So many posts. I was looking and saw that 2012 had like 122 posts total, and the last three years will have exactly 122 (when this is posted). Is it us or is it wrestling? Probably a little of both. Well, The Marshalls list is pretty dang good, but I just wanted to throw out a few other nods so we maybe get a bigger picture.
Best Commentary: Not that I'm disagreeing with Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino, but a few shout outs to the competition.
1. Mauro Ranallo (our soon to be future Smackdown commentator) and Josh Barnett on NJPW are quite good, but for some reason they don't seem to have urgency about things. Maybe it's the fact the matches are old, and maybe it's my fault for knowing who's going to win.
2. Matt Striker and Vampiro. I have no clue if they'll be back this year, but I've always enjoyed Striker's overly-pedantic way of talking about wrestling. We'll come back to Lucha Underground soon.
3. Leonard F. Chikarason and Mike Quackenbush/Leonard F. Chikarason and Bryce Remsburg. These two are great for completely different reasons. Bryce and Leonard are hilarious with Bryce making tons of weird references and Chikarason trying to keep up just makes you laugh. Quackenbush and Chikarason are completely different, they're the closest you'll get to Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon in these days. Quackenbush just knows the stories and what you're supposed to get out of them more than anybody else. The nice thing about having the booker on commentary.
Happenstance Of The Year That Probably Led To Another Amazing Feud: I'm going a little esoteric here. Sami Zayn's shoulder injury is what I think directly led to John Cena vs. Kevin Owens. It would have been really weird that Zayn would have this amazing match with Cena on RAW and then just went back to NXT full time. I think he was supposed to be coming up, and then Owens basically got his spot. This is all conjecture, but I've thought about it a lot.
Moment Of The Year: Archibald Peck's Shocking Return at Top Banana.
The Miz Award (Best Guy Pretending To Be A Wrestler): Matt Riddle in Evolve. Supposedly this guy might be starting at the Performance Center soon, but he's just awful. He's a former UFC guy that you can tell was just a star on the Ultimate Fighter without even watching the show ever. He just says bro a lot, looks awful, and quickly wins with arm bars. He's now in a stable with Drew Gulak and Hot Sauce Tracy Williams.
Promotion Of The Year: This will be contested but I'm giving it to Lucha Underground. I like storytelling. Lucha Underground really felt like a comic book miniseries set in the world of pro wrestling. It was new, exciting, and looked really good. Familiar characters, and brand new characters. I can't wait for the next miniseries.
Random Podcast Rant: I've had at least 2 people lately (and a few before) bring up the Radiolab about The Montreal Screwjob. When explaining my love of independent wrestling I love to bring up that it's all connected. Everyone has wrestled somebody else from every promotion in the world. It's all a big picture with a huge complicated continuity based on fiction AND reality.
Best Non-Wrestling Wrestling Thing: Max Landis' Wrestling Isn't Wrestling....available on YouTube
Total Non Sequitur: Nothing to do with 2015, but I'm now on to 1994 WCW. When I'm doing things like typing long winded wrestling reviews I just have the network on playing Clash's and PPVS and mostly just listening and glancing up if something cool is happening. Things I appreciate now that I probably hated when I was little....Mr. #1derful Paul Orndorff and his skinny arm. Dude was past his prime, and just a perfect heel. Even being saddled with Paul Roma didn't hurt him. I also enjoy how The Nasty Boys seem to have the same match constantly, but it was really good. I never liked Missy Hyatt as a kid, but when she turned "Nasty" and got even sluttier....WOAH. Steve Corino was right.
Other Matches Of The Year: (not in particular order...just numbered for the hell of it.)
1. Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins from Royal Rumble
I'll never forget watching this in the bar in San Fran while on tour. It was an incredibly good match that everyone just forgot about because the Rumble itself was the worst thing ever. This was the beginning of Cena's highlight year of Amazing Wrestling. (I really hate saying that).
2. Kevin Owens vs John Cena from Elimination Chamber
The moonsault! The package piledriver tease! THE WIN! Pure emotion built on that continuity from the indies I was just talking about.
3. Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns from Fastlane
Another match we forget about because the outcome was terrible. It was honestly the only really good moment Bryan had this year, and he took a lower level talent to the mountain top, and had a lot of little marks like us hoping and praying.
4. Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma from NJPW The New Beginning In Sendai
This was my second favorite NJPW match of the year under the Marshall's #1. It was another moment of hoping and praying, just with a lot more brutality than the last match. AND we got to see the pay off we wanted a few months later.
5. Drew Galloway vs Roderick Strong from Evolve 36
So this "match" is only like 8 minutes long. It is also a "no contest." It's just two guys beating the holy hell out of each other, spitting booze in faces, kicking announcers, going crazy. This was the moment that I fell in love with Roderick Strong and the moment I knew WWE had dropped the ball with Galloway.
Event Of The Year: I think it's a tie between Lucha Underground's Ultima Lucha and Chikara's Top Banana. Both shows had more "FINALLY!!!" moments than any other promotion this year.
Overall Feeling About Wrestling This Year: It's been a rough year. This is where having "my guys" has been hard. I still have this really really big beard. Just last week Reigns was hot shot to the top. I have a feeling that probably gets WWE's "long term storytelling" back on track. I just have no idea where there going, and why I care.
Nakamura's elbow was a real bummer for me this summer. G1 was still good, but his matches weren't grade A Nakamura (barring the Final...which still coulda been better...or I'm just pissed about the outcome...can't tell). I really was hoping for just this incredible run of 5 star matches and lots of giggling and glee coming from my mouth.
Seems like RD Evans is retired. I haven't decided if Dalton Castle is really one of "my guys" or just somebody I like a lot. (I think The Boys might be "my guys")
And finally....Roddy Piper and The Dream died.
This year was kind of a bummer. Or maybe my personal life was a bummer and I got too involved in wrestling and took it personally. That's more likely. Wrestling is never really a bummer. Sometimes I watch TNA and it's still way better than stuff that totally sucks. Like The Eagles.