Into the New Year
It’s January 1st, 2013, and like many LOPers, I found it the appropriate time to look back at 2012, while looking towards 2013. The difference between this, and other main page columns, is that I’m not doing it alone. I’ve contacted a couple of current main page writers to participate, I’ve added a former main page writer, and I’ve hand-picked 2 of the best writers and posters on LOPforums to add their own flair. I hope you enjoy everyone’s contributions as much as I did. I’ll post the 5 portions shared by my friends, and then I’ll add mine later on this week.
I will start by stating that I have not edited any of these portions in the slightest. No typos were corrected, I did not change a piece of their opinion, or censor anyone in any way. All I did was say “Hey, I’m doing a column at the New Year about looking back at 2012, and/or looking towards 2013, and I’d like you to add to it. No length expectations, no topic, nothing. Just make it related to 2012/2013.:
This is what we got. I’ll start with the master of sarcasm and wit.
avery (a temp-banned LOPposter and my current Columns Forum writer)
In 2012, CM Punk ranked on a long list that includes big names like John Cena, Daniel Bryan and Kane. Its a huge accomplishment for someone so small in size. There is no bigger accomplishment in all of professional wrestling. They molested AJ Lee's face. But seriously, 2012 was a big year for the tag team division as a whole. Oh man, do you guys remember when AJ did a grind on Dolph Ziggler while they made out? But enough about Dolph Ziggler, let's get on to important things like AJ Lee. AJ Lee and Battle Royals! Like the one where AJ Lee wore a bikini and bent over in front of a camera. I'd elbow drop her, if you know what I mean. I don't know if that's a sexual innuendo, but this is a wrestling website, so there you go. What was the theme of this column again?
In 2013, a WWE Diva will learn a new move and it will be named something ridiculously retarded like Twin Magic or Ovary Blaster. Dolph Ziggler will officially announce his 6th finisher. Big E Langston will last precisely as long as Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus. Speaking of Sheamus, Sheamus will continue promoting Be A Star on a school tour, in between screaming in referee's faces and threatening to kick the ass of anyone who is either smaller than him or successfully beating him in a match. Daniel Bryan will finally figure out the answer to whatever question has him so frustrated. John Cena will make a PG joke and then start screaming into the microphone while cold staring the camera man, like a malfunctioning GI Joe that is supposed to have karate chop action but instead masturbates in the corner while you sleep. Kane will be a face. Then a heel. Then a face. Then a tweener. Oh, also in 2013, people will learn that tweener is neither a word nor a real alignment status. This will confuse people about Randy Orton. Finally, Randy Orton will be replaced by one of his shiny action figures and no one will notice the difference. Hi mom.
Thank you, avery. Hilarious and entirely true, as usual.
I chose avery as he never fails to point out the lunacy that is WWE, while never really making you feel stupid for watching it. That’s key, because it’s very easy to shit all over the modern wrestling product, but eventually all the negativity results in replies of “if you don’t like it, stop watching.” Obviously, if you’re here reading this right now, and if everyone writing on the main page is still producing on a regular basis, it’s because we enjoy wrestling still. We don’t want to stop watching it, but it doesn’t mean we can’t step back and laugh at the dumb shit we put up with (like Holiday Monday Night Raws with Santa hit and runs.
Up next is a recent addition to the main page on LOP, it’s the writer of Wayne’s World, which started back in October.
As I sit here and think about wrestling in 2012 I can’t help, like every other year before, be happy that I am a wrestling fan. Once again I feel like we have had a pretty good year, yes there have been some head-scratches along the way but on the whole I can’t complain. I have heard all the complaints this year, from relying too much on old talent to the WWE Title playing second fiddle to Cena to the decline in ratings, but honestly they are just a minor part of the whole.
Yes the older talent was a little overused but their performances were top notch. The Hell in a Cell match at Wrestlemania was arguably the match of the year for me but only because it was a dream match fulfilled. The Rock put up a good showing against Cena at the same event and a month later Brock put up an even better showing when facing Cena in another match of the year candidate. Jericho while not on the winning side of the tape on the majority of occasions also put up a few top notch matches this year.
It wasn’t all about the stars of old though with a lot of stars of today also putting up a great show, with two names in particular leading the way in quality. Both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had what could be called career defining years and you just have to look back at the matches they had with each other to see what I am talking about. Then you add names like Ziggler, Sandow and Ryback who are being made into big stars and you can say that the quality this year has been of a really good quality. Even the newest members of the roster The Shield have shown us what a good stable can look like.
As to what will come next year I would prefer to wait and see but of course there are things I wish would happen:-
1. Rey Mysterio heel turn – This is something I have been asking for a long time now but of course never having the wish fulfilled. We currently find ourselves in a place where a heel turn for Rey would be the best thing for the future. By Rey turning on Sin Cara it will go a long way into making Cara into a credible star.
John Cena title reign – There is the fan in me who wants to see a Cena reign once again but I don’t necessarily want it to be a lengthy one, a few months would be fine and then a nice clean loss to put someone new over and hopefully make a new star
3. A respectable woman’s division – Not a Diva’s division but an actual Woman’s wrestling division with girls who know how to put on a match. The non-wrestlers can move back into the traditional valet role.
4. Cutting the fat – One of the major problems of the WWE is that they have not really got the room to bring in new talent. It has been a long time since we had a major movement of talent and therefore no one is scared for their job and just plodding along. A mass firing will help make room for new stars and give existing wrestlers a bit of fear to help motivate them into making the product better and thus securing their job.
Knowing the WWE though as per usual my wishes will not be met but instead something I did not expect will make me forget and I will once again be praising them for another year.
Ah, thanks Wayne. His look into 2013 was more of a wishlist than predictions, which is more than fine with me. It looks like Wayne is typ0ically a “glass half-full” kind of guy. On the other hand, I’m a “glass is empty cause I emptied it in your face” kind of jerk.
Now, a man who usually has 30 thoughts, but looks to have cut it down for this day only.
Overall, 2012 was a very strong year for WWE. They went all out for WrestleMania, returned the format for the Royal Rumble, had mostly strong Pay-Per-Views throughout the year, and ended a lot stronger than I expected.
It was a year of growing pains, but there does seem to be a youth movement finally coming forth to challenge the status quo, which is what the original Nexus was supposed to be. Careers were resurrected, a good mix of nostalgia was thrown in with RAW 1000, and CM Punk and Daniel Bryan caught fire with a heel turn and a simple exclamation.
For once, the WWE also seemed to be surprisingly self-correcting. At one point during the summer, the references to social media were so obnoxious and repetitive that I couldn't watch. Fortunately, they seem to have toned it down a tad.
I feel like WWE is going to have a strong year, but the Royal Rumble needs to be huge. WrestleMania can have even more anticipation than last year with the potential for four main events. I also hope they continue dishing out the Ham in record numbers, because especially with the addition of Anger Management, it was been rather enjoyable.
I'd like to see a continued focus on the younger stars, continued emphasis on strong title reigns, and the Black Hole of Charisma Alberto Del Rio to not find his infinite-title shots power-up again.
Al really knows how to review not only Raw, but a year as well. Lots of good points about how the WWE experimented in many ventures in 2012, and pin-pointed the learning experiences from them. I’m glad he brought some legitimacy to a PEN15 production.
And now, a former writer that I miss dearly.
2012 was a very strange year for me in terms of the wrestling world. On the one hand, we had a lot of great things. There were some amazing matches, returns that we thought we’d never see, and many young guns were finally getting the chance to make an impact and push the old guard out of the way. On the other hand, none of it seemed to matter. Even as the wrestling world pushed up the new blood, at the same time there seemed to be an even stronger effort to make sure we all knew that the really, actually exciting people were the old ones. This is especially true, of course, in the WWE. Wrestlemania season was utterly dominated by people who would be clocking out the next day, and while WWE had some success convincing us that the people left over were still exciting the whole year started to feel like we were just killing time until the “real” big names could come back and do it all again. It certainly didn’t help that Triple H and Brock Lesnar clumsily dragged their feud all across the summer to climax at an anticlimactic Summerslam event… honestly, CM Punk has been champion for the entire year and yet he’s made barely a fraction of the impact he was allowed to make in 2011. Going over to TNA and we again see a lot of good things going on, but it all sort of sours for me when I remember they put Jeff Hardy back on top of their promotion. I don’t even hate Jeff Hardy like some do, but with so many promising talents the fact that they ended up ignoring both his history and common sense and putting him back on top has seriously undermined my interest in their product.
I know it’s unusual for me to be a downer. My entire column writing career has been based on positivity, and as I said there’s a lot of great stuff that happened this year, and a lot of people who loved it. And hey, I had a good time too for much of it. But something just doesn’t seem to be clicking for me lately. I’ve been following wrestling very closely for almost 10 years, and for the first time I’m actually thinking of taking a break. I seriously doubt I’ll ever step away from the product entirely, but as my interest wanes I may very well have to step back a bit and take a deep breath. It just feels like, with the absolute glut of big name legends contracted to wrestle once or twice a year pervading the WWE’s biggest season and their absolute refusal (thus far at least) to take any sort of interesting chance with them, there’s actually a new glass ceiling in place that’s thicker than anything that Cena or Triple H put together in the past decade. I have, from the first time I saw wrestling, rooted for the littler people. I don’t necessarily in stature, but I mean for the people who have to work from scratch and defy the odds to get their shot. That’s the real reason I’m the mizfan in the first place. It’s not because Miz is the best performer of all time, because he’s not. He’s a guy who nobody thought had a chance, but he worked hard and made something out of himself. That’s my thrill. I want something unexpected, something against the norm, something to shock the cynics. CM Punk holding a paper title while the company puts all their attention elsewhere isn’t going to do it for me, particularly considering how WWE failed to roll the dice on him when he was really, truly exciting. I’m not even saying Punk isn’t entertaining as he is, but there was a time when he was a lot more interesting, at least to me, and WWE held back until the excitement had cooled. And yeah, watching The Rock fight John Cena wasn’t honestly that exciting for me the first time, so the thought of devoting ungodly amounts of time to their inevitable rematch only encourages me to change the channel and catch the replay. And a Lesnar/Triple H rematch? Forget about it.
I know I’m probably not in the majority on this. I know that WWE isn’t interested in catering to my kind of fandom. It’s probably not very profitable, after all. And hey, I’m not even trying to convince anyone else that I’m right (this time). If you’re totally on board with the current WWE and wrestling scene in general, more power to you, I mean it hang on to that good feeling.
But to me, 2012 may well be remembered as the year mizfan stopped caring.
Happy New Year.
How am I supposed to have a happy new year after that? Depressing addition to the column, and from an unexpected source. Remember, mizfan authored “The Bright Side” on LOP for a long time, devoting his space to find the silver lining to a lot of the lower end stuff in wrestling. For him to return to the main page with frown is not only a shock, but a disappointment.
I must say, he’s on point with a lot of it. While we can point out a lot of great things from 2012, WWE and TNA dropped the ball in a major way over and over again.
Now, the Grand Finale from a real dope boy.
Well, they gave you all of it.
Everything you asked for, served up on a silver platter.
You smarks said, “We’re tired of Cena on top all the time”. With the exception of one match, he’s been jobbed out all year. You said, “CM Punk should be the main attraction”. He’s had the strap for damn near 400 days. You said, “Daniel Bryan should be in a title match at Wrestlemania”. Ha-ha, your wish is the WWE’s command, Bubba.
Dolph Ziggler is a can’t-miss main eventer, right? Well, he’s held the Money in the Bank briefcase for quite a while now despite there being multiple opportunities for him to lose it, which history tells us is how they create, um, new main eventers. You cried out for new faces, and you got Ryback, Miz, and Del Rio. You ear-piercingly whined, “where’s Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Claudio Castiginoli? They signed all these indy stars and they’re all still languishing in developmental while the Fed calls up guys like Jinder Mahal!”
Those indy guys are currently kicking everyone’s ass up one side of the motherfucking arena and down the other. There was much yammering about how “they need to hire Paul Heyman back, he’d fix everything!” He’s currently standing behind Punk, holding up the title belt and not doing a single goddamn thing else. Brock Lesnar you say? He’s on the payroll, currently making more than any of you will ever make in your life to wrestle every 6 months or so, and all he has to do is have at least one MOTY candidate (which he did).
You said, “we want more of that cute brunette that likes comic books and video games! Does she like My Little Pony too? OMG SHE DOES~!1” Despite being as useless as tits on a boar in every conceivable way vis-à-vis professional wrestling, main event storylines have been revolving around said comic book/video game bitch since Wrestlemania. That yak gets about 15 minutes on every single show-she’s like Triple H with a clit. You complained about Johnny Ace botching his lines in promos. “Well then fuck him, we’ll replace him with Vicki Guerrero. That’ll shut ‘em up”, said the Fed. "The tag team division is dead", you complained. Smackdown is now nothing but 10 minute long heatless tag matches. You’re welcome. Y’all hollered “Zach Ryder did that super-duper funny Youtube show and therefore he should be in a main event storyline”. Well, they damn sure gave him one, didn’t they?
Many of you even wished death upon Jerry Lawler because you didn’t like his commentary, which in retrospect is like complaining about how Newtown, Connecticut would be better if there weren’t so many little kids running around.
You should probably think about being more careful what you wish for.
At any rate, you got all of it. All of your little fantasy booking wet dreams came true this year. The end result? Diminishing revenues, lower PPV buyrates, dogshit attendance at live shows (seriously, 2,000 people at a Smackdown taping? That’s TNA-level pathetic), and plummeting TV ratings. Proof, if any further proof were necessary, that internet wrestling fans shouldn’t be in charge of the wrestling business.
And yet, you still tune in, multiple times a week. You still purchase the PPVs. You still buy the Zach Ryder headbands.
Ever heard the phrase “The biggest marks are the boys in the back”? That ain’t true.
The biggest marks are the boys in front of the keyboard.
And on that note, peace out.
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