The Wrestling Obverver end of year awards have been debated and argued over ever since they were created by Dave Meltzer in 1980, and the 2020 edition is no exception as AEW dominated. Alongside Jon Moxley being named ‘Wrestler Of The Year’ and AEW taking home ‘Promotion Of The Year,’ AEW President Tony Khan scooped awards for ‘Best Booker’ and ‘Best Promoter.’
The awards are voted on by readers of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter and cover the period from January 1st 2020 until December 31st 2020.
Speaking on the Jim Cornette Experience, the former owner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling took issue Khan taking home the ”Best Booker’ gong, calling the booking on AEW “rotten.”
“Tony Khan was voted as best booker. Nobody who has ever booked, nobody who has ever worked with a booker, and being honest, and nobody who has ever seen professional wrestling presented in any type of legitimate proper fashion would vote for Tony Khan as a booker, much less the best booker. Cause it’s rotten. And nobody will tell him because he’s the boss, but in a secret ballot, no. So what you’ve got, is you’ve got an audience of people that are primarily now reading Dave’s [Meltzer] newsletter that have never seen wrestling the way that it… the wrestling that he was writing about 25, 30 years ago, and think’s this is the way it’s supposed to be.”
Cornette then went on to detail the different aspects of booking a wrestling promotion, before adding that Khan had been a “spectacular failure” on all levels.
“There’s differences in booking. There’s formatting a television show, there’s match making, there’s compiling a talent roster, and we’re talking spectacular failure at all of those levels, to have a coherent product.”
Attention later turned to the financial success of AEW, and how well they had done in getting a strong TV deal with TNT. Cornette was then asked if those successes were enough for him to win the award, an idea the legendary manager gave short shrift, before saying that Khan winning ‘Best Booker’ was an insult.
“No, it means you can vote for him for promotor of the year. And that he should win. But not booker. If McDonald’s sells more cheeseburgers, than anybody else in the world does that mean that McDonald’s cheeseburgers still don’t suck compared to most cheeseburgers in the rest of the world or does that mean that they are great business that sell a substandard product because their name and marketing. So if you want to go Tony Khan for promoter of the year, for all of the reasons you just mentioned, i’ll go for that. But booker of the year? Holy f**k no. It’s an insult that one would put the title booker after someone who has written this television programme for the last year. That’s an insult to bookers.”
Elsewhere in the episode a typically fiery Cornette took umbrage with Jon Moxley being named ‘Wrestler Of The Year,’ referring to the former AEW World Champion “A balding plumber from Cincinnati.’
Jon Moxley is set to face Kenny Omega at AEW Revolution in an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch. The bout has drawn intrigue and scorn in equal measure online, with Jim Cornette being one of the more vocal critics. However, speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ Lead Writer Garry Cassidy, Jon Moxley had a simple message for those critics, “don’t watch.”
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Inside The Ropes for the transcription.