2019 women's wrestling year-end

2019 Women’s Wrestling Year-End Roundtable

Tag Team of the Year:

Lauren Founds: Kabuki Warriors. The decision to turn Asuka and Kairi Sane heel was the best decision for both women. The tag team championship finally found a home with a team that can spotlight how important the titles are and should have been.

Phil Lindsey: It’s obviously the Kabuki Warriors. They’re not just the best team to hold the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, they’re probably the best tag champs in the company at the moment. I would also give an honorable mention to Team Sea Stars because they’re so fun to watch and they had a strong year.

Kristen Ashly: I’m going to swerve everyone, and say that the new WOW Tag Team Champions, Fire and Adrenaline, or Kiera Hogan and Diamante, are my picks for tag team of the year. The two are simply incredible in the ring together, and frankly, support some of the best actual wrestling you can find on WOW. I’m excited to see what next season will bring for the tag team division at WOW.

Patricia Rogers: I was beyond proud and emotional for Sasha Banks and Bayley when they won the WWE women’s tag team titles. However, my pick for tag team of the year is the Kabuki Warriors. They were able to draw interest in the championships by being so damn good. Their work in the ring speaks for itself, but it is their antics and personality that makes them the tag team of the year. Fans had been waiting for Asuka to get more shine, and Kairi had moved up from NXT after a good championship run. Putting them together was magic. And once they got rid of Paige as their mouthpiece, thanks to Asuka spitting green mist, it was on and popping. The Kabuki Warriors have already elevated the tag titles, and I have a feeling they are just getting started.

Harmony Cox: Twisted Sisters! Holidead and Thunder Rosa are two of my favorite wrestlers separately, but together they’re something else. Holidead’s brutal take-no-prisoners style mixed with her terrifyingly energetic darkside weirdness is the perfect foil for Thunder Rosa’s nimble in-ring work and joyful, dancing taunts. They work extremely well together and win or lose, their matches are always a good time. I recommend checking out their WrestleMania weekend match against Cheerleader Melissa and Mercedes Martinez. It’s hard to get a Mania weekend crowd to root against Martinez, but they pulled it off.

Dean BuckleyWoke Queens. Born in OTT and flourishing anywhere they’ve gone since, the Woke Queens have taken independent women’s wrestling by storm. They defeated Laura Di Matteo and Mercedes Martinez in a hard-fought tournament final to win the EVE Tag Team Championships and maintained a stranglehold on women’s wrestling in their homeland so tight it took the return of another queen to overcome them. They’re just getting started, too.

Woman of the Year:

Lauren Founds: Becky Lynch. There is no other performer, in my opinion, that had the year Becky Lynch had. She has been the face of WWE for a majority of the year and hottest thing going for the promotion. “The Man” is the Woman of the Year.

Phil Lindsey: Tessa Blanchard. In terms of career accomplishments and exposure, Becky Lynch had the best year in wrestling. However, Blanchard debatably had a year that was just as historic. Tessa essentially transcended women’s wrestling this year. Seeing her compete alongside the men for a chance at the IMPACT World Championship and fight for the X-Divison title was monumental. It evokes the same energy as Chyna did during the Attitude Era. Honestly, it could be seen as more impactful because Chyna was always viewed as someone who was above wrestling with other women. On the other hand, Tessa is an average-sized woman, who has competed against the best women and worked to prove she hang with the men too. If she wins at Hard to Kill next month and becomes the first female IMPACT World Champion, she will make history. Her feud with Sami Callihan this year will become legendary.

Kristen Ashly: I’ll have to agree with Phil, and choose Tessa Blanchard. Tessa has proven time and time again that you don’t need a WWE contract to leave a huge impression on women and little girls everywhere. From intergender stardom, to indie darling, to Impact staple, Tessa has worn a lot of masks in 2019, and I can’t wait to see what boundaries and glass ceilings she breaks for women next.

Patricia Rogers: Just because I want to choose someone other than “The Man”, who has clearly made a huge impact, I am choosing Bayley. This has been one of the biggest years of her career since her breakout in 2015. We saw her slowly getting more aggressive as the year progressed. She made history as half of the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions with Sasha Banks, won Money in the Bank, and successfully cashed in on Charlotte to win the SmackDown Women’s Champion, making her a grand slam champion. And her biggest moment was yet to come, she finally turned heel. The perennial babyface, who was always so happy to be here, went over to the dark side. Made official by killing the Bayley Buddies, and rocking a blunt bob. Reactions to her run as a heel have been mixed, but you can’t deny it has been one of Bayley’s better and more memorable years in WWE.

Harmony Cox: Big Swole by a mile. I’ve been a fan of hers since I saw her at FEST and I’ve been waiting for her to blow up, and I am so glad it’s finally her time. Swole had an incredible year on the indies, bringing gold back to the Swole Family at RISE and generally dominating at every company that has had the luck to sign her for a match. She’s also had a great year outside of the ring, advocating for diversity in wrestling via blog posts and panel appearances where she tells it like it is to wrestling fans whether they like it or not. Swole has never been willing to compromise who she is to fit in on a company roster, and it seems like 2019 has been the year we’re possibly ready to get on her level. AEW, please use her well.

Dean Buckley: Rhea Ripley. You could point to everything Rhea Ripley has achieved this year and say “well, duh”. She’s pinned half the Four Horsewomen, she landed the winning pin for her team in both WarGames and Survivor Series, and now she’s the NXT Women’s Champion. But that’s booking. You could book anyone to do any of those things. What matters is whether Rhea has lived up to her booking and she clearly has. She’s been booked like Brock Lesnar and sells it so well that she’s had virtually zero backlash. She’s a force of nature in the ring, out of the ring, everywhere she goes and everything she does. She could main event WrestleMania 36 and no one would blink an eye. She’s that over, and she deserves to be. Rhea Ripley is the future of women’s wrestling.

Agree with our choices? Let us know who you would choose for the above categories in the comments below!

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