The famous Japanese newspaper Tokyo Sports has held the awards ceremony for the best of pro-wrestling in Japan during the year 2018. For this, several of the critics of the magazine voted a series of nominees based on their performance throughout the year, the success they have had and the development under their character, among other factors. This was the 45th edition of the awards and took place on Thursday, January 17, 2019 from the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Shinagawa, Tokyo.
For the gala attended both the winners and some pro-wrestling legends such as Kenta Kobashi, wrestlers like Hideki Suzuki or promoters like Rossy Ogawa of STARDOM. It was also attended by the idol Jurina Matsui and the New Neruma Pro-Wrestling fighter, Andreza the Giant Panda, with his son. The companies represented by the winners made an appearance. It should be remembered that the winners of the prizes were the following:
– Best wrestler: MVP: Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW)
– Best wrestler: Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon)
– Best match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega – 2 to 3 falls without a time limit, at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka Jo-Hall (NJPW)
– Best tag team: Violent Giant (Shuji Ishikawa and Suwama) (AJPW) (2nd consecutive year)
– Best technique/skill: Tetsuya Naito (NJPW)
– Fighting Spirit: Kaito Kiyomiya (NOAH)
– Best Overall Performance/Performance Award: Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH)
– Debut of the year: Utami Hayashishita (STARDOM)
Apart from these awards, a couple of special mentions were given to other athletes. All the winners received their trophies and made speeches for the public. The ceremony featured curious images, such as Tanahashi being attacked by Andreza. Kenny Omega took advantage of his speech to comment that maybe he can not be in 2019, because he will be giving great meetings on an international platform, without clarifying his professional future. Among the other winners, Tanahashi valued in social networks the presence of past, present, and future, making a special mention to Kiyomiya, current champion GHC Heavyweight of NOAH, who is only 21 years old.