WWE 2012: Stars to Enjoy NOT Named CM Punk

Tyson Jones@@TigerKingTJSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 2, 2012

WWE 2012: Stars to Enjoy NOT Named CM Punk

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    To start this off, I'm actually going to take a quote from CM Punk and paraphrase a bit. Some of you may remember this from a little promo they did and I think the same thing rings true here. "I don't hate you, CM Punk. What I hate is this idea that you're the best in the world."

    Honestly, that's how I feel about CM Punk. Now, granted I haven't been a fan of his since he made his return to the RAW brand last year and I've certainly not been a fan of his since he became a face again.

    That said, I'm more than willing to appreciate his ability. Great talker. Great wrestler.

    Best in the world? Not to me, but nobody really is that good in my opinion.

    The entire reason for this article isn't to bash CM Punk, but with the overabundance of Punk articles going up lately, a lot of names seem to be held down, and that's a shame. CM Punk is good, but he's not the end-all-be-all of WWE or even Monday Night RAW, and I think 2012 will be a great year to get that point across. So, without further delay, let's get on with it, shall we?

Zack Ryder

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    The WWE United States Champion is well on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in WWE. With the backing of guys like John Cena, CM Punk, and even a little support from The Miz, I think 2012 could be a big year for the L.I. native.

    He's something of a breath of fresh air in the WWE. He's not an over-the-top character like some of the top heels, and he's not so cartoonish that he's aggravating to the older audience. If Ryder can continue to strike that balance and keep improving and adding to his ring work, I see no reason Ryder couldn't one day find himself with a World Title around his waist. (And maybe Eve under his arm.) 


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    The Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion is still out recovering from an injury at the moment, however, rumors have been swirling about a few big things for Christian in 2012. World Heavyweight Title match against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania? 

    Considering Christian is one of the best talkers in the WWE right now and can put on a great match, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if WWE wanted to at least do something with him and the current Champion. Add to that, it occurs to me that every year we have a big return at The Rumble. It may seem a bit out there considering how Vince is not a Peep, but I think if they're willing to put a World Title on Daniel Bryan, they may be willing to throw Captain Charisma a bone.

    Regardless of what happens down the road, I will continue to enjoy and support Christian upon his return and who knows. Maybe if the fans speak loud enough Christian will get...One More Match.

Mark Henry

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    This was my pick for Superstar of the Year in 2011. The Worlds' Strongest Champion had one hell of a 2011 from the moment he was drafted to Friday Night Smackdown and just started running roughshod over the entire locker room with multiple people being inducted into this monsters' Hall of Pain.

    Mark Henry has managed, in one year, to undue perhaps an entire career of mediocrity with one of the most impressive years for a Superstar of his caliber. It's truly a shame all of this is in jeopardy with Henry out with an injury, though hopefully, The Worlds' Strongest Man can come back and continue his path of destruction in 2012.


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    Making her return from injury, (man we had a lot of injuries in 2011,) very soon is one-half of one of the most entertaining things to come out of the Divas Division in some time in Lay-Cool is Layla and honestly, I can't wait. The Divas Division hasn't been itself lately since Michelle left and Layla was injured, but if rumors regarding her push upon return are true, I'm excited to see what's next.

    Layla has always been a favorite of mine, even before Lay-Cool. Not a bad talker, good wrestler, and pretty. Her partnership with Michelle really seemed to do her well as not only did she improve as a talker, but she became one of the better wrestlers in the division. Personally, if anyone is going to take that belt off of Beth, I would have to put my money on Layla and considering Layla actually beat Beth to become the last Womens' Champion, I'd say it's a pretty smart bet--flawless, even.

Wade Barrett

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    From the Nexus to the Corre Wade Barretts' time in WWE has usually been a shared existence, but for the first time in 2011 after the destruction of The Corre Wade Barrett has been on his own and he's been better for it, if you ask me. 2012 looks to be the year that will make Wade Barretts' career. With his rival in Randy Orton injured, it leaves Barrett several places to go from here.

    From the World Heavyweight Championship to another tune-up feud, I wouldn't be shocked to see Wade Barrett with gold around his waist multiple times in 2012. 2011 was a growing year for Wade. He won the Intercontinental Championship and has added several new moves to his already impressive arsenal. Now is the time when Wade Barrett takes everything from 2011 and uses it to his advantage in 2012.


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    Honestly, this guy is my favorite WWE Superstar at the moment. Has a good gimmick, doesn't get stale, can wrestle, and talk. Honestly, what more could you ask for from a superstar? Personally, I'm optimistic for 2012 being the year The Truth takes home a World Championship from the WWE. You wanna talk about change? That's change.

    This isn't completely unfounded hope either, as rumor has it that Vince is digging the whole "Lil Jimmy" shtick, and how could he not? This has me thinking that R-Truth will becoming a growing factor around WrestleMania hits. Where will he be on the card? Not sure. Will he be at the Granddaddy of them All? I'd be hard-pressed to find a reason he wouldn't.

Cody Rhodes

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    Perhaps the hottest young star in WWE right now is non other than the current Intercontinental Champion. From the moment he appeared on the scene, I can honestly say, I've been a fan of Rhodes and he hasn't disappointed me. The growth I've seen in Rhodes in 2011 has been phenomenal to say the least and he's gone from that guy people were sure would go nowhere, to the guy people should strive to be.

    As a performer, Cody Rhodes has been superb this year from Dashing, to Dashed, to simply Cody Rhodes and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Cody now finds himself with the chance to involved with two of the most entertaining characters from the Attitude Era in Booker T and Goldust and I expect Cody to well entrenched in the World Title hunt by the end of 2012. 

The Usos

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    You know, despite the fact that Air Boom are the WWE Tag Team Champions and Epico and Primo are the number one contenders, I still find myself enjoying The Usos more than either team and it boggles my mind why WWE doesn't choose to capitalize on the ability and charisma these two bring to the ring.

    In 2011 The Usos have managed to grow as a team and become accepted by the WWE Universe with subtle things like the introduction of their Haka, the addition of a little more flash in their game, and their growing move set. WWE looked to be doing something with the Tag Team Titles when they gave them to Air Boom, but that looks to have stalled. Why not give The Usos a shot? I see no reason Jimmy and Jey would end 2012 without holding those tag titles once or twice.

The Miz

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    The Miz started out this year as WWE Champion and who's to say he couldn't do it again sometime in 2012. It's difficult to think of a reason why Miz couldn't be WWE Champion. Some would say "He doesn't look like a tough guy." I say, take a look at the World Champions and tell me it doesn't look like a fair fight between either one of them and The Miz.

    Word has it that there is talk about turning The Miz into a face. Personally, I'm skeptical to how it could work. I think The Miz makes an effective heel--especially in regards to the key ability of a heel and that's getting heat. The Miz is not a likable guy for the most part. It's been said every demographic has a reason to hate him. I see no reason to waste that, but regardless, I think if Miz can pull this off, he can be exactly the new face WWE wants.


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    Perhaps the most underrated Divas on the is this lovely lady right here in Eve Torres. Seems no matter what ya do, if you're name isn't Beth or Kharma, you're not related to a former wrestler, or you're not built like a female weight-lifter, you get no respect as a Diva from the internet. Shame really, considering she's probably one of the most technically sound workers.

    She's not perfect, by any stretch, but neither is your Divas Champion, so I've been willing to cut Eve a break and she hasn't disappointed me. She's got a good look, has some nice offense, and isn't bad on a microphone. What more do you want from the girl?


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    So, thus ends a look at some stars we can enjoy in 2012. Let me reiterate. I'm may not be a fan of CM Punk, but it's not as if I hate the guy. I just feel that there's a little too much spotlight as of late on him on this site, and it was time for a change.

    It's for reasons like that I chose not to go with a few of the bigger names like Sheamus, Cena, and Orton. No doubt those guys will be enjoyed--especially considering Orton will be out for a bit. I'm sure some of you will also question the absence of one Dolph Ziggler, and I'll explain that by saying, that I actually find him annoying. Granted, I know some people dig that. Nothing wrong with that. I don't see HOW anyone could, but that's me.

    Anyway, here's to a great year in WWE and professional wrestling as a whole.