The votes are in, and the people have spoken.
In a near-sweep by WWE’s performers, Seth Rollins took the lead as he was named 2023’s Wrestler of the Year by the readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. For Rollins, it is the second time that he has won this award.
In 2023, Rollins had several great moments and matches, including an outstanding encounter with Logan Paul at WrestleMania 39 that saw Rollins leave victorious. In May, The Visionary defeated AJ Styles to become the first World Heavyweight Champion in WWE. The title was created due to Roman Reigns’ infrequent defenses of the Undisputed Universal Championship, thanks to the terms of his contract.
After winning the gold in Saudi Arabia to become the top champion on Raw, Rollins vowed to be a fighting champion, and that he was. For the remainder of the year, Rollins defended the title seemingly everywhere, including Raw, NXT, and premium live events. Rollins also defended his crown at several non-televised live events, where he wasn’t afraid to bleed if it meant giving the fans their money’s worth.
As good a year as the World Champion had, Rollins wasn’t the only performer from WWE that PWI readers thought had a banner 2023.
Judgment Day took a bulk of the awards, beginning with Rhea Ripley, who was named PWI’s Woman of the Year. Along with Charlotte Flair, Ripley also won Match of the Year for their performance at WrestleMania 39. As a group, Judgment Day was named Faction of the Year, and “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio picked up the trophy for Most Hated Wrestler of the Year.
On the flip side of that dubious distinction, Cody Rhodes took home Most Popular Wrestler of the Year honors, and Sami Zayn’s crusade against the Bloodline won Feud of the Year.
Other winners included:
- Tag Team of the Year: FTR
- Inspirational Wrestler of the Year: Mark Briscoe
- Comeback of the Year: Trinity
- Most Improved Wrestler of the Year: LA Knight
- Rookie Wrestler of the Year: Sol Ruca
- Indie Wrestler of the Year: Matt Cardona
The April 2024 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated is available to purchase at PWI’s website. It includes a year in review for 2023, two recipients of PWI’s Lifetime Achievement (Stanley Weston) Award, a list of unofficial official awards, and more.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Do you agree or disagree with the readers of PWI and their picks for 2023? Let your thoughts be known in the comments section.