In a close vote, Becky Lynch topped Ronda Rousey for 2018’s “Woman of the Year”, as voted by the readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Lynch received 40 percent of the vote, four percent better than Rousey. Asuka and Tessa Blanchard were distant runners-up.
Rousey being selected number one in PWI’s “Woman’s 100” led to Lynch posting some disparaging tweets about PWI – and Publisher Stu Saks in particular. Even though Lynch appeared happy while posing for the PWI cover of the awards issue with the Woman of the Year plaque, she complained about her #11 placement in the “100” throughout much of the photo shoot.
Rousey achieved a near-record 87 percent of the vote in being named “Rookie of the Year”. The widest margin of victory in the 46-year history of the PWI awards was enjoyed by The Giant (Big Show), who garnered 88 percent of the vote for “Rookie of the Year” in 1996.
AJ Styles was named “Wrestler of the Year” for the third straight year. Styles now has earned a total of seven Achievement Awards. Styles earned 46 percent of the votes in the “Wrestler of the Year” category, followed by Kenny Omega (17 percent), Cody (8 percent), and Seth Rollins (7 percent). He also was voted “Most Popular” for the second straight year. The only other wrestler to receive WOTY honors for three straight years is Ric Flair (1984-1986).
Styles and Becky also topped Wrestling Inc.’s Best of 2018 for “Male Wrestler of the Year” and “Female Wrestler of the Year”, respectively.
PWI’s annual year-end issue can be purchased in print or digital formats at pwi-online.com.