By Will Pruett
These rankings are scientifically calculated by the Rank-o-matic 4000 and verified by four out of five top scientists in the wrestling arts. They are to be taken solemnly and with absolute seriousness.
1. Daniel Bryan. At the beginning of the year, Bryan was stealing the show consistently in six-man tag matches with The Shield. As the year went on, his hot tag became a highlight. Crowds organically connected to him and reacted to his actions. At SummerSlam, he reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the WWE Championship. The rest of the year didn't go as well, but one thing stayed true: the crowd's connection with Bryan will keep him in or around the main event scene for a long time.
2. The Shield. If I had to rank the best matches of 2013, the most consistent thing about the list would be the involvement of The Shield. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose stole the show almost every time they went to the ring. Their six man tags were exceptional. Their singles and tag team matches were usually on the good-to-great side of things. They lived up to their enigmatic debut and more. Now, as we leave 2013 Reigns is poised to be a breakout babyface. WWE struck gold with these three.
3. John Cena. First of all, Cena is super-human. He recovered from an injury requiring six months of downtime in three. Next, he actually had a pretty good year, winning the Royal Rumble, winning the WWE Championship from The Rock at WrestleMania, winning the World Heavyweight Championship, and successfully avoiding having to marry Nikki Bella by using a car and various other things. Way to go, Johnny boy.
4. Abeyance. At no other time in history has a single wrestler won the WWE and TNA World Championships within the same year. This isn't just within the same year, but within the same month. Abeyance had an amazing second half of 2013. From the moment he was introduced by Triple H to Magnus' conquering of Dixieland, Abeyance was king. Can he keep this success going in 2014?
5. Bully Ray. Before he became a hoodie-wearing super villain with fully underscored promos, Bully was the most important performer in TNA for the first eight-ish months of the year. He brought new life to the dying Aces and Eights faction. He held the TNA World Championship for a long time. He almost married Hulk Hogan's daughter, until she decided to marry then not marry a Dallas Cowboy (probably the right choice since the Cowboys are awful). Bully Ray bullied himself to the top (well, on this list, the middle).
6. C.M. Punk. 2012 was easily the best year of Punk's career and he began 2013 on top. He had notable feuds with The Rock and The Undertaker before taking time off to recharge. Upon his return, he began the epic first half of his feud with Paul Heyman. The second half faded and Punk has been in an odd holding pattern, but we will always have his match against Brock Lesnar to remember this run by. Punk also revolutionized wrestling facial hair, by rocking the Wolverine, even though it doesn't look near as good on him.
7. Brie Bella. Brie was undoubtedly the star of Total Divas, which was one of the few bright spots in WWE in the second half of 2013. She improved an awful lot in the ring as she ventured away from Twin Magic and became her own person. More than any of this, she is adorable. Good for Brie and good for all of us.
8. Adam Cole. The MVP of the indie scene this year couldn't possibly be anyone but Adam Cole. He rose to the top of Ring of Honor, stayed on top of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and probably did some other stuff. Cole's obnoxious and arrogant heel character is akin to a young Shawn Michaels. He has always been a great wrestler, but he is now finding himself as a character as well. Cole's future is ridiculously bright.
9. Goldust. Not only did Goldust have a great surprise run in the 2013 Royal Rumble match, but he also proved to be one of the best workers in WWE over the second half of the year. I didn't expect Goldust to be this good or to connect this well. He isn't a main event guy, but he is definitely one of the MVP's of WWE's roster right now. He also debuted some super sexy Darth Maul-inspired facepaint. Facepaint matters.
10. Magnus. The beginning of 2014 will determine how we view Magnus' 2013. Will it be the ascension of a superstar or a short brush with glory? Magnus returned to TNA as a part of the Main Event Mafia and was the best part of that group (and the best at wearing a suit). Although his match with Sting at Bound for Glory was a disappointment (like most Sting matches), he was consistently entertaining through the Wheel of Dixie tournament and now has the chance to reign as TNA's top heel. Go get you some, Magnus. I believe in you.
Just missing the cut: The Aces and Eights Social Media Intern, The Wyatt Family, The Uso's, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler (the first half of the year), Kevin Steen, The Young Bucks, Johnny Gargano, Candice LaRae, Sami Zayn, El Generico, Drake Younger, Steve Austin's Podcast, and Big Show's Trucking Company.
Nowhere near this list: The Authority, Randal Keith Orton, Nikki Bella, Eva Marie, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler (the second half of the year), D.J. Hyde, Willie Mack, R-Truth, Wes Brisco, Jay Briscoe, Brian Cage, most wrestling podcasts, A.J. Styles as the emo warrior, A.J. Styles as C.M. Punk, Dixie Carter, and B-Boy.
Will Pruett writes about wrestling in a facetious and often humorous way. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow him and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
Pruett's 2013 Power Rankings: Will Pruett uses his biased eye and tremendous discernment to break down the top ten wrestlers in WWE, TNA, ROH, PWG... hell, the entire industry this year
Dec 30, 2013 - 01:30 PM
Dec 30, 2013 - 01:30 PM
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