Welcome to part one of the "Best of 2021" Year-End Awards as presented by Impact Asylum. For the month of December, the readers of Impact Asylum voted on about a dozen different categories to determine the best of Impact Wrestling this past year. Part One includes categories such as Greatest Rivalry, Show of the Year, Elite Guest Star, Best of the X and Most Memorable Moment. Read below for the voting results.
SHOW OF THE YEAR
Slammiversary (44%), Bound for Glory (26%), Knockouts Knockdown (13%)
Impact Asylum readers voted Slammiversary as the show of the year. The anniversary show of Impact was headlined by the well-built Kenny Omega vs Sami Callihan No Disqualification Match. The main event was a banger. Another Match of the Year candidate on the card was Ultimate X, which saw Josh Alexander retain the X Division Champion. Rounding out the card were matches like Eddie Edwards vs W. Morrissey, the return of Finjuice and Chelsea Green, debuts of talent like No Way and Thunder Rosa and so much more. While last year the tagline was "our world will change" this year was more about the in-ring showcase.
ELITE GUEST STAR OF THE YEAR
Kenny Omega (62%), Christian Cage (23%), Christopher Daniels (11%)
One of the biggest stories of the year was Impact's partnership with AEW which saw the forbidden door being broken down. Kenny Omega was a shining star for AEW challenging and then winning the Impact World Championship at Rebellion. It was arguably the biggest match of the year in Impact. Omega would go on to defend his championship against other Impact top dogs Moose and Sami Callihan before losing it to Christian Cage on the debut of Dynamite. In his entire run in Impact, Omega was never pinned by an Impact talent. You could say that was quite a year for this Elite star.
NEW JAPAN GUEST STAR OF THE YEAR
Finjuice (49%), Bullet Club (25%), Minoru Suzuki (18%)
Many Impact fans are in agreement that Impact's relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling has been more mutually beneficial. Many New Japan talent have come in and worked well with Impact talent. One of the longest reigning New Japan acts in Impact has been Finjuice (David Finlay and Juice Robinson). Finjuice have been a consistent tag team in the tag division for the majority of 2021, even defeating the Good Brothers to win the Impact Championship before being screwed out of the titles from Violent by Design. Finjuice would later return at Slammiversary and chase the tag titles unsuccessfully until the end of the year. They have been a fun act during their run this year.
Deonna Purrazzo vs Mickie James (62%), Sami Callihan vs Kenny Omega (23%), Trey Miguel vs Sami Callihan (9%)
2021 didn't see many blood feuds between the Impact talent but the one that really stood out came out of Slammiversary when the Executive Producer for NWA Empowerrr, Mickie James invited then Knockout's World Champion, Deonna Purrazzo to compete at the event. What would follow would be a series of heated exchanges and brawls between the two highlighted by Deonna Purrazzo going to Mickie James' ranch and brawling with her in a barn. Mickie would soon get her revenge by defeating Purrazzo for the Knockout Championship at Bound for Glory. This lit a new fire in Deonna as she got back to basics. The two will meet at Hard to Kill in a Texas Deathmatch which could steal the show.
BEST OF THE X
Josh Alexander (73%), Trey Miguel (13%), Chris Bey (7%)
One of the most consistently good wrestlers this year has been Josh Alexander, who went from a tag team with Ethan Page to the top of the mountain as World Champion. It took Alexander months of competing in bangers across the X Division to get there. 2021 was one of the best years of the X Division, partially because of how good Alexander was. He would win the title in an excellent 3-Way match at Rebellion against Ace Austin and TJP and defend it in a series of excellent matches including an Iron Man Match against TJP, an Ultimate X Match, a hard-hitting confrontation with Jake Something and a classic against Chris Sabin. Josh Alexander would never officially lose it as he exchanged the title in Option C for a World Title Match at Bound for Glory. It is without a shadow of a doubt that Josh was the Best of the X Division this year.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Moose calls his shot at Bound For Glory (55%), Kenny Omega wins the World Title (21%), Awesome Kong inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame (5%)
This category was a difficult one for me because Kenny Omega winning the title at Rebellion had a spectacular presentation with cornerman, build and Mauro Ranallo calling the match. With that said, I completely agree with readers when they voted for Moose calling his shot at Bound for Glory.
At Bound for Glory, Josh Alexander dethroned Christian Cage to bring the World Championship back to Impact after being held hostage for months by Elite Wrestlers. Josh had an incredible moment and achieved his dream. He was joined in the ring by his wife and his son to celebrate with him. It was a memorable moment. But that's not how it ended...
All of a sudden, Moose, fresh off his victory in the Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match earlier in the night, appeared in the ring. As Josh attempted to get his wife and kid out of harm's way, Moose cashed in his title match then and there. In front of his wife and kid, Moose smashed Josh with the Lights Out Spear and took away his moment finally capturing the World Heavyweight Championship he had been chasing for years.
It was a disgusting and yet incredible moment that would go down in BFG history.
Please remember to join us tomorrow for Part 2 of the Best of 2021 Awards including Tag Team of 2021, Newcomer of the Year, Match of the Year, Knockout of the Year and Most Valuable Player.