Tuesday, January 1, 2013
2012: A Year In Review with Promising Direction
2012 has come and gone. There were many good to great moments alongside with the expected cringe-worthy moments the WWE creative team and Vince McMahon often produce. Take a look back with us at this past year in the WWE Universe.
Hey there wrestling fans!
Here we are for my second entry on our Hardcore Casuals, wrestling, blog. Since we just ended 2012 and we're entering a new year, it's only fitting to do a review of this past year.
Over the past few years pro wrestling has been in quite the slump in the entertainment department, and has also been extremely rich in the frustration department. Once again we started out the year with some already well established names from the past in the lime light and pretty much all the attention heading into WrestleMania. We had a sub-par build toward the Triple H vs. Undertaker Hell In A Cell match, and a corny build toward Cena vs. Rock (via satelite). However, with all of these already established names getting most of the focus we also saw a pretty steady and intriguing build towards a match that ended up being one of the top matches of WrestleMania 28, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. Yes, this match saw an older veteran, Chris Jericho, also getting a decent amount of focus but at the same time out of the three main events of the Road to WrestleMania I feel this rivalry was the most productive. It saw a veteran working with a somewhat younger guy and putting him over on the biggest stage of them all and was also one of the bigger programs that really put some momentum behind what became one of the longest title reigns in the last 50 years.
Going past Wrestlemania, one of the biggest and most enjoyable programs of the year came just 24 hours later. It was a special Monday Night Raw in Florida that just kept giving the entire 2 hours it aired and had a red hot crowd that truly made the night all that much more enjoyable. The crowd itself made that night feel like a nice throw back to the attitude era where the crowds were always so electric. This night also proved my fears for Daniel Bryan to be nothing to worry about as he was shown tremendous support by the crowd after suffering an angering 18 second loss to Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. Once again giving credit to that magical crowd, Daniel Bryan's career was launched to an incredibly bigger level as the crowd constantly chanted, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "Daniel Bryan" throughout the night despite him not having a televised match. This night also saw one of the most exciting moments of the year, the return of Brock Lesnar. This was truly one of the most enjoyable moments of the year for me as I felt they brought Lesnar back at a great time, and despite him losing his first match back in the WWE to John Cena, his match at Extreme Rules definitely stood out as one of the most intense and enjoyable matches of the year.
I'd like to get into more detailed events from 2012, but it's probably better if I just move on as this was a fairly eventful year. Overall I felt that 2012 saw many great steps in the right direction for the business and WWE moving forward. We saw the debuts of many new and exciting characters, which I'm very glad to say that quite a few of them were "Indie Guys." We saw the emergence of Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, Ryback, The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) as well as the mentioned return of Brock Lesnar, and Lord Tensai (AKA Albert/A-Train). There was also the "rebuilding" of the tag team division that saw teams such as the Prime Time Players, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio, Team Rhodes Scholars, and Team Hell No put into a pretty prominent part of both Raw and Smackdown! We also saw the boost of wrestlers such as Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and a very enjoyable push in the midcard division of Antonio Cesaro.
Though we still saw way too much of John Cena "overcoming the odds" (which has not been an interesting or believable angle for the past 6 years) we still had many promising pushes on some younger stars with great potential and talent. With the year ending with Ziggler retaining his Money In The Bank Contract against Cena, The Shield becoming an important part of the WWE landscape, and also the ENTIRE YEAR being what I view as the "Year of Punk" as CM Punk managed to be in good enough standing in the company to keep the WWE title for over an entire calendar year. Heading into 2013 the overall direction of the company looks very promising and I can't wait to see where it goes.
That's it for this addition! Keep coming back for more as we'll be updating on a regular basis!
The Hardcore Fan