In WWE, 2015 had been all amount one man. THE man. Seth Rollins. From being the first ever man to cash in his Money in the Bank contract at Wrestlemania, winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time and becoming the first ever man to hold both the world title and the United States championship at the same time, Seth Rollins had a historic year. In doing so, he has put on some remarkable matches, including two incredible matches against John Cena at the Summerslam and Night of Champions PPVs. It hasn’t stopped there though. Seth Rollins became only the second opponent to fight Sting in a WWE ring (PPVs only) and has also gone face to face with Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton and Demon Kane, and has left with his title on each occasion. It was a phenomenal year cut short by a severe injury, but nonetheless the year belonged to THE man, and the universe waits in anticipation for his return.
WWE Match of the Year – Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins
For me, the best match in 2015 happened at the first PPV in 2015. The Royal Rumble saw the defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar face John Cena and Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins in a triple threat match that was incredible. It was a match that each man had a genuine chance of winning, made better with the fact that there was always a chance Seth Rollins could even cash in straight after the match if he wanted to. From Rollins jumping from the top rope onto Lesnar and putting him through the announcers table to Lesnar countering a Curb Stomp into an F5, the match was simply exceptional and truly felt like a world title match.
WWE Angle of the Year – Brock vs Taker
The Undertaker hadn’t been involved in an angle that wasn’t centered about Wrestlemania in years. In 2015, that changed, as he returned at Battleground to reignite a feud with Brock Lesnar. This led to two main event matches for them, firstly at Summerslam and then at Hell in a Cell. It started as an angle around the Undertaker wanting to get revenge and silence Paul Heyman, and then it moved onto the controversial ending from Summerslam and one final match ever between the two. Along the way, the two also had one of the biggest brawls Monday Night Raw has ever seen, with an entire locker room having to pull them apart. For those reasons, the angle between Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker is my angle of the year.
WWE Breakout Star – Kevin Owens
Just over a year ago, Kevin Owens was making him NXT debut, defeating CJ Parker. A year later, he has won the NXT Championship, defeated John Cena clean on his main roster debut, headlined the biggest NXT event to date in Brooklyn in a ladder match, won the Intercontinental Championship and made it to the semi-finals of a tournament to crowd a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. An absolutely incredible year Owens has seen him go through feuds with Cena, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Ryback and, most recently, Dean Ambrose. He has done so with remarkable matches, especially against Cena and that ladder match with Balor. At a period in WWE where legitimate heels are lost in the fold, Owens has stormed WWE and been the true heel they’ve been missing, through an aggressive nature (including power bombing a musician off a stage) and an ability to talk to his opponent, the referee and even the commentary during a match in a spiteful manner. His rise has been fantastic to watch, and there is no doubts Kevin Owens is destined for big things, perhaps as early as next year.
WWE Story of the Year – Hulk Hogan firing
Very few have and will ever have a legacy in WWE like Hulk Hogan. He was by far the biggest draw in the company in his day, with ‘Hulkamania’ being a sensation for the company. He’s been away from the company a few times, working with WCW and TNA, but he’s always returned to WWE, including being the host of Wrestlemania 30, and has never seen his legacy slide. That was until 2015, when a tape was published containing racist language used by Hogan. As a result, he was fired from the WWE, and he has almost been written out of their history, his name never mentioned since. Just like that, years of hard work were erased, and arguably the biggest name ever in WWE history was no more. And that is the biggest story from WWE in 2015.