By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote per day for each of the 2020 awards categories. The following are the results of our poll for Best Female Pro Wrestler along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
1. Io Shirai (23 percent)
2. Bayley (15 percent)
3. Sasha Banks (10 percent)
4. Asuka (11 percent)
5. Thunder Rosa (5 percent)
Others (28 percent)
Nick Perkins’ Thoughts: 2020 was a tough year for women’s wrestling. Pandemic aside, neither WWE nor AEW have done a whole lot with their women’s divisions this year. There have been a few decent stories, and a handful of great matches, but when Becky Lynch began “expecting,” (as I Love Lucy used to reference Lucy’s pregnancy), it seemed like she took all of the previous years’ momentum with her. That being said, Hikaru Shida has had a very strong year and she’s been AEW Women’s Champion since May of 2020. She has wrestled some tremendous matches and, if my calculations are correct, she’s one of, if not the longest reigning champion in wrestling at the moment. Hopefully AEW gives us some actually compelling women’s stories, because Shida has already proven she’s got the wrestling chops.
Anish V’s Thoughts: We’ll get to Bayley in the MVP category, but I want to give some credit to Io Shirai, who was the best female wrestler. I just can’t think of a bad or even sub great match that she had this year. She has quietly had match of the year candidates against Charlotte, Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, and others, and has really been propping up the NXT Women’s division.
Colin McGuire’s Thoughts:I know I wrote an entire piece celebrating Bayley and the work she put in throughout the year as a multiple champion. But there was another multiple champion that I think had a better year in the ring, and that’s Asuka. Not only did she hold the Raw Women’s Title and was one half of the tag-team champions at one time, but she also won the women’s Money In The Bank match, and she consistently had the best in-ring work of any woman on the roster. She works stiff, believable, and interesting. Plus, bonus points for her reaction to Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: There’s one every year. I do my best to come up with a list of the most worthy candidates, but one wrestler always slips through the cracks. This year, it was Hikaru Shida, who deserved to be listed on our list of candidates. And while I don’t think it would have changed the outcome since she received only one write-in vote (and Nick’s vote), I still apologize for not including her on the list of candidates. As far as the winner goes, you can’t go wrong with Io Shirai. But this was a great year for women’s wrestling overall. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Asuka were given a ton of television time during the pandemic and they all rose to the occasion. Honorable mention to Deonna Purrazzo, who finished just a single vote shy of cracking the reader top five. And a personal honorable mention to Dakota Kai, who established herself as one of the most consistent in-ring performers in NXT.
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