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From the Desk of Mr. V #146 - Wrestleview.com

From the Desk of Mr. V #146

From the Desk of Mr. V #146
July 13, 2012
Written by Anthony J. Valvo of Wrestleview.com


Introduction

Welcome to the latest edition of "From the Desk of Mr. V". I am Anthony "Mr. V" Valvo, your Wrestleview resident "Language Arts and Physical Education" teacher with ACTUALLY a different twist to the column. I am going to just post a couple stories worth noting and reveal the 2012 Wrestleview Mid-Year Awards as voted by select members of the staff and the readers of this column and the many articles on the website. Also, I have some news that won't surprise people but I might as well provide a heads-up to my loyal readers of "From the Desk of Mr. V".


Quote of the Week

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go." – E.L Doctorow


The Teacher's Lecture

Austin Aries, TNA World Heavyweight Champion


Before I reveal the winners (and losers) of the 2012 Wrestleview Mid-Year Awards there was some big news surrounding TNA Wrestling and a wrestler that deserves much props. One can't be surprised that it is about the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries.

Even though I saw him on a few occasions before 2009, I really got my first read on Aries when I recapped Ring of Honor on HDNet back when he was the ROH World Champion in June 2009 (Manhattan Mayhem III to be exact). 2009 was the year I started really invest some time in Ring of Honor and out of all the ROH Champions since the time I watched it I believed Aries was the best ROH Champion because of his in-ring ability and his charisma. It is that charisma that has not been seen on the ROH roster in some time. He claimed he was the "The Greatest Man that Ever Lived" and I think crowds believed him. I was not shocked when he lost the Title to Tyler Black in 2010.

After a successful "manager" with Kenny King and Rhett Titus, he was gone from the company. While there are reports that he was just cut from the roster is questionable (they are "reports", not "facts"), he was not on any weekly television show and he was sorely missed. Not many wrestlers can match his attributes as a pro wrestler, and I think TNA did the right thing by bringing him back for Destination X 2011. The moment that happened, I knew he was going to be the face of the X Division. My thought was correct, as he climbed the X Division Championship ladder and defeated Brian Kendrick for the TNA X Division Championship in September 2011.

His athleticism helped him get over, as well as his cockiness that is his best trait. After defeating everyone in the X Division there were no believable challengers to Aries. I think TNA made the right call to establish him as a bonafide main event wrestler. So Aries feuds with Bully Ray (and turns Aries babyface, even though crowds were giving him a pop as a heel) and gave Ray some of the best matches in their careers.

After a brief feud with Samoa Joe, TNA took a gamble and gave Aries the World Title shot at Destination X. All Aries had to do was surrender the X Division Championship. Again, TNA makes a good call by allowing Aries to build up for Destination X and make a solid case as to why he will beat Bobby Roode for the TNA Heavyweight Championship. Now off topic, I thought last year the build up to Bobby Roode was amazing and then had a disappointing finish. While I enjoyed the rise to stardom, I feared that TNA will just have Roode get a cheap win and the fans would be disappointed once again.

After my daughter's birthday party, my curiosity got the best of me. A couple friends and I split on a TNA PPV and we bought Destination X (our first TNA PPV purchase since Bound for Glory) because we watched Aries video packages and they were believable. Long story short when Aries hit the Brainbuster and was booked the pinfall victory I was speechless (go ahead, laugh, it is not often I am speechless) and could only muster a "wow" moments later.

Roode was a great TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Roode added stability in an era where for a time in 2011 World Championships were changing hands at an alarming rate. While many believed that TNA would not pull the trigger on a World Title run for Aries, the viewing audience was obviously thrilled at the fact that Aries is carrying the biggest prize and will do what he did on ROH on HDNet, steal the show.

Call me crazy, but I am enjoying Impact Wrestling the past few weeks. Sure, there are some bad moments but giving Aries a World Title is very intriguing. I will conclude by typing that I am on the TNA carpet of creativity. Just please don't pull the carpet from under my feet like I felt happened after Bound for Glory 2011.

Congrats to TNA Wrestling for making a risky booking decision.

Congrats to Austin Aries, your NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion!

And now, the 2012 Wrestleview Mid-Year Ceremony!

Since there are over 25 categories, I will provide only a couple sentences about how I felt the voting went among the readers and staff. I will also reveal my ballot (as I picked a top and Bottom 5 for your entertainment).

I'll begin with the "Worst Of" awards to get them out of the way and then go with the "Best of" awards. I am always a "Bad News, then Good News" person.

We voted on a 5-4-3-2-1 point system for those that completed a Top 5 ballot. True explanations for the rest of how points were counted are on the Mid-Year Ceremony Podcast in the Wrestleview VIP Section. All ballots were counted on July 1, 2012 and the podcasts were aired for the VIP this week. So now I feel like I can post the results for the readers.

And remember, if one did not vote, one should not provide a comment. Just deal with it. Enjoy!


THE 2012 "WORST-OF" WRESTLEVIEW MID-YEAR AWARDS

Worst Gimmick


The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Jinder Mahal (WWE) – 55 1) Garret Bischoff
2) Garret Bischoff (TNA) – 33 2) Jinder Mahal
3) Camacho (WWE) – 29 3) Camacho
4) Natalya (WWE) – 19 4) Mr. Anderson
5) Mr. Anderson (TNA) - 17 5) Titus O'Neil and Darren Young (WWE)

Mr. V's Take: My top five were easy selections. Garret tries to be a wrestler but In no way should be a wrestler, Mahal's talents don't match the luxary gimmick he portrays, Camacho just looks lost, Mr. Anderson shtick got old two years ago, and The Primetime Players are not ready for primetime. That is all.

The popular vote mentioned "The tooting diva" Natalya as a bad gimmick and I do agree. She is a good wrestler, but the WWE just got this gimmick wrong. Natalya deserves better.


Worst Feud of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Eric Bischoff vs. Garret Bischoff (TNA) – 59 1) Bischoff vs. Bischoff
2) Devon vs. Robbie E and Robbie T (TNA) – 43 2) Morgan vs. Crimson
3) CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (WWE) – 28* 3) Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly (ROH)
4) Matt Morgan vs. Crimson (TNA) – 28 4) Devon vs. Robbies
5) John Cena vs. Kane (WWE) - 16 5) John Laurinaitis vs. Teddy Long (WWE)

*- Punk/Jericho got more first-place votes (5) than Morgan/Crimson (1) to break the tie.

Mr. V's Take: The battle of the Bischoffs was a ploy to help Garret get over. However when the fans don't care (whether it be in the U.S. or in England) about this feud, it was time to move on. Morgan vs. Crimson was pushed hard for a while in TNA, but there was no true payoff. Morgan is out of TNA (likely) and Crimson has another streak (a losing streak). Cole vs. O'Reilly had nothing to do with Adam Cole. O'Reilly just did not match well with his former tag team partner.

The readers added a couple high-level WWE feuds to the list and I find this fair. After a great WrestleMania match, Jericho vs. Punk became a bit too personal and classless. Cena vs. Kane had the start of a strong outing, but the ending was a bit lackluster and unmemorable.


Most Appalling Moment of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Brooke Hogan on TV (TNA) – 47 1) Brooke Hogan on TV
2) "Farting" Natalya (WWE) – 43 2) Jericho forcing Punk to drink (WWE)
3) AJ/Dixie storyline (TNA) – 24 3) Bryan berating AJ after Mania (WWE)
4) Big Show crying for his job (WWE) – 19* 4) "Farting" Natalya
5) TNA Shed of Shame - 19 5) Lawler making fun of Vickie's weight (WWE)

*-Show crying in the ring had more first-place votes (2) than the Shed of Shame (1).

Mr. V's Take: While there were a lot of classless moments in professional wrestling, nothing matches seeing Brooke Hogan appearing on Impact. Though not among the popular vote how disgusting was it to spend a significant amount of time dumping booze on a wrestler like Jericho did to Punk on television?

My ballot and the popular vote had many differences, but embarrassing a women's wrestler with farting noises was really lazy booking by the WWE as well. Overall there were many other good choices in this category, but I am satisfied that a lot were recognized. Most of them I feel were not the fault of the performers, but the respected creative teams.


Worst Television Commentator

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Michael Cole (WWE) – 54 1) Mike Tenay
2) Taz (TNA) – 50 2) Taz
3) Mike Tenay (TNA) – 38 3) Michael Cole
4) Booker T (WWE) – 35 4) Booker T
5) Dave Prazak (SHIMMER) - 14 5) (The only category I did not list five).

Mr. T's Take: The WWE commentary teams may be inconsistent on their top two shows (sans Mathews), but the TNA commentary team easily are the worst. Taz will have an occasional good saying, but struggles on his delivery. Tenay, overall, should know better. He comes across as a salesman for sponsors and other Spike programming and dumbed down wrestling moves.

I have done this category for four years and Michael Cole won it every year based on popular vote. This was by far the closest and it shows how poor Taz's commentary was the past few months. Booker T may make a strong case soon, as he might be the only reason some fans will mute Smackdown and PPVs.


Worst Women's Wrestler

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Alicia Fox (WWE) – 53 1) Alicia Fox
2) Aksana (WWE) – 52 2) Aksana
3) Kelly Kelly (WWE) – 28 3) Nevaeh
4) Rosita (TNA) – 23 4) Audrey Marie (WWE Dev.)
5) Nevaeh (Independents) – 12 5) Veda Scott (SHIMMER)

Mr. V's Take: The only reason I can state as to why I picked Fox over Aksana is that Fox had worse matches over a larger span than Aksana. As for the rest, Nevaeh has no excuse to be on this list with her being on this list. But after years of training, she has regressed as a wrestler the past couple years.

The popular vote is right on all these selections. Fox and Aksana both are dreadful, Kelly could treated the ropes like a brick wall, Rosita may be the weak link on a talented TNA roster, and Nevaeh looks lost in the ring.


Worst Match of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny, WM 28 (WWE) – 40 1) Marie vs. Diaz vs. Cortez
2) Ion vs. Sorenson, Against All Odds (TNA) – 33 2) 2012 Royal Rumble
3) Cena vs. Kane, Royal Rumble (WWE) – 25 3) RAW Chamber Match (WWE)
4) 2012 Royal Rumble, (WWE) – 19 4) Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy
5) Marie vs. Diaz vs. Cortez, FCW (WWE Dev.) - 18 5) Cena vs. Kane

Mr. V's Take: No match was worse than that FCW Divas Title match that I ranked at #1. Rarely do I give an "F" in my gradebook, but this match was the only one to score a "0.0". There is a reason why it is called "developmental". All three have years to go. I chose the Rumble at #2 because while I was happy with Sheamus winning the lack of star power participants killed the match for me.

The popular vote went to Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny for total power on both Raw and Smackdown. It was a bad match, but the outcome afterwards was not entirely dreadful. I feel that the Ion vs. Soreneson match was ranked this high because of the unsafe ending, which I think TNA can do a better job at keeping the X-Division wrestlers from taking such dangerous risks.


Most Overrated

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Crimson (TNA) – 35 1) Jinder Mahal
2) Alberto Del Rio (WWE) – 28 2) Kyle O'Reilly (ROH)
3) Jinder Mahal (WWE) – 21 3) Crimson
4) Matt Morgan (TNA) – 20 4) Tamina (WWE)
5) The Young Bucks (ROH) – 13* 5) Alberto Del Rio

*- The Young Bucks were in a tie with Davey Richards and Beth Phoenix. However, the Bucks got more first place votes (2) than Richards (1) and Phoenix (0).

Mr. V's Take: Mahal won this the moment he won matches with a poorly executed Camel Clutch. Mahal just does not deserve the push that he is getting in this writer's opinion. O'Reilly should not be pushed as "Davey Richards" protégé. My advice would be for him to be original. Tamina is just here for her run as a top contender for the Divas Title, a spot she is not ready for this year.

The popular vote had its surprise with Del Rio at #2. I am not really certain as to why Del Rio was the runner-up, but perhaps one reason was that he returned from injury and shot back up near the top for no apparent reason. However, I agree that Crimson is overrated and I think TNA noticed that once they ended his undefeated streak at Slammiversary at the hands of James Storm.


Most Disappointing

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Chris Jericho (WWE) – 82 1) Tensai
2) Tensai (WWE) – 55 2) Chris Jericho
3) Samoa Joe (TNA) – 23 3) Jay Lethal (ROH)
4) Zack Ryder (WWE) – 17 4) Samoa Joe
5) Brodus Clay (WWE) – 13 5) Brodus Clay

Mr. V's Take: Again, my list is about the same as the popular vote. However I picked Tensai over Jericho because Tensai had the vignettes and still has yet to reach a consistent level in the WWE. Jericho had all the hype and it failed from a creative standpoint (not entirely Jericho's fault). But Jay Lethal must have left his charisma in the Macho Man attire he wore years ago.

The popular vote was high critical of Jericho's run this year. Rightfully so, he latest run in the WWE is by far his worst in his career. I am shocked that people are considering Ryder "disappointing". Ryder is just fine where he is at on the pecking order of the WWE. I felt that Joe made the list because of the creative team. Joe's wrestling has been the best it has been since 2007 at this moment.


The 2012 Worst Wrestler of the Mid-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Jinder Mahal (WWE) – 56 1) Garret Bischoff
2) Garret Bischoff (TNA) – 43 2) Jinder Mahal
3) The Great Khali (WWE) – 28 3) Robbie T
4) Robbie T (TNA) – 25 4) The Great Khali
5) Mason Ryan (WWE) - 11 5) Mason Ryan

Mr. V's Take: While Mahal was not a good wrestler by any means, he was better than Bischoff. Mahal was not involved in any large portions of any WWE programming. However, for a while Bischoff was in a very dull, lengthy program with his father on Impact Wrestling. Bischoff wrestled very poorly and the only pops he got were with guys like Hogan, Devon, or Rob Van Dam (in which Bischoff had to be in close proximity to earn a pop).

The popular vote went with the popular choice, and there is nothing wrong with Mahal being ranked The Worst Wrestler for the time being. Khali is just there now for show and not for talent (which was limited even when he was World Champion). It's been a while since I saw Robbie T and Ryan in action. It is probably for the best, as outside a couple power moves they are not good in the ring.


THE 2012 "BEST-OF" WRESTLEVIEW MID-YEAR AWARDS

Best Gimmick

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) AJ (WWE) – 52 1) Bully Ray
2) Bully Ray (TNA) – 45 2) Kevin Steen
3) Bobby Roode (TNA) – 37 3) AJ
4) Kevin Steen (ROH) - 28 4) Bobby Roode
5) Truth Martini (ROH) - 16 5) The Briscoes (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: I chose Bully Ray as my best gimmick because the gimmick fits the personality of Ray as a "bully". His story is to beat up the weak and run away when they attack. It is always a winning combination.

The popular vote was a good vote. I can see why AJ surged to the top with her "crazy chick" gimmick. It shows that a diva who genuinely loves the business can run with a character like the one AJ provides to the audience.


Best Finisher

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) The Brouge Kick (Sheamus - WWE) - 39 1) Brouge Kick
2) The YES Lock (Bryan – WWE) - 37 2) 360-degree Powerbomb
3) RKO (Orton – WWE) - 26 3) Lo-Mein Pain
4) Lo-Mein Pain (AR Fox – Independents) - 23 4) RKO
5) 360-degree Powerbomb (Elgin – ROH) - 19 5) Project Ciampa (Ciampa – ROH)

Mr. V's Take: There were a lot of good finishing moves this year, but I picked Sheamus' finisher because one pump kick and the opponents were out cold. The Brouge Kick is a swift move that can be done at anytime, which is why I made that my pick.

The popular vote got this one right, as well as the majority of the finishers. I advise my readers to YouTube Lo-Mein Pain, as it is one of the most innovative finishing moves I have seen since my tenure at Wrestleview. The YES Lock did not make my list because as a heel Bryan has not used the finisher as much in 2012.


Best Weekly Television Show

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) WWE Monday Night Raw - 63 1) Impact Wrestling
2) WWE Friday Night Smackdown - 44 2) WWE Monday Night Raw
3) Impact Wrestling – 38 3) ROH on Sinclair
4) ROH on Sinclair – 30 4) WWE Friday Night Smackdown
5) Florida Championship Wrestling - 24 5) NXT

Mr. V's Take: Yes, I went there. When it came to a consistent show, I slightly gave the edge to Impact over Raw, ROH , and Smackdown. Impact provided some quality entertainment from across the card that made for good television.

What may surprise the readers is that Smackdown did not get a first-place vote, yet gained enough points for the #2 spot. When it comes to these rankings, I think it is based on exposure to a wider audience. WWE can be seen anywhere in the world (like TNA), but with a bigger audience.


Best Television Commentator

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) William Regal (WWE) – 63 1) Kevin Kelly
2) Kevin Kelly (ROH) – 37 * 2) Josh Mathews
3) Josh Mathews (WWE) – 37 3) William Regal
4) Nigel McGuinness (ROH) – 31 4) Nigel McGuiness
5) Matt Striker (WWE) – 23 5) Matt Striker

*- Kelly got 37 on 10 ballots, Mathews got 37 on 14 ballots. Kelly got the #2 spot for more points per ballot. This was determined on the 2nd tiebreaker. The 1st tiebreaker is 1st place votes, and both received four.

Mr. V's Take: I stand with my thought that a play-by-play commentator is the most important part of any commentary team. Kelly continues to provide a story and calls the action with the best accuracy than any other commentator in the business today.

I can agree that Regal is a fantastic commentator; he is a very comical and witty commentator with great knowledge when a hold is executed. Keep a keen ear towards McGuinness' commentary if you can watch Ring of Honor. He was easily the most-improved commentator this year.


Best Referee

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Charles Robinson (WWE) – 41 * 1) Todd Sinclair
2) Mike Chioda (WWE) – 41 2) Mike Chioda
3) Bryce Remsburg (Chikara/SHIMMER) - 30 3) Bryce Remsburg
4) Todd Sinclair (ROH) – 25 4) Charles Robinson
5) Justin King (WWE) - 21 5) Justin King

* - Robinson received more 1st place votes (4) than Chioda (3).

Mr. V's Take: My reason for Sinclair as the best referee is simple. He deals with a ton of negativity when in the ring in harsh venues in New York and Philadelphia, yet he maintains focus and is a great variable to important matches on the card. When it comes to the WWE, wrestling matches are a step better when Chioda is the official. I recommend readers to observe how Chioda officiates.

I am neither surprised nor disappointed with the top five in the popular vote. Robinson is a worthy winner due to his control and his help in pacing a wrestling match. Remsburg is probably the best entertainer among the officials.


Most Hated Wrestler

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) John Laurinaitis (WWE) - 65 1) Bully Ray
2) Bully Ray (TNA) – 61 2) John Laurinaitis
3) Bobby Roode (TNA) – 41 3) Bobby Roode
4) Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (ROH) - 11 4) Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team
5) John Cena (WWE) - 8 5) Portia Perez (SHIMMER)

Mr. V's Take: Laurinaitis was involved in a few matches and they did not fare well when it came to talent. However, I picked Bully Ray because he got the best heel reaction out of any single professional wrestler in 2012 to date.

I think the readers have it right with the top four. Charlie Haas from Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team really embraced his heel role to a point where there is genuine hate for him. Kudos to Haas. Had Laurinitis not have three (I think) matches, I think Ray would have ran away with this category.


Most Popular Wrestler

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) CM Punk (WWE) – 78 1) CM Punk
2) John Cena (WWE) – 48 2) John Cena
3) James Storm (TNA) – 37 3) James Storm
4) Kevin Steen (ROH) – 19 4) Austin Aries
5) Austin Aries (TNA) - 18 5) Sheamus (WWE)

Mr. V's Take: I think last year it was obvious that CM Punk was the most popular, and despite his current WWE Championship run being labeled "dull" by other wrestling writers I think his reactions are still pretty strong and it helped him continue his lengthy WWE Championship run. Had Austin Aries won the TNA World Championship a couple weeks ago, he would be ranked higher on my list.

The readers did a good job with their ballots as well. Punk was the runaway winner, but you can't question the popularity of John Cena. If you don't believe that last statement, ask the 300 Make-A-Wish kids who personally asked for John Cena to see them. I think by the end of the year, the list will change a good bit. Aries could be the most popular wrestler on the Impact Wrestling program.


Match of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Undertaker vs. HHH, WrestleMania 28 (WWE) – 28 1) Taker vs. HHH
2) Cena vs. Lesnar, Extreme Rules (WWE) - 26 2) Richards vs. Elgin
3) Richards vs. Elgin, Showdown in the Sun (ROH) – 13 3) Aries vs. Ray
4) CM Punk vs. Bryan, Over the Limit (WWE) – 9 4) Cena vs. Lesnar
5) Aries vs. Ray, TNA Sacrifice (TNA) - 8 5) Hatfield/Touchdown vs. Peck/Cabana (CHIKARA)

Mr. V's Take: I think the big reason why I enjoyed Taker vs. HHH so much was because of the guest referee, Shawn Michaels. It was the most emotional match of the year and it was executed well to get one of my two "A+" votes this year. Michael Elgin's breakout performance happened in his match with Richards, and it showed pure wrestling at its finest.

I am happy that the readers and staff as a whole enjoyed what I witnessed so for in 2012. I think Cena vs. Lesnar was a bit too high, but I understand the intensity and the scripted hate between the two. It showed a motivated Lesnar could be dollar signs for the WWE. Also, nice to see an Aries match with Ray in the top 5. Both had an underrated feud with each other that spanned a few weeks on Impact.

(Note: Aries vs. Roode from Destination X is my current TNA Match of the Year, but it happened on July 9th. June 30th was the cutoff for these awards).


Most Underrated

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Tyson Kidd (WWE) – 42 1) Tyson Kidd
2) Michael McGillicutty (WWE) - 28 2) Michael McGillicutty
3) Magnus (TNA) – 27 3) Magnus
4) Zack Ryder (WWE) – 24 4) Mike Mondo
5) Michael Elgin (ROH) - 22 5) Heath Slater

Mr. V's Take: Let's face it, there are few wrestlers at this moment are more talented than Tyson Kidd. Kidd will do fine at the Money in the Bank PPV. Kidd is one to keep an eye on, I think his ability will take him far. McGillicutty and Magnus will be on another ballot, but both deserve better with their improvement in the ring and in character.

I agree with the top three in the popular vote, but Zack Ryder is booked just right in the WWE's programming. Ryder still has a lot to improve on in the ring in my opinion and his gimmick can only take him so far. Elgin is one to keep an eye on; his sheer power is very underrated in Ring of Honor.


Best High Flyer

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) El Generico (Independents) - 41 1) AR Fox (CZW)
2) Jeff Hardy (TNA) – 29 2) Jeff Hardy
3) Sin Cara (WWE) – 23 3) Caprice Coleman (ROH)
4) Samuray Del Sol (CZW) – 20 4) Sin Cara
5) The Young Bucks (ROH) - 17 5) The Young Bucks

Mr. V's Take: I threw a flyer for AR Fox because of the limited work that I watched from Combat Zone Wrestling. Fox has what the big companies would salivate for, and that is a very young high flyer that has unlimited potential. Fox right now reminds me of a young AJ Styles with his in-ring ability. Also, Hardy deserves a ton of credit for overcoming his demons to be back at this 2009 level in his career.

Though not on my ballot, I am pleased that El Generico was the winner in this category. Underrated and extremely talented in his trade, El Generico is one of the most exciting wrestlers in the business. I feel that the reputation of Sin Cara (and not what he did in 2012) is a big reason why he is currently ranked this high. I am intrigued to see what Sin Cara can do when working a longer program with someone.


Best Technical Wrestler

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Daniel Bryan (WWE) – 82 1) Daniel Bryan
2) CM Punk (WWE) – 41 2) Mike Quackenbush
3) Mike Quackenbush (CHIKARA) – 27 3) Kassius Ohno
4) Tyson Kidd (WWE) – 19 4) Eddie Edwards (ROH)
5) Kassius Ohno (WWE Dev.) - 16 5) Tyson Kidd

Mr. V's Take: When it comes to picking apart human framework, no one does it better than Daniel Bryan. When in longer matches, you can see Bryan systematically weakening opponent with a wide array of style. No other wrestler came close to #1 in my book.

The popular vote is spot on adding Quackenbush (who wrestled in a limited basis this year), Kidd, and Ohno to this list. All are very good technical wrestlers, scientific in a way. However with the face turn and his portrayal as the top babyface in the WWE (if not at least one of them), CM Punk lost a bit of the style that helped him immensely as a heel.


Powerhouse of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Sheamus (WWE) – 48 1) Michael Elgin
2) The Big Show (WWE) – 36 2) John Cena (WWE)
3) Michael Elgin (ROH) – 26 3) Sheamus
4) Mark Henry (WWE) – 23 4) Mark Henry
5) Bully Ray (TNA) – 19 * 5) Antonio Cesaro (WWE)

*- John Cena also got 19 points, but Ray got the spot for getting a first-place vote. Cena did not score a first place vote.

Mr. V's Take: On a roster that contains middleweights and athletic wrestlers (in Ring of Honor), Elgin's strength is showcased better than if he would join another company. If I did not type this earlier, take a look at his matches. He is always called upon to do at least one crazy power move in one of his matches.

I am very shocked that John Cena did not crack the top five. I still believe that anytime John Cena hits his finisher on a guy who is 400-500 lbs. is an achievement that not many can accomplish. I see Ray and Show more as brawlers. However, I am happy Sheamus was the top pick. He still brawls, but showcases more power since he became a babyface.


Most Charismatic

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) CM Punk (WWE) – 44 1) John Cena
2) Dolph Ziggler (WWE) – 43 2) Dolph Ziggler
3) Austin Aries (TNA) – 35 3) Austin Aries
4) John Cena (WWE) – 29 4) Kevin Steen (ROH)
5) James Storm (TNA) - 25 5) CM Punk

Mr. V's Take: In my opinion, no one can match the charisma as Cena. Cena gets a reaction no matter where he is at around the world (good or bad). Ziggler has been a guilty pleasure, as he continues to show improved charisma outside of the ring to match his abundant talents inside the ring. Steen as ROH World Champion is a great idea and the company took notice. Steen is the current ROH World Champion.

There is not much I can type about the popular vote. I agree with the list. Punk still has charisma, but I feel it is now lackluster unlike his edgy promos last year. I have a strong feeling guys like Aries and Storm will give the WWE wrestlers a run later this year.


Best on the Microphone

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) CM Punk (WWE) – 60 1) CM Punk
2) Damien Sandow (WWE) – 24 2) Kevin Steen
3) Bobby Roode (TNA) – 23 3) Damien Sandow
4) Kevin Steen (ROH) – 22 4) John Cena
5) John Cena (WWE) - 17 5) Austin Aries (TNA)

Mr. V's Take: I think CM Punk was clearly the best when in front of a large audience. He is unscripted at times, which makes the responsibility a bit more than his counterparts. Steen is solid as well for ROH on the microphone, as he is by far the best talker out of the roster.

In a shocker, Sandow is the 2nd-highest among the popular vote. While we have yet to see the big picture of Sandow he does command the crowd with his elegant projection on the microphone, which makes him a natural for the gimmick he portrays. Regarded as one of the best, I think Cena's microphone work was a tad inconsistent in recent months.


Most Improved

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Brooke Tessmacher (TNA) - 34 1) Michael McGillicutty
2) David Otunga (WWE) – 32 2) David Otunga
3) Seth Rollins (WWE Dev.) – 29 3) Johnny Curtis (WWE)
4) Michael McGillicutty (WWE) – 24 4) Seth Rollins
5) Mike Mondo (ROH) - 15 5) Brooke Tessmacher

Mr. V's Take: I thought out of all the nominees I thought McGillicutty improved drastically on his in-ring ability, as he now has a brawling and technical edge to his matches. Otunga improved both in the ring and in character (in a lawyer gimmick that he should have had in the first place).

In another shocker among the popular vote, Brooke Tessmacher was the Most Improved at the half-way point and she deserves a ton of credit for improving her workrate in a competitive Knockouts Division. I remember recapping a lot of Rollins' work from ROH and his work in the WWE at this time is very efficient and he stretched out what he could do. If only he can cut a promo I think he will break the ceiling.


The Comeback of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Brock Lesnar (WWE) – 43 1) Jeff Hardy
2) Jeff Hardy (TNA) – 41 2) Brock Lesnar
3) Kane (WWE) – 30 3) Kane
4) Chris Jericho (WWE) – 24 4) Chris Jericho
5) Tensai (WWE) - 20 5) Lance Storm (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: I was critical on Jeff Hardy since Victory Road 2011 when he almost ruined his career in a 90-second match with Sting. I asked for his release, but this time I am happy I am wrong. Hardy asked for one more chance, and is making the most of this opportunity in which he is at his best since 2009. Lesnar only wrestled once, but he made such a statement that he can be a strong asset to WWE's largest Pay-Per-Views.

I can't say that I disagree with the popular vote here. Lesnar was a tremendous comeback, Hardy's road to the top was a nice surprise, and a character change for Kane did wonders for his WWE staying power. Kane came back as a masked demon and now does not show those monster characteristics. Still, his comeback "to the mask" was a successful tactic.


The Feud of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE) – 46 1) Steen vs. Richards
2) Bobby Roode vs. James Storm (TNA) – 41 2) Roode vs. Storm
3) AJ vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE) – 39 3) Punk vs. Bryan
4) Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards (ROH) – 33 4) Callihan vs. AR Fox (CZW)
5) Briscoes vs. WGTT (ROH) - 13 5) Lethal vs. Ciampa (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: There were a lot of feuds worthy to get this award, but I though the one that had the most emotion was Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards from Ring of Honor. It was mainly Kevin Steen going from a follower to a leader in a two-year span and was finally rewarded with his first run as ROH World Champion. Roode vs. Storm had it all except for a satisfying finish at Lockdown. Punk vs. Bryan was great and throw in AJ as a variable to this feud makes this the best feud the WWE produced this year.

The readers did a fine job picking the top five feuds of the year. While we can't entirely judge the impact of a feud until the end of year (or even later), we can mostly agree that the popular vote was pretty accurate. AJ vs. Bryan was close on my personal ballot, but just missed it because of the passion of other feuds.


The Non-Wrestler of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) John Laurinaitis (WWE) – 53 1) Truth Martini
2) Ricardo Rodriguez (WWE) - 41 2) Ricardo Rodriguez
3) Truth Martini (ROH) – 31 3) John Laurinatis
4) Jim Cornette (ROH) – 22 4) Jim Cornette
5) Maria Kanellis (ROH) - 15 5) Prince Nana (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: Roderick Strong was a ROH Television Champion this year. Truth's charisma and ability to manage The House of Truth is a big reason for Strong's success. Furthermore, Martini's work drastically improved since his days on HDNet that he relishes the role as the leader of The House of Truth. Del Rio may be overrated, but credit Rodriguez for some of the success. Rodriguez's enthusiasm and commitment to make sure his boss wins a match is what wins points in my book.

I can see Johnny Ace winning this category. He may have the raspiest voice in professional wrestling at the moment, but he was over for the majority of 2012 due to "People Power". One shocker is the sudden rise of Maria Kanellis. She was an afterthought when WWE released her, and now she has the makings of a great heel manager for ROH for her real-life boyfriend Mike Bennett.


Women's Wrestler of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Sara Del Rey (CHIKARA/SHIMMER) - 32 1) Sara Del Rey
2) Cheerleader Melissa (SHIMMER) – 30 2) Jessicka Havok
3) Brooke Tessmacher (TNA) – 21 3) Maxine
4) Maxine (WWE) – 19 4) Saraya Knight (SHIMMER)
5) Jessicka Havok (WSU) – 16 5) Cheerleader Melissa

Mr. V's Take: No one is as dominant in her division as Sara Del Rey. Del Rey had a run with the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship and competes against men in Chikara and does a fantastic job with that. Since the ballots closed, there are rumors that she signed a contract with the WWE. They got someone who can really hold her own in that company. Havok elevated her wrestling in a quick span and now she is a hot commodity in women's wrestling, as she is the current WSU Champion after a heavily-contested battle with Mercedes Martinez. I suggest my readers to consider watching a Saraya Knight match. The mother of WWE Developmental diva Paige is still having spirited battles with her opponents on the SHIMMER roster.

I agree with the popular vote, except for one name. As much as I am happy that Tessmacher improved her work in TNA, she is not their best Knockout. I am happy to see Maxine get a few points. Granted, she will not win the award since she is no longer in the WWE but give credit to her wrestling ability that could land her a job somewhere in the future. Cheerleader Melissa almost took the vote, missing by just two points. Melissa is an impressive worker and with Del Rey's possible departure she can carry SHIMMER to new levels.


The Tag Team of the Half-Year

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) The Briscoes (ROH) – 54 1) The Briscoes
2) Samoa Joe and Magnus (TNA) - 48 2) F.I.S.T
3) Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (ROH) - 28 3) Magnus and Samoa Joe
4) F.I.S.T. (CHIKARA) – 18 4) Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team
5) Epico and Primo (WWE) - 17 5) The Colony (CHIKARA)

Mr. V's Take: I had a hard time to pick winners in these awards, but this was the easiest decision I had to make when filling my ballot. The Briscoes are clearly the best tag team based on chemistry, promo work, pretty much the entire package. They consistently are the highlight in an ROH program. F.I.S.T. from Chikara deserves some recognition as well. They may not have been as successful as years past, but they are an entertaining team that deserves the recognition. Had Magnus and Joe remained a tag team, I think they would be the top team of 2012. However, I feel that their singles' careers really benefitted from the brief alliance.

The readers still see some hope in the WWE with Epico and Primo. However, Ring of Honor continues to produce strong tag teams on their brand. With 2 teams in the top 5, ROH showcases tag team wrestling more than the other larger companies.


Most Outstanding Wrestler

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Austin Aries (TNA) – 69 1) Daniel Bryan
2) Daniel Bryan (WWE) – 58 2) Austin Aries
3) Dolph Ziggler (WWE) – 32 3) Dolph Ziggler
4) Michael Elgin (ROH) – 9 4) Jeff Hardy
5) Jeff Hardy (TNA) - 8 5) Davey Richards (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: I was split on Aries and Bryan. Both are exceptional talents and have tasted championship gold for their respective organizations. When it comes to wrestling, which I feel the difference between this category and the Wrestler of the Year, is that I grade this match on skills regardless of crowd reactions. Flat out, Bryan is the better wrestler and had a light edge in match quality over Aries.

Make no mistake; the top three were the overwhelming favorites for this category. Ziggler's work on offense is great, and Bryan's talents are god-given. However, Austin Aries showed how hard work can pay off. As I mentioned before, he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship days after ballots were closed, so the voters found out something that TNA just discovered.


THE 2012 WRESTLER OF THE HALF-YEAR

The Popular Vote Mr. V's Vote
1) Daniel Bryan (WWE) – 54 1) Sheamus
2) CM Punk (WWE) – 52 2) CM Punk
3) Bobby Roode (TNA) – 39 3) Bobby Roode
4) Austin Aries (TNA) – 30 4) Daniel Bryan
5) Sheamus (WWE) - 25 5) Kevin Steen (ROH)

Mr. V's Take: Right now if I had to pick a Golden Yardstick for Wrestler of the Year I am going with Sheamus. The man was groomed to be a franchise player for the WWE and this recent World Heavyweight Championship puts him well on the way. He has the best power moves, the best finisher, and his character is something we can relate to. Punk claims to be the Best in the World, but a lack of babyface wrestling tactics brought him down a bit. Roode was a great TNA World Champion and brought stability to a title that was switched too many times in the last couple of years. Bryan transitioned to a main event wrestler in the WWE, and I could not be happier for him. Bryan is a gifted athlete and explains it every time he enters the ring. Steen is a unique talent for Ring of Honor, and that is a good thing to showcase now that ROH lost a few wrestlers in the past few weeks.

Even though Sheamus was #4 in the popular vote, I can't disagree with the list. All five have a unique trait, they all have wrestled at a high level for six months straight, and all earned a World Championship for their hard labor. The only shock is that Bryan was the winner for Wrestler of the Half-Year. Top five, I 100% agree, but it was borderline to make him the #1.

So Daniel Bryan, I salute you. Bryan has come a long way and from his quick strikes in a corner to the YES Lock, his talents on the mic and in the ring helps him win the Wrestler of the Half-Year.


Conclusion: Is this a goodbye, students?

For 145 columns I have provided Classroom Rules, Detentions, Gold Stars, Report Cards, and so many more things on Wrestleview. The feedback that I got from all of the readers that were kind to send me a comment (good or bad) I want to say I appreciate all the words. I became a better writer for it, and I think in a way we have the smartest people that surf our website. I enjoy writing and talking about professional wrestling to a point where it was my escape from the harsh things that happen in life. Every week I tuned into all the wrestling programs and took notes, gave a grade, and gave a Gold Star (or detention) to those that deserve it. However, as I take over new responsibilities (and a new teaching position) there are priorities. Since 2009, I am proud to gain acquaintances in the wrestling business, friends that are professional wrestling fans, and of course the wonderful people that I met here on staff at Wrestleview.

I usually state that I either "give 100% or none". On the Wrestleview Radio Network, I give 100% of my effort towards "The Teacher's Lounge" with my co-host David Stephens. I will provide a 100% effort for the remaining season of "Predictions from the Faculty", which I calculate wins and losses in matches predicted by the Wrestleview Staff and Readers. Honestly, I enjoy reading predictions and ranking who is better than who.

However, with the column we know that I am not around as often. There are many responsibilities now that I am in charge of more than just physical education and health. On my desk I have Teacher's Manuals for English, Reading, Spelling, Health, and so many pages of new Gym Class activities that I can't wait to share with my real students here in suburban Pennsylvania.

With a sober heart, I will make this announcement that I will be scaling down the "From the Desk of Mr. V" column. This is my decision to not be as wordy and I think it is best for the readers.

I will still do an occasional feature on Wrestleview because, I'll be blunt, I love writing for this site. I love being entertained about professional wrestling. Throughout 2012 I felt that I was in a rut as a wrestling fan. However, after watching Monday Night Raw live in Pittsburgh, PA and going to an International Wrestling Cartel show in Elizabeth it was enough to charge my batteries to write an occasional piece.

While I won't be in-depth with my writings, keep in mind that I will be very active in social media. If you want thoughts about a storyline, a match, or if you just want to say a kind word you know where to find me. I just don't want to provide unsatisfactory work to my readers. It would not be fair to them, and it would be a waste of time.

Once again I can't thank you enough but keep in mind that the priorities I have at home and school exceed those here. My peers at Wrestleview understand that and I am certain all of the readers feel the same way.

So this column may be the last of its kind, but I am not going to completely dismiss my column with this piece. There will be a time that I will sit down and type another Mr. V column.

I just don't know when at this moment.

Dismissal

Well, that does it for me this week. I want to thank you all for reading this column. If you like it, tell a friend! The classroom has many desks available. If you want to get a hold of me throughout the week, please e-mail me at mistervwv@hotmail.com or at lounge@wrestleview.com.

THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE EVERY SUNDAY!

Every Sunday, Wrestleview Raw Recapper and Columnist Dave Stephens and I have a brand new Teacher's Lounge on the Wrestleview Radio Network! We give a quick rundown of all the news and condense it to a 60-90 minute podcast. We even have a few games, detentions, and Gold Stars.

Also, we have the occasional interview of either someone in the professional wrestling business or a member of the Wrestleview Staff.

Now, students you are allowed to leave the classroom. Please push in your chairs, line up straight, and exit to the closest door. Until next time, you are all DISMISSED!!

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