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411’s Wrestler of the Week 07.19.10: Week 16

July 19, 2010 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome to Week 16, Year SIX, of 411’s Wrestler of the Week. A quick overview of the rules to kick things off for us as a reminder…

Each writer chooses FIVE wrestlers from any promotion and each wrestler gets a point total attached to that ranking. It looks a little like this…

1st – 5
2nd – 4
3rd – 3
4th – 2
5th – 1

If you are wondering how some of the writers decide who to vote for, please check out our Wrestler of the Week Supplemental Column!

Then we tally up the votes and the official 411 Wrestler of the Week is crowned. But wait, there’s more! Each week the top SIX vote getters get a points value for their ranking which looks something like this…

1st – 15
2nd – 12
3rd – 9
4th – 6
5th – 3
6th – 1

…and they go towards the 411 Wrestler of the Year award to be announced each year at WrestleMania. This will be posted every Monday. Let’s see who wins this week…

Mathew Sforcina
1) Dr. Wagner- This is what we call a ‘means to an end’. I don’t really have any other outlet, and Wagner’s not gonna win, so I put him here so I can talk about this. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to award Dr. Wagner, not only my top vote in this week’s WOTW, but my pick for The Man With The Biggest Balls in Wrestling This Decade So Far. Wagner managed to convince the company he’s working for without a contract to build the company around him in exchange for a signature, got their belt, got front and center on the Video Game, and STILL turned up at the competition and teased a jump. Now, if this is legit, my god he has big balls. And if it’s a work, then AAA and Wagner both have big balls. Forget Rude appearing on three companies in one week, this is insane. Congrats, Doctor, you have huge balls.

Although I gotta wonder if he won’t turn up shot in the back sooner or later…

2) Kane: So… The Title Belt took Undertaker out?
3) The Miz: Well, he IS Awesome…
4) AJ Styles
5) Randy Orton/Evan Bourne (There’s two guys to do a spot Ryan…)

Jeremy Thomas
1) Kane
Well, this is a no-brainer. I’ve always wanted the Big Red Monster to get a legitimate World title run, and now he finally has his chance. Kane choke slammed Jack Swagger’s dad, picked up the Money in the Bank win, then cashed it in record time to beat Rey Rey and claim the World Title. About time the guy got rewarded.

2) AJ Styles: AJ is the non-WWE guy to win the #1 in the PWI 500 since 1997. That’s pretty damned big, and in my eyes it’s well deserved. Kudos to him.
3) The Miz: The Miz outlasted seven other men–including legit main eventers in Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Edge–to become Raw’s Mr. Money in the Bank. It’s definitely a defining moment in Miz’s career and kudos to him.
4) Randy Orton/Evan Bourne (tie)
5) Masaaki Mochizuki & Don Fuji

Larry Csonka
1) Kane
Well, call it a lifetime achievement award or what not, but the fact is that Kane won the SD MITB match, and then later in the very same night won the world title. Add into the beating of Daddy Swagger, and the Big Red Machine had one hell of a week.

2) The Miz: The Miz had his breakthrough night. Love him or hate him, this was easily the biggest night of his career.
3) AJ Styles: A non-WWE Wrestler taking the PWI 500 is pretty big, even in 2010, so AJ gets some love here.
4) Dr. Wagner
5) Sheamus

Ronnie La Fonz….Heeeeeeey
1) Kane
Not only did Kane stand tall at the end of Smackdown, but he also had one awesome night on Sunday. Not only did he surprisingly win MITB, he cashed in on the same night to win his first World Championship in over a decade (if you don’t include the ECW Championship). Kane definitely deserves another real world title run and it’s about time.

2) Miz: Years ago, Miz was looked at as a joke, and no one ever thought he would make it. No one. 3 ½ years later, the man is United States Champion and Money in the Bank, and the surprising thing is, he deserves it. Miz not only took out Mark Henry on Raw, he was able to win the MITB ladder match, pretty much guaranteeing him a World Championship match, which is without a doubt the most important victory of his career.
3) AJ Styles: The Phenomenal One was voted the Wrestler of the Year in the PWI 500. Yeah, it’s a questionable #1 pick for sure, but it’s not like the man doesn’t deserve it. He did become the longest TNA World Champion in the history of the company, overcoming all odds to win the title, and he picked up some major victories during that title reign. He sort of retired Sting, he defeated Joe and Daniels in one of the most anticipated rematches of the decade, he defeated Kurt Angle twice. Not only that, but Tomko, D‘Angelo Dinero and Abyss were all unable to take the belt off him. Sure, throughout this year he has been mimicking Ric Flair, which is what make him being the #1 guy questionable, but he’s still able to put on great matches and is one of the most respected wrestlers in the world.
4) Sheamus
5) Beer Money

Andy Critchell
1) The Miz
At this point, Miz winning MITB means more to his career than Kane winning the belt does to his. Kane is an established buy with an established ceiling and his legacy has long been set within WWE. Miz, however, has shown himself to be a guy with almost limitless potential and is a perfect fit for WWE main events. This MITB win establishes him as a main event player and I am very excited to see what is in store for him.

2) Kane: He’s been getting quite the push as of late and tonight was another example of that, first winning the Smackdown MITB then cashing it in on a beaten down Rey-Rey. For years he’s been a guy that you could always plug into a main event but having another title reign doesn’t hurt since his previous one is auspicious only by it’s brevity.
3) MORRISON: Yeah, that’s right, MORRISON. He did a lot of the heavy lifting during the Raw MITB match and for the first time really looked like he belonged with the likes of Orton, Edge, and Jericho. Like The Miz, I feel that MORRISON also had big night for his career and he made the most of his opportunity.
4) Randy Orton
5) AJ Styles

Ryan Byers
1) Mike the Miz
The first time that I saw the Miz in the ring, it was 2003, roughly two years after he came off The Real World and roughly three years before he became a regular on WWE television. He was wrestling for southern California indy UPW, and he suuuucked. It was clear that the guy had been taught the absolute minimum to get into the ring for a couple of minutes and help out the promotion’s drawing power. I saw nothing in him. After a run on Tough Enough and a couple of years in developmental, he popped up as an ECW regular. He was light years ahead of where he was in UPW, but he was still much more rough around the edges than the majority of WWE performers at the time. Simply put, I hated seeing the guy on TV because I thought he needed significantly more time in developmental. However, he improved a great deal more before our eyes on WWE television, to the point that he was a perfectly acceptable wrestler while teaming with John Morrison and actually appeared to be the much more complete package than Morrison by the time that they split up. Now, he’s holding a Money in the Bank briefcase and has a guaranteed shot at the WWE Championship. Given how awesome he has been on the mic lately and how much he’s improved since I first saw him, I don’t know that there’s been anybody who has grabbed the MITB case who has earned it more than Mike the Miz. Big kudos to him, and I hope WWE follows up well on his push.

2) Kane: I never in a million years would have expected a second major WWE championship reign for Kane. He seemed to have found his niche as the guy who was always right below World Title status, credible enough to wrestle main eventers and occasionally beat them but not so big that it felt odd for him to not get a reign with the belt. Now he is your WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and, even though he’s a bit past his prime, it doesn’t bother me. He was already being booked as the primary focus of Smackdown, so you may as well put the championship on him so that it doesn’t come off as a secondary element. Besides, SD is essentially a “lame duck” show until it switches networks, so the promotion doesn’t really have to worry about whether the man is a ratings draw. Plus he’s been a consistent, loyal performer for WWE for almost fifteen years, and this seems like a fine time to reward him for his loyalty.
3) Abdullah the Butcher: This past weekend, Abdullah celebrated the FORTIETH anniversary of his first match in Japan with a special show in the country booked for the sole purpose of paying tribute to Abby. (And keep in mind that this was the fortieth anniversary of his first match IN JAPAN. He had been wrestling in North America for years before that.) Not surprisingly, the Butcher wrestled in the main event, teaming with Minoru Suzuki to defeat NOSAWA Rongai and Yoshiaki Fujiwara. He may not be a Dragon Gate wrestler when it comes to his in-ring performances, but Abdullah has had a helluva career, and its great to see him getting some of the adulation that he deserves.
4) Randy Orton (for the Shooting StaRKO alone)
5) Tiger Mask V

Chad Nevett
1) Kane
He won the Smackdown Money in the Bank match and cashed in his shot that night to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Some may not like this, but I’ve been enjoying Kane lately and think that him getting the belt is a good call.

2) The Miz: US Champion AND Raw Money in the Bank winner? The Miz is clearly going places and he deserves to.
3) AJ Styles: Was named #1 on the PWI 500 and became one of the first members of Ric Flair’s Fortune faction.
4) Rey Mysterio
5) Sheamus

Michael Bauer
1) Kane
You know, it’s about time someone used that case immediately after winning it. And who better than Kane, getting his annual monster push to probably just lose the title to The Undertaker, who he took out. So obvious it’s brilliant.

2) The Miz: I never saw this coming, nor do I want to hear Miz after it happened.
3) Dr. Wagner Jr.: I have to agree with Mat here. This whole deal has intrigue written all over it.
4) Randy Orton / Evan Bourne (tie)
5) AJ Styles


  • Special Mention…Evan Bourne and Sheamus – 4 Votes
  • Fifth Place…Randy Orton – 9 Votes
  • Fourth Place…Dr. Wagner – 10 Votes
  • Third Place…AJ Styles – 17 Votes

    Became one of the founding members of Fortune and also took the #1 spot in the annual PWI 500.

  • Second Place…The Miz – 32 Votes

    The Miz won the Raw MITB match, which was not only the biggest accomplishment of his career, but also was a coming out party…

  • Wrestler of the Week…Kane – 37 Votes

    Won MITB and then cashed it in to win the World Title, one hell of a week for the Big Red machine.

    Year-End Standings~!
    In the top 15, Evan Bourne and Randy Orton make small moves, but break out of the ties that they were in. Kane’s victory puts him just outside the top 15, while AJ Styles and the Miz make huge leaps. Check out the updated standings to see the all of the changes…

    Let’s check out the Year-End Standings!

    1. Jack Swagger – 55 (SmackDown)

    2. Rob Van Dam – 49 (TNA)

    3. Wade Barrett – 35 (Raw)

    4. Evan Bourne – 34 (Raw)

    5. Bryan Danielson – 32 (US Independent)

    6. Randy Orton – 28 (Raw)

    7. Rey Mysterio – 27 (Smackdown)

    8. Kofi Kingston – 25 (Smackdown)

    9. Claudio Castagnoli – 24 (ROH)
    9. Tyson Kidd – 24 (Raw)
    9. DH Smith – 24 (Raw)

    12. Chris Sabin– 21 (TNA)
    12. Alex Shelley – 21 (TNA)

    14. Kurt Angle – 18 (TNA)
    14. Jay Lethal – 18 (TNA)

    Kane – 17 (SmackDown)

    Sheamus – 16 (Raw)
    Tyler Black – 16 (ROH)

    AJ Styles – 15 (TNA)
    Madison Eagles – 15 (SHIMMER)
    Togi Makabe – 15 (IWGP)
    Kaval – 15 (Raw)
    Edge – 15 (Raw)
    R-Truth – 15 (Raw)

    Douglas Williams – 13 (TNA)

    Chris Hero – 12 (ROH)
    Ares – 12 (US Independent)
    Tursas – 12 (US Independent)
    Minoru Suzuki – 12 (AJPW)
    Kaz Hayashi– 12 (AJPW)
    Masato Yoshino– 12 (Dragon Gate)
    Paul London – 12 (US Independent)
    El Generico – 12 (US Independent)
    John Cena – 12 (Raw)
    Desmond Wolfe – 12 (TNA)
    Matt Hardy – 12 (SmackDown)
    Chris Jericho – 12 (Raw)
    The Miz – 12 (Raw)
    Cody Rhodes – 12 (Smackdown)

    Mr. Anderson – 10 (TNA)
    Kazarian – 10 (TNA)

    YAMATO – 9 (Dragon Gate)
    Samoa Joe – 9 (TNA)
    Jeff Hardy – 9 (TNA)
    Davey Richards – 9 (ROH)
    Prince Devitt – 6 (NJPW)
    Robert Roode – 9 (TNA)
    James Storm – 9 (TNA)
    Dr. Wagner Jr. – 9 (AAA)

    Heath Slater – 6 (NXT)
    Nick Jackson – 6 (TNA)
    Matt Jackson – 6 (TNA)
    Bison Smith – 6 (NOAH)
    Keith Walker – 6 (NOAH)
    Bret Hart – 6 (Raw)

    Christopher Daniels – 4 (ROH)

    Jon Moxley – 3 (US Independent)
    CM Punk – 3 (Smackdown)
    Percy Watson – 3 (NXT)
    Willie Richardson – 3 (US Independent)
    Marshe Rocket – 3 (US Independent)
    Acid Jaz – 3 (US Independent)
    Takashi Sugiura – 3 (Dragon Gate)

    John Morrison – 1 (Raw)
    Drew McIntyre – 1 (SmackDown)
    Beth Phoenix – 1 (SmackDown)
    Ted DiBiase – 1 (Raw)
    Christian – 1 (Smackdown)
    Shingo Takagi – 1 (Dragon Gate)
    Chuck Taylor – 1 (US Independent)
    Masaaki Mochizuki – 1 (Dragon Gate)
    Batista – 1 (Raw)
    The Undertaker – 1 (Smackdown)
    Giant Bernard – 1 (NJPW)
    Karl Anderson – 1 (NJPW)
    Akebono – 1 (AJPW)
    Taiyo Kea – 1 (AJPW)

  • Voting began 4.05.10
  • Year-End Rankings Key:

    WWE, Raw, SmackDown and NXT-Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLUE.

    TNA Contracted Wrestlers are represented in GREEN.

    ROH Contracted Wrestlers are represented in RED.

    US Independent Wrestlers are represented in MAROON.

    Japanese Contracted Wrestlers are represented in BLACK.

    Mexican Contracted Wrestlers are represented in MAGENTA.

    Australian Contracted Wrestlers are represented in INDIGO.


    Year One Winner: Ric Flair

    Year Two Winner: Samoa Joe

    Year Three Winner: John Cena

    Year Four Winner: Chris Jericho

    Year Five Winner: CM Punk

    If you are wondering how some of the writers decide who to vote for, please check out our Wrestler of the Week Supplemental Column!

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