Wrestling Soap Box: My Picks for the 2012 GERWECK.NET Year End Awards
-Wrestling Soap Box: My Picks for the 2012 GERWECK.NET Year End Awards
The 2012 Gerweck Awards are under way. Three categories have already been decided as Monday Night Raw won TV show of the Year, JBL won Announcer of the Year and A.J. Lee won Female of the Year. Today, I’m going to list my picks for the rest of the categories. I encourage all of our readers to vote when visiting the site.
PPV of the Year: Extreme Rules 2012
Extreme Rules became one of the most anticipated events of the year from the moment Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE. While fans are not as enthralled with Lesnar as they were eight months ago, the anticipation was at a fever pitch. The PPV as a whole was entertaining from top to bottom but there were three matches in particular that made this event all aces.
The two out of three falls match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan was the match they should have had at WrestleMania and told a great story. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho pulled off an amazing street fight with style and guile and Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena was a crescendo of carnage that put wrestling fans through a loop. Overall, Extreme Rules was the total package of action, excitement and the unexpected!
Story of The Year: Jerry Lawler’s Heart Attack on Raw
All of us enjoy the escape that professional wrestling provides, but no one will forget the trip back to reality when Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack on live television. Most people know of someone in their life who has suffered a heart attack and if you didn’t before September 10th, you do now.
Jerry Lawler has been the one constant for the majority of Monday Night Raw’s existence. He is the host of a show we’ve been watching for most of our lives. His name resonates with us more than most. This story had a happy ending as Jerry Lawler returned to work on November 12th and received a king’s welcome.
Promotion of the Year: New Japan Pro Wrestling
In my opinion, Ring of Honor has been boring while TNA is ridiculously flawed and it was just too much of a chore to watch Monday Night Raw. You shouldn’t feel that way while watching wrestling. While the psychology, or lack of, in Japanese wrestling matches can be lost on people, all wrestling fans want to be entertained by what they see in the ring.
The majority of New Japan’s offering left me enthralled and wanting more. 2012 saw the ascension of Kazuchika Okada as he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight title in February. He would drop the title back to Tanahashi four months later and would rebound to defeat Karl Anderson in a classic to win the G-1 Climax tournament.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki was an outstanding match in October that everyone should go out of their way to see. Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe, Wataru Inoue and a whole host of others helped produce the most consistently fun and exciting in-ring action of the year
Female of the Year: AJ Lee
AJ has been the center of attention for most of the main event story lines this year. In the wrestling business, you have to make the most of any opportunity you are given, no matter how small it might be because if you don’t, it could be a while before another opportunity comes your way. AJ made the most of being Daniel Bryan’s girlfriend and parlayed that into her becoming the top diva in the WWE.
Jabroni of the Year: Tammy “Sunny” Sytch
Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Five arrests, in one month. Tammy, I have three words for you. Just say no.
Feud of the Year: The Rock vs. John Cena
In an unprecedented move, the main event of WrestleMania was announced a year in advance and it was the match most on everyone’s mind. John Cena is the cotton candy baby face that represents what the WWE is. The Rock is the cool, hip, charismatic bad ass that represents what the WWE was.
The great thing about this feud was that the fans got to decide for themselves who the heel and baby face was as there was no right or wrong answer. The dynamic of this feud was unlike anything seen in wrestling before. It took one of the most popular wrestlers of all time to get those who normally boo John Cena to cheer for him. Diehard wrestling fans don’t consider The Rock a wrestler anymore due to his movie star status.
There aren’t as many people watching pro-wrestling as there used to be. They tune in once in a while to see to see what’s happening and the antics of the Cenation aren’t doing any favors in bringing them back. That is, until The Rock came back on the scene. These people, along with those who don’t frequent the IWC, are the majority of WWE’s audience.
The masses paid to see John Cena lose and that is exactly what we got. Their feud is the reason why WrestleMania 28 drew more money on pay-per-view and at the gate than any other pro wrestling event in history.
Match of the Year: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar @ Extreme Rules
It’s hard for me to not be romantic about professional wrestling when matches like Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena come along. This was an amazing spectacle with every element executed to perfection. Lesnar’s entrance alone with his MMA gear and bad intentions scowl screamed “Here comes the pain”. Cena came out with a chain around his neck and the undeniable will to win as he was truly ready for the fight of his life.
What came next was a symphony of domination and brutality as Lesnar battered Cena with an arsenal of vicious elbows, stiff clotheslines and arm wrenching Kimuras. In the end, John Cena found a way to pin Lesnar’s shoulders to the mat and everyone had an opinion on the matter. Some feel the WWE gave away millions of dollars with Lesnar losing so soon while others feel it was just another nauseating display of Super Cena.
While the finish was suspect at first, the way everything unfolded made Cena winning the right call. If things were not executed as well as they were, it might have been a different story. Besides Edge, Brock Lesnar is the only other worker to get the fans cheering for Cena, in Chicago of all places.
Those who have an issue with Cena only delivering two moves in the entire match; I want you to think about something: Lesnar couldn’t take a punch in the UFC, so it’s not hard to imagine someone with Cena’s strength knocking his lights out with a steel chain wrapped around his fist. The AA on the steel steps was the exclamation mark needed to secure victory.
Tag Team of the Year: Team Hell No
You almost have to give it to them by default. WWE has made great strides in re-establishing the tag team division, but none of the tag teams have taken the division by storm. Kane and Daniel Bryan were brought together as comedy routine and have turned into one of the WWE’s top acts. Daniel Bryan gets a massive reaction with the “NO” chants and Kane does what Kane does. They gel quite nicely as a team and their matches are never dull.
Wrestler of the Year: CM Punk
No other wrestler has had a bigger year than the Chicago Made superstar. Despite not always being the main focus of WWE television, he often produced the best matches and the most entertaining segments.
Chris Jericho and John Cena were his biggest feuds of the year and his three match series with Daniel Bryan received match of the year honors. CM Punk has the distinction of spending the first half of the year as one of the top baby faces and the second half of the year the best heel in the business.
Punk not only made the WWE title meaningful again with his yearlong reign but he helped elevate Repack thus giving WWE’s main event picture some much needed new blood. Outside the ring, the champ appears on various talk shows and conventions that are actual pop culture hits. With his match against The Rock on the horizon, CM Punk may have a firm lead in this category next year.
Final Thoughts: While Dolph Ziggler is the next big superstar of the moment, Dean Ambrose will be the next big superstar of the future. He is that rare breed of wrestler who can walk the walk and talk the talk. Ambrose has the charisma of a sick and demented individual and his in-ring work is indicative of someone who was born to wrestle.
I want to wish all of the readers of gerweck.net a safe and happy holiday season!