Greetings, Bleacher Report colleagues and friends. As you know, 2010 is nearing a close and we are rapidly approaching what is sure to be a fantastic 2011 in the world of professional wrestling. With that in mind, I've been preparing a massive slideshow for the Fifth Annual Golden Turnbuckle Awards, and I need your help!
The Golden Turnbuckle Awards have been going on for years now through the website WrestlingEpicenter.com, as well as the radio station KASC 1260 AM out of Tempe, Arizona. While I have moved on to writing online from my radio professional career, I'd like to extend this invitation to all writers and contributors to voice their opinions on just who was the best of the best in 2010.
I'll be giving you a full list of nominees and categories in just a few moments, and then, it is in your hands. Private message me, comment on the article or post on my wall your picks for the best of the best in professional wrestling for 2010. I'll be anxious to hear your responses as we gear up for the award presentation article and vigorous debate to follow.
So without further ado, let's take a look at the categories!
Tag Team of the Year
Awarded to the tandem that best exemplifies cohesive action and coordination, this category feels pretty wide open this year. That said, with the WWE Universe often running the show, we've got a major opportunity to crown a dark horse the champion for 2010. Last year's winners, The Big Show and Chris Jericho, transcended the tag team scene and were constantly taking over the main event. Here are the nominees:
—Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (WWE)
—Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (ROH)
—The Hart Dynasty (WWE)
—The Motor City Machine Guns (TNA)
—Team 3D (TNA)
Comeback of the Year
An award that often draws a lot of buzz and speculation, this one is given to the wrestler who has the biggest turnaround over the calendar year. From zero to hero? Mick Foley did it last year after becoming the unlikely TNA World Champion. It could happen, and these five competitors have each taken great strides toward proving they're worth the risk.
—Rob Van Dam (TNA)
Rookie of the Year
Perhaps the most hotly-contested category of the season, this one comes down to any superstar having been on television for one year or less. So even though the majority of these competitors are not your traditional "rookies," they certainly are breakout candidates all around. After all, Sheamus took this crown home long before becoming King of the Ring.
—Wade Barrett (WWE)
—Daniel Bryan (WWE)
—Alberto Del Rio (WWE)
—Robbie E (TNA)
Most Improved Wrestler of the Year
Another fun category, becoming the most improved wrestler of the year may well be an indictment of your abilities early on and a transformation to greatness later. Both Kofi Kingston and Matt Morgan were hot examples of what it takes to become the man last year, but this year has been just a little different.
—Jack Swagger (WWE)
—D'Angelo Dinero (TNA)
—Madison Rayne (TNA)
—Dolph Ziggler (WWE)
Face of the Year
Self explanatory right? I'm sure the self-titled "Internet Wrestling Community" will be quite vocal with this one. What does it take to be the biggest star in the industry for the past 365 days? Cheers? Love? Support? Merchandise? The Undertaker had it all last year, but so did his competition. Tough call.
—John Cena (WWE)
—Rob Van Dam (TNA)
—Randy Orton (WWE)
—Rey Mysterio (WWE)
Heel of the Year
Quite the opposite story here (and no, John Cena is NOT eligible), as we look at the worst of the worst in pro wrestling this year. Who got the most heat? Who was the most "over" in the bad sense? Perhaps C.M. Punk will go for the repeat.
—C.M. Punk (WWE)
—Michael Cole (WWE)
—The Nexus (WWE)
—A.J. Styles (TNA)
Woman of the Year
Notice, I didn't say Diva. That's because last year's winner, Vickie Guerrero, was anything but a "diva" in the WWE sense. All women in wrestling are eligible for this one, but naming a winner could prove to be just as difficult as defining diva itself.
—Michelle McCool (WWE)
—Madison Rayne (TNA)
—Angelina Love (TNA)
Feud of the Year
Wow. We certainly have had our fair share of great feuds this year, but the biggest of them are covered here in this category. The C.M. Punk/Jeff Hardy affair from last year was a surprise winner, making one believe that this year's winner could do just the same. Since there are just so many options here, I'm leaving it to you to make this one a write-in winner.
Match of the Year
Also a write-in category, there's no doubt that we'll get at least 20-30 submissions from around the wrestling world on this one. If you're wondering, the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match from WrestleMania XXV took the cake. Could they share the honors again in 2010?
Wrestler of the Year
And finally the big one, the Wrestler of the Year. This category is so important we have 10 options for you to select from, each of which with their own viable candidacy and accomplishments. Who ya got?
—Rob Van Dam
Private message me, comment, post your picks wherever. I'll tally it all up and present the official winners just around the new year. Thanks, and enjoy!