JC’s Top Rope Report: The WWE Mid-Year Awards

It’s amazing how time flies. We are already half way through 2013. It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the Rock vs CM Punk and the build up to Wrestlemania 29. But that’s in the past now. The WWE is now in SummerSlam mode, where it seems like we will get a good handful of new match-ups for the WWE’s biggest show of the summer.

But at this point of the wrestling year, I like to hand out some mid-year awards in the WWE. I’ve yet to come up with a catchy name for my awards, but hopefully that will change when I return at the end of the year. But here are my awards for the mid-point of the year!

PPV of the Mid-Year: Elimination Chamber

-This one was rather easy, at least for me. While Payback definitely surprised and over-delivered as a PPV, Elimination Chamber was better overall. I thought this Rock/Punk match was slightly better than their Royal Rumble match. The Elimination Chamber match was very good, and had a great final ten minutes to it. The Shield came out stars in their victory over John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. Looking back, I think this show had the best wrestling on it and was the best all around PPV the WWE had this year.

Most Surprising Wrestler of the Mid-Year: Daniel Bryan

-A lot of people never thought Daniel Bryan would be a World Champion in the WWE. Well, he was. And he’s also grown tremendously as a character in the last year. The crowd reactions he has been receiving in the last month have been great. He put on a stellar match with Randy Orton two weeks ago on RAW. Bryan has developed into one of the best all around characters that the WWE has to offer. We always knew he could work in the ring, but he’s improved on the mic and his character growth has been remarkable. And now he is in line to face John Cena for the WWE Title at SummerSlam. Bryan has gone from a comedy act tag team to more than likely fighting for the WWE Title at the second biggest show of the year. It is a true testament of Bryan’s hard work finally paying off.

Most Disappointing Wrestler of the Mid-Year: The Rock

-I can see my answer to this changing by the end of the year. Mostly because it is highly unlikely that The Rock will return to WWE TV in 2013. I don’t know what I was expecting from The Rock’s return and subsequent WWE Title reign, but I can guarantee you I was expecting more than what I got. He underwhelmed in his two matches with CM Punk. And his program with John Cena brought nothing new compared to the previous year. Often times it seemed like The Rock was just going through the motions. And there were a lot of fans disappointed with his return. Not many people wanted to see another Rock/Cena match. The Rock failed to live up to the hype in 2013. I’m sure many fans would like to see him come back for one more match, myself included, but he’s going to have to step up his game to get the memory of his 2013 return out of fans minds.

Match of the Mid-Year: Wrestlemania 29: The Undertaker vs CM Punk

-While PPV of the Year may have been an easy lay-up for me, this one would be a slam dunk for 99% of the wrestling audience. Many people considered Wrestlemania 29 to be a disappointing PPV. I agree with that. But there’s no doubt if there was anything worth re-watching from this show, it was this match. Punk and Undertaker put on a great match. Many people were concerned with The Undertaker’s health and whether or not he would be able to put on a good wrestling match this year. Taker delivered, and looked to be in better shape than he had been in recent years. Punk and Taker had the MetLife Stadium audience hanging on their every move and near fall. From an in ring perspective, it has been the best the WWE has offered this year.

Moment of the Mid-Year: Dolph Ziggler Cashes In Money in the Bank and Wins the World Title

-I was tempted to give this spot to Mark Henry’s fake retirement speech from a few weeks ago, but the Dolph Ziggler’s cash in will have more of a long term impact on the WWE. Ever since Dolph won the MITB Briefcase in 2012, we were just waiting for him to cash it in. Dolph was booked the right way during that time, and was often on the losing end of many matches. Many people thought he would never be a main eventer. But that changed on the RAW after Wrestlemania. Dolph cashed in, won the World Title, and received one of the loudest ovations in the WWE this year. It was the right place at the right time for Dolph. And now Dolph is backing it up in the ring. Dolph is one of the best in ring workers the WWE has, and similar to Daniel Bryan, has improved his overall character greatly in the last year. Ziggler should be one of the top stars in the WWE for the next few years.

Wrestlers of the Mid-Year: The Shield

-As of now, this might have been the toughest one for me to pick. You could make an argument for CM Punk. You could make an argument for Daniel Bryan. I would even listen to arguments for John Cena. I might not agree, but I would listen. But The Shield has been consistently strong as a group all year so far. They have put on some of the best matches in the WWE this year. Whenever they have a six man tag match, you know it is bound to be a good one. They are still holders of the Tag Titles and US Title, and while they may have fallen out of the spotlight as of late, I still think big things are destined for them in the future. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns all have their own unique characteristics that will help them develop into singles stars down the line. But when you look at the overall body of work of every superstar so far this year, I think The Shield gets the nod at this point.

So as I said, feel free to leave your thoughts and picks as well!

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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