IZW End of the Year Awards
Impact Zone Wrestling recently announced the winners of the 2011 End of the Year Award Party highlighting a rollercoaster ride for 2011. The results showed just how entrenched the fans loyalties lie with the IZW Superstars and how several wrestlers were able to break out of the pack and establish themselves as the top wrestlers in the Mid-South territory.
Perhaps the most telling award was the Most Popular Superstar going to Johnny Z. Johnny Z holds the unique distinction of winning Most Hated Superstar (2010) and Most Popular Superstar (2011) in back to back years. The award is a testament to how well Johnny Z connects with the fans and transfers his energy and emotion in the ring onto the fans in attendance and watching worldwide on GFL.tv. Johnny Z made a comeback of monumental proportions back in to the good standing of the IZW fans by using his same no-nonsense type of approach to build up the organization, instead of trying to tear it down like in 2010. Johnny Z’s feuds with Impact Inc. and “The Shooter” Brent Albright struck a nerve and cut to the heart of the IZW faithful and although he is on the shelf at the moment, expect more great things from the “Natural Born Leader” in 2012.
Double D took home the honors of Superstar of the Year. For D, this makes it two years in a row and it’s easy to see why. Double D is a workhorse inside of the ring and his aerial assaults and variations are something not many people in the business can duplicate. Double D is also the consummate professional, and carries the torch for what he and the fans know is right. He took Jermaine Johnson to the brink, for the World Title at Halloween Hangover, and ended 2011 with a bang when he defeated former NWA World Champion, Brent Albright, in a No Holds Barred/No DQ Match after Johnny Z was injured and unable to compete. It is things like this that make Double D such a fan favorite. He lives by an honor code that not many do. Already in a heated feud with new Impact Division Champion, Rage Logan, Double D will look to add more memorable matches along with more golden hardware to his collection in the next 12 months.
On the flip side of Johnny Z and Double D’s awards is Most Hated Superstar and that award goes to Jeff Wolfenbarger. The leader of Impact Inc. and brother of Johnny Z, Wolfenbarger’s name is “mud” in the Oklahoma territory. A man with a very large brain, but not a lot of muscles to back up his scheming, Wolfenbarger always lets others do his dirty work. But you have to give the devil his due, as he created an unequaled faction with his version of Impact Inc., taking the group to new heights and controlling the World Championship. And whoever controls the World Championship controls the direction of the company and Wolfenbarger helped orchestrate that game plan to perfection. 2011 was loaded with chaos and a big reason for that was Wolfenbarger’s behind the scenes plays and power struggles. Expect that to continue in 2012 because once a man like Wolfenbarger has tasted success, it’s hard for him to give it up.
The Old School Suckas won Tag Team of the Year, in a runaway. The duo of Gary Tool and Bernie D are two of the most consistent performers on the IZW roster. The team has held on to the IZW Tag Team straps for what seems like eternity and has beaten back every challenge they’ve faced. With several decades of experience, both Tool and Bernie D have had one of the best years of their careers’. No two wrestlers gel together quite the way the Old School Suckas do. Unfortunately, Bernie D was injured on the final iPPV of 2011, Chaotic Christmas, so Gary Tool will be flying solo until Bernie D is physically able to return. For fans of tag team wrestling, hopefully Bernie D is ready to go soon.
The Moment of the Year, Match of the Year and Feud of the Year all revolve around two men; Aaron Neil and Jermaine Johnson. For over a year, Johnson held the IZW Heavyweight Championship and defeated all comers. It was in December of 2010 at Chaotic Christmas, in a TLC match, that got things rolling for Johnson and the “Me Era” and was voted Match of the Year. The match showed Johnson to be a prime time, main event player in how he was able to go blow for blow with the perennial IZW Superstar, “The Real Deal” Aaron Neil. Johnson retained his Heavyweight Championship in dramatic fashion in his first title defense that he had won a month prior by defeating Neil. Since that game changing TLC match it showed that Johnson’s earlier victory was not a fluke and sent his career into the stratosphere. For Neil, it was a tough loss, but one that would eat away at the multi-time Heavyweight Champion and it was the constant pursuit by Neil and his grit and determination in doing whatever it would take to regain his championship that Johnson now held that was voted Feud of the Year. Johnson and Neil’s feud carried IZW on its back and the two grapplers deserve all the praise and recognition they receive from it. Things finally came to a head at Halloween Hangover, with the Moment of the Year, when Aaron Neil entered the Monsters Bash Battle Royal as the #1 entry and sliced through the whole roster to win the match and receive an automatic title shot. Neil scratched and clawed his way through every member of the IZW roster, including tossing Champion Johnson over the top rope to add an exclamation point to his dramatic run. Winning that match at Halloween Hangover, and outlasting everybody else in IZW set up the return match a year in the making between Jermaine Johnson and Aaron Neil that took place at Chaotic Christmas 2011 where Neil was able to find some justice and defeat his arch nemesis and regain the IZW Heavyweight Title.
Witness the match that lit the territory on fire for FREE as IZW and GFL.tv bring to you Chaotic Christmas 2010 here http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Impact_Zone_Wrestling_Chaotic_Christmas/1137
With tons of new feuds and new players stepping up to the challenge, 2012 promises to deliver even more memorable events and moments to those watching live at the Impact Arena and worldwide on the GFL Combat Sports Network at GFL.tv. Stay tuned.
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