Inside Pulse Wrestling 2011 Year End Reader Awards
by Pulse Wrestling on December 28, 2011

It’s that time again, where our readers have the opportunity to choose the best of the year (12.20.10-12.19.11) in our readers choice polls! Some interesting omissions by the writers who put the nominations together – there were debates over leaving Randy Orton and Mickie James out, and neither Hulk Hogan’s return to the ring, the WWE Network, Christian’s title win nor Vince McMahon being fired made the cut – but that’s what the comments section is for. Vote below before December 31 ends and it becomes 2012, Eastern Time.

Who was the best male wrestler of 2011?

  • CM Punk (90%, 620 Votes)
  • Daniel Bryan (5%, 31 Votes)
  • Bobby Roode (3%, 18 Votes)
  • The Miz (2%, 11 Votes)
  • Alberto Del Rio (0%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 687

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Who was the best female wrestler of 2011?

  • Beth Phoenix (58%, 365 Votes)
  • Natalya Neidhart (13%, 83 Votes)
  • Kharma (10%, 65 Votes)
  • Velvet Sky (10%, 62 Votes)
  • Kelly Kelly (9%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 626

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Who was the best non-wrestling personality in 2011?

  • Vickie Guerrero (55%, 351 Votes)
  • Jim Ross (25%, 159 Votes)
  • Michael Cole (12%, 74 Votes)
  • Karen Angle (5%, 34 Votes)
  • Kevin Kelly (3%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 635

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Who was the most improved in 2011?

  • Dolph Ziggler (44%, 292 Votes)
  • Mark Henry (25%, 165 Votes)
  • Cody Rhodes (15%, 99 Votes)
  • Zack Ryder (12%, 79 Votes)
  • James Storm (4%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 669

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What was the best wrestling TV show in 2011?

  • WWE Monday Night Raw (45%, 277 Votes)
  • WWE Friday Night Smackdown (25%, 152 Votes)
  • ROH TV (15%, 90 Votes)
  • WWE Tough Enough (10%, 63 Votes)
  • IMPACT! Wrestling (5%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 613

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What was the best special event in 2011?

  • WWE Money in the Bank (86%, 531 Votes)
  • WWE TLC (6%, 37 Votes)
  • ROH Death Before Dishonor IX (3%, 20 Votes)
  • TNA Destination X (2%, 15 Votes)
  • TNA Bound For Glory (3%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 617

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What was the best indie promotion in 2011?

  • CHIKARA (47%, 195 Votes)
  • DGUSA (31%, 129 Votes)
  • EVOLVE (10%, 41 Votes)
  • Riot City Wrestling (8%, 34 Votes)
  • EXW (4%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 417

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What was the match of the year in 2011?

  • CM Punk vs. John Cena (WWE Money in the Bank, July 17) (80%, 498 Votes)
  • Undertaker vs. HHH (WWE WrestleMania XXVII, April 3) (8%, 49 Votes)
  • Davey Richards v. Eddie Edwards (ROH Best in the World 2011, June 26) (6%, 39 Votes)
  • CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz: TLC (WWE TLC, December 18) (3%, 20 Votes)
  • AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels (TNA Destination X, July 10) (3%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 624

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What was the best promo of 2011?

  • CM Punk - THAT RAW PROMO (86%, 563 Votes)
  • Edge - Retirement speech after WrestleMania (5%, 36 Votes)
  • The Rock's Raw return promo with John Cena (5%, 32 Votes)
  • CM Punk at Comic-Con vs. Triple H (2%, 14 Votes)
  • Bobby Roode on Impact after winning the World Heavyweight Championship and turning his back on Fortune (2%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 655

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What was the best storyline of 2011?

  • CM Punk "Pipe Bomb" / chasing John Cena leading to MITB (83%, 534 Votes)
  • Bobby Roode build up to title shot with Kurt Angle (5%, 34 Votes)
  • The Legacy of Cody Rhodes (facemask paper bags, Booker T, etc.) (5%, 33 Votes)
  • The Rock vs. John Cena (4%, 24 Votes)
  • Mark Henry's Hall of Pain vs. Big Show (3%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 641

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What was the biggest wrestling story in 2011?

  • Macho Man Randy Savage dies (43%, 283 Votes)
  • The Rock returns after 7 years (25%, 167 Votes)
  • Former ROH Champs CM Punk and Daniel Bryan close year as top 2 WWE champions (25%, 166 Votes)
  • Wrestlers take to YouTube - from Matt Hardy trying to get fired to Zack Ryder finally getting his push (5%, 34 Votes)
  • Sinclair Broadcasting buys Ring of Honor (2%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 657

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Stay tuned for full results as well as our staff picks next week!

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  • Blair A. Douglas

    Sweet format! I’m pleased with the results so far.

  • Matthew Michaels

    Thanks I like it too! Although I DO feel Christian and Orton got short shrift…

  • Anonymous

    In the interest of discussion, here’s my open ballot:

    Best male wrestler: CM Punk
    (AINEC – And it’s not even close)

    Best female wrestler: Natalya Neidhart
    (more consistent than Beth in the ring IMO, and Kharma’s been out too long – I ALMOST went Velvet, too, just for the fact she actually cares / works hard, but that doesn’t cut it when talking BEST)

    Best non-wrestling personality: Vickie Guerrero
    (how the hell did Karen Angle get a vote?!?!)

    Most improved: Dolph Ziggler
    (pretty much carries the ‘wrestling’ portion of most shows)

    Best wrestling TV show: SmackDown!
    (Raw has had its moments that have been truly HORRIBLE and offensively bad)

    Best special event: MITB
    (very happy to see WrestleMania didn’t make the cut, it was AWFUL this year compared to previous Manias)

    Indie Promotion: EXW
    (that vote’s for you, Ms. Kelly Floyd!)

    Match of the Year: Punk-Cena (MITB)

    Best promo: Punk – THAT RAW PROMO
    (though Comic-Con was equally awesome)

    Best storyline: Bobby Roode buildup to his match with Kurt Angle
    (thought this was expertly done and actually proved TNA can do something amazingly right for once)

    Biggest wrestling storyline: Macho Man Randy Savage dies
    (sorry, but Macho Man’s death really did strike a cord with everyone I know who has EVER watched wrestling, not just those who are watching now).

  • Guest

    My choices often weren’t listed. I’d vote Hiroshi Tanahashi for best male wrestler. He delivered **** or better matches on a monthly basis as the IWGP Champion.

    All 5 nominees for Best Female Wrestler are laughable. Velvet Sky is probably the least talented of the TNA Knockouts and the WWE Divas division has been a joke all year. Kharma didn’t even wrestle 1 match, so she has no business being nominated. From a character perspective, Winter would be my choice, but I’d go with Mickie James from a match quality perspective (Gail Kim spent most of 2011 being buried by the incompetent WWE).

    Best Non-Wrestling Personality should go to Karen Angle because she was an effective heel. Michael Cole is obnoxious, Vickie Guerrero is a poor woman’s Karen Angle, and Jim Ross barely appeared on WWE TV.

    For Most Improved, I’d go with Bully Ray. Who would have thought that Bubba Ray Dudley would not only get over as a singles wrestler but would also consistently deliver good matches and great promos?

    For Best TV Show, I’d go with Impact. WWE has been unwatchable for most of 2011 (Raw is usually awful and Smackdown is almost always a snoozefest) and the Ring of Honor show is atrociously bad. TNA isn’t great and their booking is sometimes questionable, but they have the best product in North America right now.

    My vote for Best Event of 2011 goes to New Japan’s Dominion PPV from June, narrowly edging out a number of great New Japan PPVs this year.

    I won’t vote for a Best Indie because I haven’t been impressed by any of them this year.

    The MOTY was Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Hirooki Goto from NJPW’s Dominion show. 2nd and 3rd on my list are Tanahashi VS Tetsuya Naito (NJPW Destruction) and Tanahashi VS Yuji Nagata (NJPW Alive). The North American MOTY was CM Punk VS John Cena (MITB), with Bully Ray VS AJ Styles (Slammiversary) as the TNA MOTY.

    CM Punk’s promo is the obvious Promo of the Year choice.

    The Best Storyline of 2011 was the breakup of Beer Money storyline. First, Roode won the BFG Series. Then, he fell short due to cheating from Angle at BFG. Storm won the World Title on the following Impact and just 2 weeks later, Roode turns heel, realizing that he couldn’t afford to blow another opportunity. The easy and predictable choice would have been to just have Roode win the Title at BFG as a face, but the way they went will be better for the company in the long term. Of course, all this changes if TNA does something stupid (such as give the World Title to Jeff Hardy), but so far they haven’t screwed up this storyline (like WWE did as the CM Punk storyline became the COO/Executive VP of Skateboarding storyline).

    Biggest Story of 2011 is the announcement of the WWE Network. The WWE has reportedly bet its entire future on this network. If this thing flops, it is a very real possibility that WWE could go out of business. 2nd biggest story was the return of The Rock, although that has done little to stop WWE’s ratings from falling even further. If WWE delivers another typically disappointing big 4 show at Wrestlemania 28, that could hasten their decline.

    On the other side of things, I’d vote for Mark Henry as Worst Wrestler (although Eric Young is a close second), Mark Henry VS Big Show (any of them) as Worst Match, WWE (tie between Raw and Smackdown) as Worst TV Show, Lauryngitus as Worst Non-Wrestling Personality, and WWE Capital Punishment as Worst Event.

  • Curtis Williams

    Thanks for the laugh! I was in stitches when you said Impact was the best show of the year.

  • Anonymous

    That has to be either THEFUJ or Kor(e)y Yuen posting…

  • Coxeaton

    Hate to break it to you, but Impact has been better than RAW, especially over the last 4 months. You clearly don’t watch it and yes the Beer Money split has been a great angle, that hopefully will pay off at Bound for Glory in 2012.

  • Coxeaton

    Agreed on a lot of your choices. Good to know that people are giving Impact a chance instead of just not watching it and then saying it sucks because it sucked in the past. It’s a shame more people haven’t been watching because the Roode/Storm angle has been great and it’s only just starting

  • Coxeaton

    How is Triple H/Undertaker from Mania even on that list. Just because you kick out of each others finishers for 30 minutes doesn’t make it a good match. To top it off, it looks like we’re gonna get Triple H/Undertaker kicking out of each others finishers, performing their opponents finishers on each other for probably 40 minutes once again. Love how Impact haters bash TNA for using older wrestlers. Pot…Kettle…Black

  • Anonymous

    I agree that Taker-HHH wasn’t my thing, which is why I was happy to see WrestleMania not even on the list for event of the year.

  • Sample

    What about Sara Del Ray? Or the Orton/Christian feud?

  • Clmbiangambit2

    Can anybody provide a link to the Bobby Roode promo that was nominated?

  • Anonymous

    I think it was this one:

  • Curtis Williams

    IT HAS SUCKED! I mean RAW hasnt been the best but I mean I get more bang for my buck watching RAW than IMPACT.I stopped watching because it just got worse week after week. Smackdown>RAW>Impact.

  • Owangotang

    How the hell is Dolph Ziggler the most improved? The one adjective you think of when you think of Ziggler is HEEL, conveniently stitched across his ass. The guy has less flavor than white bread soaked in oatmeal.

    R Truth was robbed in that category. IT’S A C-O-N-SPIRACY! Consider what R Truth was in January ’11 and what he is now. Hell, Truth could have been the top heel in the company if WWE didn’t idiotically job him out to a soda in the face at Capital Punishment.

  • Anonymous

    My personal promo of the year: “All I want to know is if Mark Calloway can walk”

    What do you think? (Sorry, had to do that one last time Owangotang).

    I think Ziggler is fine for most improved, he wrestled a ton of decent matches and was the guy they trusted to wrestle twice on some shows.

  • Owangotang

    Oh…oh god no…the pain…

    *shakes it off*…I just don’t know that Ziggler is all that much more improved. He could “go” last year. More trusted now? Sure, but he’s still as dull as mud. Why do you think he has Vickie?

    I was thinking about it and there is a category that I wish would have been included: Most disappointing wrestler of the year, as in who did the least while being expected to do a lot:

    I’d say Alex Riley. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, Riley is not good, at least not yet. Riley was, however, on FIRE when he started feuding with Miz. A-Ry’s new music was very well received and Riley was even inserted into tag matches alongside SUPERCENA. Now? Riley is just…nowhere? Superstars? Maybe?

  • Alexander_Had

    Omg, Hargrove and Incognito holiday-merged then posted this!

  • Blair A. Douglas

    Coeaxton: Hate to break it to you, but Impact has been better than RAW, especially over the last 4 months. You clearly don’t watch it and yes the Beer Money split has been a great angle, that hopefully will pay off at Bound for Glory in 2012.

    CoreyYuenEaxton: RAW and Impact are both better than they were a little while ago. But Impact is still really awful. The random tag-team thing is just strange. Roode is not a great choice for a champion, and, although I’m happy to see them put a younger guy on top for once, he’s dull as dishwater. Plus they got Jeff Hardy up at the top again now, proof that they don’t learn.

  • Matthew

    We left Japan off as they may end up being their own awards.

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