And the ESPY for Best WWE Moment goes to…Cody Rhodes!
On Wednesday, July 20th, ESPN aired their annual awards show, recognizing the top moments and achievements from the year in sports. While top awards are given to athletes across the most well-known sports leagues including Best NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, and NFL Player and Best Championship Team, the ESPYS are a true celebration of all things sports and sports-related. They include awards celebrating humanitarianism, service, commitment, and other qualities that go beyond athletics. Awards are also given to the best college athlete, best bowler, best Olympian, best driver, best tennis player, best golfer, and so much more.
One award, which was first debuted in 2019, is the Best WWE Moment of the Year. This award was first won by Roman Reigns in his return to the ring after winning his battle against leukemia and was again awarded in 2021 to Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair for becoming the first Black women to main event WrestleMania. This year, for the first time, the award was determined via an elimination-style tournament. The 16 moments fans were able to vote on are as follows:
- Brock Lesnar wins the Royal Rumble vs Bianca Belair wins the RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania
- John Cena returns at Money in the Bank vs Ronda Rousey wins the Royal Rumble
- WWE welcomes back fans with first full live crowd vs Stone Cold stuns everyone at WrestleMania
- Roman Reigns becomes Undisputed Universal Champion vs Cody Rhodes returns to WWE at WrestleMania
- Big E cashes in Money in the Bank to win WWE Championship vs The Miz turns on Logan Paul
- Becky Lynch returns at SummerSlam vs The Undertaker is inducted into WWE Hall of Fame
- Edge defeats Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell vs Weeman body slams Sami Zayn
- Brock Lesnar returns at SummerSlam vs Stone Cold returns to the ring at WrestleMania
— WWE (@WWE) July 21, 2022
Of those 16, the final moments were Undertaker‘s HOF induction, Cody Rhodes‘ WrestleMania return, Steve Austin‘s stunner party at WrestleMania, and Big E‘s extraordinary cash-in. On Wednesday night, the winner was announced with the ESPY going to Cody Rhodes, who also served as a presenter during the live event.
The fans have spoken. Rhodes’ return at WrestleMania, while in some ways expected, was still one of the most shocking and energizing moments of the year in WWE. And it wasn’t just about the night he returned, but everything that came after. An unfortunate injury has since derailed Rhodes’ comeback story, but rest assured, the American Nightmare is nowhere near finished with what he returned to WWE to accomplish. In 2022, Rhodes claimed his first ESPY. Perhaps in 2023, he’ll add his first WWE Championship to his list of accolades.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.