By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote per day for each of the 2019 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. Chris Jericho (24 percent)
2. MJF (15 percent)
3. Paul Heyman (11 percent)
4. Cody (9 percent)
5. Becky Lynch (8 percent)
Others (33 percent)
Jeff Lutz’s Thoughts: Chris Jericho should win this award until he retires, and maybe even afterward if he stays involved in the business. Without the constraints of WWE’s scripted promos, Jericho has found a new gear on the microphone in AEW. The highlight was his work introducing the members of his faction, The Inner Circle.
John Moore’s Thoughts: I have to go with Bray Wyatt and his Firefly Funhouse. Bray Wyatt was gone off the face of this earth after his tag team partnership with Matt Hardy ended and it almost seemed like WWE ran his “supernatural” gimmick into the ground (he wasn’t even a wizard or anything to begin with, WWE just didn’t understand how to book a cult leader). Bray shows up as a Mr. Rogers tribute and takes the world by storm because of how intricate his promos were. My favorite parts of his promos are his usage of nihilism, philosophy, and attention to detail. Nihilism and philosophy will always catch my attention because they are awesome modes of rhetoric. While not executed well in the ring, The Fiend is an amazing insight into Dissociative Identity Disorder and of a person harnessing that condition to his advantage. Overall, Bray Wyatt get’s my promo pick.
Anish V’s Thoughts: While this may be an under the radar pick, I have to give Adam Cole credit because every time he’s cut a promo on NXT TV, I’ve paid attention. He’s helped by the fact that he and the Undisputed Era have had a very clear goal in terms of collecting all the gold, but I’ve found Cole’s promo work opposite Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Finn Balor, and others all funny, entertaining and to the point, all mic work that has made the UE even more entertaining.
Nick Perkins’ Thoughts: Chis Jericho has got to be near the top of the list of professional wrestling’s all-time greats, both in terms of in-ring work and the magic he is able to create with a microphone. Whether he is tearing down opponents, building up colleagues, or celebrating with “a little bit of the bubbly,” any time Jericho is able to talk, he becomes the best part of any show he’s on. The fact that he can make fans laugh out loud in one moment, and curse his name the next is a gift that very few in the history of wrestling have been able to possess. A microphone may be a pipe bomb in the hands of CM Punk, but when Jericho holds it, it’s a magic wand that can transform even the most mundane material into something special.
Powell’s Thoughts: It was a tremendous year for Chris Jericho and a big part of his success occurred with a live mic in his hand. We see a lot of sad attempts at comedy in pro wrestling, but Jericho is one of the few who consistently makes me out loud. More importantly, Jericho has the ability to stop on a dime and move from comedy to money making heel mode whenever the situation calls for it. Cody was basically 1A to Jericho’s top spot. Cody brings genuine emotion to his matches and that starts with his excellent mic work. Paul Heyman has spent years talking about Brock Lesnar and whomever Lesnar is feuding with. While there are times when he understandably seems repetitive, I still find myself hanging on his every word, and there’s nobody I’d rather hear deliver a go-home promo for a major match. Sami Callihan deserved better than tying Samoa Joe for sixth place in the fan voting and I have no doubt he would have finished higher if more people were watching Impact. Callihan was terrific in each feud, but he delivered his best work as the heel foil for Tessa Blanchard. MJF is a riot and a truly gifted talker. He deserves a place in the top five and was really good in both AEW and MLW. I am surprised that Bray Wyatt didn’t crack the top five. He’s always been a gifted talker, but his work as the demented children’s show host has been innovative and so well done. Nick Aldis has been great as the NWA Champion and is the perfect fit as the lead heel on the throwback NWA Powerrr set. Honorable mention to Shane Taylor, who was the one person who actually benefitted from Ring of Honor’s awkward television format change by making the most of his extra mic time. I want to see Jon Moxley on this list in 2020. He has the skills and now he has the freedom, but he just didn’t get enough reps on the mic during AEW’s first few months of Dynamite.