I've been updating this every few months, and with Money in the Bank in the books, I figured it was time to update the Top 10 matches of '13 thus far:
1. The Undertaker vs. CM Punk ---- WrestleMania 29.
2. WWE Championship contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian ---- Money in the Bank.
3. John Cena vs. CM Punk in a #1 Contenders match to face The Rock at WrestleMania 29 for the WWE Championship ---- Monday Night RAW 2/25/13
4. Royal Rumble Match won by John Cena, who last eliminated Ryback ---- Royal Rumble.
5. Randy Orton vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho in an Elimination Chamber Match ----- Elimination Chamber
6. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk ---- Payback
7. World Heavyweight Championship contract Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Wade Barrett vs. Jack Swagger vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Antonio Cesaro vs. Damien Sandow
8. The Rock vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship ---- Royal Rumble.
9. Sheamus & John Cena & Ryback vs. The Shield ---- Elimination Chamber.
10. The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship ---- WrestleMania 29.
Kofi Kingston & Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. The Shield --- Monday Night RAW 5/20/13
Randy Orton vs. The Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match --- Extreme Rules
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match ---- WrestleMania 29.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship --- Payback.
Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship --- Smackdown 1/10/13
CM Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship --- Elimination Chamber
CM Punk vs. Ryback in a Tables & Ladders & Chairs match for the WWE Championship - RAW 1/6/13
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar in a Steel Cage Match --- Extreme Rules.
-Something HUGE is happening right now, folks! Something VERY special. Daniel Bryan challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, the 2nd biggest PPV of the year, is simply HUGE.
The build up should be really damn exciting, and the crowd reactions will be incredible for this one. Cena/Bryan is simply huge.
Now, the ? is......if Bryan wins, does Randy Orton cash in?! Heck, Orton has already threatened Cena several times, and has flat out admitted that he's going to cash in when Cena is vulnerable. Either way, I can't wait to see how this shakes out.
Considering Bryan recently worked a program with Orton, and made him tap out on RAW a few weeks back, I can definitely see a Bryan-Orton-Cena program in the fall months.
We all know that Cena/Orton was a long time rivalry. From '07 to '09, it seems like they competed against each other at nearly every single PPV. 4 years later, it feels fresh.
I'm getting ahead of myself, but any way you look at it, this Cena-Bryan program, and the big matchup at SummerSlam, is simply going to be special. The crowd reactions alone will make this very memorable.
-Despite the fact that RAW went off the air about 48 hours ago, I've already re-watched that memorable CM Punk-Paul Heyman-Brock Lesnar segment 3 times.
What we witnessed on RAW was one of the best promos in the history of Monday Night RAW.
This just seemed so real. It was incredibly compelling. It told a brilliant.
The brawl with Lesnar and Punk was absolutely tremendous. JBL really added to this, just saying how out of control that Lesnar is, and how he doesn't have a conscience at all. CM Punk was incredibly sympathetic. He would just not stay down.
This is going to be an incredible next 4 weeks. I have NO IDEA what will happen at SummerSlam, but I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it.
SummerSlam, even though it IS the 2nd biggest PPV of the year, and despite the fact that we do not have
-Another tremendous moment from RAW was The Shield's attack on Mark Henry. The Triple Power Bomb was a damn great spot, and definitely a mark out moment.
After getting off to one of the best starts in WWE history, the long undefeated streak, taking out The Undertaker, etc....they came back down to earth a little bit, but appear to be headed for big things again with taking out Henry on RAW.
Henry put all of his eggs into the John Cena basket at Money in the Bank, and tapped out. That pretty much takes him out of the WWE Championship picture for a while. These past few years have been incredible for Henry. As I've said a ton, he's the most believable character in WWE, and there is nothing like his trash talking.
Despite the "retirement" storyline, which was incredible, I have no doubts that Henry will be a successful face. He needed something new after losing to Henry, and the fans will definitely rally behind Henry. He's an easy guy to like.....I mean, who doesn't like a guy who trash talks and kicks ass?!
Working with The Shield will be a ton of fun, and keep Henry elevated, while changing his character to get cheers now, instead of heel heat. Now, the ? will be....... who does Henry team up with to battle The Shield?! We know that Henry doesn't exactly play well with others, so we shall see how this plays out, but make no doubt about it, it's going to be fun to watch Henry try and get his payback.
-RVD's match with Chris Jericho on RAW was spectacular! We were treated to a 22 minute classic, with two 20 year veterans, who still know how to put on a classic! It told a great story, too! RVD and Jericho had a lot of matches between '02 and '04, and this may have been the best one to date. There is no doubt that Jericho and RVD went out there to really rock RAW and to steal the show, and they sure enough did.
RVD has definitely received the super star treatment since he returned. The video packages hyping his return were tremendous, and to those newer fans who are not familiar with his work, well, they got a big time treat with these. RVD stole the show in MITB, too. I'm not sure where RVD goes from here....he's working a part time schedule, but will basically be around almost every week. I seriously doubt if he's ever in a program for the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship, but I have no doubt he'll be pulling off tremendous matches week in and week out, and there are a ton of guys on the roster who would be great opponents for him . We will see where this goes.
As far as Jericho, he just finished his '13 run with the company, and while he produced some really good matches, overall, it was a pretty forgettable year. As Gottlieb said in the comments for Money in the Bank, Jericho has certainly lost a ton of his mystique. He's done WAY TOO MUCH LOSING in his return. I understand that Jericho has done it all......and, again, he's LITERALLY done it all in the business, but you can't just keep have him losing, or it won't mean anything when he puts a young talent over.
When Jericho comes back, which will be in early '14 so he can work at WrestleMania 30, he needs to be booked strong for months, get some big wins....he'll, maybe even compete in the World Heavyweight Championship match at WM30.....and THEN, put someone over.
After losing 9 consecutive PPV matches, Ryback finally picked up a W on PPV by defeating Jericho, and, well....it just didn't really mean a lot at all. It's somewhat due to the fluke fashion in which he won, and it's partly due to the fact that beating Jericho isn't what it used to be.
It's like this......say that the Cleveland Browns finally knock off the Steelers or Ravens to win the AFC North.....but, the Steelers and Ravens were both terrible...does it really mean that much?! Naw.
This is why Jericho needs to be built back up, and remind viewers that he's a former WrestleMania headliner, 6 time WWE Champion and 9 time Intercontinental Champion who has been involved in some of the most memorable story lines of all time.
-At some point, WWE is going to have to shit or get off of the pot with the drama surrounding the McMahon Family.
As Gottlieb predicted several months ago, a power struggle between Triple H and Vince McMahon, leading all of the way to WrestleMania 30 would be huge.
In fact, it has potential to be one of the biggest story lines in the history of the business. I mean, we are talking Vince McMahon......the guy who created it all. The GOD of the business. He'll be fighting for his company against Triple H, who is basically the new face of the WWE.
McMahon continues to be very heelish week in and week out. He's going after the fans, and keeps dissing Daniel Bryan. McMahon said that he's big fans of The Shield, and I can definitely see McMahon rounding up a team of guys (maybe the "new" Corporation), against guys led by Triple H, which would no doubt include Daniel Bryan. Ryback would be a perfect guy to be in the mix, too. He's absolutely the McMahon "type".
It appears that the McMahon's will do with Brad Maddox what they did to Triple H, with them getting in his ear every week. They can only do this so many times before it gets old, but I have all of the confidence in HHH and McMahon, and whenever they begin this program, it's going to be memorable.
A quick note on Brad Maddox.....I really like him! He has "it", and a ton of charisma. He could end up being a really fun on air character as the GM. He definitely has a ton of potential, and again, reminds me so much of Eric Bischoff on the air....which is a damn good thing. Say what you want about Bischoff, who was one of the guys who killed WCW, but as far as on air talents go, he was absolutely fantastic.
-A bit more on John Cena. I really have no idea what is going to happen with his WWE Championship match against Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. What I do know is that THIS could be the moment where everything changes, and a true changing of the guard. At only 31 years old, Bryan is 2 years younger than Orton, almost 4 years younger than Punk, and 6 years younger than Cena. Bryan is just insanely over.....but you already know that.
If Bryan goes over clean.....is that the end of Cena's days at the top?!! It's doubtful, but it's something to think about. I'd lean towards no, and again, someway or another, I expect Randy Orton to get involved in this, especially since he holds MITB....
If the end of the Cena at the top era is coming, which again, I don't think it is, it would come at the time where he's been on top for longer than "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock...... combined.
While Austin began to get super over in '97, his break through was in '98, winning his first WWE Championship, and beginning the epic Austin/McMahon program. Austin was on top of the WWE from '98 to his last match in '03, but, he really stopped being the guy towards the end of '02, and missed most of '00 with an injury.
The Rock was the top guy in WWE from '99 to '03, too.
Cena? He's been THE guy from '04 and remains the top guy. We're talking just about a full decade as the top guy in WWE.
Also, I've finally come to the conclusion that Cena will NEVER turn heel. It's to the point where it would almost be cool if he didn't. At the end of the day, when the record books are written, Cena can be the one and only guy to NEVER turn heel, and to never get away from his character. And, there is definitely something to be said for that.
Austin turned heel. The Rock was a heel several times. Triple H was an incredible heel. Hell, The Undertaker had another great heel run in '03.
I can definitely see Cena, at his retirement speech (and, honestly, who knows when that will be....even though he's 36 years old, I think he'll compete for at least another 5, well, barring injuries, of course).
-Lets spend a quick minute on TNA Impact Wrestling.
Yeah, the ratings are still not great, and, in fact, they haven't increased in about 5 years now. They have been a TON of layoffs, yet, still continue to pay an insane salary to guys like Hulk Hogan, who never move the ratings needle.
I watch Impact every week......well, I DVR it, and typically get through it in 30 minutes or less....some weeks more, some weeks less, but I'd say about 30 minutes is the average time I get through it.
Things I REALLY like in TNA?
They have an incredible Knockouts (their version of Diva's) division. They give the females on the roster huge pushes, and really make their characters mean something. Former WWE great Mickie James is a tremendous character. Recently, Gail Kim (one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time) and Taryn Terrell (the former Tiffany from WWE, and ex-wife of Drew McIntyre) have had some GREAT matches as of late. They had a "Last Knockouts Standing Match" that was actually really damn good, and just last week on Impact, had a Ladder Match. They actually get pretty good stories to work with, too.
TNA Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray continues to be the absolute best heel......in all of professional wrestling.
I love the fact that they are only running a total of 3 PPV's. I wish that WWE would cut back, even to 6. It makes the PPV's actually mean something, and it also improves the quality of the TV shows. Impact will have PPV themed Impact's, and while the ratings don't improve, they have big time feels to it, and it makes for some great TV.
Also, I really enjoy the Bound for Glory series. For those who are not aware, basically, they get to 12 guys to be in the Bound for Glory tournament, and they compete against each other for about 3 months, earning points for their wins. You earn so many points for a pinfall win, more points for a submission, and you can also lose points, too. The top 4 compete in a Fatal Four-Way match, with the winner of the tournament getting to compete for the TNA Heavyweight Championship. So, it's a 4-5 month build up, with the winner getting a shot at the Title. It's a really cool concept.
What do I hate?!?! Oh...where to start. Lets just say that the fact that Sting, who is 55 and wrestles in a damn tee-shirt is still booked as the top guy is just awful. When a casual fan (like my father) tunes in, and sees Sting on TV, in a tee-shirt no less, well....he just laughs, and changes the channel. Same goes for Hulk Hogan, brother.
Also, they have managed to make one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and a guy who had an AMAZING WWE career in Kurt Angle, well, just another guy. Such a shame.
-Another quick note on Sting.....with all of the $ cuts that Impact has been doing, and the fact that Sting is always on a year to year contract, that always expires on December 31st...you have to wonder if his days with TNA are limited.
Sting is the only guy who never jumped to WWE. Sure, he's had talks with them before, and it has come close to happening, sadly, Sting going to WWE would mean very little.
Sure, WWE can put together some incredible video packages for Sting, and give him the RVD treatment, and make him into a MAJOR mega star.
To me though, that ship has sailed. Sure, again, Sting would be treated as a major star, but WCW has been closed for 12 years now. That's a long ass time since Sting has been relevant.
He's 55 years old, and wrestles in a tee-shirt. Plus, over the past 4-5 years, he never wrestles over 10-12 minutes, and his ring work is average, at best. He has problems applying the Scorpion Death Lock, too.
The big dream match for years has been Undertaker vs. Sting. This is rumored every year at WrestleMania, but with how Undertaker takes so much pride in his WM matches, and his matches with HBK at WM 25 (the best match in WM history), and 26, as well as HHH at 27 and 28, and his match with CM Punk at WM 29 (the match of the year in '13)..... would Taker want to take the chance of working with Sting, and not being able to live up to his standards?! Sting is an average worker at best, and at this point of his career, cannot even come close to Punk, HBK and HHH.
I do think that Sting will wind up in WWE, or at least join the Hall of Fame at some point, but I really don't see that match with Undertaker happening.
As far as Undertaker's opponent at WM30.....the biggest one ever, I'm still really hoping for that dream match with John Cena, but Brock Lesnar will obviously be in the mix, too.
-Lets talk about Dolph Ziggler.
Somehow, despite the fact that he's now out of the World Heavyweight Championship picture, shockingly, this is a good thing for him, and at this point, the right choice.
The double turn with Del Rio at Payback was incredible. Nobody saw it coming. Ziggler was booked as so sympathetic, and a guy who flat out DESERVED to be the World Heavyweight Champion, and basically, it was stolen from him.
Ziggler's attacks on Del Rio were tremendous, and showed how bad that he wanted to get revenge, and get back what was stolen from him.
To complete a full face turn, you have to get rid of the heels surrounding you. AJ Lee costing Ziggler the WHC at Money in the Bank made sense from a story line standpoint, as was Ziggler dumping AJ Lee on RAW.
AJ's payback on Ziggler was tremendous TV, as was Big E's assault of Ziggler. That was a tremendous beat down, and I loved E's calm demeanor after laying out Ziggler was tremendous, as was AJ's reaction after the match.
Ziggler/E makes so much sense, and it has to happen. Sometimes you have to take a few steps backward to really take a few steps forward, and that is what Ziggler is doing.
Ziggler/E will be a ton of fun. Ziggler is the best seller in WWE, and will make E look like a million bucks.
A quick note about E, and it's not just because he's an IOWA guy....but man, this dude has an AMAZING career ahead of him. He has tons of charisma, and just has "it". He'll make for a tremendous baby face.
There is plenty of time for Ziggler to get back the WHC, and he will...in fact, i'd be shocked if he isn't holding it by the end of the year. Just be patient Ziggler fans, his day is coming, and he's really completing and advancing his character right now by taking out those (AJ and E) who wronged him.
-The Wyatt Family is off to a damn good start. Bray Wyatt just knows his character, and plays it perfectly. He's done a perfect job thus far, and Luke Harper and Eric Rowan have been "casted" perfectly.
I'm still not 100 % sure if this can hold up long term, and I'm with holding judgment until a few months, but so far, so good. Really damn good, in fact.
Obviously, the beat down of R-Truth won't go anywhere, but will Kane join them and become a monster again?! It's not necessary. Kane is so established and tremendous on his own, and WWE needs to let the Wyatt Family establish themselves, and NOT be over shadowed by Kane.
Kane vs. Wyatt is likely on for SummerSlam, and that has a chance to be really solid.
-To close, here is how I see SumerSlam shaping out:
-WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
World Heayvweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. ???? (now that Ziggler is likely out of this picture...who gets it? it WON'T be Sandow, as they are both heels, plus, Sandow will likely be working with Cody Rhodes). I doubt if it's Randy Orton either....but I have no idea what Orton will do in the mean time. Sheamus makes a ton of sense to me. He and Del Rio work well together, and I can definitely see Sheamus being put over at SummerSlam and win the WHC, and then eventually work with Sandow, who had a good program a few months ago...we shall see)
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston
Mark Henry & ?? vs. The Shield (maybe The Uso's).
Obviously, there a lot of matches to be added, but with 4 weeks left, we should see the card start to take shape, and what a damn good one it promises to be.
Thanks for reading everyone! Please leave comments! I would love to hear what are your thoughts for SummerSlam, and even beyond. Also, please give me a follow on Twitter
If I don't talk to you before, I'll be back on Friday night with my Smackdown blog. Take care!
You Tube video time. We go back to November of '01, where The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had another incredible moment together, this time with singing to each other! Definitely a fun moment!