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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Ten Count 1.05.14: The Top 10 WWE Stars of 2013
Posted by Evan Daniels on 01.05.2014

Welcome back to the Ten Count. As always, thank you for reading last week's column. And here we go…

So People Are Saying NXT = WWE:

Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn (2-Out-3 Falls Match) by BuuPetit

First of all….any match I need to watch on Hulu Plus doesn't count in my book. In all seriousness, I never saw the match until everyone basically said to watch it. I did, it was great probably a top ten match if you want to include it on a WWE Top 10 list. They need to call up Sami Zayn at some point soon, probably after WrestleMania.

How About Another CM Punk Match:

This was a very, very good match and it goes to show that a good match with a hot crowd can seem like it is a great match. I don't think it is quite a top ten match but very good nonetheless.


A lot of people in the comments were all about putting Punk/Lesnar as the #1 match of the year and not Bryan/Cena. I would like to say that I read all the comments and while most of them had some very good points I still respectfully disagree.

The Bryan/Cena match makes more sense to me than Punk/Lesnar. The structure of the Punk/Lesnar match should have been more about Punk getting his ass kicked and finding a way to win. Think back to the Cena/Lesnar match and I think Punk got in more offense than Cena did. To me, that just didn't make a lot of sense while the Bryan/Cena match was the exact right story to bring you in to the match.

Punk/Lesnar was great (that's why it was #3) but Cena/Bryan was the stuff of legends and that's why it is MY #1 match.

Last thought, isn't it funny that John Cena was in the #1 and #2 match of the year. Interesting, huh?


This Is About to Make Me Look Really Bad: Loved the Taker-Punk match. For whatever reason it seemed more "real" than his match with Lesnar. Maybe because Punk seemed to have too much offense against Lesnar and wouldnt stay down where his match against Taker had a better, more realistic flow to it. Great intensity, crowd was really into it, and lots of false finishes. BTW, am I the only one who thought Punk looked like Aaron Paul from "Breaking Bad" at that point?

MY THOUGHT: So, I never saw "Breaking Bad". Yeah, I'm that guy. Can anybody help me with this question?

Everybody Loves to Riot: If WWE fails to make Cody Rhodes a main event star in 2014, we riot.

MY THOUGHT: I think Cody is going to win Money in the Bank this year. Problem is, I don't see him cashing it and winning but he'll get a championship match at least. He won't be in "main events" that often for the time being but the occasional one will be there.

Technical Muscleheads List: For the technical muscleheads list, if we were just talking bodybuilder physiques I would definitely include Rick Martel, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman and Randy Orton. If size is a requirement id go with Paul Orndorff, John Cena, HHH, Jesse Ventura, Brock Lesnar, Sting, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner (mullet era), Superstar Billy Graham and Chris Masters

MY THOUGHT: This is such a tough topic. I would think that the only people that would be on this list are legitimate super heavyweights. I like the idea of Lesnar and Steiner but I don't think the rest qualify. You would probably need to look at the indies and Japan for a real list. Any takers? (I think Samoa Joe is on this list as well)

And Finally, This Guy's Current Knowledge….Not So Good: Evan, you won a fan today. A lot of people would get defensive when somebody disagrees and you take it all in stride, and have the rare ability to be honest and laugh at yourself. I'm sold. And why I have no opinion this week is the same reason I know the old school Ricky Steamboat. I've found wrestling the last 10 years to be largely unwatchable and use 411 to keep up and see when there's something worth checking out...but since I do love wrestling, I'm a Youtube devotee, finding old school stuff. So when it comes to 2013, your knowledge blows me right out of the water

MY THOUGHT: If my current knowledge blows yours out of the water you are in BIG trouble. Also, I now have singles, and singles of fans! Thanks for reading.


So I Don't Understand When A Team Clinches A Playoff Berth (I'm A Browns Fan) :

"I wouldn't want to face either the Panthers or Ravens in the playoffs (if either of them make it)"

a) the Panthers clinched a playoff spot.
b) why are you scared of a team who just lost 41-7 to New England's shady defense (this coming from a Pats fan)

CORRECTION: Yep, the Panthers made it and got a bye. The Ravens, not so much. What an egg they laid.

I Thought I Saw Damon Wayans Performing At WrestleMania:

I hate to be the nitpicking pain in the ass, but the band is called Living Colour, without the In. Anyway, very nice list.

CORRECTION: You are not nitpicking, that's a valid correction. I did say "In Living Colour" which is basically being wrong twice. As an aside, to show how politically correct this country is and how it is taking all the fun out of life. Imagine "In Living Color" being on network TV right now. It would never make it as the censors would tear it apart. If it was on HBO then I am ALL IN for it. Also, a quick story we used to watch the show in school when there was a substitute teacher in my 7th and 8th grade choir class. Think about that for a moment, watching "In Living Color" in school and at 12-14 years old. It is amazing how far our culture has fallen as that teacher would probably be fired in 2013. *comes off soapbox*

Does "Background" Follow "SummerFest"?

CORRECTION: I found this one….The Rhodes Brothers faced The Shield at BATTLEground. My bad.

I will start this week with an email I received from a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan:

Always look forward to your shout-out to the Browns every column. We suck, we know it, but there's always next year! Been following them since 1966 (oh yes, I am a true glutton for punishment) and have ALWAYS supported them. Anyway, thought you might like to see a picture of my pickup tailgate and my car tag. Actually, I switched my tags so my Browns1 tag is indeed on the pickup now. Anyway, hang in there. One of these years our dedication will be rewarded (at least I keep telling myself that). Go Browns!

Ladies and Gentlemen, that is the life of a Browns fan. It really is like being an Indians fan or a Cavs fan. We all hope our dedication will be rewarded, maybe someday they will.

Now back to the issue of the week, the firing of Rob Chudzinski. For the life of me, I don't understand this move at all. The team traded their #1 RB, went through 3 QBs, and lost 12 games but still had 5 pro bowlers and was very close in a number of games. They were also a very, very good defense and had decent special teams. This just reeks of panic to me and the players were not happy about it at all. The players don't believe in the ownership and management team. They will buy in to the new head coach but this was a really bad move. The media in Cleveland ripped the management apart asking if "The Three Stooges" were running the team, that's rough (if not true). The team better find a "star" coach (not superstar, but star) to make sure they don't look worse than they already do. I'll have more on the upcoming draft next week but the team is the laughingstock of the NFL and that says a lot.


  • That Manning pass seemed like a backwards pass to me so he should have lost the yardage record. The NFL wasn't taking that away though.
  • For all the parity talk, a team led by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have the 1st round byes in the AFC. This is the 2nd year in a row and 3rd time in the last 10 years. Funny thing is when they don't have the 1 and 2 seed they usually have 1 and 3.
  • How about the choking dog performance by the Ravens, Dolphins, and Chargers? Yes, I know the Chargers won but well there was that penalty.
  • Finally here are my picks ATS and o/u for this weekend. Whatever you do, go the opposite way as I can't win this year in the National Football League.
  • KC/INDY, take KC +2.5 (ML is good as well) and under 47
  • NO/PHI, take PHI -2.5 and under 54
  • SD/CIN, take CIN -7 and under 47
  • SF/GB, take GB +3 (I think they might lose though) and over 48

    Did Daniel Bryan actually turn heel this week? My first thought is no and I believe 1 of 2 things is going to happen:

  • The Wyatt Family helps Daniel Bryan win the Royal Rumble and go on to help him make "The Authority's" life a living hell. After all as Jim Ross said earlier this week "What have the Wyatt's done to be bad guys? Maybe they are just creepy but cool". I can see Bryan turning the Wyatt Family good guys not Bryan turning bad…..or:

  • Daniel Bryan has lost his mind and is turning to a powerful figure for guidance and support. Think of it like Stockholm syndrome when you are a hostage and instead of fighting it you become like your captors. The Authority and the Wyatt's have drove him to this and his anger and deep pain is too much to handle no matter how much the fans are cheering.

    My thought is that it will be more like bullet 1 than bullet 2. Daniel Bryan needed help to fight HHH and Orton so he is using the Wyatt's for that. The other thing this does is throw WrestleMania thoughts into some disarray. I'll have more on that next week.

    (Quick update from today: Apparently The Undertaker wants to face Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. If that is really the case this heel turn makes TOTAL sense. WWE doesn't believe Daniel Bryan is big enough to pose a real threat to Taker but with the Wyatt Family in tow the match is more believable. More on this next week as well.)

     photo TenCount_zps6b46e6e2.png

    Here are the Ground Rules
  • To be considered, you had to perform in WWE (not NXT) during 2013
  • Includes Superstars, Divas, Managers, and Valets

    AND NOW *The Top 10 WWE Personalities of 2013 *

    #10. {Kane}

  • The current Director of Operations for "The Authority" had a stellar 1st half of 2013. The work that he did with Daniel Bryan as part of Team Hell No was outstanding. The matches that they had with The Rhoades Scholars and then The Shield were some of the best tag team and 6-man matches in WWE in years. On top of that, Kane got the opportunity to show off his comedic side with all the anger management stuff. I don't know how his time as the DO is going to end (is he injured?) but if he brings the same great in ring work and outside promos to this role his 2014 might be even better than 2013.

    #9. {Paul Heyman}

    This was a tough placement for me as there is a strong argument that can be made that Heyman could be all the way up at least at #6. Heyman was at ringside during the main event at Royal Rumble and the Elimination Chamber. He had a major role at WrestleMania and SummerSlam. He was part of Hell in a Cell and took a huge ass kicking from CM Punk. On top of that, his promos were outstanding and were one of the biggest highlights of any show he was on. Heyman kept our attention and even though the new Paul Heyman guys, Curtis Axel and Ryback, didn't quite work out 2013 was the best year Heyman has had in WWE.

    #8. {AJ Lee}

    AJ Lee started off her year as the valet for Dolph Ziggler and accompanied him to the ring the night he won the World Heavyweight Championship. Dolph's concussion derailed their storyline but it moved AJ onto bigger and better things within the Diva's division. She orchestrated a scheme against her former best friend and Chickbusters partner Kaitlyn. This lead to AJ challenges her for the diva's championship and winning it. AJ celebrated this win by getting the dated tattooed on her neck. She has had some very good matches with Natalya and Brie Bella but the highlight of the year was her "pipe bombshell" promo. You could tell there was a good amount of CM Punk influence in there and I am starting to think that AJ might be the Diva's Champion all the way through 2014 to give her the same run as Punk had in 2012.

    #7. {Mark Henry}

    I really enjoyed Mark Henry's work this year even though he was not on TV for much of the year. His matches with John Cena were very, very good but it was more about 1 night in June. He gave one of the most emotional speeches I have ever seen on Raw. The speech was all a rouse to get John Cena to give him a WWE Championship match. Henry ended up losing that match and then had a number of matches against The Shield that were also quite good. He injured his hamstring and came back about a month later with a baldhead and a more menacing look. Henry defeated Ryback and at Survivor Series and continued his roll through December. It looks like 2014 is shaping up to start with a brief feud with Brock Lesnar so that's a good start.

    #6. {Cody Rhodes}

    Cody Rhodes had the best year of his career. I think back to January and he was all about his mustache and was part of the Rhodes Scholars with Damien Sandow. They went on to be the WWE Tag Team Champs and had a great series of matches with Team Hell No. Rhodes and Sandow went their separate ways after Sandow won the "money in the bank" briefcase. Rhodes was a thorn in Sandow's side even throwing the briefcase into a river. Cody's year would only get better after he questioned "The Authority" and was forced to put his career on the line vs. Randy Orton in a match he lost. In the following weeks, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes showed up to try to get Cody his job back. Ultimately, Cody and his brother Goldust were put in a match against "The Shield" for their careers which they won and the tag team titles the next night. I don't know what 2014 will bring but one of the commenters said, "If Cody is not a main event guy we riot". I think the people are behind him at this point.

    #5. {Randy Orton}

    I think there is a big line between the bottom 5 and the top 5 in my mind. The 5 people that follow had years that were way ahead of the others. Randy Orton begins the top 5 due to his Money in the Bank win and subsequent cash in at SummerSlam. We all know what happened next….Orton became WWE Champion and face of WWE, then beat Daniel Bryan in a series of matches, then became WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I think this year was more about bringing him back to the main event scene and getting a legitimate bad guy back in the WWE. Orton is doing exactly what he is supposed to do and that is making us not like him.

    #4. {The Shield}

    These guys have a freaking phenomenal year with so much awesomeness it is hard to even type about. I really thought about moving them into the #1 or #2 spot on the list but I just couldn't do it without a true main event run. The other thing to think about is these guys have only been on the main roster for a little over a year. In that little over a year, they delivered some of the greatest matches of the year against some of the biggest stars in the business. That's the real story of Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose. They were in there with the big dogs and everyone believed they belonged. I mean everyone believed. It looks like a breakup is on the way and if 1 or 2 or all 3 of them go on to be main event stars The Shield might be viewed as one of the greatest groups in the history of the WWE.

    #3. {John Cena}

    John Cena had one of his best years in terms of high quality matches. His matches with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were outstanding. The matches against Randy Orton and The Rock were quite good. On top of all of that, his mic work was really, really good. I enjoyed the fact that his promos became a little more serious over the year and a little less sophomoric. Cena is the true face of WWE in so many ways and has been for the past 8 years which is a long, long time. I am really looking forward to 2014 for Cena as it has the feel of a year that he might be going in another direction. He might not go full heel (he won't be for a long time, sorry folks) but his character might go a little more aggressive to combat "The Authority" and that will be a welcome change.

    #2. {CM Punk}

    This seems like forever ago but CM Punk started the year as the WWE Champion. It really, really does seem like forever. Punk actually did a lot more losing this year than winning. He lost at Royal Rumble, then WrestleMania, then SummerSlam. In between he had some very good matches with Cena, Chris Jericho, and The Shield. He also had a decent feud with Paul Heyman and his "guys". While the matches might not have been very good the promos leading up to them were outstanding. Punk delivered virtually every week and was a highlight on the shows. I wonder where WWE is going with him next as it seems like a match with HHH is in the offering but how does WWE get there? Punk seems like he is in the middle right now, too popular to not be in a big match but not popular enough to be back in the main event.

    #1. {Daniel Bryan}

    Ah yes, Daniel Bryan and his outstanding 2013. Oh wait, I mean….YES! YES! YES! He won the Slammy for Superstar of the Year, which was a big surprise to me as I thought the vote would be rigged. He had that wonderful night in Seattle on Raw when the crowd took over the Ascension Ceremony by chanting for Daniel Bryan. He had all those great matches with John Cena and Randy Orton. He had great matches as part of Team Hell No against The Rhodes Scholars and The Shield. On top of all of that, he is marrying a Bella. Even better than that, he is marrying the WAYYYYYY hotter one. Daniel Bryan had one of the best years in a long time in terms of great matches and crowd reactions all across the country and world. I don't know where 2014 is going to go but I am excited to watch as it unfolds.

    So there you have it, the Top 10 WWE Personalities of 2013! What is your opinion?

    Tweet Me: @EvanDaniels411
    Email Me: evan.daniels411@gmail.com
    Make Fun of Me in the Comments Section: Keep Scrolling

    After the "turn" of Daniel Bryan, I thought it would be interesting to look at the Top 10 Heel Turns of All Time. It seems like there will probably be a good amount of debate about this list.

    Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.


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