Dot Net Awards: 2012 Best Match
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2012 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Match. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the past winners in our Awards section.
(1) Triple H vs. Undertaker (WrestleMania 29): 45 percent
(2) C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (Over The Limit): 17 percent
(3) The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Ryback (TLC): 11 percent
(4) John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules): 8 percent
(5) The Rock vs. John Cena (WrestleMania 29): 5 percent
Others: 14 percent
Will Pruett's Thoughts: I'm very excited for this category to be a part of Dot Net's year end award voting this year. TNA had a great match with Kazarian and Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle at Slammiversary. WWE had a few amazing matches, including the End of an Era match at WrestleMania (and my reverence for Undertaker's Streak is well documented), Lesnar vs. Cena, and Bryan vs. Punk at Over the Limit. What this choice came down to, for me, was selecting the match from 2012 I consider to be essential. What match, if limited to one, would I want on my shelf for years to come? Vince McMahon vs. C.M. Punk from the October 8, 2012 episode of Raw is the essential match of 2012 for me. Nothing produced the emotion and excitement this match did. McMahon and Punk put in an amazing effort. This match told a story unparalleled in 2012.
Ryan Kester's Thoughts: Wow, this one was nearly impossible for me to pick. If we’re looking at a purely technical perspective, CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit would be my choice. It was a rare sight in wrestling these days to have such a well-planned and brilliant showcase of wrestling talent. However, my pick goes to Undertaker vs. Triple H in the End of an Era match. The storytelling and the emotion involved in that match was beyond impressive, and it told a story better than any other match in 2012.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: This one was extremely difficult to choose, but because I’m such a huge fan of the style of this particular match, I’m going with CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit for my match of the year. It was extremely tough to pick this one over Triple H and Undertaker at WrestleMania with all the emotion involved in that spectacle, but Punk and Bryan delivered such a technically brilliant and action filled half hour that I couldn’t pick against them. This is a technical masterpiece that you could sit down and enjoy, even if you were completely unaware of the context of WWE story telling. If you somehow missed it, this one is definitely worth a purchase.
Chris Shore's Thoughts: Let the hate begin. Making this an award is always dangerous business because while everything is subjective on some level, Best Match is certainly the most subjective, and the one people can get most passionate about. For me, nothing beat the Triple H vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell match. Storytelling in the ring seems to becoming a lost art in WWE, and Hunter and Taker, along with Shawn Michaels, showed what is often missing from today's matches. That said, they weren't alone in that. Davey Richards and Michael Elgin had a great match just the day before Mania that told a story (with a lousy ending) and The Shield TLC match with Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Ryback also had a distinct narrative. But nothing quite captured the imagination like Hell in a Cell did.
Jason Powell's Thoughts: Wow, what a year for great matches from WWE. The emergence of Punk as the champion and Bryan as a player for a portion of the year was a big help. Of course, the big stage matches of Taker vs. Hunter and Rock vs. Cena were awesome. It's hard for any independent match to compete with that atmosphere. I gave serious consideration to voting for Cena vs. Lesnar. The stiff brawl was an unexpected gem and played to Lesnar's strengths coming off his long gap between pro wrestling matches, while Cena deserves a ton of credit for being willing to work that style with the former UFC Champion. The Shield vs. Ryback, Kane, and Daniel Bryan was as hot of a first match as I can remember any incoming wrestlers have in WWE. Ultimately, though, I can't get past the big stage atmosphere of WrestleMania, so Taker vs. Hunter gets my first vote, Cena vs. Lesnar gets my second place vote, and Rock vs. Cena gets my third place vote. A strong honorable mention goes to Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle, as well as Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray.
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