2014 has been an eventful year for WWE, period. There have been many memorable milestones over the course of the past twelve months and the year would clearly go down in history as one of the most important ones for Vince McMahon’s promotion.The company is all set to wrap up the year with the TLC pay-per-view in one week’s time and before we embark on the road to WrestleMania after that, it’s always a great thing to look back and analyze what all stood out this year.One of the most notable things from the lot has been the rise of some new stars and the rebirth of some others. So let’s start off from there itself and look at which all superstars had the best year in 2014.
#11 Honorable Mention: Bray Wyatt
The Eater of the World had all the resources required to make it big in the WWE. He was probably the most unique character that the company has seen in its recent history and Bray started off the year on a bright note as well.
His feud with Daniel Bryan was a great start but WWE’s bad booking decisions after that derailed Bray’s career. The John Cena angle didn’t do anything good for the Eater of the Worlds and the same happened for the Chris Jericho feud.
The company is trying to push his career back into the spotlight but the damage was already done by Cena and Jericho. Otherwise, Bray was supposed to be higher in the list.
#10 John Cena
2014 certainly didn’t belong to John Cena. The never ending heat from the WWE Universe might be one of the reasons for this but despite the mediocre run; there were some great moments for the Cenation leader.
He became a fifteen time WWE Champion this year when he got hold of the gold at Money in the Bank. Cena main evented Royal Rumble, SummerSlam and Survivor Series and also got win at WrestleMania against Bray Wyatt.
The Cenation leader won the matches where it mattered the most which rounded up the year for him. He was the chosen leader of the team that led to Authority’s demise as well and it might’ve not been the best year for Cena but it clearly was a solid one.
Wine gets better with age, so does Goldust. He after rejuvenating his career in the tag team division last year, many of the fans expected Goldust to run out of steam this time around.
However, the veteran shocked everyone, again. He not only got another tag title run under his belt but also continued to give out solid performances that put the array of youngsters to shame. His matches alongside Cody Rhodes have been a wrestling clinic for everyone who wanted to learn wrestling.
He is showing no signs of slowing down as well and WWE is still yet to use the Brother – Brother Angle which further underlines the longevity of Goldust. Cody and the Usos also had a similarly solid year like Goldust but he gets the place because of the age factor.
Sheamus returned to action in Royal Rumble and has been a mainstay in the WWE programming ever since. The Celtic Warrior got into the Intercontinental championship tournament after his return but failed to capitalize the opportunity.
He however did get some taste of gold when he won the United States Championship by winning a battle royal. Sheamus then went on to have a great reign which saw many great and physical matches.
Main eventing the Money in the Bank pay-per-view was another big moment for Sheamus who then dropped the title to Rusev. Even after dropping, the company projected him as big threat to everyone that faced him and if it wasn’t for the recent injury, Sheamus would’ve gone to make a big impact at Survivor Series as well.
#7 Dolph Ziggler
The fans have been rallying behind Ziggler for the whole year and it’s finally paying off. He started off the year with a concussion which was supposed to keep him out for a long time. But the Show off returned in style and became a main stay in the midcard.
He was instrumental in making both the Intercontinental and the United States Championship relevant once again even if he didn’t win them with numerous attempts. All those matches that he had for the titles were nothing less than spectacular and finally the company appreciated his efforts with an Intercontinental title run.
The biggest point of the year for Ziggler came at Survivor Series. Odds were stacked against him big time but he ended up being the ‘one’ who wiped off the Authority from existence.
WWE fans have seen many monsters come and go and they thought Rusev would end up just like that when they saw his first. The recent bookings and the run that Rusev had this year suggest other ways.
Alongside Lana, Rusev has managed to stamp his place as an old school heel that guarantees heat from the crowd.
He ran over a number of former World Champions over the year including the lights of Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Big Show and Sheamus while there were some interesting exchanges with John Cena and Roman Reigns. Sharing the ring with Rock was another big moment.
He became the United States Champion and headlined Survivor Series as well. And if the rumors are right, Rusev will be going to WrestleMania to face either Cena or The Rock.
#5 Roman Reigns
The so called future face of the company had a great year this time around with and without the Shield. His run started off in Royal Rumble where he made a record for most number of eliminations.
Reigns then went on to dismantle the Evolution and Wyatt Family in some great matches with the Shield before the eventual break up. As a singles competitor, WWE clearly wanted to build Reigns as a big thing and the two successive pay-per-view main events at Money in the Bank and Battleground was an after effect.
He was getting great pops from the crowd throughout his singles run and if it wasn’t for the injury, Reigns would’ve played a big role in Survivor Series as well.
#4 Daniel Bryan
WWE saw its own version of a fairytale in 2014 when a short, shabby looking bearded underdog headlined WrestleMania and won the WWE championship. The journey of Daniel Bryan was the main attraction of the event apart from Taker’s streak and Bryan didn’t disappoint.
He put on two great matches in one night and made all three of his opponents look great. Before that Bryan had one of the best matches of the year against Bray Wyatt at Royal Rumble.
As champion, the flying goat then had a feud with Kane which was cut short by the injury he picked up. Bryan’s void is the roster is still not filled by the company and hopefully he would be back next year to do what he does best.
#3 Dean Ambrose
It’s not every day that you get a wrestler who gets compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin. CM Punk was someone like that but after he walked away from the company there Ambrose filled in that spot of being the next Austin pretty well.
His year started off alongside the Shield and their clashes with Evolution were the high points. However, the career changer came when the Shield split. The Lunatic Fringe manager to become ‘the’ most over Shield member after the stable’s demise and was the company’s best anti – hero over the year.
The matches he had with Seth Rollins during their feud electrified all the arenas and the recent feud with Bray Wyatt looks to be even better. Ambrose is certainly going to make it big next year.
#2 Seth Rollins
If Ambrose drew comparisons to Steve Austin, Rollins was compared to the lights of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Being the sole reason for the Shield’s break up underlined the faith WWE had in Rollins and he repaid them with some awesome performances.
WWE was struggling without heels apart from the Authority during that time but Rollins managed to get a lot of heat from the crowd. He also transformed this heat into success as well when he became the Money in the Bank winner.
The quality of action in between the ropes in matches involving Rollins has been top notch and with the briefcase in his hands, it will only be a matter of time before Rollins win the WWE Championship.
#1 Brock Lesnar
You saw this one coming didn’t you? Well, there hasn’t been a more impactful name than Lesnar in 2014. The run started in Royal Rumble when he destroyed Big Show and then the unthinkable happened at WrestleMania.
Lesnar became the one in the twenty one and one and gave a truck load of things for Paul Heyman to brag about. Ending the Undertaker’s streak was most probably one of the biggest moments of the decade and will be the highest point of Lesnar’s WWE career.
It didn’t stop there however. The Beast then destroyed Cena with 16 German suplexes in SummerSlam to become the WWE champion. He wrestled in Night of Champion as well and with just those 4 big appearances, Lesnar ended up being the most successful superstar of the year.