Instead of doing a regular This Week in WWE article, I thought I would do a year end review of all that happened in WWE. I’ll be handing out awards for different accomplishments and telling you what just didn’t work this year in WWE. It’s time to take a look back on a year of ups and downs!
Diva of the Year
Eve Torres gets my nod as Diva of the Year this year. There really wasn’t anyone else that was close. In a year that saw a lot of Divas come and go and a lot of Divas not live up to expectations, Eve was the one constant. Eve has been involved in several high profile storylines and has been the performer who has been counted on to carry the Divas Championship even when the division isn’t at its peak. Eve has blossomed into a much better actress with all the involvement she’s had this year and her in-ring work while not flashy has been very steady. The concern with Eve lies in the fact that there isn’t much left to do for the veteran Diva and one has to wonder how much longer she’ll stick around if WWE doesn’t get some new faces to replace those that have parted ways with the organization. I for one would love to see a Natalya vs. Eve feud, hopefully that will come in 2013.
Tag-Team of the Year
You can’t argue with the fact that Team Hell No have easily been the tag-team of the year. At the start of the year, who would have imagined a tag-team with Daniel Bryan and Kane? That just wouldn’t have made any sense and yet, mid-year, that’s exactly what we saw. This team was the product of a weird triangle feud between CM Punk. Daniel Bryan, and Kane and they gelled right away. This team originally didn’t look like it was going very far and then the skits started which brought us more background on each character and the relationship between them. Kane and Bryan are entertaining in the ring and out and have carried the tag-team titles and defended them adequately unlike so many teams before. This team will probably break up either shortly before or after Wrestlemania to make way for another singles run for Bryan. As for Kane, he seems to always find his way into a prominent storyline. It’s been a great year for Team Hell No.
Newcomer of the Year
Antonio Cesaro edged out Damien Sandow as my pick for Newcomer of the Year. Antonio Cesaro busted onto the scene in 2012 quickly making the transition from ROH to Developmental to WWE and making a name for himself all at the same time. Originally Cesaro was given Aksana as a manager which didn’t help the young star connect with the audience whatsoever and it was only when he finally got rid of her services that people started to really pay attention to him and realize what a contender he could be. The United States title is just a filler for this man who will quickly see a World Championship in 2013. There haven’t been many Superstars in WWE lately that have had his sheer brutality in the ring and that haven’t needed to do long promos to get over with the crowd. One thing’s for sure, when Cesaro is in a match, the fans pay attention.
Comeback of the Year
Chris Jericho gets the Comeback of the Year award for 2012 after once again showing that he can be away for as long as he wants yet, when he comes back, it’ll be like he never left. Jericho can be considered a part-timer at this point in his career and he deserves it. The first-ever Undisputed Champion of the World has done it all and still offers his services time and time again to help the young talent in WWE or just to have some really kickass matches. His feud with CM Punk was a wonderful change from the normally very mundane storylines WWE puts together and got very personal. The other big feud Jericho had involved Dolph Ziggler and pushed Dolph to levels not seen before. Dolph is now on the fast track to a Championship and Jericho is back with Fozzy but, it was a great 8 months for Chris Jericho in 2012. Honorable mention to DX at Raw 1000 for a comeback we never thought we’d see, at least not with the Outlaws.
WTF Moment of the Year
Hornswoggle being revealed as the Anonymous Raw Genral Manager was definitely a WTF moment. Back when the Anonymous GM ruled Raw, there was no hook greater than finally finding out just who the GM was and what the whole purpose behind the anonymity was. What we got was Hornswoggle revealing himself to be the GM and another storyline that could have been great with absolutely no payoff.
The “It Isn’t The Same Without You” Award
Unfortunately, Christian takes the award for the Superstar we missed the most this year. Christian had such a stellar year in 2011 riding the waves of Edge’s retirement into World Title reigns and some brilliant feuds. This year, Christian was seldom seen except for a series of matches with Cody Rhodes which reminded us why the mid-carders are considered the workhorses. Here’s hoping Christian can come back at the same level he was in 2011 and stay injury free in 2013. I’m looking for a Royal Rumble return for Captain Charisma and it’s about time!
Worst Gimmick Award
This one is a tie for me between Brodus Clay and Tensai. Brodus could have been so much more than he is but, now he’s a joke and probably won’t even last until this time next year before he’s either released or repackaged. Tensai comes in with a gimmick that absolutely nobody cares about and gets a win over John Cena which is a rarity for anyone let alone a Superstar making their comeback. If you’re going to bring back Albert, bring him back as Albert, at least people would have understood that. I feel for the guy because he’s a very agile big-man who has stood the test of time in the ring and made a comeback when most people would be winding down their careers however, it was a terrible gimmick to be brought back with.
Best Gimmick Award
Here’s a surprise that I bet nobody thought was coming. The best gimmick this year has to be AJ Lee. How many other people in the history of wrestling have done as many different things as AJ has done in this one year? No one. AJ has bounced around between 5 or 6 different guys, disrupted matches, been the GM, had a wedding, gone crazy, beat up a GM, attacked wrestlers, and skipped around the ring after all is said and done. The fact of the matter is, you’ll never know what AJ is going to do from one week to another and that is what WWE desperately needs. She’s spontaneous and her acting ability makes all of this easy to believe. AJ is one to watch going into 2013.
Suprise of the Year Award
John Cena defeating Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules was easily the biggest surprise to me. After getting dominated in the match, Cena suddenly pulled out a win and did so after losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania. The weird thing about this that makes it so surprising is that this was Brock Lesnar’s first match since re-signing with WWE and he lost. It was a shocking moment and one that really solidified how much that the office is behind John Cena.
Overrated Superstar of the Year
Brodus Clay gets another award here and not a good one. I just don’t understand why they hyped this man like they did. Rikishi was a great big-man, Yokozuna was a great big-man. Brodus Clay just isn’t a great big-man. The Funkasaurus has the exact same match weekly and continues to sit idle with each passing week. Sure, the kids love this guy but, you can’t go after just one demographic with a Superstar. Those kids grow up and next year, Brodus Clay won’t be so cool anymore.
Underrated Superstar of the Year
Poor Tyson Kidd, no matter what this guy does, no one backstage seems to notice. Well they should. Tyson Kidd is the most talented person on the main roster that doesn’t appear weekly. Tyson is as gifted an athlete as I’ve ever seen and although he’s small, he can rise to the occasion when thrown into any type of match. There’s a reason there was so much excitement when Tyson was put in the Money in the Bank ladder match, the fans understand how good this kid is. Tyson’s time is coming, it’s just a matter of when and if it will be in WWE. If WWE doesn’t give Tyson a chance, TNA or ROH will certainly snatch up this promising young Superstar who deserves so much more than he’s been given.
Best Storyline Award
Chris Jericho and CM Punk had the best storyline we’ve seen in WWE in a long time as I alluded to earlier. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen storylines that have gotten so personal with the smashing of a beer bottle on Punk’s head and Jericho talking about Punk’s alcoholic father and drug abusing sister. It was all very riveting television and it made for a great and very personal feud. The superb matches and face-offs didn’t hurt either. It’s a shame Jericho had to once again ride off into the sunset.
Worst Storyline Award
The Eve/Kaitlyn assault storyline was my pick for the worst storyline of the year. A storyline that could have had a huge payoff in the end if they had actually introduced a new character or actually done something that made sense but, all the anticipation was for nothing. After around 2 months of build-up, Aksana was revealed to be the assailant and Kaitlyn got her revenge. That was it. It didn’t build Aksana up and it did nothing for Kaitlyn. It was completely pointless.
Superstar of the Year Award
CM Punk is easily my Superstar of the Year. Not many guys can go from being the #2 face in the company to the #1 heel in the company all in the same year but, CM Punk easily made that transition. One clothesline and GTS to The Rock was all CM Punk needed to solidify himself as the number one bad guy this company had to offer. With 400 days and counting as the WWE Champion, CM Punk has cemented his legacy in WWE and is looking to have a stellar year in 2013 even though he’s been dealing with a minor knee injury. A small price to pay to be on top. Right now, he may just be the best in the world.
That’s it for my WWE 2012 Year in Review. I hope you enjoyed it and we’ll be back to our regular articles within the next couple weeks!