Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Year End Sorting Bins: The Creme de la Creme

Here we are, the highest level, the pantheon, so to speak. These are the wrestlers and personalities for whom I have rabid and some would say irrational level of adoration for. They're the folks that really stoke the flames of my wrestling fandom.

Photo Credit: Brandon Stroud

Rachel Summerlyn - She's the first of two new additions to the group. I've seen her before, but not in ways that showed what she can really be. She's fun and funky. Passionate and proud. A warrior. A pin-up. A maniac. A Champion. Wrestling isn't the vision that a company has for a roster of wrestlers. It's what the wrestler has for his or herself. Summerlyn is the biggest example of this. That's why she's here, and that's why she has all my admiration and then some.

Photo Credit: Joey O.

ACH - The second of two new additions, ACH stretched the boundaries of what I, as a wrestling fan, could imagine as being contained within the art. When he gets into the ring, he draws from infinite pools of inspiration. The things he does in the ring when he's fully unleashed? It's amazing. It's breathtaking. You can point to the aerial assault, and yeah, that's great, but it's boring just to look at him through that spectrum. Everyone does planchas. Who does them with his panache? No one. That's why ACH is here.

Photo Credit: Wayne Palmer/DDS

Sara del Rey - As a peon fan, I really have no right to be angry at her career choice. A trainer for the market leader is job security, and it keeps her from taking all those bumps that might shorten things important to her. But behind the scenes, we don't get to see her do things that drew us to her in the first place. She won't be wrestling against Marchie Archie or Courtney Rush. She won't be able to use Mickie Knuckles' hand to flip the crowd off. She'll be tucked away. Maybe she'll go to work on camera for WWE and revolutionize women's role in the company. But I'm not holding my breath. That's why this sucks for us as fans.

Photo Credit:

Chris Jericho - Nine months of a fix for the Jerichoholics may not be a lot, but it's better than nothing. Actually, when he came back and did his entire Jeri-trolling bit, I was caught, hook, line, and sinker. It was brilliance. Jericho always had a way of reinventing himself, and the silent treatment was a great way of doing that. I don't know whether it was his call or WWE's, but that he went back to his "Best in the world at what I do" character was a bit of a disappointment. But he's still the man.

Photo Credit:

Antonio Cesaro - Oh man, he's been one of the best things about WWE TV since he's gotten called up, hasn't he? It's not the anti-American character stuff. He's doing that well enough, but holy shit, the feats of strength? He's doing what no one else has been able to do recently - seem like a big friggin' deal lifting things up and putting them down (violently) in WWE. He even looks like a beast doing the Neutralizer on guys like Kofi Kingston. That means something.

Photo Credit: Impact

Austin Aries - In a company that pissed away its creative goodwill quicker than a frat pledge pisses out his bladder within his first binge drink after initiation, Austin Aries remained a rock of quality. No one should be surprised by that. As if even Hulk Hogan's orange goblin glow could dim the aura of the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.

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Daniel Bryan - C'mon, you didn't think he was the nearly-eternal #1 on the Best in the World rankings on a rib, did you? Bryan can do no more to prove to any of you his worth. He's an epic wrestler. He's a titanic personality. He's an awesome human being. If you don't see him the way I've seen him since I first started watching him in 2009 and the way people have seen him long before I have, you have no hope.

Graphics Credit: K. Sawyer Paul

Bryce Remsburg - C'mon, he's the podcast logo.