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Grimmas

2020

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Just now, El-P said:

What an odd year. Omega I guess.

This is by far the hardest year to judge with so much stuff cancelled and most of it empty arenas. Like how even?

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18 minutes ago, Grimmas said:

This is by far the hardest year to judge with so much stuff cancelled and most of it empty arenas. Like how even?

Yep. And despite that, AEW this year was probably my favorite year of pro-wrestling TV.... before 2021. Still, that's an odd year to gauge indeed.

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Toss-up between Hiromu, Shingo, and Ishii. All three were were consistently delivering in what was a very rocky year both in terms of business and in-ring presentation. Hiromu not participating in the G1 hurts his case, but he did give EVIL easily his best match of the year while nearly everyone else struggled. Ishii had impressive showings in the NEVER trios scene along with his usual singles work, and Shingo was doing great work against both juniors and heavies.

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Kenny Omega for me, great tag team with Hangman that not only gave us the great Bucks match, but fun TV matches every week, as well as standout singles matches with PAC and Hangman.  For sure though a weak year.

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I'm going with Hiromu. First of all, this year was stupid and probably the less modern wrestling I've seen since I'm a grown up fan. So, I'm not an expert here. But Hiromu had a great match with Ospreay, then the super fun Liger retirement match, then he participated in the New Japan Cup and carried Tomoaki Honma to shades of his lost greatness before his fatal injury, a fun comedy match with Yano and a blaster with Ishii. Then he carried fucking EVIL to his best singles match ever, and his performance was so good that he managed to make the japanese crowd go insane for his nearfalls, not able enough to resist their cheers for him even with the COVID restrictions and all that bullshit. Hell, it was obviously a transition title match, and Hiromu was a Jr (and the Jr Champ!), there was no freaking way he would win... but when the match happened, Hiromu bursted his ass of to make us believe he could. And the match itself is pretty strong, which is shocking considering everything else about EVIL's heel run has been from mediocre to absolute disgusting. His matches with Ishimori were pretty good, his team with BUSHI was great and had a really fun match with Desperado and Kanemaru (forgot the date and/or event, though), and then he finished his year with an amazing BOSJ run and a BOSJ Finals with Desperado that... Well, we all know that match was an instant classic, the best COVID-era match of the year.

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Definitely a very tough year to judge. In my own list, I went with Minoru Suzuki just cause of how consistent he was in New Japan through the pandemic plus how much I enjoyed his highest of highs. I still think he has a strong case given all his matches in New Japan that year basically cutting through all the problems that promotion saw in the pandemic setting. However, there are several people worth taking a look at for this year that have just as strong cases.

Moxley probably deserves a shout for how he anchored the AEW main event scene. It wasn't always bangers but there's some real highlights there with the match against Brodie and the pair of matches against Kingston. He also benefits from some of the pre-pandemic stuff like having fun US Title matches in the Dome and the dream match with Suzuki as well. I thought Shingo was incredibly consistent in New Japan in a similar way to Suzuki but with much lower peaks. I think Eddie Kingston also might be worth considering for how hot he came onto the national television scene while also having really great matches against Cody and Mox.

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