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411’s Wrestler of the Week 03.23.09: Week 51

March 23, 2009 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Welcome to Week 51, Year FOUR, of 411’s Wrestler of the Week. A quick overview to kick things off as we have some new rules for year four…

Each writer chooses FIVE wrestlers from any promotion and each wrestler gets a point total attached to that ranking. It looks a little like this…

1st – 5
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1

If you are wondering how some of the writers decide who to vote for, please check out our Wrestler of the Week Supplemental Column!

Then we tally up the votes and the official 411 Wrestler of the Week is crowned. But wait, there’s more! Each week the top SIX vote getters get a points value for their ranking which looks something like this…

1st – 15
2nd – 12
3rd – 9
4th – 6
5th – 3
6th – 1

…and they go towards the 411 Wrestler of the Year award to be announced each year at WrestleMania. This will be posted every Monday. Let’s see who wins this week…

The Voting~!
Andy Clark
1) Nigel McGuinness
Let me put aside my own growing hatred of Nigel’s title reign and the fact that if someone like Triple H or John Cena had a title reign like this there would be a riot. Still, Nigel has been a good representative of the ROH brand and he had what is said to be a good main event match with KENTA despite being pretty well banged up. Kudos to Nigel for fighting through the pain and providing the fans with the match they paid to see.

2) MVP: After his 20-week losing streak on SmackDown MVP is once again on the up-and-up on SmackDown. Not only has he gotten over well as a face but he finally regained the United States Championship he lost less than a year ago.
3) Evan Bourne: Air Bourne returned to ECW this week and appears to be shooting his way to the top of WWE’s third brand. His return was treated like a big deal and the fans were excited to see him back.
4) Kevin Steen & El Generico
5) Hirooko Goto

Matt Short
1) MVP
The long losing streak finally reached its upside as MVP reclaimed the US Championship, beating Shelton Benjamin on the 500th episode of Smackdown.

2) CIMA: Had what was regarded by many as the best match at Dragon Gate’s Sumo Hall debut, dethroning Masato Yoshino for the Open the Brave Gate title.
3) Hirooki Goto: Came out the winner of the New Japan Cup this weekend, first beating his long-time nemesis Yuji Nagata in the semi-finals and then Giant Bernard in the finals. Goto earns himself one more crack at the IWGP Heavyweight title against the winner of the up-coming title match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kurt Angle.
4) Evan Bourne
5) Colt Cabana/Jimmy Rave

Michael Bauer
1) Nigel McGuinness
Say what you want about his title reign, but he solidly backed it up this weekend with a huge win over KENTA. To make it better, he virtually wrestled with one arm from an injury the night before. And I was there, I saw his face, I swear that any other wrestler would have taken the night off with how much pain he was in.

2) MVP: The new US Champion deserves plenty of love this week.
3) Colt Cabana/Evan Bourne (tie): Both made returns to RoH/ECW respectfully and both places exploded.
4) Kevin Steen and El Generico
5) Hirooki Goto

1) Kevin Steen & El Generico
I loved that Colt Cabana and Jimmy Rave returned to ROH this weekend, but Steen & Generico stole the show right out from under them with their violent NO DQ tag title match against The American Wolves. It was an awesome match from beginning to end, and all four men really put themselves on the line to entertain the fans.

2) Nigel McGuinness: Fought through his arm injury and put on one hell of a show against KENTA at ROH’s Seventh Anniversary Show, evoking flashbacks to ROH Glory By Honor V Night 2 when Danielson put on an unforgettable performance against KENTA under similar circumstances. The fans hated Nigel back in November 2007 when he had the bicep tear and took some time off to wrestle–well, for better or for worse to his arm, Nigel did the professional thing and gutted out the injury to work the show.
3) Negro Casas: Defeated Mistico for the CMLL Welter Title. A win against Mistico, while not so rare anymore, is still a very impressive event in today’s Lucha landscape.
5) Ultimo Guerrero

1) Ultimo Guerrero
Ultimo Guerrero defeated Villano V in a 2 of 3 falls match over the weekend. This was no ordinary match though, it was mask vs. hair, and with his victory, Guerrero saved his hair and unmasked Villano V as 46-year old Raymundo Diaz Mendoza Jr.

2) MVP: Ended the long reign of Shelton Benjamin to win the WWE US Title on the 500th Episode of Smackdown.
3) Negro Casas: Defeated Mistico to win the CMLL Welterweight Title over the weekend.
4) Hirooki Goto
5) No Limit

Samuel Berman
1) Kevin Steen & El Generico
Ari was at the shows and I wasn’t, so I’ll go with his thoughts on the ROH World Tag Team Champions over the singles title holder.

2) Nigel McGuinness: Bested NOAH’s Junior Heavyweight ace KENTA to retain the ROH World Title.
3) Hirooki Goto: Won the New Japan Cup and a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title.
4) CIMA and Naruki Doi (tie)
5) Colt Cabana

Robert S. Leighty Jr
1) MVP: As always winning Gold is very important in regards to me voting for WOTW. MVP regains the US Title in a good match with Shelton, so he gets the nod.

2) Evan Bourne: Made his much anticipated return to ECW and the crowd was more than happy to see him.
3) Nigel McGuiness: The monster title reign continues and he shows some balls by wrestling with the injury.
4) Steen and Generico
5) Ultimo Guerrero

Ryan Byers
1) Hirooki Goto
Goto defeated both Yuji Nagata and Giant Bernard in the same night to win a shot at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship against either Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kurt Angle.

2) Naruki Doi: The match reportedly fell apart, but Doi’s retention of Dragon Gate’s top title against legendary NJPW junior heavyweight Koji Kanemoto is still a big deal.
3) CIMA: A few months ago it looked like he could be on is way out of wrestling due to injuries, but now he is your new Open the Brave Gate Champion.
4) MVP
5) Nigel McGuinness

Andy Critchell
1) MVP
The man had a very big week. First off, he pulls a Miz & MORRISON by being on all three shows in a week, picking up a tag win on Raw, a loss on ECW, and a title win on Smackdown! The title win is obviously the biggest story as MVP unseats Shelton Benjamin who had been US champ for quite a while. Not to mention that MVP had finally come all the way back since his “epic” losing streak. I hope this signals big things for MVP in the future…

2) Triple H: Triple H had a good week, winning on both Raw and Smackdown in singles contests and adding more intrigue to his storyline with Orton. It seems that Trips is looking to take out Legacy one member at a time and really backing Orton up against the wall. I like it!
3) Shawn Michaels: HBK had a good week as well, picking up a tag win on Raw and a singles win on Smackdown. Of course, his biggest moment of the week was when he took out his Wrestlemania opponent, the Undertaker. This storyline has been great because it is clear, simple, and involves two consummate pros who are at the top of their games.
4) Evan Bourne
5) Jerry Lynn

Jeremy Thomas
1) MVP
MVP’s United States Title win may very well not be the end of his push; however, regaining the title that he held longer than anyone since Rick Rude in 1991 is in many ways the culmination of his redemption following the silly losing streak angle he was saddled with for months. The ‘E is very clearly behind him at this point and this U.S. Title win almost means more for him than his first one did, especially if it comes with a sustained push even further up the card.

2) Nigel McGuinness: McGuinness not only defended the ROH World Title, but he did so with what’s reported to be a serious injury and still delivered a good match against KENTA.
3) Ultimo Guerrero: Unmasking a guy like Villano V may not mean much to American audiences who only ever saw the Villanos as WCW enhancement talent, but to the followers of Lucha Libre it’s pretty huge thing and it’s ended a twenty-five year run for Villano with the mask.
4) Hirooko Goto
5) Evan Bourne


  • Special Mention…CIMA – 11 Votes
  • Fifth Place…Evan Bourne – 15 Votes
  • Fourth Place…Kevin Steen & El Generico – 16 Votes
  • Third Place…Hirooko Goto – 17 Votes

    Goto beats his long-time rival Nagata and then Giant Bernard to win a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title that currently rests around Kurt Angle’s waist.

  • Second Place…Nigel McGuinness – 26 Votes

    ROH’s World Champion refused to let an arm injury hold him down, going against KENTA and defeating him in a very good match to retain his title.

  • Wrestler of the Week…Montel Vontavious Porter – 34 Votes

    A second U.S. Title reign in an excellent TV match against Shelton Benjamin puts MVP back in possession of WWE gold, and also earns him the Wrestler of the Week Award!

    Year-End Standings~!

    No moves between the two contenders, and Edge’s chances have all but slipped away. Meanwhile, Nigel McGuinness secures himself a spot in the Top 15 by tying himself with Matt Hardy for seventh place, Steen and Generico hop up a few places, and Evan Bourne ties thinks up with Miz, Morrison and Yoshino. Things are looking good for Y2J; can he just hold on long enough to take the fourth annual Wrestler of the Year award?

    Let’s check out the Year-End Standings!

    1. Chris Jericho – 135 (RAW)

    2. Edge – 112 (SmackDown)

    3. Shawn Michaels – 82 (RAW)

    4. Batista – 74 (Raw) {Injured}

    5. HHH – 72 (SmackDown)

    6. Sting – 69 (TNA)

    7. Matt Hardy – 65 (SmackDown)
    7. Nigel McGuinness – 65 (ROH)

    9. James Storm – 61 (TNA)
    9. Robert Roode – 61 (TNA)
    9. Tyler Black – 61 (ROH)

    12. John Cena – 58 (RAW)

    13. Randy Orton – 56 (RAW)

    14. Samoa Joe – 54 (TNA)
    14. Naruki Doi – 54 (Dragon Gate)
    14. CM Punk – 54 (Raw)

    Jeff Hardy – 49 (SmackDown)

    The Undertaker – 48 (SmackDown)
    Alex Shelley – 48 (TNA)

    AJ Styles – 45 (TNA)

    Kurt Angle – 41 (TNA)

    Kofi Kingston – 39 (RAW)

    Chris Sabin – 37 (TNA)

    William Regal – 34 (RAW)
    Bryan Danielson – 34 (ROH)

    Masato Yoshino – 33 (Dragon Gate)
    John Morrison – 33 (ECW)
    The Miz – 33 (ECW)
    Evan Bourne – 33 (ECW)

    KENTA – 28 (NOAH)
    Montel Vontavious Porter – 28 (SmackDown)
    El Generico – 28 (ROH)

    Kevin Steen – 27 (ROH)
    Low Ki – 27 (WWE)
    Lance Cade – 27 (US Independent)
    Keiji Mutoh – 27 (All Japan)

    Jack Swagger – 25 (ECW)

    Suwama – 24 (All Japan)
    Jimmy Jacobs – 24 (ROH)
    Rhino – 24 (TNA)

    Jeff Jarrett – 23 (TNA)

    John Bradshaw Layfield – 22 (RAW)

    Hiroshi Tanahashi – 21 (New Japan)
    Shelton Benjamin – 21 (SmackDown)

    Kaz – 18 (TNA) {“Retired” & Injured}
    Brother Ray – 18 (TNA)
    Brother Devon – 18 (TNA)
    Shingo Takagi – 18 (Dragon Gate)

    Yuji Nagata– 16 (New Japan)
    Jun Akiyama– 16 (NOAH)

    Taylor Wilde – 15 (TNA)
    Homicide – 15 (TNA)
    Hernandez – 15 (TNA)
    Petey Williams – 15 (US Independent)
    Mick Foley – 15 (TNA)
    Ric Flair – 15 (US Independent)
    Mickie James – 15 (RAW)
    Bison Smith – 15 (NOAH)
    Akitoshi Saito – 15 (NOAH)
    Erick Stevens – 15 (ROH)
    Roderick Strong – 15 (ROH)
    Yoshihiro Takayama – 15 (All Japan)

    Brent Albright – 13 (ROH)
    Chris Hero – 13 (US Independent)
    THE Brian Kendrick – 13 (SmackDown)

    Sheik Abdul Bashir – 12 (TNA)
    The Big Show – 12 (SmackDown)
    The Great Khali – 12 (SmackDown)
    Jay Briscoe – 12 (ROH)
    Mark Briscoe – 12 (ROH)
    Jimmy Olsen – 12 (US Independent)
    MsChif – 12 (US Independent)
    Jack Evans – 12 (US Independent)
    Taiji Ishimori – 12 (NOAH)
    Hirooki Goto – 12 (New Japan)

    Mark Henry – 10 (ECW)

    Scott Steiner – 9 (TNA)
    Ashley Lane – 9 (US Independent)
    Nevaeh – 9 (US Independent)
    Chuck Taylor – 9 (US Independent)
    Volador Jr. – 9 (Mexico)
    Mistico – 9 (Mexico)
    Hector Garza – 9 (Mexico)
    Go Shiozaki – 9 (NOAH)
    Kensuke Sasaki – 9 (NOAH)
    Michelle McCool – 9 (SmackDown)
    Drake Younger – 9 (US Independent)
    Eric Young – 9 (TNA)
    Trish Stratus – 9 (US Independent)
    Tiger Mask IV – 9 (NOAH)
    Bobby Dempsey – 9 (ROH)
    Kaz Hayashi – 9 (All Japan)
    Christian – 9 (ECW)
    Rey Mysterio – 9 (RAW)
    Roddy Piper – 9 (US Independent)
    Suicide – 9 (TNA)

    Awesome Kong – 7 (TNA)

    Masato Tanaka – 6 (Zero One Max)
    Wataru Inoue – 6 (New Japan)
    Melina – 6 (RAW)
    Mr. Kennedy – 6 (SmackDown)
    Incognito – 6 (Mexico)

    Jerry Lynn – 4 (ROH)

    Villano V – 3 (Mexico)
    Blue Demon Jr. – 3 (Mexico)
    Claudio Castagnoli – 3 (ROH)
    Hiroshi Tenzan – 3 (New Japan)
    Ryuji Hijikata –3 (All Japan)
    Ophidian – 3 (US Independent)
    Amasis – 3 (US Independent)
    Fire Ant – 3 (US Independent)
    Player Uno – 3 (US Independent)
    Player Dos – 3 (US Independent)
    Beth Phoenix – 3 (RAW)
    Carlito Colon – 3 (SmackDown)
    Primo Colon – 3 (SmackDown)
    Ultimao Guerrero – 3 (Mexico)

    Naomichi Marufuji – 2 (NOAH)

    Vladimir Kozlov – 1 (SmackDown)
    Ted DiBiase – 1 (RAW)
    Cody Rhodes – 1 (RAW)
    Sonjay Dutt – 1 (US Independent)
    Mike Quackenbush – 1 (US Independent)
    Nick Jackson – 1 (US Independent)
    Matt Jackson – 1 (US Independent)
    Scotty II Hotty – 1 (US Independent)
    Joe Doering – 1 (All Japan)
    Anthony W. Mori – 1 (Dragon Gate)
    GAMMA – 1 (Dragon Gate)
    CIMA – 1 (Dragon Gate)
    Taiyo Kea – 1 (All Japan)
    Minoru Suzuki – 1 (All Japan)
    Yoshinobu Kanemaru – 1 (NOAH)
    Kotaro Suzuki – 1 (NOAH)
    Zack Ryder – 1 (SmackDown)
    Curt Hawkins – 1 (SmackDown)
    Maryse – 1 (SmackDown)
    Rob Van Dam – 1 (US Independent)
    Katsuhiko Nakajima – 1 (NOAH)
    Ricky Steamboat– 1 (US Independent)

  • Voting began 4.07.08
  • Year-End Rankings Key:

    WWE, Raw, ECW and SmackDown Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLUE.

    TNA Contracted Wrestlers are represented in GREEN.

    ROH Contracted Wrestlers are represented in RED.

    US Independent Wrestlers are represented in MAROON.

    Japanese Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLACK.

    Mexican Contracted Wrestlers are represented in MAGENTA.


    Year One Winner: Ric Flair

    Year Two Winner: Samoa Joe

    Year Three Winner: John Cena

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