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2013 Fight Booth Year-End WWE Awards

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Welcome to the 2013 year-end WWE awards, our 1st of the sort for Fight Booth. Our all-star panel of nine long time wrestling enthusiasts has spoken, and below you’ll see the men, women, moments and events that they’ve decided should live forever in infamy.

Fight Booth 2013 WWE Awards Panel: Matt Addie (@MTAtheHEEL), Sean Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA), Kyle Caruso (@MotorCitySquire), Brian Porter, Dan Rose (@DanRoseMMA), Alex Reno (@alex_reno), Dave Reno (@DW_Reno), Evan Shoman (@shomanart), Chris Langevin (@giantchristoph)

• Tag Team of the Year: Cody Rhodes and Goldust

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“One of the toughest categories to call, all of these teams had a lot of high points throughout 2013.  A successful odd-couple routine with Kane made Daniel Bryan a household name amongst even the most casual fans.  Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Coulter were a great shot in the arm for their partner and slowly they became a recognizable threat.  The Usos actually look & feel like a throwback tag team while The Shield flat-out dominated our televisions all year-long.  All that said, it was the Rhodes Brothers for me – Sons of a Legend, their paths completely different from each other – we’d watch TV and hope for any hint of acknowledgement that they’re kin.  We ended up getting much more – a very fun to watch, feel good story of a family making good on their talent while doing it as a unit.” – K. Caruso

Total Votes: Cody Rhodes & Goldust – 7, The Shield (Rollins & Reigns) – 2

• Heel of the Year – Paul Heyman

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“They say sugar and spice makes everything nice. Paul Heyman makes everything else* as evil and wretched as possible. CM Punk’s post-pipe bomb evolution into a villain was only possible because of the title-hoisting scumbag who followed his every step and backed his every action. The way he seems to puke the words ‘BROCKKKKK LESSSNARRR’ easily makes the company’s most feared monster that much more threatening. Yes, Triple H is always an easy choice – and his wife is clearly the Antichrist – but Heyman is a throwback – a territory style manager who believes what he’s speaking – and that’s what makes a great bad guy so dangerous.” – K. Caruso

*Except Curtis Axel, because c’mon, that guy is just plain horrible at everything.

Total Votes: Paul Heyman -4, AJ Lee – 2, Damien Sandow, HHH, and Stephanie McMahon – 1 apiece

• Face of the Year – Daniel Bryan

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 “The American Dragon has finally arrived to the WWE audience and I couldn’t be happier. According to WWE’s history with handling world renowned talent, Bryan’s a guy who was probably destined to float around the 9:30 p.m. timeslot, hashing out decent matches in order to fill time between Cena segments.  Instead, fans caught on – yes, initially due to catchphrases and comedy skits with Kane – but nonetheless, he grabbed our attention.  No matter what this company tries to cram down our throats, the marquee still says ‘wrestling’ and that’s one thing Daniel Bryan does better than most.  It boils down to what can be done in the ring. Fans of all ages, genders and backgrounds were able to see through the carnival lights each week and witness firsthand a guy work his tail off for the final (and biggest) audience Bryan had yet to perform for.” – K. Caruso

“I was in that Seattle crowd for RAW when the Daniel Bryan chants nearly derailed the closing segment. I can confirm the electricity you felt on TV was even crazier in person; a senior citizen sitting near me was chanting Daniel Bryan, if that’s any indicator. After experiencing that, I couldn’t possibly vote for anyone else here.” – M. Addie

“Hulk Hogan, the face of the 80’s, used to do something called ‘Hulking Up’ to close out his matches. You were meant to believe that his opponent was having his way with him, then all of a sudden the Hulkster would just become impervious to pain; he’d point at his opponent, then he’d hit a counter and eventually you’d end up with that big leg dropping on your throat. The crowd ate it up every time. The way Bryan owned the WWE Universe in 2013 was like Hogan’s decade of dominance, on goatroids. I like to call Bryan’s version of Hulking Up ‘Bryan Mode’. It’s similar to his fiancee, WWE Superstar Brie Bella’s ‘Brie Mode’. Expect instead of getting wasted and having a great time it involves a wild, dangerous arsenal of moves; running knees, shoot kicks, double drop kicks, and flying head butts are all part of ‘Bryan Mode’. It’s almost like they took the charisma of Hogan and combined it with the spastic anger of The Ultimate Warrior, all into a little 5’10” frame. Add one of the most beautiful wrestling minds of the modern era in the equation and you have the best wrestler of 2013, Daniel Bryan. Bryan spoiled us in 2013. The fans returned the favor, deeming him the true face of the greatest wrestling organization on the planet.” – D. Reno

Total Votes: Daniel Bryan takes all 9 votes

• Match of the Year – CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (WM 29)

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“I think part of the goal for these WrestleMania matches involving The Undertaker nowadays is to not just find a worthy adversary for Taker; you want to find a guy who can tease you, even if it’s only for a split-second, that they could be the one to end the streak. Punk was able to do that. After he lost the title to The Rock it was clear that this match up was going to be made. It had to be made. I knew it, you knew it, and the WWE knew it. Well, it happened. The whole storyline involving Taker, Bearer, Punk and Heyman delivered in spades from beginning to end, and this match was the pinnacle.” – D. Reno

Total Votes: Punk vs. Taker (WM 29) – 5, Punk vs. Lesnar (Summerslam) – 4

• Diva of the Year – AJ Lee

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Total Votes: AJ Lee – 7, Brie Bella – 2

• PPV of the Year – Summerslam

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Total Votes: Summerslam – 4, WM 29 – 3, Royal Rumble – 1, Payback – 1

• Promo of the Year – Mark Henry’s ‘retirement’

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“Hopefully this promo is playing on a constant loop at the WWE training facility. It should be part of any aspiring WWE superstar’s orientation: 1) sign in, 2) get dressed, 3) watch the Henry promo.” – M. Addie

Total Votes  – Mark Henry – 6, CM Punk’s ‘Arms to short to box with god’ – 1, AJ Lee’s ‘Pipe Bombshell’ – 1, All of Bray Wyatt’s promos – 1

• Feat of the Year – The Rock ends CM Punks 434-day title reign at the Royal Rumble

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Total Votes: Rock ends Punk’s reign – 4, Punk defeats the Shield at TLC – 2; Orton unifies the titles at TLC , Roman Reigns’ Survivor Series performance , Last segment of the RAW go home show for TLC (Brian’s write-in because the WWE made him jump out off of his couch with this one – quite the feat) – 1 apiece

• Comeback of the Year – Goldust

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Total Votes: All 9 votes go to ‘The Bizarre One’

• Newcomer of the Year – Bray Wyatt

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“Bray Wyatt is the honest to God realness – the greatest CHARACTER in wrestling in a long, long time.  Every movement he makes, every shift in his eyes, every word out of his mouth is organic and believable.  I have moments where I catch him just babbling on with buzzwords, but it never matters because we’re transfixed on what could possibly happen next.  From the theme music carried over from NXT to those first television vignettes – the eventual explanation of Sister Abigail furthered the mystique of when he first uttered “We’re Here” to the already frightened audience.” – K. Caruso

Total Votes: Bray Wyatt – 4, Big E. Langston – 3, Roman Reigns – 1, Fandango – 1

• Feud of the Year – CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman, CM Punk vs. Undertaker, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (three-way tie)

Total Votes: 3 apiece for all of the above

• Crowd Pleaser of the Year – Dolph Ziggler’s cashes in his MITB contract

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 “I kept this episode of RAW on DVR for weeks, replaying Dolph’s cash-in at nearly an obsessive rate. The pop from that crowd when Ziggler’s music hit, and he stormed out with Big E and AJ; legendary. Fandangoing was born on this night, but the game ball from that RAW should still go to Ziggler. Also, anytime a title is taken from Alberto Del Rio and I have a chance to vote in favor of it, I’m going to.” – M. Addie

Total Votes: Ziggler cashes in – 6.5, The Cesaro Swing – 1, Fandangoing – .5

• Betrayal of the Year – Heyman turns on Punk at MITB

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Total Votes: Heyman betrays Punk – 5, HHH betrays Bryan – 3, Sandow betrays Rhodes – 1

• Wrestler of the Year – Daniel Bryan

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Total Votes: All 9 panelists agree that Daniel Bryan was the best professional wrestler of 2013

images via WWE

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