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Jeff Hansen
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November 2012
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Jeff Hansen [userpic]
My Wrestling Observer Ballot

Non-wrestling fans and non-MMA fans can feel free to skip.

Disclaimer: I honestly feel more qualified to rate MMA. How weird is that? As a result, I'm passing on a lot of the votes, especially the ones that would require me to be knowledgeable in multiple companies.

"CATEGORY A" AWARDS. PICK A FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD PLACE FINISHER IN EACH CATEGORY. POINTS WILL BE AWARDED ON A 5-3-2 BASIS. THE WINNER OF THE AWARD IS DETERMINED BY TOTAL POINTS.

1. LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD - This is open to pro wrestlers, for a combination of everything, being both important and influential this year in a positive manner from a business perspective, combining both box office impact as well as either success in shoot matches or strong match quality in worked matches.
1 Shawn Michaels
2 Undertaker
3 CM Punk

2. MMA MOST VALUABLE FIGHTER: This is also for a combination of fighting inside the ring and importance outside in a positive manner from a business perspective as well. The top three MMA finishers last year for the Thesz/Flair award were Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Chuck Liddell.
1 Brock Lesnar
2 Georges St. Pierre
3 Anderson Silva

3. MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: This is based on working ability in the ring only. Simply, the best workers in the world on a consistent basis over the past year. Drawing power, charisma and push shouldn't be considered. Last year's top three were Bryan Danielson, Shawn Michaels and Hiroshi Tanahashi.
1 Shawn Michaels
2 Chris Jericho
3 (No vote)

4. MOST OUTSTANDING FIGHTER: This should be based on in-ring ability and wins against the top level of competition during the calender year. Last year's top three were Quinton Jackson, Anderson Silva and Randy Couture.
1 Anderson Silva
2 Georges St. Pierre
3 Brock Lesnar

5. BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW - Based on drawing big houses (or for that matter selling tickets to small houses as the case may be), buy rates and/or television ratings. Rating work shouldn't even be considered. Last year's top three were John Cena, Chuck Liddell and Mistico.
1 Brock Lesnar
2 Georges St. Pierre
3 Shawn Michaels

6. FEUD OF THE YEAR - This should be based on a combination of having a compelling storyline along with having great matches that should strengthen the box office. Last year's top three were Undertaker vs. Batista, Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima and Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico.
1 Shawn Michaels & Chris Jericho
2 Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy
3 Georges St. Pierre & Matt Serra

7. TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR - For the best working and most valuable tag team during the previous year. Last year's top three were Mark & Jay Briscoe, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley and Kevin Steen & El Generico.
1 Miz & Morrison
2 Beer Money
3 Motor City Machineguns

8. MOST IMPROVED - This is based on making the biggest strides in ring work during the previous year. This should not be for someone who was already good, but was given a bigger push. Last year's top three were MVP, Claudio Castagnoli and Tomko. Wow, look at what happened to those three this year.
1 Miz
2 Cody Rhodes
3 (No vote)

9. BEST ON INTERVIEWS - Who has given the best interviews on a consistent basis over the past year? Reputation from previous years shouldn't be taken into consideration. It should be based on work over the course of the year as opposed to one or two memorable interviews. Last year's top three were John Cena, Santino Marella and Edge.
1 Chris Jericho
2 Santino Marella
3 Randy Orton

10. MOST CHARISMATIC - What person had to do the least to get the most out of it? Who do crowds naturally react to emotionally even before the person does anything? Last year's top three were John Cena, Quinton Jackson and Cibernetico.
1 Brock Lesnar
2 John Morrison
3 Randy Orton

11. BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER - This is for having the ability to use high level technical wrestling moves within the context of building a great worked pro wrestling match. Last year's top three were Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness and Yuji Nagata.
(No vote)

12. BRUISER BRODY MEMORIAL AWARD - This is for the wrestler who uses brawling tactics to put together the best matches during the previous year. It's not for a guy who does brawling matches that aren't any good. Last year's top three were Takeshi Morishima, Umaga and Samoa Joe.
(No vote)

13. BEST FLYING WRESTLER - This is for the wrestler who does the most innovative and solidly executed flying maneuvers within the context of putting together great wrestling matches. This is not for simply the hottest daredevil moves, which sometimes hit and sometimes miss. Last year's top three were Mistico, Ricky Marvin and Jack Evans.
1 Evan Bourne
2 (No vote)
3 (No vote)

14. MOST OVERRATED - The wrestler who gets the biggest push, despite lacking ring ability or charisma. Last year's top three were Great Khali, Mr. Kennedy and HHH.
(No vote)

15. MOST UNDERRATED - The wrestler with the most ability, who, for whatever reason, doesn't get a push commensurate with their ability. This should be based on this past year, and not a business reputation earned in prior years. Last year's top three were Shelton Benjamin, Jamie Noble and Paul London.
1 Umaga
2 Katie Lea
3 Shelton Benjamin

16. PROMOTION OF THE YEAR - Should be based on which group put together the best live and television product on a consistent basis, and secondarily, the ability to sell that product at a high level. This means box office and marketing combined with product quality. Theoretically, the top pick should be a company at or near the top on both categories. Last year's top three were the Ultimate Fighting Championships, Ring of Honor and World Wrestling Entertainment.
1 Ultimate Fighting Champtionships
2 (No vote)
3 (No vote)

17. BEST WEEKLY TV SHOW - Weekly television shows are the only ones eligible, not monthly shows, specials or individual episodes of a specific program. This is for the best consistent program. Last year's top three were UFC's Ultimate Fighter, WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown.
(No vote)

18. PRO WRESTLING MATCH OF THE YEAR - Pick the three best matches, in order, from the time period. Remember, matches from last December are eligible, but nothing after November 30th from this year is eligible. Please list both the date and location of the match, because some matches were held many times during the year. Last year's top three were Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima on August 25, 2007 in New York; KENTA & Taiji Ishimori vs. Kota Ibushi & Naomichi Marufuji on July 15, 2007, in Tokyo’s Budokan Hall; and Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness on June 9, 2007 in Philadelphia.
1 03/30/08 Ric Flair v. Shawn Michaels
2 07/20/08 Shawn Michaels v. Chris Jericho
3 08/17/08 Undertaker v. Edge

19. MMA MATCH OF THE YEAR - Pick the three best matches, in order, from the time period listed. Again, please list both the date and location of the match. Last year's top three were Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia on March 3, 2007, in Columbus, OH; Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi on February 24, 2007, in Las Vegas and Clay Guida vs. Tyson Griffin on June 16, 2007, in Belfast.
1 12/08/07 Roger Huerta vs. Clay Guida
2 07/05/08 Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson
3 08/09/08 Jason MacDonald vs. Demian Maia

20. ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - This is based on ring performance, now how someone is pushed or necessary even long-term star potential. By the standards of the category, a rookie is someone who hasn't had a regular job with a full-time wrestling company before September of 2007. Last year's top three were Erick Stevens, Joe Doring and Tim Donst.
(No vote)

21. BEST NON-WRESTLER PERFORMER - For the best performer on a television show who isn't a traditional wrestler, whether they be a management figure, a woman who doesn't wrestle, or a traditional manager. Last year's top three were Larry Sweeney, Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette.
(No vote)

22. BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER - Last year's top three were Jim Ross, JBL and Joe Rogan.
(No vote)

23. WORST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER - Last year's top three were Don West, Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman.
(No vote)

24. BEST MAJOR SHOW - This should be a major show, as opposed to a TV taping or house show, although TV specials like Saturday Night's Main Event or Ultimate Fight Night are eligible. Last year's top three were ROH Man Up on September 15, 2007 in Chicago; WWE Wrestlemania 23 on March 31, 2007 in Detroit and Pride Second Coming on February 24, 2007, in Las Vegas.
1 UFC 91, 11/15/08
2 Wrestlemania XXIV
3 UFC 88, 08/09/08

"CATEGORY B" AWARDS. PICK ONE IN EACH CATEGORY. WINNER CHOSEN ON THE BASIS OF FIRST PLACE VOTES.

1. WORST MAJOR SHOW OF THE YEAR - Last year's top three were WWE December to Dismember on December 3, 2006, in Augusta, GA; TNA Lockdown on April 15, 2007 in St. Charles, MO; and WWE Unforgiven on September 16, 2007 in Memphis.
(No vote)

2. BEST WRESTLING MANEUVER - Last year's top three were KENTA’s Go 2 sleep, Randy Orton’s soccer kick and Petey Williams’ Canadian Destroyer.
John Morrison's Moonlight Drive

3. MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC - Last year’s top three were TNA signing Pacman Jones and doing the “making it rain” gimmick as a spoof on an incident that led to the real life shooting that made former pro wrestler Tom Urbanski wheelchair bound; Vince McMahon’s fake death and WWE’s handling of the post-Benoit situation.
WWE.com saying Jeff Hardy was in the hospital for unknown reasons, Survivor Series 2008

4. WORST TELEVISION SHOW - Last year's top three were TNA Impact, WWE ECW and WWE Raw.
(No vote)

5. WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR - Last year's top three were the Chris Harris vs. James Storm blindfold match on April 15, 2007, in St. Charles, MO; Fake Donald Trump vs. Fake Rosie O’Donnell on January 8, 2007, in St. Louis; an Great Khali vs. Kane on April 1, 2007, in Detroit.
(No vote)

6. WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR - Last year's top three were Kane vs. Big Daddy V, Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Christy Hemme and Eric Young vs. Robert Roode.
Kaz vs. Black Reign

7. WORST PROMOTION - Last year's top three were TNA, WWE and IFL.
(No vote)

8. BEST BOOKER - Last year's top three were Gabe Sapolsky, Joe Silva and Riki Choshu.
(No vote)

9. PROMOTER OF THE YEAR - Last year's top three were Dana White, Vince McMahon and Cary Silkin.
(No vote)

10. BEST GIMMICK - Last year's top three were Santino Marella, Jay Lethal and Black Machismo and MVP.
Beer Money

11. WORST GIMMICK - Last year's top three were Black Reign, Hornswoggle McMahon and Pacman Jones.
Rellik is Killer (spelled backwards)

12. BEST WRESTLING BOOK - Last year's top three were “Hitman” by Bret Hart; “A Lion’s Tale” by Chris Jericho and “Brody” by Barbara Goodish and Larry Matysik. Among the books eligible are “Becoming the Natural” by Randy Couture, “Gorgeous George” by John Capouya. “Ring of Hell” by Matt Randazzo, “Made in America” by Matt Hughes, “Benoit: Wrestling with the Horror That Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport,” by Greg Oliver, Heath McCoy, Steve Johnson and Irv Muchnick; “Tito Santana’s Tales from the Ring,” by Tito Santana; “The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists” by R.D. Reynolds; “Adventures in Larryland” by Larry Zbyszko, “Iceman: My Life” by Chuck Liddell and “Lucha Loco” by Malcolm Venville. Books had to have been released from November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2008.
(No vote)

13. BEST PRO WRESTLING DVD - Last year's top three were Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen, History of the AWA and The Ladder matches. Any DVD released from November 1, 2007 to October 31, 2008 would be eligible.
(No vote)

Comments

I may have to actually fill one of these out.

One minor correction, in show of the year you list UFC 88 on 08/09/08 but that's actually UFC 87. UFC 88 was Sept. 6 in Atlanta.

Well shit. The date is right, the event is wrong. I never saw the Evans/Liddell fight (a friend's birthday party overlapped poorly) so I can't speak of its quality.

I was fairly drunk during UFC 87, so my opinion isn't that solid anyway. :P

Drunk or no, UFC 87 was a much better show than UFC 88. Liddell/Evans wasn't anything special before it ended and I barely remember anything else on the show but UFC 87 is something I remember much more vividly. That's why I knew you meant UFC 87.

Looking at your ballot I am struck about how great some of that stuff was in the early part of the voting period. Thinking of Guida-Huerta reminded me of just how great that show was because Rollins-Kopenhaver was also great. That thought made me remember how great Wanderlei Vs. Chuck was from later that month.

I may skip all the wrestling stuff on the ballot as I can't say I followed it too close (as compared to MMA) but if I do vote there will be a lot of instances of Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels on the ballot.

And last, it was nice of WWE to do something stupid right at the deadline to make it easier to vote for classless promotional move of the year with the Hardy/WWE.com thing.

What's sad is, not only did I not watch Wanderlei v. Chuck, I didn't even watch the Patriots-Giants game instead. Rather, I played Rock Band for the first time.

Guida/Huerta rocked the shit out of my word, though.