Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Top Ten Cases: WWE 2012 Year-End Awards - Superstar of the Year

My Pick:  CM Punk
No surprise here.  The sad thing is, though, that it’s not as if CM Punk even had this phenomenal year.  It’s just that everybody else has had such a forgettable or lackluster one.  So while this was a blowaway victory for Punk, it may have been for all the wrong reasons.   Then again, Punk’s year shouldn’t be sold short.  No matter what the circumstances, holding the WWE Championship a full calendar year – a feat that has not been achieved since 1987 – is an amazing achievement.  And while he may not have main evented a majority of this year’s Pay-Per-Views, his matches were almost assuredly match of the night contenders.  And between Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, and Daniel Bryan, fans were awarded WWE Championship PPV matches that most of us probably never thought we’d get to see.  And unlike Punk’s other World title reigns, he actually go to win his championship matches cleanly and convincingly.  He may not have been treated as THE star, but he most definitely was treated like A star – something that has been sorely missing during his other runs at the top.

And while certain stories weren’t home runs – his heel turn got off to a rough start, and the substance abuse story that centered around his feud with Jericho was a bit off putting – Punk did take part in some of the most enjoyable and memorable stories of the year.  In particular, I am referring to this summer’s Punk/Bryan/AJ/Kane love affair (a story which benefited everybody involved).  And once his heel turn found its footing, Punk let loose and has emerged an even bigger star.  The show focuses on him more than it ever has.  His promos have been top notch.  And there’s a certain level of passion and fire that was missing during the earlier part of 2012.  The fact that CM Punk has been WWE Champion for well over 400 days and fans aren’t desperate for a new champion is a testament to his greatness.

What You Said – CM Punk
Much like last year, CM Punk was my pick AND your pick for Superstar of the year – but he didn’t earn 100% of the vote this time around.  This year, Punk walked away with 69 (HA!) percent of the vote, with Daniel Bryan coming in second with 25 percent.  While Bryan had a much better year than he probably had any right to (more on him later, though), I really don’t think he surpassed Punk.  Both guys had phenomenal matches.  Both guys were put in situations where they were forced to make lemons into lemonade.  And both basically forced the company and its figureheads to take them seriously and give them the attention they deserve.  At the end of the day, though, Punk simply achieved greater success.  While Daniel Bryan is part of an extremely entertaining comedy duo, Punk is being pushed as a dangerous – albeit somewhat cowardly – threat to WWE’s top babyfaces.  He’s had to overcome some political and creative hurdles, but Punk has been presented as one of WWE’s top Superstars – defeating every single challenge that’s come his way.  And the list is pretty hefty – Dolph Ziggler, the Miz, Chris Jericho, Kane, John Cena, Ryback, the Big Show, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Jerry Lawler, Rey Mysterio, and yes, Daniel Bryan.  Main event positioning or not, this year belonged to Punk.

No comments: