Batista Returns To WWE In 2014: Is He Entering The Royal Rumble?

Merry Christmas Eve guys! I’m Tom Robinson with the Armbar Express!

Nope, this ain’t a fan-made vid. Last night on RAW, WWE let the cat out of the bag (after Batista’s appearance at an upcoming live event was spoiled online) and announced that on January 20th 2014, “The Animal” Batista would be appearing live on RAW just a week before the Royal Rumble!

With Batista’s new film “Guardians Of The Galaxy” on the horizon, this will likely be either one or two appearances for the company or Batista could be set to be heading on the road to Wrestlemania. In any case, this return is purely down to one thing – money. It’s highly doubtful that Batista is not back in the wrestling industry for the long-haul and this’ll be very similar to The Rock’s appearances in recent years.

Definitely a shocker having BATISTA back in the frame at WWE though. And it’s also good to see. Batista’s actually done quite good for himself since he left WWE. He tried his hand at MMA and he’s had a great movie career which has resulted in him making his way to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. So for him to come back is good sign, because it shows that he’s not exactly gone from the wrestling business for good. Even if it is for a couple of appearances, couple of months, however long it is. Batista was a huge star in WWE and he was awesome during his heel run before he left WWE. Entertaining on the mic to say the least.


And being so close to the Royal Rumble, is Batista going to be an entrant in the Royal Rumble? Is he going to face Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Is he going to be at Wrestlemania XXX?

Keep in mind, he’s 44. He’s actually older than The Rock. And being away from wrestling in a couple of years, I dunno how well he can go in the ring and how dedicated with improving his wrestling ability he’ll be with the distractions of his movie career. He’s nowhere near going to be as good as he was before he left. So if he’s going to come back to wrestle, it’ll be interesting to see who he’ll throwdown with.

Batista being in the Royal Rumble would be simple enough and big coup for WWE regarding the Royal Rumble match. With the title shot at the now WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line, for someone like Batista to enter and try to win it would bump up the prestige of the belt dramatically. If he wins the match and faces Orton at Mania, it’d increase even more. I’m not sure if he’d win it like because I don’t know how long he’s got this contract for. It could be until Extreme Rules which means it’d be fine, but Batista winning the title after so many years away would be a huge Wrestlemania moment.

Of course, Batista might NOT be going after the title at all. He might just be getting involved in the Authority. He could be feuding with John Cena, CM Punk or even Brock Lesnar! He could even go after the streak again! I don’t know what he’s here for, but you can bet Batista’s return to WWE is going to be an emphatic one to say the least!


Anyway, that was the Armbar Express! I’m Tom Robinson. Hope you guys have a very merry christmas wherever you are in the world! If I don’t post again before the year is up, have a happy new year as well! I mean, 2013 has been a huge year for me personally. And I’m sure for all of us… 2014 is going to be even greater! 🙂

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Worst Storyline Of The Year

Hey guys! Tom Robinson here. Yeah, made a little mistake in the last post. I stated that the last 3 categories I did were the last awards in the awards. But as it turns out, there’s one more left! The worst storyline of the year!

The nominations are….

Dixie Carter as the heel boss – After AJ Styles berated TNA Owner Dixie Carter for ruining TNA, Dixie lost her cool and made AJ public enemy number one in her eyes. Dixie tried to go to all lengths to make sure AJ never won the TNA World Championship. She put in roadblocks, tried to get Hulk Hogan on her side, offered him incentives and even aligning herself with the Aces And Eights. After AJ won the title and walked out on her, Dixie began the hunt for HER champion that would take TNA to new heights. In a tournament to crown a champion, she found the champion that would join Team Dixie – Magnus.

Ryback the bully – After losing his feud with John Cena, Ryback began taking his anger out on these considerable smaller than him. Taking advantage of his size, he bullied around members of staff, interviewers and wrestlers all over WWE. This led to Ryback joining Paul Heyman in his feud with CM Punk saying that Punk had bullied Heyman and that he hated bullies.

Big Show taking orders from The Authority – With the new regime arriving, Big Show talked out against their actions in screwing Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship. In response, Big Show was made to pay. Firstly, the Authority booked him in a three on one handicap match with The Shield and forced Big Show to do nothing as Bryan was constantly on the receiving of beatings. It turned out that Big Show’s “ironclad” contract which was signed in 2012 by John Laurinaitis had many problems with it that made it not ironclad anymore, which may have been the dumbest attempt at tying up loose ends the WWE has ever done. Big Show eventually became Stephanie McMahon’s hitman and knocked out the likes of Daniel Bryan, The Miz and Dusty Rhodes at her command. At Battleground, Big Show had enough of the bossing around and got himself fired with KOs to Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton.

Bully Ray revealed as Aces and Eights president/Bully Ray’s marriage to Brooke Hogan – At the end of 2012, Austin Aries revealed that Bully Ray had started to date the daughter of Hulk Hogan, Brooke. This peeved off the Hulkster who didn’t trust Bully even after he saved him multiple times. This led to Bully being suspended and eventually to Bully proposing to Brooke. At the wedding in January, Hogan finally accepted Bully as a member of his finally and walked his daughter down the aisle. This led to Bully Ray being named number one contender for the TNA World Title at Lockdown. It was then that the bombshell was dropped that Bully Ray had been the leader of Aces And Eights all along.

Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson feuding in TNA – In June, Quinton “RAMPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGE” Jackson was introduced in TNA as part of TNA’s deal with the MMA organisation Bellator (a MMA company which they constantly plugged over and over again on Impact). Rampage had high ambitions in TNA and even joined up with the Main Event Mafia in the battle against Aces And Eights. What followed up was the August 1st reveal that Tito Ortiz had returned to TNA. Tito’s intention were unknown until the Steel Cage TNA World Title match between Bully Ray and Chris Sabin where Tito took out Rampage to prevent him from helping out Sabin.


Oh god. So many bad storylines. The thing I don’t get is why is the Bully Ray Reveal As Aces And Eights Leader storyline in this? I thought it was awesome. Especially when Bully Ray talked over the plan for Aces And Eights. Here it is below…

The Big Show storyline wasn’t that bad either. Stephanie McMahon was really good in this storyline “encouraging” Big Show to play ball. It was just when Big Show suddenly was overshadowing Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton that it became bad and was becoming too much to bear. I think this award is going to go to the “Ryback The Bully” storyline because it was just shocking having to watch these promos of him bullying people. From a business standpoint, you get why WWE did this. But after Ryback had just been feuding for the WWE Championship and against Chris Jericho, this made him look like a complete joke. Not to mention the execution of these segments were shocking.

Winner: Ryback The Bully


So there you have it. On the 1st of December 2013, I started the first of these posts going through the awards and declaring my votes for each of them. And now on the 20th, all of these posts are done. Every vote of mine has been cast. But it’s up to you guys as to who wins these prestigious or not so prestigious awards like the one I just wrote about! To vote on these awards all you have to do is click on the link below and all of the awards for 2013 are up. Click on the links, cast your votes, and in early 2014 the results are revealed.

Here’s the link to all of my posts for the awards…

Superstar Of The Year

Tag Team Of The Year

Finisher Of The Year

Announcer Of The Year

Match Of The Year

PPV Of The Year

Breakout Star Of The Year

Catchphrase Of The Year

Faction Of The Year

Comeback Of The Year

Headline Of The Year

Female Of The Year

Theme Song Of The Year

Babyface Of The Year/Heel Of The Year

Feud Of The Year

Worst Wrestler Of The Year/Worst Match Of The Year/Worst PPV Of The Year


2013 Awards – My Vote For… The Worst Of The Worst

I do believe these are the last three awards in the awards for 2013. Let’s have them all in one post! To check out the rest of these posts click on the link below!



  • Joseph Park
  • Eva Marie
  • The Great Khali
  • Garrett Bischoff
  • Wes Brisco
  • Ryback


I’m not going to give this award to Joseph Park, because quite honestly all he’s doing is playing a gimmick. As Abyss, he’s a really good wrestler so for me to give him “Worst Wrestler Of The Year” award wouldn’t be right. I’m not going to give it to Garrett either because he is slowly improving and he seems to really want to improve which I kind of like. Also Ryback has been improving himself. Yeah, he’s not exactly the greatest worker in the world but he’s had some pretty good matches with the likes of Chris Jericho and even John himself in the Last Man Standing match. A lot of people forget how good that match was. Despite the wrestling world’s HATRED of Eva Marie, due to the fact that she’s only  months into her wrestling career I’m going to save her the dishonour of “worst wrestler of the year”. And the reason for this is because the worst wrestler of the year award belongs to the UNDISPUTED WORST WRESTLER OF ALL TIME…. THE GREAT KHALI!


  • Mark Henry vs. Ryback (Wrestlemania 29)
  • John Cena vs. The Rock (Wrestlemania 29)
  • Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs 3MB (9/27/13 Smackdown)
  • CM Punk vs. Ryback/Paul Heyman (Hell in a Cell)
  • Divas elimination match (Survivor Series)
  • Big Show vs. Randy Orton (Survivor Series)


You know all these matches are all worthy contenders of being the shittest match of the year… AND NO SURPRISE ALL OF THEM CAME FROM WWE!

The divas match was going to be my pick, but I figured I’d save it the indignity of the award because they tried to redeem themselves the next night and improved it by 0.1%. Not trying to sound sexist or anything, but the fans did not care about the match so there was no-one being let down at Survivor Series by their shambolic display and the horrible botch with Natalya being the sole survivor.

My award goes to the match that shouldn’t have ever being booked – Big Show vs Randy Orton. The fact that Big Show found himself in the main event of a PPV like Survivor Series is ridiculous. Not to mention that he was put up against the life-zapping viper Randy Orton, who is like the worst opponent for Big Show to have. Yeah they had a good match at Extreme Rules, but this was just pure shocking for the fans to endure. 11 minutes of absolute garbage. The WWE should be ashamed that a PPV like that with a lot of eyes and attention towards it had to deal with these two in the main event. It was disgraceful to watch and this match is the worthiest contender of them all for WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR!

Winner: Big Show vs Randy Orton at Survivor Series


  • Genesis
  • Night Of Champions
  • Battleground
  • Bound For Glory
  • Hell In A Cell
  • Survivor Series


I really wish TLC was an option, so I could vote for that as the worst PPV of the year. The reason they’re not on is because take the time from TLC 2012-Survivor Series 2013 into account, because no one could really nominate TLC for the award before they could even see it! There were so many things wrong with that PPV. I might actually do a blog post or something on that PPV, since I can’t vote for it for Worst PPV Of The Year.

Also, why are Genesis and Bound For Glory on this poll? Both of them PPVs were good. Bound For Glory under-performed but on its own it was better than WWE’s two PPVs in October combined. Genesis was a good one as well. A lot of people forget how good that PPV was. Here’s my blog post about it from January. I think the worst PPV from TNA was Lockdown but none of these PPVs are worthy of Worst PPV Of The Year.

I’m going to give it to Night Of Champions because that show was so uneventful. I mean the other WWE PPVs actually had some good matches. That’s why I never voted them…

  • Battleground had the hardcore match between RVD and Alberto Del Rio, and the tag match between Shield and The Rhodes
  • Hell In A Cell had the triple threat tag team match and Orton/Bryan was a slight improvement from previous matches
  • Survivor Series had the Survivor Series match and Roman Reigns being an absolute tank!

Night Of Champions was shocking. Just have a look at this review to see why it was the worst PPV of the year.

Winner: Night Of Champions

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Feud of the Year

Continuing on the awards posts! Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple of days. I’m a bit behind… FEUD OF THE YEAR!



CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman

The Shield vs. Team Hell No

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The Rock vs. CM Punk

AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray

Rhodes Family vs. The Authority


A problem with a lot of these feuds that they were either good but very short or boring and far too long. Punk/Heyman went on for way too long and just began to get boring as Ryback got brought into the fold. Rock vs Punk was an alright feud with some great verbal exchanges between the two, but their matches were awful. Bryan vs Orton was brought down badly by the staleness of their matches and the involvement of the Big Show which quite frankly was uncalled for. AJ vs Bully Ray was ruined by Dixie Carter’s involvement, The Shield and Team Hell-No’s feud was something which was carried on from the year before and although the matches were good, the feud just became all about Daniel Bryan which affected the other members of the feud. The Rhodes Family vs The Authority were really good but it was ended too early and I wish this had continued further.


The feud which I prefered the most and will give the award to was the Rhodes vs Authority but it doesn’t really seem to be a proper Feud of the Year if you know what I mean. There were no real feuds this year that really stood out and these were all very short feuds except for Punk vs Heyman. WWE and TNA seriously need to improve in this area.

Winner: Rhodes Family vs The Shield

2013 Awards – My Vote For… 2013 Babyface/Heel of the Year

Two birds, one stone. Wrestling fans, I’m Tom Robinson. In one post we will be examining the awards for the Babyface of the year and the heel of the year.

To check out my other award posts, click here…

Let’s kick things off with the Babyface of the year…

Babyface Of The Year nominees are….

  • Daniel Bryan
  • John Cena
  • CM Punk
  • Chris Jericho
  • AJ Styles
  • Rob Van Dam

Now in order for me to decide which one of these was the babyface of the year, I have to decide which of these connected with the fans better, which of these got the better reactions and which of these did the best job at evoking the preferred reaction. Same rules apply to the heel of the year as well. And in my opinion, no-one has been more over with the fans than Daniel Bryan and Daniel knew all he had to do to get a reaction was shout “YES!”. As far as I’m concerned, Daniel Bryan wins this by a huge mile.

Winner: Daniel Bryan



Heel Of The Year nominees are….

  • Bully Ray
  • Triple H
  • Dixie Carter
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Paul Heyman
  • Stephanie McMahon

Same rules apply here. Which of these guys did the best job at trying to evoke the reaction they desired and who actually got the best heat out of the six? There are a bunch of great contenders here. Triple H can be a REALLY good heel on his best day, but having just turned heel once more in the summer he still needs to let loose. It feels like he’s holding back by trying to play his corporate role too much. Someone like Paul Heyman knows how to evoke fan reactions. I mean he helped CM Punk A LOT with the means of getting heat. I mean, for someone as popular as CM Punk face or heel, for Heyman to get Punk as much heat as he did was simply incredible. Paul was as incredible a heel this year as he is every other year. For me, Paul Heyman wins.

Winner: Paul Heyman




2013 Awards – My Vote For… Theme Song Of The Year

Evening wrestling fans, my name is Tom Robinson. And THIS is the Armbar Express!


Continuing on with the Armbar Express’ awards posts. My Vote For… Theme Song Of The Year!

The nominations are…

Live In Fear (Wyatt Family)


Evil Ways (AJ Styles)


ChaChaLaLa (Fandango)


Flight of the Valkyries (Daniel Bryan)


Cult of Personality (CM Punk)


Special Ops (The Shield)


AJ Styles’ Evil Ways takes this one for me. Because when AJ started his “lone wolf” gimmick, he had his old “Get Ready To Fly” theme which didn’t really seam right with this new gimmick. He had it for like a couple of months and we were all awaiting a theme song that helped AJ embrace his new gimmick with a cold, dark theme that could send chills down your spine. And when he came out to Evil Ways at Slammiversary, you just knew this theme made all the sense in the world. It was so perfect and a perfect fit for AJ. I mean of all the entrances I’ve seen this year, that entrance into Slammiversary is definitely up there among the best because of that song. There’s no real right or wrong answer of course. It’s just a matter of music tastes and personal preference. But for me, AJ’s theme really stood out.

Winner: AJ Styles

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Female Of The Year

Wrestling fans, Tom Robinson on the scene with another award post for you guys. If you want to read all of the ones I’ve done before, click on this link for all my votes for the awards.

This award is for the female of the year. And the nominations are…


Miss Tessmacher – The gal with the backside that defies the laws of physics had a relatively quiet year in 2013 in comparison to the year before when she won the Knockouts Title. It wasn’t really until she aligned herself with Bully Ray and The Aces And Eights when she really started to get some attention. She would become one of the strongest knockouts in the knockouts division and even fought for the Knockouts Title at Bound For Glory. With the Aces And Eights finished, what awaits Miss Tessmacher in 2014?

AJ Lee – AJ Lee had an incredible 2012 which ended with her cementing Miss Lee’s heel turn at TLC 2012. And as a heel in 2013, AJ seemed to go from strength to strength. AJ’s main aim in 2012 was to finally win the Divas Title from best friend Kaitlyn. It took a lot of manipulation and beatdowns, but at Payback AJ finally accomplished her dream in a stellar match with Kaitlyn. AJ knocked her off again at Money In The Bank and it soon became clear that the only thing AJ wanted in life was her Divas Championship which in her words would “never leave her”. She targeted the Total Divas from the “hit” reality show calling them out on not been true divas and only caring about being reality stars rather than wrestlers. So far she is winning the war against the Total Divas but for how long can the Divas Champion remain champion in 2014?

Natalya – The Neidhart had an on-and-off year in 2013. Having been stuck in a relationship with the Great Khali and going absolutely nowhere, she found herself in the new Divas Reality show “Total Divas”. She found herself one of the victims of AJ Lee’s rant about the reality show. AJ implied that the only reason Natalya got in the WWE in the first place was through her connections as Jim Neidhart’s daughter. Incensed by AJ’s criticism, she was one of many women that targeted her title. After many shortcomings, Natalya now has the opportunity to regain the Divas Title she had not held in 2 years when she faces AJ at TLC for the gold!

Kaitlyn – Kaitlyn started off the year in style, winning the Divas title from Eve Torres in the RAW 20th Anniversary Special. And Kaitlyn was becoming a dominant champion. Defeating the likes of Tamina Snuka and even former best friend AJ Lee, Kaitlyn’s spear proved to be more than a match for any other diva on the roster. That is until AJ got her rematch for the title at Payback, where AJ used mind-games and manipulation to over-power Kaitlyn’s strength and tenacity. With Kaitlyn stuck in the middle of the war between the “True” Divas and the Total Divas, it is unknown where Kaitlyn goes from here.

Taryn Terrell – Knockouts Referee Taryn Terrell started a feud with Gail Kim after she inadvertently cost Gail a Knockouts Title match at Genesis. This feud escalated further when Taryn was the law in order during Gail’s title match against Velvet Sky. After being physical abused by Gail the entire match, Taryn said “Fuck It” and attacked Gail and costing her the title. After being fired as a referee, Taryn was put on the Knockouts roster where she continued her war against Gail Kim. This saw them produce some quality matches together, including an epic Last Knockout Standing Match at Slammiversary and a hard-hitting ladder match on IMPACT.

Gail Kim – Her feud with Taryn Terrell was easily the best feud going in women’s professional wrestling in 2013. Driven by hatred and anger, the two had some incredible matches together which blew all WWE had to offer out of the window. After winning her feud with Taryn will a ladder match victory for a title shot, Gail set her sights on the Knockouts title she was the first to hold. It took her until Bound For Glory to reclaim that title and right now is all dominant as the top diva in Impact Wrestling.


Believe it or not, this was a close call between Gail Kim and AJ Lee. I know every WWE fan and their grandmother would have chosen AJ without doubt, but Gail Kim had a quality year herself which a lot of people seem to forget. She’s had a lot more good matches than AJ and her feud with Taryn literally blew me away. I mean Gail is probably the best actual wrestler in either WWE or TNA at this moment. Having said that, AJ takes this award for two reasons.

  1. AJ Lee proved herself to be an amazing talker on the mic and a terrific actor. These factors actually do matter to me, and Gail pales in comparison to AJ on the mic.
  2. AJ had a lot more pressure on her having to compete and showcase her skills in the big leagues of WWE. With TNA being second to WWE, TNA gave Gail and Taryn the opportunities to go bananas and tear each other apart. AJ had to remain relevant in WWE but still be able to effectively carry a divas division that seemed to be dying and she did that.

As much as I’d love to give Gail the victory, I got to give it to AJ.

Winner: AJ Lee

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Headline Of The Year


Wrestling fans, my name is Tom Robinson. Writer for the Armbar Express, WhatCulture!, and! And we continue with this series of blog posts on the awards with the Headline Of The Year Award!

NOTE: If you want to read all of the ones I’ve done before, click on this link for all my votes for the awards.


Nominations for Headline Of The Year!

Bruno Sammartino goes into the WWE Hall of Fame – Bruno Sammartino is one of the first true wrestling stars remembered by wrestling fans. Bruno had been WWWF champion for a combined 4,000 days and is considered a true wrestling legend. But when he retired, Bruno was publicly critical of the route all of professional wrestling seemed to be taking. He was critical of WWE paying more attention to the entertainment than the wrestling. He wasn’t happy with the WWE, having seen it being overrun with wrestlers using steroids. So imagine the shock after all these years, when it was announced that Bruno Sammartino was being inducted to the WWE Hall Of Fame. Having been one of the greatest wrestlers not have been inducted, Bruno was  finally among wrestling’s legends where he belongs.

Death Of Paul Bearer – This news took the wrestling world by storm. A long time companion to both Kane and The Undertaker, the news of William Moody’s death JUST after Undertaker made his grand return to the WWE was felt by all and had a huge impact on Undertaker’s Wrestlemania program with CM Punk. In fact his death played a huge part in CM Punk getting heat as he approached his battle with the Deadman. It was really touching when Undertaker paid respects to Paul Bearer (before CM Punk interrupted it) and WWE referred to him by his real name along with his in-ring name.

Dolph Ziggler cashes in MITB on RAW – We all wondered when Dolph Ziggler was going to cash in Money In The Bank. The night he won it, Summerslam, Royal Rumble, just before Wrestlemania, at Wrestlemania. We all wondered when WWE were to pull the trigger and they did it in such a spectacular way with an amazing crowd to compensate. After Alberto Del Rio injured his leg, Ziggler arrived on the scene. And the crowd reaction was incredible. Ziggler was in the right place at the right time and it had been long overdue for Ziggler to get his first proper World Title reign.

Randy Orton turns heel and teams up with HHH – Now, if you caught my Summerslam review, you knew how ecstatic I was when this took place. Orton hadn’t been a heel since 2010 and Triple H hadn’t been one since 2006! These two had been away from their strongest elements for some time and it was about time they embraced their dark roots once more. After Daniel Bryan won the WWE Title, Orton cashed in off a Triple H pedigree to Bryan. And whether it was fans enraged with Bryan being screwed out of the title or fans delighted with the heel turns, everyone was buzzing about these turns. Summerslam was a night we won’t soon forget.

John Cena returns early from injury – Now I’m sure a lot of you were looking forward to John Cena having a lengthy absence from WWE to heal from an elbow injury. With Daniel Bryan’s popularity at an all-time high, this “passing of the torch” seemed perfect for Bryan. And from the way Cena was talking, it seemed like he would be away from a long time to heal up. So imagine everyone’s surprise when Cena was announced to return to fight Alberto Del Rio for the World Title at Hell In A Cell. At first, I wasn’t buying it. But boy was I wrong when he turned up at the PPV and won the World Title!

Hulk Hogan leaves TNA – Many TNA fans have cited Hulk Hogan for being the cause of trouble in TNA since he arrived. Having brought in many big names from WWE, WCW and ECW that lacked proper talent and having gotten rid of many wrestlers whose first TV contract had been with TNA. Being a huge ego-maniac, Hogan had a big role in TNA television as well. So with his contract up in October, Hogan decided to not resign and if you believe the rumours is set to return to the WWE.


For me, Bruno takes this one. I mean after all of these years, Bruno being inducted came off as a huge shocker. For years, Bruno never wanted even be associated with the product. So for him to finally take WWE’s offer and for egos and personalities to be dropped just to get this deal through, it seemed so touching when he was inducted to the Hall Of Fame after all of these years.

Winner: Bruno Sammartino goes into the WWE Hall of Fame

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Comeback Of The Year


Keep rollin’,  rollin’, rollin! My name is Tom Robinson and we continue with the Awards list with Comeback Of The Year. The nominees are….

AJ Styles – The Phenomenal One missed the first couple of months of 2013, having taking a hiatus from TNA after losing a match which barred him from having a TNA World Title match until Bound For Glory. He returned in March, not choosing an allegiance of face or heel and just being a lone wolf in the battle between TNA and the Aces And Eights. AJ qualified for the Bound For Glory series after knocking off Kurt Angle and just made it to the final four of the tournament. AJ won the tournament after defeating Austin Aries in the semi-finals and Magnus in a final – securing a date with TNA World Champion Bully Ray at Bound For Glory.  AJ captured the world title at Bound For Glory. After winning the belt, AJ walked out of TNA and took the belt with him around the world.

Goldust – Goldust returned at the 2013 Royal Rumble in a one-time appearance, but was eliminated by his brother Cody. However, the brothers put their differences aside after Cody was fired from WWE in September. Goldust fought WWE Champion Randy Orton in an attempt to get Cody’s job back, but was unsuccessful. Goldust teamed with brother Cody to face The Shield at Battleground with not only their jobs on the line, but their father Dusty’s job on the line. Fighting for the family cause, the brothers defeated The Shield and would beat them again to capture the WWE Tag Team Titles! This was Goldust’s first title reign in more than 10 years!

Rey Mysterio – Rey Mysterio started off the year competing in the 2013 Royal Rumble, but was eliminated easily by Wade Barrett. Despite fighting hard to keep fit, his injury worries never seemed to stop this year. He missed the vast majority of 2013 with injury and it wasn’t until November when he returned to WWE television, helping the forces of light in the battle against The Wyatts and The Real Americans. But even then, he still seemed to be limping. Despite this, Rey has fought through the pain and the master of the 619 is back to stay from the looks of things!

Rob Van Dam – After leaving TNA following his loss of the X-Division Title, Van Dam found himself to be a free agent again after 3 years with TNA. But it wasn’t long until RVD made his long-awaited return to the WWE at Money In The Bank. And RVD showed no signs of slowing down as he showed he was still able to steal the show having some quality matches with the likes of Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio. While he finds himself not with the company right now, he might be set for a return in the near future!

Chris Jerich0 – At the start of the year, Chris Jericho shocked the world as he returned as entrant number 2 in the Royal Rumble. Having not been in action since August, Jericho showed no signs of ring-rust and was able to last 40+ minutes in the Rumble match. Jericho was able to make the final three of the Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber as well. While suffering a undeserved loss to Fandango at Wrestlemania, Jericho got his revenge at Extreme Rules with a mid-air codebreaker for the ballroom dancer. Jericho would leave again at July, but not without giving us some 5 star matches with CM Punk and a stellar match with Rob Van Dam on RAW!

Chris Sabin – In May, Chris Sabin returned to TNA after 24 months of injury rehabilitation. It had been a long road to recovery for Sabin, not to mention that his tag team partner Alex Shelley had left TNA during that period. But Sabin seemed stronger than ever as it took him a month after his return to win the X-Division Champion at Slammiversary. Sabin would cash-in the title for a World Title match with Aces And Eights leader Bully Ray on IMPACT. Defying the odds, Sabin continued the precedent set by Austin Aries the year before by cashing in the title to successfully win the World Title for the first time! While his reign did not last long, Sabin’s hunt for gold didn’t stop as he would go on to capture the X-Division Title again at Bound For Glory. Despite not being X-Division Champion anymore, Sabin has a new-found drive for glory in him and 2013 has been a year Sabin will never forget.


This is a tricky one because each of the six contenders all have legit claims to the award.

  • AJ had been nowhere near the TNA World Title after he lost it 3 YEARS earlier. And out of nowhere, AJ seemed to be one of the biggest things going in wrestling let alone TNA!
  • Goldust coming back actually seemed like a legit comeback after so many years away from active wrestling. I mean not only that but he helped Cody got over and actually won his first title in 10+ years. Great year for him.
  • Rey Mysterio had been battling injury all year and there were many people (including myself) who had been encouraging Rey to call it quits and retire before he got himself REALLY hurt. But Rey was still persistent. Rey was still fighting for his career and now he’s back ready to prove us wrong.
  • Rob Van Dam’s comeback generated a lot of buzz because it had been like 4 years since he was in a WWE ring.
  • Chris Jericho’s comeback was a shocker and pull-off really well.
  • And Chris Sabin had been battling with injuries for 2 years and he came back and won the TNA World Title.RAW_1069_Photo_274_crop_north

So it is tricky to decide. Probably the hardest one to decide in my opinion. I’m going to go with Rey Mysterio purely because of the fact that Rey was still fighting after all of the injuries and the doubters saying he should retire. He’s still determined to keep his career alive and you have to respect that. I think the return itself was a bit flat, I think the story behind it did sway me. I wasn’t actually gonna pick Rey until I thought about his struggle to comeback and I think that will be everyone’s deciding factors.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

2013 Awards – My Vote For… Faction Of The Year

Evening wrestling fans, my name is Tom Robinson. Writer for the Armbar Express, WhatCulture!, and! And we continue with this series of blog posts on the awards with the Faction Of The Year Award. The nominations are…

The Shield – Continuing their dominance that began in 2012, The Shield took down just about everyone there was to take down in WWE. John Cena, CM Punk, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Big Show, Mark Henry. Even legends of the WWE like The Rock and The Undertaker have felt the wrath of The Shield’s justice. Everyone that’s anyone in WWE have recived The Shield’s version of justice and they are still a force to be reckoned with in WWE. Normally stables lose a lot of credibillity after their first loss, but not The Shield. They are still as strong as stable as they’ve always been, even with the competition from the Wyatt Family. Believe In The Shield!

The Authority – Cannot tell you how badly I loved the thought of another heel regime in WWE. When Randy Orton and Triple H  both turned heel at Summerslam and when them two alongside Stephanie and Vince McMahon the next night on RAW stood tall over Daniel Bryan, you could just tell it was the start of something special. Triple H and Stephanie have both been brilliant in this storyline as the power couple running WWE. So much so that Vince McMahon has had barely any influence in the storyline since Summerslam. It’s going great so far and with the “Director Of Operations” Kane and their hounds of justice The Shield, the Authority are in a great shape to go from strength to strength in 2014. Because that’s what’s best for business!

Aces And Eights – The dastardly Aces And Eights continued to raise havoc in TNA in 2013 having won access to TNA at Bound For Glory. While the Aces And Eights suffered from a terrible win/loss record at the start of 2013, the fans were still encapsulated with the storyline and who’s actually running it. Then the storyline hit its peak – when Bully Ray revealed himself as the leader of the group. When that happened, TNA started to make it seem like the group were actually taking over when they took over the website. It was such a great time to be watching TNA from January to June. However, things did turn south. Especially when the likes of DOC left the group and when Tito Ortiz joined the group. This led to the group’s death in November but it was still a great ride in TNA for the majority of The Aces And Eights’ run. Because when you ride with the Aces And Eights, you never walk alone!

The Wyatt Family – The Wyatt Family debuted on RAW in July after a considerable amount of success. After months of hype they began to make an impact in the WWE, taking out Kane and targetting the likes of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. They’ve even went toe-to-toe with The Shield! Led by the vision and incredible mic-skills of Bray Wyatt, the group can really start to shine when we hit 2014!

E.G.O – The trio of Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian formed an alliance to assure that one of them would win the Bound For Glory series. While neither of them won it, Bobby Roode came mighty close and the trio started off a great feud with Kurt Angle upon his return. The three have made us laugh in 2013 and if they’re still running in 2014, who knows what they could accompish?

Main Event Mafia – Here to fill the numbers is the reformed version of the Main Event Mafia! The group was formed by Sting to battle the Aces And Eights. While featuring main-event players like Sting, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, they also had up-and-comer Magnus who has gained an awful lot out of his time there (as a matter of fact, check out my column on Mangus which I wrote up today also!). Oh yeah, and there was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson also!


Who should be faciton of the year. E.G.O. never made that much of an impact to be considered a contender in my opinion. The Main Event Mafia quite honestly was a load of dogs’ bollocks. The only member of that group that benefitted from it was the guy who had never been a TNA World Champion when he joined, Magnus. It seemed like a horrible return that shouldn’t have even happened. The Wyatt Family and The Authority were only introduced in the Summer and haven’t had time to establish themselves much yet. Which leaves us to the Aces And Eights and The Shield!

Now I was one of the Aces And Eights’ biggest defenders. I loved them in the first 6 months of 2013 and it really was a storyline which was really taking shape. However, it suffered such a terrible run from like July or so that it kind felt like an Old Yeller situation. It just needed to be ended sooner rather than later, and it should have ended at Bound For Glory but it never. I just think The Shield have been booked so well by WWE over the last year that they deserve to win this 10 times more than any of the other groups.

Winner: The Shield