For the fourth straight year, I’m proud to present the Wrestling Omakase Year End Awards.

Introduced at the end of 2017, the Omakase awards are a closed poll open to all the Wrestling Omakase guests who appeared on the show in the calendar year. All guests from the beginning of January through the end of 2020 were invited to participate. This should give our panel a decent cross-section (though obviously with a strong puro bias) of some of the most hardcore wrestling fans out there, featuring both VOW contributors and other followers of wrestling as well. The awards are set up to be very similar in format to the Wrestling Observer year-end awards.

Newly introduced for 2020 is the Wrestling Omakase Patreon Awards! Since we launched the Omakase Patreon this year, we invited patrons in December to vote in all of the same categories. This produced a second set of award winners that we can now compare to our guest picks, as I’ve listed the top 3 according to the patrons for all the award categories, below the full list of guest picks. If you’re interested in seeing the full lists for the Patreon Awards, you can sign up now for only $5 to get access (and get all of our great bonus audio content as well!).

Please see below for a list of all who participated, separated into VOW contributors and those from outside the website and in the order of their first appearance on the show this past year.

VOW Contributors: Chris Samsa, Tyler Forness, Paul Volsch, Gerard Di Trolio, Kelly Harrass, Jeff Andrews, Suit Williams, Thomas Fischbeck, Jack Beckmann, Joe Lanza, JoJo Remy, Joel Abarham, Liam, Brandon Thurston, Taylor Maimbourg, Rich Kraetsch, Andy LaBarre, Ricardo Gallegos, Sean Sedor, Robin Reid, Joe Gagne, Andrew Rich, Harley Duncan, Jon Hernandez, Michael Spears, Jeri Evans, Damon McDonald

Outside VOW: Mongo Ebooks, Skylar, Bryan Quinlan, Flaeblazer, Callum, Kevin Brown, Oatgan, Chris, Andrew, Jamie O’Doherty, Liam McCann, Luke Healey

2020 fucking sucked, I think everyone would agree, but here’s to the wrestlers who helped take our minds off how much it sucked for even a brief period of time. Our 2020 Omakase Award winners!


Voters chose a top 3 for every Category A award, with points awarded on a 5-3-2 basis.
In cases of ties, the number of first-place votes was used as a tiebreaker, when applicable. First-place votes are listed next to the point total.


Also known as the Flair-Thesz.
Criteria based on a mix of in-ring, drawing power, star power, importance to the home promotion (“MVP” quality), and other intangible factors.
2017 Top 3 (Point Total): Kazuchika Okada (80), Tetsuya Naito (73), Kenny Omega (28)
2018 Top 3: Masashi Takeda (58), Hiroshi Tanahashi (54), LA Park (50)
2019 Top 3: Will Ospreay (63), Kazuchika Okada (60), Kento Miyahara (44)

1. Go Shiozaki- 78 (9)
2. Jon Moxley- 66 (10)
3. Tetsuya Naito- 63 (4)
4. Kenny Omega- 52 (5)
5. Hiromu Takahashi- 30 (1)
6. Mayu Iwatani- 16 (1)
7. Tetsuya Endo- 15 (1)
8. Naruki Doi- 13 (2)
9. Suzu Suzuki- 8 (1)
10. Kazuchika Okada- 7 (1)

Honorable Mention: Katsuhiko Nakajima 7

Omakase Patreon Winners: Go Shiozaki (87), Tetsuya Naito (79), Jon Moxley (39)

Go Shiozaki claims Wrestler of the Year by the biggest margin in the history of these awards, beating out Okada’s 7-point win over Naito from 2017 with a 12-point win. Meanwhile the Omakase Patrons have the same top 3, but Naito and Moxley switch places and Mox ends up in a distant third instead of things being super close together.


The best wrestler of the year from an in-ring, bell-to-bell standpoint only, with no other factors considered.
2017 Top 3: Kazuchika Okada (44), Kenny Omega (29), Tetsuya Naito (28)
2018 Top 3: Will Ospreay (64), WALTER (48), Kota Ibushi (43)
2019 Top 3: Will Ospreay (116), Shingo Takagi (51), Tomohiro Ishii (25)

1. Hiromu Takahashi- 61 (8)
2. Kenny Omega- 52 (7)
3. Go Shiozaki- 42 (5)
4. Shingo Takagi- 27 (1)
5. Katsuhiko Nakajima- 25 (4)
6. Will Ospreay- 21 (2)
7. Tetsuya Naito- 13
8 (tie). Yoshiko- 12 (2)
8 (tie). Tomohiro Ishii- 12 (2)
10. Kaito Kiyomiya- 11 (1)

Honorable Mentions: Mayu Iwatani 9, Tetusya Endo 7, Yuna Mizumori 7

Omakase Patreon Winners: Hiromu Takahashi (68), Go Shiozaki (51), Shingo Takagi (30)

The off-and-on pattern when it comes to WOTY/Most Outstanding continues- in 2017 & 2019, the awards were won by the same person, but in 2018 and now 2020, the Most Outstanding winner was different. Go Shiozaki did do better than 2018 WOTY did in this category though- Go finishes a strong third here, while Masashi Takeda in 2018 finished in fifth. Meanwhile, we get our first difference with the top 3 between the guests and patrons- 2nd place Kenny here finished in a tie for fifth on the Patreon side, allowing Go to finish in second and Shingo to climb up to third.


The best tag team of the year for 2020.
2017 Top 3: The Usos (62), Young Bucks (20), Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi (19)
2018 Top 3: The Young Bucks (62), Golden☆Lovers (42), Lucha Bros (31)
2019 Top 3: AXIZ 54, Lucha Bros. 52, Violent Giants 26

1. Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.)- 85 (10)
2. Kenny Omega & Adam Page- 69 (8)
3. Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)- 51 (5)
4. Nautilus (Yuki Ueno & Naomi Yoshimura)- 33 (5)
5. Astronauts (Takuya Nomura & Fuminori Abe)- 18 (2)
6. Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto)- 15 (3)
7. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi, Yukio Sakaguchi & Saki Akai)- 10
8. Kota Minoura & Jason Lee- 9 (1)
9. Chaos Project (Luther & Serpentico)- 8 (1)
10. BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino)- 7 (1)

Honorable Mentions: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi 7, CHANGO & Kaiji Tomato 7

Omakase Patreon Winners: Dangerous Tekkers (116), Kenny Omega & Adam Page (32), Nautilus (28)

Dangerous Tekkers built up a pretty gigantic lead early on in this category and managed to hold on despite a strong late push from Omega & Page in the final series of ballots. Omakase Patrons again have a close top 3 but not exactly the same, as the third place Young Bucks finish fifth in their poll; the Tekkers also win by a much, much more comfortable margin.


The best match to occur in 2020.
2017 Top 3: Okada vs. Shibata 4/9 Tokyo (55), Okada vs. Omega 1/4 Tokyo (25), Naito vs. Omega 8/13 Tokyo (20)
2018 Top 3: Okada vs. Omega 6/9 Osaka (63), Tanahashi vs. Ibushi 8/12 Tokyo (47), Almas vs. Gargano 1/27 Philadelphia (36)
2019 Top 3: Ospreay vs. Takagi 6/5 Tokyo (71), Omega vs. Tanahashi 1/4 Tokyo (22), Naito vs. Takagi 8/4 Osaka (20)

1. Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada, NJPW 1/5 Tokyo- 81 (13)
2. Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs. Nick & Matt Jackson, AEW 2/29 Chicago- 41 (3)
3. Go Shiozaki vs. Takashi Sugiura, NOAH 12/6 Tokyo- 34 (3)
4. Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, NOAH 11/22 Yokohama- 20 (3)
5. RED (Eita, H.Y.O., HipHop Kikuta, Kaito Ishida & SB KENTo) vs. Toryumon (Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Susumu Yokosuka, Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi), DG 12/20 Fukuoka- 19 (2)
6. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado, NJPW 12/11 Tokyo- 16 (1)
7. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi, NJPW 1/4 Tokyo- 15 (2)
8. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi, NJPW 1/4 Tokyo- 13 (1)
9. Go Shiozaki vs. Kazuyuki Fujita, NOAH 3/29 Tokyo- 12 (2)
10. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, NJPW 9/20 Osaka- 12 (1)

Honorable Mentions: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Saori Anou OZ 8/28 Yokohama 7, Fishman Jr. & Mr. Condor vs. El Hijo de Mascara Sagrada & Wotan Lucha Strong 2/15 Nezahualcoyotl 7, Yuka Sakazaki vs. Mizuki DDT TJPW 11/7 Tokyo 6

Omakase Patreon Winners: Naito vs. Okada 1/5 Tokyo (107), Shiozaki vs. Nakajima 11/22 Yokohama (29), Shiozaki vs. Sugiura 12/6 Tokyo (17)

This category really never seems to be that close, and it wasn’t this year either, as Naito-Okada takes it by a comfortable 40-point margin (the second largest in the history of these awards). It won by an even more gigantic 68-point margin among the patrons, who also did not care for Omega/Page-Bucks; the 2nd place finisher here, it got exactly 1 vote (for 2nd place) on the Patreon side of things, which is easily our biggest dropper out of the top 3 when comparing these awards so far.

Also, if you could find someone willing to take action on VOW’s annual Match of the Year list (you might have a gambling problem if you bet on that), it’s probably worth noting that the MOTY winner here has successfully predicted the overall VOW MOTY three years and counting.


The best feud of the year, either strictly in-ring or also weighing other factors like angles & interviews at the voters’ discretion.
2017 Top 3: Okada vs. Omega (59), Naito vs. Tanahashi (39), New Day vs. Usos (34)
2018 Top 3: LA Park vs. Rush (51), Mustache Mountain/BSS vs. Undisputed Era (29), Miyahara vs. Zeus (25)
2019 Top 3: Devlin vs. Starr (54), Naito vs. Ibushi (41), Suzuki vs. Liger (20)

1. Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston, AEW- 55 (7)
2. Kaito Ishida vs. Keisuke Okuda, DG- 46 (6)
3. Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, NOAH- 42 (5)
4. Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL, NJPW- 15 (1)
5. Dangerous Tekkers vs. Golden Ace, NJPW- 14 (1)
6. Brandon Cutler vs. Peter Avalon, AEW- 13 (2)
7. Tetsuya Naito vs. KENTA, NJPW- 13 (1)
8. Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki, NJPW- 12 (1)
9. Yoshiko vs. Arisa Nakajima, SEAd- 10 (2)
10. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado, NJPW- 9 (1)

Honorable Mentions: Adam Page vs. The Elite AEW 8, Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr NJPW/RPW 8, Cody vs. Brodie Lee AEW 8, ALL OUT vs. Junretsu DDT 7

Omakase Patreon Winners: Dangerous Tekkers vs. Golden Ace (50), Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston (36), Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (33)

Naito continues his weird trend of always having the most number of feuds in the top 10, although this time he shares that honor with Jon Moxley. Meanwhile, the patrons’ pick of Tekkers vs. Golden Ace doesn’t even make the top 3 here, or even come particularly close, and their third place feud finished tenth. Ishida-Okuda finished tenth on the Patreon list, but Go-Nakajima did finish a much closer fourth over there.


The best wrestling promotion of the year for 2020. Business considerations are allowed but not required for this category.
Sub-brands such as NXT or Tokyo Joshi are to be considered as part of their main promotion and may not be voted on separately.
2017 Top 3: NJPW (88), DDT (34), AJPW (20)
2018 Top 3: NJPW (131), DDT (77), NOAH (41)
2019 Top 3: NJPW (126), AEW (49), DDT (42)

1. AEW- 89 (12)
2. NOAH- 74 (8)
3. NJPW- 62 (10)
4. DG- 57 (8)
5. DDT- 20 (1)
6. Gatoh Move- 17 (3)
7. Ice Ribbon- 17 (1)
8. STARDOM- 13
9. FREEDOMS- 11 (1)
10. AAA- 9

Honorable Mentions: SEAdLINNNG 6, RevPro 6

Omakase Patreon Winners: NJPW (94), NOAH (71), AEW (37)

NJPW’s three-year run of winning this award finally came to an end, as I think most people probably expected it to, as they fall down into 3rd place. This category was actually exceptionally close the whole way, with all of the top three bunched super close together, but AEW finished extremely strong in the last few days of balloting, probably due to their extremely well received Brodie Lee tribute show on Wednesday. DG also made a strong late surge and nearly caught NJPW for 3rd, again likely due to their warmly received Final Gate show.

The Omakase patrons meanwhile have the same promotions in their top 3, but NJPW continues to reign supreme with them, winning by a comfortable margin. AEW falls all the way into a pretty distant third, and I guess I’m not surprised that people who pay me money to talk probably don’t love AEW as much as a lot of the Omakase guests seem to. NOAH finishes a very healthy 2nd in both polls, a reflection of the strong year they had.


Anything other than a standard weekly TV episode is eligible for this award; new for this year, we allowed “special” weekly TV episodes (i.e. shows with titles clearly built up and presented as major events) to qualify for this award.
2017 Top 3: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 1/4 Tokyo (69), NJPW Dominion 6/11 Osaka (32), DDT Judgment 3/20 Saitama (18)
2018 Top 3: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 1/4 Tokyo (94), NJPW Dominion 6/9 Osaka (87), DDT Peter Pan 10/21 Tokyo (33)
2019 Top 3: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 1/4 Tokyo (46), AEW Double or Nothing 5/25 Las Vegas (42), NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night 15 (Finals) 6/5 Tokyo (40)

1. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2, 1/5 Tokyo- 51 (9)
2. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 1, 1/4 Tokyo- 50 (6)
3. AEW Revolution, 2/29 Chicago- 38 (3)
4. NJPW G1 Climax Night 13, 10/10 Osaka- 25 (3)
5. Ice Ribbon New Ice Ribbon #1057 ~ Yokohoma Bunka Gymnasium Final, 8/9 Yokohama- 24 (3)
6. DG Final Gate, 12/20 Fukuoka- 20 (1)
7. DDT TJPW Wrestle Princess, 11/7 Tokyo- 18 (2)
8. DDT Ultimate Party, 11/3 Tokyo- 16 (2)
9. AEW Brodie Lee Celebration of Life, 12/30 Jacksonville- 14 (2)
10. DG Dangerous Gate, 9/21 Tokyo- 13 (2)

Honorable Mentions: AEW Full Gear 11/7 Jacksonville 13, NJPW New Beginning in Osaka 2/9 Osaka 10, FREEDOMS Tokyo Deathmatch Carnival Vol. 1 7/28 Tokyo 10, NOAH the Best Final Chronicle 12/6 Tokyo 9

Omakase Patreon Winners: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2 1/5 Tokyo (89), NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 1 1/4 Tokyo (34), DDT TJPW Wrestle Princess 11/7 Tokyo (24)

This looked like Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2’s award to lose for a long time before Night 1 suddenly made a late charge and nearly caught up, finishing only a single point behind in the end. Revolution also looked like it could have made a move for a little bit but stalled in the last round of ballots; I think some folks who may have voted for it in the last few days decided to go with the Brodie Lee tribute instead, but that’s just me spitballing. Over on the Patreon the patrons have the same top 2 but preferred WK Night 2 by a gigantic margin, and Revolution slips all the way down to the Honorable Mentions, allowing Wrestle Princesss to take third place.


For these awards, voters only chose 1 winner per category and I generally just listed whatever finished with more than 1 vote. We added a lot of Category B awards in 2018 if you’re wondering why a bunch of these don’t have 2017 listed.


Anything that aired weekly during 2020 was eligible, even if it was internet-only (BtE) or limited run (DDT TV Show, AJPW, etc.)
2018 Top 3 (Number of Votes): DDT Maji Manji (17), WWE 205 Live (9), MLW Fusion (4)
2019 Top 3: AEW Dynamite (25), Beyond Uncharted Territory (3), NWA Powerrr (3)

1. AEW Dynamite- 21
2. AEW Dark- 5
3. DDT TV Show- 4

Honorable Mentions: Gatoh Move ChocoPro 2, NJPW Strong 2, AJPW 2

Omakase Patreon Winners: AEW Dynamite (14), DDT TV Show (5), Gatoh Move ChocoPro (5)

No big shocks here except I guess my patrons watch Dark a lot less than some of my guests do; it didn’t get a single vote for Best Weekly TV over there (it did get one for Worst, though, so I guess someone watches it!).


The Worst Match of 2020.
2018 Top 3: Kenny Omega vs. Cody 7/7 San Francisco (3), Carmella vs. Asuka 7/15 Pittsburgh (3), Triple H vs. The Undertaker 10/6 Melbourne (3)
2019 Top 3: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend Bray Wyatt 10/6 Sacramento (14), Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz 12/15 Minneapolis (3), Tracy Smothers vs. Su Yung 4/5 NYC (2)

1. Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho, AEW 9/5 Jacksonville- 4
2 (tie). Randy Orton vs. Edge, WWE 3/26 Orlando- 3
2 (tie). John Cena vs. The Fiend Bray Wyatt, WWE 3/26 Orlando- 3

Honorable Mentions: Maku Donaruto vs. Shinya Aoki DDT 7/23 Tokyo 2, Toru Yano vs. Jado NJPW 8/26 Tokyo 2, Allie Kat vs. Kikutaro GCW 2/5 Las Vegas 2, Big Swole vs. Britt Baker, Rebel & Penelope Ford AEW 8/27 Jacksonville 2, Money in the Bank Match WWE 5/10 Stamford 2, Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL NJPW 7/12 Osaka 2

Omakase Patreon Winners: EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada NJPW 7/11 Osaka 4, Toru Yano vs. Jado NJPW 6/16 Tokyo 3

21 different matches received at least a single vote, with a crazy 9 matches getting at least 2 votes- in a category people skip, where you only pick one. People hated a lot of different matches in 2020! Speaking to that, the patrons’ pick of EVIL-Okada didn’t get a single vote from the guests, and the guests’ pick of the Mimosa Match only got a single pick from the patrons.


Again voters were encouraged to consider in-ring as well as other factors like interviews and angles if they so desired.
2018 Top 3: BULLET CLUB Elite vs. BULLET CLUB OGs (8), Ciampa vs. Gargano (5), Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (5)
2019 Top 2: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend Bray Wyatt (15), Rusev vs. Lashley (2)

1. Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman, WWE- 7
2. Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL, NJPW- 6
3. The Fiend Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, WWE- 4
4 (tie). Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi, NJPW- 3
4 (tie). Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy, AEW- 3

Honorable Mentions: MJF vs. Jon Moxley AEW 2, Young Bucks vs. FTR AEW 2

Omakase Patreon Winners: Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman WWE 8, Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL NJPW 6, Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi NJPW 6

The hatred of 2020 wrestling continues in Worst Feud, with 20 different feuds getting at least a single vote. Special shoutout to Naito-EVIL, which lives up to its divisive reputation- it gets second place for Worst Feud and also makes the Best Feud Top 10, in both polls.


Just like with Best Promotion sub-brands were not eligible and must instead be considered as part of the parent promotion.
2017 Top 3: WWE (11), AAA (5), Tie: NOAH/Impact (2 each)
2018 Top 3: WWE (34), ROH (4), NJPW (3)

2019 Top 2: WWE (24), ROH (7)

1. WWE- 26
2. AJPW- 5

Honorable Mentions: AEW 1, ICW NHB 1, CMLL 1, GCW 1, Sendai Girls 1, Gatoh Move 1, STARDOM 1, IMPACT 1

Omakase Patreon Winners: WWE (28), AJPW (2)

This category is so lopsided every single year (okay, I guess it was kinda close in 2017, when we only started in June and only had half as many guests, but other than that?) that I’m legitimately thinking of banning them going forward and naming this like “The World Wrestling Entertainment Memorial Worst Promotion Award” or something. Who knows which of our honorable mentions would have gotten those votes? AJPW probably would have won in that case, as they really did have a horrendous year, but it would have been fun seeing who voted for other companies when they can’t go to their WWE default vote. WWE crushed it by an even bigger margin among the patrons too of course.


Anything other than a standard weekly TV episode is eligible for this award; new for this year, we allowed “special” weekly TV episodes (i.e. shows with titles clearly built up and presented as major events) to qualify for this award, same as the Best Weekly TV.
2017 Top 3: WWE WrestleMania 33 4/2 Orlando (7), Tie: NJPW Destruction in Fukushima 9/10, WWE Backlash 5/21 Chicago, WWE Battleground 7/23 Philadelphia (3 each)
2018 Top 3: WWE Crown Jewel 11/2 Riyadh (15), WWE Backlash 5/6 Newark (8), WWE Extreme Rules 7/15 Pittsburgh (7)
2019 Top 3: WWE Hell in a Cell 10/6 Sacramento (7), WWE Crown Jewel 10/31 Riyadh (5), WWE TLC 12/15 Minneapolis (5)

1. WWE WrestleMania 36 Night 2, 3/26 Orlando- 7
2. WWE Horror Show at Extreme Rules, 7/19 Orlando- 5
3. AEW All Out, 9/5 Jacksonville- 4
4. WWE WrestleMania 36 Night 1, 3/25 Orlando- 3

Honorable Mentions: WWE Money in the Bank 5/10 Orlando 2, AJPW Champion Carnival Night 5 9/26 Odawara 2

Omakase Patreon Winners: WWE WrestleMania 36 Night 2 3/26 Orlando 5, WWE Super Showdown 2/27 Riyadh 5, WWE Horror Show at Extreme Rules 7/19 Orlando 4

Another category WWE cleans up in every year is Worst Major Show, and this year was no different of course. Apparently almost none of my guests watched Super Showdown or just forgot it existed (it did get 1 vote) but the Omakase patrons didn’t forget about Riyadh Season at least. Meanwhile, for once the guests are more down on AEW than the patrons, as All Out gets a top 3 finish here but only makes the Honorable Mentions there.


Once again anything that aired weekly during 2020 was eligible, even if it was internet-only or limited run.
2018 Top 3: WWE RAW (32), Being the Elite (7), WWE Smackdown Live! (2)
2019 Top 3: WWE RAW (17), WWE Smackdown (10), NWA Powerrr (4)

1. WWE RAW- 25
2. WWE NXT- 4
3 (tie). IMPACT Wrestling- 2
3 (tie). WWE Friday Night Smackdown- 2

Honorable Mentions: NJPW Strong 1, Being the Elite 1

Omakase Patreon Winners: WWE RAW 22, WWE Friday Night Smackdown 3

Will RAW ever be beaten for this award? CAN they ever be beaten for this award? Probably not! The Omakase patrons agree, unsurprisingly, although they don’t hate NXT as much as the guests do. It didn’t get a single vote in fact.

We hope you enjoyed this year’s Wrestling Omakase Year End Awards, looking back at the best and worst of an undeniably shitty year. Please be sure to listen to our 2020 Year End Awards episode which featured some of our panelists discussing their own picks. Thank you and we hope you’ll continue tuning in to the show in 2021, and let’s hope the year is a hell of a lot better as well!!