For 51 Sundays (plus one Monday for WrestleMania), Cageside Seats has asked you to tell us about your favorite performances in pro wrestling. In record numbers, you Cagesiders answered the call.
Ladies and germs, smarks and anti-smarks, here's the full, final, official S3 for 2014 - 2015:
Wish I had time to do some fancy graphs like I used to back in the early days of this thing - if anyone wants to take a stab at analysis, let me know and I can email you the full spreadsheet I use to keep track of it week-to-week - but here are some quick thoughts upon closing the book on our third year...
11 - 15
- Lesnar is the Beast Incarnate when it comes to fan votes, too. The only thing keeping him out of the top ten - and quite possibly the top spot - is his schedule. His crossover appeal from casual fans to hardcore wrestling afficianados is why he makes roughly $300,000 per appearance.
- This is the first year our Annual Top Ten are all WWE performers. That time off television hurt the only other poll-eligible promotion, TNA. As usual, The It Factor was Impact's standard bearer.
- The Rotunda boys are both very interesting cases, for very different reasons. The lack of support for Bray here speaks to his aimlessness - it's hard to have the best performance of the week when no one is sure what it is you're doing. And Bo proves that it doesn't matter how much we dig something, if the masses and/or Vince McMahon aren't feeling it, it's not long for our Monday and Thursday nights.
- The three way tie at 15 between the current NXT main eventers is probably my favorite thing.
10 - Damien San/Mizdow
A combination of a guy we already loved (6th place in 12-13 and 14th in 13-14) getting a nice spot and making the most of it.
8/ 9 - Daniel Bryan / Roman Reigns
Last year's winner snuck ahead of his Fastlane opponent by half a point, even though he missed most of the year. Not bad. Reigns' year pretty much charts how the internet changed their mind on him as it became clear what Vince had planned for him...and as the post-injury presentation of the character stumbled (Or, just check out Lordban's excellent work tracking Roman's unique year).
7 - Paige
Our lone female representative in the top ten - taking AJ Lee's role from our first two years (although the pint-sized powder keg's top twenty finish despite her own hiatus is impressive) - surged from the gate upon her surprise debut, then fell out of favor when Creative wasn't sure whether she was a heel or a face. Her Total Divas role helped her settle into a groove that you cats and kittens seemed to enjoy.
6 - Dolph Ziggler
Another perpetual fave (3rd in year one, 23rd in an injury-lagued and bafflingly booked year two), The Show-Off finally got a story where his cocky babyface character could shine when his Intercontinental title dreams where being messed with by The Authority. Could have finished higher, and maybe made a run at the very top, if he hadn't been kayfabe fired and shoot booked to the margins on a couple of different occasions.
5 - Paul Heyman
See also, his client. The Advocate finds his way onto our screens more often that Lesnar, and when he does, he collects votes.
3/4 - The Swinging Cats
Our current WWE tag champs got here different ways. The 2014 Andre the Giant Memorial winner started strong when he was paired with Heyman and then drifted down when it became clear that that didn't mean much. He never drifted off the radar, though, as strong ring work kept him on the list more weeks than not.
Natty's husband was something of a miracle, finding his feet in NXT before slowly impressing on the main roster B-shows and finally, the Masters of the WWE Universe. Through it all, his 'reality' show presence and workrate helped, making it so the small boost other might have gotten from his 2015 booking really shot him to the top.
1/2 - Broken brothers
Kidd would be the story of our third season, if it weren't for the way The Architect's amazingly overtook the Lunatic Fringe. Dean left to make a movie, but he came back hotter than ever. He never recovered from walking away from his feud with Rollins to chase Bray Wyatt's magic lantern, however.
Seth was understandably rewarding for killing it in ring and out for the entire year. But I don't think anyone ever knocked Ambrose's work. The way these two former partners year played out in The S3 may be as good a case for how WWE Creative controls the fortunes of its workers - regardless of whether or not they reach for Vince's brass ring.
For fun, use the poll below to make a prediction as to the 2015-16 winner. Last year, you weren't far off. Will Rollins become our first repeat champ? Let us know what you think!
Any other questions, comments, concerns, screams or cries? Use the comments for those, too!
See you on Sunday for Season Four of The S3!