Monday, 31 December 2012

TUW's End of Year TNA Awards



Welcome to the first ever End of Year TNA Awards on Tie Up Wrestling. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on our blogs and we’d also like to wish you and your families health, wealth and happiness for 2013.

Newcomer of the Year

@George_SLTD :
Zema Ion - For me, Ion’s had a great 2012. He’s had a series of good matches and he’s a versatile performer. Although he can do all the high-flying offense, he’s got pretty good, fundamental wrestling skills and he can’t be underestimated. Yes a couple of other wrestlers have been injured in matches with him, but that’s just bad luck. I like the way he’s turned it into part of his gimmick though. Like he says, he’s not just f’in pretty, he’s pretty f’in dangerous. Kudos to him for a great first full year on the TNA roster.
@Mark_TUW :
I’ve looked at the roster and out of all of the newcomers to come through the Gut Check challenges etc, Kenny King is the guy who has made the most impact for me. No pun intended.
@AngelicalDream :
I would have gone for Austin Aries for this category but it turns out that he’s been back longer than I thought; so instead I’ll go for Kenny King as I love his wrestling style and believe that out of all of the newcomers he has the most to offer.

Break-Out Star of the Year

@George_SLTD :
Austin Aries - Think about the run that Aries has had since returning to TNA last summer. Out of a dozen or so title matches, whether it’s X-Division or World Heavyweight Championship matches, Aries has lost TWICE. He’s lost TWO title matches in the last 18 months or so. Flip that over to WWE and Alberto del Rio has won TWO title matches in the same time period. Back to Aries though. He’s had excellent matches with opponents of various shapes and sizes, whilst making the matches seem believable. That’s the key. You know that the outcomes are, for the most part, pre-determined, but you want to believe otherwise. That’s what Aries does and he had to be the break-out star of the year.
@Mark_TUW :
No questions asked. Bully Ray. He’s doing the best work that he has ever done in his career and it doesn’t seem like he’s stopping.
@AngelicalDream :
This is hard! I think I’ll go for Aries as I believe that he has achieved much more than I would have expected from him when he first made a comeback. Aries was a bit like Joey Ryan to me at first and admittedly I shouted at the TV a fair few times to tell him to sort his cocky character out.  

WTF Moment of the Year (most cringeworthy)

@George_SLTD :
The AJ Styles/Crack-Whore Claire storyline - Poor AJ Styles. He’s quite possibly the most talented wrestler of his generation, yet he always gets saddled with these shitey “affair” storylines. It happened with Karen Angle/Jarrett and it happened again here, although this one was FAR worse. The actress TNA hired was God-awful and the storyline was just a clusterfuck from start to finish. From the AJ/Dixie phonecall and
pictures, to the end where “Claire” was just written off TV because TNA knew how shit the whole thing was. This was quite possibly the worst wrestling storyline in years and it’s the easiest choice I’ve had to make all day.
@Mark_TUW :
Claire Lynch, ‘nuff said.
@AngelicalDream :
I was struggling to think of a WTF moment just then, and then I remembered…I must have said WTF several times an episode for a good while. Claire Lynch. That is all.

Tag-Team of the Year

@George_SLTD :
Again, easy choice. I’ve loved EVERYTHING that Daniels & Kaz have done this year. They were what kept me entertained during the AJ/Crack-Whore Claire storyline and they’re an immense tag-team. Charismatic, entertaining, excellent wrestlers with great promo skills. Pretty much everything you’d want from a tag-team. I love their sarcastic promos and the fact that Daniels drinks Appletini’s. It’s just tremendous. Whenever those two are together, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s shenanigans afoot and you can’t help but wonder what they’ll do next. The perfect mix of “gimmick” and ability rolled into a team. Amazing.
@Mark_TUW :
There is only one tag team that has stood out for me over the past year and that is Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. They made the Claire Lynch storyline tolerable and when they became the World Tag Team Champions of the World they cemented their legacy.
@AngelicalDream :
For novelty value I’d go for Eric Young and ODB but for actual Tag-Teamness it has to be Kaz and Daniels. When they first got together I was wondering if it would work between them, especially as they formed around the AJ / Dixie / Lynch stories, but they have the whole package for me.

Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (either Knockout or Male Wrestler)

@George_SLTD :
Miss Tessmacher - A controversial choice? Hell yeah, but I reckon the little Texan dynamo deserves it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who watches women’s wrestling partially because of how the girls look. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to admit that. However, I also want to see sexy women who can actually wrestle and while she’s still got a long way to go, Tessmacher has come REALLY far this year. She deserves this award more than the guys.
@Mark_TUW :
The winner for me is fellow Brit, Magnus. His in ring work has improved tenfold since he was paired up with Samoa Joe back in the wild card tag team tournament.

He now has the physique of a wrestler. Within this year he seems to have pulled everything together to get the whole package.
@AngelicalDream :
This is another tricky one. I was wondering whether to go most improved in the ring, most improved character, most improved overall… do I pick Zema Ion because he’s not broken anybody’s neck recently?.. and then it hit me…there is only one real contender for this category.

The most improved wrestler has to be Joseph Park Esquire of Park, Park and Park. He’s gone from not being able to get into the ring without a kafuffle to being able to channel his inner Abyss at the sight of his own blood and whip out a Black Hole Slam.  

Tell Me I Didn't Just See That Moment of the Year (as in, holy shit, this is actually happening! in a good way)

@George_SLTD :
Austin Aries wins the World Title - I’ll be the first to admit that I’m drawn more to guys who can wrestle than to guys with a limited move set. I love Punk, Savage and Michaels because they’re entertaining, but they can also wrestle. Aries falls into that category. When he announced that he was relinquishing the X-Division Title for a shot at the World Title, I wanted him to win, but I never believed it would actually happen. Then Destination X rolled around and as the match went on, the more and more I believed Aries would get the belt from Bobby Roode. It’s a prime example of a wrestling company not being afraid to listen to their fans and take a chance. The fans wanted Aries as champion and they got it. Listen to the Impact Zone erupt when Aries wins the title. It’s the loudest I’ve ever heard it. I think they made a mistake taking the belt off Aries, but time will tell. Regardless, Aries comes up JUST short in this category.
@Mark_TUW :
When Dixie Carter graced our screens alongside Jeremy Borash and announced that there would be a double TV taping in Manchester…where I have front row seats in case you didn’t already know.
@AngelicalDream :
I’ve seen so many of these moments that I can’t think of one.

I’m going to go with Storm kicking Roode out of the cage at Lockdown. I was totally into that match and actually shouted ‘NOOOOoooooo!’ at the TV. You may think that me shouting no would mean that it was a bad thing; but nope, whilst I felt gutted for Storm it meant that the feud would continue.

PPV of the Year

@George_SLTD :
PPV of the Year: Bound for Glory 2012 - For me, top to bottom, there’s not been a better PPV card than this all year. It felt like a complete, well-rounded PPV. From the curtain-jerker, right through to the main-event, it was an outstanding show and a perfect example of how to produce a PPV quality product that feels worth paying money for, instead of a glorified version of a TV show. Yes, some WWE PPV’s have had excellent individual matches, but not top to bottom like we got here. Well done TNA!
@Mark_TUW :
Without a shadow of a doubt, Bound for Glory 2012.
@AngelicalDream :
At last, an easy category. Bound for Glory 2012. Bully Ray came out wearing makeup, Storm finally got revenge and Hardy became the World Heavyweight Champion and thus we have the belt which George loves so much.

Knockout of the Year

@George_SLTD :
Miss Tessmacher - I said it earlier when I announced she was the most improved wrestler of the year, Tessmacher has developed into not only a credible female wrestler, but a credible champion. She’s worked with veterans like Gail Kim, Mickie James and Tara, and you can see the influence they’ve had on her. She’s by no means the finished article, but she’s a great prospect for the next couple of years. If you’d told me at this time last year that I’d be saying that, I’d have called you a liar. That’s how quickly things can change, if they’re done the right way.
@Mark_TUW :
Tessmacher has been faffed about this year, what with her name changes etc, but has been the most consistent female wrestler for me and has gained some impressive wins.  
@AngelicalDream :
Whilst ODB is probably my favourite Knockout purely because she makes me laugh, I’d have to give this category to Tessmacher. She’s the most improved of the division, both character and skill wise, and has achieved a lot over the course of the year in my opinion.

Match of the Year

@George_SLTD :
Bobby Roode vs James Storm in a Street Fight at Bound for Glory 2012 -
Now, this was a REALLY tough decision for me to come to. This was probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make since I started writing about wrestling. Let me make one thing perfectly clear. In ANY other year, regardless of what promotion these men wrestled in, this would have been Match
of the Year. Without any question. Not just match of the year, feud of the year. I said it on SLTD Radio a couple of months ago that this was the perfect way to build a year-long feud. Start off with a bang, let it ripple out, have them interact but not too much, then separate them completely, before bringing it all together. It made sense that Roode had the advantage over Storm heading into Bound for Glory. The story needed Roode to have been dominant over Storm in the past year, because it builds up to a crescendo and makes the babyface winning even more important than it would’ve been normally. This match was a perfectly executed brawl between two men who I genuinely couldn’t see as being anywhere near the main-event a couple of years ago. They were a fantastic tag-team, but I couldn’t see them getting a chance to be singles stars. However, they’ve both gone on to become credible main-event stars and this match was the perfect way to end a year-long battle between the two. From every angle, this was an outstanding feud, match and story.
@Mark_TUW :
Very easy pick this one. Possibly one of the greatest matches I have ever seen, Storm vs. Roode, BFG, Street Fight.
@AngelicalDream :
Bound for Glory 2012 - Storm vs. Roode in a street fight.

Wrestler of the Year (based on match quality alone, nothing else)

@George_SLTD :
AJ Styles - Despite being in a ridiculous storyline over most of the summer/autumn (remember my American friends, that means fall!), there’s been an amazing consistency to the level of AJ Styles’ in-ring performances. Whether it was in singles matches, gimmick matches, tag-team matches or BFG series matches, Styles proved that he is what his gimmick says: phenomenal. It’s difficult to narrow it down to just one match though. Probably the perfect examples in terms of contrasts are his tag-team matches with Kurt Angle against Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, his singles match with Bully Ray and then his Last Man Standing match with
Daniels at Destination X. All prime examples of how Styles is at the top of his game in TNA and why he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
@Mark_TUW :
For me, TNA have one person who consistently delivers, consistently competes at 110% and battles through injuries, and that one person is the back bone of TNA in my opinion, Mr Kurt ‘I won a Gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck’ Angle.
@AngelicalDream :
At the start of the year, RVD would have been a contender for this for me, but he seems to have dropped it down a level lately. For consistency I could pick Garett Bischoff as he’s consistently poor.

I could pick Angle, he’s arguably the best wrestler ever but I’m going to pick Jeff Hardy purely because he’s consistent and I prefer his style of wrestling. Whilst I love the technicality of the mat wrestling that Angle generally does, because of my background in dance and gymnastics I can appreciate Hardy’s style more.

Superstar of the Year (crowd reactions, mic work, match quality and everything else)

@George_SLTD :
Christopher Daniels - For me, Daniels has been nothing short of OUTSTANDING this year. If it wasn't for Daniels (and Kaz), then I think I'd have gone mental. Well, even more than I already am! They've been entertaining, funny and just a team that you love to hate. It's no surprise that Daniels has been at the forefront of the tag-team division in recent years. He's a fantastic worker and criminally under-rated as a wrestler.

Some of his promos have been tremendous and his in-ring work is arguably the best it's ever been. I've said it countless times before, but I would pay to watch Daniels wrestle ANYONE for 3 hours on PPV. He does something that VERY few wrestlers can do these days: he draws you in to his matches. He makes you care, whether you're booing or cheering him. That's a rare quality.

People talk about people like Bully Ray and Bobby Roooooode as being "heel of the year". For me, Daniels is by far and away the best heel in TNA. He's a great PRICK heel. Everything he does is designed to draw heat to himself, and sympathy to the babyface. I'm not quite sure how Daniels has NEVER been TNA WHCOTW. That NEEDS to happen. Now!
@Mark_TUW :
For me it can only be Bobby Roode. He’s been in some of the greatest matches ever and over the past couple of years the evolution of his character has been possibly the best I have ever seen. Bobby Roode is TNA.
@AngelicalDream :
This was a close one. Roode for me has got it the most right this year, he gets the right crowd reactions and has been a part of the most exciting matches for me.  

So, that’s it from us for 2012. As always, feel free to comment and give your opinions, we love to hear from you. See you all in the New Year!