2016 was a drama fuelled year for Pro Wrestling filled with yet another uneven year from WWE, questions of TNA survival, fantastic and terrible matches from the indies and a whole lot else. Now it’s 2017 it’s time to look over the best and worst of the year.
Tying up the year and making it submit is Marcus Wood @themarcuswood who watched death matches for CPT and wrote about them. Joining him his Maffew @Maffewgregg best known for being Maffew of Botchamania. If you’re on a pro wrestling page and somehow haven’t seen a Botchamania video go watch they’re hilarious, if you have seen them go on the Patreon page and help him keep making them.
What was your favourite show of 2016?
Marcus: It has to be NXT Takeover Dallas. The match quality was insane and while it often is with Takeover shows now, the difference maker here was the context and story lines feeding into the matches which resulted in this show, being the best show of the year, beating out the following nights Wrestlemania 32 in the process. The show can get a bit overshadowed by having Zayn – Nakamura on it but American Alpha – Revival is must see and the Women’s and Men’s title matches are excellent too. See this show.
Maffew: NXT Takeover Dallas
What was your favourite match of 2016?
Marcus: Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Sami Zayn. The match got me, it had that effect of pulling me in and making me forget anything about scripted and in that moment had me believing. That’s pretty much the highest praise I can give a match and that’s testament to the hard hitting nature of it, the selling of the toll it was taking on both guys and the stakes going in, Nakamura’s first WWE match and it was generally acknowledged Zayn’s last NXT match. It was pro wrestling at it’s purest, no gimmicks, no swerves just two guys trying to prove they’re the best. Honourable mention to Addiction Vs Young Bucks Vs Motor City Machine Guns for shear insanity and tag team brilliance.
Maffew: The Final Deletion
What was your biggest disappointment of 2016?
Marcus: I had a lot of small disappointments in wrestling in 2016 but when I sat back and thought of something that still bothers me I realised it was Wrestlemania 32. It’s not to say the show was overwhelmingly worse than anything else for quality, it was that the biggest show of the year (of all time in terms of attendance) got progressively more paint by numbers and boring until the main event which was dire. The worst part was that there was so much potential for something but we got an absolute basic show that fell down due to match quality and poor build.
Maffew: Lesnar Vs Ambrose
What was your big surprise of 2016?
Marcus: That by years end I’d be a Broken Matt Hardy fan. I could see why people wouldn’t like it but Matt Hardy and the people around him turned the Broken storyline into something, not only good, but original which is very difficult in the wrestling game.
Maffew: Miz versus Bryan and Ziggler working so well.
What was the biggest news in wrestling in 2016?
Marcus: The Cruiserweight Classic and the way WWE went about it. It was a radical departure from how WWE have traditionally done things in terms of signing talent and it also presented a different format allowing WWE to branch out in ways we’re going to see in 2017 with the UK tournament and a rumoured Women’s tournament. Exciting stuff.
Maffew: The Brand Split and it being successful for Smackdown.
Who was your wrestler of the year in 2016?
Marcus: AJ Styles. 2016 was AJ Styles first year in the WWE, think about that for a moment. In a company where debuts and maintaining momentum are notoriously difficult, Styles had an excellent debut in the Royal Rumble managing to look like a big deal, made his Wrestlemania debut against Chris Jericho, got the best out of two of the biggest stars in the company in Roman Reigns and John Cena including coming out on top against the latter which is a magic trick in itself and ended the year Champion of one half of WWE never once losing what made him special prior to coming to WWE. Not a bad Rookie year.
Maffew: Oh man, I get ONE? Kevin Owens.
If you could ask for one thing for Wrestling in 2017 what would it be?
Marcus: For WWE to remember how to pay off the big moments, something they used to be the masters they now can’t seem to remember how to do and it’s hurting things. Badly.
Maffew: Cesaro headlining. Or contracts to get set up in the UK.
What’s your big prediction for Wrestling in 2017?
Marcus: That new ways to access indie wrestling start to become a game changer. Floslam could be the factor that boosts certain independent promotions but more companies are getting savvy with streaming services and a couple could really start to make it work for them.
Maffew: The UK does even better than the US indies again.