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2016 PW Awards

2016 PW Awards: Face of the Year



Winners: Finn Balor/Bayley (tie)

“Nobody has more fan support than the Demon, Finn Balor. Just a complete original, he does things his own way and the fans absolutely love it. He’s been on the shelf with a shoulder injury, but when he comes back, he’ll take his place once again as the WWE’s top face. He’s just an amazing athlete, has cultivated a unique look and has the fans in the palm of his hand.” – Dan Rose

“With the injury, it’s a small sample size that almost eliminated him from consideration all together. On the other hand, his short time on the WWE main roster enhances what he accomplished. To win the WWE Universal Championship almost immediately is worth celebrating and his return should be the most anticipated appearance of 2017.” – Matt Addie

“It’s seems so long ago now but let us not forget that Bayley and Finn Balor carried NXT for the first half of the year when they began their run as a touring brand. Even though they did play to smaller venues, I’m not sure they would’ve sold out without at least one, if not both of them on board. Balor’s short 3-0 run on the main roster consisted of a 3-way victory over Cesaro, Rusev and Owens, a victory over Reigns and ultimately a victory over Seth Rollins that would crown him as the inaugural Universal Champion. Unfortunately, Balor would suffer a shoulder injury in that match that would sideline him until what should be sometime early next year. Expect him and Bayley to have huge matches at WrestleMania 33 and expect them to battle for this award once again at the end of next year.” – Dave Reno

“Bayley is simply one of the few who still make the large majority of the crowd get invested in her. I think back to Takeover: Dallas. Most people knew Asuka was going to win. Many wanted her to win. And yet, when she won, the air was taken out of that room. Nobody wanted to see Bayley lose. Even though she hasn’t had a great run on the main roster thus far, she still brings joy every time she steps out on that ramp. And for that, she’s the best face.” – Aaron Oster

“She’s a Ricky Steamboat type baby face.” – Jim LaMotta

Runner Up: Shinsuke Nakamura

“Nakamura has been the main attraction for NXT since Balor and Bayley were called up to the main roster and he’s been every bit as impressive as we thought he would be. He’s the most magnetic character in pro wrestling today and I cannot WAIT to see him on the main roster. Let’s get him to SmackDown Live like, yesterday.” – Dave Reno

“That entrance; you all know.” – Matt Addie

Honorable Mention: Sexy Star – “Being a babyface is hard. If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that it is significantly easier to get people to hate you than it is to get them to love you. Is Sexy Star the most beloved character on Lucha Underground? Probably not. But more than anyone else on the roster, she behaves in all of the classically babyface ways. She’s confident in her own abilities, a diehard Doer of Good, and insistent on achieving her goals on her own. With a history of abuse and a message of overcoming any and all obstacles, it’s hard to dislike Sexy Star. When she screamed “F*ck you, Mariposa!” during her No Mas match against the Mariposa in Season 2 earlier this year, it felt like the ultimate underdog moment – she would rather suffer, blood running down the front of her mask, than give her abuser the satisfaction of her giving up. Brava, Sexy Star, brava.” – Lady J

“The follow-up to a truly transcendent in-ring moment was not handled to the best of Lucha Underground’s abilities, but that moment adds something special to a year’s worth of stellar work.” – Matt Addie

Honorable Mention #2: Enzo Amore: “Since Enzo has been brought up to the main roster, he has received a reaction from the fans, that hasn’t been heard or seen since the Attitude Era. He has such a natural connection with the audience because his swagger and mic work is so organic and it comes from the heart. I think fans have been wanting to see a baby face who doesn’t need the assistance of the writers for a long time now. Enzo’s charisma will take him far.” – Canadace Kidd

“Look, Bayley is great. She’s fantastic, but I was there at the Allstate Arena during Payback when Enzo Amore got his bell rung, and I’ve never seen the life get sucked out of an event like that Sunday night in Chicago. Very few tag teams, let alone people, were as over as Enzo Amore was in 2016, and that beautiful little energizer bunny has the best skills on the microphone out of anyone on this list.” – Alex Reno

Next: Heel of the Year

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