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 Pro Wrestling MVP along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
1. Becky Lynch (32 percent)
2. Kenny Omega (13 percent)
3. AJ Styles (11 percent)
4. Cody (10 percent)
5. Tie – Chris Jericho, Ronda Rousey, Daniel Bryan (5 percent each)
Others (19 percent)
Anish V’s Thoughts: Becky Lynch rose to incredible heights, Seth Rollins carried Raw on his back for a year, and The Elite had a banner year in pro wrestling that revolutionized the industry. But the absolute MVP of 2018 was Chris Jericho. From a five-star match at Wrestle Kingdom, to his final few appearances in WWE, to winning the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, to his appearance at All In, and above all else, running a freaking wrestling cruise, Jericho did it all in 2018. Of all people in the industry, Jericho was talked about more in the most different facets. When Jericho’s legacy is looked back upon, 2018 will be seen as his ascension to the conversation of Greatest Of All Time in all of pro wrestling and not just WWE.
John Moore’s Thoughts: A strong case can be written towards Ronda Rousey from a business standpoint given how she is a huge mainstream draw in addition to Ronda adapting to pro wrestling at an extremely fast rate. I’ll still hand this over to Becky Lynch in the end because of how she has kept WWE worth watching even in tough creative times. She’s solid on the mic and in the ring, and “The Man” persona is the most badass creation of WWE (mostly being the creation of Becky) in a long time. Becky’s social media and PR interaction while being in-character gives her some bonus points in this.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: Becky Lynch emerged as the MVP of 2018 pretty late in the game. It wasn’t until the build for SummerSlam that she was ignited, and then a rather unpredictable sequence of events unfolded that led Becky towards becoming the most organically over character in the company, and perhaps the wrestling industry by definition, in a very short period of time. You can’t script moments like that Survivor Series appearance on Raw, and those types of performances are how mythologies are created around a character. Becky Lynch’s rocket was launched in 2019, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down yet.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: If you’ve followed my blurbs throughout all of these awards, this won’t shock you. Becky Lynch is the MVP of pro wrestling in 2018. She has delivered great matches, standout promos, and actually increased my own emotional involvement in wrestling. On the WWE roster where most wrestlers just inhabit their spots and keep their heads down, Becky broke out. She is the brightest star in wrestling right now.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: This is going to be a choice from left field but to me the most valuable person in the whole of wrestling is Ronda Rousey. Please don’t confuse me saying she’s the MVP with saying the best wrestler because I’m not, but one could argue that without someone of Ronda’s high profile being involved with WWE during the Fox negotiations then WWE would not have got the sweet deal that they got. So from a pure monetary perspective, she’s an MVP. Furthermore, the star power she brings as someone who made it big outside of WWE has presumably brought in some viewers who would not have check outed professional wrestling otherwise.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: The MVP category isn’t about who is the best technical wrestler, it’s simply who is the most valuable performer in pro wrestling. Ultimately, I can’t agree with the voters who went with Lynch. She should have been the MVP, but WWE was late to the party and I feel she is benefitting from a strong surge at the end of the year once they finally got behind her act. She may be the MVP at this moment, but her rough first part of the year works against her when looking at the overall year. A case can be made for AJ Styles carrying the Smackdown brand, and you can’t go wrong in picking Ronda Rousey for being a crossover star who likely paid off big for WWE in their television negotiations. Ultimately, I settled in on Kenny Omega, who was a huge part of the NJPW expansion into the United States and surely his value will reflected in whatever bidding war is taking place for his services as he approaches free agency at the end of the month. Honorable mention to Chris Jericho, who had such a cool year by working in a variety of places and making big paydays that his services are worthy of.
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