On a cold night in November, three mercenaries in military gear stormed the ring and altered the course of WWE history. In Kansas City, a third-generation marvel was born again in the image of his forbearers. An arrogant villain started a dance craze in the swamps of Jersey while a former college football standout decimated a WWE icon.

These were the moments that introduced gripping new personas to the WWE Universe. All told, there were five debut entities that impacted WWE this year — The Shield, Big E Langston, Curtis Axel, The Wyatt Family and Fandango. WWE.com charted each of their remarkable outbreaks, but only one of these upstarts could stand out as 2013’s “Rookie of the Year,” presented by “Ryse: Son of Rome.”