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Pro Wrestling

2012 Pro Wrestling Awards Picks: The Worst

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Pro Wrestling's Worst in 2012

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Pro wrestling is the first thing that I wrote about that was published online. That was many years ago, but one thing I am happy to be returning to is the year-end awards picks that I did for the first couple of years writing at Inside Pulse, but haven’t done for several years. Since it’s been a while since I’ve done my year-end picks, I’m filling in the years that missed (2009-11). I also think this is more important to note than usual: I follow the Wrestling Observer awards voting method meaning the eligibility period for these awards is December 1, 2011 to November 30, 2012 and, as always, it is based on what I've seen at the time this is posted. That also goes for all winners from 2009, 2010 and 2011 in this special circumstance.

This section will go over the best in pro wrestling during the year in the below categories

Note: I had a worst wrestler and worst match category back in the day, but have since gotten rid of them. Thanks to having a DVR and being able to fast forward combined with my desire to not want to actively look for the worst in these categories, I have stopped making a worst wrestler or worst match pick as of 2008.

OVERRATED WRESTLER: This is the wrestler that had plenty of attention, fanfare, a push, etc., but did nothing or next to nothing inside the ring to deserve the push.

WORST CARD OF THE YEAR: This is the worst pro wrestling card during the year.

WORST FEUD: This is the worst pro wrestling feud during the year.

WORST BOOKER: This is the worst pro wrestling booker during the year.

WORST PROMOTIONAL MOVE: This is the worst thing a promotion or promoter did that impacted the promotion, its brand, and/or the business

WORST ANGLE OF THE YEAR: This is the worst pro wrestling storyline during the year.

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2nd Place: Sting (TNA)

3rd Place: Alberto Del Rio (WWE)

When you barely have as many moves as years in the business, you are in trouble. Such is the case with Ryback who received a huge push in 2012 because of everything except his in-ring abilities. They gave him a short catchphrase, a menacing demeanor & character, and had him squash people right up until challenging C.M. Punk for the WWE title. All this showed me is that The E once again has no problem pushing a sloppy, talentless wrestler over one with skills if the untalented one looks the part (big, muscular, over six foot two, etc.). Sting at this age shouldn't even be near a world title, let alone being in a top program with Bobby Roode for an extended period. And Del Rio made the list mainly because he has done nothing to improve his in-ring performance, in my opinion, since 2011, and that equals overrated with me when you are in top programs and are at the top of the card.

Previous Winners

2005: John Cena

2006: Rob Van Dam

2007: Kurt Angle

2008: Randy Orton

2009: The Undertaker

2010: Kane

2011: Sin Cara

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WORST CARD: WWE Hell in a Cell

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2nd Place: WWE Royal Rumble

3rd Place: WWE No Way Out

The E certainly got the hell part right with this pay-per-view. The only match on the card to get over 14 minutes was Big Show/Sheamus, two men who shouldn't get that kind of time when together, Ryback showed how not ready he was in his match with C.M. Punk, and everything else was either too short to be anything noteworthy or just bad. Most pay-per-view offerings from The E are just like this, but they also provide at least one match or segment that saves the show from being a candidate for this award. Hell in a Cell had no such redeeming factor. With the Royal Rumble PPV, it was the Punk/Dolph Ziggler title match and a good though not great Rumble match, and with No Way Out it was the Punk/Daniel Bryan/Kane triple threat, though that storyline with A.J. Lee was poorly thought out and went far too long.

Previous Winners

2005: WWE Great American Bash

2006: WWE Great American Bash (2)

2007: TNA Against All Odds

2008: WWE Cyber Sunday

2009: TNA Against All Odds (2)

2010: TNA Destination X

2011: TNA Victory Road

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WORST FEUD: A.J. Lee Vs. Vickie Guerrero

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2nd Place: Brock Lesnar Vs. HHH

3rd Place: Aces & Eights Vs. TNA

This feud had many traits of my worst angle pick: poorly executed and poorly written. To be fair, I never got around to recognizing the whole “A.J. as RAW GM” thing has being a good angle, because it wasn't. But this feud was a waste of time that was only fitting because the feud developed after the move to three hours for RAW, something I'll be getting to later. Lesnar & HHH's only saving grace was Paul Heyman's presence to make up for the sub-par mic work and storyline leading into what ended up being a sub-par match between the two. And the whole Aces & Eights thing will likely be higher here next year, but since it wasn't as annoying or insulting as the above two, it only took third with me.

Previous Winners

2006: Kevin Nash Vs. The X-Division

2007: Sting Vs. Christopher Daniels

2008: Kaz Vs. Dustin Rhodes

2009: The Main Event Mafia Vs. TNA Originals

2010: Kane Vs. The Undertaker

2011: HHH Vs. Kevin Nash

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2nd Place: Bruce Pritchard (TNA)

3rd Place: Akira Taue & Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH)

So how can I justify Vince being the worst booker of 2012 despite all of the positives that The E had in 2012? Simple: the complete garbage that was booking Daniel Bryan to lose in 18 seconds in a world title match at the biggest show of the year, the wrong booking decision of Rock/Cena I in my mind, the wrong booking decision of Cena/Lesnar in many people's minds, the Punk heel turn, the usual foray of crappy storylines, gimmicks, and characters, and the booking of the three-hour RAW episodes for basically the first two months after the change. Yes TNA had plenty of poor booking of their own in 2012, as did NOAH. However, those two promotions also provided me with enough to satisfy my pro wrestling tastes that they are only runner-ups this year.

Previous Winners

2005: New Japan Booking Committee

2006: Jeff Jarrett & Vince Russo

2007: Vince Russo

2008: Vince Russo

2009: Vince Russo

2010: Vince Russo

2011: Vince Russo

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2nd Place: ROH doing their iPPV's themselves

3rd Place: TNA gives Jeff Hardy another world title run

While the ROH & TNA screwups here are comical in a tragic way, there was nothing funny about how bad Monday Night RAW got as a whole once an extra hour was added to the show. It was a major nosedive that the promotion hasn't fully recovered from because they are still trying to figure out how to fill three hours each week. Yeah, the amount of wrestling on the show may have gone up, but so has the sports entertainment b.s. that was more tolerable in a two-hour setting than a three-hour one. Or maybe The E's writing has sunk to that level of bad when they need to fill that much time.

Previous Winners

2005: WWE's borderline racist/prejudicial portrayal of the Muhammad Hassan, Kerwin White, and Mexicools characters

2006: NJPW pushing Brock Lesnar as an unbeatable monster

2007: TNA signs, pushes Adam “Pacman” Jones

2008: WWE gives MVP a losing streak gimmick

2009: WWE wastes C.M. Punk/Undertaker feud with nonsensical match booking

2010: TNA making Jeff Hardy world champion while he's indicted on drug charges

2011: Hulk Hogan publicly bashes Robert Roode the day before Roode main-events TNA's biggest show of the year

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WORST ANGLE: Claire Lynch & A.J. Styles are having a baby, or are they?

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2nd Place: John Cena/A.J. Lee “affair”

3rd Place: Jericho/Punk feud about Punk's family and their history of substance abuse instead of anything else

Yeah that whole Cena/A.J. thing made a late charge for the worst angle in all of wrestling, but nothing could top the A.J. Styles/Claire Lynch baby drama in the summer. Even though Russo had nothing to do with this angle, it had every trait of a Russo angle: stupid premise, a subject wrestling fans don't care about and don't want in a storyline, a waste of good talent, terribly written, terribly executed, and the main person of interest (in this case Lynch) isn't even there when the angle is killed off. This was unbearable and the fact that A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian were all wasted in it made the whole thing that much more unbearable and downright embarrassing.

Previous Winners

2005: Kurt Angle gets “Jungle Fever” for Booker T’s wife

2006: Vince McMahon Vs. God

2007: Mr. McMahon “dies” in limo explosion

2008: Edge seduces Vickie Guerrero

2009: LayCool mock Mickie James as “Piggy James”

2010: Abyss receives powers from Hulk Hogan Hall of Fame ring

2011: Natalya Neidhart's flatulence problem