Half the month has now passed and now it is time for the second half to begin. 15 superstars have been counted, 15 are now left to go.
Minor Shows: 6-0-0 Raw: 19-0-0 Smackdown: 21-0-0 PPV: 4-3-0 Title Matches: 2 Raw/SD Main Events: 1 PPV Main Events: 2
Year in Review
While I was data collecting for these columns no one moved quicker up the list than Ryback, and also no one added more new names to the list of people who wrestled on WWE TV. For months after debuting as this character in April the man who was once known as Skip Sheffield ran roughshod over local jobbers, most of the time two at a time. These constant easy wins and wins against some lower card members saw Ryback rack up a winning streak of 39 matches.
This winning streak would have gone on for a lot longer except for out of the blue suddenly Ryback was the number one contender for the WWE Title, and I mean completely out of the blue. The only WWE rostered talent he had beaten before his title match were Derrick Bateman, Heath Slater, Camacho, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Jack Swagger, Johnny Curtis, The Miz, Tensai, Primo, Epico, David Otunga and Dolph Ziggler. Minus the three previous World Champions (who in the whole scheme of things are more transitional champs) this is not a very impressive list, yet he was given the title shot. The thing is he got over massively while doing it. However this move to the top of the card has affected Ryback's perfect record as his last three PPV matches of the year have resulted in a loss.
Honestly I can’t remember when a new guy was pushed so quick to the main event part of the card. Well actually there was Brock Lesnar about 10 years back, oh and Wade Barrett not that long ago either, shit there goes my point. Well it seemed like it was a bit early anyway.
An argument can be made for Ryback being up higher than 15th due to his meteoric rise to success but I need to remind you all that this is a ranking based on the stats only. For starters he was not wrestling on WWE TV for the first couple of months so he misses out on a lot of matches he could have had. Then you add to the fact that most of his matches have been squash matches and therefore hardly meant much in the long run. This means he has only hardly been in any main event matches. While he gets all the points from all his wins and his tiny venture into the main event title scene they are not enough when comparing him to the guys who have been there for the entire year.
When comparing him with all the other wrestlers who debuted (or debuted a new character) this year there is no denying that Ryback has progressed higher up the card than any of them. None of the rest have been able to have a shot at the World Title let alone Main Event a PPV yet you have to wonder how long it will last. While I have said about other newbies that they could very much be part of the Main Event in the future I see the opposite happening to Ryback. I believe his rise to the top was way too early and he will crash hard sooner rather than later.
30 Day Challenge
Day 16: A Song That I Used To Love But Now Hate
For some reason when I was a teenager I got right into the band Aqua, I know I have no idea what was going through my head either. Therefore my song chosen for this section is their most famous song Barbie Girl, yeah I already said I don’t know what was going through my head.
Minor Shows: 11-1-0 Raw: 17-9-0 Smackdown: 7-7-0 PPV: 2-6-0 Title Matches: 12 Raw/SD Main Events: 5 PPV Main Events: 1
Year in Review
Our run of debutantes is over and it is time to delve back into the world of established stars with out number 14 R-Truth. It was actually an impressive year for Truth as the positioning and the stats let on. After a varied year last year which saw him start the year a face, turn heel, fight for the world title and main event some PPV’s before finishing the year of a face again he had a pretty basic start to the year. He appeared in the Royal Rumble and lost, he was in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship and lost and he was part of Team Teddy at Wrestlemania and lost.
During this time however he had started teaming with Kofi Kingston and this is where his luck for the year started to look better. On the April 30th edition of Raw these two were able to beat Primo and Epico for the tag team titles giving R-Truth only his second title ever under his current name (his other title was the US and he had previously won the Hardcore Title twice in 2001 as K-Kwik). The team would go onto successfully defend these titles at Over The Limit against Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler and at Summerslam against the Prime Time Players before eventually losing the titles to Team Hell No at Night of Champions.
The team would have two more matches, both losing efforts, before deciding to go their separate ways and return to singles action, in particular fighting for more gold. With Kofi going off and fighting for and winning the Intercontinental Championship R-Truth went the other path and challenged for the US Championship which was held by Antonio Cesaro. This feud would last until the end of the year and see Truth lose to Cesaro at both Survivor Series and TLC.
With Truth not being seen again since TLC you have to question what the company is going to do with him. Now I understand the reason he is out is because of the massive gash he got on his leg from the Tables Match at TLC but the WWE have to be thinking to themselves well what do we do with him now. I don’t see him getting cut from the roster yet so I believe we will see him back in a WWE ring soon but I don’t see him doing much of importance while he is in there.
30 Day Challenge
Day 17: A Song That I Hear Often On The Radio
Well I don’t actually really listen to the radio so I will put up a song I see a lot of on my music channels on my TV which I am into at the moment. That song is One More Night by Maroon 5.
13. Santino Marella
Minor Shows: 12-8-1 Raw: 14-16-0 Smackdown: 12-10-0 PPV: 1-4-0 Title Matches: 10 Raw/SD Main Events: 2 PPV Main Events: 1
Year in Review
Recently I watched the 100 Greatest Moments of Raw DVD that the WWE has just released and during those moments I watched when Santino first won the Intercontinental Title on his debut in Italy. This was actually the first time I had seen it as the year was one when I did not have Pay TV in my household so I couldn’t watch wrestling. Anyway I got to thinking about how much Santino has changed over the years yet still stayed the same. I mean he is a little better in the ring than he was but he is still the comedic character he has always been.
The year started off strong for Santino though and people thought that this could be the year that all things changed. It all started at the Royal Rumble where we were constantly reminded that Santino only one year before was the runner-up. Of course this time he would not get that close but the booking he had received from that small period seemed to rub off on him.
In a Battle Royal in February Santino did the unthinkable and won the right to replace Mark Henry in the Elimination Chamber. In that match he would go on to put on the best performance of any single superstar in the entire calender year when he nearly won the World Heavyweight Championship. I mean me, one of the numerous people who thought he wouldn’t even make the match, was jumping out of his seat in disbelief thinking he had won.
That performance didn’t go unnoticed by the powers that be and Santino was given a shot at the US Title which was held by Jack Swagger, a title which Santino would win. He then went on to lead Team Teddy in a losing effort at Wrestlemania.
This is however about the time that the powers that be lost interest in Santino and he went back to being his normal comedic self doing things like competing in Tuxedo Matches with Ricardo Rodriguez. He would continue to hold the US Title in an unremarkable reign until August when he lost the title to Antonio Cesaro on the pre-show of Summerslam. Since then it has continued as same old Santino.
I think I have pretty much summed up the career of Santino. I expect to see the same old routine that he has been known for from day 1 of his time in the WWE. Santino will be around by the end of the year doing the same old stick and if he was lucky he may even have another mid card or tag title reign to his name, depends on who he impresses this time around.
30 Day Challenge
Day 18: A Song I Wish I Heard On The Radio
OK again I don’t listen to the radio but I will use this as I wish I saw it on TV. The song that I wish I could get seen played more often, well actually seen at all would be nice. This is a song that was introduced to me by an old workmate and easily become one of my favourites nearly instantly. The song is I’m Not Jesus by Apocalyptica featuring Corey Taylor (lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour).
12. The Miz
Minor Shows: 3-3-0 Raw: 9-23-1 Smackdown: 6-10-0 PPV: 5-6-0 Title Matches: 9 Raw/SD Main Events: 8 PPV Main Events: 2
Year in Review
Last week I went through a run of the jobbers of the WWE but none of them seemed like a credible threat to the stars. With the constant losing to lesser named stars when you put them up against people from the main event you know that they have actually have no chance of being victorious. This is where The Miz comes in, he is a main event jobber. His win over Cena at Wrestlemania in 2011 meant that he is a credible name in the main event so people believe that he may actually be in with a chance to win.
But since that massive victory at Wrestlemania losing has become part of Miz’s day to day life. Starting at the TLC PPV in 2011 Miz started a 19 match losing spree which was ended at Wrestlemania when he scored the win for Team Johnny. Yet as I said before he was a legitimate threat the whole time as shown by being included in the WWE Title Elimination Chamber and the following nights Battle Royal for a Wrestlemania title shot. Also you just need to look at how important the people he lost too were to see what sort of name he had. Those names include CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, Sheamus, John Cena, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and The Big Show.
Following Wrestlemania Miz luck will change a bit, or more correctly his booking changed. For the next couple of months he would face not the big name stars but those hovering around the midcard status swapping wins and losses before taking some time off to be the new Marine.
On his return Miz had a new look and once again inserted himself back in the Main Event picture by entering himself in the WWE Title Money in the Bank Match and then was rewarded the next week when he beat Christian for the Intercontinental Championship on the 1,000th Raw. He would only hold the title for 3 months though when he lost it to Kofi Kingston on an episode of Main Event in mid October.
Miz was not done for the year however as for some unseen reason (I’m guessing his upcoming movie) he was changed from heel to face. Honestly that turn has been one of the most awkward turns I have seen in many a year. The fans weren’t initially convinced by a good guy Miz but it looks like they are slowly coming around.
Miz is any interesting conundrum in looking towards the future. Will he have another run as a jobber or will his booking become something a little more cleaner. The fact that he is so far undefeated this year and is on a 5 match win streak shows that at the moment the booking from last year is a bit better but how long will it last. Another midcard title run wouldn’t be out of the question, hell another World Title run might not be out of the question. Honestly I have no idea what will be in Miz’s future.
30 Day Challenge
Day 19: A Song From My Favourite Album
My favourite album of all time has to be Murder Ballads by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the band I said the other day was my favourite band. This album is as its name says, all songs are Murder Ballads. The song I have chosen is Curse of Millhaven, which is one of my most played but honestly any song would have done as they are all good.
11. Randy Orton
Minor Shows: 3-1-0 Raw: 16-5-1 Smackdown: 16-9-4 PPV: 3-4-0 Title Matches: 1 Raw/SD Main Events: 15 PPV Main Events: 1
Year in Review
The first of our big names is eliminated from contention as Randy Orton fails to make the top 10 coming in at the awkward number 11. If this had been most of the years leading up to this countdown than Orton would have been top 5 if not really challenging for 1st place, so why then is he sitting 1 out from being a top 10 WWE Superstar of 2012?
The first reason is time off. At the beginning of the year Randy seemed to go through a series of injuries including a herniated disc and a concussion which would keep him off TV for a couple of weeks at a time, even to the point of him missing the Elimination Chamber PPV. Then later in the year Orton felt the sting of the Wellness Policy when he once again tested positive for a banned substance thus copping a 60 day suspension and thus missing a lot of matches. Then to end the year off he was once again sidelined for a short time with a shoulder injury.
The next thing that cost Orton a higher spot was his lack of title matches. For a man who is a triple crown winner which includes 9 different reigns as World Champion you would expect him to be hovering around the World Title scene if not at least be challenging for a minor title. This however was not the case as Orton only managed to once challenge for a title in 2012, the WWE Title at Over The Limit in a Fatal-4-Way match, yes that’s right he didn’t even get a one on one shot at a title.
Even with these problems Orton was still able to have a good year winning the majority of his matches and being involved in major off-title feuds against Wade Barrett, Kane, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, feuds he came out on the winning side of each time.
So Orton’s future which way will it go? I wrote a column a few months ago as part of The New Blood with fellow main pager TripleR and in it I stated how Orton would benefit from a move to TNA. I still believe that Orton would benefit from a run in TNA but I don’t think it will be anytime soon. In fact I see him continuing on the same path he currently finds himself, feuding with upper midcard wrestlers hovering in place until he once again finds himself called upon to be a part of the main event.
30 Day Challenge
Day 20: A Song That I Listen To When I’m Angry
A listen to a lot of different songs when I’m angry depending on the type of anger but nothing seems to rev me up more than a good Slipknot song. The song I have chosen here is Spit it Out.