As usual, the WWE had a banner year in 2012 as it continued to be the top pro wrestling promotion in the world. Several WWE wrestlers stood out as having memorable years in 2012. Take a look back at the top five WWE wrestlers of 2012.
5. Big Show
For years, Big Show has been held down by the WWE because of weight issues and he has suffered through horrible gimmick matches at Wrestlemania. But in 2012, Big Show took part in a major angle with former WWE Raw general manager John Laurinaitis. And late in 2012, Big Show defeated Sheamus to become World Heavyweight champion.
4. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan’s original WWE gimmick was that of an excellent wrestler who was about as interesting as a leaf of lettuce. However, an on-air relationship with AJ Lee and his anger management classes with Kane in 2012 showed that Bryan’s talents were underrated. He even breathed life into the WWE tag team division in 2012.
3. Dolph Ziggler
Some wrestlers are destined for greatness while others have to earn it. From selling his opponents’ moves to perfection to earning the respect of fans as a heel, Dolph Ziggler had a great year. As the owner of the MITB briefcase, Ziggler is almost certain to become the World Heavyweight champion shortly after 2012 ends.
At the outset of 2012, I never expected Ryback to become this big of a star. The WWE doesn’t push muscle-bound behemoths who can’t talk like they did in the 1980s. However, fans got behind Ryback, which forced Vince McMahon to amend his plans. By the end of 2012, Ryback had two close calls with becoming the WWE champion.
1. CM Punk
Very few wrestlers can say they were the WWE champion for a full calendar year. But that’s exactly what CM Punk did in 2012. He also started the year as the top face and ended it as the most hated heel. The addition of Paul Heyman made every CM Punk promo must-see TV. CM Punk clearly was the best WWE wrestler of 2012.
Honorable mention WWE wrestlers of 2012
Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, Kane, Sheamus, Undertaker
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of pro wrestling. Patrick’s favorite wrestling promotion was Mid-South Wrestling back in the 1980s. Patrick’s favorite wrestling angle of all-time was the NWO and his favorite wrestler was Roddy Piper. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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