The 2005 Tapatia Awards are – still not underway. This week, in a blatant attempt to fill space, we’re just previewing some of the deserving candidates for each award. Voting has not yet begun; this is just an occasion for discussion. I’m not trying to say who you should vote for; the idea is to give some names/events as possibilities, and everyone else discusses them.
Tentative Schedule of discussion:
Monday: Best Wrestler
Tuesday: Best Promotion, Best Rivalary
Wednesday: Best Tecnico, Best Rudo
Thursday: Best Legend, Best Female, Most Improved, Most Underutilized
Friday: Best Match, Best Singles Match, Best Non-Singles match
Best Wrestler (choose your top five)
2004 Winner: LA Park
I believe this category is wide open in terms of possibilities; you could with a few different wrestlers as #1, and I think lists 1-5 could vary. The candidates break down into a few different categories:
The No Doubters
If Mistico and Perro Aguayo Jr. aren’t on everyone’s ballots, I’d be shocked. I think they’re so obvious, it’s not even worth stating the cases of why they should be in your top 5; the only debate for me is which guy is better. I lean towards the guy who had to work in in more varying circumstances. Mistico was an underdog tecnico constantly, while Perro worked rudo and tecnico depending on who he was feuding with the second. Mistico was more spectacular, so I could see a case the other way.
The Almost No Doubters
If Atlantis and Dr. Wagner Jr. had The Match, one of them would be unanimous wrestler of the year, I believe. It probably would’ve been Wagner, and it probably would’ve been despite losing his mask. It was an unexpected year for both of them – Dr. Wagner had turned tecnico last year, but I’m not sure you could’ve predicted how over he’d get, and anyone who saw the Atlantis rudo stuff coming probably should’ve tipped off CMLL management earlier and saved everyone a lot of heartache. The fact that they didn’t have The Match, leaving a big void where a meaningful match should be (though Atlantis picked up quite a few trophies), might be a strike enough to leave them off a crowded list.
The Drawing Freaks
There’s no great internet groundswell for Konnan, Vamprio, or Groon; they probably won’t get a match of the year vote, and would be far more likely to appear in Worst Of The Year votes. Still, Gronda drew while in AAA and in the months just after he left, and Konnan and Vampiro were the big names on the biggest drawing shows of the year. If what the ticket paying fan gravitated to is a factor in your decision (and it could be! and it could not be! it’s your vote), you’d have to strongly consider these three because fans did want to see them.
I’m not exactly confident, but I think you could add Latin Lover (who may be more important, but is also wrestling less and didn’t have a big year) and La Parka Jr. (who won Rey de Reyes, and I still don’t know how) to this category.
Notable Mentions For The Year
It’s impossible to consider Perro Aguayo without considering his normal rival, Universo 2000. Given a better opponent then better years, it seems like he’s had a better year, not to mention big headline wins over Garza and Halloween. Universo’s in this category rather than the next because he’s an old man who conserves his energy by making the run of the mill matches feel very much so; I’m not confident that he just won’t start seeing everything as run of the mill sooner or later.
In my mind, Dark Angel is less important as an in-ring wrestler than as a symbol of the boom/bubble for women’s wrestling in 2005. There are probably more talented and likely more beautiful, but she was the eye of the hurricane, and her popularity (however it came) affected the composition of wrestling cards she wasn’t on, and gave opportunities to women she had no more than an indirect relationship. It wasn’t just Dark Angel (and next year, maybe it won’t be her, or maybe it won’t last), but as a 2005 symbol of the rise of women’s wrestling, Dark Angel perfectly fits the picture.
Until they suffer an injury, or fall off greatly, or just vanish, there’s a group of people you can pencil in for great years before the year even starts. You know they’ll get an opportunity and they’ll make the most of it, even if they don’t have a particularly noteworthy moment during the year. This group currently includes Ultimo Guerrero, Hector Garza, Negro Casas, Shocker and, with a slight stretch, Rey Bucanero. Santo has wrestled enough to throw himself in this list, this year. These are the guys who you look forward to watching, but may get slighted in a Best Of list, because it wasn’t particularly their year.
Who did I miss? What arguments am I missing? What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments!