5 Best Wrestling Matches Of 2013
The 2013 calendar year saw an ungodly amount of great wrestling matches. Unlike in previous years, it really came down to two companies vying for that precious top spot: WWE and NJPW.
While the former tried to maintain its spot as the #1 wrestling company in the world, NJPW continued its unstoppable rise, determined to unseat Vince’s company in that regard. Some would say they succeeded, as New Japan had an enormous collection of outstanding matches, many of which just narrowly failed to make this top five list.
But WWE also started facing competition from within as well. 2013 was the first year that saw NXT become the third brand of WWE programming. It was no longer the trashy faux-reality developmental show that didn’t have a future. Instead, it was Triple H’s personal project, and his creative direction led to some amazing matches on NXT programming (such as Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn and Cesaro vs. William Regal), that would pave the way for the NXT TakeOvers that could come in the following years.
Unfortunately, we cannot list all the great matches that happened in 2013. We can only look at the five absolute best, which are listed below.
#5 The Undertaker vs. CM Punk – WrestleMania XXIX
By 2013, the Undertaker was in such a poor shape that he needed to wrestle against a true workhorse to have a good match. And in 2013, there wasn’t a single wrestler in WWE better than CM Punk.
On one hand, these two wrestled in a great match that, while not on the same level of back-and-forth action as ‘Taker’s previous WrestleManias, easily stole the show. Punk wrestled incredibly well (he had more grappling skill than Triple H did in his WrestleMania matches with ‘Taker), and actually had the match won several times with some believable near-falls and submission sequences.
On the other hand, this match was underscored by depressing and – according to some people – inappropriate booking elements. Punk and Paul Heyman mocking Paul Bearer’s real-life passing certainly added a great personal element that made people want to see Undertaker win more than ever (at least, for those fans that weren’t cheering loudly for Punk).
Ultimately, CM Punk deserves all the credit in the world for wrestling a competitive and dramatic match with the Undertaker, who was really beginning to show his age at this point. If it were anyone else, this match might’ve been significantly worse, but Punk had the skill and wrestling wherewithal to make this into one of Undertaker’s best WrestleMania performances.