My Two Centsss - Ignore WWE; THESE Are The Best WWE Matches Of 2013
By Super Chrisss
Dec 7, 2013 - 2:03:07 PM
(Tom Jenner is the man!)
Last Friday, WWE sent the Internet Wrestling Community into a frenzy by announcing the Slammy nominees for Match of the Year. In case you missed the article, here are the candidates:
-Undertaker vs. CM Punk (WrestleMania 29)
- John Cena vs. The Rock (WrestleMania 29)
- Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (Battleground)
-Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules)
LOL worthy, isn't it? 'Taker vs. Punk is the only one of the four who deserves to be in contention for MOTY. The Shield vs. The Rhodes at Battleground was a great match, and certainly deserves an honourable mention in this category, but to include it and leave out both of the double-main-events from SummerSlam is ridiculous. Cena vs. Rock II and HHH vs. Lesnar III were great attraction bouts and huge draws, but both were terrible, just terrible matches. Now, I understand when coming up with these nominations, WWE doesn't take match quality into consideration, but rather how 'big' the match was (which is why Cena & Rock vs. Awesome Truth at Survivor Series 2011 was nominated for MOTY in 2011). However, that doesn't mean they can leave guys like Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cesaro, and Alberto del Rio off the list, who have had some outstanding matches this year. If anything other than 'Taker vs. Punk wins the Slammy on Monday, I'll be embarrassed.
Therefore, I figured now would be a good time to bring back my annual tradition of counting down the best parts of 2013. In years past, I've presented my list of top seven WWE stars, divas, breakout stars, and even TNA stars. Today, I will be sharing with you my picks for the top seven matches of the year. (Writer's Note: I usually wait until after TLC to post this column, but if WWE doesn't wait until the Pay-Per-View, then I won't either.)
7. Alberto del Rio vs. Christian (SummerSlam)
I think it goes without saying that SummerSlam 2013 was the best Pay-Per-View of the year. Of course, we still have TLC to get through, but I'm not expecting there to be two matches on the card which come close to achieving a five-star match rating, and a solid four-star affair. Del Rio vs. Christian was the match which solidified SummerSlam '13 as one of the best SummerSlams of all-time, in my opinion. Even though the show did a low buyrate (which still surprises and angers me), the entire IWC was drooling over Punk vs. Lesnar and Bryan vs. Cena. That's not to say people weren't looking forward to Christian challenging Del Rio for the world heavyweight tile. It's just that their feud was random and very short notice, and WWE giving away the match for free on SmackDown a week before the PPV didn't exactly make you want to call up your friends and say, "Bro, we gotta watch SummerSlam for Christian vs. Del Rio!"
Yet Del Rio vs. Christian was everything it was meant to be - a superb wrestling match that really supplemented the matches people paid to see. Del Rio has never generated a reaction for someone at his level, and the fans were pretty confused with Christian's up-and-down booking, but on that night, the Los Angeles crowd were on fire for the majority of this match. And that's because both men won over the audience with the amazing story-telling being done in the ring. No one really thought Captain Charisma would be the one to end Del Rio's title reign of doom, but Christian had the entire arena on his side, pulling for him to find a way to win. Alas, it was not meant to be, as Del Rio barely escaped The Staples Center with his world title, but what a match!
6. Alberto del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler (Payback)
For those of you who don't remember, this match was originally supposed to take place at Extreme Rules, but after Ziggler suffered a real-life concussion shortly after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, we got this match at Payback instead (which, by the way, was a much better PPV than it should have been). This is also the match where we got the rare double-turn by the match's conclusion. In retrospective, it made sense. Ziggler was getting more and more cheers as the months went by, and WWE couldn't ignore the massive reaction he got when he cashed in MitB the night after Wrestlemania 29. During his entire feud with Ziggler - and the Payback match itself - the crowd was supporting Del Rio less and less. So it only made sense to turn both of them that night, even if Del Rio once again failed to become the mega-heel they wanted him to be.
Anyway, this match is a perfect example of why both Del Rio and Ziggler are two of the best wrestlers on the WWE roster today. They're both great athletes, understand the art of story-telling and psychology, and don't overdo it with ten million false finishes. In other words, this match was the complete opposite of Rock/Cena II. Ziggler sold the constant kicks to the head as if he was truly on the verge of being knocked out, and I'll never forget rooting for him to retain his title that night. It's a shame Ziggler's momentum went nowhere after Payback, but I think Ziggler has a chance to be a successful face in 2014.
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (Raw)
If you count their five-second match at SummerSlam, these two have wrestled each other six times this year (they main-evented SmackDown in a non-tile match on Friday), and yet the best match of their feud took place on a Raw before SummerSlam. There was no title up for grabs, hell, Orton wasn't even a heel yet. This No DQ match was simply Daniel Bryan's way of proving to himself - and the fans - that he was worthy of challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship in the main-event of SummerSlam. Keep in mind that despite being insanely over, Team Hell No had only recently disbanded, and Bryan didn't even 'earn' a title shot - Cena simply chose to defend against him at SummerSlam. Orton vs. Bryan was a big match and ironically enough, the best match they had this year.
I'm not one who buys too much into rumours and backstage politics, but I can certainly understand the viewpoint of someone who says Orton "didn't give it his all" during his three PPV title matches against Bryan at Night of Champions, Battleground, and Hell in a Cell. After all, the No DQ match from Raw proved the two have chemistry and have the potential of putting together a five-star match, which is what should have happened at HiaC. But whatever the case may be, that doesn't change the fact that their match on Raw was easily the best one in their series. It still amazes me that Bryan made Orton tap out and was able to cleanly pin Cena only a few weeks apart. Incredible.
4. The Undertaker vs. CM Punk (Wrestlemania 29)
Some of you might be thinking, "What??? Not even in the top three??? That's madness, Super Chrisss!" Well, let me explain myself. First of all, it was not an easy task compiling today's list. As you'll see by the end of the column, 2013 had so many great matches to choose from, and the top three is an amazing compilation of matches. As far as quality goes, 2013 was an amazing year for wrestling, even if the storylines and creative staff aren't exactly knocking it out of the park. Secondly, I missed the entire build to Punk vs. Taker because of my hiatus earlier this year, and so I had to watch this match on YouTube days after it first aired. As many of you can attest to, there's a huge difference between watching something live and watching something "on tape delay", so I'll admit that might have influenced my decision to rank Punk/Taker arguably low.
That doesn't take away from the magic of this match-up, though. CM Punk was the perfect man to challenge The Streak this year (except for John Cena, who was unfortunately re-creating "Once In A Lifetime"), and even though he had all but no chance of defeating The Deadman, he made us think it could happen, much like Shawn Michaels and Triple H did the past few Wrestlemanias. One thing that's great about this match is despite it's length, there's not really any rest-holds or extensive slow spots. 'Taker vs. Punk was almost non-stop action. The last few moments where Punk reversed the Tombstone and 'Taker took a GTS back into another Tombstone was incredible. I may be in the minority, but I honestly wouldn't mind Punk getting another crack at ending The Streak next April.
3. John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan (SummerSlam)
Kicking off the top three is the first of the double-main-event from SummerSlam that the IWC is still talking about. It's kind of hard to determine which match was better - Bryan/Cena or Punk/Taker. Bryan/Cena was a wrestling masterpiece, while the latter was an intense brawl with a great background story. It all comes down to personal preference. I enjoyed the Punk/Lesnar feud and Punk as an overall performer than Cena/Bryan and Bryan as an overall performer (again, strictly my opinion) which is why the WWE title match isn't higher than number three. That, and even though I'm pleased how WWE spiced things up by turning Orton and HHH heel that night, there's still a part of me that wishes Bryan left Los Angeles as WWE Champion that night.
As for the actual match though, you can't ask for more if you're a wrestling purist. It's always fun to see Cena change up his in-ring style when he wrestles someone smaller than him, and Bryan made the most of his opportunity. Cena made Bryan look like a true star that night, and the WWE fans finally got what they wanted - Bryan in the main-event of a PPV. And not just any PPV, but SummerSlam! The match - and it's conclusion - is one that people won't soon forget.
2. CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (SummerSlam)
Now this is the Brock Lesnar match that should be nominated for a Slammy award, not that dreadful cage match with Triple H at Extreme Rules. Going into Punk vs. Lesnar, I wrote a column about how Lesnar needed the win a lot more than Punk did. Several readers disagreed with me, but here we are, four months removed from their match, and I still think WWE made the right call by giving Brock the win. Punk is still a main-eventer, still over as ever, and when Lesnar makes his return to the storylines in the coming months, he'll be carrying over the momentum from his huge victory over Punk. That's why I feel their SummerSlam match truly was a win/win for everyone.
I remember watching this match last August with a bunch of friends, and usually we chat throughout most of the PPV, but everyone was so engaged with this match, it was amazing. We're all fans of both Punk and Lesnar, and despite my friends falling more into the "mark" category, we were all discussing the psychology being shown by both men, and the story unfolding before our eyes. The false finishes made us all jump out of our seats, and my heart was racing for the majority of the contest. Simply a great match that helped make SummerSlam one of the best PPVs of all-time.
1. John Cena vs. CM Punk (Raw)
For the second year in a row, I thought CM Punk wrestled the best Match of the Year (last year I gave the top spot to Punk vs. Jericho at Wrestlemania 28). This is also one of the first times a non-PPV match tops the list for MOTY (I wasn't writing columns back when Cena vs. HBK in London took place in 2007). I don't want to talk too much about this amazing and FREE match because I dedicate a mini-column to it on an upcoming edition of Smark's Court with LOP's own Mazza, so be on the lookout for that. But I do want to quickly say the reason why I thought Cena/Punk was better than every other WWE match this year - including both SummerSlam main-events - is because it felt like we were watching a Wrestlemania main-event, not a match on a random episode of Raw. Punk and Cena's in-ring chemistry is off the charts, and you could tell Punk was livid about not being in the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania 29. An amazing story was told that night on Raw, which out-shone every single match at a Wrestlemania people had to pay $55+ to watch. Imagine that.
So there you have it. Not exactly on par with WWE's choices for MOTY, right? Before I go, here are a bunch of matches that came close to making the list, but didn't quite make it. What a year of wrestling it was indeed...
-CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (Payback)
-Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (2/3 Falls, NXT)
-Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell)
-CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, The Usos, and The Rhodes vs. The Shield and The Wyatt Family (Raw)
-Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, and Ryback (Gauntlet Match, Raw)
-The Rhodes vs. The Shield (Battleground)
Your Two Centsss: Do you agree with my pick for number one? If not, then which match should be at the top, and why?
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