WWE.com's Top 25 matches of 2013

#5 Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro (Raw; July 22)

WE SAID: It seems unfathomable at this point that the recently voted Superstar of the Year’s abilities were ever in question from anyone. Yet for some reason, everyone in WWE and their mother decided to put Daniel Bryan through the ringer to see if he was really worthy of the WWE Title Match John Cena had decided to give him at SummerSlam. Of all those opponents in that run up to the summer classic, nobody — nooobody — gave Bryan more hell than Antonio Cesaro.

Watch: Bryan battles Jack Swagger | Ryback closes the night

As the second opponent in a three-pronged challenge Bryan faced one July night (the first was Jack Swagger and the third ended up being Ryback), Cesaro used the already-tenderized Bryan as his bearded punching bag, deploying the full scope of his heavy-artillery offense in a contest that veered quickly into a brawl. Make no mistake: Despite the victory for “Mr. Small Package,” the match was a win for everyone involved. Not only did Bryan show he was ready to fight for the ultimate prize; Cesaro made a strong case for himself as well, and it’s only a matter of time before we see this unfold again on a much grander stage. – ANTHONY BENIGNO

THEY SAID: “You know, that was one of the matches that stood out because me and Bryan have some history and it was the first time we fought in WWE as far as I remember. There’s a lot of history and it’s cool that we could meet on this stage and show the world what we’re capable of. It still stands out because there was a lot of energy in that building and that match. I think it just scratched the surface.” – ANTONIO CESARO