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411’s Wrestler of the Week 1.08.13: Year Eight, Week 40

January 8, 2013 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome to WEEK 40, 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…

Larry Csonka
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi continues to be great and deliver large, and he did so at New Japan’s WrestleKingdom event. Tanahashi retained his IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a great match against Kazuchika Okada, in a feud that filled most of last year, and continues to deliver each and every time out. Tanahashi has now held the title for over 200 days, and is closing in on Keiji Mutoh’s record for combined days with the title.

2) Prince Devitt: Defeated Low Ki and Kota Ibushi at New Japan’s WrestleKingdom to retain the IWPG Jr. Heavyweight Title.
3) Shinsuke Nakamura: Defeated Kazushi Sakuraba to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Title at New Japan’s WrestleKingdom event.
4) Wade Barrett
5) Christian York

Ryan Byers
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi
The biggest show for all of Japanese professional wrestling, New Japan’s WrestleKingdom, was held on Janaury 4. In the main event, the promotion’s ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, retained his IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a great match against Kazuchika Okada. There was some speculation that Okada might take the belt here in order to solidify his rise to the promotion’s number one position, but Tanahashi held on to it, ensuring that he will remain the face of the promotion for at least the next little while.

2) Prince Devitt: Devitt, Low Ki, and Kota Ibushi have been feuding amongst themselves over the IWPG Jr. Heavyweight Title for approximately a year and a half now. At WrestleKingdom, all of them got into the ring together for the first time for a three-way dance. Devitt was victorious, retaining the title. Most likely, this means that he’s the final victor in the 18 months of feuds as well, as he’s moving on to a defense against his former tag partner Ryusuke Taguchi next month.
3) Manabu Soya: Soya is NOT a New Japan wrestler, and he was NOT on WrestleKingdom, but he still had a hell of a first week of 2013. On the first show of the year for his home promotion, All Japan, he and partner Takao Omori retained their AJPW Tag Team Titles. On the very same day, he did a guest spot in Big Japan Wrestling, defeating Yoshihito Sasaki to steal BJW’s Strong Heavyweight Title. That’s two title match wins in two separate promotions in the same day.
4) Shinsuke Nakamura
5) Masato Tanaka

Michael Benjamin
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi
NJPW held WrestleKingdom on Friday and Tanahashi retained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the main event. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

2) Wade Barrett: Barrett had one hell of a week. He defeated Kofi Kingston to win the Intercontinental championship on Monday. On Main Event, he issued an open challenge gauntlet match. He defeated three men with the Bull Hammer before falling victim to Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise. Smackdown rolled around and he defeated Kingston in another awesome match to retain his Intercontinental Championship. I’m pessimistic about Wade maintaining his momentum in the long term, especially during Mania season, but he walked out of this week far stronger than he walked in.
3) Antonio Cesaro: Antonio Cesaro was a fighting champion this week. He retained his United States title against Sgt Slaughter on Monday and The Great Khali on Main Event. That Neutralizer on Khali was the real deal too. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Friday rolled around and Cesaro found himself in a main event with three of the biggest names in the company. Sure, he ate the pin. He looked right at home in there though. Cesaro’s stock continues to rise each and every week.
4) Prince Devitt
5) Mike Knox

James Wright
1) Wade Barrett
Captured the IC title from Kofi Kingston, beat three guys on Main Event in a Gauntlet Match before getting taken out by Kingston, and then beat Kingston again to retain his title on Smackdown. I think it’s safe to say that in one week Barrett erased whatever set backs he has had in his feud with Kofi Kingston thus far, I just wonder when he is going to be able to get into the World Title picture?

2) Antonio Cesaro: The anti-American defended his title twice this week, once against Sgt. Slaughter in a match to enhance his gimmick, and once against the Great Khali, which seemingly was supposed to do the same thing but didn’t really make any sense. Still he did manage to get Khali up for the Neutralizer, which looked great. What’s more I don’t think I can ever remember Cesaro cheating to retain his title thus far, so he is a heel being booked on success alone, which is damn rare anywhere you look.
3) Austin Aries & Robert Roode: Both men became the new number one contenders for Jeff Hardy’s TNA title and all they had to do was bitch a little about the travesty that was Hardy winning the TNA wrestler of the year award: Cena & Hardy, I really do worry about professional wrestling fans and companies.
4) Hiroshi Tanahashi
5) Prince Devitt

TJ Hawke
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi
Retained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kazuchika Okada in the biggest NJPW show of the year.

2) Prince Devitt: Retained the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship against Kota Ibushi and Low Ki.
3) Wade Barrett: Won the Intercontinental Championship and retained it a few days later in his first defense.
4) Shinsuke Nakamura
5) Masato Tanaka

Jeremy Thomas
1) Hiroshi Tanahashi
Retained the IWGP Heavyweight Title at the biggest show of the year in Japan, which would dwarf anything that happened in the US during a regular week. This was a slow week, so it’s not hard to see what deserves #1.

2) Wade Barrett: Won the Intercontinental Title and then retained it in Kofi’s rematch on Smackdown. Looks like someone finally remembered that they wanted to push Wade upon his return.
3) Antonio Cesaro: Defended the US Title against Sgt. Slaughter and then the Great Khali. Neither wins were particularly surprising, but it was still impressive to see him hit the Neutralizer on Khali. Then worked the main event of Smackdown against and alongside that brand’s biggest names.
4) The Shield
5) Prince Devitt

Jack McGee
1) Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett had an outstanding week, defeating Kofi Kingston on raw to win the IC Title, and then retaining in another good match against Kofi on Smackdown. I have been a big fan of Barrett for some time, and he is finally rolling, and continuing to look like he could be a main player for years to come. I am officially a part of the Barrett Barrage.

2) Hiroshi Tanahashi: I watched my first New Japan iPPV this past weekend, and Hiroshi Tanahashi is the man. Tanahashi retained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the main event, which was an outstanding match. New Japan has a new fan for sure.
3) Christian York: Christian York has easily been the best booked Gutcheck winner, getting to have good matches against Jeff Hardy, RVD and Bobby Roode. While he lost those matches, he has been booked well in the matches and made to be a threat. He defeated Kid Hash this week in the first mach of a mini-X-Division tournament, and is headed to genesis to battle for a shot at the title.
4) Prince Devitt
5) Antonio Cesaro


  • Special Mention…Christian York – 4 Votes
  • Fifth Place…Shinsuke Nakamura – 7 Votes
  • Fourth Place…Antonio Cesaro – 11 Votes
  • Third Place…Prince Devitt – 18 Votes

    Your reigning and defending IWPG Jr. Heavyweight Champion!

  • Second Place…Wade Barrett – 23 Votes

    Your NEW WWE IC Champion!

  • Wrestler of the Week…Hiroshi Tanahashi – 31 Votes

    Your reigning and defending IWGP Heavyweight Champion!

    Year-End Standings~!
    And here are the standings after week …

    1. CM Punk – 131 points (WWE)

    2. Daniel Bryan – 87 points (WWE)

    T~3. Austin Aries – 78 points (TNA)
    T~3. Sheamus – 78 points (WWE)

    5. Jeff Hardy – 75 points (TNA)

    6. Dolph Ziggler – 72 points (WWE)

    7. Big Show – 69 points (WWE)

    8. Bobby Roode – 68 points (TNA)

    9. Samoa Joe – 62 points (TNA)

    10. Brock Lesnar – 55 points (WWE)

    James Storm – 54 points (TNA)

    Hiroshi Tanahashi – 51 points (NJPW)
    Bully Ray- 51 points (TNA)
    Kevin Steen – 51 points (ROH)

    John Cena – 40 points (WWE)
    The Ryback – 40 points (WWE)
    Kane – 40 points (WWE)

    Antonio Cesaro – 39 points (WWE)

    Johnny Gargano – 31 points (US Independent)

    Wade Barrett – 30 points (WWE)

    Kazuchika Okada – 28 points (NJPW)

    Alex Shelley – 27 points (US Independent)
    Alberto Del Rio – 27 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)
    Christopher Daniels – 21 points (TNA)
    Kazarian – 21 points (TNA)
    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)

    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)

    Hirooki Goto – 15 points (NJPW)
    Masata Tanaka – 15 points (ZERO1)
    Ryusuke Taguchi – 15 points (NJPW)
    Nick Jackson- 15 points (US Independent)
    Matt Jackson- 15 points (US Independent)
    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)
    El Generico – 13 point (US Independent)
    Devon – 13 points (TNA)

    Big E. Langston – 12 points (WWE)
    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)

    Prince Devitt – 9 points (NJPW)
    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)

    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)
    Paul Heyman – 3 points (WWE)
    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 point (US Independent)

    Jon Davis – 2 point (US Independent)
    Kota Ibushi – 2 point (NJPW)

    Mick Foley – 1 points (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)
    El Terrible – 1 point (CMLL)
    Rush – 1 point (CMLL)
    Ryo Saito – 1 point (Dragon Gate)
    Mr. Kyu Kyu Toyonaka Dolphin – 1 point (Dragon Gate)

  • Voting began 4.09.12
  • 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.

    Other International 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

    Year Six Winner: The Miz

    Year Seven Winner: CM Punk

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    Larry Csonka