The professional wrestling world was surprised to learn today that SmackDown star Toni Storm is no longer with WWE, and as more information come out, it seems more and more likely that Storm really requested for her release as opposed to the numerous spending plan cuts WWE has actually made throughout the year. It's also surprising that WWE approved that release, particularly since Storm remained in the middle of a feud with Charlotte Flair revolving around the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Once the news hit of Storm's departure, responses came flying in from battling stars and fans on social media.Storm has actually just recently been feuding with Flair on SmackDown and on the vacation trip, and on SmackDown this included a fueling of pies that fans didn't always love. It all led to a match on SmackDown that Flair won, but the presumption was that Storm would get a rematch and a chance to get a win at Day 1.
That won't occur now clearly, and it's a pity. It's uncertain why Storm asked for her release, as it could be for any variety of reasons. Ideally, it doesn't take long for her to land in other places, as Storm would be a property to any Women's division immediately. Whether that remain in AEW, Impact, New Japan, MLW, or any number of independent promotions (which she was touring quite a bit prior to she headed to NXT UK), she will add star power and enormous in-ring ability.
Storm's departure also continues the tradition of NXT stars getting the short end of the stick when transferring to Raw or SmackDown. She had a wonderful title run in NXT UK and a strong run in NXT before relocating to SmackDown, but her SD run was interrupted and didn't leave to the best start either.
First time I saw Toni Storm was at the Mae Young Classic Evolution PPV. Then I viewed her on NXT UK due to the fact that she was amazing.Last time I saw her, she took two pies in the face at the hands of Charlotte Flair.Toni's badass. Wherever she goes, she'll be an outright star.-- @AmyNemmity
Long Career Ahead
Toni Storm is a fantastic bell-to-bell pro wrestler and young at 26. She'll have a long, fruitful profession, any place she lands.I hope it's someplace that'll put her in positions to have more huge matches than WWE could useher.__@andyhmurray
Toni Storm is among the best women's wrestlers worldwide. It's a shame she never got the possibility to show that on WWE's main roster.
-- Louis Dangoor
After a tumultuous 2020, professional wrestling was able to go back to a sense of normalcy this year as wrestling companies began touring and hosting events with live crowds halfway through the year.
However even with those modifications, wrestlers around the world still managed to provide some unforgettable minutes. WWE's leading draw had his banner year while holding the WWE Universal Championship for its totality, AEW broke down barriers with other promotions while bringing in a new wave of titanic free agents, and stars in both companies managed to reach new heights of stardom thanks to some unforgettable matches..
Best Male Wrestler.
At the start of 2021, it looked like the title of Best Male Wrestler would be a two-horse race in between WWE's Roman Reigns (who remained Universal Champion throughout the entire year) and AEW's Kenny Omega (who dominated as AEW World Champion while simultaneously holding gold in Impact Wrestling and Lucha Libre AAA).
Nevertheless, a few more names handled to force themselves into the conversation. Bryan Danielson went from centerpiece WrestleMania 37 to placing on Match of the Year competitors and challenging for the world champion in AEW, while Big E lastly took his rightful place in WWE's main event scene, and Bobby Lashley looked outstanding as WWE Champion for six months.
Best Female Wrestler.
Between Bayley's ACL tear and Sasha Banks' multiple breaks from television, the WWE Four Horsewomen's grip over the Women's Division loosened a bit in 2021 (though Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch will still end the year as champions). Bianca Belair strongly established herself as a leading star by winning the Women's Royal Rumble and the centerpiece of WrestleMania 37 prior to dropping her champioship to Lynch, now a heel, at SummerSlam.Outside the WWE, Britt Baker rose to the top of the Women's Division in AEW, while Deona Purrazzo controlled in both Impact Wrestling and Lucha Libre AAA.
Dr. Britt Baker.
Best Tag Team.
AEW once again controlled the conversation in 2021, when it concerned tag team fumbling, for this reason why 4 of their teams made the list. However after Jimmy Uso's long-awaited return from injury and the reformation of The Bloodline, The Usos picked up their seventh reign as tag team champs and are starting to dominate WWE's record books.
The Lucha Brothers.
The Young Bucks.
Match of the Year.
Narrowing the list of Match of the Year nominees down to just 5 choices was once again a major challenge this year. Each of the 5 earned their place for different reasons-- the Bucks and Luchas put on a violent Steel Cage classic, Omega and Danielson took each other to the limit in a 30-minute time frame draw, and Dragunov made history by ending Walter's historic reign at NXT's last TakeOver prior to being rebooted and the two WrestleMania 37 main events proudly delivered on WWE's grandest stage.
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers (Steel Cage Match) (AEW All Out 2021).
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega (AEW Grand Slam).
Walter vs. Ilja Dragunov (NXT TakeOver 36).
Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Edge (WrestleMania 37).
Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair (WrestleMania 37).
Thanks to the NXT 2.0 reboot, a new crop of talent from WWE's Performance Center was quickly provided the opportunity to shine on weekly television, hence presenting the world to Bron Breakker (child of wrestling legend Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner) and the hilarious Tony D'Angelo. Cameron Grimes likewise climbed his way up on the same roster thanks to a program with Ted DiBiase and the Million Dollar Championship. Finally, AEW had two young stars regularly stick out on television in the highly-technical Daniel Garcia and the gravity-defying Dante Martin.