Hey guys (and gals). Before I begin the second countdown, I forgot to elaborate on a few things. First the new RAW theme. If you listen to it closely, it kind of sounds similar to the song, “Remember The Name” by Fort Minor (a Linkin Park spin-off group). And secondly, Brock Lesnar’s return ranking pretty high on the list. Aside from throwing around John Cena and Triple H, Brock kicks peoples’ asses for realsies. And where CM Punk and Daniel Bryan showed everyone there is still wrestling in a wrestling company, Lesnar added the extra edge from his time spent beating people up in UFC, and showed everyone that professional wrestling (and entertainment) can be pretty violent. Also I neglected to mention Daniel Bryan becoming more of a mainstay on WWE television (he’s doing a lot more on television since 2012, whereas he was just kind of there for most of 2011…even with his Money In The Bank briefcase).
Back to the subject at hand. With every Top (insert x-amount of positives here) list, people always want to see the contrast, and see what they disliked. I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a nitpicker when it comes to wrestling, and find myself complaining about it more than I do praising it. Seriously, my WTFs outline for this is at least TWICE as long as my FTWs one. Now you may be asking, “Jon, if you complain about it so much, why do you keep watching?!” The answer is at the end of the day, I’m still a wrestling fan. I enjoy professional wrestling on an intellectual level. I like reading dirt sheets on what goes on behind the scenes, as well as off camera. Remember, these wrestlers/superstars play a character, and it’s always interesting to see how they act in real life. I’m a fan of independent wrestling and their wrestlers. Guys who are either just breaking into the business, have been in the independent scene for a while and are still waiting for a break, and the occasional former big timer either there as a way of putting butts in seats, or offering advice to the up-and-comers. I’m a fan of companies like New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor and Chikara where even though it’s wrestling, it’s still extremely entertaining. To me, WWE just seems to water down the product (immensely) with the inane amounts of promos, using body builders and fitness models as their featured “talent” (wrestling ability not available in all), pushing guys who don’t really deserve it, and wrestling seeming to come last on a program that is supposed to be about wrestling. In the past year (more so every year since 2005), WWE has left this smark (a smart mark) scratching his head in confusion. Here it is, I bring to you, My Top Ten WTF Moments in WWE 2012!
Seemingly less and less focus on the Divas Division. Yes, I am aware that most of you would utilize this time as a bathroom break, but here’s my thing, why keep a list of female performers on the roster (and payroll) if the majority of them never get any screen time? Also, there are women out there that can actually wrestle, and if you want us to take the them seriously, show off the ones who are capable of showing the fans that women can be as tough as them men.
The tag team division still looks like a race war. Prime Time Players…two African Americans, Primo and Epico…two Puerto Ricans, Team Hell No…two crazy white guys, The Usos…twin brothers/two Samoans, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara…two masked Mexicans, and Team Rhodes Scholars…two intellectual white guys with facial hair. Way to show some interracial bonding, WWE.
10. The Shield’s entrance theme. I found it ironic I begin both lists with an entrance theme. Where RAW’s new theme got me pumped to watch the show, The Shield’s theme left me clamoring for my remote to mute my TV. Their theme spells out “SHIELD” in military letters and then goes into a guitar riff. What it really sounds like to me is someone used the Power Rangers In Space morpher (or one of those toys designed to teach small children about the alphabet) and spliced it together with the Jerry Springer theme song. It is horrible. You have a group of guys, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins coming out in riot gear (or cosplaying for a Big Bossman convention) and wreaking havoc and this is the best theme they could have used?! Let me refer you to groups like The Nexus and The Corre. The Nexus had “We Are One” by 12 Stones and The Corre had “End of Days” by various people (they had a different version almost every other week). Those two songs got you pumped (or scared) for when they came out because you knew they were a decent threat to whomever they were facing. The Shield’s theme doesn’t have the same effect, it seemed they just kind of threw together military code with a generic guitar riff and hoped it would work. For shame, Jim Johnston.
And for more disappointment.
9. (Lord) Tensai. I remember reading reports that Matt Bloom, known as Giant Bernard in Japan and Albert/A-Train during his run in WWF/WWE, was rumored to be returning to WWE. Then vignettes for someone named Lord Tensai came on television. A big white dude with Japanese characters written all over his head…okay, I guess I can buy it. A guy whose name basically translates to natural disaster…mildly offensive, especially with a tsunami in Japan in 2011…starting to lose me, but just go with it. What we got was a guy who looked like a really bad Super Shredder cosplay, pierced nipples, walks like he has a stick in his sphincter, and a theme that sounds like they just recorded the background noise at your local Japanese restaurant. He picked up some key wins over John Cena and CM Punk, and looked like a legitimate threat to the WWE Championship scene with that hard push right out of the gate, but I guess WWE didn’t seem to have faith in pierced nipple Super Shredder, and soon had “Lord” dropped from his name and basically became a jobber. Going from scoring wins over some of the top guys in the company to losing to guys half his size (literally). What a total waste to bring this guy back.
While we’re on the subject of falling from grace.
8. Zack Ryder’s de-push. In 2011, Ryder started Z! True Long Island Story, got all this plugging by the likes of John Cena and CM Punk, turned face, embarked on his journey to finally secure a singles title, even had Hugh Jackman in his corner for a match. Most importantly, he got over with the crowd. 2011 was a big year for Ryder, capped off with him capturing the United States Championship at TLC that December. One could only hope he could only go up from there and become a key player in WWE. Guess again. Ryder basically became a glorified punching bag for Kane, who was pretty much using Zack as John Cena’s whipping boy. Ryder lost the US Championship to future jobber Jack Swagger, and just seemed to flounder for the rest of 2012 (he lost the belt January 16, 2012…so that’s a really LONG time to flounder). He formed a tag team with Santino Marella, but it’s kinda meh. It just seemed WWE merely used Ryder, who was grinding it on YouTube to get over, as a means of furthering their means of getting heavily into social media.
Speaking of social media.
7. WWE whoring themselves on virtually EVERY single social media outlet. Superstars’ Twitter handles on their lower-thirds, that’s fine. Reminding us of what WWE-related topics are currently trending, pushing it a bit. Reminding us you’re on every single mainstream social media outlet every 30 seconds…for the love of God, please stop already! We get it. You use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tout, and Google Plus. I’m surprised you haven’t started whoring yourselves on Pintrest, Instagram and tumblr (although the hipster side of me would be kind of interested in seeing how they would go about that). It seems that there is no orifice that WWE is willing to put their junk in to try to put their name out there. It’s gotten way out of hand now.
While we’re on the subject of whoring. (I love how these flow together)
6. AJ Lee becomes WWE’s equivalent of Taylor Swift. Starting off 2012, AJ was with Daniel Bryan. When that went south, she started on a path of putting her lips guys that included CM Punk, Kane, John Cena, and capping off the year with Dolph Ziggler. I stand corrected, she makes T-Swift look like a nun with all the different dudes she’s put her lips on this past year (and also count Primo, Cody Rhodes and Hornswoggle from previous years). My complaint about this is that it sends the wrong message. WWE has been trying to send a positive message, and I feel a female character who is basically whoring herself out is counter-intuitive to the cause. You want the young and impressionable female demographic to think that the way to becoming popular is to just kiss every popular guy at school?! Also, it shows that she’s incapable of functioning without a man there for her. Real strong message to young women, WWE. Whatever happened to smart, sexy and powerful?
Surprisingly, 6 and 5 don’t really have a correlation…aside from Daniel Bryan.
5. Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 28…in 18 seconds. REALLY WWE?! You had the guy who basically can out wrestle the better majority of the roster lose to Triple H’s workout buddy in 18 seconds? And at WrestleMania no less. Way to embarrass everyone involved and make Bryan look like a total buffoon and the WHC look like a joke. I would have been happier (and possibly excluded this from this list) had they been given 15-20 minutes to contest who is the better man. But 18 seconds in the curtain jerker match. Wow. I have a feeling this match was just a middle finger to wrestling fans who were pissed off at the fact WWE advertised Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the US Championship at WrestleMania 27, but instead it was pushed to the pre-show…and then became a battle royale…won by The Great Khali. I was hyped to see the match we never got, this time for a world championship. What we got felt like an 18 second middle finger. Sheamus went on to have a meh title run. The only positive thing from this is that Daniel Bryan managed to bounce back and become a mainstay on WWE programming.
Speaking of company favorites.
4. Ryback being this generation’s attempt at Goldberg. Ryback (or Ryberg as I call him) is overrated. Why? He’s greener than 99% of the produce at your grocery store, he botches moves almost on Sin Cara levels, he’s a Workers Compensation case waiting to happen (watch some of his matches with local jobbers), I’m surprised he hasn’t accidentally abruptly ended someone’s career (if he did that he would be Goldberg), and he’s incapable of working a match longer than five minutes and has to be carried. His “FEED ME MORE!” chant is stupid (unless you say “DICKS!” at the end of it, then it’s hilarious). The former Skip Sheffield is being used as this indestructible monster who just says his signature catch phrase over and over again while bobbing his head like he’s got something wrong with him, and it seems that he watched a quick tutorial video on how to do basic power moves in wrestling, threw on one of RVD’s singlets and got in the ring. I honestly don’t see what WWE and the WWE Universe sees in this over roided buffoon.
Big apes with limited wrestling abilities getting in the main event could only mean one thing.
3. John Cena wins Money In The Bank & Superstar of the Year. Did this guy really need another title match? With it closing the show, it felt rather ominous that the company’s golden boy was walking out with the red briefcase. This was an obvious means of getting Cena back in the WWE Championship scene after being out of it for a while. But I felt that the WWE Championship MITB shot could have gone to someone who hasn’t already won that belt 10 times already. Not sure if they were too lazy to somehow write Cena back into the title scene without winning or they didn’t want to make a new star. And with Superstar of the Year, Cena had more losses in 2012 than he’s had in previous years, and yet somehow, that makes him better than CM Punk, Big Show and Sheamus…you know, guys who had a lot of big wins this year.
While we’re on the subject of lazy writing (and previously mentioned proverbial dick war).
2. The Rock automatically gets a WWE Championship match for Royal Rumble 2013. I was under the impression one would not only have to score wins over big names, but ALSO WRESTLE MORE THAN ONCE THAT YEAR. He beat John Cena in the closing match at WM 28, then disappeared for a while, only to reappear at RAW 1000 to put the WWE Champion on notice that he somehow scored a title match for January 2013. BULL. SHIT. I wish I could work one half-assed day and somehow be promoted to the top of the company like it was nothing. Hey Dwayne, whatever happened the bullshit lines you fed everyone about how you were back for good and never going away again. I guess never going away meant wrestle at WrestleMania, disappear for a while and comeback for one show and BAM, automatic #1 contender. Mind you, this is AFTER he took a multi-year absence from the WWE to seek greener pastures in the film industry, going as far to want to distance himself from his past as The Brahma Bull, coming back and has since wrestled two matches (the other at Survivor Series 2011).
And now we’re going into my #1 WTF moment of 2012. It should come as no surprise that it ties in with the previous entry.
1. CM Punk is treated as an afterthought. He spent the entire year of 2012 as WWE Champion, but for the majority of it, has taken backseat to John Cena feuds and whatever other nonsense WWE wants us to think is more important. CM Punks title defenses mostly took place in the middle of the card, or towards the end of a PPV, but seldom closed out the night (unless John Cena and Ryback were involved). Going in to WM 28, he was set to defend against Chris Jericho in a completely awesome feud I was really into, more than Cena/Rock. But he wasn’t featured in any of the WM promotional adverts. They were like “WE HAVE JOHN CENA AND THE ROCK AT WRESTLEMANIA 28…and if you care, CM Punk and Chris Jericho for the company’s namesake championship, but that’s not really important…JOHN CENA AND THE ROCK…BUY NOW!!!!!!!!ZOMGWTFBBQFTW!!!1!!1!!!” Punk’s feud with Daniel Bryan…overshadowed by John Cena and Big Show/John Laurinitis. Way to make the guy who is literally carrying the flag of your company look and feel like he plays second banana to the guy who kisses the commander’s ass. And going into WrestleMania 29 (which my girlfriend and I will be attending), Punk still isn’t advertised on the primary promotional materials. Instead, we have The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and John Cena (or Rock, Brock and Crock as I referred to it). I think it’s a load of crap that the person who is supposed to be a key player in the company is not featured, yet two part timers and the golden boy are plastered over everything for everyone to see. The champion should be a focus of the company for not only PPVs, but also be promoted for the biggest show of the year.
There you have it folks, by Top Ten WTF Moments in WWE for 2012. Let’s hope that 2013 shows us that it can rectify the wrongs, and work on the strengths of 2012. Hopefully we’ll see some more new faces, new pushes and new champions in the coming year!
As always, I hope you enjoyed reading, and until next time, take care.