2014 is officially here so I’d like to welcome you to our first Best and Worst of WWE & TNA 2013. It has been mostly a good year to be a wrestling fan and I think we should celebrate the good things whilst still looking at some of the more questionable decisions made by both TNA and WWE this year.
Side note: Whilst I watch very little of the TNA product these days, I have done some research and will try to fairly represented their contribution to wrestling this year.
Stories of the Year
This one came out of nowhere and was thrown away on one of the lesser PPV’s. We probably should have seen it coming what with SmackDown struggling to get people interested and there just not seeming to be enough top tier wrestlers to battle it out for two main titles. What is more intriguing is how they will bring some of the mid-card wrestlers up to the main event now there is only one main title to contend for.
This will change the landscape of wrestling in both good and bad ways. It will 100% improve WWE’s ability to train wrestlers the way that they want to train them. Sadly this will probably also mean that we won’t get as big a variance in styles going forward. You may say NXT has a nice variety of wrestlers but you have to remember that the majority of them have worked on the indie scene prior to WWE.
Yet another big mistake. I don’t want to be having a go at TNA the whole way through this but it seems to be heading that way. AJ Styles was their first big homegrown star. It doesn’t matter that he’s getting older and asking for more money than you are willing to pay, AJ helped build TNA from the start and he has TNA running through his veins. All this to say it’s probably a work anyway isn’t it.
Utterly ridiculous story of the year was the supposed sale of TNA. It’s hard to think of any positive TNA news this year because the bad news was so utterly insane. There were rumours that Vince wanted to buy it, then Hulk Hogan and Bischoff wanted it and the most crazy of all was Billy Corgan apparently throwing his hat into the ring. Seriously TNA?
This is slightly cheating but I think it has to be the biggest story of 2013 because the news came out before the start of 2014. This is intriguing for a number of reasons. Batista has been away for 3 years and is now 44 years old. How much mileage does he have left in the tank and has his time away helped him to recover enough at his age? Time will tell.
This should have been so much better. Whilst ADR has held the now defunct World Heavyweight Title for a long period this year, he ended it by losing to Sin Cara twice in a row. It’s time for the Mexican superstar to take a break and come back with the same pizzazz he shown when he first turned up in WWE. RVD on the other hand looked fresh for the short time he was back. Hopefully we’ll see him back at the Royal Rumble.
You have to blame the gimmick in this match. Whilst everyone always gets excited at the mention of an Inferno match, I can’t think of a worst type of match to saddle on someone in their first outing in a WWE ring. I think they made the best of a bad hand but it still wasn’t good enough to avoid this list.
This is a shocking addition to the list I know. I think all the heat went out of this feud as soon as Randy Orton’s back hit the announce table in Manchester. It is similar in fashion to Big Show knocking out Triple H. You give the fans a big moment that makes the face look like he’s already won and it just ruins the actual match. Oh, plus Big Show is terrible at wrestling in singles matches nowadays.
Which one you ask? All three. I t wasn’t so much the match but the balls that Triple H has to think anyone would give a shit about him against Brock. We all have to remember that Brock is well and truly in it for the money. This means that he won’t be around for a prolonged period of time so we have to get the best out of what he is willing to give. What did Triple H have to gain out of facing Brock Lesnar three times in a calendar year? Absolutely nothing.
One in a Lifetime wasn’t just a tagline – It was the truth. The first match genuinely intrigued me because it was spoiler free. Nobody had the faintest idea about who would come out victorious. That made the first one special. Once The Rock won we all knew that if they ever met again it would end with him flat on his back taking the pin. Then they did it the next year and it was just plain bad.
Feel Good Moments
Come on! We’re British; we’ve been waiting a hell of a long time for someone to win the main title. Granted it wasn’t in the WWE but I really don’t think it matters in this case. I remember watching TNA when Magnus first debuted and thinking he was just a terrible big man. Then he started to get better and better. Magnus today is a million miles away from the one that used to pose on Gladiators. He stuck the course and it’s now time for him to reap his rewards.
This was the incredible finish to the Authority/Big Show feud. They may as well never had a match between Orton and Show because this was as good as it got in regards to the crowd caring about Big Show. I think everyone was sick of the ridiculous angle they were trying to sell us, we all knew about Big Show’s ironclad contract. Add the fact that he didn’t seem like a wild gambler or drug addict and you have an angle that got more ridiculous by the week. All that said, it was pretty sweet to finally see Big Show knock King Fat Neck out.
This would have been my number one if they hadn’t swerved us with a Randy Orton heel turn. I have already talked about how good this year has been to Daniel Bryan. This match was the definite high point of Daniel Bryan’s 2013, if not his career. It was nice to see Bryan get his chance in an era when WWE clearly think they know better than their fans (I’m not talking about internet fans here), lets hope he gets another chance to prove them wrong in 2014.
I have already mentioned how impressed I am with Goldust since his return so I’ll focus on Cody Rhodes for this one. Let us remember that Cody was the weakest link in teams such as Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jnr, Cody and Damien Sandow and let us not forget about the formidable team of Cody Rhodes and Bob Holly.
For Cody to improve so much over the past couple of years with his ‘beautiful’ gimmick and then his regular appearances on The JBL & Cole Show (With Renee Young) with his beautiful moustache (it was beautiful dammit!) is so impressive in my eyes. This match was the cherry on top of the improved Cody Rhodes.
I’m Here To Show The World. That music still gives me Goosebumps when I hear it and I wasn’t even in attendance at the Izod Center in East Rutherford that night. It was a long road for Ziggler to finally be taken seriously but when it came it was so sweet. The fans went ballistic and it was the icing on the cake for an already incredible night in New Jersey.
This is probably the most outrageous WTF moment on the list. Here’s a little backstory for those that don’t know about Sorensen. He broke a vertebrae in his back whilst wrestling for TNA. Everyone was upset as you can imagine. We all thought that Sorensen would have a job for life much in the way that Droz did when wrestling fucked him over. But Sorensen got better and then Sorensen got released. Shame on you TNA.
I think this one is more egregious because of how long they kept Hero in NXT before deciding they didn’t want to use him on the main roster. He was signed to a developmental contract for twenty-two months. It’s crazy to think that some of the best years of Hero’s career were spent just trying to finally reach his potential on the WWE roster. He’s now back on the Indies and doing pretty well by all accounts, plus in the world of wrestling anything can happen.
Sandow almost made my feel good moments when he won MITB but I didn’t have the heart to have two people in both lists. This is only number three because what has come since. It obviously would have made no sense to have Sandow as champion when it came time for the two biggest titles in the company to merge. Still, give the man a break.
This is the latest of late additions to the list and I am completely bamboozled why WWE is even contemplating going down this road with Bryan. I know what you’ll all be saying about it probably being a fake turn from Bryan but that matters not. How can you even consider turning the most cheered and beloved character currently in WWE? Answer me dammit!
Ziggler manages to reach the number one spot in two of our lists this year…this one I’m not so sure he’ll be happy about. Where did it all go wrong for Ziggy? Was it the fact that ADR unceremoniously kicked him into a concussion or something else? I guess we’ll never know. Here’s hoping that he has another feel good moment that doesn’t turn sour in 2014.
This sums up TNA for me in the past few years and is in this list for completely different reasons compared to the rest. TNA had promised their fans a big return for weeks; even I got excited to see what they could put out of the hat. Then Tito Ortiz shown up and every WWE fan laughed hysterically for about a month. Get your shit together TNA.
Am I trying to get Goldust on every list you ask? Why yes I am. Plus I am convinced that someone has killed Dustin Runnels and replaced him with a younger and more insane version of his Goldust character. One thing they need to introduce in 2014? Stuttering Goldust, god I loved that gimmick.
No list is complete without the Ayatollah of Rock’N’Rolla. It still amazes me that Jericho managed to keep his character fresh even in his 13th year with the company. His return at the Royal Rumble was a nice surprise and led to some nice matches with Ziggler, Fandango and CM Punk. I will be sad when the day comes that Jericho doesn’t surprise us with a return.
Too Much, Too Soon. That would most definitely be the title if anyone decided to create a book on the history of TNA. Going head to head with WWE, not hiring Heryman when they had the smallest morsel of a chance and obviously leaving the Impact Zone too soon. I agree with most people that they definitely should have left the Impact Zone, but they shouldn’t have made such a rash decision that ultimately lead them back there. I honestly don’t think anyone in TNA knows what the word transitional means.
Everybody expected RVD to show up and go through the motions much like he did in TNA. That’s not exactly what happened though. Mr. Money In The Bank himself wasn’t going to disappoint his fans at MITB now was he? Not only did he have a brilliant performance at the PPV but he also went on to have many more great matches in his short stint. Jericho/RVD anyone?
That’s it for today. Join us tomorrow for Best Wrestlers, Best Matches, Promos of the Year, Events of the Year and Bold Predictions for 2014. Have your say below and let us know who or what would be in your top 5’s!
– Michael Owen