Dive into the riveting world of professional wrestling with our comprehensive summary of the Best of Pro Wrestling 2023. From the intense debate over WWE’s top male wrestler to the unanimous acclaim for AEW’s standout performer, this article captures the key highlights and unforgettable moments that shaped the wrestling landscape in 2023. Discover the matches, feuds, and breakout stars that left an indelible mark on fans and the industry.
WWE Male Wrestler of the Year
The discussion for WWE’s top male wrestler for 2023 was between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes. While Johnny North favoured Roman Reigns for his impactful presence, Dave Simon argued for Cody Rhodes. He highlighted his consistent, high-quality matches and hard work throughout the year, including remarkable bouts with Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar at major WWE events.
AEW Male Wrestler of the Year
For AEW, MJF (Maxwell Jacob Friedman) unanimously received the accolade of the top male wrestler. His incredible matches, title runs, and captivating promos were particularly notable. Both Dave Simon and Johnny North praised his influential role in pro wrestling in 2023, making him a future and current star.
WWE Match of the Year
The WWE Match of the Year was a close call between several high-profile matches, but Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns from WrestleMania stood out. It was lauded for its historical significance and the intense near-finishes that kept viewers on the edge of their seats.
AEW Match of the Year
In AEW, the Iron Man match between Bryan Danielson and MJF at Revolution was highlighted as a phenomenal encounter, earning Dave Simon’s pick as the match of the year. Johnny North, however, preferred a tag team match featuring FTR vs. Bullet Club, praising its exemplary tag team wrestling.
WWE Tag Team of the Year
The WWE Tag Team of the Year sparked a debate between Kevin, Sami, Priest, and Finn. While Kevin and Sami’s partnership was acknowledged, Priest and Finn were noted for their consistency and quality performances throughout the year.
AEW Tag Team of the Year
In AEW, the tag team of the year was clearly recognized as FTR for their impressive performances and significant impact within the tag team division.
WWE Female Wrestler of the Year
Rhea Ripley was recognized as the WWE Female Wrestler of the Year, dominating the division on Monday Night Raw. Her match against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania was particularly commended.
AEW Female Wrestler of the Year
Toni Storm was chosen as the AEW Female Wrestler of the Year. Despite a challenging start, her transformation into a champion and consistent good matches were highlighted.
Breakout Stars of the Year
LA Knight and Swerve were named Breakout Stars of the Year in WWE and AEW. Both wrestlers showed significant growth and potential, moving from the mid-card to main-event status for the year.
Pay-Per-View of the Year
For WWE, Elimination Chamber received special mention, primarily due to personal attendance, but WrestleMania Night Two was also highlighted for its high-quality matches. AEW’s “All In” was named the most consistent pay-per-view, delivering top-notch performances across the board.
Feud of the Year
In AEW, CM Punk‘s off-screen drama was considered the most compelling story, while in WWE, Cody vs. the Bloodline (Roman Reigns) was noted for its impact and storyline culmination at WrestleMania.
Best of Pro Wrestling 2023: Key Takeaways
- Divergent Opinions on Best WWE Male Wrestler: The debate between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes for WWE’s top male wrestler in 2023 shows the different criteria fans use to judge a wrestler’s impact – Reigns for his star power and Rhodes for his work rate and consistency in high-profile matches.
- Unanimous Praise for MJF in AEW: MJF was unanimously recognized as the AEW Male Wrestler of the Year, signifying his rising prominence and exceptional ability to captivate audiences through his matches and promos.
- Significance of High-Profile Matches: The emphasis on Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania as the WWE Match of the Year highlights the importance of storyline, spectacle, and fans’ emotional investment in determining the significance of a match.
- Diversity of Match Types in AEW: AEW’s variety in match types and styles is evident from the differing opinions on the best match of the year – an Iron Man match, and a tag team match both received high praise, showcasing AEW’s diverse and high-quality match offerings.
- Tag Team Wrestling’s Prominence in AEW: The unanimous selection of After as the AEW Tag Team of the Year underscores the promotion’s strong emphasis and quality in tag team wrestling.
- Rhea Ripley’s Dominance in WWE’s Women’s Division: Rhea Ripley’s recognition as WWE Female Wrestler of the Year reflects her commanding presence and consistent performances in the women’s division.
- The emergence of Breakout Stars: The acknowledgment of LA Knight and Swerve as breakout stars in their respective promotions indicates the potential for significant shifts in wrestling dynamics, with new stars rising to main event status.
- The Importance of Storylines and Feuds: The discussions around the best feuds of the year, particularly in AEW, point to the critical role of compelling narratives and personal dramas in maintaining viewer interest and enhancing the impact of in-ring action.
- The Impact of Live Experience on Perception: The special mention of Elimination Chamber as a favourite pay-per-view due to personal attendance highlights how live experiences can significantly influence fans’ perceptions and memories of wrestling events.
- Continued Evolution of Pro Wrestling: The varying opinions and selections in different categories underline the continuous evolution and diversity in pro wrestling, offering something for every type of fan, whether they prefer intense storylines, athletic prowess, or charismatic personalities.