Ah, this one's going to get me in trouble. But those of you who know me know that I don't care much about being in trouble. It's kind of a natural state.
The 2017 UWA Elite Year-End Awards are voted on and handed out this December, and every year, debates tend to emerge surrounding them. They're the same arguments as any awards voting generate:
"Who deserves what?" "I think that guy got screwed." "I don't like the results!"
I enjoy the UWA Elite Awards purely for the fact that the fans make up the predominant portion of the voting. Of course, I'm entitled the same amount of votes as any of you - just one ballot.
With that in mind, I'm going to reveal to you my full ballot for the 2017 UWA Elite Year-End Awards. Whether you agree or disagree, I want to hear from you! Feel free to sound off on social media and let me know what you think.
Here goes nothing...
Colin West's Official 2017 UWA Elite Year-End Awards Ballot
Match of the Year: Archadia vs. TJ Blade, Setting the Standard 2017
I'm taking some sentiment out of it - of course, many fans may prefer the sequel at Last Breath, in which TJ Blade became UWA Elite Champion. But the Setting the Standard UWA Elite Championship match was as brilliant a contest as I've witnessed in six years at UWA Elite. The champion was at the height of his performance, and the challenger rode a wave of emotional support to one of the greatest losing efforts in recent memory.
The result? A main event that launched the 2017 season, a match that defined the greatness of two UWA Elite Champions, and my favorite match of 2017.
Wrestler of the Year: Archadia
Archadia defeated TJ Blade, Kyle the Beast, Jon Rome, Matt Vertigo, Brandon the Bull, Drake Chambers, Bowes, and King Tek during the 2017 season, all while becoming a 3-time UWA Elite Champion and performing in front of crowds who always wanted to see him lose.
Take away 2 UWA Elite Championship reigns, and you still have a man who went 3-0 against KTB and was only pinned once all season.
Tag Team of the Year: The BROtein Pack
Tag Team Champions from January until October - oh, and TJ Blade is your UWA Elite Champion, and Mike C-Way was Iron Man Champion at the start of the 2017 season. Arguments could be made for the Destined Ones and Designated Hitters, sure, but no team had the success, the influence, or the popularity of the BROtein Pack this year.
Feud of the Year: Bowes vs. Brandon Kirk
Sure, you might not like either of these guys now, but my God, did they put on one of the most memorable trilogy of matches in UWA Elite history earlier this season. An intense singles match brought about a devastating Chairs Match, which in turn led to a downright hard-to-watch Last Man Standing contest that changed both men forever.
(As a side note: My 2nd-favorite feud of the year - Drake Chambers vs. Nicholas Kaye - didn't even get a nomination, and that's my only real "hose job" of these awards.)
Most Popular Wrestler: The BROtein Pack
I could easily have voted for Brandon the Bull here as well. But there was something special about the support and love shown to the BROtein Pack this year. Whether operating as a tag team or in singles competition, Mike C-Way and TJ Blade routinely garnered the biggest crowd reactions of the season.
Most Hated Wrestler: Jeremiah
Surprise! I really thought hard about this one. By the end of the year, nobody was more hated that Miles Thomas. But from beginning to end, Jeremiah was the epitome of everything UWA Elite fans love to hate. He sought out to "burn UWA Elite to the ground", constantly garnered the ire of the fanbase, and then caused the shocking retirement of his brother Jon Rome, one of the most beloved competitors in UWA Elite history.
Event of the Year: UWA Elite vs. the World: Vol. 3
An unconventional choice, for sure. But I took every show, removed the show title, and really looked at the matches. Top to bottom, the best wrestling show of 2017 was UWA Elite vs. the World: Vol. 3. Two of this year's nominees for Match of the Year (Brandon Kirk vs. Bowes in a Chairs Match, KTB vs. Ryan Galeone), plus Brandon the Bull vs. TJ Marconi and strong title defenses by Archadia and King Tek made this my choice.
Newcomer of the Year: Miles Thomas
Ugh. I voted based on statistics and relevance alone. Moving on.
Most Improved Wrestler: Christopher Powers
This pick isn't just about in-ring improvement; it's about identity. Chris Powers morphed from a nice, athletic wrestler and bit player into a leading man when he turned on Thomas Kobryn. The "Hollywood Stuntman" was born, and Powers thrived with the change in attitude. He advanced to the semi-finals of the Crossroads Tournament, was a highlight in the Golden Ticket Match, and experienced a career resurgence in UWA Elite.
Master of the Microphone: Nicholas Kaye
In my opinion, the best promo in UWA Elite right now. Every word is meant, every statement is impactful, and every paragraph serves a purpose. Like smooth jazz and craft beer, Nicholas Kaye isn't everyone's taste - but you can't question that he's classy.
OMG! Move of the Year: Bowes & Kirk Superplex on Bed of Chairs
The defining moment in my 2017 Feud of the Year. As horrifying as it was... well, really fun to watch.
Most Shocking Moment of the Year: Nicholas Kaye Threatens a Fan to Win iChampionship
I don't care about your chairs, or thumbtacks, or anything else. Nicholas Kaye threatened to swing a chair at a 9-year-old's head in order to get King Tek to surrender his iChampionship. Period. End of sentence. Everybody else go home.