Wrestling fans, my name is Tom Robinson. I know its been a while since I last posted. Been real busy with uni, WhatCulture and my sports blog, The Courtside Teesside (it’s actually a really good blog if you want to find out a little bit more about sports in the UK). But another thing I’ve just began with is being a columnist from NoDQ.com! Here was my latest article for NoDQ at this link. I think in order to celebrate the start of a beautiful relationship between myself and NoDQ I figured, I’d start uploading Armbar Express posts which I give my personal opinion as to who should win the big awards at the 2013 NoDQ.com Awards!
If you’ve read my blog along time, you may remember that I started to do this last year but wasn’t able to keep it up. Honestly, I could have the same problem here but hopefully not since the workload in uni is starting to to get less intense. So lets get to it!
First of all, the awards for the Superstar of the Year!
John Cena – In the year of retribution for the Cenation Leader, John was able to pull out a Royal Rumble victory at the start! This led to him getting much-needed victories over CM Punk on RAW and The Rock at Wrestlemania 29, avenging his loss the year before to him and regaining the WWE Championship. After defeating the likes of Ryback and Mark Henry, Cena dropped the belt to Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. However, he walked out of that match with a injury which kept him out of action for several months. When he returned, he would win the World Heavyweight Championship and is now set for a title unification match with WWE Champion Randy Orton at TLC. Notable Matches: vs CM Punk on RAW, vs Ryback at Extreme Rules, vs Daniel Bryan at Summerslam.
Daniel Bryan – Daniel started 2013 as one half of the tag team champions with Kane and the two continued their title reign all the way until April, when they lost the belts to The Shield. Blaming himself for the loss, Daniel ended up accusing himself of being the weak link and began a drive to prove himself in the WWE. Daniel’s new found drive led to him being a part of the team that gave The Shield their first loss on SmackDown! and defeating Randy Orton in the main event on RAW. Despite not winning the Money In The Bank ladder match, Daniel was chosen by John Cena to face him at Summerslam for the WWE Championship. Daniel seized the moment and defeated John to win his first ever WWE Championship. However, Daniel’s moment in the sun would not last long. Triple H pedigreed Bryan after the match and gave Randy Orton the opening to cash in his MITB briefcase. Daniel began a quest to regain his championship and led the resistance against the new regime in WWE. Despite not winning it back (except for Night Of Champions where he won off a fast count) Daniel still remains arguably the most popular wrestler in WWE. Notable matches: w/Kane and Undertaker vs The Shield in London, vs Randy Orton on RAW, vs John Cena at Summerslam.
Randy Orton – The Viper had little success at the start of the year in WWE. He finished 5th in the Royal Rumble and came second to Jack Swagger in the Elimination Chamber match with a World Title match at stake. He was unable to defeat The Shield with Big Show and Sheamus at Wrestlemania either. However, he got revenge on Big Show (who KO’d him after The Shield match) at Extreme Rules in an Extreme Rules match. He was also part of the team that gave The Shield their first defeat alongside Kane and Daniel Bryan. Despite losing to Daniel Bryan in an Extreme Rules match on RAW, he did go on to win the WWE Championship Money In The Bank Ladder match. He won the briefcase, which he went on to cash in at Summerslam thanks to the help of Triple H. Now part of The Authority, Randy remains the biggest heel in the WWE and could even become Undisputed Champion at TLC if he beats World Champion John Cena. Notable Matches: Elimination Chamber match, vs Big Show at Extreme Rules, vs Daniel Bryan on RAW
CM Punk – Punk spent all of 2012 as WWE Champion. But his 434 day title reign would come to a close when he lost to The Rock at the Royal Rumble and lost to him again at Elimination Chamber. After losing his WWE Championship, Punk targetted The Undertaker’s Undefeated Wrestlemania streak. In a extremely close match, Punk was unsuccessful and went on a hiatus from WWE after 4 huge defeats in a row, including a loss to John Cena in the main event of RAW. Punk returned at Payback and returned to winning ways when he defeated Chris Jericho. Believing he needed to prove himself on his own, he parted ways with manager Paul Heyamn. However, Heyman didn’t take to kindly to Punk leaving him and cost him the Money In The Bank. This resulted in a match between CM Punk and another of Heyman’s clients Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Despite a valiant effort by Punk, he could not put down the beast. After months of trying to get his hands on Heyman, he was able to at Hell In A Cell in a huge way. Closing the book on that chapter, he began feuding with both The Wyatts and The Shield with Daniel Bryan to end 2013. Notable Matches: vs John Cena on RAW, vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29, vs Brock Lesnar at Summerslam
Bully Ray – Bully Ray started off 2013 trying to get on the good side of Hulk Hogan, GM on TNA and father of Bully’s girlfriend Brooke Hogan. Hogan started to get on the same page with Bully after words from Sting and teaming together against The Aces And Eights in the UK. Hogan’s faith in Bully led him to declare him the number one contender for the TNA World Title at Lockdown. It was then that Bully revealed that he was in fact the leader of Aces And Eights group. He would win the World Title off of their help and claimed to have used the Hogans all along. Bully would hold onto the belt until July, having defeated Sting and Jeff Hardy along the way. While he lost the title to Chris Sabin, he got it back a month later. He’d lose it one final time to AJ Styles at Bound For Glory and his group disbanded a month later. However, Bully said he sees the death of Aces And Eights as the final awakening and their could be huge plans in line for the former Aces And Eights president. Notable matches: vs Sting at Slammivesary, vs AJ Styles at Bound For Glory
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. However, AJ was walking into the World Title match without a contract in TNA and berated President Dixie Carter for failing to run the wrestling company. Dixie began trying to sabotage AJ’s World Title match, but it wasn’t enough to prevent AJ capturing 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. Notable matches: vs Kurt Angle at Slammiversary, w/Main Event Mafia vs Aces And Eights on Impact, vs Magnus at the BFG Series Final
So who out of this decorated six deserves to be named Superstar of the Year?
First of all, Randy Orton is out of this. Despite being the biggest heel in WWE right now, it wasn’t really until when he won the WWE Title that he became that important in WWE. I mean yeah he was around and doing bits and bobs until then, but let’s face it – Randy Orton wouldn’t even be in this category if he hadn’t won the WWE Title. Bully Ray and AJ Styles also don’t get this award, because neither man has had much great matches and have been heavily dependent on the storyline to get them over. Bully with the Aces And Eights, and AJ with his lone wolf. If AJ had a couple of more great matches this year, he could have actually been a serious contender. CM Punk is also out of this. And I can hear all the fanboys raging “Fuck You Tom. You must be a Cena Fan. Nyah nyah”. He’s had some tremendous matches this year, no doubt. But he won NONE of them. He’s lost the majority of his PPV matches this year. Not to mention he’s not been close to WWE Title since he lost it. Yes, win/loss records still matter in wrestling. Which leads me to the final two… John Cena and Daniel Bryan. Cena has actually had one of his better years in WWE. He’s had some stellar matches this year with CM Punk, the last man standing match with Ryback and Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. In fact it could be boldly stated that he had more than Daniel Bryan had. However, this was simply Daniel Bryan’s year. The Summer Of Daniel Bryan so Daniel’s popularity skyrocket to the point where he surpassed both CM Punk and possibly Cena in popularity. With this year, he secured his place as one of the elite stars in the WWE. He was the most over, he delivered some amazing performances in that ring and he’s been on top of his game. My vote for Superstar Of The Year is Daniel Bryan!