While 2020 saw the entertainment and sports worlds flipped on their heads, pro wrestling managed to keep chugging along through the COVID-19 pandemic. WWE moved all of its production into the Performance Center — and later, the ThunderDome — while other major companies like AEW, New Japan, Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling kept things rolling by wrestling in empty arenas and small crowds. And yet, despite all of that, there was still some legitimately great wrestling this year.
Drew McIntyre became a new fan-favorite on his rise to the main event, Roman Reigns gave fans the heel turn they'd been begging to see for years, Sasha Banks and Bayley dominated every WWE brand before turning on each other, AEW provided some of the best tag team wrestling in years and major stars like Edge and Sting made their shocking returns to the business.
To celebrate the best of 2020, the ComicBook staff has once again come together to announce the 2020 Golden Issue Awards. Check out all of our nominations for the Wrestling categories, including Best Male Wrestler, Best Female Wrestler, Best Tag Team, Match of the Year and Best Rising Star.
Check back with ComicBook.com next week as we reveal the winners!
Best Male Wrestler
This year's nominations for Best Male Wrestler looks virtually unrecognizable compared to a year ago. Drew McIntyre spent the bulk of the year dominating Monday Night Raw as WWE Champion, Jon Moxley became the longest-reigning champ in AEW's short history with its top title, Keith Lee made history by becoming a double-champion in NXT, Kota Ibushi won yet another G1 Climax tournament and Roman Reigns completely reinvented himself as "The Tribal Chief" while winning the Universal Championship.
- Drew McIntyre
- Jon Moxley
- Keith Lee
- Kota Ibushi
- Roman Reigns
Best Female Wrestler
At first glance, the Best Female Wrestler category seems like a two-horse race between Bayley and Sasha Banks. But it's not that simple. Asuka became a Grand Slam Champion while winning the Raw Women's Championship (Twice), Money in the Bank and Women's tag titles, Hikaru Shida carried AEW's depleted Women's Division on her back for nearly the entire year and Io Shirai consistently put on stellar matches as NXT Women's Champion.
- Hikaru Shida
- Io Shirai
- Sasha Banks
Best Tag Team
It's no surprise that AEW has three nominations on this year's list given the company's focus on tag team wrestling. But WWE still managed to build up some solid tag teams, including the reunited Golden Role Models and decorated Street Profits.
- The Golden Role Models
- Kenny Omega & Hangman Page
- The Street Profits
- The Young Bucks
Match of the Year
This category was the toughest when it came to narrowing down nominations, and it will likely be the hardest to pick who wins. Undertaker and AJ Styles delivered the first (and arguably best) cinematic match for WWE, Bayley vs. Banks and Omega & Hangman vs. The Bucks told two incredible stories and Balor vs. O'Reilly and Okada vs. Ibushi were both hard-hitting technical clinics.
- Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (Hell in a Cell)
- Boneyard Match (WrestleMania 36)
- Finn Balor vs. Kyle O'Reilly (NXT TakeOver 31)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi (Wrestle Kingdom 14)
- Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. The Young Bucks (AEW Revolution)
Rising Star of the Year
For as chaotic as 2020 was, some wrestlers still managed to take the opportunity to raise their stock. Bianca Belair made her long-awaited jump to WWE's main roster, Jey Uso became a world championship contender, Darby Allin won the TNT Championship, Orange Cassidy went from being an inside joke to one of AEW's top stars and Shotzi Blackheart managed to stand out in the midst of a loaded NXT Women's Division.
- Bianca Beliar
- Darby Allin
- Jey Uso
- Orange Cassidy
- Shotzi Blackheart