A couple of days ago, we revealed the winners of the ROHWorld.com Fan Awards as voted by you. On this week’s episode of ROHCast, we at ROHWorld discussed the site’s official awards and gave our thoughts on who we thought deserved to win. Here is how we voted…
Wrestler of the Year: Kevin Steen
After winning his Ring of Honor job back at ‘Final Battle 2011’, 2012 was always going to be a big year for Kevin Steen. And big it certainly has been. Steen enters 2013 as ROH World champion having won the belt from his arch nemesis Davey Richards at ‘Border Wars’ in his home country of Canada. Steen is undoubtedly one of the best wrestlers in independent wrestling and solidified himself as ROH’s main man with a number of impressive title defences including brilliant matches against Michael Elgin at ‘Glory By Honor XI’ and that crazy Ladder War against his old foe El Generico at ‘Final Battle 2012’. Whenever Steen is in the ring, greatness occurs. And that’s exactly why we have named him ROH’s Wrestler of the Year.
Tag Team of the Year: The Briscoes
When you think of Ring of Honor, you think of The Briscoes. ‘Dem Boys’ have been a key part of ROH for many, many years and they continue to be one of the most entertaining acts the company has to offer. Regardless of who they are put up against, the Briscoes always get a great reaction from the crowd and if anything, the pair from Sandy Fork are at their most popular right now. After becoming eight time ROH World Tag Team champions at ‘Final Battle 2012’ by defeating SCUM and Coleman & Alexander, 2013 looks set to be another big year for Jay and Mark. Jay wants honor to return to ROH and while the Briscoes are leading the tag team division, that is a given.
Breakout Star of the Year: Adam Cole
After making his name in ROH initially as a tag team wrestler, 2012 was indeed a breakout year for Cole as a singles star. After his tag team with Kyle O’Reilly broke up at the beginning of the year, Cole continued to push on and became one of ROH’s, and independent wrestling in general, brightest talents. Cole has it all; the look, the charisma and the in-ring skills – he is the complete package. Cole won his first title in ROH back in June after beating Roderick Strong for the ROH World TV title and 2012 also included that memorable ‘Hybrid Fighting Rules’ match against Kyle O’Reilly at ‘Best In The World 2012’. Cole has quickly become one of ROH’s biggest names and it won’t be long until he’s being discussed in the same sentence as the ROH World title.
Most Improved of the Year: Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander entered 2012 as a relatively new tag team in Ring of Honor and not one that had made much of a mark. That changed last year as the pair grew with each match, became fan favorites and are now considered amongst ROH’s elite tandems. With a mix of exciting, high-octane offense and double team moves, C&C are enjoyable to watch and they have evolved into a premier tag team. After earning the respect of the Briscoes, they will take on the eight-time champions for the ROH World Tag Team titles and even if they are unsuccessful, it won’t be long until Caprice & Cedric get the reward and win the belts, making their mark in ROH history.
Feud of the Year: Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards
After winning his ROH job back at ‘Final Battle 2011′, Kevin Steen gatecrashed Davey Richards’ celebrations after the ‘American Wolf’ had defeated Eddie Edwards and promised him that he would become ROH World champion in 2012. At the ’10th Anniversary Show’, Steen defeated Jimmy Jacobs and then ended the iPPV by confronting Richards again after the main event. Steen finally got the match he wanted in his home country of Canada at ‘Border Wars’. Steen defeated Richards to become ROH World champion and then beat Richards in his only attempt at regaining the title at ‘Best In The World 2012’. This was a tale of two men who are polar opposites of each other inside and outside the ring – and one that spawned two fantastic matches. It would take a brave man to bet against these two crossing paths once again in the future.
Show of the Year: Glory by Honor XI
After a raft of iPPV problems and what some fans thought was uninspiring booking, ROH was struggling ‘Glory By Honor XI’ came around and in one show, ROH regained that ‘buzz’ that had surrounded it almost constantly since its inception in 2002. The show included everything that ROH is about; it had something for everybody. Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo surprised people and included Mondo jumping off the entrance whilst injured. Jay Lethal defeated the returning Davey Richards in what was an old-school ROH classic. Adam Cole and Eddie Edwards had a fantastic bout before SCUM retained their titles. Steen’s successful defence against Michael Elgin was among the best matches of the year and was followed by the now infamous El Generico mask appearance.
Match of the Year: Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin at Showdown in the Sun – Night 2
Like any year, 2012 included many great matches in Ring of Honor. The aforementioned Steen v Elgin match at ‘Glory By Honor XI’ was a definite classic. Steen’s title match against the returning El Generico at ‘Final Battle 2012’ in an insane Ladder War will also last long in the memory. However, the match that you voted as ‘Match of the Year’ was one that put Michael Elgin on the map. Elgin challenged Davey Richards for the ROH World title on night two of the ‘Showdown in the Sun’ double header. Despite the iPPV problems that weekend, this match was more than enough to make up for it. This was the definition of a five star classic and ranks up there with the best matches in ROH history. This was the sort of match that made ROH a must-see promotion. One of the World’s best like Richards taking on an up-and-comer like Elgin. It made for a hard-hitting, fast paced match that any pro wrestling fan should go out of their way to see.
Moment of the Year: Adam Cole during Hybrid Fighting Rules
Not only was Adam Cole voted our breakout star of the year, but he was also heavily involved in our moment of the year. Cole took on his former FutureShock team mate Kyle O’Reilly at ‘Best In The World 2012’ in a ‘Hybrid Fighting Rules’ match that had people wondering what to expect. What we got in the end was one of the most intense matches in recent memory. After a quiet start to the contest, Cole’s face was on the end of several hard strikes from O’Reilly that left him bleeding profusely from the mouth. The site of blood riled up not only Cole but the New York crowd too as the fans in attendance went crazy. The image of Cole’s crimson mask will live long in the memory and the ROH World TV champion went on to win the match in what was a fantastic year for the 23-year-old.