Ace Hawkins is the 2011 Rookie of the Year. The news broke today when Pro Wrestling Illustrated released next month’s magazine in its digital format. The 21 year old had his first full year of wrestling in 2011.
Let’s put this award in perspective. Prominent winners in the past include: Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, Goldberg, The Giant, Steve Austin, Lex Luger, Tommy Rich, Ricky Steamboat, Bob Backlund, Ric Flair and Larry Zbyszko.
Hawkins clinched this honor without WWE, TNA or ROH television exposure. However, the high flyer is known on the indy scene all over the Midwest.
Earlier this month, he captured the MO/IL Junior Heavyweight Title by defeating Johnny Courageous with a running Ace Crusher (Ace also holds two other titles in Illinois). Check this and other highlights out in the video above.
The PWI Awards are decided by fan voting. Hawkins garnered 16% of the votes in a crowded field of nominees.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is the flagship of wrestling magazines since 1979. The 2011 PWI Awards issue will be available at newsstands on January 30. You can purchase the digital version now.