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January 1, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Candidates for Wrestler of the Year, Sakuraba defeats another Gracie, more


For a year that, with the exception of the success of the WWF, was hardly a banner year for the business, there is actually no shortage of candidates for Wrestler of the Year.

The Observer awards balloting results will be announced here in two weeks, but before hand, I wanted to run down a list of the top qualifiers with my own comments on them.

Kurt Angle - Angle finished an incredible year as the WWF champion and arguably the most improved performer both in and out of the ring in the industry. It was only November of 1999 when Angle debuted on WWF television, playing the geeky 70s babyface role that is more of a heel today, with his only wrestling experience in Memphis where he was a strong rookie in the ring, but they actually often gave him a manager (Brandon Baxter) to do his interviews, which were considered a weakness.

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