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What I’m thankful for in the Wrestling and MMA World, 2016 edition


Thanksgiving has come and gone once again. Last year, I wrote what I was thankful for in the MMA and wrestling world. My Main Event co-host and MMA writer Kristine shared what she has been thankful for this year in MMA. I thought it was time to revisit the year that gave us great moments in MMA and pro wrestling. Here are my top five things to be thankful for:

Matt Hardy

A few months ago, I wrote about Matt Hardy and how his #BROKEN brilliance has changed professional wrestling. The creativity Matt has put into his character and how it has evolved over the past few months is incredible. TNA Impact Wrestling has had some solid moments this year, and one of the main reasons to tune in is to see what crazy antics will come next at the Hardy Compound. With moments like The Final Deletion, Delete or Decay and The Great War, everything this man touches turns to gold. When there are people in 2016 who are looking forward to a whole Impact episode regarding The Hardy’s, you know you are doing something WONDERFUL!

Lucha Underground 

Once again, Lucha Underground has provided fans something different to watch. Even with spoilers due to the show being taped months in advance, it still has a large following. Seeing a rejuvenated Rey Mysterio is a nice addition to an already stacked roster. Over the past few weeks, Sexy Star and Johnny Mundo had their dreams fulfilled by becoming a champion (there are no gender limits for a wrestler there). Rumors have it that season 4 will begin taping soon. Add the possibility of the promotion starting tours around the US/world and that’s a recipe for success.

MMA in New York

When the bill was passed to legalize MMA in New York, a dream became a reality. UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden basically set the bar for future events in The Big Apple. Its now OK to have MMA events all over New York, most likely giving local UFC gyms a lot of business. UFC 209 will be at the Barclays Center, and I’m sure other organizations can’t wait to make their mark in New York.

Bullet Club…specifically Kenny Omega

New Japan Pro Wrestling has provided wrestling fans with great moments/wrestlers to watch over the years. The Bullet Club has been one of the most dominant groups in quite some time. Their popularity is almost on par with the New World Order. After A.J. Styles left the company to join WWE, a man named Kenny Omega took over the group and has been raising hell ever since. “The Cleaner” is one of the best wrestling personalities today. He knows Japanese (some wrestlers don’t learn the language while in Japan), has great mic skills and was the winner of NJPW’s most popular tournament, the G1 Climax. Omega will face Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 4th, 2017 (NJPW’s equivalent to WrestleMania). We could be ringing in the new year with a Canadian as Japan’s number one guy, and I’m excited for that possibility.

Women in Sports 

Last year, I praised the women who were setting the bar for future female athletes. 2016 has been a banner year for women in the MMA and pro wrestling world. Thanks to NXT and the elimination of the term “Diva”, WWE has provided us with history making women’s matches. From the Charlotte-Sasha Banks rivalry to SmackDown’s consistent booking, the “Women’s Revolution” has elevated above and beyond expectations. There are rumors of a women’stournament that will be ran like the Cruiserweight Classic. Now THAT would definitely be something to look forward to in 2017.

Ronda Rousey may have taken a break from the spotlight this past year, but there have been other women who have been able to carry the sport. Cris Cyborg is still as dominant as ever, Paige VanZant is doing great both in and outside the octagon and Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Karolina Kowalkiewicz blew the roof off of Madison Square Garden. The news of Heather Hardy joining the MMA world is exciting as well. If this keeps up, we could see some great moments from the women of the MMA and pro wrestling world in the future.

I can’t wait to see what I’ll be thankful for in 2017. I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises along the way.



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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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