It’s that time of the year again, where The Scrum Sports takes into account the best of the best and worst of the worst from WWE, NXT, 205 Live, etc.
This year saw some great moments and some mind-numbingly bad ones. Our staff reviewed footage from this past year to compile finalists and determine a winner for each category. So, here are your Golden Headlock Awards winners.
MOST IMPROVED SUPERSTAR: Tie between The Usos and Braun Strowman
David: Braun is THE MONSTER of WWE now! We went from the crowd HATING him, to LOVING him in a VERY short time. Will be the one reason why I am choosing Braun over the Usos.
Gene: The Usos, hands down. Turning heel was the best thing for the longevity of their careers.
SUPERSTAR THAT WWE CREATIVE/BOOKING HAS FAILED THE MOST: Tie between Bayley and Shinsuke Nakamura
Nathan : I was going to vote Bray, but at least he got a solid first run before getting hurt. Shinsuke didn’t get $#!^ before the main roster booking/creative did what they do best…ruin great stars.
Gene: I had to go with Bayley. If you watched NXT, she was the second coming of John Cena. She comes up to the main roster and what happens? Management doesn’t “get her”, so they proceed to crap all over her character. Now, no one cares about her.
BEST RETURN TO WWE: Drew McIntyre
David : While the BIGGEST POP this year was from the Hardy Boyz. I would have to say the biggest comeback would be from Drew. Not only did he revive his career, he CARRIED a promotion by himself for the second half of the year. In which said promotion is NXT.
BEST COMMENTATOR: Corey Graves
Ryan: Corey Graves – Even if he’s got the higher ups in his ears, it never shows. He’s the most natural voice on either show and it’s not close.
Gene: Though I will always favor Mauro Renallo, of the main two shows, Graves is the only one who doesn’t feel overly corporate and scripted.
BEST MERCHANDISE/PARAPHERNELIA: Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music.
Tanner: Tens of thousands of singing fans cannot be wrong. When Shinske Nakamura makes his entrance to “The Rising Sun” you will want to hop in the ring and kick someone in the face.
BIGGEST DUB-TEE-EFF MOMENT: AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura moving the ladder aside to face off at Money in the Bank.
Nathan: I legitimately got chills on the ladder spot.
BEST STORYLINE: Tie between SmackDown invading Raw and War of Words between ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt
Ryan: RAW v SMACKDOWN – From the moment shots were fired with #UnderSeige I was hooked. From there it just got better and it was what seemingly started the rocky road between Brian and Shane. #brilliant
Gene: Matt Hardy’s broken gimmick was the best thing in wrestling in 2016 and I predict 2018 will prove to be the same.
BEST FEUD (WOMEN’S): Asuka vs. Ember Moon
Tanner: Ember Moon was a legitimate threat to the reign of Asuka in 2017. Although Ember tried her best, the Empress of Tomorrow could not be overthrown. The two almost otherworldly personas worked well to craft a great in ring narrative while putting on top notch matches. This NXT feud gave the main roster a run for its money.
BEST FEUD (MEN’S): Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate
Gene: Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate is the new Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart. Their matches are nearly 5 stars EVERY SINGLE TIME.
BEST CHAMPION (WOMEN’S): Asuka
Marcus: Asuka certainly could’ve had a shot at a lengthy ‘Rob Van Dam TV title’ like run had she not gotten injured. But then again, she likely would’ve been sent to the main roster before getting to that level or beyond.
WWE HoF ticket is already booked.
BEST CHAMPION (MEN’S): Neville
Gene: I really could have picked Pete Dunne or the Miz, as they elevated the belts when they had them. But Neville elevated an entire show. 205 Live was non-existent before Neville returned, turned heel and put the entire Cruiserweight division on notice.
BEST CHAMPION (TAG TEAM): The Usos
David: The Usos had an amazing year! Night after night they not only improve from their past bookings, but excelled. Whoever they went against at PPVs, it was usually in contention for match of the night. Turning heel was the best thing they have done for their career & without it being overly gimmicky. It’s their ability to tell a story in the ring. That is what makes them the True Bar in WWE.
NEXT BIG THING OF 2018: Aleister Black
Joel: The former Tommy End has a very magnetic energy about him and this aura draws people in. The company knows they have something special here, just as they did with talents who came before him. Black has been used as the litmus test, beating debuting stars on their first outings with the company. We’ve seen him beat Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Lio Rush just to name a few. He just had a match of the year candidate with Velveteen Dream in the most unlikely of pairings. This is a man you build your company around.
WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR: Enzo Amore vs. Anyone.
Trevor: Enzo’s just not polished in the ring. That’s why they had him with Cass for so long, to cover up how bad he is in the ring. His matches haven’t gotten any better.
MATCH OF THE YEAR (TAG TEAM): Authors of Pain vs. DIY vs. The Revival at NXT Takeover Orlando
Gene : I soooo wanted to pick War Games. That match had everything but the kitchen sink in it. But the AOP/DIY/Revival match told the best story in a tag match that I’ve seen in years.
Arch nemeses (DIY and the Revival) having to put aside their rivalry to take out the monsters (AOP) was a thing of beauty
MATCH OF THE YEAR (WOMEN’S): Kairi Sane vs. Toni Storm at the Mae Young Classic
Gene :The Mae Young Classic Tournament didn’t have as many great matches as the Cruiserweight Classic or the UK Tournament, but Toni Storm vs. Kairi Sane was a show stealer.
MATCH OF THE YEAR (MEN’S): AJ Styles vs. John Cena at the Royal Rumble
Joel : Styles and Cena was a true gem. Bate and Dunne was sensational too, but I have to go with the Phenomenal One vs. the Franchise at the Rumble.
SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR (TAG TEAM): The Usos
Gene : This was a tough one for me. The Bar gets a nod just for Cesaro helping to make Sheamus great in the eyes of the fans again.
SaniTY turning babyface made me groan at first. There was no way that gimmick works as good guys. They proved me wrong and are like the 2017 tag team equivalent of Mankind.
The Fashion Police have the best segments at times on SDLive.
But the Usos, bar none, owned tag wrestling, in the ring and on the mic this year.
SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR (WOMEN’S): Asuka
Marcus: Asuka’s main claim to fame isn’t so much the streak, which certainly is the reason why she’s garnered fame. It’s that she basically is the first to transcend to the place where the WWE Women’s Revolution strives to go, which is to transcend barriers. Asuka did that when she surpassed Goldberg’s streak.
SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR (MEN’S): AJ Styles
Gene: AJ Styles is possibly the greatest in ring performer of our generation. However, for 2017, I really only give him the nod as best in WWE because this company dropped the ball with so many potential candidates. This is through no fault of the amazing in-ring talent. That is also no dis to the Phenomenal One. He carried the Blue Brand the second half of the year, yet again.
It’s time for you, our valued readers, to let your voice be heard. Tell us why you agree or disagree with our picks. Let us know who you think should have won if you disagree. Thank you for a great 2017.
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