4 WWE Superstars who have won ESPY Awards – and the reason why
WWE Superstars have won countless awards outside the company for their performances. One of the most prestigious awards the superstars of the company can win is the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards.
The award recognizes individual and team athletic achievements during a calendar year. Before 2019, no WWE Superstar had been part of the award’s nomination lists.
However, in 2019, the Best WWE Moment of the Year award was added to the ceremony. In 2020, no superstar won an award as the pandemic forced ESPYS to not host a formal event. However, Titus O’Neil was nominated for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for his community work.
Overall, four superstars have won ESPYS to date. It shows how far the company and its athletes have come.
Check out the four superstars who have won the ESPY Award and why they won them.
#4. Roman Reigns won the ESPYS for making his return in 2019
In February, @WWERomanReigns announced that he was in remission and back wrestling!
That landed him the first-ever ESPY for Best WWE Moment! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Uy415GkHZW
— ESPN (@espn) July 10, 2019
The Best WWE Moment award was handed out at ESPYS 2019 for the first time. At the event, fans voted for their favorite moment of the year.
Roman Reigns relinquished his Universal Championship and took some time off from the ring to battle leukemia in 2018. Fans waited patiently for him to make a full recovery and return to the ring once again.
In February 2019, The Tribal Chief made headlines by returning to the ring earlier than expected. The moment he returned was truly inspirational and earned him the first Best WWE Moment ESPY Award.
After winning the award, Reigns said that being healthy was the only award he needed. He was grateful to all his fans for their support throughout the tough times.
“For to me just to be able to be healthy was the only award I needed. This is just so flattering for everyone to kind of lift me up and show me that support system and love from everybody,” Reigns said. “It was never about awards or anything like that. It was just about awareness, it was just about sharing my story and hopefully someone could use it for a little bit of hope.”
The other nominees were Kofi Kingston, Becky Lynch, and Ronda Rousey’s championship victories. However, fans believed that Roman Reigns’ return was the moment of the year for the company.
The Head of The Table has worked even harder than before to become the top superstar in the company. Reigns now holds several records and is the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
#3 and #2. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair won the prestigious award for their WrestleMania 38 match
2021 was a special year for Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. The former was the SmackDown Women’s Champion, while the latter won the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble.
The two met in the main event of WrestleMania to compete for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. They had a great match and made history. After the dust settled, Bianca Belair emerged as the new champion.
The match was not only the second women’s match to main event WrestleMania but also the first time two women of color were featured in the prestigious bout.
The moment ended up earning them an ESPY Award later in the year. The EST and The Blueprint had the WWE Universe buzzing as soon as they made their red-carpet entrances.
Soon after their win, Banks sent out the following tweet to the company and her fans:
“We did it!!!! Let’s make more magic @wwe.”
Meanwhile, The EST tweeted to let the world know how big the moment was for the entire company and its fanbase:
“When we say “WE” did it we mean more than just @SashaBanksWWE & I! Thank you to our amazing fans and @wwe for amplifying our presence and voice inside & outside the ring!” Bealir tweeted.
Edge’s Royal Rumble win, Bad Bunny’s WrestleMania 37 performance, and Bianca Belair’s Royal Rumble win were the other nominees. However, fans voted for The EST and The Boss to win the award together.
#1. Cody Rhodes’ WWE return earned him an ESPY Award
WrestleMania 38 was special in many ways for the fans. One of the event’s biggest moments was the return of Cody Rhodes.
Rhodes left the company after failing to get suitable bookings. He worked all around the world before coming back earlier this year. The American Nightmare was revealed as Seth Rollins’ surprise opponent at WrestleMania.
Not only did Rhodes defeat The Visionary, but he also won the Moment of the Year for his return. The announcement was made right after he presented the ESPY for Best Comeback Athlete.
The American Nightmare is currently out with an injury, but he was spotted without a sling at the event. It could mean he is recovering well and could get back in the ring sooner than expected.
The other three nominations included The Undertaker being inducted into the Hall of Fame, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin stunning Vince McMahon, Theory, and Pat McAfee at WrestleMania 38, and Big E cashing in on his Money in the Bank briefcase and winning the WWE Championship.
Rhodes said the following after being nominated for the award earlier this year:
“Truly a moment I couldn’t envision and a door I thought would never be open again. A gigantic gamble and I went all in, wrestling fans returning that energy and seeing so many people vote for this moment fills my heart up. Damn I love it! Let’s win an ESPY.”
Cody Rhodes’ current run in the company seems to be going the right way, and fans could see him get nominated for several more WWE Moment of the Year awards.