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 Female Wrestler along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
1. Becky Lynch (28 percent)
2. Shayna Baszler (20 percent)
3. Tessa Blanchard (15 percent)
4. Rhea Ripley (10 percent)
5. Io Shirai (9 percent)
Others (23 percent)
John Moore’s Thoughts: I was very tempted to put Shayna Baszler or Tessa Blanchard on here, but you know what, Taya Valkyrie gets my pick. Taya has had a strong year as Impact Knockouts champ, to the point where Impact is currently talking about how she’s made history as their longest reigning “overall” champion of all time, surpassing Bobby Roode’s world championship run. Taya is someone I’ve always been high on since her days in AAA and I was a huge proponent of both Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling signing her. She hasn’t disappointed. As a babyface in 2018, she struggled, but once the turned heel she really carried the Impact Knockouts division after Tessa Blanchard left it to wrestle solely against men. Taya can be bratty at time, but also wrestle very brutally. I’m also glad she hasn’t had to resort to some of the brutal stuff she was doing in her AAA matches back in 2015. Taya get’s my vote for female wrestler of the year. Dark horse mention to Hana Kimura though. I’ve been a huge fan of the Terrace House series on Netflix and all of a sudden this Joshi shows up. Who would have thought that Terrace House got me to start paying attention to Stardom again? Hana’s character arc and transformation have been a fun journey to watch. Check out Hana’s work in Women of Honor and then look at her today and you’ll see a fun transformation.
Nick Perkins’ Thoughts:Could it be anybody other than Becky? The answer is no, it could not. Becky Lynch became, arguably, the breakout star of 2019, thanks to a misplaced punch to the face. The best wrestling characters are the ones who come about organically. From Steve Austin to Daniel Bryan, to Kofi Kingston, fans get behind a wrestler easier, and faster, when they feel like it’s their idea. That’s exactly what happened with Becky Lynch and, thus far, WWE hasn’t screwed it up. They’ve come close, with an ill-begotten on-screen pairing of Lynch and her off-screen fiancé, but they were quick to ease back on that idea once they sensed fan discontent. Through it all, though, Becky Lynch has proven herself consistently on the microphone and in the ring. She’s the cool wrestler that fans are eager to get behind and she continues to prove that WWE is, in fact, not a man’s world – it’s The Man’s world.
Anish V’s Thoughts: Becky Lynch. This is probably the most clear cut category out there. From the Royal Rumble to WrestleMania, Lynch carried the women’s championship storyline and everything from Becky Two Belts to her current feud with Asuka. She might just be the most consistent wrestler, man or woman.
Jeff Lutz’s Thoughts: The Kabuki Warriors became my favorite tag team because of Asuka’s unique charisma. Her confidence in her character, whether she’s playing a heel or babyface, is impossible not to admire, and her facial expressions are among the best in the business.
Powell’s Thoughts: The top five voting mirrors my own top five. Lynch headlined WrestleMania along with Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair, and was clearly the brightest shining female star. Shayna Baszler did amazing work as the heel bully champion of NXT. Tessa Blanchard had top notch women’s matches for a good portion of the year and then had some standout matches with Sami Callihan later in the year. Rhea Ripley’s rise late in the year was a treat to watch. I love the way she reinvented herself after playing the bombshell role early on, including during her first appearance in the Mae Young Classic. Io Shirai is so damn good and a more high profile role could shoot her up the voting in 2020. Honorable mention to Taya Valkyrie. She may not have had the most memorable matches, but she excelled as a character and as the heel champion of the Knockouts Division.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...