Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 12/19

#1 Kofi Kingston [--] (42-23-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

With only one more week of competition left in 2010, it seems all but guaranteed that Kofi Kingston will go down in history as the first counted #1 wrestler in the Kayfabe Countdown. Of all the wrestlers competing in WWE and TNA in 2010, Kofi has not immediately emerged as the most memorable or accomplished, but his impressive win/loss victory and steady contention for the Intercontinental title on Smackdown suggests the company is at least invested in his markettable brand.

Kofi experienced some near misses with the main event, gaining a short-lived burst of heat early in the year during encounters with Randy Orton (#3), but the moment that perhaps left it's biggest impression on me came from a commercial. While the results of toy battles might matter even less than the average win/loss; for a character of [Kofi's] relative insignifcance to star in a Money in the Bank playset commercial, victorious in action figure form, surely means quite a lot in an era defined by it's toybranded PG perspective.

#2 [--] The Big Show (40-15-2) (WWE)
#3 [+1] Randy Orton (32-19-6) (WWE)
#4 [-1] Rey Mysterio (31-16-5) (WWE)
#5 [+1] Cody Rhodes (30-20-2) (WWE)
#6 [+2] The Miz (30-29-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#7 [-2] Drew McIntyre (30-31-4) (WWE)
#8 [-1] AJ Styles (27-12-6) (TNA)
#9 [--] Dolph Ziggler (27-28-3) (WWE) [Intercontinental Champion]
#10 [RE] John Cena (26-22-6) (WWE)

#1 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (16-16-3) (TNA)
#2 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-18-0) (WWE)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (14-10-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [+1] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (13-3-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#5 [-1] Layla & Michelle McCool (12-15-0) (WWE)
#6 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (9-5-0) (WWE)
#7 [--] Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal (9-7-0) (TNA)
#8 [--] Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (8-4-0) (WWE)
#9 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (8-4-0) (WWE)
#10 [--] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#58 Alberto Del Rio
(12-7-3) (WWE)

2010 has been good to Smackdown's swanky Spanish superstar, Alberto Del Rio. His heated rivalry with Rey Mysterio transformed into a championship possibility, but alas, the TLC Pay-Per-View did not cap off an incredible year for the former mascarado. In what many consider to be his signature match -- Edge (#11) emerged victorious from the titular stipulation, defeating Del Rio, the now former-champion Kane (#15), and Rey Mysterio (#4), a trio providing good company in their mutual defeat.

In '09 I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Dos Caras Jr at almost every imaginable turn, seeing entry points where there were none. Relishing the possibility of a second masked luchadore within the wrestling giant's ranks was a naive hope, but one sponsored by early reports that suggested the Mexican legacy star would not be asked to remove his mask in a deal with WWE. It remains a somewhat sour point, for me, that the traditions of the mask were not honored by WWE, who could probably use a healthy injection of conceptual and stylistic diversity, but the results have done well to ease my disappointment. Alberto Del Rio may be a very different character to the man of 'two faces', but he's been no less an injection of life and intrigue into the Smackdown roster.

I would have liked to have seen Del Rio begin 2011 as the World Heavyweight Champion, but ultimately respect that he will have longer to earn that reward and further his WWE career with solid feuds, and enjoyable matches. It's the kind of seasoning that multi-title winner, Edge, has lacked in his rapidfire championship reigns over a few short years, and is similarly absent from the majority of WWE's recently elevated stars. Del Rio was only called up from development in FCW in June of 2010, so it could fairly be said that his successes against Rey Mysterio are an achievement already. Christian (#24), his would-be opponent before a pectoral tear, now waits in the wings of 2011, along with Edge and the other headlining stars of the blue brand.

Special Note: Countdown includes results from the WWE: Tables, Ladders, Chairs pay-per-view event, where Edge (#11) defeated Kane (#14) to become the WWE World Heavyweight champion for the sixth time. Combined with WWE Championship victories, it is Edge's tenth reign as a world class champion. Christmas also saw the disappointing release of Kaval (#93) from WWE; formerly known as Low-Ki, a two-time TNA X-Division champion and the first ROH World Heavyweight champion.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

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