I hope that everyone had a great holiday. I have always enjoyed this time of year. Not only for the time with family, gifts, and college football bowl games, but because in my nerdy wrestling mind, it gives me time to reflect on the good and bad in wrestling this year. So much went down this year...2012 Where do I even begin to start? This isn’t what I would call a great year in the wrestling world by any stretch of the imagination, so don’t count on me to give some fanboy review talking about all the great moments of the year.
If that’s what you are looking for, then you haven’t been reading my articles since I started writing for this website. And to be honest, the great moments of the year seemed to be far and between, and most of them took place in the first part of the year anyhow before putrid story-lines involving soap opera drama took over the 2nd half of the year. This year also saw some of the lowest ratings in 15 years along with the lowest numbers in regards to live attendance and buy rates. In this writing, I am going to start with some of the things that I did like, before I write about some of the garbage that we had to deal with this year as wrestling fans. So sit back and enjoying the 2012 wrestling adventure in about 5 paragraphs.
The first thing that I could say that I enjoyed was the return of long title reigns for the World Champions of WWE, TNA, and even Ring of Honor. This does nothing but make the titles more meaningful, and it also makes one wonder who can be the one to usurp them. CM Punk has held the title for over 400 days, Bobby Roode brought legitimacy to the TNA World Title with his long reign, and in ROH Kevin Steen continues to be the unlikely flag bearer with a title reign that has lasted over 7 months. I always felt that frequent title changes did nothing for business and just a way of doing lazy booking; title changes should always be a big deal when they happen. I can also say that I enjoyed WrestleMania 28. Triple H vs The Undertaker was Match of the Year in my opinion and for me, it was great to see John Cena ‘s lame ass get beat by The Rock. I don’t think a single person over the age of 15 was unhappy when WrestleMania was over! And the night after Wrestlemania, we even got to see the return of Brock Lesnar after he had a stellar run in UFC and his match with John Cena at Extreme Rule was way better than it had any right to be.
TNA even got a few things right, Austin Aries did an excellent job making the X-Division Title relevant again. He also did a great job as the TNA World Champion. Up until a few months ago, I felt that TNA was more fun to watch than WWE (I will get into that very soon, I promise). Their matches have been fast paced and they have shown that they have a better roster of athletes than WWE has at the moment. TNA can be great, if they can just make a few adjustments. It’s also good to see Jeff Hardy get his life together and living drug free, and I truly hope that he can stay the course. He is a great talent and no one wants to see him dead or in jail. Bully Ray has also shown that he has the skills to be a top singles star in that company, and it will be up to TNA and their creative team to show this. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
I have also enjoyed some of the fresh talent that WWE has brought in starting with Ryback. I watched each and every week as more fans got behind him. Slowly but surely, those “Goldberg” chants started to turn into “Feed Me More” chants. I had said before that it’s time for people to get aboard the Ryback train because he is here to stay, and I can only see bigger things for him. As I have written before, I also am a huge fan of The Shield. I am hoping to see these guys continue to wreak havoc in the WWE for many months to come, and can only hope they are overshadowed within the next few months when WrestleMania is on the horizon. Dolph Ziggler has also impressed me very much this year, and I hope to see him as World Champion in 2013. The thing that I can say that I enjoyed most this year, was WWE’s resurrection of the Tag Team Division. The tag team roster is impressive, and I feel that it has the potential to get even better in 2013, I just need WWE to stay the course with this.
As you saw above, I spent quite a few paragraphs say what I liked about wrestling in 2012. Of course, as I had stated above, it wasn’t all great. WWE and TNA definitely had some turds in the punch bowl. I am going to start off with WWE deciding to move Raw to Three hours. I still think that Three hours is simply too long for a televised wrestling show. Fans get burned out from it, and I think the sagging ratings are proof positive of this. Out of three hours, we get a lot of recapping, product placement, and social media mumbo jumbo. We also watched as WWE exploited a man’s heart attack for T-Shirts and ratings too, and we had to deal with the WWE champion playing 2nd fiddle to John Cena at almost every WWE pay per view this year, including a match where Cena headlined against John FUCKING Lauranitis. TNA decided to keep the stupid Aces & 8s story-line going way longer than they have needed to. I don’t think my daughters would be intimidated by Devon and Festus! The whole takeover, motorcycle gang thing is a played out concept. And the thing is, no one can blame Vince Russo for this turd sandwich.
2012 also saw a huge influx of poorly acted relationship story-lines involving people named “AJ”. TNA had AJ Styles being accused having an affair with TNA President Dixie Carter which turned into him supposedly getting a crackhead named Claire Lynch pregnant! WHO THE HELL CAME UP WITH THIS?!?!?! Then in WWE we had AJ Lee being accused of having an “affair” with John Cena by Vickie Guerrero. The latter story-line was done despite the fact it was two single, consenting adults! And somehow after all this AJ screws Cena and gets with Dolph Ziggler which made me ask “What was the point of all this?” At least the AJ Styles-Claire Lynch story-line was so stupid to the point it was funny because of the bad acting from Claire Lynch whose skills were on par with that of a porn star (which rumor has it she was, which would explain a lot).
As awesome as WWE’s tag team division has gotten, in TNA I had forgotten that a tag team division even existed until Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero showed up on Impact last night with the tag team titles. This is one place where TNA has started to fail, and it’s a shame because with the last couple years they had actually built up a pretty good tag team division, but as we can see those days are gone.
The biggest contribution to TNA having such a crappy second half of the year would have to be the influx of Hogans on our television. Is there any reason that we should be watching wrestling in 2012 going into 2013 and still seeing Hulk Hogan on our television? Then we have to deal with his daughter Brooke Hogan who is having a relationship with Bully Ray much to the dismay of her dad! This is pretty stupid shit. Hulk Hogan is probably the biggest thing that is holding TNA back as a company. They have had some great shows, great Pay Per Views, and some great matches, but that all gets pushed aside for Hulk Hogan to bigfoot everything and play to the whim of the marks in the Impact Zone. Cut the cancer out, Dixie!
2012 was a crap year for mainstream wrestling, but I will say that I have enjoyed all of the work done by folks wrestling on the independent scene whether it’s IWC, PWX Pittsburgh, and even the folks of AAPW. The independent wrestling scene continues to be the glue that holds everything together. You can see guys still making their way to the top, and you can see some of your favorite wrestlers who are leaving mainstream wrestling. Heck, my moment of the year took place at an independent wrestling show which was meeting Tommy Dreamer.
For 2013, I am not sure what the outlook is right now. We will soon see if things are going to be status quo or if some changes in the right direction are on the horizon. Starting in January, WWE is going to start it’s cavalcade of part timers coming in with The Rock. And TNA is going to match that with Hulk Hogan telling people he wants to be TNA World Champion. Maybe the Mayans were off by a few months...
I hope you enjoyed this 2012 Year in Review. And I look forward to 2013 where I will continue to write these articles as long as all of you are reading them. As always you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on twitter @whosantcox. See you all next year, and God Bless!
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