It’s that time of year again, no not football season, the time of year I pick the MVW, Most Valuable Wrestler. It was the second article I ever wrote, and it kicked off a yearly award column that I get excited about. So here we go the MVW column you have all been waiting for…..but first the criteria for how I came up with the winners. Keep in mind the winner doesn’t have to be all three, but if he’s not one he has to be way over in the other two categories.
1. The wrestler has to have been involved in one of the biggest story lines of the year. Raw has had a few big storylines come and go, but really the biggest story of the year has been CM Punk, but at the epicenter of the whole years storylines has been John Cena. Both of those guys qualify so keep them in mind. Smackdown had several really good story lines but nothing that qualifies for the 3 years from now criteria. No one did better on SmackDown this year than Randy Orton, but he only spent part of the year on SmackDown, so should we punish him for his lack major storyline (SmackDown has been void of any real big storylines all year)? TNA has had a lot of storylines, and a few have been very good. Last year AJ Styles took the MVW home and while he’s had a great year again, there are other contenders.
2. The next on the list is; the person had to be one of the best in the ring and not just for big matches. The MVW not only has to do well on at PPV but also has to put on quality matches on Raw, SD, and Impact!. That person also has to know when to step up his game for the biggest moments of the year. This person not only needs to possess great in ring ability but also the ability to lift the other person to new levels. They have to be willing to take as good as they give. There is a quote from a former SNL cast member “You not only have to be a star when it’s your turn , but when it’s time for you to be a waiter you be the best damn waiter you can be. Never half-ass anything because the person staring in that sketch might be the waiter for you later on.” That sums it up right there selfless; the MVW has to be a selfless wrestler. Last year I slammed John Cena repeatedly for his lack of selflessness in the ring, and I’ve noticed a slight change in Cena’s willingness to sell, especially against Punk. Boy this is looking to be a two man race on RAW.
3. The person has to be the most recognizable person in the room. People have to drawn to this person immediately, and they must be able to identify that person before anyone else. If you were in a room with these three people who do you notice first, Jack Nicholson, Christian Bale, or Matt Damon? Easy Jack Nicholson and it’s not just because he’s been around the longest. He is recognizable for several reasons, you are drawn to his charisma (he was the Joker for crying out loud), he has a look that has become his brand, and he’s the person in the room that gives off the “this guy looks like he knows how to party I’m hanging around him the whole night.” Matt Damon sure he’s recognizable but he doesn’t have a brand, and he certainly doesn’t look like the kind of guy who has the best weed dealer on speed dial (not that that means anything to me were moving on). Christian Bale’s biggest movie he’s wearing a mask in through most of so really 1 in 10 people will know him right away, maybe even worse. When it comes to wrestlers they have to have the look, and that doesn’t mean crazy big guy with insane muscles. It means the person looks like A) They could legitimately win a real life fight. B) They look like a winner. They have the essence have a champion. The reason Mike Tyson won for so long is not just based off of talent, but his look. He looked like he was going to kill people and that he’d enjoy it while doing it. His opponents lost before they even stepped in the ring with him based off of that fear alone.
Okay so now we have our criteria. So who is our MVW?
Impact Wrestling MVW: This is a tough one but I’m going with Ken Anderson, even though I’m not a huge fan. Ken has been the most consistent star on TNA all year. Not a fan of his character, but he improved his in ring work, and the man has been in the middle of the storm that is TNA. While Samoa Joe and AJ Styles are better than Ken, neither has had the year that Ken has had. His major storylines with Sting, Hogan, and RVD were a major story over spring and summer. He has had very good matches from Sting and RVD, two wrestlers that I have my doubts about because of Stings age and RVD’s all around lack of effort. Ken Anderson has been solid all year, plugging away day after day. Sort of reminds me of the 2007 NL MVP race. Jimmy Rollins had a very good year, so did David Wright, and Matt Holliday, but not a single one of them was great. You have to give the award to someone, so they gave it to Jimmy Rollins, even though Holliday had a better season, and so did Wright. So why did Rollins win? His team was the hottest team going into the award season, and he helped them past the Mets for the NL East crown. Just like how Ken wasn’t the best wrestler in TNA but was clearly there most important and therefore valuable wrestler on the roster. Joe and Styles are better but they weren’t as valuable this year to TNA as Ken Anderson was. Your average Joe couldn’t pick Anderson out of a lineup but same can be said for 99% of the TNA roster so I have to let it slide this time.
Second Annual TNA MVW Winner: Ken Anderson
SmackDown MVW: This was a difficult one because the person I picked didn’t arrive until late in the year. However it would be difficult to not hand the MVW for SmackDown to Randy Orton. Randy has been the best, most consistent wrestler since coming over to SmackDown. The MVW race on SmackDown was void for a long time of one true identifiable star. So has there ever been a MVP that switched leagues, and made a strong finish to launch him into the MVP race? In 2004 Vlad Guerrero switched from the NL to the AL and was locked into a tight MVP race, until September came and Vlad crushed the competition by having one of the greatest Septembers in baseball history. Guerrero didn’t catch fire until late in the year but when he did, he did so, so spectacularly that they had to give him the award or be brutally beaten by an angry mob. Same has to be said for Orton who has been nothing short of amazing since making the trip to SmackDown. With a few world titles and consistently the best in ring performer on SmackDown Orton shined above the rest. His feud with Christian was the best storyline on SmackDown for over two months and the two put on great to amazing matches. Orton looks like a legit tough guy, and acts the part in and out of the ring.
Second Annual SmackDown MVW Winner: Randy Orton
Raw MVW: So, here is the toughest one of them all. Do I take the guy who was consistently the top guy all year, or do I take the guy that changed the game late in the year? This is the hardest decision I’ve made in a long time. (yes fully aware that this is a completely fictional award and that I shouldn’t have spent more than 5 minutes on it but damn it means a lot to me)As much as it pains me but the second annual MVW award goes to John Cena. Cena not only had a few truly great matches, whether he was helped by superior talent like Punk or not isn’t the point. Super Cena has been seen less as of late, but he is still very much there from time to time. I wanted to give it to Punk I really really did, but without Cena, Punk doesn’t have a real tangible target to throw his original pipe bomb at. Cena was part in the Punk story and the other big story of the year, and a story that will carry into much of this year coming up. The return of The Rock, and the feud he brought to John Cena’s front door. Cena is easily the most recognizable star in the entire WWE so that helps him fit the last bit of criteria. I begrudgingly give the Raw MVW to John Cena. I will now go step in front of traffic.
Second Annual Raw MVW Winner: John Cena (sorry Punk)
Thanks again for reading and if you want to get in contact with me you can do so by emailing me here: email@example.com or you can bug me via twitter @JaredGebhardt. As always, I try to get to every single email and tweet I get.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt