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411’s Wrestler of the Week 1.22.13: Year Eight, Week 42

January 22, 2013 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome to WEEK 42, 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) Antonio Cesaro
Had an awesome in ring segment with Ric Flair, looked like he belonged with Randy Orton on main Event and crushed Kofi Kingston on Smackdown. In a slow week, Cesaro was easily the most impressive.

2) La Sombra: Defeated Dragon Rojo Jr. to become the NEW NWA World Historic Middleweight Champion at the Fantastica Mania finale event.
3) Daniels and Kazarian: Simply put the most entertaining duo on TV right now, and they really deserve to be featured way more than they are right now. They are the main reason I watch TNA these days.
4) Alberto Del Rio
5) Velvet Sky

Ryan Byers
1) John Cena
This felt like a fairly flat week. Granted, some noteworthy things happened. For example, the Rock continued to outclass CM Punk in the build to their title match, and New Japan and CMLL co-promoted their annual crossover shows. However, none of it felt particularly impactful. That’s why I’ll give my vote to the one thing that made the biggest positive impression on my, which is John Cena’s performance in this week’s Monday Night Raw main event. He absolutely worked his ass off and looked great in winning. Like it or not, John Cena is a great professional wrestler.

2) La Sombra: From what I understand, titles aren’t nearly as important in lucha libre as they are in Japan and the United States, but Sombra did pick up some gold this week, defeating Dragon Rojo Jr. in Japan to become the new NWA Historic Middleweight Champion.
3) Antonio Cesaro: Cesaro didn’t beat Randy Orton on Main Event, but he turned in another brilliant performance that made him look like he fits in perfectly in the WWE top tier. 2013 might be a bit too soon, but this man definitely needs a major title in early 2014.
4) Shinsuke Nakamura
5) Natsuki*Taiyo, Saki Kashima, & Act Yasukawa

James Wright
1) John Cena
As much as it pains me due to the ending of the match it is hard to argue that John Cena didn’t upstage the Rock this week by putting on one hell of a cage match before ‘the Rock concert’. And to be fair how many times have we seen guys like Shawn Michaels take a massive beating and then hit a super kick out of nowhere and win, maybe it’s the psychology of seeing a kick out of nowhere being more acceptable than a glorified fireman’s carry, but whatever the case we all probably shouldn’t be getting as annoyed as we are about how this match went down.

2) Dolph Ziggler: Case in point, while Ziggler lost after throwing everything at Cena for two weeks in a row he also still looked like a main event player. Many people remarked that this match could have headlined a PPV and I think so too. Ziggler already seems at that point where he doesn’t need to win to look good, but then of course Cena reached that point years ago, but that doesn’t seem to stop him.
3) The Rock & C.M. Punk: They continued to build their match at the Rumble and actually got into a bit of a brawl at the end of the 20th anniversary of Raw, hell it’s better than all the passive aggressive bitching that took place in the Rock-Cena feud last year…this was a slow damn week.
4) Bad Influence
5) Robert Roode & Austin Aries

Michael Benjamin
1) Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio did pretty well for himself this week. His angle with Show kicked off the 20th Anniversary of Raw, ending in Vince McMahon endorsing his face turn with a handshake. Over on Smackdown, he opened the show with his championship fiesta before winning a main event tag team extravaganza(~!). A lot of people think ADR’s face turn is going to be a bust. So far though, it looks like his experience as a face in Mexico has helped him click with the crowd and adapt to his new role quickly enough. I’m cautiously optimistic about Alberto’s face run moving forward.

2) John Cena/Dolph Ziggler: These guys put on a show stealing cage match on Raw. They built it up to the point where the crowd was biting for every near fall that they fed us. It created that special atmosphere that can push a match to the next level. I can’t give Cena the nod over Dolph because his “Super Cena” shtick was the only thing actively wrong with the match in my opinion. I can’t give Ziggler the nod because he couldn’t beat Cena on Raw again. They’ll share second this week because the match was outstanding and had wrestling fans buzzing after the show.
3) Wade Barrett: Barrett disposed of Randy Orton clean on Raw. Does Barrett look more impressive as a result? Yes! Does Randy Orton look weak from eating a pin? Absolutely not. This is something Wade can brag about for months to come. The result is seemingly more impressive due to the lack of build in this case. He’s being booked to be a major threat. When Wade’s wrestling, watch out. He’ll hit the Bull Hammer and beat you. Here’s to hoping they have some decent plans for him during the busiest season in the business.
4) The Rock
5) Antonio Cesaro

Jack McGee
1) Antonio Cesaro
Antonio Cesaro continues to shine on WWE TV, with a great segment with Ric Flair on Raw, a great outing with Randy Orton on Main Event and then a good, quick match and victory over Kofi Kingston on Smackdown. Cesaro is just so good, and I have high hopes for him in 2013; the guy should be pushed to the top.

2) Daniels and Kazarian: The most entertaining duo in all of wrestling continue to be awesome each and every week on Impact. They were great in their match against Hardy and Storm, and then the post match angle was excellent. These guys deserve to be featured so much more than they are right not.
3) Alberto Del Rio: Alberto Del Rio got the spotlight on Raw this week with Vince McMahon, and was then al over Smackdown with this fiesta and tag team main event match. FIESTA DEL RIO!
4) The Rock
5) Velvet Sky

TJ Hawke
1) Antonio Cesaro
Unless I’m overlooking something major, I feel like this was a really quiet week. With that in mind, I’m voting Antonio Cesaro number one because he was featured positively on three different WWE programs this week. He was in a segment with Ric Flair on Raw, had a good match with Randy Orton on Main Event, and he dispatched Kofi Kingston fairly quickly on Smackdown. Cesaro’s star continues to rise.

2) The Briscoes: They successfully defended their ROH World Tag Championships against the American Wolves.
3) Kevin Steen: He successfully defended the ROH World Championship against Tadarius Thomas.
4) Wade Barrett
5) Natsuki*Taiyo, Saki Kashima, & Act Yasukawa


  • Special Mention…The Rock – 7 Votes
  • Fifth Place…La Sombra and Dolph Ziggler – 8 Votes
  • Fourth Place…Daniels and Kazarian – 9 Votes
  • Third Place…Alberto Del Rio – 10 Votes

    Alberto Del Rio is the new world champion and ruled over Smackdown this week.

  • Second Place…John Cena – 14 Votes

    Defeated Dolph Ziggler in a great cage match on Raw last week.

  • Wrestler of the Week…Antonio Cesaro – 19 Votes

    Antonio Cesaro was all over WWE TV in a big way last week, and continues to look like a guy that will have a big 2013 for WWE.

    Year-End Standings~!
    And here are the standings after week 42…

    1. CM Punk – 137 points (WWE)

    T~2. Daniel Bryan – 87 points (WWE)
    T~2. Jeff Hardy – 87 points (TNA)

    T~4. Austin Aries – 78 points (TNA)
    T~4. Sheamus – 78 points (WWE)

    6. Dolph Ziggler – 75 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)

    Antonio Cesaro – 54 points (WWE)
    James Storm – 54 points (TNA)

    John Cena – 52 points (WWE)

    Hiroshi Tanahashi – 51 points (NJPW)
    Bully Ray- 51 points (TNA)
    Kevin Steen – 51 points (ROH)
    Alberto Del Rio – 51 points (WWE)

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

    Johnny Gargano – 31 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)

    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)

    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)
    Masata 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)
    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)
    The Rock – 10 points (WWE)

    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 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)

  • 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