It's that time of year again! The time when I look back and give you my list of 5 wrestlers who did the best work in WWE over the past 12 months. The "fave five" Booker T reference seems like a million years ago now but I got to keep with tradition and this is my third year of doing the countdown.
Interestingly, there is only one wrestler who appears in all three lists of 2011, 2012, and now 2013. I'll let you know who when we get there, but I doubt the answer will surprise you.
1) Antonio Cesaro
Just missed out in making my 2012 cut but got an honourable mention, Cesaro has been working his socks off since arriving on our screens. He's not great on the mic so his partnership with Swagger and Zeb Colter has been perfect in letting him shine in the ring instead. Oh and how he shined!
Everyone is going to point to The Cesaro Swing as the big move of the year, but don't forget he already destoryed Miz against the barricades back in February when he was still a singles competitor. That's the thing, he keeps inovating. Every couple months Cesaro will do something new, like the leapfrog over Swagger to stomp on the chests of his opponents on the ground.
There are no "5 Moves of Doom" to be found here. More like 500.
Also, check out this Swing from the indie circuit in 2009 when he actually swings his opponent a full 100 times. Bonus points for spotting the clean shaven D-Bry counting along.
2) Daniel Bryan
A common theme on these lists over the years has been me talking about how under-utilised Daniel Bryan is. We can't really say that this year, can we? Pretty much everything worth watching in WWE went through him and he main-evented multiple Pay-Per-Views this winter.
We, as fans, tend to forget sometimes that despite D-Bry not having the title around his waist, he's still doing well. We all want to see him as the champ because we like him but he is in prime-position in the company and for the wrestlers that's the important part.
Hopefully next year will be just as good for the goat. He hasn't gotten an injury yet and long may his luck continue. For a little highlight, let us all remember the moment when Daniel Bryan pinned John Cena clean in the middle of the ring for the WWE title. Pinned. John Cena. Clean.
And, yeah, Bryan is totally the only guy in the FF all three years.
3) The Shield
The Shield have had a hell of a year. They've been central to almost everything. All the big story lines have included them at some point or another. I guess that's what happens when you're the random interveners or hired enforcers.
I was tempted to just list Roman Reigns on his own as he has been the clear stand-out in the group but I felt it would be unfair to the group as a whole who have helped him create that little spotlight on him.
But because he is so damned beautiful...
4) Big-E Langston
BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E BIG-E... I kinda just want to write that for a couple paragraphs but I guess I should write something.
Anyone who follows Big-E online knows he's a very warm, funny, and charming guy. It helps knowing this because his mic-work needs improving (or, more realistically, he needs a gimmick that doesn't require him to be the tough serious guy). Everyone seems to like him and that doesn't hurt when added to his already impressive physique.
He's the current Intercontinental champion and they've partnered him up, in true WWE form, with the other big scary black guy because... sure! But despite him punching AJ in the boob earlier this year, next year should see Big-E hit even bigger heights.
She's been almost single-handedly holding the Diva's division together. Her and Kaityln had a great feud earlier in the year, then she ran the gamut of Total Divas. She barely got the same amount of air-time as most mid-card guys but she still managed to make one of the stand-out moments of the year with her pipe-bomb in August.
Long may the reign of Queen AJ continue. The WWE would be a lot worse off without her.
AND COMPETING FOR A PLACE...
I feel a little silly not mentioning some of the other great workers in the game right now. Here are some guys who just missed out of my Fave Five.
Cm Punk: I know it's kinda ridiculous not to have him on the list, apart from D-Bry up there he has been on all previous ones. But his time off with injury and general relegation to the upper-mid card has hurt him in my eyes. Also, I really wasn't a fan of the long drawn-out feud with Paul Heyman. REALLY.
Cody Rhodes: Cody continuously just misses out on the list, the poor little guy. It must keep him up at night. He's got the looks, the talent, and the momentum. Hopefully 2014 is his break-out year.
Goldust: It is 2013 and Goldust is on a list of current great wrestlers within the WWE. Let that soak in. Amazing.
Dolph Ziggler: Remember when Dolph cashed in his briefcase and everyone lost their shit? Remember? It was only a couple months ago. Honest. No, really, it was. Sigh.