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 Mic Work. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
(1) Paul Heyman (37 percent)
(2) Seth Rollins (14 percent)
(3) New Day (10 percent)
(4) Bray Wyatt (10 percent)
(5) EC3 (5 percent)
Others: 24 percent
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: We ditched the “biggest news story” category in favor of best mic work. It felt odd to give an award to a story while ignoring the best talkers. One of my favorite talkers was a victim of my own incompetence when it came to putting together the list of nominees. Rockstar Spud was a top three talker who helped make some otherwise forgettable editions of Impact completely worthwhile throughout his feud with EC3. Spud has proven that he can talk with the best of them both as a heel and as a babyface. I agree with readers that Bray Wyatt is a good talker. Just imagine if WWE actually gave him more to talk about along with some meaningful wins. Of course, there’s no doubt that Heyman is the best talker in the industry and is arguably the best talker in the history of the business. It’s amazing to think back to the then very valid concern regarding Seth Rollins turning heel was his mic work. There were rocky moments when he started in that role, but he found his voice and turned the weakest part of his game into a major strength. New Day is the reason that the name of this award isn’t simply best talker. We needed to keep it open for the overall act because they were so good at, well, whatever the hell it is they do. Okay, I get it most of the time, but even when I still found it entertaining way more often than not.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: Paul Heyman’s “The re-match too big for WrestleMania” promos about Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam stand out to me as works of art above almost anything else we saw in wrestling in 2015. He elevated his game with those speeches and left me awe-struck. I also have to give some credit to Dario Cueto, not just for murdering folks, but for helping to pioneer a new style of promo in the wrestling world. If we were naming a company for best backstage segments, Lucha Underground would win. Heyman’s work was above anything else though.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: This is essentially the Paul Heyman Award, since no one has surpassed him on the microphone from last year, but I think the biggest standout on the microphone for me in 2015 was the unexpected rise of the New Day. They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is fine, but they emerged this year with more humor and presence about them than any breakout WWE act in recent memory.
John Moore’s Thoughts: Due to Paul Heyman’s great work at the beginning of the year and how a lot of other wrestlers wren’t really given a chance to shine on the mic due to not being spotlighted, Paul Heyman probably gets this accolade by default. With classics like his 11th Commandment or “Glory Glory Brock Lesnar”, Heyman continued to show us where the money is. If people like Kevin Owens, Rockstar Spud, James Storm, or Dean Ambrose were given more of a spotlight to speak their heart out, they might be in the convo, but they weren’t given the ball to run with yet. By the way, due to his great improvement, Seth Rollins is runner up for this award.
Darren Gutteridge’s Thoughts: Kevin Owens. It’s hard to recall in recent memory a natural heel talker on Kevin Owens’ level. The man exudes confidence and cowardice in equal measure, adjusting the balance to whatever suits the situation best. Owens is the bully the Be A Star campaign highlights brought to life, and everyone hates a bully. But unlike 2D bullies of yesteryear, Owens is smarter than you, and can cut you down to size at light speed. It’s little wonder he is exceeding all the negative forecasts for his WWE run. He simply can’t be denied with these mic skills.