home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | other
WWE 2013 Bests and Worsts
by Scrooge McSuck
2013 is officially in the books, and it's been a roller coaster ride. We started off a bit sour, with the Rock and John Cena's march to WrestleMania leaving a lot to be desired. Things picked up in the Spring, and then into the Summer, when Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were constantly featured as two of the most prominent performers in the company. Then the fall from grace, as September brought us the Authority, abeyance, and yet another senseless push for the Big Show. 2013 sure ended hard, but in a "sport" of ups and downs that you can never predict, we can just hope for the best with 2014. Like with anything else, the end of the year means yet another "Best of" topic where I make fun of and praise the key moments, storylines, and performers of the previous year. There's no real science to this: It's just my opinions. First, before we get to the good stuff, a few quickies that I felt were funny enough to be used, but not deep enough to really go into detail about....
The Shut The F*ck Up And Enjoy The Show Award of 2013: Fans Who Chanted Husky Harris at the debuting Bray Wyatt. Wow, you read the internet, congratulations. Next time chant "Prototype" at John Cena to show how cool you are.
The Zack Ryder Award for Biggest Fall from Grace: Dolph Ziggler, but to be fair, he had a lot further to fall than Ryder ever did.
Get Over Yourselves, It's Only An Angle Award: CM Punk uses the real-life death of William Moody to make a decent storyline out of his match with the Undertaker. For a man that played a macabre character for so many years, I'd say he would've been cool with it.
Biggest Hypocrite of 2013: Me, for bad-mouthing Fandango for weeks leading up to his debut, and then falling in love with the gimmick... and for bashing Summer Rae, and the same thing. And the stuff about A.J.... yeah, I can be a senseless prick who flip flops, I don't care.
Worst Match of 2013 - Tensai vs. Titus O'Neil (2/13 Main Event)
I know this seems like something completely random, but here me out: WWE features one of the deepest rosters of talented performers anyone could ask for. For several months, Main Event was used to showcase their upper-level talent in lengthy television matches, and follow up with a squash match to establish someone for a bigger match down the road. Anyway, someone must've flipped the show's script here, as Tensai, being featured in a face-turn, was stuck in the ring with Titus O'Neil... and it absolutely sucked. Running nearly 15-minutes, I witness what was arguably the worst worked match on WWE Television in 2013. There's been lots of poorly worked matches, but none compare to this televised abortion. O'Neil works well as a tag team wrestler who shows his occasional cool spot, not a singles wrestle asked to work a quarter of an hour with someone that the fans were luke-warm about, at best.
Worst Storyline of 2013 - The Authority vs. Daniel Bryan
When SummerSlam ended with Randy Orton as the WWE Champion, I tried to envision the storylines that could've dragged this out until WrestleMania XXX. When we received a false title switch and then a non-finish to their follow up matches, I still held out hope: Then Shawn Michaels superkicks Bryan to cost him the deciding match, and the Big Show rips off his Yes chants en route to the Survivor Series nearly setting an all-time low for a PPV buyrate. Daniel Bryan, meanwhile, was shuffled back into the midcard, working with the Wyatt Family the rest of the year.... and finally "turning heel". I don't know, maybe Triple H constantly calling him a loser and a waste of the WWE wasn't the best move that the creative team could've made.
Worst Diva(s) of 2013 - The Bella Twins
When the WWE and the Bella Twins parted ways in 2012, it didn't really bother me. The Diva's are interchangable, untalented wastes (for the most part), but when they were brought back in the build up to WrestleMania, I finally found out why everyone dislikes them: They come across as "I'm better than you, stuck up bitches". No, not just as heels. Remember that A.J. pipebomb that allegedly turned them face? Yeah, their performance included acting like snobs and just being incredibly rude. Or how about that incident where one of them used a Duck call to taunt Natalya because she was the "ugly duckling" on Total Divas? If not for a brief instance where Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella shared a hug on an episode of Raw, damn if I wouldn't have kept believing they were heels.
Worst Tag Team of 2013 - Los Matadores
As harsh as others have been about Los Matadores, let's look at the other possible choices: Comedy Jobbers 3MB and opening card act Tons of Funk. 3MB aren't particularly favorites of mine, but McIntyre can be pretty good, Mahal is alright, and Slater... 2 out of 3 ain't bad. As for Tons of Funk... they were fun. Los Matadores, however... Let's see: One, it didn't get Tito Santana over when he suddenly thought he was a Bullfighter. Two, bullfighting is illegal in Puerto Rico, home of Epico and Primo, so they wouldn't have learned the craft in the showmanship style of the Spanish, and Three, every match they won was against 3MB. For seven consecutive matches, it was Los Matadores going over 3MB. With Tons of Funk split up, I'm surprised Los Matadores haven't really been showcased as much. Maybe beating 3MB 16 times in two months finally got the point across in the creative department: They've got nothing.
Worst PPV of 2013 - Survivor Series
With 2013 ending on such a sour note, it's really hard to pick one. Night of Champions mostly stunk, but wasn't an absolute disaster. Battleground had an amazing match between the Rhodes Brothers and the Shield, but everything else was terrible and the Main Event left me wanting my money back (had I spent any). Survivor Series? Take away the Elimination Tag opening the show, and this really sucked, too. Hell in a Cell had a couple of good matches but the direction was in the toilet. With that said, Survivor Series wins my vote: One of the worst main events, creatively and quality wise, in years, the undercard was thrown together with little care, Punk and Bryan were stuck in second-gear against the Wyatt Family, and Cena/Del Rio felt flat and uninteresting since everyone and their mother knew Cena was winning. It was a show that definitely earned the buyrate it delivered (somewhere between ass and balls... gooch?).
The You Scrooge McSuck Award for Dumbass of 2013: Michael Cole
I'll be honest... I don't hate Michael Cole. Yes, his heel personality from 2011-12 was pretty terrible, but I never really had a problem with him, and when he had the unfortunate task of remaining on the air during Jerry Lawler's heart attack in September of 2012, you just had to feel for him: His character can be annoying at times (thank you Vince McMahon screaming into their ears all the time), but he comes across as a decent guy... but when 3MB dressed up as the Fabulous Freebirds, he had NO EXCUSE to fail so miserably at identifying everyone. It was clear that Heath Slater was Michael P.S. Hayes, but he couldn't figure out that Drew McIntyre was Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and Jinder Mahal was Jimmy "Jam" Garvin, then come the fuck on. Yes, that form of the Freebirds did exist, briefly, in 1989.
Best Story of 2013 - The Return of Goldust
2013 opened as followed: Cody Rhodes in a random (yet kinda cool) team with Damien Sandow, and Goldust making a one-shot appearance at the Royal Rumble PPV. Once The Authority angle kicked in, Cody was fired for standing up for what's right. Goldust comes back to fight for his brother's job, but fails in a valiant effort against WWE Champion Randy ORton. More drama surrounding the Rhodes family (including father Dusty) lead to an amazing match at Battleground that saw Cody and Goldust earn their jobs with WWE against Rollins and Reigns of the Shield. Goldust has remained one of the best workers in the company, almost always having one of, if not the best match on the card, and goes to show that anything can happen, and anyone can become a star again.
Best Diva of 2013 - A.J. Lee
Remember how much I disliked A.J. when 2013 started? I vividly remember an entire match on Main Event where I nitpicked and bitched about the constant camera mugging she did, and showing zero effort or emotion in trying to make her character enjoyable. Then she pipebombed the Total Divas cast and started to out-perform everyone on the roster. Anyone that can make me do a complete 180 on them in a calender year deserves the recognition. I almost picked Kaitlyn, too, as a jab at WWE's own Slammy for Diva of the Year going to two people, but I went with my brains and kept it serious.
The Scrooge McSuck Award for Greatest WWE Superstars of 2013: Antonio Cesaro
Despite being featured in very few storylines worth mentioning, being buried following a solid run as the US Champion, and being thrown into a random tag team with Jack Swagger and his xenophobic manager, Zeb Colter, Antonio Cesaro has proved one thing: Awesomeness can shine through, no matter what. Despite the yodeling, the jobbing, the lack of sense in being a "Real American" when he's supposed to be from Switzerland and hates American's, Cesaro delivers week after week. He was the MVP of Main Event, constantly delivering 3-4 star matches with all comers, got himself over as a heel with his freakishly awesome strength (the Giant Swing, in 2013, got over?!), and made a tag team with Jack Swagger surprisingly... uh... awesome. Even on NXT television, he delivered two four star performances against Sami Zayn and William Regal. No matter the show, location, opponent, Cesaro is the man and deserves to be treated with more respect than WWE has given him in 2013.
Best Tag Team of 2013 - Team Hell No
I was half-tempted to say Goldust and Cody Rhodes, but then I changed my mind, and almost said the Shield, but honestly, Hell No carried the Tag Team Division for the first half of 2013, and the popularity surrounding them forced WWE to push Bryan into a more meaningful role. While The Shield, as a threesome, had some impressive matches (almost always delivering a minimum of three stars per match), I felt "tag team" and "stable" should be classified seperately. I was a bit disappointed that Team Hell No were broken up so abruptly, but again, it lead to bigger and better things for Bryan, and was a nice last hurrah as a full-time worker for Kane.
Best PPV of 2013 - SummerSlam
In an age where PPV's are readily available through various outlets and released on DVD about three weeks after the original broadcast date, it's hard to justify paying over $50 for a 3 hour PPV. When it came to SummerSlam, that logic and reasoning didn't matter: We were in for a treat: Two matches that were potential match of the year candidates, and both matches delivered. Yes, the sour ending probably turned a few people off, but it was an expected and obvious finish, and had potential to some great storylines (that were obviously botched). Even looking at the undercard, Christian and Alberto del Rio did their best to steal the show for the undercard, and the show overall featured just one stinker, the opening match between Kane and the in-ring debut of Bray Wyatt.
Best Match of 2013 - CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (SummerSlam)
Even though I was still on the fence about returning to star ratings, this match was easily a 5-star performance and obvious choice for WWE Match of the Year. Punk/Lesnar was the ultimate battle of David vs. Goliath that left me satisfied for spending over $50 on a PPV. For just one match. In hindsight, they should've killed the Punk/Heyman angle here, once and for all, but we had to fill out the September and October PPV's with something, and more matches with Brock would've probably left Punk a bowl of jelly.
Honorable Mentions: John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan (SummerSlam), CM Punk vs. John Cena (Raw, Title Shot for WM XXIX), CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania XXIX)
And that will wrap things up for 2013. It was awesome at times, it was terrible at others. See you next year, when we get to enjoy 365 glorious days of WWE action... where are the cyanide tablets at?
back to OTHER Reviews Index