By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote each of the 2017 awards categories. The following are the results of our poll for Best Mic Work along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
1. The Miz (47 percent)
2. Paul Heyman (13 percent)
3. Kevin Owens (10 percent)
4. Chris Jericho (7 percent)
5. Samoa Joe (5 percent)
Others (18 percent)
Jake Barnett’s Take This tends to be the Paul Heyman Award every year, but honestly, I felt a bit like Heyman phoned in quite a bit of 2017. It’s not that he isn’t fantastic, he just didn’t bring anything new to the table. Best Mic Work belongs to the Miz, who really showed some range and creativity throughout the year. His reality show segments mocking John Cena and Nikki Bella were early standouts, and his long Intercontinental Title run with the Miztourage lifted some mediocre episodes of Raw in the middle of the year.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: The readers got this one right by picking The Miz, who put together a highlight year in 2017. Miz was a shining light on Raw, especially considering Raw lacked the Universal Championship for most of the year. I would question their second choice of Paul Heyman, who had one original promo in 2017 and about 30 repeats.
Zack Zimmerman’s Thoughts: Zelina Vega runs away with this honor in my opinion. The impact that she had on Andrade “Cien” Almas’s career is pretty remarkable and she brings a lot to the table as a strong personality and memorable promo. Her act feels different and fresh which makes her a regular highlight on NXT. While Miz, Heyman, and Owens are very capable talents, they are largely unchanged from years past which puts them a tier below Vega as I see it this year.
John Moore’s Thoughts: I feel like Heyman always wins this award by default sometimes. Miz was good too, but his year was 2016 when Talking Smack was the new hotness. Speaking of new hotness, I’m going to go with the new hotness version of Paul Heyman, which is Zelina Vega. Trust me, I’m not a NXT shill. NXT was mediocre in 2016 and had a great resurgence in 2017. Vega’s promo style is very similar to that of Heyman and it goes to show how good she is when she can frame Andrade Almas in the same way that Heyman frames Brock Lesnar. Vega does have sex appeal, but unlike a lot of female “valets”, Vega puts heat on her client as well as the opponent. She also does the old school things very well like using foreign objects or beating up Almas’ male opponents. Her highlights include promo battles with Johnny Gargano and Drew McIntyre. I know this is not mic work, but add some points for throwing DIY t-shirts at Gargano.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: In a normal year, I wouldn’t even have to think about it, it would be Paul Heyman. But this year it’s felt to me that he’s been less inspired in the past and as a result, although the promos of have been good they have felt repetitive and a sense of saying the same thing but in a slightly different way. For my vote this year I’m going to go to development and Zelina Vega. I’m not saying Andrade Almas was struggling, but he was in no man’s land because of a lack of character. Vega has fleshed that missing aspect of Almas to the ultimate degree and we have seen the results.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: The Miz takes another category and rightfully so. Heyman still delivers excellent promos, but I think he suffers a bit from Lesnar’s match outcomes feeling so predictable these days. Owens is a gifted talker. It’s just a shame that we see so little of him at his best. Comedic heel Owens is very good, but the obsessed and sociopathic Owens persona is special. I look forward to seeing Zelena Vega shoot up this list in the future once her character gets more exposure. I’m surprised Chris Jericho didn’t finish higher based on his comedic work with Kevin Owens and especially for his work in Japan leading up to his Wrestle Kingdom 12 match with Kenny Omega.
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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...