Pro Wrestling Illustrated Announces 2016 Awards; AJ Styles, Roman Reigns Among The Winners

The results are in and AJ Styles has been crowned as the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Wrestler of the Year.

PWI announced the winners of its 44th annual Achievement Awards on Friday and Styles topped the list.

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After beginning his 2016 with a match against Shinsuke Nakamura at New Japan Pro Wrestling's biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom, both Styles and Nakamura signed with WWE. Styles moved right to the main roster, debuting in the Royal Rumble match and working extended programs against Roman Reigns and John Cena before defeating Dean Ambrose to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion in September at Backlash, the first Smackdown-exclusive pay-per-view since the revival of the WWE brand split this summer. 

Styles also was part of the PWI 2016 Match of the Year, an honor that went to his bout with John Cena from Summerslam. 

This is the first time Styles has been named PWI Wrestler of the Year. He was second runner-up in both 2005 and 2014, and was third runner-up in 2003 and 2004.

Nakamura also made the list, claiming the Most Popular Wrestler of the Year award. The Most Hated Wrestler of the Year "honors" went to Roman Reigns, even though he was booked consistently as a babyface.

Other PWI award winners were as follows:

  • Nia Jax (Rookie of the Year)
  • Bayley (Inspirational Wrestler of the Year)
  • The Miz (Most Improved Wrestler of the Year)
  • Goldberg (Comeback of the Year)
  • Charlotte Flair (Woman of the Year)
  • Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks (Feud of the Year)
  • The New Day (Tag Team of the Year)


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