Ranking Early Contenders for 2020 WWE Male and Female Superstars of the Year
It's almost the midpoint of 2020, which has been a particularly strange year for WWE.
The past five months have been a near-perpetual state of chaos in all aspects, including one of the biggest mass releases of talent in years.
But while there have been plenty of struggles, some Superstars have made the best of their opportunities and are standing out as having particularly great runs this year.
After boiling down all the gold and mixing in some of the biggest wins and career upgrades, here are some early contenders to become Superstar of the Year for 2020.
Women's 3rd Place: Becky Lynch
Almost every other woman in WWE played second fiddle to Becky Lynch for the first part of 2020 and much of last year.
She held the Raw Women's Championship for a record 400-plus days, which puts her in the top six of all title reigns for any of WWE's six different lineages.
That puts her in a league with only The Fabulous Moolah (10,170), Asuka (522), Rockin' Robin (501), Trish Stratus (447), Sensational Sherri (440) and Shayna Baszler (416).
Speaking of Baszler, she had a lot of momentum following her dominant Elimination Chamber win in March but came up short against The Man at WrestleMania 36.
Had Lynch remained active as a competitor, she likely would have surpassed the former NXT women's champion's 416-day reign to climb even higher on the list.
However, she announced her impending motherhood on Monday's Raw and handed the title to Asuka before stepping away from WWE for the rest of the year.
Lynch was a focal point of WrestleMania again this year and took down every challenger throughout the year.
While The Man won't be able to reach any further goals in 2020, she's already left quite a mark.
Men's 3rd Place: Otis
With seven months left in the year, there is still plenty of time to turn things around for any Superstar. Someone could make the next half of 2020 entirely their own and scale the heights.
Perhaps the best example of that is the new Mr. Money in the Bank, Otis.
While The Heavy Machinery man doesn't currently measure up to our top two picks here, he's gaining ground and may surpass them by the end of the year.
Holding the MITB briefcase means he has an opportunity to capture his first title in WWE, on top of having already won Mandy Rose's heart and a singles victory at WrestleMania 36.
This has been the best few months of Otis' career and he may only just be getting started.
Women's Runner-Up: Asuka
Asuka started 2020 as one half of the women's tag team champions alongside Kairi Sane.
The Kabuki Warriors dropped those belts at WrestleMania, but The Empress of Tomorrow more than bounced back a month later.
After winning the Money in the Bank contract, Asuka was awarded the Raw women's title when Becky Lynch vacated the belt. That made her only the second Grand Slam women's champion in WWE history alongside Bayley.
With that momentum, she's back on top of the women's division. If luck remains on her side, she could have another extremely long run with the belt akin to her time as NXT women's champion.
If that happens, we may look back on 2020 as Asuka's year.
Men's Runner-Up: Braun Strowman
Something that hasn't been given enough attention is how Braun Strowman became a member of the Triple Crown club this year.
He had previously won the Raw Tag Team Championship and took another step forward by winning the Intercontinental Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown in January.
After dropping the title to Sami Zayn just over a month later at Elimination Chamber, he then beat Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 36.
The Monster Among Men wasn't even scheduled to participate in that match, but he stepped in after Roman Reigns withdrew from the bout. More recently, he overcame his former mentor, Bray Wyatt, to retain the title at Money in the Bank.
Strowman has had some ups and downs with WWE, but his 2020 is looking rather great.
Women's Top Pick: Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair has been a constant presence at the top of WWE for most of her career. Even if she isn't the absolute focal point, the company ensures she has her own niche and can rack up more accolades.
This year has been no exception.
The Queen won this year's Royal Rumble and transitioned that into a feud with Rhea Ripley.
Despite the Australian's rush of momentum at the end of 2019, winning WarGames and Survivor Series for her teams and dethroning Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship, she hit a wall when she faced Flair at WrestleMania 36.
All that buzz amounted to nothing as Flair, who long ago reached a part of her career where she no longer needed any victories to cement her legacy, took the NXT women's title in decisive fashion.
The Queen is now ruling the yellow-and-black brand once more and has asserted her dominance with wins over Bianca Belair, Kayden Carter, Liv Morgan and Mia Yim.
Becky Lynch would have likely taken top spot before Monday's announcement, but nothing is stopping Flair's success from snowballing throughout 2020.
Men's Top Pick: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre made a major statement when he put a stop to Brock Lesnar's dominant display at the Royal Rumble in January.
The Beast Incarnate had eliminated half the field before the Scot hurled him out of the ring and went on to win the match and earn a title opportunity at WrestleMania 36.
McIntyre kept ball rolling and conquered Lesnar once more to win the WWE Championship in the main event on Night 2 of The Show of Shows, followed by a dark match against Big Show immediately after.
This whole year has been about his rise to the top. Now that he's reached that pinnacle, he's proving himself a fighting champion and a worthy leader of the Raw roster.
That was exemplified by his victory over Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank on Sunday. Beating the former multi-time world champion is no easy task, but The Monday Night Messiah was another to fall to the Claymore kick.
McIntyre may have a long reign with the WWE title ahead.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.