My Picks: RSPW Best In Wrestling Legacy Awards 2013

Author’s Note:  The RSPW Awards were the Internet’s Oldest Awards running for 20 years  commemorating the Best and Worse in Professional Wrestling each year.  Sadly the awards were retired after the 2009 competition year.  Each year I would post my picks as submitted on the official RSPW Awards Ballot on my blogs.  You can check out my picks for 2008 here , 2009 here and 2010 here and 2011 here.  For postings from earlier years you’ll need to dig through my old MySpace or Blogger blogs (too lazy to hunt and link it).  Not one to let traditions die (and because I just NEED to share my opinion) here are my picks for the Best and Worse of Wrestling in 2013 as based on the old RSPW ballot.
—-
Best Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the athlete who was the best overall wrestler of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability,  interviews, charisma, value to his/her promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  Daniel Bryan
2nd:  AJ Styles
3rd:  John Cena

2013 was hands down the Year of the Beard, Daniel Bryan.  WWE rode his wave and featured him in the main event slot taking on the Shield, Cena, Orton and the Wyatts with D.B. having 5 star matches all around.  WWE whiffed on REALLY putting the title on him and making him the “Face of the WWE” but he easily best on the best performances all year.

AJ Styles had the best year in TNA (with Magnus a close second).  Again — epic matches up and down the card.  Promotion changing promos and a solid program catapulted the Phenomenal One back to the top of the card.
John Cena rounds out third.  The franchise of the WWE needs no explanation rounding out great matches and programs with all comers throughout the year

Best Tag Team

Award Description:
To be given to the tag team who were the best overall team of the year.  This includes all facets of wrestling: workrate, technical ability, interviews, charisma, hot team moves, value to their promotion, etc. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  The Usos
2nd:  The Shield
3rd:   The Wyatts

The Usos were the best pure tag team in 2013 hands down.  The had solid matches up and down the card with everyone.  The WWE basically pushed them to be the counterpoint to the Shield but the twins brought it to the next level.

By right, the Shield should be #1 but I’m biased so sue me.  Hands down the Shield dominated the promotion leaving EVERYONE in a crumpled mess in their wake.

The Wyatts debuted to big fanfare and got a huge consistent push steamrolling everyone.

Best Heel

Award Description:
To be given to the person who was the best villain this past year. This person should bring out the fans’ wrath. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was in the past year.

1st:  Bully Ray
2nd:  Randy Orton
3rd:  Bobby Roode

Bully Ray ran roughshod over TNA as it’s featured heel for the past two years.  Killer promos and awesome matches plus the perfect combination of uber villain and cowardly heel leader of Aces and Eights brings him to #1.

Orton finally got out of the dog house and retook his spot as the top heel in the WWE and the “Face of the WWE.”  No one does it better as a heel than the Viper.

Bobby Roode rounds out #3.  He spent half the year buried but with the BFG series reclaimed his spot as a featured heel through his leadership of the Gentlemen’s Club and his feud with Kurt Angle.

Best Babyface

Award Description:
To be given to the person who best portrayed the hero this past year. This person should get lots of fan support. Match quality is not paramount here; this award should be based primarily on how over the wrestler was inthe past year.

1st:  Daniel Bryan
2nd:  John Cena
3rd:  CM Punk

Daniel Bryan wins hands down.  He was the epitome of the underdog with heart who fought and beat both the system and all the naysayers out there.

Cena and Punk (even though he worked heel half the year) round out 2 and 3 for me.

Best Worker

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler with, on average, the best workrate. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall.  In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st: Daniel Bryan
2nd: CM Punk
3rd:  AJ Styles

D.B., Punk and Styles.  No contest here.  Hence why they all stood at the top of their respective promotions.

Best Flyer

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who did the most and the best high-flying maneuvers throughout the year. In 1994, this award was split into two:  North American and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

1st: AJ Styles
2nd: The Usos
3rd: Kofi Kingston

Styles was the most high profile flyer all year tearing up the cards.  Usos take second also due to prominent high profile spots all over the card each week.  Kofi, though out for a while, takes the 3rd spot.

Best Technical Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who has the most technical ability. The number of holds and moves you see this person do and the crispness with which the moves are executed makes his/her matches a pleasure to watch. In 1994, this award was split into three: North American, Non-North American, and overall. In 1998, it was recombined into one.

1st:  Daniel Bryan
2nd:  AJ Styles
3rd:  CM Punk

D.B. takes the top spot again as he was basically the star of the promotion for 2013 for the WWE.

Styles takes similar honors for TNA with the added bonus of having actually changed up his game incorporating the ground-based submission work with the leg vine submission.

Punk rounds it out.

Best Brawler

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who brawled his/her way through the year most convincingly. This award would go to Frank “Bruiser Brody” Goodish if he were still around. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American and Non-North American.  In 1998, it was recombined.

1st:  Ryback
2nd:  Big E Langston
3rd:  Big Show

Ryback epitomized the brawler with his near yearlong Bully gimmick following Wrestlemania.

Big E. Langston came on strong this year also rocking the card.  Big Show rounds things out.

Most Favourite Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler you like the most, regardless of the reason.

1st:  AJ Styles
2nd:  Daniel Bryan
3rd:  CM Punk

Styles was my favorite for 2013.  I loved the transformation of his character from Phenomenal to “No One” and back to the hybrid form.

D.B. and Punk are my “Best in the World!” wrestlers.

Most Improved Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who most improved himself/herself in all facets of the sport in the past year.

1st:  AJ Styles

There’s only one name that comes to mind and that’s AJ Styles.  AJ’s been criticized for years for not having much of a personality but the guy was able to transform into a solid lone wolf character and cut promos far beyond what he showed himself capable of in the past.  He also changed up his in-ring style incorporating a more ground-based game to complement his famous high-flying phenomenal style.

Most Overrated Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who really has little talent, but has a large place in the spotlight nonetheless. This is a measure of how undeserved a wrestler’s push is.

1st:  N/A

Best Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who had the best character gimmick in the past year.

1st:  “No One” AJ Styles
2nd:  Daniel Bryan, Bearded Bad Ass
3rd:  Bad Influence, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian

For me the “No One” character of AJ Styles truly resonated.  Screwed over by everyone AJ followed his own path on his own, kicked ass and took names and won belts.  What better story than that?

Daniel Bryan’s 2013 gimmick was that of the underdog who fought back against everyone who told him he couldn’t and told them to fuck off.  What better story than that?

Bad Influence was the highlight of Impact almost each and every week with comedy gold almost each and every time out.

Best Wrestling Move

Award Description:
To be given to the move that is just the damn best thing you’ve seen this past year. This should probably be a “finishing” move or something really spectacular.

1st: AJ Styles’ “Rolling Leg Lock”

AJ tapped almost everyone in TNA out with the rolling leg lock submission.  Way to kick ass and take names.

Best Feud

Award Description:
To be given to the feud that gave us the most heated and best wrestling match(es) of the year. In 1994, this award was split into two: North American and Non-North American.  In 1996, due to lack of participation on the non-NA side, it was recombined.

1st:  AJ Styles vs. Dixie Carter and the World
2nd:  Daniel Bryan vs. The Regime
3rd:  The Shield vs. The WWE

AJ’s year long feud with Dixie and the world was my personal highlight of TNA.  It was the perfect culmination of all his frustrations with his TNA career.

Ditto Daniel Bryan in his feud with Triple H and Orton.

The Shield had the storybook rookie year finding strength in numbers and taking out the entire WWE roster.

Worst Tag Team

Award Description:
To be given to the name tag team who were the worst overall wrestlers in the past year. Minimal technical ability, lousy interviews, non-existent workrate, the charisma of a rock, and lousy team moves should describe this pair.

1st:   N/A/

Worst Heel

Award Description:
To be given to the person whose casting as a bad guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no heel heat drawn or maybe the fans actually cheered this person, but for whatever reason the heel image just didn’t get over.

1st: N/A

Worst Babyface

Award Description:
To be given to the person whose casting as a good guy just didn’t work well. Maybe there was just no face heat drawn or maybe the fans actually booed this person, but for whatever reason the face image just didn’t get over.

1st:  N/A

Most Deteriorated Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the person whose skill has deteriorated the most over the past year. This person should be a shadow of his/her former self.

1st: N/A

Most Underrated Wrestler

Award Description:
To be given to the person whose ability merits a far greater push than the person receives. There may be many such people, but the winner of this award should have the most ability with least push.

1st:  Dolph Ziggler
2nd:  Zach Ryder

You’d never think Dolph was a former world champion.  The guy wins the title after Mania and seems to be on the verge of greatness.  He gets injured, returns and gets buried the rest of the year — despite arguably being the most talented guy on the roster.  Smdh

I honestly have no idea what more can be done.  This guy HAD a huge following and SEEMED to be on the cusp of a solid push but zzzzzzt.

Worst Wrestling Gimmick

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestler who had the worst character gimmick in the past year.

1st: N/A

Worst Wrestling Move

Award Description:
To be given to the move that is the worst thing you’ve seen this year. This shouldn’t be given to a move that was flubbed by a wrestler – the move was performed correctly, but was just too stupid for words. This move should probably be a “finishing” move or something that was meant to be spectacular.

1st: N/A

Worst Match

Award Description:
To be given to the worst wrestling match you’ve seen this year, either live, on TV, PPV, or in an arena, or on tape. If it took place in the past year, it is eligible.

1st:  N/A

Most Disappointing News item

Award Description:
To be given to the wrestling news item that most disappointed you when heard of it. When you first learned of this news story, you couldn’t believe that it was true, and when you learned that it was, you were bummed out for a while.

1st:   N/A

Most Obnoxious Personality

Award Description:
To be given to the person who just rubs you the wrong way. This could be anybody involved in the wrestling biz.

1st:   N/A

Best Second

Award Description:
To be given to the manager who outperformed their peers at ringside and behind the microphone in interviews.  This award was discontinued after the 2001 awards and reinstated in 2006.

1st:   Paul Heyman

Heyman reminds me of just how great old school wrestling managers were.  Whether it was Punk, Lesnar or Axel, Paul E. made his guys always look and sound good.

Best Announcer

Award Description:
To be given to the commentator/announcer who makes the most insightful and entertaining comments while pushing his product.  “Ring announcers” don’t qualify here.  As of 1992, the difference between this and colour commentator will be enforced.

1st:   N/A

Best Colour Commentator

Award Description:
To be given to the colour commentator who provides the most insightful and entertaining comments.

1st:   JBL

So glad this guy came back…

Worst Announcer

Award Description:
To be given to the commentator/announcer who makes the least insightful and entertaining comments while pushing his product.  “Ring announcers” don’t qualify here.  As of 1992, the difference between this and colour commentator will be enforced.

1st:   N/A

Worst Colour Commentator

Award Description:
To be given to the colour commentator who provides the least insightful and entertaining comments.

1st:   N/A

Best Interviewee

Award Description:
To be given to the person who gives the best interview in the biz. This could be a wrestler or a manager.

1st:   CM Punk
2nd:   Jericho
3rd:  Miz

Punk, Jericho and Miz always brought it on the mic

Best Angle

Award Description:
To be given to the best angle you’ve seen in the sport this year.

1st:   AJ goes all in for himself, kicks ass, takes names and wins title
2nd:   Daniel Bryan shows all the haters he’s the best
3rd:  Magnus realizes his full potential and captures the TNA World Heavyweight Title

AJ’s story of telling the world to fuck off and going on a winning streak, kicking ass, taking names and winning titles — on his own, really resonates.  Tired of being held back and screwed over he takes his destiny in his own hands and achieves it.  What’s not too like?

Bryan’s story of showing all the haters he has what it takes to be the best also resonates.  He took on and beat all comers and won the belt several times — even if the powers that be screwed him he still showed them the strength of his heart.

Magnus’ story of continuing to work at his dream and come back from defeat until he finally realized it was the storybook storyline of the year — only slightly eclipsed by the stories of AJ and D.B.

Best Organization

Award Description:
To be given to the organization/promotion that has the best product. This is the organization whose TV and house shows you just can’t miss.

1st:  WWE
2nd:  TNA
3rd:  AZW

Best TV Show

Award Description:
To be given to what is on average the best wrestling TV show. In 1994, TV shows and major shows were given separate award categories.

1st:  WWE Raw
2nd: TNA Impact!
3rd:  WWE Smackdown

Honestly…I liked Impact better than Smackdown.

Best Major Show

Award Description:

1st:   N/A

Best Promotional Move

Award Description:
To be given to the best move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

1st:   TNA pushes homegrown talent and phases old timers out
2nd:  WWE fleshes out TV formula and gets more talent TV time
3rd:   WWE inducts Bruno Sammartino into the Hall of Fame

I think TNA hit the hammer on the head toward the later part of the year with their decision to push AJ Styles, Magnus, Bobby Roode and Bad Influence.

In the case of the WWE, I have noticed they’ve made great strides to get more TV time for everyone and are now making more use of the mid card and undercard with more purposeful roles for the talent.

Bruno being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame was a HUGE move.  It legitimized everything.

Worst Angle

Award Description:
To be given to the worst angle you’ve seen in the sport this year. It may be the worst because of taste or because of execution.

1st:   N/A

Worst Promotional Move

Award Description:
To be given to the worst move made by a promotion this past year. This could include giving somebody a push, demoting someone, firing someone hiring someone, or anything of a promotional nature.

1st:   N/A

Other Awards:

BEST THEME MUSIC

1.  “Off the Chain” (remix) — Bobby Roode:  Just epic sounding

BEST ENTRANCE

1.  Usos — Sivatau.  EPIC way for them to make their entrance with the Sivatau war chant/dance.


2.  EC3 — Ethan Carter, III’s entrance is pretty epic with the overblown video and music and choreography of his entrance.

BEST PROMO

1.  AJ Styles, “I’m doing my own thing.”

Advertisements

2 responses to “My Picks: RSPW Best In Wrestling Legacy Awards 2013

  1. Just noticed this and you might be interested to know that the RSPW Awards are NOT dead:

    http://mightygodking.com/2014/02/21/the-2013-rec-sport-pro-wrestling-awards-final-results/

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s