We did it ladies and gentlemen.
The year 2020 is almost over. Breathe a sigh of relief and hope for a great 2021! In the spirit of these 12 months finally being put behind us, I thought it would be fitting to hand out some lovely year end awards WWE style. This is going to be MY personal version of the Slammy Awards! Thus, I will use their categories used a few days ago on the WWE Network. Of course, my winners may vary from the company’s choice, and I’m only going to focus on the main topics. NOT all of them! Let’s start it out with a big one…
Superstar Of The Year – For me, it really comes down to only two picks. Both were on the red brand, RAW. Sadly, the blue brand, Smackdown, got hit pretty hard with the Roman Reigns hiatus in March. He did return in August and has been ON FIRE lately…but that was a five month gap where he was at home. Hard to give him Superstar Of The Year for that. Sorry, I love the dude, and he is crushing his new persona but no. This is a full year award. Randy Orton is my second place finisher. He had the Edge thing in the beginning of the year, followed it up with a rematch, then staggered around a bit before capping off 2020 with a lengthy and entertaining main event feud with a WWE Championship victory sprinkled in. Even if it did just last a few weeks, he more than earned that for his 2020 campaign. My Superstar Of The Year is The Stud Drew McIntyre. I told everyone last year for my 2020 Bold Predictions column that this was going to be his year…and it was. Epic Royal Rumble victory, amazing stuff with Brock Lesnar, WWE Title main event of WrestleMania 36 winner (twice in one night actually), multiple big time victories on pay-per-view, consistently held the show together through tough times in the world and closed out the year with a second WWE Championship victory and great bout against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series. Rumble winner, beat Brock clean at WM, long WWE Title reign and delivered in every which way. All. Year. Long. No way anybody else could win this award.
Match Of The Year – This one is a little bit more difficult. Losing live crowds was a huge blow to match quality, never mind the awkward silent promos during the spring/summer. Just a weird “era” all around. In my mind, it came down to two matches that really stuck out in 2020. Both in WWE obviously, as that is really all I focused on. The Boneyard Match was great at the time but has only aged better with time. When you add on the fact it may very well be The Undertaker’s last match, it will hold even more significance. Time will tell. Either way, I enjoyed it immensely, as WWE pivoted away from no fans at WrestleMania and gave us a perfect end to Taker’s career without fans present. So well done. What may ‘edge’ it out was the 2020 Royal Rumble match. Like that pun? This match had a live crowd and was so good; that gets the nod. I am a sucker for Rumbles, but this was awesome stuff. Brock Lesnar dominated from the get go. We saw a couple NXT cameos. There was the shocking MVP return. Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston tried to get their revenge on Lesnar from 2019, and the while we saw the massive Edge comeback moment. Such an emotional entrance for him. Yet, it wasn’t his night in the end. This was ALL built up for The Stud Drew McIntyre. Incredible beginning stretch with a memorable middle and a satisfying conclusion: Drew McIntyre eliminates Roman Reigns last to win the 2020 Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania 36. Unreal.
Rivalry Of The Year – Not a ton of options. I liked Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, but it didn’t last long enough. WWE had to get this story line over with, and they waited out fans returning to live events. However, it wasn’t meant to be. They rushed the feud regardless. Great matches and all that…but nope. My pick is Randy Orton vs. The Stud Drew McIntyre. Don’t discredit the recent Usos/Reigns saga. Still developing so we’ll see. Orton and McIntyre had ups and downs, matches on PPV, matches on television, and always came through with an unpredictable winner. Kept us guessing and Orton helped Drew cement himself as THE main event star of Raw. Job well done.
Tag Team Of The Year – Street Profits or Bayley/Banks? I will give it to Bayley and Sasha Banks just for fact that they traveled across every brand as WWE Womens Tag Team Champions. That is how it SHOULD be for that division. For most of the summer, those two carried the entire company. Yeah, those two were everywhere. Easy to forget now after their breakup, but it was solid TV each and every show.
Return Of The Year – Can I give out a four way tie here? Yes, Bill Goldberg came back to win the Universal Title. However, it wasn’t as entertaining as his 2016/2017 return. Sorry, we saw that story play out four years ago. No need to do it again this year, especially if the sole reason was to just drop the belt to Reigns at WrestleMania 36 a month later anyways. Could have gone without it…but I understood the move. Freed up The Fiend to feud with John Cena and gave Reigns his big WM dream match against another legend. I got it. Then there is MVP. Dude was legitimately back for one week; that was the plan. Then a producer’s role backstage but nope. He got TV time, knocked it out of the park and received a long-term deal months later. He may not be a main event act, but that is a cool story. That leaves Romen Reigns and Edge. Reigns, we knew would be back eventually. Just a matter of when. Him pairing up with a HEEL Paul Heyman and getting the Universal Title within a week – wow! Big time stuff there and crushing it on Smackdown right now. Both in ring, out of the ring and with ratings. You have to give this to Edge though. After a nine year retirement, he freakin’ shocked the world and made his grand return during the Rumble. Huge crowd pop and just an all around “moment.” This was a true moment in wrestling history. It had been rumored but to see it all play out, nothing could top that return in 2020.
Ring Gear Of The Year – Interesting. I honestly never put too much stock into ring gear. I don’t judge or freak out over male or women – they can wear whatever the heck they want. I didn’t even rip on RETRIBUTION too much for their silly ring attire. Whatever, if it fits the act, it fits the act. I will say that Johnny Gargano has always busted out some cool stuff for the live NXT Takeover events. I do recall Rhea Ripley looking like an absolute STAR at WrestleMania. Can I give her the award just for that?
Breakout Star Of The Year – WWe seems to have given the award to The Street Profits. I suppose that works, although I’d argue they were stars last year already. Don’t know if they really qualify. I think Otis may win here, just based on the fact that NOBODY predicted he would get Mandy Rose, have a really genuine WrestleMania Moment and then somehow win the Money in the Bank briefcase to close a pay-per-view. Sure, it all fell apart recently…but OL’ TUCKY TUCKY! OH YEAH! In terms of breakout star that finally became his own and showed his true potential, I’d have to say The Stud Drew McIntyre.
Female Superstar Of The Year – Charlotte Flair wasn’t around too much after June. Can’t be her, despite the impressive start. Royal Rumble win, WrestleMania victory for the NXT Womens Championship and ending 2020 as WWE Womens Tag Team Champion. Again though, was gone six months. This is a FULL year award. Same with Becky Lynch. Great run from Rumble to Mania, but she left after announcing her pregnancy. All the best to her – just can’t be Female Superstar Of The Year. I think Bayley, Asuka, and Sasha Banks all make compelling cases. If you add in Banks being in The Mandalorian, she gets the trophy. if you talk about wins and a lengthy title run, Bayley gets in. If you want to talk about accolades and overall being entertaining, Asuka gets it. Flip a three sided coin and call it in the air…
Male Superstar Of The Year – Didn’t we already do this? Male, female, alien, I don’t care – The Stud Drew McIntyre was clearly at the top from January to December. It is silly to say otherwise.
Moment Of The Year – So many to choose from. The Undertaker retiring was obviously huge. Edge coming back at the Rumble was emotional. The Stud Drew McIntyre eliminating Brock Lesnar from the Royal Rumble, winning the Royal Rumble and then beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 36 was a moment in itself. The usual great NXT Takeover events can’t be overlooked. Pat McAfee may have had one of the best celebrity/sports one on one debuts of all-time. Roman Reigns revealing his alliance with Paul Heyman was shocking. My Moment Of The Year has to be Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy. If you check out my Youtube page (Justin Watry), I have a video posted of my girlfriend watching RAW live with me that night. I had already read the spoiler that she was pregnant. She does not read all the BS wrestling crap online, therefore she had no clue. I told her to watch the Raw opening with me, and it was something BIG! That is all I told her. Plus, I may have been recording her so just watch the show and expect the unexpected! Yes, a Big Brother reference. Now, she LOVES Becky Lynch. That was her favorite. She may not always watch WWE with me, but Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins – that was it for her. She watched, watched, watched and boom! You have to see the video. Very cool live and genuine reaction from my girlfriend I love. Over 34,000 views and counting. My moment of the year…
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Thanks for reading.