2013 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Announced

Dave Meltzer’s WON Awards are out so it’s time to see how much he loves Japan this year. I’ll include my winners as well and my thoughts on his, though keep in mind I don’t watch puro and I’m only a casual MMA fan at best. Also before I start, I’m well aware that Meltzer’s readers vote on this, but if you believe the majority of them do anything but repeat what he says, you’re more delusional than I can help.

Wrestler of the Year – Hiroshi Tanahashi (John Cena/Daniel Bryan)

Everyone says it’s Bryan or Cena, Meltzer picks the top Japanese guy. Is anyone surprised by this?

Most Valuable MMA Fighter – Georges St. Pierre

I’ll take his word for it.

Most Outstanding Wrestler – Hiroshi Tanahashi

I’m still not sure how this is different from Wrestler of the Year

Best Box Office Draw – Georges St. Pierre


Feud of the Year – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (Rhodes Family vs. Authority)

I’ve heard good things about this feud but I saw their match from the January 4 show and wasn’t blown away.

Tag Team of the Year – Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (Shield)

I lump tag teams and groups together so no arguments here.

Most Improved – Roman Reigns (Bo Dallas)

Reigns was a popular pick but he was more along the lines of “guy who gets more focus”. I get the pick though.

Best Interviews – Paul Heyman

Why don’t I do one of these? Heyman is fine.

Most Charismatic – Hiroshi Tanahashi

Just name the awards after him already.

Best Technical Wrestler – Daniel Bryan

Even though he mainly uses strikes now?

Best Brawler – Katsuyori Shibata

Yeah whatever.

Best Flying Wrestler – Kota Ibushi

I was impressed by what I saw of him so why not.

Most Underrated – Antonio Cesaro

I’m fine with that as he deserves a far bigger push.

Promotion of the Year – New Japan

I’m as shocked as you are.

Best Weekly TV Show – NXT


Most Outstanding Fighter – Cain Velasquez

No argument there I suppose.

Match of the Year – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada, April 7 (CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar)

Again, bow down to Japan.

Fight of the Year – Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez

I heard good things so sure.

Rookie of the Year – Yohei Komatsu (Big E. Langston)

I’d love to know how many voters have seen more than one match from most of these guys. It would be an interesting result.

Non-Wrestler of the Year – Paul Heyman (Paul Heyman)


TV Announcer of the Year – William Regal

Fine again.

Major Wrestling Show of the Year – New Japan G-1 Day 4

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Best Maneuver of the Year – Okada’s Rainmaker

It’s a clothesline. Seriously, it’s a clothesline.

Best Booker – Jedo/Gedo, New Japan


Promoter of the Year – Dana White, UFC

Be careful. New Japan might not want to spoon after.

Gimmick of the Year – Wyatt Family

For the sheep mask alone.

Best Book – Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screwjobs – Pat LaParade and Bertrand Herbert

Never heard of it but it sounds interesting.

Best DVD – Jim Crocket Promotions: The Good Old Days

Heard of it, looks interesting.

Most Overrated – Randy Orton

So not only does Japan win, but it’s time to rip America.

Worst TV Announcer – Taz

Ok I’ll give him that one.

Worst Major Show – Battleground (Battleground)

Two in a row.

Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic – Exploiting Paul Bearer’s Death

I can get why people wouldn’t like it.

Worst TV Show – Impact

I’d go with Smackdown due to it not needing to exist but Impact was awful.

Worst match of the Year – 10 Diva tag, November 24 (Same)

No argument there.

Worst Feud – Big Show vs. Authority

No arguments there unless you want to go with the Divas, which I think I would have.

Worst Promotion – TNA

Again no arguments.

Worst Gimmick – Aces and 8’s

They were a gimmick still?

Interestingly enough, no ROH wins at all. As usual, New Japan is the amazing company that about 18 people in America actually while thousands claim they do and Meltzer continues to ignore WWE, which I’m sure has nothing to do with them firing him back in 1987. I mean, clearly Savage vs. Steamboat was only 4.25 stars, right Dave?

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  1. Rockbot says:

    I am not surprised that NJPW won several awards this year as NJPW made all of their big shows available worldwide as IPPVs through Ustream. The vast majority of those shows were very fun to watch.

  2. Vega says:

    As much as Iike you, but to be fair you’re at least as americaphile as Meltzer is japanophile.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    To a degree but I don’t watch puro, leaving me with fewer options to pick from.

  3. Conor says:

    Not only is the Japan worship pretty nauseating in it’s utter smarkdom, but why include all this MMA crap? It’s not wrestling so it shouldn’t be in a wrestling award list.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The MMA stuff annoys me more than the Japan stuff, which is just Meltzer’s preference. I have no idea how you can compare a WWE PPV to a UFC show though. The UFC fighters’ job isn’t to entertain the fans.

  4. Reid says:

    Wrestler of the Year: I would have gone with Bryan or Okada.
    Feud of the Year: Their other three matches were better.
    Tag Team of the Year: Believe in the Shield
    Most Improved: Reigns was pretty good to begin with so there wasn’t much to improve on. I’ll take your word w/ Bo Dallas.
    Best on Interviews: Agreed
    Most Charismatic: Bryan should have won.
    Best Technical Wrestler: Like you said last year, just name the damn thing after him
    Best Brawler: I didn’t get into New Japan until G1 in August (I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Invasion Attack and Tanahashi/Suzuki) but the stuff I’ve seen from Shibata were really good.
    Best Flying Wrestler: Agreed.
    Most Overrated: His stuff as a heel’s been great.
    Most Underrated: Cesaro deserves so much better.
    Promotion of the Year: G1 Climax. That is all.
    Best Weekly Television Show: I was worried about this one not winning. Thank god it did, can’t wait for the WWE Network to start airing it.
    Match of the Year: I really wanted Ishii/Shibata to win.
    Rookie of the Year: I agree with you about Big E.
    Best Non-Wrestler: Agreed.
    Best Television Announcer: Again, can’t wait for the WWE Network.
    Worst Television Announcer:
    Best PPV: I thought Invasion Attack was gonna win but I wanted this show to take it.
    Worst PPV: Agreed.
    Best Wrestling Maneuver: I love Okada but really? Best finisher?
    Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic: Yeah, I can see why this got picked.
    Worst Television Show: Dixie Carter, Aces & Eights, Hulk Hogan, take your pick.
    Worst Match of the Year: A dropkick got a pinfall…
    Worst Feud of the Year: Could have been so much better.
    Worst Promotion of the Year: Agreed.
    Best Booker: Agreed.
    Best Gimmick: Wasn’t even close.
    Worst Gimmick: Thank god it’s over.

  5. Killjoy says:

    Might as well just call them the “I WON Awards”.

    I still don’t see how the hell TNA is worse than so many promotions out there. At least TNA gives us good matches.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    House of Hardcore says hi if nothing else.