The Only Reason I Watch WWE award
No shit, I know. An obvious choice because he’s been so damn entertaining this year. Is custom-designed to survive WWE’s ADHD Booking, as every time he loses or does something nonsensical, the crowd just gets louder. Doesn’t hurt that the guy’s wrestled some of the best matches of the year in his spare time too.
- CM Punk Still the best on the mic and in the ring in WWE. Bryan only beat him by a beard-hair.
- The Shield Who knew that giving a team the ability to use their brains would work out so well?
- Randy Orton I didn’t think I’d ever be typing his name near this category, but his work since the heel-turn has been brilliant.
Attitude Era Podcast Says: Daniel Bryan.
There’s no doubt that 2013 was the Year of the Goat. Despite seemingly having the rug pulled from him on far too many occasions, there’s a certain satisfaction as a fan seeing Daniel Bryan go from being in a comedy tag team to beating John Cena clean in the course of a few months. Regardless of storylines, Daniel Bryan arguably managed to steal the show on nearly every card he was on this year, and there’s nothing in wrestling that currently pops a crowd quite like a fiery D-Bryan comeback. Proof that being in Booker T’s fave 5 was in fact not a death sentence!
OSWReview Says: Daniel Bryan, no doubt.
Excellent technician and top notch running wild. Being paired with The Shield and Randy Orton for most of the year meant his match was almost always the BOTN.
The Only Reason I Watch TNA award (also known as The Reason Only I Watch TNA Award)
I’d honestly put Ray above Bryan in the overall Wrestler Of The Year category. Why? Because he makes me want to watch TNA. Not since CM Punk in 2011 has one wrestler made me want to fast-forward the rest of the crap on one show just to see him. Wrestles, talks and carries himself like a late eighties NWA World Champion and this is a Very Good Thing.
- Bobby Roode Wrestles like a millionaire on a show full of food stamps.
- Joseph Park Not sure how long they can keep the character going, but is currently still hilarious.
Tag Team of The Year
Bad Influence (TNA)
A much talked-about tag team. Sadly it’s usually been in the form of ”TNA is awful apart from Bad Influence” and ”Bad Influence are wasted in TNA”. Even wrestling the likes of Chavo hasn’t been enough to drag them down from their lofty perch.
- The Real Americans (WWE) Cesaro brings the ability, Colter brings the promos and Swagger has nice hair.
- The Rhodes (WWE) I think they’ve been part of every positive award this year.
Attitude Era Podcast Says: The Shield.
An unbelievable year for a genuinely talented group. Ambrose and Rollins have engrained themselves with mainstream fans, and Reigns who was universally tutted at when he debuted managed to make believers out of most! It’s no coincidence that the amazing 6 man tag matches cropped up the same time as The Shield.
OSWReview Says: EGO (Extraordinary Gentleman’s Organization: Daniels, Kazarian, Bobby Roode).
The pairing of an excellent funny tag team with a complimentary heel made for some really great segments, especially the EGO Hall of Fame ceremony. They edge out The Shield with their personality.
Most Improved Wrestler
Went from ”the Brit who wasn’t Doug Williams” to World Champion in TNA’s only promotion story of 2013. Beat everybody he came across and is perfectly suited in the role of Dixie Carter’s hand-picked champion.
- Goldust (WWE) Apparently hit his head, forgot it was 2013 and decided to wrestle like it was 1993. Amazing comeback for the ever-popular veteran.
- Big E. Langston(WWE) Technically already has the good bits down, WWE just needs to let him cut NXT style promos rather than the generic babyface ones and I’ll be happy.
Most Declined Wrestler
I’ll admit it, I was a Ryback fan. It’s always fun seeing a big dude squash people, especially in the day of OMG PPV QUALITY MATCHES every week. WWE actually cleverly built towards a logical heel turn by having Cena not save him when they had all those Six-Man Shield matches in 2012…but decided to have him go angry and go ME HEEL NOW, RAR instead because they tell stories. Despite his surprisingly decent mic-skills, a series of feuds with superior wrestlers who only highlighted his weaknesses rather than get around them (Cena, Jericho, Punk) and a decreasing backstage reputation killed any momentum this future star once had.
So expect WWE to pull a Del Rio and put the belt on him next year.
- TNA And how.
- Curtis Axel (WWE) I was genuinely expecting something from him after his IC Title win at Payback. Between that and his tan, it’s the only thing he has going for him.
Best MV Promo Package
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Summerslam)
Awesome MV that summed up everything we love about The Best and The Brock, complete with Heyman sound-bites.
- Rhodes Family vs. The Shield (WWE Battleground) Splendid summary of a superb shit-kicking.
Feud of the Year
The Rhodes Family vs. The Authority
It only lasted a few months (if that) but it summed up everything good about wrestling story-telling while it lasted: a feud people can relate to, great wrestling and a feel-good finish.
- CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman The matches against Axel and Ryback were dull, but the promos were all gold and Heyman’s turn was flawless.
- Bully Ray vs. The Hogans As funny as it was brilliant to watch unfurl. ”You are nothing to me…NOTHING!”
Attitude Era Podcast Says: Punk/Lesnar.
It was a feud that everyone knew was coming all year long, but still managed to be captivating. Everyone shined in this and it made for must see viewing. Sadly Ryback and Michael McGillicutty couldn’t continue the insanely high standard set by Lesnar, Punk and Heyman here, but this feud showed that WWE knows how to use Brock’s limited appearances to great effect and that Paul Heyman is probably the greatest on screen character in wrestling today.
OSWReview Says: Daniel Bryan/The Shield.
Whether tagging with Kane, Randy Orton The Rhodes Brothers, you’re guaranteed a great match telling a simple, effective story. Top stuff.
Worst Feud of the Year
Everybody who feuded with Del Rio apart from Dolph Ziggler
Don’t get me wrong: Del Rio’s in-ring work is always entertaining regardless of opponent. But in-ring ability is only a small part of wrestling nowadays. Despite a lengthy title reign, every feud’s been lukewarm due to Del Rio’s utter lack of mic ability and WWE’s inability to help the guy. The Big Show feud was based on hotel invasions and duct tape, the Swagger feud was based on Swagger winning one match and the crowd begging for Ziggler, the Christian feud was barely a thing, the Rob Van Dam feud was purely nostalgia and the John Cena feud was Cena 101 ”You broke my arm but amma ignore it and beat you up anyway” garbage.
The Ziggler double-turn was brilliantly executed, but the complete disregard WWE had for protecting the supposed Number Dos guy in the company (the WWE Champion, not Orton) is one of the reasons uniting the belts at TLC was a good idea.
- AJ Styles vs. Dixie Carter Like council tax, I know why it exists but I still don’t like it.
- Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz ”Doctor! We appear to have landed on a planet where it’s always 2009!”
Attitude Era Podcast Says: Big Show vs. Randy Orton.
Out of all the possibilities and permutations of Big Show, HHH, Orton, Bryan, Punk and Cena, WWE decided to go with the one we’d seen the most and wanted to see the least. Jesus, I’d rather have seen Show vs Stephanie at Survivor Series rather than this. (As long as Dusty Rhodes was in someone’s corner being their huckleberry all night long).
OSWReview Says: Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson in TNA.
Lasted a few weeks until both pulled out of TNA, killing off whatever terrible Aces & 8s/Main Event Mafia Remake storyline they had planned.
Best PPV of the Year
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk, a decent mid-card, Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton and the Raw storylines for the next few months sum up a pretty damn good PPV. There were better matches on other PPVs, but in terms of overall enjoyment (i.e. nothing too dumb to bring the show down like Battleground) make for a good PPV.
- Raw After Wrestlemania This counts as a PPV.
- TNA Genesis Damn fine PPV that went unnoticed and unloved by most.
Attitude Era Podcast Says: WWE Summerslam.
While the buys didn’t reflect it, Summerslam was a highlight during a streak of great shows starting at Payback. Not even Miz hosting the show could’ve ruined this, although if he wore Google Glass as rumoured before the event, he may just well have.
Worst PPV of the Year
WWE Survivor Series
Every PPV this year has had a few highlights to save it. Battleground had The Rhodes vs. The Shield, Elimination Chamber had….Elimination Chamber and so on. Series may have had Roman Reigns beating the shit out of people and Bryan & Punk vs. the Wyatt Family…but you can get that on Raw along with the rest of the card.
And the rest of the card was pretty dire. Women pretending to wrestle, the Langston/Axel rematch no-one asked for and Cena/Del Rio with the most predictable ending since The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Oh and Big Show vs. Orton to finish.
- WWE Battleground Not since The Sopranos has one ending hurt me so.
- WWE Night of Champions Featuring two Prime Time Players matches!
Attitude Era Podcast Says: WWE Battleground.
The graphics for the match up cards were alright. And we all had a laugh when we thought “imagine if they ended this with Big Show’s run in here”.
Then the show ended.
Shoot Interview of the Year
The History of WWE: The Sixties With Bruno Sammartino (Kayfabe Commentaries)
Kayfabe Commentaries continues to make the best shoot interviews in the world. Sammartino is amazingly sharp for a man his age, with regards to his memory and his quality of speech. Probably the best in-depth look at a mostly undocumented era for WWE.
- Breaking Kayfabe With Jim Cornette (Kayfabe Commentaries) Just got released for this to count. What’s better than Cornette ranting? Cornette ranting about new things!
- Timeline – The History of the WWF 1989 With Brutus Beefcake (Kayfabe Commentaries) Worth it just to hear the ”Rick James Is Innocent” story.
Ten Best Matches of The Year In No Order
- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (WWE Raw) The series they had on TV rather than the PPV series later on, before the horse was beaten.
- John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Raw) The one before Wrestlemania, that ended up being better than anything at Wrestlemania.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Payback) A brilliantly done double-turn that successfully established Del Rio as awesome. For about a month.
- Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy (TNA Lockdown) The best thing TNA did this year, by a country mile.
- The Shield vs. The Usos (WWE Money In The Bank) The defining moment that said ”tag teams are back in WWE.”
- Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk (WWE Summerslam) Wrestling baby.
- Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena (WWE Summerslam) Whenever Cena loses, it’s always a great match. Weird, that.
- Generation Me vs. Bad Influence (TNA Hardcore Justice 2) The best non-Bully Ray thing this year for TNA.
- The Rhodes Family vs. The Shield (WWE Battleground) As said above, perfect wrestling story-telling.
- The Shield & The Real Americans vs. Goldust, Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio & The Usos (WWE Survivor Series) The Rise of the Roman Empire.
Worst Match Of The Year
Randy Orton vs. Big Show (WWE Survivor Series)
The only thing this match was missing was a powercut or a comet crashing through the ceiling and setting some kids on fire.
No heat, several botches, spot-calling due to the lack of crowd noise, terrible ending and the lowest buy-rate in Series history.
Worked out well for me though.
Five Worst Wrestlers of the Year
In fairness to the Easter Island Statue, he’s been teaming up with Santino for the whole year which has reduced the time he’s spent actually wrestling. However, he’s still virtually immobile and still ruining great moments by simply existing:
”WUN, TOO, THRE.”
4. Joe Gacy
Gacy gets a brief mention this year for asking me on Twitter ”How do you decide what’s a botch and what isn’t?” and not taking it well when I replied ”By watching Joe Gacy matches.”
He’s a decent mid-carder but Hepatitis C is more deserving in the main event than him.
When every match you have is a No DQ/No Rules/Six Sides of Sting match, it’s not a good sign. TNA is in an awkward position were the guy is still popular due to his past glory but is only able to have acceptable matches to hide his Khali-esque unbelievable offence when paired with super-workers.
To quote Jim Cornette yes, you are a household name but so is garbage.
And that stinks when it gets old too.
2. Sin Cara
Everyone’s favourite cartoon character was involved in this amazing match on Raw…
…which made such a positive impression on WWE that he was replaced by Hunico for the rest of the year.
Everything the man has touched in his WWE career has fucked up and I can only assume he’s still employed due to a technical error on the system, the famous JTG bug.
1. The Miz
He’s that one guy you know at work who remains employed despite being terrible at everything that makes the job important.
Unlikable as a face, still hasn’t figured out how to speak like a human being and always there. Was briefly King Of The Pre-Show due to his appearances on the YouTube stream, likely due to no-one wanting to pay to watch him.
The other wrestlers on this list may be worse in ring but they’re on TV every single week. Even if he’s not wrestling, WWE decides to stick a microphone on him despite sounding like English is his third language so he can hype his new film/toy/uncomfortable commercial where he’s hanging out with kids wearing just his wrestling gear.
Could leave tomorrow and never return and I’d never have noticed he’d left.
Tensai and Clay teamed up to reduce the air-time of both and it worked…same applied to Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff…Otunga was barely seen…Fandango isn’t great but he’s not supposed to be having five star classic matches anyway…Ryback has managed to have good matches (or at least matches better than the other people on this list)
Attitude Era Podcast Says: The Miz
Poor Miz. A year of sloppily applied Figure Four Leg Locks and shite undercard matches. You know it’s bad when you go from being pegged as one of the best things in the company a few years ago to your sole highlight of 2013 being your ambivalent Dad looking ambivalent on Raw.
OSWReview Says: Eva Marie should sweep this category, with good cause.
A beacon of why nobody respects the women’s division. Pretty, but untalented on the mic and in the ring, and awkwardly unathletic. Divas champion in 2014 so.
Cornette Face Award For Shittiest Thing of 2013
Two years ago, CZW accidentally had a Botchamania video taken down because it featured CZW footage. After an apology from the company, the video was re-uploaded with a new intro, featuring Bobby Heenan’s classic ”You listen to me, you go to the top (picture of Chikara), if you don’t listen to me…you’re never heard from again (picture of CZW).
It’s 2014, CZW is still thriving and Chikara is worm-food.
Wrestling is weird.
Chikara was an incredibly fun promotion that loved paying me money for years, so it’s sudden and still-unexplained demise was gutting.
- Chris Hero released from WWE Still the nicest guy in wrestling. I know this because he messages me on Twitter.
- TNA’s financial and creative woes For a while, it looked like TNA had finally became a good company having some bad times rather than a bad company having good times. Then the second half of the year kicked in.
- WWE lacks damage control We’re pretty much going to just have to accept that WWE is going to have all the holders of titles except Cena lose on TV for no good reason. Life is easier embracing this fact and moving on.
Top Five Botches Of The Year
5. Austin Aries vs. Christy Hemme
I’m possibly going to get some stick here from people, but I didn’t see what the fuss was about.
A heel picking on a face because the face fucked up? Haddaway. Regardless, everyone reacted like it was Miley Cyrus at the MTV Awards and Aries was fined by TNA. A wrestling company defending the objectification of a woman made it funnier.
Hemme had a great year, announcing the Generation Me vs. Bad Influence ladder match as ”scheduled for one fall.”
4. Del Rio misses Big Show
Two things happened at Elimination Chamber: Jack Swagger won an important match and this.
This was only slightly less ridiculous.
3. Slammy Awards 2012
The main eventers are exactly the same as last year so who can blame them for forgetting the year?
2. Divas multi-women matches
Overall, the quality of the Divas singles matches have been higher than they have been (no, really), the main issue has been getting people to care about the porn-level acting and awful segments.
The other issue is booking multi-people matches but only allocating the time they’d usually get for singles matches, so we end up with matches featuring RIB-BREAKERS and DROPKICKS as pin-enablers.
1. Battleground dies.
The company can have matches decided via the WWE App live in the arena and Raw is shown around the world in numerous different languages… but in 2013 a PPV went down for a few minutes immediately before the main event. Unbelievable.
It’s not a botch, but the following is my favourite new thing discovered in 2013.
I can’t include it in the videos due to the ROH embargo on Botchamania, but here’s the highlight of ROH this year.
Attitude Era Podcast Says: Ryback & Big Show’s conversation match
Due to our collective habit of having a big ol’ chat about the weather during any Ryback match, myself, Adam and Billy missed out on this car crash until we caught it in a recent Botchamania. Big Show couldn’t have been more blatant if he had the spots written on his tights.
Honorable mention: DON’T TAKE A BIG BUMP
I have watched this clip several hundred times by now. Black referee turns to Tensai during a bizarre tug of war segment on Raw and bellows, nay declares, nay PROCLAIMS
“……DON’T TAKE A BIG BUMP”
Tensai proceeds to take a very medium bump.
OSWReview Says: Sin Cara dislocates his finger and cancelling the match. Then getting fired.
Worst Botch: Roman Reigns intentionally falling on a house show in Dublin. It wasn’t a botch, it was to get the crowd to jeer popular heels (The Shield), who had a free signing earlier that day. Awful!
(Maffew Says: I didn’t know this. Fack.)
Enough moaning and hyping, I had fun this year which is the main thing so please remember:
Enjoy it when it’s good and laugh at it when it’s bad.