Well class, it all comes down to the final eight Golden Yardsticks. For the past three weeks, I looked at every wrestler’s records from the major United States promotions to come up with I thought was the most fair, unbiased choices for best and worst winners. It was a long, grueling month to determine winners for 2009, but I think it was done the right way. Moving on with the column.
Before I put on the tuxedo and present the final part of the awards ceremony, I must mention that we had a PPV game recently. We had a friendly competition that last almost a year involving over a dozen columnists and dozens of students of WrestleView. We are very close to crowning the FIRST EVER DEAN of WrestleView’s Faculty. Only one more to go for this fiscal year of the faculty. It all comes down to the final PPV (WWE’s Royal Rumble) to determine the title! Here are the standings as of TNA’s Genesis:
1) Joe Baiamonte (Baiamonte’s Casa)?????????……..112-76 (4-2)
2) Jose Marrero (Wrestling Rumblings)?????????..??112-77 (4-2)
3) Josh Boutwell (Viva La Raza and TNA Recapper)…???112-77 (4-2)
4) David Stephens (That’s a Wrap and ECW Recapper)??106-83 (4-2)
5) WrestleView Students (The Loyal Readers)???????..106-83 (3-3)
6) Josh Piedra (The Shoot)???????????????????101-68 (4-2)
7) Anthony Valvo (From the Desk of Mr. V/ROH Recaps)?99-90 (1-5)
8) Mike Siciliano (Pro’s From the Palace)???????????94-89 (1-5)
9) Matt O?Brien (Notes From The Nosebleeds)????????92-66 (4-2)
10) Chris Kelly (King of All Wrestling Media)?????????81-58 (1-5)
11) Doug Lackey (Reality From Ringside)???????????.74-80 (4-2)
12) Sean Hurley (The Sharpshooter)??????????????.66-44 (INC)
13) Phil Chroniger (On Second Thought..)??????????..64-62 (INC)
14) Mike Tedesco (Smackdown and Superstars Recapper)?.41-31 (3-3)
15) Mike Klubnik (Stylin? and Profilin?)?????????????..20-14 (INC)
16) Ryan Droste (Ask WV)?????????????????????.4-4 (INC)
Some of the students had bad weeks, and some had good weeks. But the Gold Star for this previous PPV goes to a good friend of mine, Jeremy Samples (Flair16Time for the chatters out there). Mr. Samples earned a perfect 6-0 record on his predictions and it was worth mentioning that he would have got the Red pick right as well if the Faculty counted it. So, great job to Mr. Samples and thanks to all of our students for taking part in the predictions last week.
Now, onto the business. Let me hurry up and do a quick change into the tuxedo.
OK! There we go. Let me get into character now????.rebooting???
Let’s get a little ?Pomp and Circumstance? here.
Greetings to you all, my students of WrestleView! It is time for the conclusion of the Mr. V Golden Yardstick Awards! I am your resident teacher on WrestleView and deemed (according to Pro Wrestling Rewind hosts Power and King) Dean of the University of WrestleView Anthony J. Valvo and let’s get started right away. I have a ton on humorous content on all of the promotions out there, but they are from 2010, so I can not use them yet.
On a serious note (and I am not kidding), I may add who won these awards on Wikipedia. This column is for the people, the fans of professional wrestling. Besides, they are using my ROH recaps as a reference on there now. I am living the dream!
So class, enough stalling on my end of the classroom. Here comes the first category.
Most Improved Wrestler of 2009
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to ?improve? means to bring into a more desirable condition. In my eyes, it is easy to pick guys like Hernandez, Miz, or Kofi Kingston. But I opted not to go on that route. Instead, I decided to go with a wrestler who was not there in the ring yet and almost was released from the company. But rather settling with not being a good superstar, these three men worked very hard to get where they are at, and thus have a solid year as a mid-card talent (and at times beyond).
My first nominee goes to Matt Morgan. Throughout 2009, Matt Morgan was able to branch out after being in a brief tag team with Abyss and turned it into a very successful feud with the Main Event Mafia and Kurt Angle. Morgan was given a fair chance by defeating various TNA superstars which led up to a main event on TNA pay-per-view television in 2009. Morgan was rewarded for all his hard work when he was to face Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory (which is TNA’s WrestleMania). Although Matt Morgan lost in a very spirited battle to Kurt Angle, Morgan was able to show the fans of TNA that he is yet to reach the ceiling of his potential.
My second nominee goes to Zack Ryder. In the early part of 2009, many of us were ready to write off Zack Ryder is a WWE superstar. After being eliminated in a battle royal on ECW in early 2009, it seemed obvious that Ryder was primed to get the ?future endeavored? tag. However, with the new look and a new gimmick Zack Ryder appeared on ECW television in the middle of 2009 and had a moderately successful year. Thanks to his hard work in improving inside the ring, Ryder was able to wrestle ECW Champion Christian on a few occasions which one of them being for the ECW title. Another highlight in his young career was the fact that he took Tommy Dreamer (former ECW Champion) out of the company forever at the end of 2009.
My third nominee goes to WWE’s Dolph Ziggler. Many of us were able to write off Ziggler in the early part of 2009 where he was doing nothing but shaking hands of other superstars on Raw, but since his debut on Friday Night Smackdown Dolph Ziggler was able to fight his way to some notable feuds with Rey Mysterio and John Morrison. Though he never claimed his first individual championship (remember he did win a tag team championship with the Spirit Squad years back), Ziggler will try in 2010 to obtain at least the Intercontinental Championship.
So class, we have three much improved superstars in professional wrestling. I could?ve went the easy route and picked a mid-card guy who turned into a Main Event superstar, but I thought the best thing to do was go from somebody who had no chance of staying in a company into somebody that could be challenging for a championship come 2010. The three men that I mentioned above are proof that hard work truly pays off in professional wrestling. Only one can earn the Golden Yardstick for most improved and after much thought it is time to announce the winner. The winner for most improved goes to? Dolph Ziggler!
All three men were worthy of this award, but I gave this award to Ziggler because of the way that he presented himself in the ring and in storylines. I felt that Morgan and Ryder could still improve a little bit more this past year. Ziggler earned this because he was able to earn himself a few Intercontinental Championship matches, but fell short each time (kind of reminded me sadly of the Buffalo Bills of the early 90s). So after his tenure as a male cheerleader, his time in Ohio Valley wrestling, and even a brief stint in Florida championship wrestling, Ziggler persevered and improved in all areas to become a very formidable contender for any type of championship.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Most Improved: Dolph Ziggler (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Matt Morgan (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: Zack Ryder (WWE)
Comeback of the Year
This may have been the toughest yet. I had a hard time picking three superstars who overcome injury or inactivity to win the 2009 Yardie for Best Comeback. It took me a day or two to figure the criteria out and after much thought, I came up with four. Colt Cabana got an honorable mention because though he went from WWE jobber to ROH superstar during 2009, there were three guys in professional wrestling who earned this award.
My first nominee is Mark Briscoe. Late 2009, Mark Briscoe injured his knee which kept him inactive for several months in Ring of Honor. After a long delay, Mark Briscoe defeated Alex Payne his first match back in the middle of 2009. Mark continued his momentum throughout the year when he defeated all comers both individually and in tag team. He ended the year as the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champion alongside his brother Jay Briscoe.
My second nominee goes to TNA’s Mick Foley. We all know the story about Mick Foley, how he went from being the color commentator on Friday Night Smackdown to being the executive shareholder for TNA. What many people do not know is the fact that he worked out heavily to get back into a decent type of wrestling shape. From a source it was reported that he lost roughly forty pounds just so he can get in back in ring shape. After couple years of inactivity, Mick Foley defeated Sting to become the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Foley held the title for almost two months. At the end of July 2009, Foley also won the TNA Legend’s (now Global) Championship over Kevin Nash. Though he never wrestled in the past couple years, Foley came back to the ring and performed surprisingly well over the past few months.
The third nominee is WWE Hall of Famer Ricky ?The Dragon? Steamboat. 1994 was the last year that Steamboat was labeled an active wrestler. However, in 2009 he returned to the ring to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 25 alongside two other Hall of Famers in Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka. Steamboat dazzled the fans by giving everything that he could in that match against Jericho. He wrestled twice more for WWE, winning a 10 man tag match on a Monday Night Raw and losing to Jericho once again at Backlash. Though 56 years old, Steamboat proved to the wrestling world that’s he still had it in 2009 (fifteen years after his official retirement).
Though I said finding three nominees for this category was difficult, the decision to pick the winner was a very easy choice. The 2009 Golden Yardstick Award winner for comeback of the year goes to? Mick Foley!
The reason why picked Foley was a surprisingly easy decision. Sure, we question TNA’s decision on putting the World Title on Foley, but Foley did prove to us that he was an embarrassment in the ring as Foley worked hard, trained, and got back into shape. He was able to wrestle for most of 2009. Don?t get me wrong, I think Steamboat deserved this award as well. However, he only wrestled on three occasions. Outside of house shows, Mick Foley wrestled in seventeen matches (combined TNA Impact and PPVs) in 2009. As for Mark Briscoe, here’s hoping that he can stay injury free in 2010 because he is a very talented individual.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Comeback of the Year: Mick Foley (TNA)
First Runner-Up: Ricky ?The Dragon? Steamboat (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Mark Briscoe (ROH)
2009 Feud of the Year
In order to tell a good story inside the ring, I actually believe that a good story outside the ring is mandatory. Though we experienced feuds that made us want to scream at our own television sets, there were some feuds in professional wrestling that caught one’s attention. For me personally, I really thought that there were dozens of good storylines. There were dozens of good feuds. However, there are three feuds I thought were the upper echelon of 2009. Here are the nominees for feud of the year.
My first nominee goes to Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk. I know that I found this storyline to be one of the most appalling (and only because of exposing Jeff’s drug past), but the matches that these two individuals had throughout the summer were memorable. Who would?ve thought that Punk would cash in his Money in the Bank case right after Jeff Hardy won the World Heavyweight Title after Extreme Rules? I for one did not see that happening and I really thought that this storyline really relied on how the fans reacted to CM punk after he cashed in his case on that June evening. Sure, I thought it was appalling to add Jeff Hardy’s personal demons into this storyline but I can?t take away on the brilliant performances that these two men put inside the squared circle. The end of this feud happened right after SummerSlam, when CM Punk won a steel cage match over Jeff Hardy causing Jeff Hardy to retire from WWE. Overall, it was a tremendous feud with tremendous stakes on the line outside of the ring, and this surely was one of the top feuds of 2009.
My second nominee goes to Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton. I gave complete kudos to Randy Orton on approving of this storyline. I thought how they started this off and how they ended this feud was great. I though Kofi escaped his shell when he dropped the accent and attacked Randy Orton’s NASCAR (Best segment of the year in my opinion). Kofi Kingston surely became a star during this feud by having various good matches with Orton, especially when Kofi Kingston was put over in the 2009 Survivor Series Match. The two men continued their feud through the latter end of 2009, and ended in early January 2010 when Randy Orton finally got closure in defeating Kofi Kingston in the first Raw of 2010. Kudos to Randy Orton for taking a brief seat outside the title picture to help build up an up-and-coming talent like Kingston.
My final nominee for Feud of the Year goes to Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho. The feud started in April when Chris Jericho declared that he was far superior on Friday Night Smackdown (after he was drafted to the ?blue? brand). After some words exchanged with Edge, Jericho targeted Mysterio and his Intercontinental championship was the target (as well as Mysterio’s mask). Outside the ring, these two told a story for the ages. Inside the squared circle, Chris Jericho and Mysterio gave us probably the best set of matches in 2009. The Intercontinental Championship was exchanged a few times between these two superstars, with Mysterio finally ending the feud by defeating Chris Jericho while keeping his mask. After the feud, Mysterio ended up losing the Intercontinental title to a young superstar in John Morrison and later on feuded with Batista. Chris Jericho ended up a unified tag team championship alongside Edge. After Edge’s injury, Chris Jericho recruited The Big Show as his tag team partner.
As it turned out, the three best feuds and professional wrestling in 2009 happened under one company. So which WWE storyline earned the title 2009 feud of year? Well, after much thought I figured out a winner. He 2009 Golden Yardstick for Feud of the Year goes to? Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio!
Once again, another awards category that was very difficult to choose a winner. However, I gave the edge to Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio because of the stories that that they told inside the ring as well as outside. If this feud went on for an entire year, I would not have cared less. These two men told a great story thus earning a Golden Yardstick for their efforts. Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton had a great feud, but there was really nothing in the meaning of championships at stake during their feud. Also, Jeff Hardy and CM punk had a very strong feud over world title. However, some of their matches at times were not at the level as the matches that won this award. So Chris Jericho, you earned another Yardie. It is not meant to be ?The year of Jericho?, but it sure seems that way right now.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Feud of the Year: Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy (WWE)
2009 Women’s Wrestler of the Year
Though some companies are interested in the looks of a woman, others are interested in their wrestling ability. As we all know, I am interested in their wrestling ability with a little hint of out of ring presence. The three women that I mentioned as nominees I thought had a great overall 2009 campaign. So without further adieu, here are my choices for 2009 Woman wrestler of the year.
My first nominee goes to Awesome Kong. Though Awesome Kong chased the title more than anything this year, her presence to the other knockouts in TNA was intimidating. Usually when the matches go one on one, Awesome Kong destroyed the competition. To my knowledge, Kong was the only TNA Knockout to beat a male performer in Kip James. What migher hurt her chances on winning this award are the amount of losses she obtained in the tag team division (when she was paired with Raisha Saeed). Still, in 2009 Awesome Kong dominated the TNA ring like no other knockout.
The second nominee goes to WWE’s Melina. Though she appeared on two different brands for World Wrestling Entertainment, Melina was able to acquire championship gold on both brands. Some of the names that Melina defeated during her title reigns were Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool. Her last title win happened after a Diva trade in the latter part of 2009 in which he defeated Jillian Hall to win the WWE Divas? Championship. Sadly, in the final weeks of the year Melina tore a ligament in her knee and had to relinquish the championship in 2010.
My final nominee happens to be a female wrestler that not many people heard of. That nominee happens to be MsChif. In her brief time in Ring of Honor, MsChif was able to dominate all other female wrestlers on HDNet. Not only did she perform on ROH, MsChif successfully retained titles for SHIMMER and in the National Wrestling Alliance. Her Leg Trap Sunset Powerbomb (better known as Code Green) happens to be one of the most amazing finishers in women’s professional wrestling.
I could?ve added Angelina Love; however she did not wrestle for an extended time in 2009 due to her release from TNA (though mainly it was not her fault). Had she stayed in TNA throughout 2009, she probably would be a sure thing to win this award. However, in her absence there were three very talented women that easily could have earned the 2009 Yardstick for Woman Wrestler of the Year. With that said it was a very hard choice, but someone I thought earned this more than any other woman in this business. The 2009 Golden Yardstick for Woman’s Wrestler of the Year goes to? MsChif!
This may come to a surprise to a lot of my readers, but when I did my research on the nominees I witnessed many facts on MsChif that I could not believe. MsChif currently holds three different women’s championships. She is most known as being the SHIMMER Champion, a title in which she has held since April of 2008. She had 13 successful title defenses with this belt. She’s also held her two other NWA championships, each for over a year. Those credentials alone made a strong case for MsChif and she clearly earned the Golden Yardstick for Woman’s Wrestler of the Year. Most may call this an upset, I simply called it logical. MsChif clearly deserved this award.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Women’s Wrestler of the Year: MsChif (SHIMMER/ROH/NWA)
First Runner-Up: Melina (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Awesome Kong (TNA)
And now, for a little intermission in this awards ceremony. Usually, this is the time in which one picks an actor or actress who has given a lot to their organization. That award is considered as the Lifetime Achievement Award. So, I will present one of these awards myself.
2009 Lifetime Achievement Golden Yardstick
I?ve come across many names to consider for the Lifetime Achievement award, and the more I thought about it the more complex became. Looking through the names of all that I can consider, an epiphany struck! And then I thought to myself the obvious choice for this award. Is it a Pro wrestler? Nope, it is not. Is it someone that did something for a wrestling organization? I don?t think so. What I?m trying to say is what wrestling website do I work for, and that is WrestleView.com. And who owns this fantastic website? Who is the man responsible for giving us the names of Tom Van Stone, Hunter Golden, Adam Martin, in other many talented columnists on this great website? With that said, the choice was easy.
As my students remember, at the end of my columns I write ?if not for the students there would not be a Mr. V.?? Well, without this man there would be no WrestleView.
The 2009 Lifetime Achievement Golden Yardstick goes to??Paul Nemer!
Yes, class! The same Paul Nemer that is THE OWNER of the website that we all are visiting right now! Nemer has been kicking it old school since 1997. But what makes WrestleView a site the whole family can enjoy is that we don?t get those lousy pop-up ads! Mr. Nemer said NO MORE to that concept. For almost thirteen years, WrestleView got hits from countries like Pakistan, India, France, Bangladesh, Japan, and Mexico. WrestleView has become well known around the world with our loyal admiral! For thirteen years, WrestleView has become the most reliable source for professional, unbiased wrestling news, and it all started with Paul Nemer back in 1997. So, I am probably not the only one to say this but we all should give a big ?thank you? to the Godfather of WrestleView, Paul Nemer!
Now, I am sure those few paragraphs earned me another month of writing from ?The Powers of WrestleView?. So, let’s get back to the final three awards of the evening! Seriously though, Congrats Paul and I wish I can provide a plague instead of giving you a few paragraphs.
2009 Tag Team of the Year
Throughout 2009 we have seen many tag teams try, yet fail to be the best tag team in professional wrestling. Creative teams and bookers tried to blend together what they thought would be the saviors of their Tag Team division. Though these three teams do not remind us of the Road Warriors, The Fabulous Freebirds, or The Hart Foundation, these three teams performed far more superior than the other tag teams in professional wrestling today. So with that here are my three choices or Tag Team of the Year.
My first nominee goes to Ring of Honor’s American Wolves. Throughout 2009, the team of Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards dominated a very deep Tag Team division in Ring of Honor. Every time I saw them perform on HDNet, they never miss a step. Their chemistry works so well that it placed 98% of Tag Teams in the world to shame. Their hard work and dedication paid off when they had a very long run as Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions in 2009.
My second nominee goes to TNA’s Beer Money Inc. Though in recent months they have not been champions in TNA, Beer Money continues to be one of the most popular teams in professional wrestling. Robert Roode and James Storm’s chemistry with each other worked so well in the division that has a wide genre of wrestling ability. In 2009, Beer Money Inc. was able to taste World Tag Team gold, but at Lockdown they lost the titles to Team 3D and have failed to reach the pinnacle of their Tag Team division since. They enter 2010 as favorites to be the next TNA world tag team champions (though Hernandez and Matt Morgan hold the titles right now).
My third nominee goes to JeriShow. The team of Chris Jericho and The Big Show were a prime example of a team that has both brute strength and quickness. This was far and above the best tag team in WWE in 2009. You had Chris Jericho, who ran his mouth and was able to back it up with his in-ring abilities of various submission holds. Also you have The Big Show who let his actions speak for themselves with various punches and power moves. Though they are no longer a tag team, JeriShow made sure that for almost a half a year they reigned supreme in the Tag Team division of the WWE.
By far and away, these were the three best tag teams in professional wrestling. If these three teams were put on a supercard this could very well be the match everybody would pay to see. But which Tag Team earned the right to be a Golden Yardstick winner? Clearly, this was one of the most difficult decisions along with the next two awards. Though this may not make a whole lot of people happy, I am giving the 2009 Golden yardstick for tag team of the year to? The American Wolves!
I labeled the team of Chris Jericho and Big Show to be nothing more than a flash. A flash that was very successful, but we knew that once they lost their championship titles the team was pretty much over and they went back to their singles career. If TNA used Beer Money correctly, Roode and Storm probably would win this award. However for some reason TNA forgot how popular Beer Money Inc. were this past year. I gave this award to The American Wolves because they wrestled beautifully over the course of 2009. The team could have just packed their bags and went home when Eddie Edwards suffered a very severe injury, but he battled through and gave the fans a great show no matter what match they were put up against. Usually I like a Tag Team that is very good on all types of disciplines, and The American Wolves deserve a whole lot of credit for the wrestling ability in their tactics throughout the course of 2009. They were able to defeat their opponents in submission matches, latter matches, table matches, and regular Tag Team matches. I could not think of another Tag Team that was as dominant in their company as The American Wolves.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Tag Team of the Year: The American Wolves (ROH)
First Runner-Up: Beer Money, Inc. (TNA)
Second Runner-Up: JeriShow (WWE)
2009 Most Outstanding Wrestler (Pound-for-Pound)
In my opinion, there is a difference between the Best Wrestler of the Year and the Best Wrestler Pound for Pound. With the Most Outstanding Wrestler, the award would go to the wrestler who I thought gave his best efforts in every performance that he had. This wrestler would have to be one that took on all comers and for the most part became the winner of that match. Obviously the standards for this award were difficult, but I was able to come up with three names who I thought excelled in the ring regardless of size. Here are my nominees for most outstanding wrestler.
My first nominee goes to TNA’s Kurt Angle. During the 2009 calendar year, Kurt Angle wrestled the likes of Sting, AJ Styles, Matt Morgan, Desmond Wolfe, and Samoa Joe. For the most part, Kurt Angle was able to overcome all on and with a little help from Samoa Joe became the World Heavyweight Champion for a few months in 2009. With his vast knowledge and his tools, Angle was able to overcome all comers and become an overall solid in-ring performer for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
My second nominee goes to WWE’s Christian. Christian returned to WWE in February of 2009, but many were very surprised as to what brand he made his return. It turned out that he returned on what many consider WWE’s third brand. Christian worked with veterans as well as rookies and put on great matches on each card. Outside of a few occasions, he was the ECW Champion for the majority of 2009. To many, the only knock on his performance was the fact he was on ECW and not on the other two brands in 2009.
My final nominee goes to WWE’s Chris Jericho. Throughout 2009, Jericho performed at his very best in singles and tag team competition. As mentioned before he used various tactics to wear down his opponents. Jericho wrestled talents big and small and had a moderately successful year in route to getting the number one spot in my ultimate power rankings.
Three wrestlers whom pound for pound can go toe to toe with any wrestler in any company. I wanted the winner of this award to be somebody who did not care who he faced as long as he performed for the fans. The winner also had to be able to use his ring savvy each time they performed. The winner of this award clearly was in this for not only his opponent but for the fans that watch in the arenas. This man made sure that if he was on the card whether it was a house show or a live event that you would not be disappointed. With that said the winner of the Golden Yardstick for Most Outstanding Wrestler for 2009 goes to? Christian!
Here are the reasons for my selection for Most Outstanding Wrestler. Chris Jericho was a very good wrestler in 2009, but there were times in which he relied on a tag team partner to help him go along the way. Kurt Angle had a couple rough patches this year, as there were times in which he did lack a bit of awareness inside the six-sided ring in TNA. The Golden Yardstick was awarded to Christian because in my opinion he can wrestle a mop (and no, Moppy is NOT on the ECW Roster) stick to a three-star match. Christian worked so hard in ECW to earn everything in 2009. Christian wrestled many veterans in which I deemed to be solid matches when he faced William Regal and Shelton Benjamin. But he also worked very well against young and inexperienced superstars in Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder. Christian never experienced serious injuries even though half of his moves seem like they are high risk. Christian definitely earned my vote as best wrestler power for pound because no matter who he wrestled nor what the stipulations were, he gave the fans his all 100% every time he went inside the ring.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Most Outstanding Wrestler: Christian (WWE)
First Runner-Up: Chris Jericho (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: Kurt Angle (TNA)
2009 Wrestler of the Year
Finally, after four weeks of note reading, grading, and much explanation I?ve come down to the Final Award of 2009. You always want to end with your best, and that is what I?m going to do today.
The Wrestler of the Year is a very tough decision. I could come up with at least 25 names and make a strong case for each one. Whenever I think of ?Best? Wrestler, the wrestler had to of held a World Championship (Tag Gold need not apply). That is the number one title in their promotion. For the WWE, it would be the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. For TNA, it would be the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. For Ring of Honor, it would be the ROH Championship. That alone knocked down the candidates to roughly a dozen or so. Also, the Wrestler of the Year had to be a focus on one main storyline.
There were many wrestlers that made a name for themselves early in 2009, but near the end of the year they were either injured or slow down a bit. However, there were three individual talents that overcame everything to simply be considered the Wrestler of the Year. They were surely the face of their company or brand. So without further delay, I present the top three wrestlers and my nominees for the 2009 Wrestler of the Year.
My first nominee goes to CM Punk. Throughout 2009, CM Punk won the Intercontinental Championship, Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and he was a multiple time World Heavyweight Champion. He did this all with no help, but with a little luck on his side. Sure he was a heel during the latter part of 2009, but he was able to get over with words of being straight-edge and was very psychological in the ring. Though now he is not in the World Title picture, he continues to get much exposure based on the fact that he can definitely get the fans around the arena to hate him. A huge reason why CM Punk is one of the best was because of the reactions from the fans when he eliminated Jeff Hardy from the WWE. Furthermore, he could finish a wrestler off in almost any part of the ring and with any move. From the Anaconda Vice to the Go To Sleep, CM Punk was one of the most feared and most dominant wrestlers in 2009.
My second nominee goes to Randy Orton. Orton started the year out by attacking the McMahon Family causing him to get major heat from fans all around the world. He did so many events throughout the course of the year, and rightfully so. He won the 2009 Royal rumble, the WWE Championship multiple times, and had great feuds with HHH, John Cena, and Kofi Kingston. He would simply control the match with his intimidating stares and his all-around awareness. He would normally finish his opponents off with a simple RKO (sometimes out of nowhere). Only in his early 30s, Randy Orton is yet to reach its full potential. However, 2009 was by far his best year in professional wrestling.
The third nominee goes to AJ Styles of TNA Wrestling. Though it’s pretty tough to decide who deserved to represent TNA in this category, Styles was able to overcome many and put on great match after great match until finally he became a TNA World Heavyweight champion in September of 2009. Since then he continued to dominate wrestlers such as Daniels and Kurt Angle en route to becoming a respected World Champion in TNA Wrestling. His unorthodox style and his highflying ability helped him overcome bigger opponents as he continues to hold on to the main belt in his company.
So here you have a class. Three champions that carried their brand at some point of 2009. Three men who shed their blood, sweat, and tears for everyone to see. Like I said there were many wrestlers that could earn this award, but I decided to give it to somebody who was the very best of 2009. With that said, it is my privilege to award the 2009 Golden Yardstick for Wrestler of the Year. That lucky wrestler is? Randy Orton!
Students of wrestles you him this was a very difficult decision to make. However when it came to durability, The Legend Killer (I refuse to use another V-word in my columns unless it is used in the third person) exceeded all obstacles in route to having one of strongest pushes in 2009. He started off feuding with various McMahon family members, continued with HHH for the first half of 2009, continued with a lengthy war with John Cena in which the title sadly was exchanged too many times, and had an impressive feud with Kofi Kingston to wrap up 2009. All this while he was very healthy and never missed time due to any injuries or other circumstances. Orton met all the details on what the best wrestler should be this particular year. So, students of WrestleView, 2009 was truly the year of Orton.
2009 Golden Yardstick for Wrestler of the Year: Randy Orton (WWE)
First Runner-Up: CM Punk (WWE)
Second Runner-Up: AJ Styles (TNA)
So students, I thank you very much for reading my final installment of the 2009 year end awards. Regular classes (and the quick rundown of the winners) will be posted in next week’s From the Desk of Mr. V. I don?t know if there are going to be a whole lot of changes, but with the various amount of wrestling in 2010 I may have to lighten my workload. Still, I promise to all of you that this column will in fact be those for the students. I always credit my loyal readers in making the column a continued success.
Do you have any questions? Comments? I would like to hear what you thought about these awards. Please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com or drop me a line on my Facebook page. Look for me under Anthony J. Valvo.
So class, until next Thursday, I am your resident teacher for WrestleView.com telling you now it is time to get up from your seats push your chairs in, and go to your next destination, class, or wherever life takes my students. Thank you once again for reading my latest column and I hope you enjoy your week. You are all officially?? DISMISSED!!!!
As the old saying goes, if not for the students there would be no Mr. V. Thank you all very much for reading this column and I hope you read again next week.
E-mail Mr. V: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Name: Anthony J. Valvo
I do not use Twitter nor MySpace. I have enough on my plate anyway.