Dot Net Awards: 2014 Best Female Act
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2014 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Female Act. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the past winners in our Awards section.
(1) Paige: 26 percent
(2) AJ Lee: 20 percent
(3) Stephanie McMahon 15 percent
(4) Charlotte: 10 percent
(5) Renee Young: 5 percent
Others: 24 percent
Jason Powell's Thoughts: Stephanie McMahon got more camera time than she or anyone else needed as part of The Authority, but she did a hell of a job. She's as despicable and unlikable as Seth Rollins. So while she suffers from overexposure, she gets my vote as the top female act. When you add wrestling to the mix, it's tough because the Paige vs. A.J. Lee program was a letdown of a program. I give the edge to Paige due in part to the fact that I'd felt like I'd seen everything Lee did before. I want her character to evolve, but she's still the same character even as a babyface. Charlotte may win this award for years to come, and Young is truly awesome at what she does, particularly in the backstage interview department.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: There are so many challenges with this category. The most prominent women in wrestling are in WWE. WWE does not present their women as actual human beings on television. TNA decided to have a woman abused by their top babyface in one of the most disgusting moments of the year. For all of these reasons, the best female act comes from NXT. Sasha Banks grew into her own in a major way in 2014 and was a part of some amazing matches. She and Charlotte had a very good feud. Sasha was a fantastic and dynamic heel act. She deserves to be called the best.
Jake Barnett's Thoughts: This award belongs to Sexy Star of AAA and Lucha Underground fame. This may seem a little bizarre, but I give her the award for being one of the most interesting and progressive characters in pro wrestling right now. Her character in Lucha Underground is particularly fascinating, as she is portraying a character who has overcome years of abuse, and has taken to Lucha Libre in order to show that women are all beautiful and have inner strength. Contrast that to WWE's Madonna-whore booking complex, and Sexy Star may be one of the few positive female role models on wrestling television.
Zack Zimmerman's Thoughts: Sasha Banks - Shame on WWE for their (mis)use of women. The only strong and competent female character who exists in their universe is Stephanie McMahon, but even she falls into one of the two exclusive WWE-defined roles for women: crazy and/or bitch. NXT has done a nice job with their ladies' division. They tell consistent stories and consistently deliver in the ring. While Charlotte and Bayley have both had strong years, I feel like the improvements and developments shown by Sasha Banks earn her this award. Bayley is on the verge of a big character shift and Charlotte has yet to truly define her character beyond Ric Flair's daughter, but Sasha has shown nothing but a steady rise in character and in-ring quality. NXT keeps hope alive for successful women's wrestling on the bigger stage, and I'm looking forward to that continuing in 2015. Honorable mention to Kimber Lee in Beyond Wrestling, Candice LeRae in PWG, Mio Shirai in Japan, and Kana in Japan.
Darren Gutteridge's Thoughts: By default, it's Charlotte. Last year, Paige was a fully justifiable winner, but her main roster push has been a disaster. AJ has been in and out, and I can't vote for either Bella twin after their mess of a storyline. So, just for showing remarkable progress in the ring (her promo and character work are still pretty bad), and putting on three excellent matches, Baby Flair gets my vote.
Haydn Gleed's Thoughts: When considering my pick for this award, the obvious candidates came to mind, AJ Lee, Paige etc. However, you need to ask yourselves whether AJ Lee vs. Paige lived up to anywhere near the standard that it should have? No it did not, and they have both been in other disappointing feuds towards the tail end of 2014, so I cannot consider them for the award. Natalya for me has been a real surprise but that's only because I've been watching Total Divas, and she has been able to show some personality on that. She has also had some amazing Divas/Women's matches during 2014, most notably against Charlotte. Speaking of Charlotte, she is my pick for best female act of 2014. At the start of 2014, people were saying that this lady couldn't wrestle despite her great athletic ability, that she was only there because of her family etc but in the second half of the year something clicked, and she has ranged from very good to incredible within the ring. From a pure progress perspective, there hasn't been a better Female act in wrestling.
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