Impact concluded handing out year-end awards for 2021 on the Thursday night episode of Impact Wrestling. Winners were revealed for Male Wrestler of the Year, Men’s Match of the Year, and Knockouts Tag Team of the Year as voted on by the fans. Much to the surprise of many, Kenny Omega was shut out on the evening.
Omega had a strong shot to capture Male Wrestler of the Year and Men’s Match of the Year. He held the Impact World Championship for 110 days and routinely produced outstanding bouts for Impact’s special events and PPVs. Unfortunately, Omega received the goose egg on the evening.
Nominees for Male Wrestler of the Year were:
- Kenny Omega
- Christian Cage
- Josh Alexander
- Rich Swann
The honor went to Josh Alexander.
Personally, I would have went with Omega, but Alexander is a deserving choice. Omega’s arrival through the Forbidden Door brought an amazing sense that anything could happen. Credit to the man for treating his championship run like a full-time member of the Impact roster.
Alexander became a superstar for Impact during 2021. He smoothly made the transition from tag team wrestler with Ethan Page to X-Division champion to Impact world champion while becoming arguably the biggest babyface on the roster in the process. Alexander held the X-Division strap for 151 days before cashing in Option C for a shot at the world title. He proceeded to reach the mountaintop by winning Impact’s top prize from Christian Cage. Even though Alexander’s reign only lasted a few minutes when Moose cheaply cashed in to steal the belt, that brief moment of Alexander celebrating with his family was very special.
Nominees for Men’s Match of the Year were:
- Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann (Rebellion)
- Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan - No DQ (Slammiversary)
- Moose vs. Rich Swann (Sacrifice)
- Christian Cage vs. Josh Alexander (Bound for Glory)
- Josh Alexander vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju vs. Ace Austin vs. Petey Williams vs. Trey Miguel - Ultimate X (Slammiversary)
- Josh Alexander vs. TJP - Ironman (BTI & Impact! June 3)
Alexander won again for the 60-minute Ironman bout against TJP for the X-Division Championship.
The match went down to the wire for a 1-1 draw at the end of an hour. Alexander snatched victory with a double underhook piledriver in sudden death overtime. The Ironman bout was a quality selection as winner. I don’t think there was a wrong choice between that and Omega versus Swann, Omega versus Callihan, or Moose versus Swann.
The epic contest is available for viewing in all its glory.
Nominees for Knockouts Tag Team of the Year were:
- Decay (Rosemary & Havok)
- The IInspiration (Jessie McKay & Cassie Lee)
- Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz)
- Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering
- The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne)
Grace & Ellering won in a bit of a surprise.
Grace & Ellering, Decay, The IInspiration, and Fire ‘N Flava (twice) all carried the tag team titles this year. Grace & Ellering had the shortest reign of the group at 20 days. My pick would have went to Hogan & Steelz due to holding the belts for 162 days total in 2021. They also won the tournament bringing back the Knockouts tag titles after being vacated in 2013.
On the topic of the Knockouts tag team division, we’ll close with an amusing scene between The IInspiration and The Influence prior to their title bout at Impact’s Hard to Kill PPV on January 8. Photo shoots are never dull.
“You’re in the wrong place buddy!”— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 31, 2021
The Iinspiration square off with The Influence at #HardToKill!@JessicaMcKay @CassieLee @MadisonRayne @TenilleDashwood @kalebKonley
LIVE at @thefactoryDE in Dallas, Texas!
Do you agree with the Impact winners for Male Wrestler of the Year, Men’s Match of the Year, and Knockouts Tag Team of the Year?