WWE, TNA: The 100 Worst Wrestling Moments of 2012
What a long, crazy year 2012 was for professional wrestling.
Ric Flair returned, The Rock defeated Cena, Ryback became a star and we witnessed the debut of The Shield.
If you watched every WWE and TNA episode (and their pay-per-views) over the year, you would have consumed over 400 hours of wrestling.
That's a lot of TV, and a lot of things that went wrong.
We may love wrestling, but let's face it—sometimes it can be downright terrible.
Bad storylines, lame jokes and plenty of uncomfortable situations were too often experienced on the grand stage over the past 12 months.
If you toss in Ring of Honor, various other independent wrestling shows and some of the crazy things that happened off camera, it makes for an even wider range of things to choose from.
Now, we are off on a journey to relive, or experience for the first time the 100 worst wrestling moments of the year.
Don't get too sad, 2013 is bound to be to better right? Right?
No. 100: Team Hell No Instead of Team Friendship
The name Team Friendship is pretty funny. It also perfectly captures the strange, forced relationship of Kane and Bryan.
Team Hell No sounds like it's trying to be clever, but it's really not.
For some reason, the choice was left up to the fans to vote on the team's name.
The WWE Universe subsequently chose the lame name.
The lesson is: never listen to the WWE Universe.
No. 99: Dances with Children
The Brodus Clay character is hit or miss with fans.
If you’re older than 12, the odds are less likely you will enjoy his act.
After Clay started to get a little stale, WWE decided to go all out.
They gave up on any adult male liking him when they decided to add a dancing sequence after his matches… with children.
I’m sorry, but a 350lb man not wearing pants and dancing with seven year olds just looks creepy, no matter what the context is.
It has also lead to other awkward moments like Sin Cara having to bust-a-move.
When a masked man is staring at a child and dancing, it makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience.
No. 98: Kevin Nash’s Grantland Interview
Some people will say Nash’s interview with Grantland was just a work.
If that’s true, then who was he working? What money did he make out of it?
It’s not like WWE brought him in to feud with the “vanilla midgets” that he once again brought up.
The interview seemed that it was a window into what Kevin Nash really believes.
He thinks smaller guys just don’t belong at the top of a wrestling card.
Conveniently, he left out his good buddies Shawn Michaels, X-Pac and Steve Austin, and instead attacked the deceased Benoit and Guererro.
It’s too bad that he takes no responsibility for holding back younger, more athletic talent when he was in WCW. He takes no responsibility for his atrocious booking in the company either, or his lackluster runs in WWE.
Nah, it's all the short guys fault for ruining the business.
No 97. Aries Shushes the Crowd
People hate being shushed.
So why would the newly crowned world champion, who was in the midst of receiving the biggest applause of his life, tell the crowd to be quiet and shush them?
It was a time to soak it all up, to let the fans know a new era had begun. Bobby Roode had just lost the title after the longest reign in the company’s history, and Aries was their new star.
A couple months later Aries had another strange incident with the crowd.
While Bully Ray was walking around ringside, a fan touched him. Bully threatened to punch the man in the face if he did it again.
Aries then basically agreed with him, and said he'd punch the guy as well.
He did this while he was a babyface, so it didn't really help endear him to the crowd.
By the end of the year, his face run (surprisingly?) wasn't quite working, and he went back to being a heel.
No. 96: Harley Race vs. Vader
Sure, in 1985 Harley Race vs. Vader could have been a good match.
But in 2012, when one man is horrendously overweight, and the other needs a scooter to get around, a physical altercation between the two comes off as sad.
The one time wrestler/manager combination got into a scuffle at a wrestling convention. It started when Race took exception with Vader being rude to fans.
The two went into the hallway to settle their differences, and Race punched Vader in the face.
There’s a time and a place for Vader Time, but this was neither the time nor the place.
Luckily, no Vader Bombs were dished out that day.
No. 95: Money-in-the-Bank on the Line
Poor Dolph, he didn’t just have to put up his Money in the Bank briefcase just once after he won it, he had to do it twice.
Whoever wins it next should just use it as soon as they can.
If Vince is feeling cranky that day, he might just take it away from them if he feels like it.
No. 94: Cameron’s DUI
Tough Enough has provided some quality talent in the past (Matt Morgan, John Morrison, Melina), but the most recent edition was a dud.
The show was entertaining, but the talent never made it on TV, except for one: Cameron.
You remember her right? She was the one who said her favorite wrestling match off all time was between Alicia Fox and Melina.
It was enough to get her booted from the show, but she was then inexplicably given a job in WWE.
Meanwhile, Luke Robinson continues to wrestle the indies.
If her being employed wasn’t a slap in the face to every aspiring wrestler everywhere, to top it off, she ran into some trouble with the law.
On August 24, Cameron was arrested for a DUI and was suspended for 15 days. She also lied and said she worked at a bank.
That’s right, you smoke marijuana, you get a month suspension, and a wellness policy violation. You put other people’s lives in danger while driving, you get half that time.
To top it off, according to police she also tried to bribe them.
Out of anyone on the entire roster, she is the luckiest one to have a job.
No. 93: Lack of New Talent
WWE made up for it by year's end, but from January until October, we basically had two new wrestlers on the entire roster.
By the end of 2012, we were introduced to Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, Brad Maddox, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Big E. Langston
It was exciting, but it makes you wonder what took so long, and where is the other new talent?
With six hours to fill every week, WWE desperately needed some new faces to keep things interesting.
There's only so many times you can see David Otunga fight Great Khali before it gets boring (it's actually only one time).
But instead, we see the exact same acts every week. Many wrestlers we see twice a week, or even three times (or four if there’s a pay-per-view).
The entire WWE brand became more stale in 2012. Adding a lot of new faces could have helped alleviate that problem.
No. 92: Layla’s Triumphant Return
After nearly being out of action for 10 months, Layla returned to WWE at Extreme Rules… to complete silence.
It was kind of embarrassing to see such a lack of enthusiasm for any returning star.
For some reason, Layla was now a face. After being in LayCool for years, we were now supposed to cheer her, but WWE forgot to give us a reason why.
She quickly captured the Divas Title from The Bella Twins, and went on to have a forgettable run as champion.
No. 91: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania
At WrestleMania 27, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan were hosed.
The two were set to face off in a US title match that was pushed to the pre-show at the last minute.
The following year, the two were set to square off again, this time in a World Heavyweight Championship match.
It lasted all of 18 seconds.
The babyface Sheamus kicked Bryan in the face as soon as he turned around. It seemed like a cowardly move from a good guy.
Maybe the two will face off again at this year’s WrestleMania. If we’re lucky, they may even go 30 seconds.
No. 90: Alex Shelley Leaves TNA
Alex Shelly was in TNA for eight years. He was one of their longest tenured talent, but they could never figure out what to do with him.
Shelley was in Paparazzi Productions, teamed up with Kevin Nash and even seemed on the verge of a feud with Mick Foley.
None of those angles went anywhere, and Shelley stayed in the Motor City Machine Guns, often without a storyline.
The duo were over, but never got to show off their personalities.
When his tag partner Chris Sabin was injured, it would have been the perfect time for Shelly to breakout as a star.
TNA didn’t bother though, there were older, less motivated, overpaid wrestlers to push instead.
No. 89: Chavo the Legend?
Chavo Guerrero made his long awaited TNA debut in August.
I mean long awaited in the sense that Chavo waited a long time to join the company. No one else really cared that much.
Anyway, upon his debut, he was interrupted by Kid Kash. Chavo then claimed that he’s a legend because the fans said he is.
What? No fan said this. Ever.
Eddie Guerrero is considered a legend by many, but not Chavo. Chavo was most recently remembered for jobbing to Hornswoggle, and for “borrowing” his late uncle’s move-set.
Chavo overall has had a good, long career, but claiming he was a legend was a mixture of being absurdly funny and sadly delusional.
No. 88: Two Men, but Where’s the Half?
WWE began promoting Charlie Sheen confronting Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam.
The problem is, Sheen didn’t show up.
At Raw 1000, the star of Anger Management took offense to what Bryan said about him earlier in the evening, and told him he’d see him in Los Angeles.
For weeks after that, WWE announcers constantly referred to “anger management”, seemingly to set up the showdown.
Instead of telling fans that Sheen couldn’t make it, they just dropped it.
Sure, it probably would have been bad anyway, but Sheen is a pretty big star. Promoting something that they can’t follow through on is just never good for business.
#87: Lord Tensai Debuts
For weeks, WWE showed vignettes of a powerful Asian man that was coming to the company. He was set on dominating the competition, it was a new threat.
Silly us, he wasn’t new or Asian, it was our old friend Albert!
Matt Bloom actually looked like he’d put on some weight since we had last seen him. And now he was dressed in a weird outfit, with a manager type guy he’d always beat up for no reason.
Tensai was doomed from the start.
If this was 1985, sure, this could probably have got over. Close your eyes, and you could almost see Tensai and Hogan feuding over the WWF Title.
In 2012, this was just not going to work.
Another thing that hampered Tensai's debut was that Brock Lesnar returned on the exact same night.
Who would care about a silly gimmick when you have "The Next Big Thing" back?
The plans to push Tensai as a main-eventer never came to fruition, and he basically became a jobber within a few months.
No. 86: TNA TV Title
First off, TNA needs to scrap this title. They just don’t need it.
Second of all, Devon was a bad choice to hold the title for so long.
Third of all, announcing that the belt was to be defended every week on TV was also a bad move, and then quickly forgotten.
If there’s only about 40 wrestlers on the TNA roster, it just can’t be defended every week.
If you subtract the knockouts and main-eventers, there’s only 20 choices at most to compete for it. That means that whoever has the belt is going to run through opponents really fast.
It seems that TNA realized this, and just ignored what they had announced.
Chalk it up to another concept TNA had (the Top 10 contenders, fans voting for title shots), and decided to dump without bothering to tell anyone.
No. 85: Ryback’s Eye
What was up with Ryback’s eye?
Seriously, what was up with that thing?
Whatever it was, it took weeks to go away.
To this day, children still have nightmares that it may come back.
No. 84: AJ Styles Needs a Hug
Due to bad booking, there comes a point in a wrestler's career that his character is beyond repair.
TNA's character development has been pretty lousy for years, and it seems that AJ Styles may be in the toilet for good.
Instead of being a perennial good guy like John Cena, TNA flips Styles back-and-forth whenever they get bored.
The result is a confused, whiny character that not many seem to latch onto.
Yes, his friends turned their backs on him. Yes, he was screwed out of a title shot.
But he should vow to get revenge, train more and fight harder, not sulk around and grow out his hair.
No. 83: Beth Phoenix Becomes a Jobber, Leaves
Beth Phoenix was once the most feared woman in all of WWE.
She was unstoppable, and arguably the best worker they had. By the end of 2012, she was jobbing to Kaitlyn.
It’s hard to say why WWE lost all interest in The Glamazon, but they did.
With Kharma out of WWE, it seemed that Phoenix could have been the monster heel of the division like she was previously. It never happened.
In November, it seemed that Phoenix had enough. In a backstage segment, Vickie Guerrero unceremoniously fired her.
At the age of 31, Phoenix went home, and for now, has retired from the sport.
No. 82: Jigsaw Hogan
It was like the Saw movies, but much less frightening, and yet somehow even more bizarre.
During the early days of the Aces & 8s storyline, Austin Aries ended up kidnapping a member of the group and tied him to a chair.
Hogan also wanted a word with this no good punk.
The unnamed member refused to talk, so Hogan was about to get extreme and pull out his teeth with a pliers.
The man who once preached to us to take our vitamins and say our prayers was about to torture another man.
Luckily, for all of us, a phone rang at that exact moment. Otherwise Hogan would be in prison right now.
No. 81: Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara’s Mask
Out of nowhere, Cody Rhodes wanted to remove Sin Cara’s mask.
Because he thought he was ugly, that’s why.
For the next few weeks the two faced off in various singles and tag matches. Every time Rhodes tried his darndest to take that mask off, but he always failed.
At one point, Rhodes showed a caricature of what Sin Cara looked like without the mask. It was a horribly disfigured cartoon that was so unfunny that they showed it multiple times.
How did the story end you ask? It was dropped.
No. 80: Ryback Bully
It may seem like a long time ago, but for months Ryback only faced local talent.
These squash matches were all well in good, in that they showed off his incredible strength and power moves.
What wasn’t so great was the backstage shots of wrestlers gathering around the monitor having a good laugh at the expense of the jobbers.
These were men that the superstars had never seen, and they were enjoying watching their beating.
It made Ryback look like a bully, and all of the superstars were guilty of enjoying it.
No. 79: Fandango
Poor Johnny Curtis.
Around the time he’s getting ready to debut, three other developmental call ups got a key slot on a pay-per-view in a major storyline.
Meanwhile, he’s been cast as a ballroom dancer.
It’s too bad he wasn’t The Shield’s fourth member. Instead, he’ll be stuck dancing in a gimmick that goes absolutely nowhere (that is, if the act ever debuts).
Did WWE learn nothing from The Funkasauras?
No. 78: Ring Ka Cancelled
It seemed like a great idea.
Bring a well-produced, slick wrestling show to the Indian market. With over one billion people, it seemed like they should have received a big audience.
One episode drew 14 million viewers, which is much larger than any episode of Raw has ever done.
The show wasn’t groundbreaking, but had a nice old-school feel to it. Plus guys like Magnus and the former Luke Gallows (currently D.O.C. in TNA) were given big roles.
The show lasted 26 episodes (it wasn’t meant to be a year round show), but for some reason it wasn’t picked up for another season.
Unlike some other terrible TNA ideas, you can’t blame them for trying this one.
No. 77: So Long Kharma
When Kia Stevens signed with the WWE, there was a lot of hope for what she could do for the Divas division.
Stevens’ run as Awesome Kong in TNA was during the best run the Knockouts division ever had. Kong was often the highlight of it.
WWE began running vignettes for her new persona Kharma. It looked very promising.
After a brief run, Stevens became pregnant and disappeared from TV. It was horrible timing for her career, but still must have been an exciting time for her.
Sadly, she had a miscarriage, and Stevens understandably took more time off.
She returned for a cameo at the Royal Rumble, and hopes were she’d start up soon again.
We never saw her again. Kharma was released a few months later, reportedly because of attitude and weight issues.
There was a lot of potential, but nothing came of it. Hopefully she’ll still get a run somewhere if she’s up for it.
No. 76: No Seriously, Where’s Abyss?
Abyss disappeared, one person cared: Joseph Park.
The debut of Joseph Park was actually quite a bit of fun.
He was just so strange. It was actually Abyss playing the role, but the search for his brother was kind of interesting.
Where was TNA headed with this?
Were they going to admit that Abyss and Park were one in the same? Was he going to do a Mick Foley type gimmick where he’d play multiple characters?
It still hasn’t been answered.
Abyss just stopped showing up for work. Every one stopped caring, even Park no longer brought it up.
Joseph Park is still fun, but without the search for his brother, there’s no good reason for the character to be around anymore.
No. 75: Jack Swagger Needs a Break
The year 2011 was not a good one for Jack Swagger.
2012 was even worse.
The former World Heavyweight Champion essentially became a jobber during the year. His tag team with Dolph Ziggler didn’t do anyone any favors.
He was laid waste to put over greener guys like Ryback and Brodus Clay. Eventually, things got so bad that WWE had the character leave the show.
So much damage was done to Swagger, that he needed to get off TV to help fans forget how poorly he’s been pushed.
Time will tell if that will work, but it’s a shame he had to fall so far in the first place.
No. 74: Chris Sabin’s Injury
While Sabin is a TV star, and gets to date Velvet Sky, you can’t help but feel sorry for him.
After being out of action for over a year with a knee injury, Sabin finally returned to TV.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.
Within just a couple of matches after his return, he injured his other knee in a televised Ultimate X match. Sabin looked to have landed wrong, and then rolled out of the ring in pain.
His face said it all: he looked defeated.
Sabin hasn’t been seen since. Now that his old tag partner has left, hopefully TNA can still find him a good role when he returns.
No. 73: Doggy Bath?
John Cena has said a lot of lame things during his career.
On the Septemember 24 episode of Raw, he may have outdone himself.
First, he came out to the ring for a promo, and was a sad Cena. He sounded as if his career was over, and even told us that his future was in doubt.
In actuality, he was only out of action for a few weeks. Kind of a crybaby when you think about it.
Anyway, he also laid a sad, incoherent attempt at trying to be funny when he dropped this gem:
"CM Punk is a monkey-franken-ship sinking-son of a bee sting that better get his gol' darn crap happy doggy bath straightened away."
His doggy bath straightened away?
No. 72: Magnus and Joe Split Up
Pairing Joe and Magnus together seemed like an odd choice, but it somehow worked.
The two were reluctant partners put together during a tournament for the TNA tag team titles. Unlike the other teams, the two stuck together after the tournament ended.
Joe was the silent type, and Magnus was cutting cocky promos.
While in England, Magnus had the best promo of his career in front of his home country. It seemed to have gone unnoticed with TNA management.
While the two won the tag titles, they unceremoniously lost them a short time later. Then, without a good explanation they began feuding.
Joe and Magnus had some good matches against each other, but it was opening show material. Instead, they should have been helping to rebuild the tag division which TNA desperately needs.
No. 71: WWE Heels Want You to Be a Star. Right Now!
WWE’s Be a Star campaign is a great cause.
Bullying is a serious problem, though it’s too bad that the man who runs WWE is a 67 year old bully.
Anyway, over the course of the year there were a few Be a Star video packages shown on TV from superstars visiting children at school.
WWE likes to show off their charity work which is fine, but it would have been nice to leave the heels out of it.
During these videos, which were a part of WWE television, they showed Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry and David Otunga smiling and having fun with the kids.
Apparently, they’re not so bad after all. So why should we boo them later in the show?
If during The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy (Bane) took off his mask and told us not to be a bully, it would have taken us out of the moment. That’s basically what these videos did.
There’s a time and a place for WWE to talk about how great they are, but they don’t need to make fans suspend their disbelief any more than they need to.
No. 70: Ryback Fails to Lift Tensai
Whether we liked it or not, WWE was going to make Ryback a star.
Every week we were seeing at least one Ryback squash match. Tensai’s stock had fallen greatly since his debut in the company, so he was next in line for The Big Hungry to eat.
Ryback may have bit off more than he could chew.
The two faced off on SmackDown and things went fine. Ryback put the former hairy man away with his signature spots and everyone was happy.
A few days later the two faced off again.
Things came to an awkward halt though when Ryback attempted his Shell Shock finisher, but couldn’t lift up the A-Train.
He tried twice, and then gave up.
Ryback had to improvise. He called Tensai stupid (which just seemed kind of mean), and then finished him off with a running clotheline.
It wasn’t quite as impressive.
Still, it was somewhat satisfying for WWE to force the audience to like a wrestler, and then watch him get embarrassed.
No. 69: Kaitlyn’s Attacker
In a feud that was destined to go nowhere, Kaitlyn was attacked before her match against Layla for the Divas title.
Eve conveniently stood in and took her spot. But who attacked Kaitlyn?
For weeks we were subjected to backstage segments where Eve, and Teddy Long of all people, accused each other of the deed.
So who was the real criminal?
Oh, it was actually Aksana.
Aksana and Kaitlyn then had a four minute match on Raw, and Kaitlyn won.
What a payoff!
No. 68: Winter/Angelina Love/Velvet Sky Leave TNA
It was only a few years ago that TNA had a thriving Knockout’s division.
Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Daffney, Hamada, Sarita, Roxxi, ODB and others made it the strongest women’s division seen on a national scale in years.
Then, Dutch Mantell was let go and the Knockouts haven’t been the same since. The past year saw three of their top acts leave with no fanfare.
Angelina Love was the first to go. It's a shame, as she was highlight of the division for awhile. Her work in The Beautiful People was fantastic.
Then, at some point, Angelina became a zombie. Let's just forget that part for now.
Winter also disappeared from TV with no explanation. And then Velvet no longer let the pigeons loose.
To replace them, TNA hired someone who was barely in WWE to become a referee. It was not a good trade.
Yes, Velvet Sky returned at the end of the year, but her departure left a depleted Knockouts roster that is a shell of what it used to be.
No. 67: Raw Social Media Ambassadors
Do you care what Pauly D. from Jersey Shore thinks about WWE Raw?
No? Well then, how about that hip, young cat Larry King?
No? Well then, how about that short guy from Lost?
Okay, I give up. Luckily WWE did too, or maybe they just ran out of celebrities who pretended to care about wrestling and Tweet about it.
No. 66: Miz Is Not so Awesome
Miz has had a long, strange run in WWE.
He somehow went from being the host of SmackDown to becoming the WWE champion. Then, he went all the way back down to the bottom.
He fell from heights that very few in the history of the company have fallen.
Ever since he lost to Cena in the ridiculous “I Quit” match at Extreme Rules in 2011, his character has been struggling.
Things only got worse after the loss to Rock and Cena at Survivor Series later that year. Once 2012 hit, it was just one new low after another.
Miz became a jobber, who they still let talk. But he couldn't back up his words. He lost to virtually everyone.
Sure, he won the Intercontinental title after his return, but he lost all of his non-title matches. After looking weak for over a year, they started to turn him face.
It probably would have been more effective had they not destroyed him for so long, but maybe there’s still hope yet for him.
No. 65: Extreme Reunion
Some people just can’t accept that ECW is dead.
For those fans, Shane Douglas created the Extreme Rising wrestling promotion. It was comprised of a bunch of former ECW stars, and some current indy workers.
The first show was an absolute disaster.
Sabu and Justin Credible were passed out and unable to perform. The matches were lousy, and the crowd was very vocal about it.
In an interview after the event, Shane Douglas apologized profusely, and said they wouldn't use Sabu again until he was healthy.
They then used him the very next show.
Douglas also said he would never main-event another show for the company.
Guys like Stevie Richards, Devon Storm and Jerry Lynn can still go in the ring and deserve the spotlight. But without a bunch of new, young talent it's going to be hard for the company to go anywhere.
Just look at how WWE’s ECW TV show went, or the failure of TNA’s ECW stable for further proof that it’s over.
No. 64: The Brogue Kick Hearing
WWE writers often seem more interested in trying to get some laughs instead of building a compelling feud.
It’s too bad that they aren’t funny.
Case in point: The Brogue Kick Hearing.
David Otunga was trying to get Sheamus’ finisher banned by going through the legal route. The Celtic Warrior though, was more in the mood to try out his new stand-up act.
The whole segment was painful, and massively over produced. There were at least half a dozen camera angles.
In the end, Sheamus just came off as a goof, as usual, and kicked a woman’s camera.
In hindsight, what made this segment even worse was that the story never went anywhere. One day, Booker T. just randomly changed his mind, he reinstated the Brogue kick.
Why? Nobody bothered to tell us.
No. 63: Brodus Clay and His Mommas
What would WrestleMania be without some great matches and terrible humor?
This year was no exception as Brodus Clay officially jumped the shark with his “somebody better call my momma” gimmick that he stole from The Cat.
You see, we didn’t just get one “momma”, we got a bunch of them. They were all dancing, and it wasn’t very funny or interesting. But we got to pay to watch it.
No. 62: Storm Puts His #1 Contender Spot on the Line
It’s hard to get behind TNA babyfaces as the company often makes them look so stupid.
At Turning Point, Storm defeated AJ Styles and Bobby Roode in a triple threat match to become the number one contender.
On the next episode of Impact, he lost his shot at the title because Roode insulted his daughter.
Like an idiot, Storm put his title shot on the line and would have got nothing in return had he won. He just wanted the match with Roode.
What made it worse was that TNA did the exact same angle less than two months before.
After Jeff Hardy won his shot at Austin Aries, Bully Ray challenged him to put his #1 contender shot on the line.
Hardy had everything to lose and nothing to gain, and yet he agreed. Lucky for him, he won.
Storm was not so lucky, and now just looks stupid for agreeing to the match in the first place.
No. 61: The Great Khali Defeats Primo and Epico
WWE took one of their only teams and had them job to The Great Khali in a little over a minute.
Of course it didn’t lead to anything for Khali, as WWE isn’t interested in pushing him as a star anymore.
It just made Primo and Epico look like scrubs, and made every team who had competitive matches with them look weaker too.
The two being manhandled was even overshadowed by Hornswoggle and Rosa outside the ring.
Basically, the former tag team champions were destroyed so Vince could have a chuckle over Rosa being sprayed with water.
No. 60: Mysterio Suspended Again
On April 26, Rey Mysterio once again failed WWE’s wellness policy.
It was disappointing not only because it was his second offense, but because of how much his character is geared towards children.
When Mysterio makes his way down to the ring, he stops multiple times to hand out masks to kids. He’s someone they look up to (insert short joke here if you must).
Everyone makes mistakes, but Mysterio damaged his legacy a bit with this slip up.
When Mysterio returned, he now had a T-shirt permanently attached to his body.
In 2011, R-Truth, Evan Bourne, Heath Slater, Darren Young, Mike Chioda, and Sin Cara were all suspended.
With the exception of Bourne, those guys learned their lesson. Hopefully one of WWE’s greatest stars ever is now clean, and doesn’t strike out.
No. 59: Ring of Honor Stuck in Neutral
For years, hardcore fans would watch WWE and TNA, but it was Ring of Honor they loved.
The company built up a lot of buzz with their athletic matches, and no-nonsense storylines.
That buzz is gone.
In a way, the company was a victim of its own success as they created compelling characters, only to have them plucked to the big leagues.
Samoa Joe, Nigel McGuinness, CM Punk, Austin Aries and Seth Rollins all left the company over the years, and somehow ROH was able to find new talent to build around.
That well seems to be drying up a bit.
Over the past couple years, Jim Cornette as the head booker failed to deliver an exciting product, and the overall show felt flat.
They also had numerous problems with their pay-per-view streams and had to offer refunds and free shows.
With a new booker, and with Sin Clair media still committed to the company, (as well as some encouraging buyrates) maybe they can finally push forward.
No. 58: Antonio Cesaro Doesn’t Like America
How can you say “crappy gimmick” in five different languages?
When watching Cesaro talk about America you have to wonder if it’s 2012 or 1982.
Apparently he’s an evil man from Switzerland who is disgusted by American culture. He thinks our children are fat, Elvis has no talent and um…. all the adults here are fat too.
The gimmick is far beneath Cesaro, who has shown a lot of promise during his run.
WWE wants to make us mad that this evil foreigner has the US title, but he won it from Santino. We should be thankful, if nothing else.
The sooner they find him a new act, the better.
No. 57: Earl Hebner and Madison Rayne’s Relationship
For weeks, TNA built up the mystery of who was Madison Rayne’s crush.
They teased that it was Devon or Garrett Bischoff, but in the end it was senior citizen referee Earl Hebner.
I thought Vince Russo left the company?
Rayne basically used Hebner (it seems, as there was never an explanation) to help her win her matches. He was the referee during her title match against Miss Tessmacher (not quite sure how Brooke or Hulk Hogan allowed that).
Due to Hebner’s biased refereeing, Madison won the title. She then lost it a week later.
That was it. End of story.
There was no break up either. As far as we know they’re still going out. Maybe they're married now.
All of that build for that? It was like the Montreal Screwjob all over again, but much less interesting or entertaining.
No. 56: The Three Man Band
Heath Slater was a mid-card jobber, who was surprisingly entertaining.
Sure, he got beat up every week, but his one man band gimmick was kind of fun.
WWE decided it was so much fun that they added two more guys to the act. Now, it was the Three Man Band, or the 3MB if you will.
Not only was the joke lost now (a three man band makes sense, whereas a one man band does not), but Mahal and McIntyre don't fit in at all.
It's too bad, as McIntyre especially seems to have some untapped potential. He's stuck in three man group that's a one-note joke.
No. 55: Ric Flair Insults TNA
TNA is a fairly easy to make fun of, and it’s okay to do it, unless you’re working for them.
When the Four Horsemen were inducted into the WWE hall of fame, it raised some eyebrows.
Would Ric Flair be able show up? He was under a TNA contract after all.
We found out that Dixie Carter did give Flair her blessing to show up (in exchange for Christian making an appearance at Slammiversary).
Regardless, it was a nice thing for her to do. She had every legal right to say "no". After all, WWE got to make money off of him appearing.
When Flair took the stage, he showed little class for his current employer. When fans in the crowd yelled at him to return, Flair said “I'd like to! Don't question me on that!"
Why Flair is so intent on burning most of his bridges at this point in his life is a mystery, but sadly has happened all to often.
By the end of the year, Flair got his wish and returned to WWE during the Slammy awards.
No. 54: Mr. Anderson Doesn’t Understand Math
Mr. Anderson was down to his last match in the Bound for Glory series against Bully Ray.
He needed 10 points to tie for fourth place, which meant he needed to force his opponent to submit. That was the only way he could continue on.
Late in the match, he landed his Mic-Check finisher and pinned Bully Ray... for seven points.
This ended his chance to land in the finals. Instead of going for any sort of submission after his finisher, he was satisfied with seven.
The announcers didn’t even bother to question why he did that. They didn’t say how idiotic it was that he just blew his chance at the gold.
Mr. Anderson’s character has been pushed pretty poorly in TNA, and this was just another example of making him look stupid.
No. 53: A.W’s Kobe Bryant Joke
Abraham Washington just didn’t get it.
He was hired to play a character on a PG show. What he did, and said, on the air had to be within the confines of WWE’s programming standards.
He failed miserably at that.
This wasn’t the Attitude era anymore, but he seemed to think it still was.
His joke about Kobe Bryant forcing sex on a woman was out of place in a show that appeals to kids, and has Hornswoggle and Santino as recurring characters.
It would have been like Bobby Heenan making a rape joke during the Rock n’ Wrestling era.
He was quickly canned, and then took his case to Twitter. He tried to rally fans to his cause for what he believed was an unjust firing.
Yes, there is always going to be a bit of a double standard. The Rock and John Cena are going to get away with edgier content than a regular wrestler will.
But if AW couldn’t comprehend why his joke was out of place, then he had no business on a PG television show.
No. 52: Wrestling Revolution Project Fails to Start a Revolution
Jeff Katz, who used to work for WCW, seemed to be onto something.
He was going to start a wrestling revolution (later named Wrestling Retribution).
On Kickstarter, over $100,000 was raised for a new 13 episode wrestling series. It was going to be unlike anything fans had seen.
Wrestlers like Chris Masters and MVP signed on, but were not going to play their old characters.
It wasn’t just because of trademark issues either. Katz wanted to create essentially a whole other wrestling universe. These wrestlers were going to be portraying new characters who had never appeared in WWE or TNA.
Also interesting was that Katz was basically directing the episodes. If a wrestler screwed up, they’d stop and reshoot the spot. This was all done in front of a coached audience.
Katz said that the series should be debuting in early 2012 on a variety of platforms. Fans could watch the entire series whenever they felt like it.
At the very least, it was something new.
Months passed though, and there was still no word of the project. By the end of the year, the website was gone.
Maybe the show will still see the light of day, but it's looking highly doubtful at this point.
No. 51: R-Truth and Little Jimmy
R-Truth has talked about Little Jimmy for some time, but this year WWE creative just went too far.
The humor dried up fast, and it just made Truth look crazy, but not in a good way. It damaged his character, which is a shame since he had a good heel run in 2011.
They gave it all up for this.
Whether it was Truth overreacting to Lilttle Jimmy being kicked by Daniel Bryan, or Little Jimmy telling Jared what kind of Subway sandwich he wanted, it just made for embarrassing television.
Try explaining R-Truth and Little Jimmy to a friend who doesn’t like wrestling and watch their reaction. Then, watch them cast judgment on you.
No. 50: James Storm Goes Home
From late 2011 into early 2012, it looked like TNA was about to create a star.
James Storm was starting to really catch on with the Impact Zone. He was a tough, beer drinking Southerner that is somehow a rarity in wrestling these days.
But much like TNA did with Tomko and The Pope in year’s past, they ruined something that seemed ready to explode (as much as one can in TNA).
Instead of building to a huge showdown, they rushed through the Storm vs. Roode feud. Then they stumbled on what Storm’s next chapter was.
So, they sent him home.
After defeating Robert Roode at Lockdown, but not winning the title, the emotionally damaged James Storm needed to go home and think about his life.
For weeks he was shown on the farm, not sure if he wanted to wrestle again. Finally, his daughter talked him back into it.
This wasn’t what wrestling fans want to see.
We live vicariously through our favorite wrestlers, and want to watch them kick some asses and win some titles, not go home and cry about their problems.
Not surprisingly, Storm’s character hasn’t fully recovered from this bizarre move.
No. 49: Embrace the Hate
Shortly before John Cena and The Rock took over the wrestling world in 2012, Cena took part in this stink bomb of a feud.
Fans hated John Cena (and still do), but Cena wouldn’t let it get to him.
He would rise above it.
But the newly re-masked Kane had other plans. He kept telling Cena to “embrace the hate”.
WWE teased us with Cena turning to the dark side, but it never quite went anywhere.
The feud also unfortunately involved Zack Ryder and Eve.
Ryder was Cena’s buddy, who always got beat up by Kane in exceedingly ridiculous comic fashion. Cena then made out with Ryder’s girl right in front of him.
Somehow Cena remained a good guy.
Ryder’s character has never recovered from this feud, Kane’s return was off to a terrible start and Cena looked like a jerk throughout it.
Luckily, WrestleMania came along and mercifully ended this story.
John Cena owes The Rock a big "thank you" for that.
No. 48: The Three Stooges Come to Raw
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
Why is nobody laughing?
Is it because the humor is dated by a good 60 years and being performed by a bunch of C-list actors?
To promote their upcoming film The Three Stooges, Larry, Moe and Curly came to Raw. However, it wasn’t the actors themselves going, it was the actors portraying the characters.
Apparently in the WWE Universe The Three Stooges actually exist. Yes, this has been done with The A-Team, and The Muppets and WCW did it with Robocop and Chucky. But it’s still stupid.
To make matters worse, the Stooges weren’t anything remotely close to being funny, and the crowd was vocally hostile to the act.
No. 47: R-Truth as Sherlock
When WWE went to England, they tried to appeal to the crowd.
Instead, they insulted their intelligence, and their sense of humor.
R-Truth went on the case to search for Teddy Long. To do this, he put on a hat, held a pipe and did an atrocious English accent.
You see, he was pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.
Funny right? Actually no.
It gets even worse, Little Jimmy was “Little Jimmy Watson”. If you somehow managed to not turn the channel, you were treated to one ungodly stupid segment after the next.
Hornswoggle was involved at some points, no laughs were had. Instead, tears were shed.
No. 46: Cena Saw the Writing on the Hand
The Rock and John Cena feud was sometimes just uncomfortable.
It seemed that in real life the two didn’t like each other, and that showed through on TV.
Still, the WWE should have made a huge deal out of one of the biggest wrestlers of all time, and a true Hollywood star coming in to wrestle a match.
Instead, the company tore him down at every possible turn.
The lowlight may have been Cena pointing out that Rock had wrote some notes down on his wrist.
Sure, it was silly of The Rock to do, but there was no reason to let everyone know, and make him look like a fool.
Imagine if a different Hollywood star like a Matt Damon or Sylvester Stallone came in for a match and did the same thing. Would Cena have called them out?
Not a chance.
But WWE still seems to hold a grudge against The Rock for leaving.
It’s sad really.
As good as WrestleMania 28 did buyrate wise, you have to think they threw away a lot of money by making Rock seem like just another wrestler instead of the legitimate megastar that he is.
No. 45: The Tuxedo Match
Why does Vince find men stripping each other down to their underwear so funny?
Most fans don’t agree with him.
Sure, bra and panties matches were fun back in the day, but those could at least be justified in the sense that they were targeted at the male audience.
Who does Santino and Ricardo Rodriguez stripping appeal to?
I’m not sure there are too many women out there who got their jollies off of watching that match.
You can only imagine Vince laughing his head off when Rodriguez was down to his undies and had a picture of Alberto Del Rio on the butt.
Just out of curiosity, if Ricardo thought there was any chance of him losing, why would he have worn that pair?
No. 44: What the Heel Is Going On?
For three straight pay-per-views, WWE babyfaces had a record of 29-4 against the heels.
No Way Out, Over the Limit and Extreme Rules were bad nights for the bad guys.
Ideally, that would be closer to a 50/50 outcome, but it’s okay to let the good guys win more often. What’s not okay is a downright massacre every month.
This record was just a symptom of a larger problem. Besides The Big Show, CM Punk and possibly The Shield, there were no credible heels in the entire company at the end of 2012.
With the way WWE has booked their feuds the past few years, don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon.
No. 43: Brooke and Bully Ray Make out
Watching Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray make out on TV was one of the more unpleasant surprises of 2012.
First off, no one believes that Bully and Brooke would date in real life.
Second off all, if they did, why does it need to be a story? They're both consenting adults.
Third of all, Bully and Hulk Hogan aren’t going to wrestle, so it’s just a waste of TV time.
For some asinine reason, TNA turned one of the best heels in the business to a face. Then, they had him date Brooke Hogan.
How is that supposed to make fans like him?
While Bully still did a serviceable job with the material he was given, Hulk’s acting skills are so limited that the segments were awful.
TNA needs to drop their soap opera stories as soon as possible, and at least try to pretend that “wrestling matters”.
No. 42: Don’t Talk About Her Children!
Brock Lesnar vs. HHH should have sold itself.
Somehow, Stephanie McMahon got involved.
During Raw 1000, Heyman came to the ring to turn down Hunter’s request to fight Lesnar. Hunter was not amused, and called Lesnar a coward.
Heyman asked Hunter if name calling is what he teaches his children.
For some reason, this made Hunter freak out, and eventually brought down Stephanie.
Stephanie told Heyman to never talk about her children, and then she talked about his children and how ashamed they must be of him.
Basically, what she said was a lot meaner than what he said, and also made her a hypocrite.
Unsurprisingly, this didn’t lead to a match between Heyman’s children and Hunter’s children, so this whole aspect of the angle was an unnecessary distraction.
No. 41: Feed Me Jared
Sure, Subway sandwiches are tasty, but let’s leave the advertising for the commercial breaks.
Jared from the Subway ads miraculously still has a job with the sandwich shop, and even more miraculously shows up on WWE TV now and again.
But this segment stunk worse than leaving out a tuna sub on the patio on a hot summer day.
Zack Ryder, R-Truth and Little Jimmy all had their ideas for a new sub sandwich. It wasn’t so much funny as it was just horrendously embarssing for all parties involved.
The segment ended with Ryback coming in and saying “feed me more”.
How it should have ended was with Jared giving Ryback a sandwich, and then Ryback says “feed me more” and Jared gives him another one.
You know, because he already gave him a sandwich and he wanted more?
It was so idiotic I just don’t want to think about it, I just want to lie down and eat a Cold Cut Combo.
No. 40: Hell No Overexposed
WWE struck gold with the unlikely pairing of Daniel Bryan and Kane.
The first couple weeks of the duo was some of the funniest skits the company had put on in some time.
The hug match in particular will probably be a highlight on future DVD releases in the years to come.
Then, like most things WWE starts to have fun with, they shove it down our throats.
For some, the diner scene was the moment when the duo jumped the shark. It started out kind of funny, but reenacting a scene from When Harry Met Sally and ending with Daniel Bryan vomiting left a bad taste in some viewer’s mouths.
Instead of holding off on the two winning the tag titles, and making fans anticipate it, they gave it to us in one of their first matches together.
There was nowhere else to go now. They already accomplished their goal.
An entire episode of SmackDown soon after basically revolved around the two.
Sure, the two were still kind of fun as the year went on, but the magic was gone.
No. 39: Sheamus' Joy Ride
Sheamus stole Alberto Del Rio's car.
Or did he?
Yes, of course he did.
Sadly, he didn’t go to jail.
For our entertainment, Sheamus Touted the entire crime spree for us.
He also apologized for the smell he left in the car, because he ate Mexican food. Apparently he crapped his pants or something?
Anyway, Cole and Lawler argued the rest of the night whether he stole or borrowed the car. I don’t think you can take someone’s car and return it later and consider it borrowing.
If you can, try that with a police car sometime Jerry.
No. 38: Devon Is the First Reveal
For months, Aces & 8’s was terrorizing the entire TNA roster. But who exactly were these guys?
At Bound for Glory, we were lead to believe that one of the members were going to be revealed. Who was it going to be?
Batista? Goldberg? Bully Ray? Nope, it was Devon.
That’s right, the less interesting, and less charismatic member of the former Dudley Boyz was the first big reveal.
It was a major disappointment. The fans didn’t boo, they chanted “this is awkward”.
What if the NWO’s third member had been Scott Norton or Brian Adams instead of Hogan? That’s what this felt like.
Fans expected something big and were given a surprise, just not a good one.
No. 37: Big Show Could Have Stopped Cena
The entire John Cena/John Laurinaitis/Big Show feud was a mess.
In subsequent pay-per-view main events, we went from Cena vs. Lesnar, to Cena vs. a 55 year old former wrestler.
Cena finally got a chance to get his hands on his boss, and he blew it. He lost.
It was an embarssing defeat for the company’s top hero. Granted, it wasn’t exactly fair as The Big Show eventually interfered in the match, but that still left one nagging question:
Why didn’t Cena pin Laurinaitis sooner?
The next night on Raw, Cena offered up his explanation. He told us it wouldn’t have mattered had he tried to pin Johnny as Big Show would have broken up the pin anyway.
The Big Show? Break up a pin? Within three seconds?
Usain Bolt couldn’t have ran from the back, down the aisle, slid into the ring and broke up the pin in three seconds. Big Show can’t even lift his legs over the top rope in three seconds.
WWE tried their best, but they still made Cena look foolish for losing that match because of excessive showboating.
No. 36: Scott Steiner’s Twitter Rants
Big Poppa Pump has never appeared to be the calmest man on the planet, but his Twitter posts in 2012 went a bit too far.
At first, they started out as kind of funny, rambling Tweets making fun of The Bischoffs and Hogan. Then, they became more personal and he attacked Brooke Hogan too.
Steiner later sued TNA over merchandise money, and an injury he claims he sustained at a house show. It’s curious why he didn’t file the lawsuit sooner and held off until he was then threatened with legal action by TNA over the Tweets.
I’m not crazy enough to question Steiner though, so I’ll just keep my distance on this one!
No. 35: Flair Wants to “Pop a Quarter Hour”
Ric Flair may be the greatest wrestler of all time, but he can also be an idiot at times.
Besides his financial and legal troubles in his personal life, Flair became a sad caricature of himself during his TNA run.
He took his crazy old man act to an extreme, and made himself bleed whenever he had a camera on him.
To reel him in a bit, TNA brought him in as one of their Gut Check judges.
After the first contestant competed, we saw a backstage conversation between the three judges. On the May 3 episode, Flair went into “insider mode” and talked about how the company wants a wrestler that “pops a quarter hour”.
No Ric, that’s not what a wrestling company should want. In the context of a pro wrestling show, you want a wrestler who is a good fighter! That’s it!
It would be like watching Breaking Bad, and they stop halfway through the show and Walt talks about a new cast member joining who will increase the ratings of the show.
For someone who has been in the business as long as he had, he should have known better. Flair can't be the only one to blame though, as that segment should have never made the air.
No. 34: Vickie Becomes the Supervising General Manager
WWE’s power structure makes no sense.
Vince McMahon was ousted from power by the board of directors, then they brought him back with no explanation.
John Lauranaitis, Booker T., AJ Lee, Teddy Long, and Eve all had power positions in the company during the year.
Vickie Guerrero was then brought in to take over for AJ.
Why did the board approve this? Triple H is on the board, did he also think this was a good idea? Of course, this detail was never explained.
So what is the supervising general manager? What powers do they have?
These were some more details that have still yet to be explained, Vince McMahon himself didn’t know either.
The worst part is that the GM role is incredibly played out. They don’t wrestle, they don’t go to house shows. They just take up time that would be better spent on the actual roster.
And going back to Vickie is just a repeat of 2008. It’s time to move forward.
No. 33: Lesnar’s Demands
Booking a match with Brock Lesnar against John Cena should have been easy.
Lesnar was the most dominant man in the company when he left. Cena then took his place as their top star.
What would happen when the two face off? It was a clash of two top stars that we thought we’d never see.
Instead of just promoting the fight, WWE got cute.
WWE had Lesnar make a bunch of ridiculous demands (like renaming the show to WWE Raw starring Brock Lesnar), that basically gave away the finish to the match. It was long and painful, and helped kill off some of the interest in the match.
If only Heyman had returned earlier, then maybe we could have avoided this terrible segment.
No. 32: Brooke Hogan Joins TNA
We already had one untalented case of nepotism on TNA television with Garrett Bischoff. For some reason, we got Hogan’s kid too.
Brooke was a reality TV show star only because of her father, she landed a (brief) singing career because of her dad and she showed up in TNA because of her dad.
Fans saw right through it all, the only person that didn’t was Dixie Carter.
Brooke's initial reception wasn’t even lukewarm. The fans didn't seem to want her there.
She then took over the Knockouts division with absolutely zero qualifications.
Wrestling isn’t her passion, and people can see that. It was probably a backup of a backup plan.
Let’s just hope Nick Hogan never wants to become a wrestler.
No. 31: Sheamus Overload
In 2012, Sheamus wrestled over 95 times on TV and pay-per-view.
That’s a ridiculous amount of times to see the same guy fight. That’s nearly twice a week for the entire year.
There’s nothing special about seeing a top act compete when he shows up multiple times a week. They ran out of fresh matches for him, and he went against guys like David Otunga and Dolph Ziggler more times than necessary.
Think of a show like Seinfeld.
We saw the Kramer character 180 times over the course of 10 years. We’ve see Sheamus on TV over 100 times in one year.
As much as people are sick of say John Cena, he didn’t wrestle even half as much as Sheamus did. They need to pull back on this fella before a backlash begins.
No. 30: Hunter Has Been Hurt Worse
Brock Lesnar has been known to break an arm or two in his time, but Triple H isn’t really worried about all that.
During an in-ring confrontation between the two, Lesnar slapped on a Kimura lock and broke the COO’s arm.
The next time we saw Hunter on Raw, he came out in a sling.
He must have been in tremendous pain, his pride must have been wounded. The baddest man on the planet took him down and busted him up.
Hunter then told us that it wasn’t that big of a deal because he’d been hurt worse.
What? Why would he say that?
His job was to build up Brock as a huge threat, so people would pay to watch Hunter try and get his revenge.
But leave it to Hunter’s ego to not even be able sell a fake injury to a man who is legitimately much tougher than him.
No. 29: Santa Got Run over
Who would have thought a WWE angle featuring Santa would be incredibly stupid and offensive at the same time?
Now, the idea of Del Rio running over Santa is kind of funny. But the announcers treating it like its real and talking in their “this is a legitimate tragedy” voices was wrong.
Jerry Lawler had a real heart attack a few months ago, and WWE doesn’t need to mimic the same sense of “realism” for Santa Claus.
It would have been better had Michael Cole just had a good laugh over Santa being taken out. But in WWE lore, Santa actually exists. If you recall, he once gave Hornswoggle the ability to talk.
In the end, playing the angle out over three hours was painful, and embarrassing to watch with family members on Christmas Eve.
No. 28: Joseph Park Torture
Fans have grown conditioned to ignoring certain aspects of wrestling in relation to real world laws.
We overlook assaults and property damage, but kidnapping a man for weeks just goes too far.
Why would the police not have been called over Joseph Park being kidnapped by Aces and 8s? They kept him in a cage and tortured him, it was just way too much.
The announcers didn’t even treat it like it was that big of a deal.
If they were going to do it, at least go all out with it. Everyone should have been terrified that they would be taken next. What was to stop the group from taking Hogan or Dixie Carter?
Some things just don’t work in the confines of pro wrestling. Guns, dream sequences and kidnappings just need to stay on other TV shows.
No. 27: The Raw GM Is Revealed
So who was the Anonymous Raw General Manager?
Triple H? Mick Foley? Kevin Nash? Shawn Michaels?
It was Hornswoggle.
What Hornswoggle? But that doesn’t make any sense!
No, of course it doesn’t. Shame on your for paying attention to WWE television and trying to put together the clues.
It was all a joke you see?
Your time was wasted for another big reveal that led to Hornswoggle (who could forget how great it was when we found out he was Vince McMahon’s son?).
What WWE is trying to tell us is that in the future if they have a mystery storyline, don’t pay attention and don’t care. The reveal will most likely suck.
No. 26: Punk Strikes a Fan
Fans like to get up close and personal with WWE stars, but this was probably too personal.
On the October 9 Raw, Punk was chased off into the crowd by Ryback. Apparently, Punk was easily startled that night.
Some fans started pushing him, and Punk struck back and hit one in the face. It looked like the fan he hit was innocent though, and was just putting on some sunglasses.
To say the least, it was unprofessional of Punk.
He had no idea who he was taking a swing at. He could just as easily have hit a child.
If Punk wasn't the champion, it's not too hard to believe there would have been bigger repercussions for the incident.
No. 25: AJ/Vickie/Cena
It was the love triangle that no one wanted.
For weeks, WWE fans were subjected to “evidence” that showed a romantic relationship between John Cena and AJ.
These rumors led to AJ’s dismissal, and put Vickie in charge of Raw.
Yet even after AJ was let go, Vickie still tried to prove the relationship.
It shouldn't have mattered, they were two consenting adults (much like our friends Bully Ray and Brooke), but the story continued.
WWE took it a step further and put AJ and Cena together, and the two shared one of the most awkward, disgusting kisses in the history of Television.
What young Cena fan wanted to see their hero in a love story? What AJ Lee fan wanted to see her with Cena? Who in WWE creative thought this would make money?
No. 24: Hunter’s Retirement Speech
No, Hunter didn’t retire, but he did manage to take up 15 minutes of TV pretending like he was.
The first thing Hunter said the night after his loss to Brock Lesnar was “let’s cut to the chase, am I going to retire?”
He then talked for ten minutes and never answered the question. That’s not cutting to the chase.
Instead of the show revolving around how brutal Brock Lesnar was, it was all about Hunter. Brock had a 15 second Tout saying he was leaving and Hunter got the grand treatment.
The problem is, Hunter wrestles like twice a year anyway, he’s basically retired already.
The only thing worse than this segment, is the thought of what Hunter’s actual retirement speech will be like. It will most likely last between two and fifteen hours where every wrestler on the roster talks about how Hunter is the greatest of all time.
I can’t wait.
No. 23: Randy Orton Suspended
Randy Orton had a pretty lousy 2012.
His character stalled, he flipped off a fan, he suffered multiple injuries but worst of all he was suspended… again.
Like Rey Mysterio, Orton was caught with another Wellness Policy violation.
Next to John Cena, he was the company’s biggest star a few years ago. Now it’s questionable if he’ll ever reach those heights again.
Since his return, he hasn’t had any big storyline involvement. He shows up, dishes out an RKO and repeats his act a week or two later.
WWE has clearly lost faith in The Viper, and it’s a shame to see such a great talent have nothing to sink his venomous teeth into.
No. 22: Cloudy Days for Sunny
Over the course of a month, Sunny was arrested five times.
At one time, she was the most popular woman in all of wrestling.
Due to personal demons though, she fell, and couldn’t pick herself back up.
Finally, it seemed she’d got her life back together. She looked fantastic when entering the WWE Hall-of-Fame, and it would’ve been nice to see her have one last run.
It’s understandable why WWE wasn’t interested in that though. By the end of 2012, Sunny had gone to rehab multiple times, and couldn’t stay out of trouble with the law.
Let’s hope that 2013 is a better year for Tammy Sytch.
No. 21: Piper’s Pit
Roddy Piper is often considered one of the best talkers in the history of wrestling.
That was then, this is now. And now, Piper can be embarrassingly bad.
It was almost as if Piper thought he didn’t need to follow the product, he could just go out there, cut a promo and everyone would go home happy.
But not this night.
On the August 19 Raw, Piper interviewed Chris Jericho. He looked lost. He stumbled over his words, interrupted his guest and for some reason pointed to a kid with a red shirt in the crowd.
Next time he should do his homework.
No. 20: Khali and Hornswoggle BFFs
WWE doesn't need to have edgy storylines to bring in an audience.
A well booked, exciting product can bring in plenty of fans.
What turns people away is garbage comedy like The Great Khali and Hornswoggle teaming up.
Together, they ruin the credibility of every opponent they face which has wide reaching effects, whether WWE realizes it or not.
If Khali and Hornswoggle destroy Primo and Epico (which they did), then who will care the next time that the former tag champs take on someone else?
If Khali and Hornswoggle were genuinely funny, sold a lot of merchandise and received huge pops from the crowd then it would all be worth it.
But they don't do anything, their act adds nothing to the product. They drive away more people than they bring in.
No. 19: AJ Becomes GM
WWE took the most popular women’s act they’d had in years and made her the General Manager of Raw.
It was a bad idea.
Their heart was in the right place, they wanted to give her an even bigger role on TV. But AJ appealed to fans because of her weird, manipulative ways.
Before, when her music struck, something fun was about to happen. When she became GM and her music hit, it would be to announce a painfully predictable match.
Fans liked the Kane, Punk, Bryan love story. The payoff to months invested in that story was her gaining control of Raw.
Then as GM, with no warning, her character became “out of control”. Then she wasn’t. It was a mess.
While Punk, Bryan and Kane continued to be entertaining, AJ fell behind and somehow even became boring.
No. 18: Check This out Kids, Uncle Jerry Almost Died!
WWE got lucky.
They narrowly avoided the death of their beloved color commentator on live TV.
It would have been a huge story, and even though it wouldn’t have been their fault, it would have been another black eye on the industry.
Thankfully, Jerry Lawler pulled through and was able to go back to work.
What wasn’t so great though was how WWE exploited his return.
The night Jerry came back, WWE started the show by airing footage of him collapsing and then much worse, showed footage of him clinically dead and being resuscitated.
It was disgusting. It made you wonder why it was filmed in the first place.
I don’t have a big problem with WWE trying to get heat from CM Punk off this story, but showing real life footage of Lawler's near death (on a PG show no less) was tasteless.
No. 17: Why Wrestling Was Bad This Year in 140 Characters or Less.
WWE and TNA need to stop their obsession with Twitter as soon as possible.
There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that having so many Facebook likes, or Twitter followers will lead to an increase in wrestling business.
TNA’s ratings haven’t grown over the past year, and WWE’s have sunk.
So what’s with the constant bragging and Twitter references?
The company takes great pride in their social media numbers when they should be far more concerned with the viewership and pay-per-view numbers. If they were honest, they wouldn’t be bragging about those.
No. 16: Two Guys, a Girl, and a Sock
Santino seems to become less funny every single week.
He’s well into negative funny territory right now, and it will be fascinating to see how much farther he can go.
Perhaps the lowlight of his career so far (which is saying quite a lot) would be the love triangle between Antonio Cesaro, Aksana and The Cobra.
In sadder times, Santino was the United States champion. It was awful. Then, Antonio Cesaro beat him for it. Instead of moving on, the two feuded for what felt like eighteen years.
The main focus of this feud was not the title though, it was over The Cobra falling in love with Aksana.
Apparently, Santino could control himself until he put the sock on his hand. Then the sock had a mind of its own and would be drawn to Aksana.
So why did he bother putting the sock on his hand you may ask? Well, Santino had to put the sock on his hand, otherwise when he would connect with the move it wouldn’t hurt his opponent at all.
It was mind boggling stupid, and after weeks of TV it was dropped.
No. 15: Cena Thinks You're a Child
On the June 26 episode of Raw, John Cena used the word "fudging."
He told Chris Jericho that he was going to win the whole "fudging" thing (in reference to winning Money in the Bank).
Jericho made fun of how stupid that made Cena sound.
Cena replied saying that the average Raw viewer is nine years old so it was okay.
First off, no the average Raw viewer isn't nine. They're in their 30s.
More people over the age of 50 watch Raw than fans who are under of 18!
Second of all, Cena made all those 30 year old fans feel like idiots for watching a show that he thinks is aimed towards children.
Does WWE target their parts of their shows to children? Absolutely.
Is the average WWE fan a child? Absolutely not.
When the main star of a TV show tells you that you’re watching a kids’ show, you may feel it’s time to find something else to watch.
No. 14: The Debut of Main Event
Overall, WWE Main Event has been a pretty good show.
The different, more serious tone has been refreshing, and the matches are usually solid.
But WWE did not need another hour of TV.
That’s the last thing the company needed actually. There just isn’t enough demand for this much product a week.
The addition of Saturday Morning Slam was understandable, as it’s silly stuff marketed towards kids. But another hour of prime-time TV to follow WWE stories is just too much for the average fan.
The show started off hot with a CM Punk vs. Sheamus match, but the show quickly became less exciting. The first match of 2013 will be The Great Khali vs. Antonio Cesaro.
However, this hour of added TV time to WWE’s schedule wasn’t the worst one they added...
No. 13: Garett Bischoff: The Future of the Business
In February of this year, Hulk Hogan made perhaps the most absurd claim of his career when he said on Twitter that Garett Bischoff is the future of the business.
That’s saying quite a lot, as Hogan claimed multiple times that he was asked to be in The Wrestler, and play bass for Metallica.
No Hulk. No.
For a guy who has been around wrestling since the 70s, Hulk Hogan has no clue as to what makes a star. He’s the man who responsible for Brutus Beefcake and The Nasty Boys getting cushy jobs over the years.
This praise is the most outlandish though.
In what way, shape, or form does Garett Bischoff show any inkling whatsoever of becoming a huge star?
Watch The Rock in his early days, you knew something was there. Same goes with Steve Austin and even Hogan himself. Those guys just had “it”.
Garrett does not.
Sure, he may be a decent wrestler someday, but “the future of the business”? If Hogan truly believes that, then he should give up any power he has in TNA if he wants to help the company succeed.
No. 12: Tout Me? No, Tout You!
People who Tout: I don’t know you, you don’t know me. While watching wrestling, let’s just keep our opinions to ourselves.
While not on the level of failure as the XFL, WWE spent millions of dollars investing in Tout.
If you add in the TV time devoted to trying to get others to Tout (instead of promoting their own show or trying to get their characters over), that investment goes up substantially.
What is Tout? It's people recording 15 seconds of themselves talking.
Why 15 seconds? I have no idea.
WWE then takes those videos of people talking as if wrestling was real, and then puts it on TV. It looked horrible, it sounded horrible and it was horrible.
Why don’t these people just use Youtube to record their rambling thoughts and leave the rest of us alone?
No. 11: Kris Lewie, This Is Your Gut Check
Gut Check has had some decent matches, but has yet to create a star.
But most of all, the segment has been responsible for possibly the worst televised wrestling match in years.
TNA hopeful Kris Lewie took on Gunner for his chance at a contract.
Lewie was way out of his league.
His punches made Sid Vicious’ look like Bret Hart's. He fumbled simple moves, and quickly became winded in the short match.
It was an embarrassing train wreck that was hard to watch.
You have to respect Lewie’s dedication to wrestling, but he had no business in that ring. It made TNA look minor league to have that match air on national television.
No. 10: Where Is the WWE Network?
Initially the WWE Networkt was supposed to launch the day after WrestleMania 28. Then, we went weeks without hearing any more details.
Employees were hired, millions of dollars were spent, but we still had no word on when it was going to air.
All signs pointed to another one of Vince McMahon’s failed ventures (WBF, XFL, WWE Times Square). By the end of the year, all we heard is that it might be a pay model similar to HBO.
Also, pay-per-views may or may not be included.
After seven months passing that’s all they could give us? How on earth did they even think they could launch the day after Mania?
Even if this thing does get off the ground, WWE has a giant danger ahead of them. Will people even watch this thing? Will it oversaturate the already oversatureated market?
Time will tell whether the network will succeed, but things are off to a terrible start.
No. 9: Vince Mocks JR
A 67 year old man needs to grow up.
During a backstage segment with Hornswoggle, Vince McMahon showed the former leprechaun how to do a JR impression “the right way."
McMahon then scrunched his fact to the side, mocking Ross’ Bells Palsy all the while yelling “Stone Cold, Stone Cold!”
It wasn’t funny, it served no purpose in a story line sense, it was just a really mean thing to do.
For someone that takes so much pride in his own body, Vince sure loves to tear down others less gifted than him whenever he has the chance.
You could say that makes him a bully and not a star.
No. 8: Lesnar Loses
Brock Lesnar, one of the biggest, strongest most famous athletes in the world came back to the WWE.
And he lost in his first match.
In what could have been a WrestleMania main event was instead the headliner on Extreme Rules. Due to the short break between pay-per-views, WWE had only three weeks to promote the huge match.
Meanwhile, John Cena was in the midst of a redemption storyline. He had just lost to The Rock, in one of the most disappointing moments in his career.
A loss to Lesnar would have been another chapter to this story, and would have been something new for his character.
Instead, WWE couldn’t wait for him to get his win back. Cena pinned Brock Lesnar.
It was a great match, but the end result was terrible. Subsequent matches with Lesnar don’t mean as much now that we’ve seen him lose.
It was a once in a lifetime “get” in that an actual huge sports celebrity wrestled a main event.
WWE dropped the ball completely. They may never get a chance like that again.
No. 7: Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape
It's sad that the biggest wrestling star of all time somehow became more of a joke in 2012.
Hogan's sex tape scandal was probably the lowlight of his professional career.
It also couldn't have come at a worse time for TNA, as they were getting ready for their biggest show of the year.
Due to the fallout, Hogan is no longer friends with Bubba The Love Spone (whose wife Hogan was boinking in the video), he's attempted to sue various website and he gave people more ammunition to make fun of the TNA name.
Well done brother!
No. 6: John Cena vs. Michael Cole
John Cena had the chance to fight anyone on the roster. He chose someone half his size.
Sure, Michael Cole is annoying, but he posed no physical threat to John Cena. Instead of just giving Cole a stern lecture, Cena decided to beat the crap out of him.
Beating him wasn’t good enough though, he decided to strip him down to his underwear.
Apparently, that wasn’t enough either. Cena then poured some of JR’s barbeque sauce (which for some reason Jerry Lawler had with him) on Cole.
It was honestly just disturbing.
It was one of the biggest bullying moments in WWE history, and it happened from their top babyface. There was no point to the match, as Cole didn’t learn his lesson either. He didn’t stop being a heel like some had suspected.
The only thing this match accomplished was giving something for Vince to laugh at for a few minutes.
No. 5: Natalya Has Tootie Pants
As soon as Natalya blasted the pants cannon on TV, fans were saying that it was a really stupid idea, and it was just going to damage her character.
Both things were true, but it went on anyway.
Every segment went the same, Natalya would be talking to someone, they’d throw in a stupid farting sound effect, and then every wrestler would act horrified and leave.
Then, someone else (like Santino or Hornswoggle) would walk into screen and sell the smell like they were about to die.
Of course, humor is always subjective, except in this case.
This was horrible, and never lead to anything. It was just a mean gimmick that no one over the age of seven would laugh at.
No. 4: Deep Thoughts with Jeff Hardy
TNA had the right idea: make Jeff Hardy the company’s top star.
A few years ago, he was second to only John Cena in terms of popularity in the WWE. Due to his personal problems in TNA it was completely understandable to wait on pushing him as the top guy again.
At Bound for Glory, they went all in and he won their world title at the biggest show of the year.
Then things started to get strange.
We were able to hear Jeff Hardy’s thoughts.
At the end of backstage segments he was involved in, the camera would slow down, zoom in and the music would change.
Jeff would then narrate what he was thinking.
Yes, this technique can work in movies, books and TV shows (like Dexter), but it absolutely does not work in professional wrestling. Ever.
It just leads to too many questions. Can his opponents watch the show later and hear his thoughts? Do the announcers hear it? Why doesn’t he just cut a promo instead?
No. 3: End of the Brand Split
For over nine years, Raw and Smackdown were treated as separate entities.
Over the past couple years, the shows increasingly shared talent, as wrestlers showed up on both shows for no reason.
Then, without much fanfare, Triple H, the COO, announced that Raw would now be considered Supershows which meant that Smackdown talent would now be appearing too.
What he didn’t do though was give a timetable to when it would end. Essentially, that’s how the brand split died.
Right now, the rosters are virtually the same except for CM Punk, AJ Lee and John Cena usually only appearing on Raw, for reasons never explained.
For a couple weeks, we did have some fresh matches, but WWE ran through those quickly. With wrestlers doing double duty, everyone is becoming overexposed.
Any sort of anticipation between Raw and Smackdown wrestlers facing off is long gone.
The brand split itself can’t be the only reason for the lower ratings this year, but it sure hasn’t helped.
No. 2: Claire Lynch
This is one storyline where it’s hard to know where to start when talking about what was wrong with it.
For some reason, TNA just keeps putting A.J. Styles in one bad story after the next, but this was the worst of his career.
Daniels and Kazarian said they had proof that A.J. and Dixie Carter hooked up.
The two of course denied it, but Daniels and Kaz kept presenting incriminating photos and phone messages. Dixie’s husband even attacked Styles at one point.
Then, we found out that Dixie and A.J. were just covering for a friend. A friend that was a drug addict. Yeah... that’s it.
That drug addict was named Claire Lynch who then accused A.J. of being the father of her soon to be child. A.J. couldn’t remember if he had slept with her or not, so she proved it with some photos.
Anyway, by the end of the story Claire was never pregnant, and Kaz and Daniels set the whole thing up. The real life actress of Claire Lynch was so uncomfortable with her newfound fame that she quit.
She wasn’t even around for the end of the angle
As good as Daniels and Kaz were in this, the entire story was atrocious and Claire was a horrendous actress.
Now, let us never speak of it again.
No. 1: Raw Moves to Three Hours
No other decision in wrestling over the past year has been as damaging as the added hour of Raw.
You can almost understand their logic: If two hours of Raw is good, then three must be great!
Or maybe it’s just an added hour of filler, recaps, and squash matches.
Seriously, if three hours is good, then why not add another hour? Why not make it a five hour show? Or just block off Mondays on USA and make it a 24 hour marathon every week!
There has to be a point of “too much of a good thing”, and three hours for Raw has crossed that. There’s only so much time you can devote to a single show every week.
The NFL often goes longer than three hours, but they have long off seasons. The games become an event, and give fans something to look forward to.
Raw doesn't give fans that break. If you want to keep up with WWE stories you have to devote three hours on Mondays, an hour on Wednesdays and two more on Fridays.
Since the move to three hours, the ratings have gone down nearly every week for the third hour. That's just not supposed to happen. The ratings are supposed to grow as the show gets closer to the main event.
Sooner or later, Raw will go back to two hours. It’s completely unsustainable. Only one other Primetime cable wrestling show in history was three hours long, and how well did that work out for them?
What was your worst of 2012? Sound off below! Thanks for reading, and have a great 2013!