Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2015 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Female Wrestler. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
(1) Sasha Banks (33 percent)
(2) Bayley (27 percent)
(3) Paige (10 percent)
(4) Nikki Bella (5 percent)
(5) AJ Lee (5 percent)
Others: 20 percent
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: I am thrilled that we were finally able to ditch the “Best Female Act” award in favor of the Best Female Wrestler. In fact, it was such a strong year for women’s wrestling that the top women earned spots in categories that are typically dominated by men. Let’s hope this is the new norm. Sasha is a deserving winner, and Bayley is the rightful runner up. They were both phenomenal is 2015. And while I could make a case for some of the TNA Knockouts and certainly for Natalya, I don’t have any major issues with the remainder of the readers’ top five given the exposure most fans have to the WWE and NXT products compared to other promotions. I will be disappointed if Asuka doesn’t finish higher next year.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: Bayley and Sasha Banks had two of my favorite matches this year together and a few others apart from each other. What they did in NXT was truly something special. They are tied in my own personal “Best Female Wrestler” category. I also feel Nikki Bella should be mentioned. While many wrote her off, she had a solid reign with the Diva’s Championship and had more entertaining matches than I expected her to. While she wasn’t the best, I would like to tip my cap to Nikki.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: Sasha Banks had a great first half of the year in NXT. She displayed a confidence and determination that make her character stand out among a lot of talented female wrestlers on the NXT roster. She also shined whenever she was given an opportunity to have a match of any significant length on the main roster, but unfortunately that was few and far in between. She was the best female wrestler of 2015, and I think the sky is limit for her now that WWE seems interested in focusing on her as a singles act in 2016.
Zack Zimmerman’s Thoughts: Sasha Banks. If this award were the Female MVP, it would go to Bayley. But when I look back on the year, as strong as Bayley was as a character and story, Sasha Banks delivered in the ring at a level that no other lady did. She raised the prestige of the NXT Women’s Championship with defenses against the other Four Horsewomen and tore the house down on a handful of occasions. Sasha is a star waiting to happen and the sooner the company makes the right moves with this young lady and puts her in position, the better.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: Simply put a choice between two ladies. Despite the fact that women’s wrestling across the board has never been so popular around the world, and there are so many women who deserve credit for their phenomenal work over the last 12 months, of course it can only come down to a straight choice between Bayley and Sasha Banks. Because I’m finding it difficult to split the two, I’m going to be harsh and say because Sasha was wasted for months after she was called up to the main roster, Bayley gets the nod simply because she has been given the opportunity to shine for the full twelve months of 2015 and taken that opportunity with both hands.
Darren Gutteridge’s Thoughts: Bayley. Who else? Bayley has either won or been in serious consideration for every year end award she’s been up for this year, and rightfully so – she’s been involved in as perfect a wrestling story as it is possible to tell, all while putting on fantastic matches. It’s hard to envision another NXT star, male or female, having a better year all round than Bayley’s 2015.
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...