By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote per day for each of the 2018 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. Becky Lynch (38 percent)
2. Paul Heyman (13 percent)
3. The Miz (12 percent)
4. Tommaso Ciampa (8 percent)
5. Daniel Bryan (5 percent)
Others (24 percent)
Anish V’s Thoughts: Looking at the list of nominees, I can’t help but think that 2018 wasn’t the best year in terms of wrestling promos. I can’t pick out too many standout performances or iconic lines from the year. That being said, the obvious and I think deserving pick is Becky Lynch. I can’t find much fault with her work over 2018 and of all people in wrestling, Lynch in my eyes made the best use of her mic time in 2018.
John Moore’s Thoughts: I was a bit conflicted on this one because there are a lot of talented talkers in pro wrestling. Becky was great, but I think she was more of the complete package. Anyway, after putting myself on the spot, I settled at Austin Aries being the best talker of 2018. Aries had to not only carry a company (Impact Wrestling) on his back with solid in-ring and mic work, but he had to be faced with a lot of damaged wrestlers when it comes to in-ring ability (Alberto El Patron, Moose, and Johnny Impact). If Konnan were going face-to-face with weaker talkers, he (deservingly so) chews them up for sucking so badly. Aries did a good job making his opponents look either credible or sympathetic. The Alberto feud involved Aries as a face and he managed to make backstage segments revolving around Alberto eating steak very entertaining. Aries did a great transformation against Pentagon Jr. (who’s not a weak talker). Aries then went on to rehabilitate really damaged babyfaces in Moose and Johnny [fill in the blank]. There you go, Aries gets my pick with honorable mentions going to Konnan and Eddie Kingston.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: As I look at this list, I realize 2018 was a strong year for promos. It’s hard not to give this award to Becky Lynch who, especially as she built her feud with Ronda Rousey going into Survivor Series, brought more attention to herself and women in WWE than ever. Becky lifted a full division with her work and is thriving. Honorable mentions go to Cody, who lit the world on fire promo-wise in early 2018, and Johnny Gargano who’s “I know who I am” promo in January gave me chills.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: My vote goes to Zack Gibson, who had a great run on the mic in NXT UK. His promo following his tournament win, which didn’t air on the live special but was available on YouTube, was great, and every time he’s been given the opportunity to speak you listen. He managed to turn his own people in Liverpool against him without breaking from his solid character of being a Liverpool champion. That is true talent.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: Do not believe the WWE narrative that Lynch finally found herself in 2018. She has been one of the best talkers in the company for years. Her pure babyface promos were as good as anyone’s in the company. Perhaps the problem is that her boss thinks that good people are suckers? Lynch shined as a talker before “The Man” persona and while I can’t say she raised her game to a new level because she was already top notch, the company finally got behind her and gave her the platform to shine. Paul Heyman is a gifted talker, but it was a down year for Brock Lesnar and thus Heyman didn’t have enough to sink his teeth into. The Miz was fun and his tame push at the end of the year didn’t help him with the voters. Likewise, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn closing the year on the injured list also worked against them. Honorable mention goes to both Bully Ray and Sami Callihan. Both men delivered strong mic work each and every time they were given mic time.
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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...