The nominees for the 2018 Paul T. Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Wrestler in Southern California have been announced and the web poll is now open for fan voting. This award is based solely on in-ring work and has been given annually since 2006 when it was first won by El Generico (Sami Zayn). After his death in 2013, the award was renamed to honor the memory of Paul Tokunaga, who was better known to the Southern California wrestling community as Paul T.
The ten nominees for 2018 include two wrestlers who have previously won the award: Tyler Bateman (2014) and Eli Everfly (2016). Also returning to this year’s ballot are Douglas James (third nomination) and Andy Brown (second nomination).
There are six wrestlers nominated for the award for the first time this year. Those wrestlers are Adrian Quest, Bandido, Brian Cage, Jake Atlas, Penta El Zero M, and Shane Strickland.
Here is the full list of nominees for the 2018 Paul T. Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Wrestler in Southern California:
- Adrian Quest
- Andy Brown
- Brian Cage
- Douglas James
- Eli Everfly
- Jake Atlas
- Penta El Zero M
- Shane Strickland
- Tyler Bateman
The web poll is now open and will be open until January 11, 2019.
The Southern California Year End Awards have been held annually since 1999 to honor the best in Southern California pro-wrestling for the year. The awards have been referenced in national and international wrestling media. The voting for the awards consists of two parts: a public web poll worth 35% of the total vote and balloting by a committee of voters, which is worth 65% of the total.
Paul Tokunaga, who started in wrestling working for Antonio Inoki, became known to Southern California wrestling fans as the manager for Tokyo Gurentai in Revolution Pro and XPW and later as the first commissioner of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He was also instrumental in bringing Japanese talent to Southern California such as NOSAWA, Kikutaro, and the first United States tour by the Joshi promotion ARSION. He helped numerous Southern California wrestlers get bookings with Japanese wrestling promotions. Paul was also a huge supporter of SoCalUncensored.com and was a frequenter poster on our message boards and occasional columnist. More than anything (outside of surfing and Japanese women) he also liked good wrestling and it was felt to be a fitting tribute to rename this award in his honor.