We’re just past the halfway mark of the year and the past six months have provided some great moments courtesy of impressive superstars and divas.
We have seen some brilliant events from WrestleMania to the NXT TakeOver events, and certain superstars and divas have had a good six months or so whilst other have failed to hit the same heights.
Judging by the events that have taken place over the last six months, I and fellow GiveMeSport Lead WWE writer Phillipa Hopwood have put forward our thoughts on who has been impressive in the first six months of 2015.
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SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR
We’re just over six months in and there are a handful of superstars who can really stake a claim in being one of the best superstars over the past six months. Who has really enjoyed a successful six months? Roman Reigns is up there, as is John Cena whilst Kevin Owens and Brock Lesnar have also seen success.
But for me, the superstar of the year so far has to be Seth Rollins. He hasn’t exactly been the brave champion we are usually used to but it’s the role he’s been given and he’s done well with it. Regardless of the situation with The Authority, he’s always found a way to retain the title he won at WrestleMania.
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He’s one of the best wrestlers in the company and he shows it on a weekly basis without fail and when he says he’s the future of the WWE, he’s 100% correct. It will be interesting to see whether he will still be in a similar situation come December time.
Phillipa: I know a lot of people would be thinking Kevin Owens would be the superstar of the year and he probably will take the Slammy at the end of the year but right now, he’s only been on the main roster for a few months so it would be harsh to other superstars if I was to hand the accolade to him.
Owens can have the breakout superstar, for me the superstar of the past six months has to be Seth Rollins. He has become WWE World Heavyweight Champion, lost The Authority then re-joined them in the space of a few months and I feel like that has allowed him to flourish as a character.
There is a lot of thought around that WWE have failed with Rollins because there’s too much hatred surrounding him, but he is a heel. He is supposed to be hated and if he is going to be the next big heel in the company then the WWE are building him up perfectly. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for Battleground.
DIVA OF THE YEAR
There’s no point even discussing which main roster deserves this accolade because the fact is, it’s going to go to an NXT diva. On NXT there are four women to choose from and they are Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Sasha Banks and for me the diva of the year so far has to be Sasha Banks.
I do think come the end of the year, Sasha Banks will be the actual diva of the year, she’s just that good. As a fan of hers, I hope she stays well away from the main roster because of the name she has made for herself on NXT and every single one of her matches are top notch and it’s refreshing to see someone so young go out there and impress every single week and be the main talking point of a show which features some of the finest competitors in the WWE, Sasha Banks is simply that good as she’s proving it.
Phillipa: I have hated watching the main roster divas since AJ Lee left, there is no direction, there is no story and I just feel sorry for everyone involved in the division right now. If I was to award any diva the accolade then it would be Becky Lynch.
I think she has stepped up so much over the past six months, she’s gone from someone who was unknown to the WWE Universe to a genuine contender for the jump up to the main roster. Her match with Sasha Banks at Unstoppable was THE best divas match I have ever seen and that just helps prove my point further. I think the Irish diva will be a force to be reckoned with when she returns from injury.
FACE OF THE YEAR
I don’t think there are many genuine contenders for this one as the fans tend to boo and cheer who they want on a weekly basis. But one star who has maintained his fan base is Dean Ambrose. He’s relatable, he’s different, he’s quirky, he does things differently and as fans we love that.
We don’t even know where he is headed, he’s in and out of the title picture, put into any random match but we don’t seem to care as he always manages to get some of the loudest reactions, by far he is the best face of the year so far and he probably will be in the same position come the end of the year.
Phillipa: There is no question in the WWE right now as to who the biggest face is. Dean Ambrose is on fire at the moment. He isn’t in a rivalry, he doesn’t have any direction but the fans are behind him 100% and they are hoping at some point the former Shield member will be given the push his two teammates have received in recent weeks.
Ambrose gives 110% in every match and his passion for the business is undeniable and I think this is why he is a firm fan favourite.
HEEL OF THE YEAR
Seth Rollins might be the heel champion everyone loves to hate, but Kevin Owens has to take this crown. From the moment he turned on Sami Zayn last year it was clear he was only going to get better as a heel and he’s done just that since making his main roster debut.
How can you top his debut? Taking out the face of the company and disrespecting the United States Championship and even defeating Cena clean in the middle of the ring. He’s so smug, cocky and he gets under the skin of fans which is why he’s so special. I feel that Kevin Owens is definitely going to take this crown at the end of the year also, being the bad guy seems to come so naturally to him and he’s working wonders so far and it will only get better.
Phillipa: This is really hard because I have already named Rollins, but I am going to say Brock Lesnar. Even though now he is slowly turning into a face. His build up heading into WrestleMania was perfect and the match he had with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania was so much better than anyone ever expected and I am so happy that he and Roman defied my expectations.
Lesnar destroyed Kofi Kingston and the New Day at Beast in the East on Saturday and I feel like this is what WWE has lacked for the past few months he has been missing. Owens has been a good fill in but Lesnar is the real beast.
UNDERRATED STAR OF THE YEAR
I’m going to cheat here and not pick one, but three. For me the underrated stars of the year so far have to be the New Day. As soon as I saw them the first time I thought it would take them weeks to fall into mediocrity and they would be forgotten but I am pleased I was proven wrong.
The chemistry between Big E, Kofi Kingston and especially Xavier Woods is something you have to notice and appreciate and it’s their little mannerisms that are on display on a weekly basis which make them unique. From the way they clap their hands and ridicule to the fans in their own fashion to the way Xavier Woods shouts his impressive one-liners. I hope they continue the direction they’re heading in, they’ve been fantastic so far.
Phillipa: Neville. Yes, I know he’s only been on the main roster since the night after WrestleMania but wow, the man that gravity forgot has been the most exciting entertainer in the WWE for a long time. He and Kalisto have lit up the mid card all over again and I can’t wait to see the latter as a singles competitor.
Neville and Barrett has a fantastic couple of run-ins but it was Neville’s match against Chris Jericho on Saturday that showed me that he is the future of the business. Neville took the loss but much like the Money in the Bank ladder match, he stole the show and that’s all the WWE Universe ask for.
OVERRATED STAR OF THE YEAR
Sheamus. He’s slowly being put into the main event picture and I have nothing against him but I don’t think he needs the briefcase, somebody else could utilise it better. He missed the start of the year, and upon his return he seems to be taking the opportunities of the guys that were healthy and competed on a weekly basis to get into the position he’s in. Are you not entertained? No Sheamus, not really.
Phillipa: Rusev. Without a doubt the Bulgarian Brute is the most overrated guy in WWE right now. WWE has built Rusev up as a beast over the past few months but then heading into WrestleMania he was beaten by John Cena and that seemed to be the beginning of the end for him.
Everyone WWE has allowed to go on an unbeaten run has ended up being dropped after it has ended and it seems right now that Rusev has no way of climbing back up.
MATCH OF THE YEAR
A number of great matches have taken place. I really enjoyed Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch as well as the matches between Kevin Owens and John Cena. But my match of the year dates back to January at the Royal Rumble where Brock Lesnar retained his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins.
I can’t fault the match. It was perfect, we saw great technical wrestling, a number of close calls and the fans were well into it from start to finish. I think storyline wise it was great, because with Lesnar’s future up in the air we still believed there was a slight chance Lesnar might lose and he came so close, but showed again why he’s so impressive. It will take a lot in the remainder of the year to top this triple threat match.
Phillipa: Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor, I know it only happened on Saturday but this for me is one of the best matches I have seen in a very long time. Kevin Owens has already had four match of the year nominees in the past few months but this for me was the best one.
I am a massive Finn Balor/Prince Devitt fan and I loved that WWE gave him the opportunity in Japan. I also loved the storytelling in the match the Kudagra was hit twice and attempted three times. I loved the way that the two bounced off each other and I thought it was genuinely a very good match. I don't get emotional about wrestling a lot and the fact that this match left me in tears for the first time, ever means that it has more than deserved this award.
EVENT OF THE YEAR
It has to be WrestleMania 31. So much hype surrounding it, so many brilliant moments and it was an incredible show. We had The Rock, we had Ronda Rousey, we had Sting, the nWo and DX.
We had one of the greatest RKO’s of all time, we had Lesnar punish Roman Reigns and we had the first ever WrestleMania cash-in. It was a great venue, the fans were great, the matches were great and it was definitely worth all of the hype surrounding it.
Phillipa: WrestleMania 31, without a doubt that was one of the best WrestleMania's I have ever seen. It had everything, The Rock, Sting vs Triple H, Brock V Roman, a fantastic RKO, the return of The Undertaker and a great ladder match. I loved it from start to finish and what a finish.
That was the biggest cliffhanger that WWE has ever given the WWE Universe at WrestleMania. I think Mania 32 has a lot to contend with but if Sting vs Undertaker happens then it should be ok.