Professional Wrestling’s Overall Turnaround in 2012
As 2012 comes to a close, so does another calendar year of the unpredictable world of professional wrestling. This year, we were treated to an incredulous amount of situations and scenarios that really kept us scratching our heads and continued to make us ask “why”, “when”, “who”, “where” and “how”? 2012 did not just give us matches to remember, but gave us moments that will indeed last a lifetime.
Previous years have showed a significant lull in wrestling from both WWE and TNA. Much criticism was met with the WWE over the past few years since they decided to adopt and embrace the more family friendly PG route of television. This was met with criticism due to fans not being ready for the transition since they were so used to the more aggressive route. On the other channel, TNA dealt with its shortcomings from fans due to their inabilities to connect various storylines with logic. We witnessed much potential wasted away with lack of follow through and hot-shotting. But just as the message was relayed to us in Batman Begins “Why do we fall? So we can get back up”, this theory was applied by both companies, and “Get back up” they did.
For TNA this year, they were on “clean up and reassemble” mode. Back in Oct 2010, TNA hired on Bruce Prichards (former agent with WWE) to their staff and a year later Bruce was promoted to VP of Talent Relations to replace Terry Taylor.
Prichards has taken an active approach in reassembling and re-branding the company by altering the direction of the promotion to focus more so on the younger talent. Having Bobby Roode and Austin Aires hold the world championship for the majority of the year, solidified and restructured the upper tier of the top talent in the promotion. In addition to the pushes, TNA Impact Wrestling also enacted the new features to the show: TNA Gut Check, Open Fight Night and Championship Thursday. Bringing a great deal of identity to their brand. 2012 has been a successful year for TNA, in terms of identifying itself of the mainstream wrestling program suitable for an older audience.
For the WWE, 2012 was a reassurance of them putting faith back into the fans that they are the better brand for a reason. The WWE made sure to say loud and clear “We know what were doing, trust us, you’re gonna love it.” 2012 established this to be.
We saw a great deal of focus on other superstars not named “John Cena” (even though Cena did monopolize much of the closing PPV matches this year). This year, superstars such as CM Punk, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Ryback, Justin Gabriel, Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett, Tyson Kidd, Antonio Ceasaro, The Miz and others emerged and became some of the WWE’s top and upper mid-card talent. CM Punk held the WWE Championship for an entire calendar year, where Ryback has shown to be one of the top faces of the company. Ziggler has emerged as the future of the company and is currently in the same position he was in that both Cena and Randy Orton were in back in 2004. This year was the turn around for the new future of the WWE.
If 2012 has supplied us with the perfect recipe for a significant turn around, 2013 should be the finished result of a wonderful dish cooked extraordinarily well. And I feel I speak for all wrestling fans when I say, I cannot wait.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer For Rant Sports
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