Best WWE stars to never win ‘Wrestler of the Year’

WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the world, but despite that, some of its best wrestlers probably don’t get the recognition they deserve.

In fact, some of the best WWE has ever walked through its doors have never been awarded ‘Wrestler of the Year’ by Dave Meltzer. Wrestling Spectator.

So, with that in mind, GiveMeSport Takes you through the ten best WWE Superstars who never won ‘Wrestler of the Year’, but definitely should have…

Who is the wrestler of the year?

Before looking at who hasn’t won ‘Wrestler of the Year’, it’s best to start by looking at who has been awarded the prestigious award since it was introduced in 1980.

  • 1980 & 1981 – Harley Race
  • 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990 & 1992 – Ric Flair
  • 1987 – Ricky Choshu
  • 1988 – Akira Maeda
  • 1991 – Jumbo Tsuruta
  • 1993 – Big Van Vader
  • 1994 – Toshiaki Kawada
  • 1995, 1997 & 1999 – Mitsuharu Misawa
  • 1996, 2003, 2004 & 2005 – Kenta Kobashi
  • 1998 – Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • 2000 – Triple H
  • 2001 – Keiji Muto
  • 2002 – Kurt Angle
  • 2006 – Mystico
  • 2007 & 2010 – John Cena
  • 2008, 2009 & 2019 – Chris Jericho
  • 2011, 2012 & 2013 – Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • 2014 – Shinsuke Nakamura
  • 2015 and 2016 – AJ Styles
  • 2017 – Kazuchika Okada
  • 2018 and 2021 – Kenny Omega
  • 2020 – John Moxley

So, as you can see above, some of the biggest names in the industry have never won the ‘Wrestler of the Year’ award in their careers, so let us take you through them…

Read more: WWE: John Cena looks much younger than he did in his wrestling days

After his shock WWE release, Ric Flair is set to return to the NWA next week

10. Bret Hart

Bret Hart is one of the biggest stars in WWE history
Bret Hart is one of the biggest stars in WWE history

Viewed by many as the greatest wrestler of all time, it is baffling that Bret Hart has never been voted Wrestler of the Year.

In fact, this writer was so sure that Bret would win Wrestler of the Year at some point during his career that he had to double-check, but no, he really didn’t.

Astounding, right?

9. Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio is one of WWE's top stars
Rey Mysterio is one of WWE’s top stars

One of the best high-flyers to ever step through the ropes, whether it was his time in WCW, WWE or the independent scene, surely Rey Mysterio has done enough to be voted Wrestler of the Year at least once?

The unfortunate truth is that his career will come to an end in the next few years, and the time for Ray to be recognized as Worker of the Year has passed.

8. Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins is one of the top stars in WWE right now
Seth Rollins is one of the top stars in WWE right now

Perhaps hindered by the fact that he rose to prominence while producing some of the best matches NJPW fans have ever seen, it’s surprising that Seth Rollins was never voted ‘Wrestler of the Year’.

However, Rollins is doing some of the best work of his career right now, so while it may be too late to push for the 2022 title, maybe Seth is in the running in late 2023.

7. Undertaker

The Undertaker at WrestleMania
The Undertaker at WrestleMania

The Undertaker was no slouch in the ring, but was perhaps better known for his character work than his work between the ropes.

Despite that, considering he was a full-time player for 25 years, it’s surprising that The Undertaker was never recognized as ‘Wrestler of the Year’ at least once.

In fact, in an article published last year, ‘Taker was voted the worst wrestler of the year during his career, which you can read by clicking here.

6. The Rock

The Rock is rumored to be returning to WWE this year
The Rock is rumored to be returning to WWE this year

Again, perhaps he was a victim of his time in working wrestling, but as he had some incredible matches and feuds, it’s perhaps surprising that The Rock was never ‘Wrestler of the Year’.

And now that he’s essentially done with wrestling, at least in terms of being a full-time talent, The Rock has never been given a ‘wrestler of the year’ honor, perhaps one of the industry’s biggest omissions.

5. Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns is now WWE's top star
Roman Reigns became the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania

The next entry on this list, Roman Reigns, is hoping to receive the Wrestler of the Year 2022 award, given his tremendous work this year.

Perhaps it’s considered unfortunate that Roman didn’t receive the title last year, especially since he was undefeated for the entirety of 2021 and WWE’s top star.

Again, if this list were written next year, Roman probably wouldn’t qualify, as he’s set to win for the first time in 2023.

4. Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels is still working with WWE
Shawn Michaels is still working with WWE

Again, it’s hard to believe that one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels, was never voted ‘Wrestler of the Year’.

This is more a testament to the incredible competition Michaels faced at the time than anything to do with the work he put in at the height of his career before or after his return to the ring in 2002.

3. Daniel Bryan/Brian Danielson

Brian Danielson AEW Treatment
Image credit: AEW

For his work in WWE as Daniel Bryan or his work as Bryan Danielson in AEW, this is a mistake.

Bryan, in the eyes of many, is recognized as one of the best ever, either for his work in the ring or his work on the mic, as a heel or a face.

Bryan probably would have claimed the title last year, but had a four-month hiatus between leaving WWE and joining AEW, which is why the title was awarded to Kenny Omega.

2. Randy Orton

Randy Orton is one of the top stars of WWE
Randy Orton is one of the top stars of WWE

If you ask many wrestlers, they’ll say that no one does the basics better in the ring than Randy Orton, but apparently, even he doesn’t do them well enough.

There’s no denying that Orton is one of WWE’s GOATs, which makes the fact that he’s never been voted Wrestler of the Year all the more surprising.

If we’re being honest, Orton’s best chance is probably to be the biggest overstar in all of WWE in 2022, but a serious back injury that’s kept him out of action since May has ruined his chances.

1. Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is one of WWE's best stars
Brock Lesnar is one of WWE’s best stars

Perhaps hampered by the fact that he hasn’t been full-time since 2004, it’s still surprising that Brock Lesnar has never been voted ‘Wrestler of the Year’.

He is one of the best men to ever step inside the ring, and has been involved in main event feuds, divisions and matches since his return in 2012.

Maybe next year will be Brock’s year…

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