Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
2013 hasn’t been without its share of dud wrestling moments. We’ve had a run of poor WWE PPVs, TNA appears to be in perpetual free-fall and a series of story lines have been thrown at us that have left us scratching our heads. We can all agree there’s been some awful moments this year whether that’s been awful heel or face turns involving The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, dreadful authority figures or the WWE Battleground PPV.
With Thanksgiving not being complete without turkey we thought it’d only be apt if the team shares their Top Five Wrestling Turkeys of 2013 to mark the day. Happy Thanksgiving, American readers.
5. Dolph’s downfall
It hasn’t been a great year for the former Spirit Squad member on the back of a fairly disappointing 2012. To think for a while it all looked so promising. A long term carrier of the MiTB contract for a World Heavyweight Championship title shot the arena exploded on Raw the night after Wrestlemania when his music hit. Out he made and defeated Alberto Del Rio to regain the strap. So far so good, right? Then it started to derail… A Swagger kick to the head put him off TV for a few weeks. He returned at Payback and in his first defence at Payback dropped the title back to Del Rio. Since then he’s challenged for both the US and IC title and failed to win either.
4. Dixie Carter heel turn
Jeez, who thought this would be a good idea? You would have hoped by now that TNA would have realised that simply being a poor imitation of WWE isn’t enough. Alas, the didn’t and taking the lead from the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Authority stuff, TNA turned Carter heel and tried to make out she was an evil heel boss hell-bent on standing in the way of AJ Styles. No one cared.
3. TNA release Jesse Sorensen
Of all the roster members that TNA let go this was the one that left the worst taste in my mouth. Sorensen, after all, broke his neck whilst competing for the company and as well as continuing to work for the company as he rehabilitated, he was a popular backstage figure. A truly heartless decision that did the company no favours in the eyes of the wrestling world. A poorly thought out decision all round.
2. 434 days of Punk ended with an elbow drop
There was quite the air of predictability about this year’s Royal Rumble. We all knew that it’d be Cena that would triumph in the Rumble match itself but worse we also knew that Punk’s lengthy title reign was going to end at the hands of The Rock setting up Cena v Rock pt. 2. What made the whole thing worse? The fact that it was the People’s Elbow that ended ended Punk’s 434 days at the top of the mountain. That’s right, a running elbow drop with theatrics…
1. PPV endings
Screwy finishes are now so predictable in the WWE that as soon as the TLC main event was announced this past week on Raw many fans began to speculate as to what the screwy finish in this instance would be. Not a great place for any promotion to be in but one that the WWE finds itself in. I really hope that the WWE ditches this but I really can’t see the main event of TLC ending with a clean finish either.
5. Garrett Bischoff
He is the classic example of pro wrestling nepotism. The son of then TNA executive and personality Eric Bischoff, Garrett survived countless talent firings and continued to get precious TV time while other more talented and deserving performers were kept off air or released altogether.
4. WWE Battleground Pay Per View
If it wasn’t bad enough this event was scheduled in early October sandwiched between Night of Champions and Hell in the Cell within just weeks of each other. It was also a blatant “throw away” show, with a sole purpose to sell you on yet another 40 plus dollar even a couple of weeks later. The finish of a “no contest” just didn’t help matters at all…
This was built up as a big surprise by Dixie Carter and TNA. Promos and vignettes were aired and there was by some an anticipation of something or someone BIG coming in to wreak havoc on TNA. What we got was Tito Ortiz and nothing more than a glorified infomercial for a Bellator MMA fight between him and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. A fight, mind you, NEVER took place due to injuries. SIGH
2. Wrestlemania 29
A lackluster show for a huge event right in WWE’s own backyard of New Jersey. Put aside all the part time talent that was highlighted in main events in place of the full time roster…ie, The Rock, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho….it also had a dead crowd. It’s not their fault at all…especially paying a huge some of money to sit outside in early April to see one dud match after another…with an exception of only a couple. What made the event seem worse…was practically the same crowd the next night exploded for a free Raw show.
1. The continued mystery of Evan Bourne
Another year has seemingly passed us by and still no sightings of the dynamic and exciting superstar known as Evan “Air” Bourne. I realize that a number of injuries and substance abuse violations have slowed down Evan’s progress to return to the ring, but he hasn’t been seen or heard of on WWE television since January of 2012.
5. TNA Fires Jesse Sorensen
I will happily hold my hands up and admit that I don’t watch TNA on anything like a regular basis, however I do have a general idea of what is going on at any given moment. Earlier this year the company released several performers as a cost cutting exercise. Fair enough, it’s not nice but business is business. Problem is they released Jesse Sorensen, a man who literally broke his neck for the company. In my heart of hearts I know that it was probably the right business decision. Still though, bit of PR disaster.
4. Daniel Bryan reaches the top of the mountain…. oh wait
Bryan, Cena, the bookers, the creative team, the fans…… everyone did so well at Summerslam to get Daniel Bryan over as a legitimate star. But then they went and spoiled it all by doing something stupid…. like push Orton instead. Then they presented the same main event on three consecutive PPVs, which were only six weeks apart. Oh, and they didn’t really bother to build an undercard for these events. But, as we all know, the low ratings and buyrates are all Bryan’s fault and in no way related to WWE’s shameful inability to capitalise on his momentum. The guy beat John Cena (the untouchable John Cena!) clean in the main event of Summerslam a few months ago, now he’s back hanging around in the tag division. Oh dear.
3. 434 Days ended by an elbow drop
It was inevitable that The Rock would defeat CM Punk for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. I really didn’t want it to happen, but I knew it would. However, as a wrestling fan I was a little embarrassed to see Punk’s epic reign end with such an atrocious looking move. I get the symbolism of the People’s Elbow defeating the man who turned his back on the people, but it just looked so shit. Does symbolism over rule our suspension of disbelief?!
2. Dixie Carter
TNA’s hapless, or rather hopeless, owner becomes an on screen character. Nothing too shocking there. However, AJ Styles highlighting her incompetence and Dixie herself living up to it was just unbelievably stupid. If Vince McMahon wanted to portray a clueless owner then fair enough. That would be quite funny, due to the fact that he actually runs a massively successful wrestling promotion. But the way Dixie comes across really is a kick in the teeth to TNA fans.
1. Rock v Cena II
I wasn’t expecting much from this year’s Wrestlemania main event, but even I was left massively disappointed. The idea of Rock v Cena is solid, but in the ring the two don’t mesh at all. Yet, despite this the ‘once in a lifetime’ match was booked on two consecutive Manias. The result was a foregone conclusion, the action was terrible and the fans were disinterested having seen the exact same match (result reversed obviously) the previous year. Yet, despite all this I would bet good money that this will be nominated in the match of year category at the Slammy awards in a few weeks.
All previous Top Five pieces can be read here.