I know we are a little bit beyond the halfway point, but because I didn't do it earlier and because there is nothing super important going on this week, I thought it would be a good time to hand out my mid-year awards for 2013.
One quick note: I haven't seen or am I aware of every single wrestler, promotion, match or storyline that has taken place in 2013. These awards are open to just about anything, but it would be impossible to declare that I have seen or heard of everything int he wrestling universe, so I'm only going to evaluate what I have seen in 2013.
Wrestler of the Year: Kazuchika Okada
New Japan has had an incredible 2013 so far, and you don't have to look past IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to see why. Between him and Hiroshi Tanahashi, NJPW has done a tremendous job in presenting the best possible matches in the biggest of spotlights. The 26 year old Okada has worked a beautiful feud with the veteran Tanahashi, and has guaranteed New Japan a main event player for decades to come.
Best Babyface: Daniel Bryan
Although his actions would suit him as more of a tweener in 2013, no man has achieved a greater success with the fans then Daniel Bryan. It is funny to think of a man that was originally dubbed to be too generic and boring to be a WWE star is now arguably the most charismatic man inside a wrestling ring. I don't think any performer has a greater percentage of the fans pulling for him then Daniel Bryan.
Best Heel: Steve Corino
It hasn't been a particularly strong year for heels. Most of top heels talent either turned babyface during the year ( CM Punk, Kevin Steen) didn't make a ton of appearances (Brock Lesnar) or have suffered from poor booking (Bully Ray). I decided to go with the flammable Corino, whose constant boasting and hypocrisy have made him one of the most deplorable characters in wrestling. He also helped reinvigorate the career of a previously-washed-up Matt Hardy.
Honorable Mention: Brock Lesnar, Bully Ray, Matt Hardy, Mark Henry
Best Technical Wrestler: Hiroshi Tanahashi
This was tough for me to choose because on a purely talent based level, I think a guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are a bit better then Tanahashi. However, Tanahashi works for a company that lets him use 100% of his ability, and it shows in the amount of stellar matches he has put on so far in 2013. He is really the closest thing we have to Shawn Michaels in his ability to put on the best matches in the biggest of moments.
Honorable Mention: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Austin Aries, Robert Roode, Prince Devitt, Davey Richards
Best Brawler: Roderick Strong
The way of the brawler has gone by the wayside in favor of more technically sound and high-flying maneuvers. However, a few talented men still hold down the fort, led by Roderick Strong. Strong works a style solely unique to him, and although he has been hampered by some questionable booking in 2013, he has still gone out and had some incredibly hard-hitting matches.
Honorable Mention: Sami Callihan, Bully Ray, Kevin Steen, Eddie Edwards, Minoru Suzuki, Karl Anderson
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