This was the year that TNA decided to pretty much give up on the Pay-Per-View business – they reduced their major pay events to only four, and filled up the rest of their required dates with various specialty shows. The gamble didn’t exactly pay off. Similarly, WWE became more long-term focused on its own network, while at the same time witnessing buy rates rise and fall. Still, building towards the “big show” is in the fabric of pro-wrestling. So which one delivered most in 2013?
2013 Pay-Per-View of the Year
Brian Fritz: WWE SummerSlam
It was tough to pick out the one show that stood out and even Summerslam had flaws especially the opening match between Bray Wyatt and Kane in a Ring of Fire match. But the show had two standout matches including Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk which, in my estimation, was the best match of the year along with a main event of Daniel Bryan defeating John Cena to win the WWE Championship in another outstanding match. Randy Orton decided to crash the show in the end, cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the title from Bryan after Triple H turned on the new champion.
Michael A. Wiseman: WWE SummerSlam
A part of me wanted to go with the biggest show in all of sports entertainment… but I think SummerSlam is the show that really stood out in my mind. The match with Punk/Lesnar was great, as was the main event between Cena and Bryan. There were also a few other really good payoffs here – Kane and Bray Wyatt fought in a ‘ring of fire’ match (say what you will about it), and Alberto Del Rio squared off against Christian in a contest that isn’t given enough credit in “match of the year” talk. Plus, we got to see Sandow and Rhodes settle their differences. Is this one of the greatest SummerSlams of all time? No, definitely not. But at least WWE gave it’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year a little more buy in, and used it as a launching point for their major story heading towards the end of the year. Good enough.
Steven Muehlhausen: Payback
This was close between this show and Summerslam. Payback had three matches that stood out with two match of the year candidates with the return of CM Punk vs Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title in where we saw one of the better double turns in wrestling history. We also had a pretty good match with John Cena vs Ryback for the WWE title.
What are your thoughts on “show of the year”? Did TNA stand out with it’s cable broadcast pay-per-views? Will the WWE Network be a good replacement? Let us know how you feel in the comments below. And, be sure to check out our entire Best of 2013: Professional Wrestling for our thoughts on superstar of the year, match of the year, and more!