The 411 Wrestling Top 5 1.16.13: Week 203 – Top 5 Worst Events of 2012
Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Wrestling’s Top 5 List. What we are going to is take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, plus up to three honorable mentions.
So, on to this week’s topic…
5. Cena Beats Brock Yeah, I’m in that camp. You do not sign up a major name like Brock Lesnar, build him up big by attacking your biggest star, remind fans of the monster he was, then have him lose his first match out. It was a blow that killed what momentum Brock had and even HHH jobbing to him later didn’t fix it totally, ruining what could have been a major highlight of the year for WWE and who knows how many millions of dollar in merchandise and buys as no one wants to pay for a loser.
4. Brooke Hogan Totally wrong for an authority figure in every way imaginable, bad acting, no real weight on screen, no impact at all so seeing her boss around the Knockouts is an insult to the division. And now they insist on having her and Bully in some sort of relationship? She may be daddy’s little girl but still painful to see Hogan’s influence making TNA think this is something fans want to see rather than actually decent women’s wrestling.
3. 18 Seconds Yes, it led to a boost for Daniel Bryan with the “YES” chants and the partnership with Kane. But this was still a massive insult to fans to have the opening bout for Wrestlemania, a World Championship match that had a good build and promised to be something special, turn into a joke over in less than half a minute. This was Mania, the time for major battles, you just don’t waste something like this, not a title match of two stars, just to get a joke in on Daniel. Still bitter after all these months regardless of the fallout.
2. ROH’s iPPV debacle ROH has made some major missteps this year but the iPPV mess has to be the worst. It’s not the technical issues itself, that happens but you’d think they’d have the bugs ironed out before going through with it. No, the real mess is the reaction of ROH, acting like this was a huge success and brushing aside complaints as just online fans bitching. This is a company that has lived by the Internet so much, for them to suddenly act like a major corporation (which they’re not) was a huge slap in the face. They’re trying to rebuild but this was a very poor shot to fan morale at a time they need all the goodwill they can get and makes you worry about the coming year.
1. Claire Lynch For all the crap WWE did this year, TNA has to take the cake for the worst storyline of 2012. Seeing talented guys like A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels and Kaz dragged into this terrible mess was even worse than the story itself. First, asking that Styles was with Dixie Carter was bad but then adding to the pain by having Lynch claim to be carrying AJ’s baby increased it. Add in how the woman was a terrible actress with segments that sucked the life out of “Impact” broadcasts and you had agony even before the big reveal she was faking it all. Then she leaves under angry fan comments, making the whole thing a total waste that Styles/Daniels didn’t need and something better suited for 2000 WCW than the strong year TNA had.
Note: I don’t watch wrestling I don’t enjoy. This makes things a bit difficult. So I’m ranking the worst of what I did watch (or what turned me off on something I did watch).
5. The Booking of Brock Lesnar – It’s not that hard. Brock Lesnar smashes things. Have him smash them. He will make you money. The exact wrong thing to do would be to bring him in and have him lose his first match. The only thing worse than that is to have him lose it to the guy people hate on for winning too much anyways. The only thing worse than that is to put a microphone in his face and let him talk. WWE somehow managed to hit the trifecta of ineptitude with Mr Lesnar and as such by the time the supposedly epic encounter between HHH and Brock happened I frankly didn’t give a crap anymore. Brock is a one trick pony. But it’s a good trick. He smashes. Just let him smash things.
4. The NWA screws the pooch – If ever there’s been a group that seems allergic to making money, this has to be them. You’d have to be, to make the asinine decision that the biggest name on the Independent scene doesn’t get to hold your title. You see, Colt Cabana and Adam Pearce had their seven levels of hate series this year, a series that captivated fans in a way an NWA feud hadn’t in years. So as it’s set to finish down in Australia what do the new owners decide? It’s not for the title and Cabana doesn’t get to hold the belt. The one guy on the Indy scene who is truly national through “The Art of Wrestling Podcast”. The one guy who might be able to give some prominence to the NWA belt again. The guy who was one half of one of the more interesting programs of the year without having national TV. Forget the reasons and backstage crap we’ll never have the story on. The NWA should have embraced this epic seventh encounter, instead they did the exact opposite, and instead the workers involved justifiably crapped all over the title and the company. Bye bye money.
3. RAW goes three hours – I think everyone’s pretty aware of how horrible of an idea this was, but just to reiterate: 3 hours is just too much. While there have been some good things to come of it (especially in terms of some longer good quality matches) the fact is that after sitting through three hours of RAW I find my enjoyment of the overall product goes down. I haven’t ordered a pay per view since this little experiment started and it’s mostly due to over saturation. You can avoid shows like Main Event or Saturday Morning Slam and be ok. You can avoid TNA (I’ve been doing so since they were on Fox Sports). But RAW is considered required viewing and it’s pretty much meeting my quota for wrestling content for the next seven days. That doesn’t help the WWE’s bottom line and that doesn’t help keep me interested as a fan.
2. Ring of Honor – Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse than the “ECW Fan Cam” quality that was their show on Sinclair, ROH takes things to new levels with their IPPV concept and response to problems. I’ve tried for years to get into ROH, and while there were matches I enjoyed it was difficult to follow since they plain didn’t run this area. When they went national on TV I was excited, just for this “national company” to give me production values worse than the local independents we have at the Eagles lodge in front of 20 people. When they went on iPPV I was excited to be able to see the biggest matches live in the comfort of my home, just for this “national company” to give me countless technical difficulties and solutions in the form of snarky press releases. 2012 became the year I’m officially done trying to care about ROH. Except for Briscoe Bros promos on youtube. They’re awesome.
1. Jerry Lawler almost freaking died – Look, I’m not a huge fan of Lawler on commentary. In fact that’s being nice. I think he’s probably one of the worst in the business right now, mostly because he doesn’t seem to really care. But the fact is, I grew up in the Mid South and while I could detail his great feuds with Bill Dundee or Terry Funk or Andy Kaufman or Tommy Rich or even Bret Hart; it’s probably just best to say that while he may be remembered best for his announcing the wrestling world almost lost a great wrestling mind. I didn’t have a problem with WWE using it the way they did, mostly because I’m sure Jerry didn’t have a problem with it. And say what you want about his announcing today or the fact he booked himself to 37,486 titles; the fact is we almost lost one of the great minds who helped shaped the way wrestling is presented today in addition to what was, at one time, one of the best color commentary guys in the business. That’s the real worst.
Jerry Lawler defeated The Grim Reaper via fireball, Memphis fist drop and jumping piledriver. Suck it death!
5. Hector Garza Forced Retirement – While Jerry Lawler made more headlines in the states, Hector Garza made them south of the border. After leaving CMLL for AAA, getting ready for a feud with el Hijo del Perro Aguayo and Los Perros del Mal, the news broke that Garza had contracted lung cancer and had no choice but to retire in order to battle the illness. AAA, PDM, and DTU held a benefit show in November 24, 2012, to aid Garza. It has yet to be known how severe the situation is for Garza, and hopefully he’s able to win this battle and return to the ring.
4. AW Future Endeavored – I enjoy the Prime Time Players, I think they can be successful and are one of the better teams in the WWE. Yet, I can’t help but think how far they could have gone with A.W. in the background. Darren Young and Titus O’Neil have shown that when it comes to mic work, they are greener than the freaking Hulk. That was what A.W. added, and unfortunately a Kobe Bryant joke in 2012 left him without employment. The WWE was quick to go on damage control apologizing, and A.W. was quick to go on a twitter rant.
3. Claire Lynch Saga – I’m certain AJ Styles is in need of a hug due to this little example of brilliant storytelling. Instead of just letting Styles, Daniels and Kazarian go at it, we got this little piece of soap opera heaven. First AJ was accused of hooking up with Dixie Carter, it would have made it far more interesting if they would have ran with that. Then we get the excuse that in reality they are aiding Claire Lynch, a pregnant, recovering addict. The monkey wrench consists of the reveal that AJ was the father of the baby. The exclamation point being that Claire Lynch apparently raped Styles. I can’t even make this stuff up, the end to this episode of Dynasty was due to the actress who played Claire Lynch, horribly I might add, had issues with her real name leaking to the internet, the angle was wrapped up and we are all thankful for that.
2. Mistico II – It worked with Tiger Mask, why the hell won’t it work with Mistico? With the original floundering in the WWE, CMLL found it appropriate to hand down the Mistico name and mask. Everyone knew this would eventually happen, the question was how would they approach it. CMLL is fond of tournaments, that would have worked. Instead CMLL held a press conference, and had luchadore/priest Fray Tormenta hand the mask down and his blessing to Dragon Lee, of all people. Now, while many expected Magnus, Mistico’s real life cousin to eventually don the mask, that didn’t happen, thankfully. So Dragon Lee becomes the man, the issue though, is there were better options. The two biggest arguments against Dragon Lee were that he was too green, and thus, too reckless. Well, CMLL pulled the trigger on Dragon Lee becoming Mistico, this occurred on June 20, 2012. His actual in ring debut was on August 2, he had a few close calls. Then on November 12, he botched a Shooting Star Press injuring himself and putting him on the shelf for 2 months. Essentially proving everyone that argued against him right. Dragon Lee is capable of incredible aerial feats that rival even the original Mistico, the problem is that he has been elevated to a level he is not ready for. Hopefully he learns quick, otherwise the Mistico name might be damaged beyond repair.
1. Rayo De Jalisco Debacle – To a masked wrestler, their true identity being revealed without them losing their mask can be a huge blow. Basically Batman being outed as Bruce Wayne is a fair comparison. Rayo de Jalisco Jr. is a huge name in Mexico, he was booked in a Llaves Y Candados show on October 7, 2012. He would be tagging with Mascara Purpura to face Blue Demon Jr. and Rico Rodriguez. Rayo Jr. no showed and when this was announced fans were very vocal in their disappointment. In a twist even M. Night couldn’t see coming the promoters displayed for the fans the guaranteed deposit that Rayo Jr. was payed, and a copy of his flight ticket, proving that everything was provided, and the promoters did not lie to the fans. Now, the one thing they also provided to the fans, was Rayo Jr. actual name, displayed on both the deposit and ticket. A huge blow to Rayo de Jalisco Jr. The cherry on top of this messed up Sunday was Blue Demon Jr. telling the fans to save their anger for whenever Rayo did show up, and guaranteed a great match. Mongol Chino replaced Rayo, and Demon delivered. The fans throwing money into the ring afterwards.
5. The Decline of Women’s Wrestling in TNA and WWE – As a fan of women’s wrestling, the decline of it in TNA and WWE in the year 2012 was depressing. I am not trying to say that women’s wrestling will draw huge, but I do feel that both companies have shown that when they wanted too that they could produce a good product with the women. Unfortunately 2012 wasn’t a year for that. TNA constantly releases performers and doesn’t use what they have, while WWE has watched performers decide to leave when their contracts are finished. I hope 2013 will be better, but don’t have that much hope that it will be.
4. TNA Ruins the James Storm Push – I really feel that TNA had something with James Storm, and I also feel that it was ruined at Lockdown. It was the perfect time to pull the trigger. They had the feud, they had the right guys and they had the stipulation in the right location. But they decided that it wasn’t the time, and all we heard from TNA supporters is that they would build the moment for Bound for Glory. Well that didn’t happen, and right now, James Storm is just another guy in the company.
3. TNA’s Claire Lynch Angle – While I will agree with many that the angle did produce good PPV matches, and that Daniels and Kazarian were pretty great on the mic, this stuff was just hard to watch on TV. The “actress” was not good, and the angle was just poor. I really enjoy watching TNA, but I have to say that this part of the TV show made me want to turn off the TV several times. Thankfully they got away from it, but this was some truly awful TV.
2. Raw Goes to Three Hours – Due to Monday Night Raw going to three hours, I no longer watch the show live. It just feels too long to me, and most of the shows have way too much filler. I spent the fall watching Monday Night Football and DVRing Raw, so that I could get through it on Tuesday in about 90-minutes. With Raw going to three hours, and the addition of Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event tapings, the WWE has made more money, but I also feel that the product has suffered due to that.
1. BROCK LESNAR IS BACK…and they ruined it. – I was a huge fan of Brock Lesnar during his first run in WWE. I hated that he left, not because of HIM making the choice, but because I enjoyed watching him perform. When he went into the UFC I was still a fan, and bought PPV to support him, and was overjoyed when he won the title. But then the “ITIS” hit, and Brock was never the same. When his UFC run came to an end, there was a ton of speculation that he would return to the WWE, and again, I was thrilled as a fan. Brock came back with all of the thunder in the world, beating down Cena, cutting the awesome UFC Countdown style promo, and just looking like a bad ass. Their PPV match was awesome, and felt different from anything else WWE has been producing, and then WWE ruined it because they wanted John Cena to win. Some say it was a message to Brock to keep him in line, I feel it was flushing money down the toilet. But hey, at least Cena was booked strong so he could put Johnny Ace over on PPV…
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: “Did little demons get inside and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. ”
YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS
List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:
5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation