WWE: Top 5 Performers of 2013

bryanacceptanceDaniel Bryan accepting a Slammy award – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

2013 has been a great year for the WWE. I can honestly say that the standard of work has improved. The future looks bright with the emerging talents of Roman Reigns, Big E Langston, Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins and the like. The long time bemoaned tag team division is on fire. With AJ Lee at the helm, the Divas division has restored some legitimacy. I thought I’d name my five favourite performers of the year. An honourable mention will go to Brock Lesnar who has been important, if not full time. His return to Raw last night was great and I look forward to his coming appearances. As for the regular guys, lets see how I stack them up.

5. John Cena

Despite not being the most popular wrestler among internet fans, John Cena once again had a few terrific matches this year. He is always one thing and that’s reliable. The guy works practically every day, and appears in big pay-per-view matches every month. He may not be a technical specialist or a high flyer, but he is dependable and that’s what the WWE needs from it’s top guy. His ability to deliver on the big stage time and again secures him a position on this list. His best match of the year was easily the famous clash with CM Punk on Raw in the early part of the year.

4. Antonio Cesaro

The Swiss Supreme may be a surprise choice on this list, but for me, he has been one of the stand out performers of the year. As a part of a great tag team, he has helped put on some excellent matches and regularly done well on Raw. In singles competition, he has shone, selflessly putting the hard work in on practically every show the WWE puts out. His most memorable encounters were the incredible match he had with Daniel Bryan as a part of the gauntlet in July, and the 2 out of 3 falls match with Sami Zayn on NXT.

3. CM Punk

Punk is an ever present on everybody’s list every year, and rightly so. As he outlined on Raw last night, 2013 has been a good year for him. It’s not been his best, but it’s been memorable to say the least. He competed against The Rock, took The Undertaker to the limit and came into the year as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. That’s not bad at all. His feud with Paul Heyman went too long and he has been a little lost in the shuffle as of late, but on the whole he has done well for himself. What’s never in question is his ability to perform. That’s why he is the best in the world. He had countless great matches this year as always. The pick of the bunch would be the epic fight he had with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, closely followed by the Taker match at Wrestlemania.

2. The Shield

These guys have been too exciting and too influential to be split up. Despite not being a single person, they are second on my list. I’d find it difficult to pick out a single match from these guys to define how well they have done. WWE have gone above and beyond to put The Shield over and they have taken the ball and ran with it. Whether it be singles matches, tag team matches or the six man tags which they have made a regular part of the show, these three man have always performed. It’s not just been big pay-per-view matches, but regular Raw and Smackdown encounters. They are often put in there with guys they have worked with time and time again, and just when you think you’re going to get a boring match, they impress again. Now all we have to do is predict which one of them is going straight to the top first.

1. Daniel Bryan

I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone. Daniel Bryan has been head and shoulders above the competition this year. He has consistently stole the show, week after week, regardless of the situation he is put in. It’s become clear now that the real life authority figures in the WWE don’t want him to be the face of the company. That hasn’t stopped his legions of fans cheering and chanting him on every week since his fall from grace. I don’t quite know why they want so badly to bury him but that’s politics I guess. What I do know, is that he has gone out there and performed to a high standard in practically every match he has had all year, big or small. When it comes to technique, timing, stamina and the ability to put on a good wrestling match, nobody else on the roster can touch him. Now he seems to be joining The Wyatt Family. 2014 is going to be interesting for him to say the least.

Thanks for reading what will be the last post on The Real Mid Card of 2013. That means I have achieved my goal of publishing at least one post every single day from July 1st until December 31st. I hope you have enjoyed reading, and I look forward to the new direction the site will now be heading into in the new year.

Leave a comment and give me your Top 5.

Craig [Editor]


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