2016 PW Awards

2016 PW Awards: Female Wrestler of the Year

Winner: Sasha Banks

“I really couldn’t rank one of them (Charlotte or Sasha) over the other. They both continue to set the bar higher and higher for the women superstars every single week. And while I’ll continually be puzzled by the reports that Vince is not high on Sasha, and continue to be confused as to why she only wins the titles on Raw, she is easily right there as the best wrestler on the roster. I truly hope that the reports are false, as Sasha could be someone who carries the Women’s division for a LONG, LONG time… (also, can we make her a heel again? KThxBye). – Chris Langevin

“As the dude who counts the votes, I actually had to do a recount when I saw that Sasha ended up beating out Charlotte. It was extremely close, Sasha won by just seven points, 118-111 and Charlotte had 6 first place votes to Sasha’s 4. It really could’ve went either way. While I stand firmly behind Charlotte as the top female wrestler of 2016, we bring in a strong panel for a reason. Maybe they saw something that I didn’t. Again, all I can say is…. it was close. And looking back at their rivalry this year, it was just as back and forth as the votes for these awards as they trickled in. Congrats to the first back to back Fight Booth wrestler of the year, Sasha Banks. You better believe she’ll be in the running for a three-peat when 2017 comes to a close.” – Dave Reno

2. Charlotte Flair

“Is there really any question? She is being positioned as one of, if not, the greatest female wrestler in the history of the WWE. She has had amazing matches every single step of the way, plays the heel better than anyone on the roster, and still is getting better every single week. While I think she still needs to work on her promos a bit (her promo with Ric from a few weeks ago was cringeworthy and not in the way that WWE intended), she is still above everyone else on the roster…(see above).” – Chris Langevin

“Charlotte Flair is her father’s daughter AND occasionally nearing early Chris Jericho levels of petulant AND wrestling’s Cersei Lannister. We should be thankful, y’all. ”  – Mira Waters

“Say what you want about Charlotte. You can say that she’s been pushed too hard. You can say that the fact that she’s a four-time women’s champ already is ridiculous. But you can’t say that she hasn’t been putting on great matches this year, and, especially over the past few months, become one of the better heels on the whole roster, male or female. Some of the other women, such as Kimber Lee and Sexy Star, deserve credit just for what they represented this year. But Charlotte stands above them all.” – Aaron Oster

“This was Charlotte’s year. She proved to us that she’s not only the top female wrestler in the game today, she also proved she may just be the one to carry this division for the next decade. She’s built to last. Her in-ring game is off the charts and continues to progress as we speak. Her promos only got better as the year went on and her performances in big matches spoke volumes. Charlotte was the perfect foil to babyface Sasha this year and you could easily see the two trading places for years to come.” – Dave Reno

“The best in the business, she has the look, the charisma and in ring ability to carry the WWE Women’s division. She’s the best…..period.” – Dan Rose

Feud of the Year: Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks

3. Asuka

“While the Four Horsewomen carried the Women’s Division in NXT for a few years, it seems pretty depleted to me now. Billie Kay, Liv Morgan, etc. are all not up to the level as when Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky were blazing trails down in NXT. The one that IS up to that level though, is Asuka. I had the pleasure of seeing Asuka v. Eva Marie at NXT Albany, and holy SHIT does she hit hard live. Her match with Mickie James had a very weird ending to it, but the match itself was very fun to watch. It’s going to be tough to keep Asuka down in NXT with the lack of talent/challengers around her, but I can’t wait to see her square off with the likes of Charlotte and Sasha at the next level.” – Chris Langevin

“One of the best in-ring performers in the WWE and she’s believable, a rarity in 2016.” – Jim LaMotta

4. Bayley

“While it wasn’t as big of a year for Bayley as 2015, 2016 still treated her pretty damn nicely. She didn’t come up victorious as much, but she still put on classic matches with Asuka, made a memorable debut at WWE Battleground, and continues to be that lovely babyface you can’t help but love. I think 2017 is going to be a HUGE year for Bayley (starting with a WWE Women’s Title win at WrestleMania).” – Chris Langevin

5. Sexy Star

“Lucha Underground has been praised for showcasing some of the best talent in the world in ways that American fans have never seen before. The reason why they do such a great job at it is because they don’t pat themselves on the back for every accomplishment that the wrestlers make. They don’t shove it down viewers throats that they are making history. Hence the reason why Sexy Star’s rise in the promotion has been so organic and refreshing to see every week. She is just seen as another incredible talent in the locker room who has been blessed to receive great competition and is challenged with every match. You see her struggles and her ability to triumph with every fan that gets behind her. She doesn’t see herself as an underdog nor does she need a huge story behind her. She just gets in the ring and gets it done. Bravo Sexy Star.” – Candace Kidd

“In the same year, she won the Gift of the Gods championship and then, while it didn’t make my list as the BEST moment of this year, her victory in the Aztec Warfare match to win the LU Championship was HUGE… I actually jumped out of my seat, as it was something I absolutely did not expect to happen. She is one of the few women wrestlers (all being on the LU roster basically…) that still gets in there with the guys and not only holds her own but completely outshines them. She continues to exceed my expectations!” – Chris Langevin 

“Love her, and her in ring abilities are amazing. She’s one of two women wrestlers in Lucha Underground that I really, really dig. Her winning the LU World Title this year is an amazing achievement in pro wrestling.” – Dan Rose

6. Becky Lynch

“She does a lot with less than most. She has a great look, and is skilled, but people seem to look past her at times. She recently lost the title on Smackdown, so 2017 should be an interesting year for her.” – Dan Rose

“Straight fire! Becky had a great year and she really helped keep the Smackdown women’s division relavent. She’s as real as it gets when it comes to any performer on the roster today and I’m excited to see what’s next for our resident ‘Irish Lass Kicker’.” – Dave Reno 

7. Alexa Bliss

“Alexa Bliss is a mean girl who is reliant on her ambition and mostly without misogynistic tropes. Her promos point to weakness in her opponent’s skill or psychology more than they ever point to their looks or dating life. She was ready to come up before a lot of fan favorites even were but I’m so glad they saved her for this moment. I think she’ll be on this list for years and years to come.” – Mira Waters

8. Rosemary

“The Demon Assassin Rosemary closed out 2016 in a wildly chaotic fashion by conquering Jade inside a steel cage to become TNA’s Knockout Champion. Though it can be argued the entire TNA roster exists, to an extent, in the shadow of Broken Matt Hardy, a standout performance from Rosemary this year cannot be overlooked. Her dedication to her character and her role as a part of Decay creates such compelling television, it would be unfair not to credit her as part of the saving grace for the company as of late. Anyone with pre-Rosemary knowledge of Courtney Rush will tell you 2017 can only be bigger, as TNA has yet to capitalize on the history and natural chemistry that already exists between her and former storied opponent Cherry Bomb, currently known in TNA as Allie. As anyone who’s ever chanted “fight forever” at a wrestling show will tell you, seeing two former enemies reignite a barn-burner of a feud will certainly make for must-see TV.” – Lady J

“I was lucky enough to see Rosemary take on Allie in a steel cage match live in Toronto for my birthday present. First off, shout out to Smash Wrestling – awesome promotion. Secondly, Rosemary gives off a certain energy that is second to none. Her transformation from Courtney Rush to her Rosemary character has been a sight to behold. Kudos to Impact Wrestling for pushing her as their champion, that said, she deserves a bigger stage. She’s ready.” – Dave Reno

“Before Hardy became Broken, Rush had helped DECAY become the face of TNA for a while, becoming a more wanted talent then she was even before in short time. Rosemary, the Demon Assassin has quickly become a definite headline star for any indy looking to get faces on it.” – Reid Harris Cooper

9. Jade

“Her matches were highlights during an otherwise rocky year for Impact Wrestling.” – Jim LaMotta

10. Kimber Lee

“Princess Kimber Lee rang in 2016 as the Chikara Grand Champion – the first female to hold the main title of a major American wrestling promotion. That alone is enough to put her on our list. Over the course of the past year, she has proved herself again and again, not only as a force to be reckoned with inside of the Wrestle Factory, but outside of it as well. As Princes Kimber Lee, she rescues herself and inspires everyone to stand up for what they believe in. As just Kimber Lee at promotions like AAW and Beyond, she has stood up to monsters like Jessica Havok and Donovan Dijak, proving size is not a limitation. We know now that she rounded out her year saying farewell to the independent scene and heading off for Orlando, and deservedly so. Anyone lucky enough to have seen her live knows, this hard-hitting princess is likely to becoming WWE’s crowning jewel.” – Lady J

11. Ivelisse
12. Nia Jax
13. Allie/Cherry Bomb
14. Heidi Lovelace
15. Veda Scott
16. Leva Bates
17. Mariposa/Cheerleader Melissa
18. Nikki Bella
19. Candice LeRae
20. Taya Valkyrie
21. Gail Kim
22. Mercedes Martinez
23. Natalya
24. Nikki Cross
25. Kelly Klein
26. LuFisto
27. Tessa Blanchard
28. Ember Moon
29. Allysin Kay
30. Shayna Baszler

Next: Male Wrestler of the Year

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