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2016 PW Awards

2016 PW Awards: Top Ten Moments of the Year



Winner: Daniel Bryan’s Retirement Speech (RAW, 2.8.16)

“I was in that Seattle crowd to witness how perfect Bryan’s retirement segment was. It was a moment that I cannot describe, yet love to talk about. Sometimes you get lucky when you buy a ticket to a show, and this was one of those times.” – Matt Addie

“You wanna see a grown wrestling fan cry – make them rewatch Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech. Make them rewatch Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania 30 moment. Make them rewatch any of those packages featuring Bryan and Connor the Crusher. Has there ever been a wrestler who touched our hearts so many times in such a short period of time? Bryan tugged on our heartstrings once again when he announced that he’d be hanging up his boots for good in front of his hometown crowd in Seattle, in the same venue where he may have gotten the biggest pop in wrestling history in late 2013. On this day, we never knew if we’d see him again on WWE programming. In hindsight, it’s been such a great year for Bryan as the Smackdown GM, Talking Smack co-host and CWC announcer. While it’s nice to know that he will have a better quality of life after stepping away, our hearts still break for him every time we watch this speech – especially after saw the behind the scenes drama that took place before and after on Total Bellas.” – Dave Reno

“One of the most emotional moments in WWE history.”- Jim LaMotta

“You’re not human if you’re a wrestling fan and this didn’t make you cry.” – Alex Reno

2. The Miz explodes on Daniel Bryan (Talking Smack, 8.23.16)

“If you need further demonstration of The Miz’s brilliance on the mic, look no further than his Talking Smack promo opposite SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan. All Daniel Bryan had to do was push a little bit and the Miz went off like a Roman Candle. It was a thing of beauty to behold, sending the entirety of the Internet Wrestling fanbase into a tizzy wondering if it was a shoot or not. Does it even matter? That was a promo that made you feel something, even (and especially) if that feeling was discomfort. Props to the Miz and D-Bry for handling their subsequent storyline like true professionals. And remind me NEVER to call The Miz a coward.” – Lady J

“This segment threw everywhere off guard and, I can say, that this segment helped to put wind back in the Miz’s sails and proved to me why he should have airtime and why he belongs on Smackdown. Funny enough, this feud brought relevance back to the Intercontinental Title. I hope to see this intense dislike that Bryan and Miz have for each other continue on in 2017.” – Canadace Kidd

“Who would’ve thought that The Miz would be responsible for 2016’s best promo of the year? Who would’ve thought that a SmackDown post-show would be one of the best things to happen to pro wrestling in 2016? Who would’ve thought that it would be The Miz, of all people, who would finally make the IC title relevant again? Not me. Not you. Not anybody. It all happened. And it was awesome.” – Dave Reno

3. AJ Styles makes his WWE debut in the Royal Rumble Match (1.24.16)

“If you didn’t watch the 2016 Royal Rumble and therefore missed the crowd reaction that came with AJ Styles’ debut at number three, I’m sorry but that moment is lost forever. I recently went back to watch the match again, and it seems WWE has turned the volume way down on the crowd reaction; in the moment it sounded as though the Amway Center had actually exploded. Nothing will ever top the first time we all heard Styles’ now-famous “They Don’t Want None” music, the look on Roman Reigns’ face as Styles made his way out with his hood up and his head bowed, or the electric feeling even in our living rooms at home the first time the Phenomenal One stepped foot in a WWE ring.” – Lady J

“To say that I was dreading the arrival of AJ Styles in WWE is an understatement. I wasn’t sure if they were going to destroy everything that I loved about him and do the famous ribbing because he was a ‘TNA’ guy. Boy was I wrong. The care in which the powers that be have to make sure that AJ looks like a million bucks in his debut and beyond. His star has continued to rise on Smackdown and I can’t wait to see what else is to come for the ‘Phenomenal One’. – Canadace Kidd

4. Zack Ryder wins the IC Title at WrestleMania (4.3.16)

I called this at 32-1 odds, so it’s just a shameless pat on my own back. It was cool, though.” – Matt Addie

“No matter what else happened after Zack won the belt, from losing it quickly, to rebuilding himself to become the undeniably, yet unfathomably popular Hype Bro, to ending the year possibly out for half of 2017, when Zack climbed that ladder in April and won that belt it was something NO ONE (most especially himself) will ever forget as the feel good moment of the year for WWE.” – Reid Harris Cooper

5. Bullet Club turns on AJ Styles (New Year Dash, 1.5.16)

“Considering how quickly Gedo and company had to put this one together it turned out beautifully, setting up what would be the beginning of a historically unforgettable year in Japan for one Kenny “The Cleaner” Omega.” – Dave Reno

6. AJ Styles wins the WWE title (WWE Backlash, 9.11.16)

“What moment better summed up 2016 as a whole? You have AJ Styles, a long time indy worker, coming to WWE under his old name. He slowly but surely shows what he’s capable of, and even gets the higher-ups behind him. AJ Styles, the big fish in a small pond, the man who even the biggest indy fans sometimes questioned if he could handle it, holding the WWE title, was a completely surreal sight, and an awesome one.” – Aaron Oster

7. Sexy Star wins the Lucha Underground title (Air Date – 11.16.16)

“It’s just an unbelievable moment in what was a great year for Women’s Pro Wrestling. The WWE Divas got a new belt, a huge WrestleMania match and much more, but Sexy Star competing for and winning the LU World Title just sets the bar to a new level. It was a great moment for Pro Wrestling.” – Dan Rose

8. Goldberg returns on RAW (RAW, 10.17.16)
9. Women headline a WWE PPV at HIAC (10.30.16)
10. Kenny Omega becomes the first North American to win the G1 Climax (8.14.16)

Next: Top 10 Matches of the Year

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