Chair Shots Presents: TripleR's Best of 2012
Dec 22, 2012 - 12:19:12 PM
Welcome back everybody to Chair Shots! I want to thank everybody who read and commented on the WWE Christmas Carol from last column. It was a lot of fun writing, and I never know how those types of columns are going to go over, so all the positive feedback was really appreciated. Also, a big thanks to everybody who has read Chair Shots since it hit the MP and everybody who read it in the Columns Forum. I’m going to end the year with my picks for the best of 2012. So without further ado, let’s get crackin’
BEST PERFORMER OF 2012
WWE- DANIEL BRYAN
Now this is not the same as best wrestler of the year, because for me they are two entirely different things. While Daniel Bryan had some incredible matches in 2012, it’s hard to deny that he became the WWE’s biggest breakout star, all by saying two simple words- YES! and NO! His therapy sessions with Kane were some of the funniest segments the WWE has shown in recent memory, and the team that should have been called Anger Management helped spark resurgence in the tag-team division that I was certainly thankful for. I don’t know where Daniel goes from here, but 2012 was surely the year of indecision, if you know what I mean.
TNA- BULLY RAY
I’ve already professed my love for Bully Ray in a previous column, but I can’t think of a wrestler who has re-invented himself more positively than Bully Ray. Ray has gotten himself into the best condition of his career, looking lean and mean, with the most awesome calves in wrestling. Bully can steal a segment with a facial expression, or an off-mic comment heard in the background. In the age where so many wrestlers feel scripted, Bully Ray seems to just say what’s on his mind, and it’s often times hysterical. While I’m not exactly a fan of his current face turn and storyline with Hulk Hogan’s son Brooke, I’m more than happy to see him getting the exposure. Now if only TNA would put the damn title around his waist.
BEST NEWCOMER OF 2012
WWE- RYBACK AND THE SHIELD (TIE)
A short few weeks ago, Ryback would have won this category in a walk, but then a nice little trio of vigilantes hit the WWE like a tidal wave. Through much of 2012, the WWE Universe was chanting “Feed Me More” as SkipBack (or RyField) was demolishing jobbers left and right. Before anybody could say “Pink Eye”, he was in the main event picture, challenging CM Punk for the WWE Championship. While I still question such a monster push, he has certainly won over a lot of people in a very short time. But has he been outdone by Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, who in their very first match in the WWE ended up on the short list for WWE Match of the Year? These three men seem incredibly talented, and have between them the size, speed, wrestling ability, and mic skills to succeed big time in the WWE. It’s only fitting that these newcomers feuded to end their great 2012 campaigns.
TNA- JOEY RYAN
There haven’t been a lot of actual “newcomers” to TNA in 2012 outside of Gut Check, so my choice is the Gut Check contestant who made the biggest impact in TNA, while at the same time not being selected for an actual contract. The “Sultan of Sleaze” continued his storyline in TNA after being rejected for a contract, ultimately ending in him defeating Al Snow for a place on the TNA roster. Now paired up with Matt Morgan, Ryan is a wrestling throwback. He doesn’t have the best physique, nor does he have all those flippity floppity moves that many X-Division guys have. He’s a solid performer, who relies on his character to draw some amazing heat. He’s disgusting, and gross, and sleazy, and that’s what I like about him. Will 2013 be the Year of Sleaze? Only time will tell, but I see big things on the horizon for Joey Ryan.
BEST TAG TEAM OF 2012
WWE- TEAM HELL NO!
Honestly, could there have been any other choice for this? I must admit, I did almost select Team Rhodes Scholars here, because they remind me so much of tag-teams of old with their tactics and double team moves, but no team has done more for a division than Daniel Bryan and Kane in 2012. The WWE has had dysfunctional teams in the past, but none more so than two guys who fought more than me and my ex-wife. For two people who individually argue over which of them is the tag-team champs, they work together pretty damn well. While there will most certainly be a break-up around the corner in 2013, I hope that the WWE doesn’t pull the trigger on it too quickly. There hasn’t been more enjoyable segments in the past year than when these two get together.
TNA- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS AND KAZARIAN
While the WWE division has picked up, TNA’s tag-team division has dropped off significantly. With injuries and departures, TNA teams have become all too scarce. 2012 consisted mostly of Kaz and Daniels feuding with AJ Styles and Kurt Angle and Chavo and Hernandez. While Kaz continues to be just average on the microphone, Christopher Daniels has taken his game to the next level. He’s become a conceited, egotistical, pain in the ass that will do anything to anyone. It doesn’t hurt that these two can really go in the ring and stand toe to toe with almost any type of team. While TNA’s tag teams aren’t exactly numerous, Kaz and Daniels have been the glue that’s held the division together for much of 2012.
BEST WRESTLER OF 2012
WWE- CM PUNK
Love him or hate him, CM Punk has been WWE Champion for all of 2012, a feat that is almost unheard of in the modern age of wrestling. Since his infamous pipe-bomb promo, CM Punk has been on a high that most wrestlers only dream of having. He’s certainly one of the top guys in the company right now, if not in all of professional wrestling, and a lot of the Wrestlemania plans for 2013 center around CM Punk. I remember watching Punk during his run in TNA as part of Raven’s crew and quite honestly it’s hard to think that this lower mid-card wrestler is the same guy that currently stands atop the biggest wrestling organization there is. While his current injury has changed some plans as of late, it also gave us the opportunity to see one of the best PPV’s of the year and a chance for his to heal from his injuries. I don’t believe Punk will have the same kind of year in 2013 that he had this year, but for a man who did everything he could to achieve his dreams; I applaud CM Punk in 2012.
TNA- AUSTIN ARIES
I’m a huge fan of A-Double. I’ve gone on record as saying he’s one of the reasons TNA had such a good year in 2012, and it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s my Wrestler of the Year for TNA. While Bobby Roode calls himself “The It Factor”, it’s Aries that should have that name in my opinion. Starting the year in the X-Division, Aries changed the rules in TNA by giving up his X-Division title for a shot at the World Championship, thus establishing a rule going forward that at Destination X, the current X-Division champion has the option on whether he wants to go for the World Championship at the PPV. After winning the title from Bobby Roode, Aries quickly established himself as something other than an X-Division wrestler. He had one two of the best feuds of the year with Roode and Jefff Hardy and continues to be Must-See TNA television whenever he gets on the screen.
MATCH OF THE YEAR 2012
WWE- TRIPLE H VS. THE UNDERTAKER, WRESTLEMANIA
I struggled with this one, because I’ve often questioned The Undertaker having a guaranteed spot at Wrestlemania if he wants it, thus taking a spot away from a wrestler who has worked all year and may miss his shot at the biggest PPV of the year. However, this is one match that actually had me off my feet, giving it a standing ovation from my living room. The drama, the storytelling, and the sheer physicality of this match without a doubt had me from the ring of the bell. The Undertaker is at a point in his career where there really is nothing left to prove, so if that were the end of the streak I would have been happy, but it appears that ‘Taker will be back in 2013. I just hope he doesn’t get to the point where the match quality starts to suffer because of his many injuries and years of hard work in the ring.
TNA- JAMES STORM VS. BOBBY ROODE, BOUND FOR GLORY
It’s only fitting that the best matches of the year come from the organization’s two biggest PPV’s of the year. While Bound for Glory was main evented by Jeff Hardy against Austin Aries, it was the culmination of the Bobby Roode/James Storm feud that had me that particular evening. This was a street fight, with King Mo as special enforcer. Luckily, King Mo didn’t detract from the match, and all the anger and hatred these two had for each other came to a boil during this match. Both men were bloodied and battered, and at the end of the day it was James Storm who finally got a measure of revenge on his former partner. Both men had great years in TNA, and I’m sure 2013 will be no different.
Well that’s it for me for 2012 readers. I hope each and every one of you has a fabulous holiday, whatever that holiday may be. Just like the wrestling industry, my 2012 had its share of ups and down, so let’s hope that 2013 brings us some good fortune, and some good wrestling.
Until next time,
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