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Old 12-30-2013, 06:34 AM   #2511 (permalink)
Rah
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Default Re: The 2013 MOTYC Thread

Best of 2013

1. CM Punk Vs Brock Lesnar (18/08/2013 WWE)
2. Shinsuke Nakamura(c) Vs Kazushi Sakuraba (05/01/2013 NJPW)
3. Daniel Bryan Vs John Cena (18/08/2013 WWE)
4. Guerrero Maya Jr Vs Vi... (06/10/2013 CMLL)
5. William Regal Vs Antonio Cesaro (25/12/2013 WWE)
6. Charles Lucero Vs Rey Hechicero (04/08/2013 Fighters NICE)
7. The Undertaker Vs CM Punk (07/04/2013 WWE)
8. Rhodes Dynasty Vs The Shield (14/10/2013 WWE)
9. Kassius Ohno Vs William Regal (21/03/2013 WWE)
10. CM Punk Vs John Cena (25/02/2013 WWE)
11. Jun Akiyama Vs KAI (29/04/2013 AJPW)
12. Dr. Wagner Jr Vs LA Par-K (02/06/2013 TxT)
13. Tomohiro Ishii vs Katsuyori Shibata (04/08/2013 NJPW)
14. Shocker, Terrible & Negro Casas Vs Maximo, Rey Escorpion & ...h (28/06/2013 CMLL)
15. HHH Vs Brock Lesnar (19/05/2013 WWE)
16. Blue Panther/Negro Casas/Atlantis Vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Solar (16/08/2013 CMLL)
17. Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs Kazuchika Okada (07/04/2013 NJPW)
18. Mark Henry Vs John Cena (14/07/2013 WWE)
19. Sami Zayn Vs Antonio Cesaro (21/08/2013 WWE)
20. Oficial 911 Vs Trauma II Vs El Angel (03/03/2013 IWRG)



Well, for one thing, my taste in wrestling has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. Something most evident, I assume, in the lack of Japanese matches in the final list. While I will come to Okada/Tanahashi later in this post, my stance on matches of that kind has been oft posted. As such, I won't go into these reasons, ad nauseam, yet, suffice to say, it is a style I have begun to almost loathe, at times. As for AJPW, it would seem there has been little talk surrounding the promotion this year. Whether this indicates a lack of tape or quality I'm not sure but it's reason why I haven't much watched anything from the promotion in the past few months. As for everything else, the year seemed to be stacked fill with good to great matches yet nothing truly broke that mould. While the top four are master-class matches, they're not out-of-the-ball-park home-runs, either. Still, the year offered a little bit of something for each fan with a resurgence in the WWE tag scene (to the point of it becoming its diamond in the rough), the showcasing of hard-hitting and anger-fueled trios in CMLL (that helped propel many guys into new light in my eyes) along with some beautiful maestro match-ups across Mexico, and a G1 tourney that almost stole the entire year with a single day outing.



Best Promotion: WWE
I think this is pretty much an easy one, for myself. While I foresee this accolade going to NJPW for many (as made evident in a discussion a few week ago within this very thread), there was not a promotion even near the WWE's calibre this year. Whether it's in form of entertainment or sheer output, WWE trumped with what seems just short of a royal flush. Their tag team division (thanks, in part, to The Shield, Real Americans and Rhodes Bros) was a roaring success throughout the year with each outing of the trios match-type(or the previously mentioned teams) being a bucket of fun, at the least, and serious contender for match of the year, at most. Additionally, even WWE's own developmental system showered itself in entertaining characters and breath-taking feuds (akin to FCW circa 2011). Between Regal/Ohno, Regal/Cesaro and Zayn/Cesaro and, to a lesser extent, Neville/Zayn NXT rewrote many MotY lists.

While bogged down in the cesspool that wrestling storylines seemingly gear towards, the entertainment-oriented nature of WWE's flagship show also delivered in spades. From the electric title wins of Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler (as well as the character work in the Ziggler/ADR Payback match), to Punk trying to cement himself as the best in the world against 'Taker and, later, Brock as well as the beautiful pseudo-retirement performance of Mark Henry WWE was a gem to keep up with when the ball was rolling.



Worst Promotion: IWRG
Not so much the worst, as it was the most disappointing. With a roster of truly talented workers, it defied reason that the promotion had so little to speak about this year. While it certainly aimed to redeem itself in these final few weeks, it still falls as a rather large let-down in terms of the output that could have been achieved. So, yeah, a great start, a good end but a meddling middle-half of the year. At least we got Los Traumas/Navarro/Terry in Chilanga Mask to almost make up for that, though.



Best Wrestler: Antonio Cesaro
Did you expect anyone else? While Reigns certainly deserves an award for most-improved, hot on his heels most certainly has to be Cesaro. We all adored him during his independent run but did any of us think he was this good then? Cesaro has quickly transitioned from being a great American worker to being the best worker (and versatile base) in the world and when you realise the quality of the performers he's been given (Kofi/Khali/Miz), that accolade seems rather impressive, in its own right. Even so, when given a talented opponent each and every match delivered. It's quite funny to note, too, that he started the year with little to no favour in McMahon's eyes (if reports are to be believed) yet seems to have created himself as a worthwhile commodity by year-end - especially noting the manner in which Regal put him over before their match, and the slow-build in winning the crowd over as the year progressed (despite being heel). While Zeb may have been a strong worker on the microphone for the trio of patriotic numpties, it's hard to argue against Cesaro's newly freed arsenal being a strong role in gaining the audience's vote.

Recommended matches:
William Regal Vs Antonio Cesaro (25/12/2013 WWE)
Sami Zayn Vs Antonio Cesaro (21/08/2013 WWE)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Kofi Kingston (01/05/2013 WWE)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Sheamus (05/06/2013 WWE)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Daniel Bryan (22/07/2013 WWE)



Runner Up #1: Negro Casas
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's unbelievable how great Casas is at the age of 53. Seemingly breaking the stereotype of aging wrestlers (and adhering to the cliche of fine wines), there is hardly a missed moment in anything Negro Casas does. Whether he's getting his head beaten in by a vicious ...h dropkick or laying down pornographic-level matwork with Blue Panther, it's always the treat of the night. Quite honestly, as long as he keeps making tape I don't think there is anything stopping Negro Casas from continually reaching (or coming extremely close to) #1 for years to come. One of the few GOAT contenders still wrestling today and a blessing to witness.

Recommended matches:
Shocker, Terrible & Negro Casas Vs Maximo, Rey Escorpion & ...h (28/06/2013 CMLL)
Blue Panther/Negro Casas/Atlantis Vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Solar (16/08/2013 CMLL)
Negro Casas Vs ...h Vs Shocker (24/11/2013 CMLL)
Blue Panther Vs Negro Casas (13/12/2013 CMLL)
Negro Navarro Vs Negro Casas (19/05/2013 ChilangaMask)
Negro Casas(c) Vs Valiente (11/02/2013 CMLL)
Negro Casas, Stuka Jr. & Valiente Vs Fuego, Vangellys & Vi... (14/06/2013 CMLL)



Runner Up #2: Daniel Bryan
The greatest babyface of the year and hot-tag specialist who can kick it into a higher gear like no other. There's been a lot of expectation riding on Bryan by WWE management (of which he, weirdly, failed to live up to) yet there's no question he assuredly lives up to the expectation of being one of the best wrestlers alive. Whether it's working with Orton or Kane against The Shield, or going it alone in his hunt for the title, Bryan was, at the very least, an entertaining spectacle to witness throughout the year. YES! YES! YES!

Recommended matches:
The Shield vs Team Hell No & Kofi Kingston (20/05/2013 WWE)
Daniel Bryan Vs John Cena (18/08/2013 WWE)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Daniel Bryan (22/07/2013 WWE)
Daniel Bryan Vs Seth Rollins (10/06/2013 WWE)



Runner Up #3: Goldust
Has anyone in the world had a quarter-year sprint as great as Goldust? Is there anyone in the world who does a FIP as great as Goldust? If I'm honest, those questions wouldn't sound too hyperbolic if asked within the history of the sport, either. Just when I thought the top five workers were stitched up, Goldust returns and absolutely decimates just about every performance anyone has had this year. Quite truthfully, too, he almost doesn't need a recommended matches list. If he's in a tag, and hopefully the FIP-worker, it's worth your time watching.

Recommended matches:
Rhodes Dynasty Vs The Shield (14/10/2013 WWE)
Rhodes Dynasty Vs The Shield (6/10/2013 WWE)
Rhodes Dynasty Vs Rybaxxel, The Real Americans & Big Show/Rey Mysterio (15/12/2013 WWE)
Goldust Vs Randy Orton (09/09/2013 WWE)



Runner Up #4: ...h
Most of you should know my overly-attached fanboyism to ...h, by now. Most, I assume, still wonder why I enjoy him. Ever since his performance at the aniversario show, last year, ...h has been on an utter roll. His new persona and move-set hide everything that once made it possible to dislike him and, instead, has transformed him into a world-class performer. I assume a lot of this to be much akin to why CM Punk works so well. Both characters just feel natural fits on the wrestler, almost as if they are that very person they portray. Quite honestly, though, ...h does appear to be that cocky, better-than-you douchebag that would sooner kill you than shake your hand and it works so very well for it. It's a rather large pity that we never got the payoff to ...h/Casas (well, ...h against the world, anyway), this year, but I have hope it will be done in the new year. Even if it doesn't, there's plenty of luchadores in the CMLL roster that I'd enjoy watching their face kicked in, regardless.

Recommended matches:
...h Vs El Terrible (26/01/2013 CMLL)
Shocker, Terrible & Negro Casas Vs Maximo, Rey Escorpion & ...h (28/06/2013 CMLL)
Negro Casas Vs ...h Vs Shocker (24/11/2013 CMLL)
Máximo, ...h, Titán Vs Tama Tonga, Terrible, Vangellys (03/11/2013 CMLL)
Negro Casas, Mr. Aguila & Rey Bucanero Vs Blue Panther, ...h & Maximo (14/07/2013 CMLL)
...h, Terrible, Vangellys Vs Negro Casas, Shocker, Valiente (07/09/2013 CMLL)



Runner Up #5 (tied): Vi... & Blue Panther
Another two aging luchadores that are still putting out great work and both deserving of a mention, in their own rights. If I'm to make a confession, when I first started watching lucha Vi... grated me. If that barrier some maintain over overly co-operative matwork rang true for me, strangely, it was with regard to Vi.... I'm glad I've stopped being a complete imbecile as his work is so crisp Walkers tried to sell it. If you're going to take a dip into any lucha this year, make sure it's his return match against Guerrero Maya Jr.

As for Panther, is there anything that truly needs being said? He had an absolute bender of a 2012 with his feud against Casas (delivering some early match of the decade contenders) and 2013 saw him try to reclaim that glory with just about everyone. 35-years into his career and he's still going strong.


Recommended matches (Vi...):
Guerrero Maya Jr Vs Vi... (06/10/2013 CMLL)
Las Traumas Vs Valiente y Vi... (25/08/2013 Chilanga Mask)
Negro Casas, Stuka Jr. & Valiente Vs Fuego, Vangellys & Vi... (14/06/2013 CMLL)
Vi... Vs Blue Panther (12/05/2013 CMLL)

Recommended matches (Blue Panther):
Blue Panther/Negro Casas/Atlantis Vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Solar (16/08/2013 CMLL)
Blue Panther Vs Negro Casas (13/12/2013 CMLL)
Blue Panther Vs Averno (13/09/2013 CMLL)
Vi... Vs Blue Panther (12/05/2013 CMLL)




A pretty easy top 6 without many coming close to changing the list. Quite honestly, if tape hadn't been a factor, William Regal, Jun Akiyama and Charles Lucero would probably be in with a close shout; most especially Regal, considering his only two matches were both high-class MotYC outings. Shinsuke Nakamura is another I'd have loved to add, with some truly world-beating performances (Ibushi/Sakuraba), yet he is often prone to taking a backseat or delivering some rather annoying performances (MiSu).

Kyle Matthews and Roman Reigns both enjoy their position on the cusp for somewhat similar reasons. At rather young ages, they're performing their requirements to a tee. For Reigns, he is an almost polished monster that has certainly come into his own in the last year. With a massive improvement over his state as Leakee in FCW, I wouldn't doubt his placing in a future list once he gets given his much deserved singles push. As for Kyle, he still remains the most sound American Indy worker going. While he doesn't deliver anything other-wordly, I've yet to see a performance of his that is less than good. He works both face and heel dynamics well, and isn't a scrub in a clinch, either. Here's hoping he gets another shot at a bigger league in 2014.

Finally, in the opposite end of the spectrum, lies talents like CM Punk, John Cena, Tanahashi and Okada. Of all those mentioned, Punk probably had the most half-and-half year with a delivery of truly spectacular matches ('Taker/Cena/Lesnar) mirrored by some shite-awful drivel (Jericho). Cena had a good start (well, as good a start as you'll get with Rock) and returned with energy post-injury yet dies off rather quickly. Regardless, he did put up two classic matches to drive further home his run as one of the top big-event wrestlers to lace up their boots. As already mentioned in this post, my gripes on Tanahashi/Okada have been given many-a-time before. Rather, I'd argue simply why they do not deserve these spots. Tanahashi, despite his rather good pacing and ability when he desires to act accordingly (Ishii rematch), grates me to no end with his fanciful bullshit (Devitt) and his no-selling is ti....me and often doesn't work the suited role for the match (Ishii, G1). I'm a lot higher on Okada, most especially his limb selling, yet he's had his own share of rather poor outings. His start to the year in the CHAOS tags were rather meddling, if I'm honest, and his inclusion of the Red Ink submission completely devalued any legitimacy he tried to possess within this sport. I'm rather glad he's since dropped the move, and I do hope he can work some better opponents in the coming year.


Spoiler for final list (top 60):

CM Punk Vs Brock Lesnar (18/08/2013 WWE)
Shinsuke Nakamura(c) Vs Kazushi Sakuraba (05/01/2013 NJPW)
Daniel Bryan Vs John Cena (18/08/2013 WWE)
Guerrero Maya Jr Vs Vi... (06/10/2013 CMLL)
William Regal Vs Antonio Cesaro (25/12/2013 WWE)
Charles Lucero Vs Rey Hechicero (04/08/2013 Fighters NICE)
The Undertaker Vs CM Punk (07/04/2013 WWE)
Rhodes Dynasty Vs The Shield (14/10/2013 WWE)
CM Punk Vs John Cena (25/02/2013 WWE)
Jun Akiyama Vs KAI (29/04/2013 AJPW)
Dr. Wagner Jr Vs LA Par-K (02/06/2013 TxT)
Tomohiro Ishii vs Katsuyori Shibata (04/08/2013 NJPW)
Shocker, Terrible & Negro Casas Vs Maximo, Rey Escorpion & ...h (28/06/2013 CMLL)
HHH Vs Brock Lesnar (19/05/2013 WWE)
Kassius Ohno Vs William Regal (21/03/2013 WWE)
Blue Panther/Negro Casas/Atlantis Vs Black Terry/Negro Navarro/Solar (16/08/2013 CMLL)
Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs Kazuchika Okada (07/04/2013 NJPW)
Mark Henry Vs John Cena (14/07/2013 WWE)
Sami Zayn Vs Antonio Cesaro (21/08/2013 WWE)
Oficial 911 Vs Trauma II Vs El Angel (03/03/2013 IWRG)
Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. Vs Namajague & Shigeo Okumura (15/03/2013 CMLL)
Jun Akiyama/Go Shiozaki Vs Manabu Soya/Takao Omori (17/03/2013 AJPW)
The Shield vs Team Hell No & Kofi Kingston (20/05/2013 WWE)
...h Vs El Terrible (26/01/2013 CMLL)
Jay Briscoe Vs Kevin Steen (05/04/2013 RoH)
Negro Casas Vs ...h Vs Shocker (24/11/2013 CMLL)
Tomohiro Ishii Vs Hirooki Goto (17/03/2013 NJPW)
Chico Che, Freelance & Hijo del Pantera Vs Apolo Estrada Jr., Avisman & Eita (18/02/2013 IWRG)
Sami Callihan Vs Drake Younger (22/03/2013 PWG)
Negro Casas(c) Vs Valiente (11/02/2013 CMLL)
Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. Vs Nakamura Shinsuke & Ishii Tomohiro (05/04/2013 NJPW)
Volador Jr Vs Rey Escorpión (02/02/2013 CMLL)
Hiroshi Tanahashi(c) Vs Kazuchika Okada (05/01/2013 NJPW)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Sheamus (05/06/2013 WWE)
Las Traumas Vs Valiente y Vi... (25/08/2013 Chilanga Mask)
Kyle Matthews Vs Mike Cruz (30/05/2013 Rampage Pro)
The Shield Vs John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus (17/02/2013 WWE)
Sami Callihan Vs Shane Hollister (17/05/2013 AAW)
Alberto Del Rio Vs Dolph Ziggler (16/06/2013)
Kyle Matthews Vs Shaun Tempers (16/02/2013 LPN)
Kyle Matthews Vs Shaun Tempers (29/03/2013 DSCW)
Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Davey Boy Smith Jr. (07/04/2013 NJPW)
Dean Allmark & Leon Shah Vs Robbie Dynamite & Rampage Brown (10/04/2013 ASW:UK)
Namajague Vs Rey Cometa (26/04/2013 CMLL)
Negro Casas, Stuka Jr. & Valiente Vs Fuego, Vangellys & Vi... (14/06/2013 CMLL)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Sami Zayn (12/06/2013 WWE NXT)
Dean Allmark & James Mason vs Rampage Brown & Robbie Dynamite (22/02/2013 ASW)
Hiroshi Tanahashi(c) Vs Karl Anderson (10/02/2013 NJPW)
Samuray Del Sol & AR Fox Vs The Inner-City Machine Guns (22/03/2013 PWG)
Rampage Brown Vs Dean Allmark (16/03/2013 ASW)
Shingo Vs Ricochet (25/05/2013 2013 Dragon Gate)
Vordell Walker Vs Mike Cruz (04/05/2013 SCGW)
Yuji Nagata Vs Minoru Suzuki (05/01/2013 NJPW)
Yuji Nagata & Hirooki Goto Vs Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata (07/04/2013 NJPW)
Antonio Cesaro Vs Kofi Kingston (01/05/2013 WWE)
Green Ant Vs Eddie Kingston (09/02/2013 Chikara)
Kyle Matthews Vs Anthony Henry (24/08/2013 LPW)
La Sombra Vs Shinsuke Nakamura (31/05/2013 CMLL)
Archibald Peck Vs Mark Angelosetti (09/02/2013 Chikara)
Masato Tanaka Vs Tomohiro Ishii (03/02/2013 NJPW)
__________________

Last edited by Rah : 12-30-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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