|Reigns scowled over many a fresh kill with his spear in 2013|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
5. Roman Reigns
Highest Vote Received: 3rd Place (Joe Kearns)
Last Year's Placement: 71st Place
TH: When The Shield debuted as a unit in late 2012, I, like many others, saw Roman Reigns as an add-on, a throw-in, something superfluous to round out the dynamic debut of at least one bona fide future star in Dean Ambrose and another whom many lavished with praise in Seth Rollins. His work in FCW as Leakee didn't impress me, although to be fair, I had only seen a small sample size of it. However, over the course of one calendar year, Reigns proved that he was an indispensable cog within the machine of both the trio and in his tag team with Rollins, a fearsome powerhouse needed to provide an imposing, nearly invincible presence within matches, and a true member of the WWE's HOSS Society.
In addition to providing the hard-hitting feats of strength, a bone-rattling spear that ranks as one of the best in wrestling history, and a monstrous, imposing presence, Reigns showed a certain panache to his brutality. He not only kicked people's asses, but he looked smooth as shit doing it. I think that kind of ring presence should be noted as an extreme positive. As a bad guy, it exuded arrogance to the point where he could draw extra boos from the crowd just through making his HOSSITUDE look easy (and in the future, as The Shield embarks on a run towards being good, that kind of confidence inspires cheers). A guy I thought would be a throw-in turned out to be maybe the most essential part of the group's superlative performances inside the squared circle. I look forward to Reigns improving and becoming one of the great big men of all-time in the future.
Joey Splashwater: Roman Reigns became a star in 2013, especially towards the end. His intensity in the ring went up another level and in my eyes, he became a star at Survivor Series. His spear on Rey Mysterio woke me up that Reigns was the real deal. As a whole, The Shield were awesome and had great matches all year with a great tag title run by Reigns and Seth Rollins.
Brock Lutefisk: I’ll go out on a limb here and say Roman Reigns gets in the top 10 of the TWB 100 next year and he’ll be there for years to come. Reigns really proved himself during 2013. He’s transformed into a terrific wrestler. Reigns as part of the Shield has really been terrific. He’s definitely established himself in the group. Personally, I hope the Shield stays together forever, but I’ll be happy to watch all three and certainly Reigns, do their thing on their own if it ever gets to that point.