Candy Canes or Lumps of Coal? What Some WWE Stars Should Get for Christmas

Bill Atkinson@@BAtkinson1963Analyst IDecember 21, 2012

Candy Canes or Lumps of Coal? What Some WWE Stars Should Get for Christmas

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    Christmas is just a few days away now. The last rush of presents are being bought and wrapped, ready to be torn into on Christmas Day.

    Santa Claus has made his list and checked it twice, and decided which WWE Superstars and Divas have been naughty, and which have been nice.

    To help St. Nick out, the following list has been put together of certain stars on the WWE roster and how their behavior should be rewarded. Have they been good enough to get a candy cane? Or have they been bad enough to warrant a lump of coal in their stockings?

    Read on.

CM Punk

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    Punk began and will end 2012 as the WWE champion, but he certainly will not be the same person at the end of the year as he was at the beginning.

    At first, he was getting the loudest pops of any superstar. His promos were almost as good as the matches he was working—and those promos are among the best in WWE today. He benefited from solid bookings against the likes of Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho.

    Then came Raw’s 1,000th episode. Punk turned on The Rock when Rock came down to help him against the Big Show. He started claiming he was being disrespected by everyone, from WWE management to the folks who cleaned up after the shows.

    When Punk aligned himself with Paul Heyman, the heel turn was complete. The monster pops turned into monster heat.

    Now he ends the year with several questions over his head. How will his knee hold up? How will he fare against The Rock at next month’s Royal Rumble? Is he working with The Shield?

    As tempting as it would be to toss a lump of coal in his stocking, the heel turn actually was a stroke of genius. A Punk mic session already was like listening to a graduate-level course of how to cut a promo. Throw in the vitriol that he routinely tosses in the direction of the fans and the other superstars, and you have the best doggone heel WWE has seen in years. So…

    He gets a: Candy Cane

The WWE Creative Team

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    Overall, this year has not seen the best booking in WWE. There were the ridiculous three-peat of Sheamus-Alberto Del Rio, the launch and subsequent crash of Lord Tensai, the continued lack of attention to the Divas Division, and the need to hang on to floundering stars like Brodus Clay, the Great Khali, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder.

    But there were also some bright points—bringing up The Shield, pushing Ryback as a monster face and setting up the Undertaker-Triple H match at WrestleMania 28.

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

    They get a: Lump of Coal

Antonio Cesaro

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    If Ryback were not in the picture, then Cesaro would have won the Slammy for Newcomer of the Year hands-down. The Swiss sour apple not only has managed to get under the skin of the WWE Universe for his constant berating of all things Red, White and Blue, but he is doing so with the United States Championship wrapped around his waist.

    Because he is so good at being so bad, look for Cesaro to eventually drop the U.S. belt for greener pastures in the uppercard. He has proven he can hold court with the top stars, so expect to hear him mentioned in title conversations next year.

    While it is tempting to give Cesaro a candy cane, his anti-American sentiment has to take him in the other direction.

    He gets a: Lump of Coal


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    Ryan Reeves (his real name) is a prime example of someone coming on like gangbusters in WWE. Speaking of gangbusters, the character Ryback hopes to become one if he ever gets his hands on The Shield.

    Maybe he could run down the ramp at a Raw show with Brad Maddox under his arm and start knocking Shield members around by swinging Maddox around over his head.

    That would be must-see TV.

    Look for Ryback to remain hungry all throughout 2013.

    He gets a: Bunch of Candy Cane(s). If you only give him one candy cane, he would be saying, “Feed me more!”

AJ Lee

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    She comes across as the picture of innocence with her little-girl skipping and the bubble-gum tempo of her theme music. But AJ Lee has been anything but innocent.

    There were the numerous romance angles involving Daniel Bryan, Kane and CM Punk. Then came the “scandal” of a romance with John Cena while she was Raw general manager, something that led to her removal from that post.

    The topper was at TLC, when AJ reversed course and tipped over a ladder with Cena on it. Then, as if to rub it in, she enlisted the aid of NXT star Big E. Langston to hit the ring and wipe Cena out not once, but twice.

    Definitely not the type of young lady you would want your daughter to grow up and be, huh?

    She gets a: Lump of Coal

Ricardo Rodriguez

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    No assistant to a WWE superstar has experienced such a rough year as Ricardo Rodriguez.

    He has been on the business ends of a Brogue Kick, a GTS and a Shell Shocked. He has been beaten up, stripped down and pounded on like a cheap piece of steak.

    And even when he tried to do the right thing, like defending the Spanish announcing team from 3MB, he got pushed around. Last we saw him, he tried to protect Tommy Dreamer from a Shield beatdown, only to have them go after him.

    Even though Ricardo may not have any more teeth left to bite it …

    He gets a: Candy Cane

Alberto Del Rio

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    OK, so ADR is a face one moment and a heel the next. On one show, he is joining forces with The Miz to protect his best buddy, Ricardo Rodriguez. On another show (SPOILER ALERT), he is running over Santa Claus with one of his expensive cars.

    Talk about being on both the nice and naughty lists. What’s next, ADR? Feeding the homeless with venison you made out of Rudolph?

    He gets a: Candy Cane AND a Lump of Coal

Michael Cole

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    It’s hard to say that anything good can come out of tragedy. But if anything good came out of Jerry Lawler’s on-air heart attack last summer, it was that Michael Cole finally got rid of that stupid heel announcer shtick.

    Cole has returned to his roots of straight-up broadcasting and now calls matches right down the middle, praising both faces and heels when needed and feeding straight lines to Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield.

    He gets a: Candy Cane

Jerry "The King" Lawler

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    The King is a walking miracle. His heart attack in Montreal was so serious that, had it not been for the quick work of the WWE medical staff, he might not have made it.

    His return to broadcasting last September was one of, if not the most genuinely special moments in WWE.

    He gets a: Candy Cane (but a sugar-free and heart-healthy one)

Brock Lesnar

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    Lesnar burst back onto the scene this year, made two appearances at two pay-per-views and has not been heard from since. His return has been teased incessantly, but so far, nothing.

    The WWE Universe wants to see him come back and join forces with CM Punk and Paul Heyman. But when?

    Until Lesnar comes out of hiding, there is only one thing to give him.

    He gets a: Lump of Coal

Team Hell No

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    Never in anyone’s wildest dreams would they think that two polar-opposite wrestlers who made their names as singles stars could have revived fan and WWE interest in tag team wrestling. But that is exactly what Kane and Daniel Bryan did.

    And they have the belts to prove it.

    They get a: Candy Cane


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    One word: Creepy.

    Another word: Losers.

    They get a: Lump of Coal


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    2012 definitely was a milestone year for the Celtic Warrior. He won Royal Rumble, then finished off Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.

    He began and ended his title run with the best feuds of his career by far—Daniel Bryan at the beginning and the Big Show at the end. And speaking of champions, Sheamus has championed WWE’s “Be A STAR” anti-bullying campaign.

    It is a far cry from 2011, when he was fighting in the dark match at WrestleMania 27 and languishing in the midcard.

    As good as 2012 was, 2013 could be even better. Sheamus is the top face on SmackDown, and his name has been mentioned for another possible plum spot at WrestleMania 29.

    He gets a: Candy Cane


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    I want to take a moment to offer all the Bleacher Report readers a Merry Christmas and wishes for a wonderful and prosperous new year. I appreciate each and every one of you who have taken time to read my entries and shared your thoughts about them—positive and negative. As long as you want to read them, I will keep writing them.

    And also, please take a moment to offer your continued thoughts and prayers for the families and friends of the shooting victims in Newtown, CT. What was supposed to be a joyous season now is one of unspeakable and incomprehensible tragedy for those directly affected by an action so senseless.

    God bless and be with them…and God bless and be with you.

    Bill Atkinson is a columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.