Half of the business of professional wrestling is the wrestling itself – the other half is the drama that exists outside the ring. Internet “dirt sheets” report the news, including any rumors and speculations that exists, and wrestling fans everywhere clamor for any bit of new information they can find. 2013 was full of surprises – including an openly gay wrestler in WWE, one of the founding members of TNA jumping ship, and a house show debacle that had many scratching their heads. And unfortunately, a number of people in the biz lost their jobs, but one in particular was perhaps more shocking than all the rest combined.
2013 Biggest News Story of the Year
Brian Fritz: Bruno Sammartino returns to the WWE and inducted into the Hall of Fame
Sammartino had been gone for the WWE for over two decades and said for many years he had no interest in being part of their plans despite plenty of overtures. But with the PG programming, Triple H felt that he could persuade him to come back. Vince McMahon was highly skeptical but told Hunter he could try if he wanted. And he did. After some prodding and convincing, the almost unthinkable happened and Bruno was coming back home. Even better, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden which he sold out numerous times over the years.
Michael A. Wiseman: Save Olympic Wrestling Campaign
This story is really a two-parter. In early February, the International Olympic Committee made the recommendation that Olympic Wrestling NOT be included as one of the core sports. Cue chaos. When you look at it from certain perspectives, maybe… maybe… it makes sense to drop one of the worlds oldest sports. It has a rule list that’s confusing, its popularity is (probably) at an all-time low, and the flashier MMA has even conquered Boxing in the combat-sports arena. Luckily, the cavalry raced in (including one notable Olympian Kurt Angle, and his paycheck-writer TNA), and by September 2013 the decision was reversed.
It’s easy to forget in this day of “sports-entertainment” how vital traditional Freestyle/Grecco-Roman wrestling is to our modern professional wrestling circuit. Superstars like Brock Lesnar, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and countless others used the amateur sport as their own launching pads. And, unfortunately, WWE seems more set on capturing “athletes” and putting them through its own training regiment, rather than recruiting traditional mat technicians. But at least one of the world’s toughest sports has a temporary stay of execution…
Steven Muehlhausen: Disappointing Wrestlemania 29
Wrestlemania is almost always the event of the year for the WWE. This year though was very disappointing. It felt like a glorified version of Monday Night Raw. The show had a serious of rematches with Brock Lesnar vs Triple H and the headlining bout between John Cena vs The Rock.
Both matches were underwhelming with really no crowd support. The undercard matches were nothing to write home about.Not even the epic match between CM Punk vs The Undertaker couldn’t event save WM 29 from being passable.
Do you agree or disagree with Brian, Michael, and Steven? Make your voice heard in the comments below. And while you’re at it, check our Between the Ropes entire look back at 2013 with The Best of 2013: Professional Wrestling.