411’s Wrestler of the Week 2.05.13: Year Eight, Week 44
Welcome to WEEK 44, YEAR EIGHT 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
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 around WrestleMania. This will be posted every Monday (the voting week runs Monday through Sunday). Let’s see who wins this week…
1) Prince Devitt
The very successful IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion pinned the current, reigning and defending IWPG Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in a recent tag team match, and will likely get a title shot because of that. While not always a big deal in North American wrestling, Tanahashi dropping a fall like this is an important thing for Devitt, who has been rumored to be moving from the Jr division.
2) Rey Escorpion: Rey Escorpion defeated Volador Jr to win the vacant CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship.
3) Austin Aries and Bobby Roode: Insanely entertaining, and with the recent victories are looking for a tag team title shot.
4) 2 Cold Scorpio
5) Jon Davis
1) Brock Lesnar
Once again came out and with one move became relevant again, I’m just hoping that it won’t be HHH vs. Brock 2. At least the WWE has saved up Lesnar’s dates so that we can reap the benefit of having Jericho, Rock and Lesnar in some combination on each Raw leading up to Wrestlemania, if that doesn’t boost viewership then nothing will!
2) The Rock: The People’s Champion celebrated with the title on Raw, we all knew it was coming ever since Rock announced that he would challenge for the title at the Rumble, but at that time did we really think that Punk would have been the guy that the Rock beat for it all those months ago?
3) C.M. Punk: Despite what many people thought Punk hasn’t dropped off of the face of the earth completely after his title loss, at least not yet anyway. It looks like Punk will get a rematch outside of the chamber match so that is interesting, all that’s left is to see how he will interact with the returning Brock Lesnar.
4) The Big Show
5) John Cena
1) Brock Lesnar
There have been some folks in the comment section complaining about the fact that Brock is doing pretty damn well in the year-end rankings of this column despite the fact that he’s a part-timer. Well, there is a reason that Brock is doing well despite the fact that he’s a part-timer. It’s because, in the few appearances that he has had since last year’s Wrestlemania, virtually every one of them has been impactful and excellently performed and, sadly, with the way wrestling is booked these days, many people who are on the roster full-time aren’t booked half as strongly. This past episode of Raw was a perfect example, as Brock was on the show for only a few minutes but managed to generate more buzz than CM Punk did for the vast majority of his record-setting title reign. Simply put, Lensar is the man.
2) Prince Devitt: In the semi-main event of a show that was being taped for television, Prince Devitt pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory when he, the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, pinned IWPG Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in a tag team match. Devitt and Tanahashi had not really been programmed together before, so this seemingly came out of nowhere, and it is incredibly rare to see a junior heavyweight go over a heavyweight in Japan, even a smaller “heavyweight” like Tanahashi. I hope this leads to a singles main event between the two, because that could be an early match of the year contender.
3) The Rock: Had a great celebratory promo on his first full day as WWE Champion in over a decade. Again, he’s a part-timer, but he gets recognition because, regardless of his number of days on the road, he’s better at his job than virtually all of the full-timers in wrestling.
4) 2 Cold Scorpio
5) Masato Tanaka
1) Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
This is a perfect example of how somebody part time accumulates so many points over the course of a wrestling year. Every time Lesnar shows up on the scene he makes a huge impact. The biggest impact of the week no less. Heyman’s extraordinary mic work cannot be ignored though. For my money, Paul Heyman is the best talker in the business today. Brock Lesnar’s return wouldn’t have seemed nearly as important without interrupting Heyman’s imminent release.
2) The Big Show: Big Show has been on a tear lately and his angle with ADR on Raw did a great job of further establishing his dominance. They followed up nicely on Smackdown too. As far as big men in 2013 go, Big Show is in a league of his own when he’s being booked consistently.
3) Jack Swagger: Jack Swagger returned this week and beat our designated JTTS on the road to Mania. Swagger looked very impressive and appears to be mixing it up with the main event crowd right out of the gate. Can he win the chamber match?
4) CM Punk
5) John Cena
1) Too Cold Scorpio
While he hasn’t been in the limelight in quite some time, Too Cold Scorpio was given a chance to run with the ball at National Pro Wrestling Day. Scorpio participated in the Rey De Voladores tournament, where he won the opening round four-way, outlasting JoJo Bravo, Shane Hollister, and Oliver Grimsley. Scorpio then advanced to the finals, where he took on ACH. Despite ACH being one of the top prospects on the independents, Scorpio looked like he belonged, rather than merely being an old-timer who was there solely because of his reputation. Scorpio again came out on top, making him the 2013 Rey De Voladores. In an age where many veterans are content to go payday to payday, Scorpio showed up, showed off, and proved that he is still one of the best in the world.
2) Prince Devitt : IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Prince Devitt pinned Hiroshi Tanahashi, the top dog in New Japan Pro Wrestling and IWGP World Heavyweight Champion in what may be his biggest victory to date.
3) Jack Swagger: Jack Swagger returned this week and threw his name into the hat for entry in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out. While he may not have been stellar in his last run, Swagger went on to pick up a clean submission win over Kofi Kingston later on in the night, and appears to be primed for a move up the card this time around.
4) Randy Orton
5) Colt Cabana
1) Jack Swagger
I know that it didn’t man much to some, but Jack Swagger is back and he is heading for the Elimination Chamber. Swagger was gone for a while and has now been brought back and is back in an important way. Hopefully they handle Swagger much better this time around.
2) 2 Cold Scorpio: 2 Cold Scorpio won the 2013 Rey de Voladores tournament, defeating ACH in the finals at National Pro Wrestling Day. He’s also getting a banner in the Hall of Hardcore when they reopen the Arena in Philly, and the guy deserves it.
3) Paul Heyman: While all the talk goes to Brock Lesnar, lost in all of that was the spectacular performance from Mr. Paul Heyman. Simply fantastic.
4) Brock Lesnar
5) Prince Devitt
1) Prince Devitt
Devitt pinned Hiroshi Tanahashi in a tag match, which should set him up for a IWGP Heavyweight Championship match.
2) 2 Cold Scorpio: The ECW legend showed he still had some petrol left in his tank, as he won the 2013 Rey de Voladores tournament on National Pro Wrestling Day.
3) Brock Lesnar: He became relevant again after beating up an old man to end Monday Night Raw.
4) Drew Gulak, ACH, & Chiva Kid
5) Jon Davis
1) Rey Escorpion
CMLL star Rey Escorpion defeated Volador Jr. in a damn good match to win the vacant CMLL World Light heavyweight Championship. The title was vacated by Rush, and both Volador Jr. and Rey Escorpion were the top contenders. With Rey Escorpion winning the championship, it also gives a boost to the Los Revolucionarios stable, with all members, Rey Escorpion, Polvora, and Dragon Rojo Jr., now all holding titles.
2) Austin Aries and Bobby Roode: With Austin Aries picking up an assisted win over Chavo Guerrero Jr., my new favorite tag team, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode become the number one contenders for the TNA Tag-Team Championship.
3) Brock Lesnar: Made his triumphant return sending a 67-year-old man to the hospital!
4) 2 Cold Scorpio
5) Prince Devitt
1) Brock Lesnar
The pain came back and murdered Vince McMahon to kick-start his own road to WrestleMania in what was easily the biggest moment of the week.
2) Vince McMahon: Yes, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Why, you ask? Because the sixty-seven year-old non-wrestler took the F5, a move that has nearly crippled some regular in-ring competitors in the past, while he actively required surgery for his hip. That’s a level of ballsy that deserves some recognition, damn it.
3) Jack Swagger: Made his return and is getting an Elimination Chamber slot. Maybe he’ll be taken seriously for once? We can hope.
4) Paul Heyman
5) 2 Cold Scorpio
1) Brock Lesnar
I have my reservations about this first choice, regardless of him being voted #1. For starters, he didn’t wrestle a full match and he even messed up Vince’s pelvis with the F5. But in terms of making an impact in a short space of time, and coupled with Paul Heyman’s brilliant performance to tie it all together, he’s obviously the wrestler of the week. Raw is better for Brock being around thanks to his aura alone, and whenever things get physical he just looks like a total beast. I think he should cough up and pay the bill for Vince’s new plastic pelvis though.
2) Big Show: In this bullying role, Show is just an absolute delight to watch. Kids must absolutely hate the guy. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy the rivalry with Bertie once that kicked into gear again, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the entertainment on offer. Credit to all involved, but Show’s heel schtick is just grand. It’s a relatively simple character to play, and it’s not exactly writing new chapters in the playbook of the old school heel, but it’s so bloody effective.
3) Jack Swagger: Not to get on Swagger’s back, because I believe he’s an excellent athlete who can have a cracking match with virtually anybody, but I can’t see this being much more than another false dawn for him before he gradually slips back down the card. Still, I’m pleased to see him back. I thought he was all set to be future endeavored after his losing streak last year, so it’s nice to see them book him strongly upon his comeback.
4) The Briscoes
5) 2 Cold Scorpio
Defeated IWGP Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in a tag team match, setting up the a future title shot.
Won the 2013 Rey de Voladores tournament on National Pro Wrestling Day!
Returned to WWE and took out Vince McMahon.
And here are the standings after week 44…
1. CM Punk – 137 points (WWE)
2. Jeff Hardy – 88 points (TNA)
3. Daniel Bryan – 87 points (WWE)
T~4. Austin Aries – 78 points (TNA)
T~4. Sheamus – 78 points (WWE)
T~4. Dolph Ziggler – 78 points (WWE)
7. Big Show – 72 points (WWE)
8. Brock Lesnar – 70 points (WWE)
9. Bobby Roode – 68 points (TNA)
10. John Cena – 64 points (WWE)
Samoa Joe – 62 points (TNA)
Alberto Del Rio – 57 points (WWE)
Antonio Cesaro – 54 points (WWE)
James Storm – 54 points (TNA)
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 51 points (NJPW)
Bully Ray- 51 points (TNA)
Kevin Steen – 51 points (ROH)
The Ryback – 40 points (WWE)
Kane – 40 points (WWE)
Johnny Gargano – 37 points (US Independent)
Wade Barrett – 30 points (WWE)
Kazuchika Okada – 28 points (NJPW)
Christopher Daniels – 27 points (TNA)
Kazarian – 27 points (TNA)
Alex Shelley – 27 points (US Independent)
El Generico – 25 point (US Independent)
The Rock – 25 points (WWE)
KUSHIDA – 24 points (NJPW)
Seth Rollins – 22 points (WWE)
Dean Ambrose – 22 points (WWE)
Roman Reigns – 22 points (WWE)
Kofi Kingston – 21 points (WWE)
Kenny King – 21 points (TNA)
Christian – 21 points (WWE)
Player Uno – 19 points (US Independent)
Stupified – 19 points (US Independent)
Damian Sandow – 19 points (WWE)
Prince Devitt – 18 points (NJPW)
CIMA – 18 point (Dragon Gate)
Samuray del Sol (aka Octagon Jr.) – 18 points (US Independent)
Adam Cole – 18 points (ROH)
Chuck Taylor- 18 points (US Independent)
Nick Jackson- 18 points (US Independent)
Matt Jackson- 18 points (US Independent)
Hirooki Goto – 15 points (NJPW)
Masato Tanaka – 15 points (ZERO1)
Ryusuke Taguchi – 15 points (NJPW)
Tyson Kidd – 15 points (WWE)
Rhett Titus – 15 points (ROH)
Portia Perez – 15 points (US Independent)
Nicole Mathews – 15 points (US Independent)
Ric Flair – 15 points (US Independent)
Karl Anderson – 13 point (NJPW)
The Miz – 13 points (WWE)
Devon – 13 points (TNA)
Big E. Langston – 12 points (WWE)
2 Cold Scorpio – 12 points (US Independent)
Tim Donst – 12 points (US Independent)
Sweet Saraya Knight – 12 points (US Independent)
Masakatsu Funaki – 12 points (AJPW)
Magnus – 12 points (TNA)
AJ Styles – 12 points (TNA)
Zema Ion – 12 points (TNA)
Tensai – 12 points (WWE)
Dr. Wagner Jr. – 12 points (AAA)
Texano Jr. – 12 points (AAA)
Kenta Kobashi – 12 points (Retired)
RVD – 10 points (TNA)
KENTA – 9 points (NOAH)
Rey Mysterio – 9 points (WWE)
R Truth – 9 points (WWE)
Kurt Angle – 9 points (TNA)
Low Ki – 7 points (US Independent)
AR Fox – 7 point (US Independent)
Cody Rhodes – 7 points (WWE)
Sting – 6 points (TNA)
Taiyo Kea – 6 points (AJPW)
Lance Archer – 6 points (NJPW)
Davey Boy Smith Jr. – 6 points (NJPW)
KAI – 6 points (AJPW)
Adam Pearce – 6 points (US Independent)
17 – 6 points (US Independent)
Shard – 6 points (US Independent)
assailANT – 6 points (US Independent)
combatANT – 6 points (US Independent)
Colt Cabana – 6 points (US Independent)
Ultramantis Black – 6 points (US Independent)
Hallowicked – 6 points (US Independent)
Frightmare – 6 points (US Independent)
Mr. Touchdown Mark Angelosetti – 6 points (US Independent)
The Great Khali – 6 points (WWE)
Paul Heyman – 6 points (WWE)
Jack Swagger – 6 points (WWE)
AJ Lee – 5 points (WWE)
Mark Henry – 4 points (WWE)
PAC – 4 points (WWE)
Genki Horiguchi – 4 point (Dragon Gate)
Christian York – 4 points (TNA)
Shinsuke Nakamura – 3 points (NJPW)
Michael Elgin – 3 point (ROH)
Jerry Lawler – 3 points (WWE)
Stevie Richards – 3 points (US Independent)
Gran Akuma – 3 points (US Independent)
Sara Del Rey – 3 points (WWE)
Chris Sabin – 3 points (TNA)
Chavo Guerrero – 3 points (TNA)
Hernandez – 3 points (TNA)
Robbie E – 3 points (TNA)
Tommy Dreamer – 3 points (US Independent)
La Sombra – 3 points (CMLL)
El Terrible – 2 points (CMLL)
Jon Davis – 2 points (US Independent)
Kota Ibushi – 2 points (NJPW)
Mick Foley – 1 point (WWE)
Shuji Kondo – 1 point (Japan)
Akebono – 1 point (Japan)
Dick Togo – 1 point (Japan)
Yujiro Takahashi – 1 point (NJPW)
Tara – 1 point (TNA)
Miss Tessmacher – 1 point (TNA)
Katsuhiko Nakajima – 1 point (NOAH)
Charlie Haas – 1 point (ROH)
Shelton Benjamin – 1 point (ROH)
Layla – 1 point (WWE)
Dmitrious “The Greek God” Papadon – 1 point (US Independent)
Kenny Omega – 1 point (US Independent)
Sami Callihan – 1 point (US Independent)
Rush – 1 point (CMLL)
Ryo Saito – 1 point (Dragon Gate)
Mr. Kyu Kyu Toyonaka Dolphin – 1 point (Dragon Gate)
Rey Escorpion – 1 point (CMLL)
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.
Other International Wrestlers are represented in INDIGO.
Year One Winner: Ric Flair