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Awards

2017 PW Awards: Most Improved Wrestler

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Winner: Braun Strowman

“When you think about last year’s ‘Most Improved Wrestler’ award winner, Alexa Bliss, you have to wonder where Braun Strowman will be at the end of 2018. Bliss is now 4-time World Champion who has established herself as one of the best mic workers and top attractions in the game. While Braun is a completely different “Monster” in a completely different situation, I believe that we could end up seeing him make the brand switch like Bliss—in reverse—from RAW to SmackDown in 2018 where he would be the top draw on that brand. Remember, Braun is a guy who we were laughing at not too long ago when it was rumored that he may end up facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Now, we’re looking at someone who brought us many of the best moments on Monday Night RAW this past year. Strowman’s name will come up plenty more throughout these year-end awards due to what was one of the biggest breakout years for any superstar in WWE history. He’s so much more than the most improved wrestler of the year, he was arguably the top attraction on WWE television from January to December. Plus, wasn’t it just fun to see him beat the sh*t out of Roman Reigns all year?”  – Dave Reno

Runner Up: Cody

There’s an element to the category “Most Improved” that makes you have to take into account that they either weren’t as good or underutilized in years past. Cody certainly fits into the latter stage of this category. The artist formerly known as Stardust, is making the most of his career when he broke away from WWE in 2016. In 2017, Cody hung with Kazuchika Okada in a PHENOMENAL match with the IWGP Heavyweighht Championship on the line, and he captured the ROH World Title, and gave ROH their single most profitable year in company history. Think about that for a minute… the #1 indie promotion in America, and arguably the #2 promotion in America behind the WWE, was carried to its most profitable year by Cody. Sure, that would be discounting the hard work by others such as Dalton Castle (another Most Improved candidate), The Bucks, Marty Scurll, The Briscoes, Bully Ray, etc, but the name that Cody brings would be enough for him to get by with and take home a nice paycheck. That’s not enough for Cody. He wants to hang with the very best consistently, and he did in 2017. He also gets to kick off 2018 with another chance to prove how much he’s improved by taking on Kota Ibushi at WK 12.”  – Chris Langevin

Honorable Mentions: Naomi, Velveteen Dream, Jinder Mahal, Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, Juice Robinson, Jordan Devlin

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