Another wrestling year is nearing completion as 2012 goes the way of Abraham Washington. 2012 gave us Ryback, another Chris Jericho return and 1,000 episodes of Monday Night RAW. 'Tis the season to rank them in order of importance. Stories will be evaluated based on longevity, mainstream coverage and social media influence.
Top 10 of 2012, No. 8: AW Has Millions of Problems
An 11-day span resulted in the unceremonious firing of A.W. A rising star in the WWE, A.W. was at the forefront of a renaissance in tag team wrestling. He was the charismatic leader, mouthpiece and manager of heel tag team the Prime Time Players.
A.W.'s natural swagger and ease of trash talk complemented the young, cocky Prime Time Players perfectly. The group fully embraced a mini-tradition of swaying back and forth, chanting "millions of dollars!" after victories.
It appeared to only be a matter of time before these three peas in a pod were to be handed the ball to help restore tag team wrestling in the WWE.
A.W. was so good on the mic, he wore a live microphone during matches. A.W. injected flurries of agitating comments and jokes during matches, some of which popped live crowds.
But the same live microphone gimmick that made A.W. and the Prime Time Players unique, would lead to A.W.'s downfall.
On the July 30 edition of RAW, A.W. made the following comment in adoration of Prime Time Players member Titus O'Neil:
Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado. He's unstoppable!!
The joke made light of otherwise serious allegations of sexual assault towards NBA MVP Kobe Bryant in 2003.
Michael Cole apologized for the comment almost immediately. TMZ was all over the gaffe, and even the WWE came forth with an official statement to the popular gossip website apologizing for A.W.'s indiscretions.
After seemingly escaping severe punishment, A.W.'s fate would be sealed after showing public support for Linda McMahon's 2012 bid for Senate on Twitter.
The topic has been notoriously taboo on WWE programming outside of one quirky skit. With negative press beginning to pile up against A.W., the WWE released the exuberant manager on August 10.
A.W.'s firing led to a Twitter rant at the company. His WWE account would be suspended as a result, but without the handcuffs of TV-PG, the newly-christened Brian Jossie ordered extra curse words and held the reverence.
After a hurricane of firing and Twitter rants, Brian "A.W." Jossie would slowly rant his way into irrelevance. His once-vociferous Twitter account has been dormant since early October.
Today, the spokes on the WWE wheels continue to turn. "Never say never" has always been a credo in professional wrestling, but A.W. may have done enough to become the exception to the rule in terms of being rehired.