411’s Wrestler of the Week 2.19.13: Year Eight, Week 46
Welcome to WEEK 46, 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) Jack Swagger
So Jack Swagger went from being a goof, to being off TV, to returning to TV, to getting into an important PPV match to getting a world title match at WrestleMania? Yes sir, that’ll take #1 this week. Who knew Uncle Zebekiah was that good of a mentor?
2) The Shield: They won again on PPV, this time beating Ryback, Sheamus and Cena. Lets see, they win, they beat stars, and they come out on top most of the time on TV; yeah, I think these kids have been booked rather well thus far.
3) Magnus: Magnus is a star in waiting for TNA. Good TV win this week, massive star reaction in the UK; and the guy is only 26. Hey TNA, this is a guy you can make a star of and actually have him make you MONEY! Get on that shit.
5) Alberto Del Rio & The Rock
1) The Rock
The Rock successfully retained his WWE Championship over CM Punk at the Elimination Chamber, and now, as expected, he heads into a Wrestlemania main event that has strong potential to be the single-largest drawing North American wrestling match in history. Plus, he told us that awesome story about crack heads on Monday night.
2) Seth Rollins: Granted, Ryback hasn’t been booked as strongly over the last several months as he was last year, but the still relatively-unestablished Seth Rollins pinning him in the manner that he did is still a pretty big deal and shows some faith by WWE in the Shield.
3) Jack Swagger: There was a time when winning an Elimination Chamber match to earn a world title shot on Wrestlemania would guarantee a guy a first place vote, but we all know the match will at best be the fourth or fifth month important about on WM, so it’s hard to justify that in 2013.
5) Kensuke Sasaki
1) Jack Swagger
Swagger probably took the biggest career leap of anyone this week as he survived five other former world champions to earn a world heavyweight title match at Wrestlemania. Does his push make any sense? Nope. However, that doesn’t change the significance of it.
2) The Shield: Defeated Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback on a PPV match in a clean fashion.
3) The Rock: Retained the WWE Championship.
5) Alberto Del Rio
1) The Shield
I was torn here, as Jack Swagger shocked the world. But more of us should have seen that one coming a mile away (more on that later). But the Shield beat the WWE All Star team–on All-Star Weekend no less! What’s more is the group won relatively clean given that we were in a six-man tag team match. Yes, they pinned Ryback, a man The Shield has owned since their debut. But they also destroyed Sheamus in the process, and left John Cena more dumbfounded than the porn star who denies sleeping with him. The Shield is still wielding the sword as we head to WrestleMania, an event they now appear to factor prominently in.
2) Jack Swagger: While Daniel Bryan and Kane didn’t appear to be favorites to get the win, Mark Henry (big return), Chris Jericho (had Ziggler cashed in) and Randy Orton (being Randy Orton) all seemed poised to win the Elimination Chamber above Jack Swagger. But it was Swagger, with Zeb Colter in toe, that won the match and the WrestleMania title shot at Alberto Del Rio. As I mentioned above, more of us should have seen this coming once Dutch Mantell debuted by Swagger’s side on Monday’s RAW. Zeb was spewing off about Americanism from the start, talking about protecting our borders in a manner that would make RJ Brewer both elated and pissed. The WWE is obviously hoping for mainstream media attention with a “border wars” angle as they build the biggest show of the year. I for one hate it, but at least it gives us what will be a fresh and entertaining match on the biggest show of the year. And if they go for comedy, Zeb and Ricardo Rodriguez could be hilarious together.
3) The Rock: Having wrestled just as many televised matches as The Shield over the past few months, The Rock defeated CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship, confirming what we’ve all expected–The Rock vs. John Cena II at WrestleMania 29.
4) Alberto Del Rio
5) Mark Henry
1) Jack Swagger
While the addition of Dutch Mantel (and how random did that seem at first? Old Dirty Dutch makes a return that no one expected) to Swagger’s return seemed to give away the Elimination Chamber result, that doesn’t stop the fact that this was a huge victory for Swagger. I am not sure if this whole thing will work out well for him or if it will get the right kind of heat; but Swagger is back and I am happy to see it.
2) The Shield: The Shield continues to beat people up, almost always get the upper hand, and they WIN MATCHES. On top of that Reigns, Rollin and Ambrose are all working hard and performing very well. All three of these guys look to have a bright future, if booked right.
3) The Rock: Still your WWE Champion, and heading for a WrestleMania rematch with John Cena.
5) Alberto Del Rio
1) Jack Swagger
Swagger had the biggest boost to his career this week, gaining a manager who will finally let him get past that speech impediment that is holding him back and then winning the Elimination Chamber match to head to WrestleMania. It may not be the most marquee matchup at the Grandest Stage of Them All but it is a big boost in Swagger’s standing within the company to say the least.
2) The Shield: Beat John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback in a relatively clean manner at EC, cementing them as a more effective stable than the Nexus no matter what happens to them at this point.
3) The Rock/Alberto Del Rio: Retained and won their respective main event titles at Elimination Chamber to ensure trips to WrestleMania.
1) CM Punk/The Rock
I appreciate that this is a bit of a cop out naming both of them, but I’ll try and elaborate as to why. First, Punk has really raised the bar since the turn of the year. Over the last seven days in particular, he’s taken a match with a totally predictable result and added some scorching heat to it. He’s taken The Rock’s belt, he’s slapped him, he’s spat in his FACE, and he’s been knocking him around with a renewed vigor. To Rock’s credit, he bumped like an absolute trooper for Punk and worked his knackers off to not only keep up with him, but to make him look like a star. It takes two: Two to make the match and two to make the feud. In the roundtable I mentioned how predictability is all part of the fun sometimes. This was one of those times. The ref incidents at the end added to the drama and the big win was nicely concluded. Rock did his best to make Punk look like a big star, and Punk duly reciprocated. In both kayfabe and real terms, he took Dwayne to the absolute limit. Top, top match.
2) The Shield: That 6-man tag could be a defining career moment for them. I predicted they might win, but I never expected them to be given the kind of platform they were given. What an excellent showing! The hornets theory from Cole, whilst cheesy, is bang on because they just didn’t let up. Great stamina on their part actually. And what’s more, they seemed to be bringing out the best in three of the roster’s biggest babyfaces. As I said in the roundtable, the key is not so much what happens at the Chamber in terms of the result, but what they do with them afterwards. Keep them strong, and they’re onto a serious winner here. Believe, and all that.
3) Mark Henry: He’s just an absolute beast. It’s one thing to book a worker in such a way, but for said worker to convincingly execute it on a consistent basis is another thing entirely. Raw wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before, but he looked like a total menace taking care of Khali and Hornswoggle. Then he turned Orton into mush on Smackdown, before dominating in the Chamber. Getting put down by a big boot and two finishing moves in the Chamber may have seen him lose, but the fact that it took so much to put him down just showed his supreme toughness. And then he gets up and just slams everyone! The booking’s great and so are his performances. Long may it continue.
4) Jack Swagger
5) Big Show
1) Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger came out on top in the Elimination Chamber, catapulting him to a main event program with Alberto Del Rio. From playing 2nd fiddle to Dolph Ziggler, to becoming the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. How is that not career advancement? Hell that’s an epic jump from where he last stood. Add Dutch Mantell, and their current Minutemanesque gimmick and a Mexican World Heavyweight Champion, which could lead to some interesting TV watching.
2) The Rock/Alberto Del Rio: The big two belts were defended successfully by both champions. The Rock beating Punk, and Del Rio taking out the Big Show.
3) The Shield: The Shield beat the poster boy of the WWE, along with the heir apparent of the poster boy crown, and Randy Orton, I’m uncertain on his standing in regards to poster boy level as of now.
1) Jack Swagger
Well, what do you know? Swagger walked away with the W. I have to give him the nod here. We could be looking back at this as a breakout moment and the catalyst to Jack Swagger’s resurgence. I’m not fully behind him yet but I’m cautiously optimistic that he can remain at the top of the card post mania.
2) The Shield: They did it! They did it! But where do we go from here? Like I said in Instant Analysis, this certainly adds an element of unpredictability to a Road to Wrestlemania that needs it. I believe in The Shield.
3) The Rock: Retaining the most prestigious belt in the world of wrestling is surely worthy of cracking the top three, right? I preferred their match at the Rumble but the stipulation did add an air of uncertainty to cloud an otherwise obvious title defense. Where does Punk go from here though? Well we may already know by the time this is posted.
4) Mark Henry
5) Alberto Del Rio
The Shield defeated Ryback, Sheamus and Cena at the Elimination Chamber…
Seth Rollins scored the pin at the Elimination Chamber in the big six man tag match, and that placed him above his teammates in the standing…
Jack Swagger won the Elimination Chamber match at the PPV, and will now head to WrestleMania to battle the world champion!
And here are the standings after week 46…
1. CM Punk – 138 points (WWE)
2. Austin Aries – 93 points (TNA)
3. Jeff Hardy – 88 points (TNA)
4. Daniel Bryan – 87 points (WWE)
5. Bobby Roode – 83 points (TNA)
T~6. Sheamus – 78 points (WWE)
T~6. Dolph Ziggler – 78 points (WWE)
8. Big Show – 72 points (WWE)
9. Brock Lesnar – 70 points (WWE)
10. John Cena – 64 points (WWE)
Alberto Del Rio – 63 points (WWE)
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 63 points (NJPW)
Samoa Joe – 62 points (TNA)
Antonio Cesaro – 54 points (WWE)
James Storm – 54 points (TNA)
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)
Seth Rollins – 34 points (WWE)
Dean Ambrose – 31 points (WWE)
Roman Reigns – 31 points (WWE)
The Rock – 31 points (WWE)
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)
KUSHIDA – 24 points (NJPW)
Jack Swagger – 21 points (WWE)
Kofi Kingston – 21 points (WWE)
Kenny King – 21 points (TNA)
Christian – 21 points (WWE)
CIMA – 19 points (Dragon Gate)
Player Uno – 19 points (US Independent)
Stupified – 19 points (US Independent)
Damian Sandow – 19 points (WWE)
Prince Devitt – 18 points (NJPW)
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)
Mark Henry – 13 points (WWE)
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)
Archibald Peck – 6 points (US Independent)
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)
AJ Lee – 5 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)
Scott Parker – 3 points (US Independent)
Shane Matthews – 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)
Chris Jericho- 1 point (WWE)
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