WWE: First Half of 2013 RoundupJuly 13, 2013
Which WWE wrestlers excelled and which ones plummeted in the first six months of 2013?
The first half of 2013 saw many things going down: debut matches at WrestleMania, a new WWE Championship belt and a hyped up rematch between John Cena and The Rock. There were surprise hits, deplorable misses and things that made you go “Que?” Here’s a list of wrestlers that really stood out so far this year, alongside those who have seen better days.
Believe in The Shield now? The trio made their presence known late last year, and continued their reign against injustice – highlighted by a WrestleMania victory against former World Champions Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton. The team of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their biggest impact to date at Extreme Rules winning the United States Championship (Ambrose) & the Tag Team Championship (Rollins & Reigns). Ambrose might get to add more gold to his waist if he wins the Money In The Bank briefcase.
Having your debut match at WrestleMania is a very tricky thing. Many people didn’t think Fandango would last long with his ballroom dancer gimmick. The following night after his WrestleMania win over Chris Jericho, the WWE Universe changed things around with the art of Fandangoing. Since that fateful night in New Jersey, Fandango’s stock has skyrocketed; his entrance theme topped the iTunes charts in the U.K, and he’s gotten some major press from Fox News and VH1. A United States or Intercontinental Championship run should definitely be in this man’s reach before the year is over.
2012 wasn’t a great year for the champ with losses to The Rock, CM Punk and a failed Money In The Bank cash in. Winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29 was a great way to regain a title that he lost back in October 2011. Arguably one of the most polarizing wrestlers of all time, Cena has kept the momentum going with a couple of PPV matches with Ryback.
Going from once headlining WrestleMania to competing on its pre-show this year, The Miz has seen better days. A completely forgettable 24 hour Intercontinental Championship reign isn’t something to smile about, either. His commentary work on Main Event is reasonable at best (he certainly isn’t Mike Adamle) but he’ll probably be stuck on mid card duties for the remainder of the year.
Is anyone else shocked to still see Sin Cara in the WWE? The high-flyer entered this year’s Royal Rumble match to a dead reaction and didn’t get one title shot even after beating then-champions Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro on WWE Main Event. It must really suck to be JTG right now.
Cesaro held the United States Championship since August and was somehow overlooked for a spot at WrestleMania. On top of the WM snub, the man was treated like a jobber for a good majority of the first half of 2013. After his 240 day reign as champion came to an end, Cesaro didn’t really do much until turning to Zeb Colter for help. The pairing might seem strange to some, but Zeb has managed to put Swagger in a good spot. Maybe it’ll work out for Cesaro. Maybe.
Ryback has been infatuated with trying to gain the WWE Championship since feuding with then-champion CM Punk last October. Even with some main event spots and a WrestleMania match, he hasn’t won at a PPV since Night of Champions back in September 2012. The worst part about his hunt is that he’s set to face Y2J at the Money In The Bank PPV instead of competing for the briefcase.
At least he held the title longer than 15 minutes this time around. Dolph Ziggler had a rocky start to 2013, save for a grand performance at the Royal Rumble. While he let down the WWE Universe by not cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, all was forgiven the next night on Raw when he became World Heavyweight Champion. Things were looking up for The Showoff until a concussion kept him out of action for a month. It got even worse when he lost the WHC to Del Rio on his first title defense at Payback. It seems that Ziggler might have some World Championship curse going on. Let’s hope that curse gets broken with his next World Championship reign, whenever that takes place.
Swagger was off TV since early September 2012, but came back strong in 2013 with a new ally in Zeb Colter. The All-American American got his title shot against Del Rio, leading to some controversial anti-immigration promos which got a ton of buzz. He didn’t get to fulfill his promise to gain the title at WrestleMania, but still had a solid feud with Del Rio. Recently, he’s been attacking smaller talent like Sin Cara and Yoshi Tatsu, but hopefully things will turn around at the Money In The Bank PPV.