Views From The Turnbuckle: 2013 Mid-Year Awards
Best High-Flyer: Kota Ibushi
If the brawler is dieing then the high-flyer is thriving. The independents are filled with top-ranked talent, as well as Japan. Even WWE is starting to take notice as they have signed PAC and El Generico, arguably the most premier talent in high-flying, to contracts. Ibushi is a veteran in an a division filled with young athletes, but nobody puts on as many high-quality matches as Ibushi. His repertoire is unmatched and his ability to space out his moves for the right times in his match set him apart from other "spot monkeys."
Match of the Year: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Invasion Attack
There could have been a five star match that took place in front of 15 people and a goat in the Ukraine, but from what I saw this year, Tanahashi vs Okada for Tanahashi's IWGP WHC from April's Invasion Attack was the best. Great storytelling, great psychology and great use of finishing manuevers made the match special, as Okada beat the veteran Tanahashi with his devastating lariat dubbed "The Rainmaker" to regain the IWGP WHC.
Event of the Year: NJPW Invasion Attack
A lot of strong contenders, but from top to bottom, Invasion Attack was the best. In addition to the tremendous Okada/Tanahashi bout, Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA vs Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi, Shinsuke Nakamura vs Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Masato Tanaka and Yujiro Takahashi vs Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma were all great contests. There really was not a bad match on the card, and I see it very unlikely that another event will top this one between now and the end of the year.
Honorable Mention: NJPW Dominion, WWE Elimination Chamber, PWG All-Star Weekend 9
Tag Team of the Year: The Young Bucks
After being denied from major promotions, the Bucks have continued to apply their craft on the independents. The Bucks are extremely athletic, and are very good heels, playing the pompous pretty boy card to perfection. They have consistently supplied great matches in Evolve, DG USA, CHIKARA, PWG and many other promotions. They slightly edge out the Shield it the closest contested award so far.
Honorable Mention: reDragon, The Shield, Time Splitters, Bad Influence, The Briscoes
Female Wrestler of the Year: AJ Lee
Normally a WWE Diva is passed over for this award in favor of a women who actually laces them up and wrestles for a living. However, AJ is much more then the typical diva, as she controls storylines and has had probably the most significant womens feud in the last few years with Kaitlyn. She is pretty solid in the ring and can hold her own against anyone. She also might be the most marketable American female wrestler in history.
Honorable Mention: Gail Kim, Cheerleader Melissa, MsChif
Best Finishing Move: Ricochet's Double Rotation Moonsault
It is hard for someone to have a move that is uniquely their own, because if a move is good, people will use it in their own repertoire. However, Ricochet's Double Moonsault is completely his own, as only a handful of talent have the athletic ability to even attempt the move, never mind hit it consistently. If you haven't seen it, look it up on youtube, as it is the most jaw-dropping move in wrestling today.
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