Dot Net Awards: 2009 Best Pro Wrestler
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2009 awards throughout January and February. We revealed the rest of the winners over the weekend and this is the final award. The following are the poll results of the Best Pro Wrestler category.
Chris Jericho: 21 percent
C.M. Punk: 13 percent
AJ Styles: 9 percent
Kurt Angle: 8 percent
Randy Orton: 8 percent
Others: 41 percent
Rich Twilling's thoughts: Jericho and Punk were number one and number two in this category amongst the Dot Net voters, but I am going to vote for it in terms of in ring wrestling only. The MVP, Best Babyface, and Best Heel categories, in my opinion, covered everything that encompasses a character. So, I have A.J. Styles winning this award based on the sheer volume of great matches he turned out, Kurt Angle as a close second, and Chris Jericho third. Shawn Michaels would normally be somewhere in there, but he wasn't active enough in 2009.
Jason Powell's thoughts: 2009 was the year of Jericho. I'd be surprised if anyone captures as many awards as he did anytime soon. After all, he won best wrestler, MVP, best heel, and best tag team. Among the only ways he could have won more awards would be if he had a sex change or had spent time in the broadcast booth. As good as he might be on commentary, here's hoping neither of those things happen in 2010.
I'm surprised Shawn Michaels didn't receive more love from the readers. He had the match of the year again (no need to vote on the obvious that Taker vs. HBK crushed this year), but a long hiatus combined with months of clowning around as part of DX didn't do him any favors. It will be interesting to see whether Daniel Bryan earns a spot in the top five next year now that he's being showcased on the WWE NXT show. ROH fans dubbed him "best in the world," and the additional exposure he's receiving in WWE can only help his cause.
Styles and Angle are hurt by not working on the big stage of WWE. They had great matches with each other and against other opponents, and perhaps the voting would have been different if their better pay-per-view matches had more viewers. I still believe Jericho would have run away with the award, but Styles and Angle may have pushed Punk for the No. 2 spot.
Honorable mention goes to Undertaker. He also took a long hiatus, and he's portrayed as being so dominant on television that he rarely has great Smackdon matches. However, he delivers on pay-per-view when he's paired with quality opponents, and he did a hell of a job while working through obvious health issues. As much as I enjoy Randy Orton's character, Taker delivered more memorable matches in 2009.
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