5 WWE Superstars Who Could Have an Exciting 2012
2011 has been an exciting year. Shocking heel turns, monster pushes and revolutions a plenty as December nears the end.
We've seen CM Punk's sudden turn-around, becoming the most popular superstar in the promotion. We've seen Zack Ryder make himself a success with only a Flip camera, a Macbook and a little luck. We've even seen a credible R-Truth title challenger run, as surprising as it may seem.
However, 2012 seems like it's set to be an even more exciting one. Several wrestlers are on the cusp of changing their careers, and we have an exciting main event match at WrestleMania to look forward to.
In this slideshow, I will detail five different superstars who can leave their place in the history books by next December.
In February, Zack Ryder began a tongue-in-cheek webshow in an attempt to get himself noticed. His mockery of his own employers led to concern that the goofy young superstar, instead of avoiding the chopping block, would just call for it to reach him quicker.
In fact, WWE were sceptical of his videos, and left him to toil on NXT and Superstars. His ever-growing fanbase didn't let this happen, as they began to show up to every show, singing his name and flaunting signs in his favour.
Fast forward to December. Ryder, who only six months before had his first match on RAW that year, against Michael Cole no less, is victorious over one of the longest-reigning United States Champions since Lex Luger. His triumph earns him the title, and the crowd across the arena are all smiles as WWE have seemingly listened to their cries.
This upcoming 12 months could be Ryder's time to cement his place. A bustling midcard with a plethora of talented wrestlers to pick from leaves the Long Island Iced Z with many exciting paths to take.
Nobody knows how it could go down, but there is no doubt that the kid has an action-packed future in store.
Dolph Ziggler has many accolades to show off, besides his impressive handstand press-up count. He's a former world heavyweight champion, intercontinental champion, United States champion, World Tag Team champion and the current 22nd Triple Crown champion.
This past month, we have seen Ziggler finally lose the United States Championship to a deserving Zack Ryder, but this loss is not to halt his momentum. It signals the beginning of a main event push.
Dolph is arguably one of the best superstars in the entire company. Notice how I didn't call him one of the best wrestlers, and the reason is because he is more than that.
He's a complete package. Besides his wrestling ability, the ex-cheerleader has improved his work on the microphone, sells better than nearly the entire roster, and is possibly the most over heel in the WWE (barring his mentor Vickie Guerrero and the monster Mark Henry).
The next step on his ladder seems to be main-eventing RAW, be it against stars like John Cena or against other nearly there performers like the Miz.
2012 seems to be an important year for Ziggler, so don't be surprised if he adds this to his achievements: WWE Championship.
Let's not forget that Money in the Bank is roughly in the middle of the year, giving him plenty of time to be built up as a believable threat and a believable contender.
I'd keep an eye on Ziggler, as he could entertain us more than ever before in this upcoming year.
Cody Rhodes is one of the top wrestlers on SmackDown!, yet he is only fighting in the midcard. He's over as hell, and since Henry's sidelined with an injury, he's also by default the No. 1 heel. Wade Barrett comes in a close second, but Rhodes edges it on the fact that he has had a terrific year altogether.
Dusty's son has had three impressive gimmicks this year—a narcisstic persona as "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, a grotesque outlook as "Disturbing" Cody Rhodes and an arrogant aura as "Devious" Cody Rhodes.
Each one has garnered him praise, most of all the demented character he played under the face mask. The year has brought him a successful reign as the Intercontinental champion, and his time under the belt has been secure enough that the company officials trusted him to bring out a revived classic design.
However, all good things must come to an end, so expect him to drop the belt soon. I don't think Booker T will be the next holder, but with the likes of Hunico and Johnny Curtis set to rise through the ranks on the blue brand, he's likely to follow after Ziggler and put over a young superstar on course for the limelight.
His inevitable loss shall be the birth of a new headliner, as Rhodes is too in the running to becoming a main event talent. He has the look of a superstar, the in-ring ability and his simply gold on the microphone.
Whether 2012 will be the year that Cody joins the illustrious list of world heavyweight champions or not is yet to be seen, but it's pretty much guaranteed that he'll come at least close.
Wow, who would have thought it? Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are both world champions at the same time! They're the top of the world and it gives the independent circuit a new hope.
But this isn't about the indies, this is about the WWE. Specifically, it's about Daniel Bryan's future with the WWE.
This next couple of months is known as a trial phase for new world champions, testing the waters to see who can float and who will sink. With the majority of this three-or-so month run taking place in 2012, we can take a glimpse at exactly how Bryan can expect the rest of his year to go. If he succeeds in this test, the next 12 months will be a run in the park for the American Dragon. If not, well, he might not be so lucky.
But it's not the first two months of the year that hold excitement for us; it's the months afterwards that can be just as captivating. A feud with Big Show is on the cards, and that can really elevate his status in the promotion.
Following that, there are many routes he can take. A war with Cody Rhodes or Randy Orton seems the most likely, but there is one possible scenario that I would love to see be undertaken.
Everybody knows Bryan's history with the Miz. Teacher-student relationship on NXT which turned sour, proceeded by battles over the United States Championship.
With the Awesome One walking with little direction on RAW, the nearing Royal Rumble may be the perfect way to get him back on track. Miz can achieve a huge win on that stage, earning a shot at whichever title he wants. He picks out Daniel Bryan, and the next couple of months is plain sailing.
Even if Bryan loses the belt, to Miz or to anybody else on the roster, he is on course for a stunning year. Fingers crossed for a successful title reign, though.
A few months ago, the smug Englishman actually had little to be smug about. He was floundering about in a useless stable called the Corre, following the demise of the Nexus.
The man who was once a contender to John Cena's WWE Championship was one of those in the dangerous section of the midcard where you have literally no purpose. Where are you meant to go? When's your next title? He wasn't even a jobber, because he had nobody to job to.
However, in recent times, his career has turned around. He's suddenly became relevant again, thanks to an entertaining rivalry with Randy Orton. One contributing factor is that the Viper has actually put Barrett over on more than one occasion, both as a sly heel and a tough competitor. The pair have had their fair share of splinters in their back from snapped tables, but the only thing that this feud lacks is background.
That doesn't seem to matter, though, as Barrett is rapidly rising up the ranks yet again.
If he can keep up his quick climb, then 2012 may graciously gift him success. A Royal Rumble win? I'd dare to bet on it. A Money in the Bank victory? That's likely too. World heavyweight champion? Maybe a little too ambitious, but if this past year has taught us anything, then it's to expect the unexpected.
So, that's the list. Of course, this is just my opinion and if you feel any differently or think I've missed anybody out, then feel free to comment below.
Keep in mind that this was narrowed down to five superstars, chances are that I did indeed think of that wrestler (such as CM Punk, as I know that the comments will probably be flooded with "Where's CM Punk?" and the like). Had this been a list of 10, 15 or even 20, then they would have likely been included.
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