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Cody, Rhea, MJF, Becky, Punk & more win year-end awards from major outlets

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... when most websites and print publications churn out “best of” lists and rankings for the previous 11+ months before the calendar flips to January. It happens in almost all corners of the pop culture universe, and the pro wrestling world is certainly part of that.

Like all awards these are subjective, so they’re not all going to line-up with your personal picks. But they’re good discussion/debate starters, and a nice honor (and good publicity) for the winners and the promotions they represent.

Two prominent versions dropped yesterday (Dec. 26), giving us the 2023 editions from the New York Post and ESPN. The Post’s come from their man man on the pro wrestling beat, Joseph Staszewski. ESPN’s were decided by a panel, which included Staszweski, Andreas Hale of The Sporting News & Sirius XM, and our old colleague Marc Raimondi.

Take a gander at their picks — and be sure to head to and to read their explanations, see who got honorable mentions, and more. And let us know where you agree or disagree in the comments below:

Male Wrestler of the Year

Cody Rhodes (ESPN)
MJF (NY Post)

Female Wrestler of the Year

Rhea Ripley (ESPN)
Becky Lynch (NY Post)

Tag team of the Year

FTR (ESPN & NY Post)

Match of the Year

Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 (NY Post)
Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 & AEW Forbidden Door (tie - ESPN)

PPV of the Year

WrestleMania 39 (ESPN)
AEW Forbidden Door (NY Post)

Breakout/Breakthrough Wrestler of the Year

LA Knight (NY Post’s male winner & ESPN)
Julia Hart (NY Post’s female winner)

Return/Debut of the Year

CM Punk, WWE Survivor Series (ESPN & NY Post)

Storyline of the Year

The Bloodline (ESPN & NY Post)

Promo Artist of the Year (ESPN only)


Faction of the Year (NY Post only)

The Judgment Day

Promo of the Year (NY Post only)

Cody Rhodes & Sami Zayn, WWE Raw (Feb. 13)

Manager of the Year (NY Post only)

Paul Heyman

Best OMG moment (NY Post only)

Sami Zayn turns on The Bloodline, WWE Royal Rumble

Best Story (NY Post only)

Endeavor buys WWE

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