The 5 Best Wrestlers in 2016 Are…
I know I've said this a BUNCH lately but 2016 has been a truly phenomenal year for wrestling fans. We've seen some of the best matches in a decade and we've had performers who have taken the medium to new heights. Everyone from Shane McMahon to James Ellsworth to Jay Lethal to Chris Jericho have had some amazing moments this year.
So, to wrap up the year, here is my list of the 5 Best Wrestlers in 2016. And just so you know, the metrics I used were match quality, promo quality and impact on the business and pop culture. (and before I get started...as much as it pains me, Chris Jericho didn't make the top 5 but his work deserves to be mentioned...and on my list he just barely missed the cut. Sorry CJ, still love you though.)
5) Charlotte Flair
For all the Charlotte haters, Women's wrestling would be nowhere near as important as it is at the end of 2016 without her. She put in amazing matches, cut quality promos and has pushed women's wrestling to new heights. Without her, ROH and other organizations wouldn't be pushing women's wrestling and the ladies of Raw/Smackdown would still be buried on the card.
4) Shinsuke Nakamura
Where would NXT be without Nak? Since Nakamura's arrival at Takeover in Dallas, NXT went from an awesome wrestling product to a global phenomenon. Not to mention over the past 12 months they've lost huge brand stars to the main roster like Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Enzo & Cass...and yet some how they're still thriving and growing. And its hard to argue that Nak's battles with Samoa Joe haven't helped push the brand to new heights. And, let's not forget about his amazing, 5 star match with AJ Styles before the both jumped ship to the WWE.
3) The Miz
For the past several years, the Miz has been relegated to the bottom of the card. He was just a shadow of the man who once Main Evented WrestleMania. But this year, thanks to the brand split and his IC Title runs, the Miz has become one of the main stars on Smackdown. His feud with Dolph Ziggler has been one of the best of the year. And don't even get me started with what he has done with Daniel Bryan. Guy may be better now than he ever has been. Hell, I'd like to see Miz get a crack at the World title some time in 2017.
2) Broken Matt Hardy
Has anyone influenced the wrestling world more than Matt Hardy in 2016? His Broken Brilliance has made TNA relevant again, he has inspired creative decisions and changes at WWE..dude has just completely blown up the wrestling universe. I mean...what else is there to say? Oh yeah...DELETE, DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!
1) AJ Styles
Dude has had the most AMAZING rookie year in Pro Wrestling history. He debuted at Royal Rumble, entered into a killer feud with Chris Jericho, then moved into the Heavyweight title picture and eventually won it. And holy crap, his program with John Cena was the stuff of legend. People always believed that AJ would never make it to the WWE, let alone be a Main Eventer there...yet here we are, ending 2016 with the Phenomenal 1 on top of the world.