Writer's Note: In case you missed it, here's an explanation of what the LoP 100 is, as well as the first 90 names on the list, in three parts..
The LoP 100: Part 4 (The Top Ten)
Oct 16, 2013 - 11:47:15 AM
LoP 100: Part 1
LoP 100: Part 2
LoP 100: Part 3
Originally, the plan was to reveal the top ten on LoP Radio, but some unforeseen circumstances changed that, so here we are, back to column form. Let's get on with the reveal..
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as the WWE World Champion (dropped the title on October 28th).. 75-19-4 record on WWE television
Breakdown: He started the grading period with a 13-0 record, and he really never looked back, racking up an incredibly impressive record over the course of the year. From some of the people I talked to, and how sick of Sheamus they are, you'd think he either held the World Title for the entire period, or that he won it seven or eight times. Instead, he just had the one reign, but it was all those wins.. all.. those.. wins.. that worked as a bit of an optical illusion, of sorts. Whether you like Sheamus or not, though, it's difficult not to rank him this high, just based on his win percentage alone.
9. Seth Rollins
Accomplishments: Ended the grading period as one-half (with Roman Reigns) of the WWE Tag Team Champions (won the titles on May 19th, 2013).. 22-10 record on WWE television
Breakdown: In my rankings, I had Rollins one spot higher than Reigns (#20 to Reigns' #21), but I wouldn't be bothered in the slightest if you told me that Reigns should be ahead. He did have a better record, after all. As The Shield's "workhorse", Rollins gets a lot of credit from people, and I think that's why he's in this spot. I have a hard time doing the breakdowns for these guys, because you can pretty much say the same thing for all three of them, but Rollins sure has a bright future. I think he'll be the last member of the group to reach the main event, if he reaches the main event at all, but he will certainly shine in years to come as the "next Dolph Ziggler", in my opinion. Can he maintain a top ten ranking in the 2014 LoP 100? That will be tough, but with the way The Shield has been shown love by WWE, it could happen.
8. Randy Orton
Accomplishments: Ended the grading period as the WWE Champion (won the title on August 18th, 2013).. 63-25-8 record on WWE television
Breakdown: That is quite the record. Even with all of those wins, he had no accomplishments until the very last day of the grading period, when he cashed in his Money In The Bank shot to win the WWE Title from Daniel Bryan. That sounds an awful lot like jogging in place for 11 months and 30 days, doesn't it? Now that he's back at the top of the company, and is being pushed as such, I would expect his ranking to be higher next year, but now that John Cena is returning, and the focus of the main event storyline is turning into Big Show VS Triple H, Orton could very well go back to jogging in place all over again. We shall see.
7. Dean Ambrose
Accomplishments: Current WWE United States Champion (won the title on May 19th, 2013).. 21-12-2 record on WWE television
Breakdown: The highest-ranked member of The Shield also has the group's worst record (in fact, the group's rankings are the exact opposite order of their winning percentage), but it appears Ambrose's singles success trumps the tag success of Reigns and Rollins in the eyes and minds of the LoP 100 voters. Ambrose remains the popular pick when you ask people which member of the group will become a main event star, and it's easy to see why, with just how much he brings to the table. In a brief period of time, he has already proven that he can excel in tag and six-man matches, while also succeeding in singles matches, all while being the "voice" of the group. His star should very well remain on the rise, and he could climb even higher when next year's LoP 100 is revealed.
6. Dolph Ziggler
Accomplishments: Won the WWE World Title on April 8th, 2013 (dropped the title on June 16th).. 35-49 record on WWE television
Breakdown: Not exactly a record worthy of the top ten, but a memorable World Title victory, to go along with some high-quality in-ring performances, helped carry Ziggler here. This is higher than I had him (I had him at #13 in my own rankings), but that's why this was the experiment that it was.. it isn't just about what I think. Dolph was your typical Money In The Bank winner.. lose match after match after match, then suddenly cash in to become the new champion. Then, a serious head injury absolutely derailed his momentum. Then, apparent head injuries by the WWE Creative Team caused them to forget about him altogether upon his return. Outside of that one night for Dolph, I'd say this was actually a bad year, full of things he and his fans would probably like to forget. He still got a lot of credit from voters for essentially forcing the company to turn him face because of his in-ring performances, though, so there's that.
5. Bully Ray
Accomplishments: Won the TNA World Title on March 10th, 2013 (dropped the title on July 18th).. Current TNA World Champion (won the title on August 15th).. 15-14-1 record on TNA television
Breakdown: Bully is another person who certainly doesn't have a record that is worthy of such a high ranking, but two TNA World Title reigns in the grading period, as well as arguably the best in-ring work of his storied career, have propelled him all the way to the top five. When you look at Bully as the leader of Aces & 8's and compare him to, say, Hulk Hogan as the leader of the nWo, you see some major differences with the way they were booked. The nWo was dominant, and Hogan was able to weasel his way to win after win after win. Aces & 8's, on the other hand, have been booked to look like jokes pretty much from the beginning, and that leads to Bully barely being over .500 for the grading period. It's a shame, really. Bully deserved better, and probably could have placed even higher here if TNA booked him "properly". It is what it is, though, I guess.
4. Alberto Del Rio
Accomplishments: Won the WWE World Title on January 8th, 2013 (dropped the title on April 8th).. Current WWE World Champion (won the title on June 16th).. 57-35-4 record on WWE television
Breakdown: He went 16-0-1 to start off 2013, taking his record from being not that far removed from the .500 mark to being very respectable on an overall level. Del Rio is someone like Sheamus, where he wins so often, and is at the top of the card so often, people often view him as having more title reigns than he really does. It seemed, to me, that he was dealing with four or five title reigns during the grading period, but that just wasn't so. I'm learning to accept that his pushes aren't going to go away. His in-ring work, as always, remains as solid as it gets on the WWE roster, but his character and gimmick continue to leave much to be desired. I can't deny his success, though, and I'll say he's very worthy of such a lofty ranking.
3. Daniel Bryan
Accomplishments: Won the WWE Tag Team Titles (with Kane) on September 16th, 2012 (dropped the titles on May 19th).. Won the WWE Title on August 18th, 2013 (dropped the title on August 18th, 2013).. 57-38-4 record on WWE television
Breakdown: I'll be honest.. I'm actually kind of surprised that his record was that good. He lost 38 times, which is a lot. I expected a high number of losses. I just didn't expect his number of wins to be that high. I assumed he would be a lot closer to .500, with his singles losses pretty much cancelling out his tag victories, but I'm glad I was wrong here. When discussing the PWI 500, I said that Bryan probably didn't deserve a ranking this high, based on the large chunk of the grading period where he was competing in five minute matches on television with the likes of the Prime Time Players and 3MB, but that singles push to close the period out changed things, obviously. You win the WWE Title by defeating John Cena clean in the main event of the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year? You get some serious points for that, even with what happened after the match. More than just about everyone else, I'm really intrigued to see where he goes on next year's list, now that he appears to be a singles guy for good, but with his main event push not exactly playing out how many people thought it would post-SummerSlam.
2. John Cena
Accomplishments: Won the WWE Title on April 7th, 2013 (dropped the title on August 18th).. Won the Royal Rumble.. 29-9-2 record on WWE television
Breakdown: In a bit of news that surprises absolutely none of you, Cena had a really good record during the grading period. If we had a grading period where he didn't have a good record overall, it would be huge news. We've had stretches of time where he seemed to be losing more pay-per-view matches than he was winning, but he would make up for that by winning numerous television matches in between. You really can't ask for much more here. A WWE Title win in the main event of WrestleMania, a Royal Rumble victory, and one of the best winning percentages of anyone on the list? If anyone has him ranked any lower than this on their list, it's a pretty clear case of bias, I would say.
1. CM Punk
Accomplishments: Came into the grading period as the WWE Champion (dropped the title on January 27th, 2013).. 19-13-4 record on WWE television
Breakdown: Punk's much talked-about WWE Title reign really saved him here. If look at the list of accomplishments just as they are, an argument could be made that Cena, Bryan and Del Rio should all be ranked ahead of Punk, with another argument being made that Bully Ray should probably be ahead of him, too. However, he was already nine months into his title reign when the grading period began, and would hold the belt for the first five months of the grading period, and he was rewarded heavily for that. Even after dropping the title, though, he stayed involved in major feuds with The Rock, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, which boosts him in the opponent quality category. All in all, I still would have had Cena in the top spot, but Punk being there isn't exactly an egregious error or anything, so I can't complain.
There it is.. the 2013 LoP 100. Now that the full list is public, what are your thoughts and opinions? Who was ranked too high? Who was ranked too low? Hit me up and let's dish on the subject. Thank you to everyone that participated in the voting, and thank you to everyone for reading.