Rating The Champ

WWE World Titles – 2013

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we look back at the year 2013, and we’ll continue to go back from here.

In front of my star ratings for the matches, you’ll either see “HR”, “R” or “RTA”. “HR” means the match is highly recommended ; “R” means the match is recommended ; “RTA” means recommendation to avoid. In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing spectacular.


The Rock (January 27, 2013 – April 7, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 3
  • Record: 2-1

My match ratings:

  • The Rock def. CM Punk(c) – Royal Rumble 2013 (****1/4) *HR*
  • The Rock(c) def. CM Punk – Elimination Chamber 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • John Cena def. The Rock(c) – WrestleMania 29 (***)

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. CM Punk’s reign was fantastic, and it could and probably should’ve been a younger guy beating him to create a new star. However, I can’t say it didn’t make business sense to do Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania again, just look at those PPV numbers. Apart from that, I have to say Rock’s matches exceeded all expectations, considering Rock hadn’t wrestled on three consecutive PPVs since 2003! That’s when The Great One went one-on-one with Hulk Hogan (No Way Out), Steve Austin (WrestleMania XIX) and Goldberg (Backlash). Apart from that, The Rock appearing on TV almost every week for over three months is always a great thing.

Rating: 5/10

John Cena (April 7, 2013 – August 18, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 13
  • Record: 8-4 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • John Cena def. The Rock(c) – WrestleMania 29 (***)
  • John Cena(c) draw. Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match – Extreme Rules 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • John Cena(c) def. Ryback in a 3 Stages of Hell Match – Payback 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • John Cena(c) def. Mark Henry – Money in the Bank 2013 (***1/4)
  • Daniel Bryan def. John Cena(c) – SummerSlam 2013 (****3/4) *HR*

When many people talk about changing their opinion about John Cena, they usually say it was during his great 2015 run as US Champion. However, to me personally, it was during this reign as WWE Champion. When people talk about big-time wrestling performers or the best wrestling matches ever, I can guarantee you that you will not hear the names Mark Henry or Ryback a lot. During this reign, Cena managed to have three solid matches out of three against them. Not to mention the fantastic build up and feud with Mark Henry heading into Money in the Bank, particularly that brilliant “retirement” promo by Henry. Finally, the last match of this reign turned out to be by far the best, putting Daniel Bryan over after a beautiful pro wrestling bout at SummerSlam. I enjoyed this reign.

Rating: 7/10

Daniel Bryan (August 18, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 2
  • Record: 1-1

My match ratings:

  • Daniel Bryan def. John Cena(c) – SummerSlam 2013 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan(c) in a MITB cash-in – SummerSlam 2013 (N/R)

After the aforementioned fantastic match against John Cena where Bryan won his first WWE Championship (second WWE World title overall, more on the first reign in the next article – 2012), the guest referee Triple H shocked the entire arena with a Pedigree on Bryan after Money in the Bank holder Randy Orton teased cashing in. They would both turn heel as Orton would simply pin Bryan, and then we got the Authority for what felt like thirty years! This first angle was great, though.

Rating: -/10

Randy Orton (August 18, 2013 – September 15, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 7
  • Record: 6-1

My match ratings:

  • Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan(c) in a MITB cash-in – SummerSlam 2013 (N/R)
  • Randy Orton def. Cody Rhodes – RAW Sept. 2, 2013 (***3/4) *R*
  • Randy Orton def. Goldust – RAW Sept. 9, 2013 (***3/4) *R*
  • Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton(c) – Night of Champions 2013 (***1/4)

I absolutely loved Randy Orton during this very brief reign, and it had the potential to be Orton’s best reign in his career. In less than a month, Orton was winning competitive non-title matches by himself on TV against the likes of The Miz, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Cody Rhodes and Goldust. He murdered Miz in front of his family just because he can, and mini-feud with Cody and Goldust during those couple of weeks is what stands out from this reign. Orton helped put Cody and Goldust more over, after putting both guys out of a job just because he won. Why didn’t Randy just keep the belt until WrestleMania? At Night of Champions, he lost it back to Daniel Bryan because of a weird angle where ref Scott Armstrong turned heel… by helping Bryan WIN (??) and then The Authority vacated the title. Since the ref was paid, why wouldn’t he help Orton win?? Makes zero sense, and only helped in killing all of Orton’s heat. After Orton won the title back, and after those horrible and/or repetitve feuds with Big Show and John Cena, Orton had lost all his heat by WrestleMania. This reign, though, was brilliant while it lasted.

Rating: 6/10

Daniel Bryan (September 15, 2013 – September 16, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 1
  • Record: 1-0

My match ratings:

  • Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton(c) – Night of Champions 2013 (***1/4)

Just why? Like I mentioned previously, the title was vacated due to the angle at Night of Champions, and then we had two months without a champion and a no-contest in a PPV match for the vacant title. Back when people had to PAY to watch them. Because that’s what’s best for business, apparently.

Rating: -/10


Alberto Del Rio (January 11, 2013 – April 8, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 24
  • Record: 20-3 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Alberto Del Rio def. Big Show(c) in a Last Man Standing Match – SmackDown Jan. 11, 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match – Royal Rumble 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Big Show – Elimination Chamber 2013 (***1/4)
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Jack Swagger – WrestleMania 29 (**1/2)
  • Dolph Ziggler def. Alberto Del Rio(c) in a MITB cash-in – RAW April 8, 2013 (N/R)

After an endless feud with Sheamus over the World Championship in 2012, Del Rio turned babyface and found himself with the gold after beating Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match on SmackDown. Babyface ADR wasn’t as good as heel ADR and never quite connected with the audience, but his matches were pretty solid. The matches with Big Show exceeded all expectations and then some, and a World title match with Jack Swagger at WrestleMania is a World title match with Jack Swagger at WrestleMania, if you know what I mean. Del Rio was a solid worker inside the ring, but no one could give a crap about his babyface gimmick at this point.

Rating: 4/10

Dolph Ziggler (April 8, 2013 – June 16, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 9
  • Record: 4-5

My match ratings:

  • Dolph Ziggler def. Alberto Del Rio(c) in a MITB cash-in – RAW April 8, 2013 (N/R)
  • Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler(c) – Payback 2013 (***3/4) *R*

Ziggler’s title win was one of the memorable in recent years, as well as Money in the Bank cash-ins. He soon started losing matches on TV before suffering an injury, and once he acme back he lost the title back to Alberto Del Rio in his first singles match back. This was nothing, sadly. At least the first night was great, I’ll take what I can get here.

Rating: 2/10

Alberto Del Rio (June 16, 2013 – October 27, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 34
  • Record: 21-11 (2 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Alberto Del Rio def. Dolph Ziggler(c) – Payback 2013 (***3/4) *R*
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Dolph Ziggler – Money in the Bank 2013 (***1/2)
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Christian – SummerSlam 2013 (****) *HR*
  • Rob Van Dam def. Alberto Del Rio(c) by DQ – Night of Champions 2013 (**1/2)
  • Alberto Del Rio(c) def. Rob Van Dam in a Hardcore Match – Battleground 2013 (***1/4)
  • John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio(c) – Hell in a Cell 2013 (***)

Much like in his first reign, Del Rio always put on solid matches as champion. However, this time working as a heel just felt more natural and made this second reign much better than the first one. He won the gold back from Dolph Ziggler in a really good match at Payback, turning heel in that match while Ziggler turned babyface. They went on to have another good match at Money in the Bank, this time with a pointless DQ finish after AJ hit Del Rio with her own Divas title. He then retained in a spectacular match with Christian at SummerSlam as well as a feud with Rob Van Dam, before dropping the gold to John Cena. This was probably Del Rio’s best reign, it was pretty solid.

Rating: 6/10

John Cena (October 27, 2013 – December 15, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 10
  • Record: 9-1

My match ratings:

  • John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio(c) – Hell in a Cell 2013 (***)
  • John Cena(c) def. Damien Sandow in a MITB cash-in – RAW Oct. 28, 2013 (***1/2) *R*
  • John Cena(c) def. Alberto Del Rio – Survivor Series 2013 (**3/4)
  • Randy Orton def. John Cena(c) in a TLC Match – TLC 2013 (***)

Make no mistake about it, John Cena won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013 for one reason and one reason only: to set up the title unification match with Randy Orton. The feud with Del Rio saw Cena beat him twice to remove him from the title picture for good, and then came his 1,589th encounter with Orton that everybody was dying to see *cough cough*. He was a transitional champion and nothing more, but he always brings energy as champion and he does have a recommended match against Damien Sandow.

My rating: 3/10

Randy Orton (December 15, 2013)

  • Televised matches: 1
  • Record: 1-0

My match ratings:

  • Randy Orton def. John Cena(c) in a TLC Match – TLC 2013 (***)

After the unification match with Cena at TLC, Orton became the champion under the WWE Championship lineage as “WWE World Heavyweight Champion”, while the World title was retired. I had to mention this reign, though, as Orton was the final World Heavyweight Champion in history.

Rating: -/10


  1. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  2. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 11/09/2016 – 29/01/2017) 9
  3. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 17/08/2014 – 29/03/2015) 7
  4. John Cena (WWE Championship, 07/04/2013 – 18/08/2013) 7
  5. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  6. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013 – 15/09/2013) 6
  7. Kevin Owens (WWE Universal Championship, 29/08/2016- 05/03/2017) 6
  8. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/06/2013 – 27/10/2013) 6
  9. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 29/03/2015 – 04/11/2015) 6
  10. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 03/04/2016 – 19/06/2016) 6
  11. The Rock (WWE Championship, 27/01/2013 – 07/04/2013) 5
  12. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  13. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 27/10/2013 – 06/04/2014) 5
  14. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 06/04/2014 – 09/06/2014) 5
  15. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  16. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  17. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/06/2014 – 17/08/2014) 4
  18. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016 – 11/09/2016) 4
  19. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  20. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/01/2013 – 08/04/2013) 4
  21. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  22. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  23. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  24. Triple H (WWE Championship, 24/01/2016 – 03/04/2016) 3
  25. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 27/10/2013 – 15/12/2013) 3
  26. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  27. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  28. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  29. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 14/12/2015 – 24/01/2016) 2
  30. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  31. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 08/04/2013 – 16/06/2013) 2
  32. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015 – 14/12/2015) 2
  33. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1
  34. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013)
  35. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016) 
  36. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015) 
  37. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2013)
  38. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship, 21/08/2016 – 22/08/2016) 
  39. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 15/09/2013 – 16/09/2013)