The year in professional wrestling during 2012 was interesting to say the least. Fans saw Impact Wrestling go live and saw RAW move to a three hour show though ratings did not improve for Impact and fell for RAW. Wrestling also saw the passing of some major names in 2012 including Chief Jay Strongbow, Bobby Jaggers, Brad Armstrong, Buddy Roberts, Mike Graham, Marvin “Brain Damage” Lambert, Goldie Rogers, Rita Cortez and the legendary Red Bastien.
This was a year in which Ring of Honor went from being a solid number three promotion to a company trying to find itself again. With a number of disastrous iPPVs fans turned away and the cavalier attitude ROH took with fans over the iPPV problems ostracized even more. The company could not find success at the box office even with TV in a number of new markets and with booker Jim Cornette replaced in that position and subsequently in limbo where his status with the group is concerned, ROH seems to have lost their way.
The NWA changed ownership and the new owners through their heavy-handed tactics have seen a number of longtime supporters turn away and several high profile promotions leave the umbrella of the governing body. With each promotion leaving there seems to be another ready to take its place though majorities are either in Texas or offer subpar shows with lackluster talent. There are a number of fans and promoters alike who predicted that the NWA would eventually become a Texas promotion and that prophesies are becoming true.
Revenue from PPVs has dropped across the board with a couple of exceptions and TNA has announced they will offer fewer PPVs next year. Merchandise sales have been flat and DVD numbers have fallen as well even though there have been some very good DVDs released this year. The iPPV market is on the verge of becoming oversaturated with more and more indie groups taping shows and streaming them on iPPV later. There are a number of indie groups who have no business even running a show let alone be showcased on iPPV.
With all things being relative it is time for the Year End Awards 2012…
Best Wrestler: Austin Aries
Worst Wrestler: Ryback/Brodus Clay
Best Tag Team: Chris Daniels/Kazarian
Worst Tag Team: ODB/Eric Young
Best Gimmick: Team Hell No
Worst Gimmick: Antonio Cesaro
Most Improved: Dolph Ziggler
Best Comeback: Ohio Valley Wrestling (went from creating stars in the WWE to making them in TNA)
Best Rookie: Taeler Hendrix
Best Promotion: TNA, OVW, WWE
Worst Promotion: ROH
Time to Retire: Honkytonk Man
Best Promotional Idea/Angle: Turning CM Punk hell and aligning with Paul Heyman
Worst Promotion Idea/Angle: Claire Lynch/AJ Styles/Chris Daniels in TNA
Most Overrated: Davey Richards
Most Underrated: Dolph Ziggler
Best PPV/iPPV: WWE—Extreme Rules
Worst PPV/iPPV: ROH—Death before Dishonor X
Best Match: Brock Lesnar v. John Cena at Extreme Rules
Worst Match: Ryback v. CM Punk at Hell in a Cell
Must Have DVD: On the Road with Tammy Sytch from RF Video (nothing like watching a train wreck)
Most Overhyped/Disappointing DVD: YouShoot with Tammy Sytch from Kayfabe Commentaries
Most Irrelevant: Kevin Nash
Best Feud: James Storm v. Bobby Roode
Is Destined to Be Money: Dolph Ziggler