Every year during award season movie studios and multimedia companies spend millions upon millions of dollars to get their films nominations and hopefully Oscar statues at the annual Academy Awards. These large PR campaigns are typically called “For Your Consideration” as that is the wording most often used in the advertising when they try to convince Academy voters to nominate a certain role for Best Supporting Actress, a certain film for Best Picture, or a certain editor for Best Film Editing.
Here at Voices of Wrestling, we don’t have a multimillion-dollar budget to launch a PR campaign for our favorite matches – we only have the few thousand dollars TK may or may not throw our way every month (I know you’ve seen the invoice out there). Also, we don’t actually produce any wrestling, so the analogy doesn’t really work.
But what we do have is a large group of passionate writers and an upcoming annual tradition – the VOW Match of the Year Poll, one of the greatest sources for showcasing the best matches that pro wrestling has to offer in a given year. In essence, it is one of the largest and most diverse yearly polls in wrestling, regularly having more than 100 voters and spanning multiple countries. Here is a link to the intro for the 2019 Voices of Wrestling Match of the Year Poll, where Rich Kraetsch will walk you through the history and details of the poll.
The “For Your Consideration” project here at Voices of Wrestling will be a primer for the upcoming VOW Match of the Year Poll.
It can be a way for potential voters in the poll to have new matches brought to their attention that they may not otherwise have seen or heard of. Or maybe it will be a way to shine a new light on a match’s greatness or give a match that was on the verge of breaking into the top 10 that last little push it needs in order to get that coveted spot on your list.
Even if you aren’t a voter, these will still be incredible resources and reads because they will all follow the main ethos here at Voices of Wrestling – fans writing with passion. When I originally envisioned this project it was solely as a way to bring attention to lesser-known matches. A lot of times when I see a match of the year list, I feel that a match ranked number 50 would have ended up number 22 if the voting happened a month later, as everyone who heard about it from the list would watch it, love it, and then if they re-voted, it would be on much more ballots.
However, as I was pitching the idea around, I also realized that this “For Your Consideration” series is uniquely suited to help us remember many matches that may have fallen through the cracks in 2020. This has been an insane year to say the least, and it has felt unbearably long. So long, that it would be pretty easy to forget a great match that happened in February 2020, since I’m pretty sure that was actually 42 years ago. In addition to feeling like those matches happened so long ago, some matches may have also gotten lost in the shuffle because we have gone through so many different iterations of wrestling in this COVID era. We’ve had the normal big events in front of crowds like Wrestle Kingdom, Royal Rumble, and NXT Takeover in January through March, as well as empty arena shows, the partial crowd shows, and clap only crowds. With all that it’s easy for the weirdness of this year to get mixed up and muddled in your brain and even forget a match happened in 2020.
The pandemic shutdown also put some wrestlers out of mind for a while. Remember WALTER? Wrestling’s Ultimate Final Boss? You may have forgotten him and that he wrestled on a special NXT vs. NXT: UK “When Worlds Collide” event before the Royal Rumble this year instead of the normal TakeOver, because again – it feels like it happened 5 million years ago and in a completely different galaxy. So I won’t blame you if you don’t remember the event and its killer 4 on 4 tag match with Imperium against the Undisputed Era. It’s also easy to forget because when COVID shut most of the world down, WALTER and the UK wrestling scene especially went incognito. Now, while there were some other reasons for that as well, WALTER hadn’t completely disappeared. No, he was just hibernating. Because he is not a man, he is a fucking grizzly bear. He was resting and preparing to brutally maul Ilja Dragunov later in the fall on an empty arena NXT UK show.
And ultimately as we worked out what the “For Your Consideration” series would be, these two WALTER matches helped bring it into the clearest view. There were discussions of if these matches were “too big?” Should this series just focus on lesser-known matches, wrestlers, and companies? Is NXT UK as part of WWE too visible? In all honesty though – what exactly is a “lesser-known match?” Really though, what it came down to was this – why should I deny someone a chance to write about a match they are truly passionate about?
So in the end, that is what you will get with the “For Your Consideration” series. A number of columns from our writers here at Voices of Wrestling talking about their favorite matches of 2020, such as the two WALTER matches mentioned above. These matches don’t have to be their number 1 match of the year, and in fact, don’t even have to necessarily be in their top 10 for the MOTY poll that this series will lead in to. These simply have to be matches that each particular writer thought were important enough to write about and highlight. I hope you enjoy this look back at what are likely to be some of the hidden gems and standout matches of 2020. I hope it is able to make 2020 just a little bit better or a least help your MOTY list be a little more complete. At the very least it should get you looking forward to Match of the Year season and hopefully get you looking forward to where some of these may place in the VOW MOTY poll in the next few months.
To kick off the series, we have included some links below to articles written throughout the year on some high-level matches from lesser-known promotions.
So without any further delay, for your match of the year consideration:
- Aéreo vs. Villano III Jr. or The Art of Defending Your Mask by Ricardo Gallegos
- Going Our Separate Ways: Saying Goodbye to Matt Tremont by Kevin Hare