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1999 R.S.P-W Awards

Most Improved Wrestler

Most Improved Wrestler

Award Description:

To be given to the wrestler who most improved himself/herself in all facets
of the sport in the past year.

Previous Winners:

  1990: Lex Luger
  1991: Ron Simmons
  1992: Steve Austin
  1993: Marcus Alexander Bagwell
  1994: Diesel
  1995: Johnny B. Badd
  1996: Wildman Marc Mero (Johnny B. Badd)
  1997: Ken Shamrock
  1998: The Rock

**1999**: Hardcore Holly

345 first place votes
329 second place votes
313 third place votes

 67 44 25  517   Hardcore Holly
 61 39 20  462   Kane
 31 28 40  329   Test
 30 37 34  329   Shane McMahon
 11 12 20  131   D'Lo Brown
  7 17 16  118   Chyna
 12  6 12  102   Goldberg
 10 11  7   97   Jerry Lynn
  7  7 13   82   Lenny
  4 13  8   75   Edge
  4  9 14   75   Val Venis
 10  6  3   74   Triple H
  9  3  4   62   Vader
  4  8  4   52   Jeff Hardy
  4  7  2   45   Christian
  4  3  6   41   Kidman
  5  4  1   39   Saturn
  4  4  3   38   Rock
  3  1  8   34   Curt Hennig
  2  4  6   34   Yoshihiro Tajiri
  5  1  1   30   Jeff Jarrett
  2  4  3   28   Blitzkrieg
  4  1  2   27   Hardy Boyz(NO)
  3  2  3   27   Chris Jericho
  3  3  1   26   Perry Saturn
  1  2  5   21   British Bulldog
  0  3  6   21   Super Crazy
  0  4  4   20   Matt Hardy
  3  0  2   19   Tokyo Magnum
  2  3  0   19   Chris Chetti
  3  1  0   18   Kanyon
  1  3  1   16   Chris Benoit
  3  0  0   15   Disco Inferno
  2  1  1   15   Norman Smiley
  1  2  1   13   Mona
  2  0  1   12   Diamond Dallas Page
  2  0  1   12   Bradshaw
  0  4  0   12   Lodi
  2  0  0   10   Roadkill
  1  1  1   10   Mankind
  0  0  5   10   Mike Awesome
  1  1  0    8   Lexie Fyfe
  1  1  0    8   Lash LeRoux
  1  1  0    8   Ken Shamrock
  1  1  0    8   Al Snow
  1  0  1    7   Pete "Gas"
  1  0  1    7   Cat
  1  0  1    7   Big Show
  0  1  2    7   Kurt Angle
  0  1  2    7   Danny Doring
  0  2  0    6   Rodney
  0  2  0    6   Road Dogg
  1  0  0    5   Yumi Fukawa
  1  0  0    5   Mr. Ass
  1  0  0    5   Lucha Kane
  1  0  0    5   Little Guido
  1  0  0    5   Kendall Windham
  1  0  0    5   Justin Credible
  1  0  0    5   Joe E. Legend
  1  0  0    5   David Taylor
  1  0  0    5   Cima
  1  0  0    5   Buh Buh Ray Dudley
  1  0  0    5   Adam Pearce
  0  1  1    5   Rhino
  0  1  1    5   Lance Storm
  0  1  1    5   Great Sasuke
  0  0  2    4   Viscera
  0  0  2    4   Steve Corino
  0  0  2    4   David Flair
  0  1  0    3   X-Pac
  0  1  0    3   Vampiro
  0  1  0    3   Too Cool(NO)
  0  1  0    3   Tommy Dreamer
  0  1  0    3   Sting
  0  1  0    3   Steve Regal
  0  1  0    3   Rob Van Dam
  0  1  0    3   Rikishi Fatu (ineligible?)
  0  1  0    3   Naoya Ogawa
  0  1  0    3   Mr. Neibla
  0  1  0    3   Minoru Tanaka
  0  1  0    3   Michiko Omukai
  0  1  0    3   Mark Henry
  0  1  0    3   Jerry Flynn
  0  1  0    3   Hiroyuki Kanda
  0  1  0    3   Gangrel
  0  1  0    3   Evan Karagias
  0  1  0    3   Derek St. Holmes
  0  1  0    3   Bret Hart
  0  1  0    3   Brandi Alexander
  0  1  0    3   Big Bossman
  0  0  1    2   Total Package
  0  0  1    2   Suicide Kid
  0  0  1    2   Strawberry Fields
  0  0  1    2   Papi Chulo
  0  0  1    2   Mikiko Futagami
  0  0  1    2   Maunekea Mossman
  0  0  1    2   Ivory
  0  0  1    2   Genki Horiguchi
  0  0  1    2   Droz
  0  0  1    2   Dean Malenko
  0  0  1    2   Cuddley Berr
  0  0  1    2   Chavo Guerrero Jr.
  0  0  1    2   Booker T.
  0  0  1    2   A.J. Styles

CHRIS BIRD: Vader is wrestling like it's 1992 again. Perry Saturn finally
learned how to throw a punch - among three hundred other things. Kane
improved his mobility, his moveset, and worked his ass off. These are

JEREMY MORAN: While Kane is definitely the most improved wrestler of the
year (LUCHAKANE~!), I really feel kinda odd putting Shane Mc & Test in
this category.  I mean, yeah, they've improved from their first match, but
it's hard to call them "Most Improved" when there's nothing to improve
from.  They're definitely my choices for Rookies of the Year.  If we did

EDC: Lenny Lane showed the world he was a player this year, but politics
may have doomed his career. Steve Regal bounced back from last years
spiral to almost getting into his world class form of 96. Test shows
promise, but lets hope he *doesn't* turn into Kevin Nash.

CYBERAL33: Compare Saturn's singles matches this year to his ones at the
begining of his WCW tenure and marvel at the difference. He has added
suplexes and submissions and by wrestling Eddie Guerrero two or three
hundred times can only get better. Curt Henning rejuvintated himself in
the Rap is Crap angle and his chops are still world class. Super Crazy
went from a spot-blowing machine into a pretty damn competent wrestler
thanks to a man named Taijiri (with help from Guido, TAKA, and the

RFLAGG13: Kane is working his ass off in every match, and he's really
improved himself over this time last year. That alone puts him into the
top spot.  Second goes to Shane McMahon, who really couldn't have gone
anywhere but up.  Seriously, though, who ever thought we'd see Shane O'Mac
in 2 great PPV matches, including his MOTY candidate against Test? Third
goes to D-Lo Brown.  Aside from his unfortunate role on the paralyzing of
Droz, he only continues to improve. I fully expect great things out of
D-Lo in the future, if Vince McMahon doesn't decide to bury him for
injuring one of his workers.

K. CANZANELLA: Vader got booted out of Acme Acres and went to a real
wrestling fed in All Japan and found his workrate again. He went from
mediocre fat man to a very stiff working fat man who had several great
matches and was pretty dominant for a while. Great Sasuke also bounced
back, and proceeded to have some terrific matches in many different
styles. D'lo Brown keeps on improving, but it's a shame he won't be going
anywhere soon because he's being punished for having an uncooperative
opponent,a lack of catchphrases and a possession of *gasp* wrestling

GENE MOORE: When Shane McMahon first won the European title, I thought it
was a terrible move, and one that degraded the belt. Shane has proven me
wrong since then, and his recent crossbody from the top of the cage shows
why I think the boss' son deserves the Most Improved award.

SVEN MASCARENHAS: Who told Glen Jacobs that he could do a pescado? The
Kane character has developed from a one-note sidekick to a compelling
babyface, while uttering maybe fifty words over the course of the year -
proof that fans care about something other than interviewing skill and
catchphrases. Bob Holly gained a good finisher, a great gimmick, and two
titles, while Billy Kidman continued his ascension to his throne as Randy
Savage for the next decade.

MATTHEW CLEARY: The ARSION trio are all some of the best workers you never
hear of in the States.

AARON: Pathetically enough, Shane-O has become one of the WWF's best
flyers. And I could honestly say that he'll wear the WWF title someday.
Test and Kane have also improved greatly.

JOHN ROMANO: Holly went from hanging out with that fat, useless, crack
addict, to becoming a formidable wrestler in the WWF midcard.

DON BECKER: Three guys who went from barely watchable to (almost-)must
see.  Kane went from nothing to something by adding an impressive arsenal
of high-impact moves that just look really cool.  Vader, as I mentioned up
top, went from piece-o-shit to championship material.  And Goldberg is no
longer one-dimensional and boring to watch.

SHAWN MULLIN: Shane went from annoying bitch announcing Sunday Night Heat
to bumpmachine who can actually pull off some wrestling moves, and do some
crazy stuff.  Plus, he can now put on a decent act, and has great
charisma.  Too bad his basics truly blow.  Bob Holly was a living joke for
5 years, now he's RSPW's darling, and one of the most over heels in
wrestling.  I'd say that was an improvement. Test has developped character
and some nice, crisp lookin high impact offence.  Lets hope he can learn
match flow.

MAX CHITTISTER: Six months ago, Kane had this locked up, but he backslid a
little over the last few months. Shane and Bob Holly both re-created
themselves in the last year into solid, entertaining performers who can go
in the ring.

JBELL55146: 2 words: LUCHA-KANE! And Wasn't Bob Holly a race car driver?
How the times have changed

PAUL SHOCK:  Glen Jacobs has improved so much this year, I now just think
of him as Kane.  Issac Yankem is a distant memory.  After all the
criticism about pushing him too soon, Goldberg is now a legitimate
wrestler.  He knows how to do more than two moves, and can pace himself.  
For third, I've got to vote the Bulldog, because he's improved SO much
from his godawful 1998.  I would have voted for Hardcore Holly, but he's
not really improved, just pushed.

BLOB: WCW wrestlers take all 3 spots here. DDP has more than doubled his
workrate this year and has become much more bareable. I used to think of
this guy as an idiot, but he really proved himself this year. I like Perry
Saturn more every time I see him wrestle, and he's got to be in the top 5
wrestlers in WCW. Goldberg also added a couple of good power moves to his
repetoire en route to getting #3 on my list.

GEORGE CARTER: Kane wins this one hands down. A year ago I hated Kane with
a passion, and now the WWF has made me actually care for the scarred
brother of the Undertaker. Also, his wrestling skills has improved from
being almost as bad as Rick Steiner to being the (sorry Bobby) 'Best Big
Man in the business'.  Who ever thought I'd mark out for Thurman Sparky
Plugg ??? His skills have improved and he is much more interesting than
ever. Finally, this 'Rap is Crap' gimmick has been a God-send for Curt
Hennig. Before he was just some annoying guy who was a shadow of his
former self. Now he is the guy who sang 'Rap is Crap'. A fire has been
lightened under him and I think that he will have a solid year in 2000.

JOHN C.:My pick here is D'Lo Brown for his much improved effort in the
ring. I must applaud Hardcore Holly on the way he went from being a non
factor to providing fans with a very intriguing character.

JON RICHARDSON: Though Kane is by no means an excellent wrestler, Glen
Jacobs has obviously put a great deal of work into getting himself into
good physical shape and improving himself.  Instead of just doing the
Undertaker's repertoire of moves (which he did for far too long) he has
now added enough (and does it quickly enough) that he was actually able to
keep up with X-Pac when the two were a tag team.  2nd most improved would
be Test as he has moved on from doing more than just power moves.  The
site of the 6'10" guy coming off the top turnbuckle is most impressive.  
Third Place goes to pre-injury Droz.  Droz managed to get over post-LOD
and had improved enough as a wrestler to be carried to a watchable match
by just about anybody.

RICHARD BEAUBIEN: Test suprises me, as he went from a big stiff with
nothing to a decent big man with a variety of offence. All in under a
year. Sure he can't produce top quality matches yet, but he's been in the
game for under a year and has shown this much. I'm willing to give him a
year to devlope more.  Bigelow suprised me as he came in on fire in WCW,
working some good quality brawls and was fun to watch in the triad
gimmick. He's making me forget the last few days of his WWF run. Saturn
keeps improving, add some more offence and better transition to his game.
If he can elminate teh crappy punches from his offence then he'll crack
some of my top wrestler categories.

DUNCAN O'SULLIVAN: Where was Little Guido in the nominations? He has gone
from comedy wrestler to one of ECW`s best since going solo.

JAN-MORTIZ KAEDING: Hardcore Holly developed a personality this year. Just
compare him to last year's Bob Holly and you can see the difference.  The
British Bulldog was much better years ago, but he really took a step
forward from his last WCW stint. Kane is just not awful anymore. (1st:
Hardcore Holly, 2nd: Kane, 3rd: Bulldog)

ELLIOT SPARKS: Vader's comeback in All Japan has been nothing short of a
miracle. >From fat bastard to killer heel in the space of six months, Leon
White improved immensely in the first half of the voting year. The
progression may not have continued later in the annum, but it honestly
didn't have to: the return to form was miraculous on its own. Improvement
would have been an unthinkable bonus.

JOE GENTILE:  The key is not who is the best wrestler, but who improved
the most.  Therefore, my votes go 1: Kane, who went from fair to very
good; 2 Test, who went from bad to good; and 3: D'Lo Brown, who went from
very good to great.

CHANCE50JR: In the past year, D-Lo Brown has become one of my favorite
wrestlers to watch.  Not just because of his gimmicks (they should stick
him with the "proud european champion" gimmick again) but also because
he's great in the ring.

DAVID HANNA:  Kane certainly has shown a lot.  His weight is down and his
moves have gotten more varied and better.  He is fun to watch.  His
character has also grown and I see Kane moving up the ladder next year.  
Shane certainly has shown he can wrestle.  What these awards need is a
Rookie of the Year award. Shane would fit better there.  Chyna who was
just a crotch hitting valet has grown into a competent worker and her PPV
matches are usually one of the best on the show.

JAMES GOWDEY: Shane, Rodney, Pete "Gas"... All three of these guys were
pretty much normal until they worked on their mat skills. Look at them
now, they became actual wrestlers (Rodney can do a MOONSAULT?!) . Of
course, all Shane-O-Mac's matches are just a pleasure to watch, so I had
to pick him.

MYKLL42:Perry Saturn had an amazing year, to the point where I almost
thought he could have pulled out a MOTYC with Eddy Guerrero.  That never
materialized with the Russofication of WCW, but the potential was there,
as it never would have been a year and a half ago.

SEAN FLYNN: Shane has become a legitimate wrestler_.amazing.

BEN MILLER:  Buh Buh Ray is getting much, much better, and if put in a
feud with good workers, I think he could break out.  For such little
experience, Chyna is surprisingly not awful.

B. SZPAKOWICZ: Shane McMahon. I think going from being an incredibly
annoying announcer with literally no in-ring skills to being an
entertaining character and decent worker in less than a year is a pretty
damn good leap. He's no HBK, sure, but he's far better than he has any
right to be. Hardcore Holly gets second for actually growing a personality
and Test gets third for both in-ring talent and personality implants.

RYAN GRANT:  Both Test and Hardcore Holly really came out of nowhere this
year (in a very real sense for Test, since he only debuted this time last
year) to rise to the top of the ranks.  Hardcore especially did a great
job of turning around what was a long, long losing streak (JOB Squad!  
New Midnights!) to become a fun guy to watch on Monday night.

BERT SNOOVEN: I remember the awards last year, when Bob Holly only got one
vote for most improved wrestler. I was the one who voted for him. He began
to shine last year, but he's really blossomed this year. Having Crash
along doesn't hurt. My second place nod goes to Kane. What made him get up
one morning and decide to actually start wrestling? One of a few big guys
who isn't a complete sloth.

WILL BRICKLES: C'mon!  Bradshaw has improved his game so much and he's not
even nominated.  Give me a break.  (Why didn't YOU nominate him? - CRZ)

COLIN MACKINNON: I started to watch ECW on TNN this year, and Jerry Lynn's
impressed me a lot.  He's come a long way from his J.L. days in the WWF.  
Val's good at getting heel heat, and that even showed at the EMLL
Anniversary Show in Mexico a few months back.  D-Lo's quickly becoming one
of my favorites.

RICK SCAIA:  A year ago, Shane McMahon hadn't ever stepped in the ring as
a wrestler on TV.  Today, I'll be honest:  I kind of look forward to
seeing him step into the ring.  He was surprisingly OK in his first
in-ring appearance at WrestleMania 15, and has gotten better every time
out, including his match at SummerSlam against Test that rated as the best
of the night.  By adding a bit of polish and a whole lot of charisma, D'Lo
Brown gets second on this list.  Goldberg notches third as he continues to
expand his once-laughable repretoire.

JEREMY SORIA: Holly and Venis should be tied with each other as far as
this award goes, in my opinion. The gimmick change, as it were, for Holly
was just the thing he needed to get himself into the picture. Val Venis'
character has filled out nicely - people are starting to care for him (or
against him, as it were) .

JUSTIN JONES: Test came out of nowhere to be a more-than-competent worker
whose midcard status belies his importance in WWF angles.

SELENA KYTE:  I am extremely fascinated and pleased with the improvement
of Mona over the past year.  From her Starla Saxton days in the PGWA and
other independents to now, her physique and skills have improved
tremendously. And I'll admit, getting her into WCW and transforming her
into Mona was probably a great career move for her.  With the more
hard-impact moves she's doing, though, I'm not sure it's a good idea for
her to be wrestling barefoot.

HEATM:  Kane has far surpassed anyone's expectations of him when he first
came in.  Shane McMahon had some terrific matches at Wrestlemania,
Summerslam and an IYH ladder match, not to mention his solid work on RAW
and Smackdown.

ROB EVANS: Most Improved - 1 and 2 have to go to Jarrett and Holly.  Both
have really come a long way this year.

OTTO "HACK-MAN" HEUER: Most Improved Wrestler?  Shit, did ANYONE know
Shane McMahon could do half of what he's done in the past year?  He's heir
to a billion dollar corporation and should never have to step in the ring
and he's only been out-bumped by Mankind!  I'm not sure if it's fair to
put Tajiri as #2, since I don't think I saw him before this year, but I'm
voting for him anyway.  Jeff Hardy gets number three, to make this the
first year in the history of the RSPW awards (and I believe I've voted
every year) that no WCW wrestler has received at least one of my votes for
most-improved.  I remember the year when it was hard to decide between DDP
and Johnny B Badd because there wasn't even a close third that year!

MDB: Most Improved?  No one improved this year.  Bulldog, Hennig, and
Regal did better in 99 than in 98 but they are still shadows of former
selves.  I suppose Kane will win this.  Someone started the rumor that
he's improved and dispite merely doing the exact same things he's done the
last two years, the rumor won't die.  

General Comments
Best Wrestler
Best Tag Team
Best Heel
Best Babyface
Best Worker
Best Jobber
Best Jobber to the Stars
Best Flyer
Best Technical
Best Brawler
Most Favourite
Most Improved
Most Overrated
Best Gimmick
Best Move
Best Match
Best Feud
Worst Wrestler
Worst Tag Team
Worst Heel
Worst Babyface
Worst Worker
Least Favourite
Most Deteriorated
Most Underrated
Worst Gimmick
Worst Move
Worst Match
Worst Feud
Most Disappointing News item
Most Obnoxious
Best Second
Best Announcer
Best Colour
Best Interviewee
Best Angle
Best Organization
Best TV Show
Best Major Show
Best Promotional Move
Worst Second
Worst Announcer
Worst Colour
Worst Interviewee
Worst Angle
Worst Organization
Worst TV Show
Worst Major Show
Worst Promotional Move
'netter Suggested Awards


Copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications