Diva Dirt presents its fifth annual Writers’ Choice Awards, as decided by the Diva Dirt team. As we come to the end of 2015, we have picked the best of the best to be awarded our Writers’ Choice trophies.
Independent Wrestler of the Year: Santana Garrett
Gold isn’t everything, but when someone has as much as Santana Garrett had this year, it’s hard to not take notice.
Coming off of a rather disappointing run with TNA in 2014, Santana took no prisoners in 2015, adding an astounding seven championships to her resume this year. We don’t just mean she held seven championships this year; we mean she won seven individual championships within the calendar year. Yeah… Let’s break them down:
#1: NWA World Women’s Championship: Santana won her first 2015 championship in February, defeating Barbi Hayden at a Florida Underground Wrestling event in Plant City, Florida. This prestigious belt is one of the country’s oldest, dating back to 1964 and its inaugural champion, the legendary Fabulous Moolah. Santana lost the title mere days ago, dropping it to Amber Gallows on December 18th.
#2: Battling Bombshells Championship: Last March, in the first of several matches that saw Santana put the NWA World Women’s Championship on the line to gain another, Santana bested La Rosa Negra at Ring Warriors CobraMania 2 in Lake Worth, Florida, putting an end to Rosa’s 910-day reign.
#3: SHINE Championship: April saw Santana defeat SHINE Champion Mia Yim at SHINE 26 in another Title vs. Title match, snagging the SHINE Title in a hard fought 17-minute match. She was only the fourth woman to hold the belt and retained it a whopping eight times before losing it at this month’s SHINE 31, where she fell to Taylor Made.
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#4: CWE Vixen’s Championship: In July, Santana’s third dual title bout saw her pick up CWE’s Vixen’s Championship, beating Su Yung to win the vacant title and retain her NWA belt at an event in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
#5: OPW Women’s Championship: Santana won the vacant OPW Women’s Title in August in a Five-Way Elimination match, outlasting Ashley Mayberry, Grace Storm, MJ Knight and Shaniah Arlyana in Orlando, Florida to notch her fifth title win of the year.
#6: NPW Women’s Championship: Always happy to outdo herself, Santana won a Seven-Way match in September to claim the vacant NPW Women’s Championship, defeating Aspyn Rose, Cherry Layne, Grace Storm, MJ Knight, Shaniah Arlyana and Shojo Machiko to snag number six in Orlando, Florida.
#7: Wonder Of STARDOM Championship: Lastly, and in perhaps her most impressive victory of all, Santana defeated Wonder of STARDOM Champion Io Shirai at a November STARDOM event in Fukuoka, Japan. She took the championship home with her to America, capping off what had to be one of the most impressive tours of any Japan first-timer.
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To win this much hardware, Santana definitely earned some frequent flier miles, working for promotions across the United States and traveling to Canada, Japan and even Chile. She’s a fighting champion(s), too, defending her titles multiple times throughout her reigns.
The mark of a great indy women’s wrestler can’t be narrowed down to one attribute; there are many things that make a star a star, whether it’s in-ring ability, charisma, looks, work ethic, connections or what have you. This year, though, Santana had it all, and she downright dominated, building the foundation of a career that could very well outlast those of her contemporaries.
At this rate, Santana may never be without a championship around her waist. With this kind of drive, how could she?
Stay tuned for more Writers’ Choice Award reveals throughout the day.