clicked in the ring.
Bryan’s huge return solely fast-tracked him to mid-card mediocrity.
Conor McGregor sends Becky Lynch Christmas present amid Ronda Rousey feud
Most cancers-stricken Roman Reigns tells cop ‘he is doing OK’ after posing for uncommon pic
Most cancers-stricken Reigns axed on Uncooked as Rollins reveals chats with star
TWO WEDDINGS AND A PINFALL
Lio Rush will get married as Sarah Logan and Rowe tie the knot at present
Brock Lesnar return date confirmed for Uncooked Royal Rumble go-home present
Ronda Rousey concerned in automotive crash in Peru as she resists urge to ‘battle’ offender
Greatest Second Probability At A Comeback Award – Daniel Bryan
Bryan’s sudden heel activate AJ Types to turn into WWE Champion has been a revelation. He additionally placed on a match of the yr contender with Brock Lesnar.
Reinventing himself as a self-righteous social conscience, the New Daniel Bryan’s psychology and promo work has been masterful.
(Simply take a look at the promo he minimize earlier than TLC, criticising WWE for shilling Christmas jumpers and promising to substitute the WWE title’s leather-based strap with a sustainable materials.)
The face that Bryan – the most universally beloved babyface since Austin and Rock – now has the followers booing him is a testomony to simply how good he’s.
Roman Reigns’ most cancers shock was the most heartbreaking story of the yr
Heartbreaking Second Award – Roman Reigns
Reigns had a troublesome few months as WWE’s prime babyface, booked in counter-productive feuds and finishes with Brock Lesnar that solely fuelled the dislike of Roman.
However followers realised simply how a lot Reigns meant to each them and WWE when he introduced in October that he’s battling leukaemia.
Followers – who have been used to booing Reigns mercilessly regardless of how good he’s – have been surprised into close to silence.
It was an emotional scene and reminder of how highly effective the connection between celebrity and fan may be. Even when then followers don’t realise it.
WRESTLEMANIA 35 – How are you going to be there?
ALL rise for The Showcase Of The Immortals!
WWE’s annual showpiece WrestleMania takes place subsequent yr on April 7 from the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, however when are you able to get tickets for it?
And what’s the greatest method to get there from the UK?
Click on right here to discover out all you want to know so you can begin planning your journey.
Wasted Expertise of the Yr Award – NXT call-ups
Sure, it’s been one other disappointing yr for superstars promoted from NXT to the principal roster. The likes of Tye Dillinger, The Revival, Bobby Roode (all promoted in 2017 and nonetheless struggling) SAnitY, and No Means Jose have been used terribly or disappeared utterly.
Andrade “Cien” Almas had a promising first few weeks, however was predictably relegated to placing over extra established stars.
It doesn’t bode properly for NXT stars reminiscent of Johnny Garganao, Tommasa Ciampa, or the Undisputed Period for once they ultimately get referred to as up.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Aptitude produced a shocking encounter
The duo stole the present at the historic Evolution pay-per-view
Major Roster Match of the Yr Award – Becky Lynch v Charlotte Aptitude (Evolution)
The all ladies’s pay-per-view Evolution was one of the massive surprises of 2018.
Although it was promoted by WWE like an afterthought, it delivered in the ring – a stark distinction to the all-male horror present Crown Jewel only one week later.
Becky and Charlotte stole the present in a brutal, bone-crunching Final Lady Standing match, with each ladies going to excessive lengths.
WWE has been pushing for first ever Hell in a Cell, Cash in the Financial institution and different gimmick matches in the ladies’s division, however the feminine superstars had by no means fairly delivered the similar physicality as male superstars in these varieties of stipulations – till now.
Becky acquired the decisive win after power-bombing Charlotte via a desk – a serious vote of confidence in “The Man” from WWE.
Tomasso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream produced a basic in NXT
The pair’s match at NXT Takeover was the greatest on the model in 2018
NXT Match of the Yr Award – Tomasso Ciampa v Velveteen Dream (TakeOver: WarGames)
It’s exhausting to decide only one match with the likes of Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, and Adam Cole knocking out such brilliantly constant performances. However for pure in-ring storytelling, it has to to be Ciampa’s gripping title defence towards Velveteen Dream.
There have been huge near-falls and star-making moments from Dream, who continued to channel the magnetism and transfer set of Hulk Hogan. Look out for Velveteen Dream in 2019. Together with his physique and character work, he’s the one NXT celebrity that Vince McMahon is certain to push on the important roster.
Seth Rollins confirmed his metal in an epic Iron Man encounter on Uncooked
Iron Man Award – Seth Rollins
Rollins was a shoe in for this award after his unimaginable hour-plus efficiency on Uncooked final February.
“The Architect” fought off Roman Reigns, John Cena, Finn Balor, The Miz, and Braun Strowman, and Elias in a record-setting gauntlet match.
However Rollins’ electrical performances have continued week-in, week-out, making him the premier wrestler on Uncooked on any given week.
It’s no shock that he’s rumoured to face Brock Lesnar for the Common Champion at subsequent yr’s WrestleMania.
Kairi Sane v Shayna Baszler have loved the greatest rivalry over the previous 12 months
The pair have loved numerous battles for the NXT Ladies’s Title
Rivalry of the Yr Award – Kairi Sane v Shayna Baszler
No rivalry on the important roster might prime the good dynamic between Kairi Sane and Baszler – wrestling storytelling at its absolute purest.
Kairi – the plucky underdog babyface – and Shayna – a bullish, ruthless heel – have scrapped over the NXT Ladies’s Championship for months.
Each main match – at NXT TakeOvers and Evolution – has been a psychology-based masterclass and the greatest work in the NXT ladies’s division since the days of Sasha Banks v Bayley.
Ronda Rousey has been a revelation in her debut yr in the wrestling world
Debut of the Yr Award – Ronda Rousey
“The Baddest Woman on the Planet” debuted at this yr’s WrestleMania with a ton of publicity.
Nevertheless it wasn’t simply empty hype – Rousey stole the present together with her realistic-looking offence and promoting.
Since then she’s turn out to be the Uncooked Ladies’s Champion and placed on first-rate performances towards Nia Jax, Nikki Bella, and Charlotte Aptitude.
Ronda’s a pure at wrestling – it’s been the greatest rookie yr since her Mania tag companion Kurt Angle debuted again in 1999/2000.
Charlotte Aptitude is so a lot better after her heel flip
Heel Flip of the Yr Award – Charlotte Aptitude
Babyface Charlotte was booed in matches towards Becky Lynch and was on the verge of getting the Roman Reigns remedy from followers.
However her heel flip at Survivor Collection – beating the hell out of Ronda Rousey in a kendo stick and metal chair-wielding assault – has reinvigorated her.
Followers have been gripped by the beat-down. It was so good that they booed Ronda actually out of the area. Charlotte’s flip has additionally been a significant factor in taking the ladies’s division to the subsequent degree.
Shinsuke Nakamura has underwhelmed over the previous 12 months
Should Attempt More durable Award – Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE’s remedy of Nakamura has been woeful. After profitable the males’s Royal Rumble, Nakamura was lumbered with a low-blowing heel gimmick and then a nugatory US title reign.
However it’s not totally WWE’s fault. The King of Robust Type has additionally been coasting on mediocre performances the whole yr.
The Nakamura at present wrestling in WWE just isn’t the similar man who placed on a match of the yr towards Sami Zayn in 2016 – and definitely not the similar Nakamura from NJPW.
Simply take a look at his match with Seth Rollins at Survivor Collection. What ought to have been a five-star basic simply went by means of the motions – which just about sums up Nak’s 2018.
WWE missed an enormous alternative by letting Brock Lesnar squash Braun Strowman
Missed Alternative Award – Braun Strowman
At the begin of 2018, Braun was over – and followers have been crying out for him to flip babyface and develop into the prime man.
Vince McMahon lastly had the massively fashionable (and truly large) monster he’d been making an attempt to create since the finish of the Hulkamania period. However Braun discovered himself tagging with a toddler at WrestleMania and then booked in a quantity of head-scratching reserving selections.
(He failed to money in Cash in the Financial institution when the match went to no contest, turned heel for no cause, and misplaced in minutes to Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel.)
Now it’s onerous to think about Braun ever having the prime star standing he would had achieved if WWE acquired behind him like a juggernaut when he was purple scorching.
The Crown Jewel PPV was an enormous flop
The Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs Kane and Undertaker foremost occasion was a catastrophe
Catastrophe of the Yr Award – Crown Jewel
After the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, there was large strain from each followers and US officers for WWE to scrap its controversial present in Saudi Arabia.
However WWE was by no means going to buckle – there’s simply an excessive amount of cash at stake in its multi-year cope with the Saudis.
The present was additionally a catastrophe in the ring, full of garbage matches, a phony World Cup event, and a weird twist when Shane McMahon stepped in at the final minute to be topped “best in the world”.
It’s virtually as if WWE was making an attempt to make it horrible on function.
The most important catastrophe of all although was Shawn Michaels cynical comeback, tagging with Triple H to tackle Undertaker and Kane.
Journeys tore a pec simply minutes into match, forcing HBK to wrestle the creaking Brother of Destruction virtually singlehandedly. So dangerous it was exhausting to watch.