I analyzed the results of the Voices of Wrestling Match of the Year poll, dating back to 2013 (2012 is excluded due to a lack of point totals). I used award shares for some stats; for a refresher on what those are and a look at how they applied to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards, click here.
Bryan Danielson finished 2021 with the most points for an individual person, with an award share of 0.837. He finished with the seventh-best year since 2013, and the best year ever by someone primarily based in North America.
Kenny Omega finished second on the year with 0.522 award shares, putting him 19th all-time – which was the fourth-best year of his career. The Young Bucks tied for third in 2021, both with 0.443 award shares, tying for 37th all-time. Rey Fenix (0.437, 41st), Adam Page (0.423, 43rd), and Penta El Zero M (0.412, 44th) also finished among the 50 best years since 2013.
A full list of the best single years in the history voting is here. https://imgur.com/a/Npd78TC
2021’s voting introduced 120 first-time names, which is the third most in a single year dating back to 2013 – 2018 had 139 and 2019 had 143.
Of the 2021 debuts, Britt Baker topped the list with 271 points, with Bianca Belair in second with 185. Tsukushi Haruka was the only other person to break the century barrier, placing third with 105. Mika Iwata was fourth with 80, while Jude London and Paris De Silva tie for fifth with 52 points each. The rest of the top ten are Daniel Garcia (43 points), Wheeler Yuta (39), Matt Cardona (37), and Violento Jack (33).
The rest of the list, which can be seen in full here , includes veterans like Christian Cage, Mickie James, Rohit Raju, Doc Gallows, Keiji Muto, and Rhino; rising stars like Hook, Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin, Jacky Funky Kamei, Rok-C, and Ricky Knight Jr.; and special guests Shaquille O’Neal and Bad Bunny.
In terms of most points gained between 2020 and 2021, Bryan Danielson tops this list, going from 98 points to 2062. Rey Fenix is second with 1044 more points, while Penta El Zero M (982 points more), Syuri (667), and Utami Hayashishita (532) round out the top five.
The full top 25 can be seen here.
Meanwhile, if you look at the increase of points gained by percentages, number one is Chihiro Hashimoto with 8300% as she went from one point to 83. DASH Chisako is a close second, with the similar 8000% from one point to 80. Third is Syuri, at 3276.2%; fourth is Rey Fenix (3263.6%); and fifth is Jeff Cobb (3085.7%).
This list’s top 25 can be found here.
Most dominant matches
I also analyzed the top five finishing matches from each year between 2013 and 2021, inclusive, to see which of them were the most dominant in their year’s vote. The #1 match of 2021, the Young Bucks against the Lucha Bros. from September 5, received the 40.54% of all the points it possibly could have if it finished atop every single submitted ballot. That places it seventh all-time and second highest among North American matches; only Hangman Page and Kenny Omega against the Bucks from last year had a higher possible percentage.
Bryan Danielson gets two matches in the all-time top twenty for his efforts against Hangman Adam Page and Kenny Omega which finished 17th and 11th, respectively.
Of the poll’s first-place matches, the least dominant was 2016’s top finisher of Tetsuya Naito against Kenny Omega, which finished lower than two matches from 2017, 2020, and 2021.
You can see the top 23 matches here.
If you just want to look at the most dominant matches in terms of only first place votes, Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros. tied for the second-most first place votes ever, but in terms of the percentage of possible first place votes, it was seventh all-time. While it did fall down the chart, it surpassed the Omega and Page vs. Young Bucks match for the highest percentage of top ballot finishes for a North American match.
The only other 2021 match to finish in the top 23 of percentage of first-place votes received was December 15’s Adam Page against Bryan Danielson.
Again, the top 23 matches in terms of percentage of possible first-place votes received can be found here.