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2018 Wrestler of the Year


SmartMark15
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I honestly haven't seen one WALTER match this year so I won't comment on his case for it, but on match quality alone Gargano would have my vote.

If overall success is still the thing to look at then I'd also make a case for Cody Rhodes.  Match quality is really above average at best, but he's been in a top spot or near the top spot in multiple promotions and won the NWA World Title at the biggest non-WWE card in North America.

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Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix have to be in the discussion too. The biggest things to break out of Lucha since Rey Mysterio in the mid-nineties and wrestling a seemingly constant international schedule with a consistently high match quality with a crazy variety of styles and opponents. I don't think I've seen many matches involving either of them that hasn't brought it in one way or another, from bloody hardcore brawls to the craziest spot fests, they never fail to entertain me.

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He might be slightly divisive but I think it's Zack Sabre Jr. for me. The quality of his matches while in a surprisingly big role in NJ has been top notch Hiis run as Evolve champ in the first part of the year was great, as he subtly transitioned character to be less sympathetic in ring without going full heel ZSJ on the mic at all. And he's had plenty of great matches in the other big indies he has worked around the world throughout the year.

I've always thought working the way people have been booked in our lovely fake sport into these awards is a little silly (especially as that's already sort of baked into the kind of big matches they can have), but even with that, I think he'd be my #1.

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Just now, Viking Hall said:

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix have to be in the discussion too. The biggest things to break out of Lucha since Rey Mysterio in the mid-nineties and wrestling a seemingly constant international schedule with a consistently high match quality with a crazy variety of styles and opponents. I don't think I've seen many matches involving either of them that hasn't brought it in one way or another, from bloody hardcore brawls to the craziest spot fests, they never fail to entertain me.

Oh totally, Fenix might be my #2. He's so consistently awe-inspiring.

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Pretty confident that I've Ospreay, Walter, Okada and Gargano in a class of their own way ahead of the rest of the pack.  Perhaps I'm overlooking someone but can't imagine anyone else sneaking into my top 3.  Will have to look back at how I rated things to determine the order, but my gut is that Walter falls to #4 as the others likely have higher highs which I value quite a bit.

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I think Will Ospreay might be my pick.

This is maybe his best career year, with excellent singles matches in a number of different promotions against a wide variety of opponents: Marty Scurll (x2), WALTER (x2), Matt Riddle (x2), Hiromu Takahashi (x2), KUSHIDA, Jordan Devlin, Kazuchika Okada, and Jay Lethal. 

His tag w/Ishii vs. the Golden Lovers is another feather in his cap, along with an all-around great run in the Best of the Super Juniors and being consistently one of the best multiman tag guys in New Japan all year. 

 

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1 minute ago, benjaminkicks said:

I think Will Ospreay might be my pick.

This is maybe his best career year, with excellent singles matches in a number of different promotions against a wide variety of opponents: Marty Scurll (x2), WALTER (x2), Matt Riddle (x2), Hiromu Takahashi (x2), KUSHIDA, Jordan Devlin, Kazuchika Okada, and Jay Lethal. 

His tag w/Ishii vs. the Golden Lovers is another feather in his cap, along with an all-around great run in the Best of the Super Juniors and being consistently one of the best multiman tag guys in New Japan all year. 

 

Yep.  This is why he's likely my prohibitive #1.  Never his biggest fan in recent years as I had issues with his selling, screaming and spot-heavy work, but he hit home run after home run this year.  Not only an incredible mix of opponents, but he worked a ton of different styles across these matches.  Just an all time year.

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11 hours ago, Viking Hall said:

Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix have to be in the discussion too. The biggest things to break out of Lucha since Rey Mysterio in the mid-nineties and wrestling a seemingly constant international schedule with a consistently high match quality with a crazy variety of styles and opponents. I don't think I've seen many matches involving either of them that hasn't brought it in one way or another, from bloody hardcore brawls to the craziest spot fests, they never fail to entertain me.

Here are two guys I hadn't considered simply because I haven't seen enough of them. However both their matches with Omega have been excellent and I thought they brought new life to some of the Rush-Park trios matches too. Definitely need to look into them more.

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There are four major candidates for me.

 

Without actually looking, I think Walter has the most volume of great matches. He wrestled everywhere this year, ended up being the featured guy in almost every company he worked for, and had just a large amount of great stuff. He has a bit of a formula but he can make it work with anyone.

ZSJ also had an insane amount of good stuff all over the place, plus broke out more in NJPW.

Masashi Takeda had an incredible run as BJW champion, plus had great stuff in Freedoms and GCW, too. He's a legit candidate who bumped up his promotions numbers while delivering in singles and tags.

Ospreay is the last one. Again, great matches all over with anyone. 

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1 hour ago, Phil Schneider said:

Its Ronda right? Every big match she has been has been awesome and she has been main eventing big shows

She gave a whole load of people their career best matches this year and dragged some people - Nia Jax, Alexa, Nikki Bella - to levels of performance that they've never shown before and I don't even think she's done 10 singles matches yet. 

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6 minutes ago, FMKK said:

She gave a whole load of people their career best matches this year and dragged some people - Nia Jax, Alexa, Nikki Bella - to levels of performance that they've never shown before and I don't even think she's done 10 singles matches yet. 

Everyone she has wrestled has had their career best match, including Angle and Helmsley

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