Welcome to the 2nd annual Alex Mattis Mainstream Rasslin’ Awards blog. Just like last year, there will be the same nine awards. And just like last year, I will be sticking to the American mainstream of professional wrestling (WWE, TNA, ROH). These things can get complicated when one begins factoring in the underground and the international.
I’m not here to tell you what is good and what is bad. Like all art, pro wrestling is subjective. I’m here to tell you what I thought was the best, and the worst, in the wild world of rasslin’ in 2013. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.
Let’s get to it!
The Punk Award for Wrestler of the Year
You’d have to be a fucking idiot to argue this. Is Bryan the most popular star the E has had since 2000? One word: Yes. …Yes! …YES! …YES! YES! YES!
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it’s true. Randy Orton started the year by losing to Wade Barrett clean on Raw (and it was incredible) and ended the year as the first undisputed champion the E has had in over a decade. He won Money in the Bank, he won the WWE title at the 2nd biggest show of the year, he *finally* got back to the bad guy role he loves so dear, and he won the aforementioned undisputed title in THEBIGGESTMATCHINWWEHISTORYOMG. What’s most important is that Ravishing Randy appears to be having fun again; enjoying himself in the ring. I can only assume he was as bored with his work as we were.
I’m still not completely sold on Adam Cole, but it’s undeniable he became one of the top stars on the independent scene in 2013. The company may have regressed since its heyday, but the Ring of Honor world title is still a symbol of prominence in professional wrestling and those who hold it are of an elite group. Adam Cole joined that group in 2013 and put his stamp on the wrestling scene.
Honorable Mention: CM Punk, Bully Ray, The Shield, Jack Swagger (JK! LOL!)
Tag Team of the Year AND Breakout Star(s) of the Year Awards
Duh. Within 12 months all three of these men were made stars in the WWE. The whole concept worked out better than anyone could have imagined. The three work incredibly well together. They had top-notch matches all year long; consistently stealing the show. They won titles. They got to powerbomb The Rock, twice. I’m ok with the idea of Reigns getting the rocket strapped to his ass but make no mistake, Ambrose is the star. My heat with Tyler Black is still VERY much alive. He knows what he did.
Honorable Mention: reDRagon, The Young Bucks (still can’t stand ’em), The Rhodes Brothers
Feud of the Year Award
THE MIZ MAIN EVENTED AND WON AT A WRESTLEMANIA OVER THE BIGGEST NAME IN THE COMPANY. Does no one within WWE find this troubling?! God knows I’ve lost sleep over it. Honestly, no one’s stock in mainstream wrestling plummeted farther in 2013 than The Miz. Not even Dolph. Of course, dude goes home to this so I don’t think he really cares.
Honorable Mention: WWE Payback, ROH 11th Anniversary Show, TNA Lockdown
The Perfect Storm Award for Most Confusing/Worst Match of the Year
For the second year in a row, Trips and Bork Laser receive the award for Most Confusing/Worst Match of the Year for their snoozefest at WrestleMania that completely killed the crowd before the main event. The first five minutes had the feel of “Oh, they got what they did wrong at SummerSlam and are going in the right direction.” NOPE! As my roommate eloquently put it, “I was with the match until the fucking seventeenth Kimura spot.” The lone highlight of this PPV-killer was Paul Heyman selling Sweet Chin Music like he had just slipped on a banana peel. Someone answer me this: Why did HBK get his own entrance and pyro?!
The Machinist Award for Most Shocking Physical Transformation
I don’t know who or what lit the fire under the son of a son of a plumber, but Goldust turned in a jaw-dropping year and produced some of his best work ever.
The Davey Richards Award for Most Annoying Wrestler
ACH is the David O. Russell of independent wrestling in that he’s excellent at one thing: convincing people he’s great. He’s a sharp guy and an incredible athlete, but every time I watch him all I can think is “This isn’t 2003 and The Backseat Boys and The SATs aren’t headlining shows anymore.”
…What is his character?! Will he ever sell anything?!
The Dolph Ziggler Award for Overall Awesomeness
I’ve been riding Claudio’s jock for the better part of the decade, so it makes me absolutely giddy to see him doing his thing on the main stage. Great matches, fitting comedy, unbelievable feats of strength, dude is one of the most reliable members of the roster and had a fantastic 2013.
Thanks for reading! The Top Ten Movies and Top Ten Matches of 2013 coming this weekend!