Hi and welcome to the Rear View Reviews wrestling awards for 2018. Here are the voters and their Twitter handles;
Ian Hamilton (@theianhamilton), Rob Reid (@britwresround), Mike Kilby (@mikekilby), Manu Romero (@manuromerograps), Alex (@trinidadchainz), Chris Boyle (@boyleybugs), Mark Ashford (@iloikewrestling), Mort (@brothermort), Joao (@thekingofboom), Amanda Why (@manda_why), Aqeel (@aqeelkhalid) and myself @arnoldfurious
So yeah, we fucked up. Millie wasn’t an official rookie in 2017 but she did change her name to Millie McKenzie in 2017. Her first match as McKenzie was in January 2017. So we were sort of right. But then someone voted for Kyle Fletcher who’s been wrestling for five years so nobody’s perfect.
Rookie of the Year
- Ronda Rousey 27
- Utami Hayashishita 16
- Yota Tsuji 3
- Kacy Catanzaro 2
- Yuki Ishikawa 2
- Yuya Uemura 1
This year we had two super strong contenders for Rookie of the Year. Ronda was always winning due to her bigger exposure in WWE but the second one is the intriguing Utami Hayashishita. Her first ever match was televised on Stardom World and was a solid ***1/2 match with Jungle Kyona that I put down to a Kyona carry job. Two months later Utami was headlining Korakuen Hall in the final of the 5Star GP. She moved with the poise of someone far more experienced and delivered a match that had me rivetted. Her first match was in August. That 5Star final was September 24. From debut to main event in 6 weeks. She. Is. Incredible.
Ronda was an easy pick for top spot thanks to her strong debut showing at WrestleMania. When your first match is on the biggest stage in the world and you not only perform but absolutely kill it, you’re on your way to being a legend in the wrestling business. Some of the crowd have not enjoyed Rousey and maybe feel she’s been pushed too quickly and hasn’t “paid her dues”. That’s bullshit. She’s a goddamn star.