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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The 411 Wrestling Year-End Awards 1.08.14: Part Four – The Worst Major Shows/PPVs of 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 01.08.2014

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Welcome back to the Wrestling Top 5, year-end awards edition! What we are going to is take a topic, and all the writers here on 411 will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, and the end, based on where all of these topics rank on people's list, we will create an overall Top 5 list. It looks a little like this…

1st - 5
2nd - 4
3rd - 3
4th - 2
5th - 1

It's similar to how we do the WOTW voting. At the end we tally the scores and get our overall top 5! It's highly non-official and final, like WWE's old power rankings. From some of the best and worst, the 411 staff is ready to break down the awards! Thanks for joining us, and lets get down to work.

And now…

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The Worst Major Show/PPV of 2013


5. WWE Survivor Series
4. WWE Payback
3. WWE Elimination Chamber
2. WWE Night of Champions

1. WWE Battleground - Truth be told, I saw ZERO pay-per-view events from TNA Impact Wrestling. To be fair, I can't include any of them. If I had bothered to, trust me - all of those events would be listed under pure principle. Same with Ring of Honor or other companies. Didn't see them. Can't rightfully judge. In the end, Battleground gets the number slot for two main reasons. First, the buy rate was predictably low and right where I thought it would be at - near the bottom in WWE history of PPV numbers. Relevant or not, money is what keeps a business running. It is important here. Secondly, the company did not even try to make fans care. That is the worst. If you give full effort and it falls flat, so be it. Just throwing out a few matches and a non-finish for $50 is just ridiculous. For some reason, deep down, it almost felt like WWE purposely tanked this show just to make Heck on a Deck look MUCH better three weeks later.

Larry Csonka

5. WrestleMania 29
4. EVOLVE 19
3. TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown
2. WWE Night of Champions

1. WWE Battleground - This was simply put a bad show from WWE. The first four matches were under whelming, but in a way did help the setup for the Rhodes Family victory, which was a great piece of business overall and the real highlight of the show. Unfortunately this show felt like Night of Champions, a show they had to put on, used as yet another $50 bridge to get to HIAC. And trust me, I get that this is going towards HIAC and a definitive win for one man, but we were looking at diminishing returns. How many people have they upset and or disappointed since Summerslam? Ok, that was MITB, but then Bryan wins and gets the title taken from him at NOC, and people actually went after refunds. So then you do this finish, and according to live reports, the crowd was chanting bullshit as the PPV ended. I get that the company has a plan, but I am not convinced that this is what is, "best for business." If the goal was to upset and or alienate their paying customers, then they did a hell of a job. It is amazing that the same company that booked the great Rhodes Family angle booked the finish to this PPV. Such a shame.

Mike Hammerlock

5. TNA Slammiversary
4. WWE Survivor Series
3. WWE WrestleMania XXIX
2. TNA Final Resolution

1. TNA Bound For Glory - Unfortunately there were lots of worthy candidates this year. You had the worst marquee match at Survivor Series. WrestleMania was a paint-by-numbers affair. You had TNA Slammiversary, which technically wasn't a terrible show, but it was addled by the systemic problems in TNA (six months later nothing from that night matters). Final Resolution felt like an admission of "Sorry, this is all we've got." Yet Bound for Glory topped them all. First off, Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle get a pass here. They put on a display of what TNA should aspire to be and has been at points in its past. Everything else, for me, fell flat, but let me focus on the main event.

I like AJ Styles. Given his body of work, I don't see how anyone couldn't, but TNA completely botched this. A week after winning the BFG series finale (which was easily TNA's best night of the year), AJ cut a great promo about how TNA pushed aside the wrestlers who built the company in favor of "MMA stars and guys who needed a two-year paid vacation." He was right. TNA ate its own. Then Dixie Carter came out and called AJ "the Marginal one," pointing out it's been a while since anyone saw the five-star AJ Styles. Harsh stuff. It all seemed to be setting up a statement match in which TNA would exorcise its demons and AJ would bring his phenomenal side out to play.

Skip forward now to BFG. AJ is fighting Bully Ray, who is not an example of a single one of the problems AJ listed with TNA. In fact, AJ isn't fighting for much of anything other than himself. Nothing more than a belt is on the line. AJ isn't bringing back guys who were unfairly cut, or fighting for a more sympathetic authority figure to take control of TNA, or insisting that if he wins the title he plans to defend it inside six-sided ring. Hulk Hogan, who was the architect of TNA's wayward direction, walked away as a face who was backing AJ rather than being put in a position to answer for his sins. TNA recognizes it's got soul-deep problems and its response is a cookie-cutter face vs. heel match? Then AJ and Bully Ray go out and put on a fairly forgettable show. Nothing wrong with it, nothing terribly right with it, certainly nowhere near five-star quality. So it turns out Dixie was right too. BFG … BFD.

Mike Chin

5. WWE Night of Champions
4. TNA One Night Only: Hardcore Justice 2
3. TNA One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling
2. TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown

1. WWE Battleground - I was tempted to give this one to TNA for any given one of the One Night Only shows, or the whole franchise, for which I liked the concept but the execution was abysmal. Instead, though, I have to give Battleground the lowest rank for sheer disappointment to the fans and sheer audacity on the part of the WWE bookers. Yes, the show features Cody Rhodes and Goldust beating The Shield in what's actually one of my top matches of the year. But the rest of the broadcast was more or less Raw-caliber entertainment, capped with an absolute clusterfuck of a main event.

WWE could have gone all the way with Daniel Bryan at any of four PPVs this summer or fall. Battleground was the point at which I stopped trusting that they ever would let D-Bry run with the ball (at least in 2013) and thus lost interest in buying a PPV for the foreseeable future. To not even give Orton a proper win, and simply string the audience along felt downright underhanded and secured this event's spot as the worst of 2013.

James Wright

5. WrestleMania XXIX
4. TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown
3. TNA Slammiversary
2. WWE Survivor Series

1. WWE Battleground - This event was great! If you wanted an event whose whole purpose was to promote your tag team division by having the match for those titles being the best thing on the card by a long way. Surely that can be the only explanation for ending a title match, after having already ended successive PPVs in controversy so much as to have the title held in abeyance before this event, in a way where both competitors to decide the new champion are knocked out by someone not even in the match, and for that to then be the end of the event.

That wouldn't be such a bad thing if this was like the TNA specials that are going on right now, being slightly fancier free versions of the normal show, but people actually paid for that shit! If there is ever a counter to the consistent rants of Watry it is that in paying for such things you can be being completely screwed (that doesn't necessarily imply that you should download the events by illegal means, but it does heavily promote the idea of going to a pub or bar to watch the shows at a greatly reduced price and with a drink, you just have to find some friends to go with first). Or maybe if the under-card had anything apart from the tag match really going for it, but instead it was filled with either matches with massively obvious outcomes, or ones that were completely uninteresting.

This was basically a slightly fancy addition of Raw that you had to pay extraordinary amounts of money for. Now that Raw is three hours, as well as starting to include more wrestling and impressive matches, it is becoming harder to justify why anyone should shell out for such efforts on PPV, especially since most of the matches seem to be given the same amount of advertising and build, and others aren't even advertised. However out of this emerging situation, Battleground was certainly the worst example of this, for all the shenanigans that TNA has pulled this year in their booking and talent pool, at least for half of the stuff they provided we were able to watch it for free.

Paul Lapointe

5. Evolve 19
4. WrestleMania 29
3. WWE Survivor Series
2. TNA Slammiversary

1. WWE Battleground - I would lump in NOC as well but I consider it and Battleground here to be one and same show for the most part. Placeholder does not even begin to explain the poor booking, planning and execution of ALOT of what the WWE brought to the table en route to HIAC and that PPV and SS for me stunk it on MANY levels, sometimes too MANY like the amount of PPV's WWE cranks out a year. For one its a PPV with a generic name that has had no history and is mired in between being referred to as a 50 dollar episode of MNR or the hey we got ONE match for ya and it involves the Shield (surprised!) give us your money cash grab that it really is by most IWC'ers.

I mean RVD was already known to be leaving so he was going down no suspense there for his bid for the World Title. The Cesaro swing was cool but it was the whole match for the Real American's and it would be repeated the next night on Raw anyhow. A blah Diva's match followed, THE ONLY saving grace for the show then happened in the Brotherhood Vs The Shield. Hot crowd finally and boom we get a glorified Kofi squash, a blownup Ryback match working with Punk in serviceable but forgettable bout and then Vince Russo booked the main event.

Battleground indeed WWE as it was a battle for you to win back customers after this fiasco and convincing people that you screwed the pooch was a war of attrition one of which I hope in the New Year come Rumble time you can rectify.

Ryan Byers

4. WWE Night of Champions
3. WWE Hell in a Cell
2. WWE Survivor Series

1. WWE Battleground - What can I say about the negative aspects of this show that haven't already been said? Aside from the Tag Team Title match, none of the bouts stuck out as anything special, and I've had bowel movements that were more satisfying than the finish to the main event. Really, what this pay per view did more than anything else was underscore just how badly having a three hour episode of Monday Night Raw every week can hurt the perceived quality of a b-level pay per view show. We get plenty of good wrestling matches on television each and every single week, they feature the company's biggest stars, AND you don't have to drop damn near $60.00 in order to see them. The only real thing that makes a low level PPV stand out these days is the fact that you'll get a WWE Title match at the end of the evening, but even that couldn't help Battleground because a) the championship has been remarkably devalued, particularly when you remember how, just earlier this year, it was a big enough deal that THE ROCK held it and b) see my prior comment about the unsatisfying finish. Battleground was a dull, nothing happening show, and, unfortunately, we're probably only going to see more like it unless the company restructures its promotional model.

Jack McGee

5. TNA Knockouts Knockdown
4. WWE Night of Champions
3. EVOLVE 19
2. WWE Battleground

1. WrestleMania 29 - In 2013 there was a lot of good, but along with that there is a lot of bad; you have to balance the Karmic scales. When thinking about "major shows" from 2013, I go right to WrestleMania 29, and not in a good way. This was a one-match show (which was Punk vs. Taker) and the rest, well the rest was forgettable. The first five matches felt as if I was watching any garden-variety edition of Raw, just in front of 80,000 or so people. If I hadn't paid for it, I certainly would have changed the channel. Triple H vs. Lesnar was an extreme disappointment and then Rock vs. Cena, the second time in a lifetime, also under delivered and felt like an above average TV main event. Although maybe I should say below average TV main event following the great TV matches we had in 2013. WrestleMania 29 is the most expensive show of the year, and for my money, I expect something more than the average Raw could provide me. Punk and Undertaker was spectacular, the story telling done by Punk, Taker and Heyman all worked to perfection, and is the one truly memorable thing from the show. But unfortunately I remember WrestleMania 29 more for the lack of care than the good, and that is a shame.

J. Nguyen

5. WWE Night of Champions
3. WWE Survivor Series
2. TNA Slammiversary

1. WWE Battleground - The WWE has taken a lot of the WWE Universe's money and given very sub-par pay per views. None so bad as Battleground. What we got was a show full of matches that could have been on Monday Night Raw, and a main event finish that was the equivalent of a big middle finger to the audience. The audience that spent money on this. While we did get one of the WWE's best matches this year, that is not enough to justify giving us a terrible product at a premium price.

Daniel Wilcox

5. WWE Battleground
4. TNA Bound for Glory
3. TNA Slammiversary
2. TNA Lockdown

1. WWE Night of Champions - Battleground is going to win this, but people are focusing too much on the non-finish. That show had an entertaining Hardcore bout between Rob Van Dam and Alberto del Rio, an entertaining and at the time rare Bray Wyatt match as well as the awesome tag match with Shield and Cody and Goldust. Night of Champions on the other hand, opened with a fifteen minute Curtis Axel match. Talking about kicking off the show the wrong way. Oh and by the way, that was the first of two fifteen minute Curtis Axel matches of the night! That's 30 minutes of Curtis Axel! Outside of that we had a DQ finish in the World Championship match, a Divas match, the Shield defending against the Prime Time Players in a terribly predictable bout, Miz and Fandango concluding their feud that started at Summerslam, Ambrose beating Ziggler in a disappointingly bland US Championship match and Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Championship in the main event. Of course, that decision was reversed the following night so that was a waste of however much money viewers threw down on this show. It's the same complaint regarding the non-main event that applies to Battleground, except this show has a much poorer undercard. 30 minutes of Curtis Axel!

Jarrod Atkinson

5. Any ROH iPPV with Technical Issues
4. WrestleMania 29
3. TNA Slammiversary XI
2. WWE Night of Champions

1. WWE Battleground- I wonder how many people gave up buying PPVs because of the Daniel Bryan/Authority storyline. In an attempt to stretch out the storyline one more month, we get a no contest BS ending to the main event between Bryan and Randy Orton.

Why in the bloody blue hell did we have to get Big Show involved in the main event? How many times can you burn someone before they stop coming back? The rest of the card was also very disappointing. The feel good moment of the Rhodes brothers winning the tag titles was very predictable and was probably an attempt to balance the card so people wouldn't be pissed that they dropped $50 on a PPV that ended with no champion. Someone needs to tell Vince and Triple H that there's nothing wrong with playing the long game in a storyline, but you need to have a payoff eventually.

TJ Hawke

5. House of Hardcore II
4. DGUSA Enter the Dragon
3. WWE Battleground
2. TNA Bound for Glory

1. Evolve 19 - This show was the very definition of "blowing it." Evolve pretty much had lost all credibility with fans after the disaster that was Evolve 10. Despite producing some very good shows from Evolve 12 to Evolve 18, fans largely stopped paying them much attention. Evolve 19 was the chance for Evolve to redeem itself. It was during WrestleMania weekend. It was the first show of the first ever WrestleCon. It would be their biggest live attendance and the largest number of buys in quite some time (if not ever). And Evolve completely blew it.

The show started incredibly late because of iPPV issues. Once the iPPV got started, a lot of people still had connection issues throughout the show. Many people asked for refunds and then had to deal with WWN's poor customer service that did not have a clear policy in place regarding refunds.

On top of the technical errors, the show was a creative disaster. Evolve ran a show-long tournament to crown their first champion. The tournament featured an under whelming four way (that failed to broadcast completely), AR Fox and Jon Davis ending in a DQ angle (where Davis purposely got DQed), and Chuck Taylor and Sami Callihan doing a ridiculous injury angle match (Sami "tripped" getting into the ring).*

*Sami worked the opener as a heel, looked like a valiant babyface after the match with Taylor, and then switched back to being a heel for the finals with Fox. Vince Russo-level booking.

AR Fox eventually won the title. The crowd long gave up on the show by that point. The show had been a failure. Despite running solid to good shows ever since WrestleMania, the damage Evolve did to itself that weekend has tarnished the brand to a point where I wonder if they can ever return to the years (2010-2011) when they still had some goodwill. Evolve 19 may have been their last chance to regain it.

AND 411's Worst Major Shows/PPVs of 2013…

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5. WWE WrestleMania 29 – 14pts.

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4. WWE Survivor Series – 16pts.

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3. TNA Slammiversary - 18pts.

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2. WWE Night of Champions – 23pts.

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1. WWE Battleground – 53pts.


  • The Biggest Disappointments of The Year: CHIKARA's Disappearing Act – 44pts
  • The Best Promo of The Year: Mark Henry Fakes His Retirement – 38pts
  • The Best Tag Team of The Year: The Shield – 87 pts
  • The Worst PPV/Major Show of The Year: WWE Battleground – 53pts
  • The Best Female of The Year: TO BE DETERMINED (January 9th)
  • The Best PPV/Major Show of The Year: TO BE DETERMINED (January 10th)
  • The Best Feud of The Year: TO BE DETERMINED (January 13th)
  • The Best Match of The Year: TO BE DETERMINED (January 14th)
  • The Best Wrestler of The Year: TO BE DETERMINED (January 15th)


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