Hello everybody, Liam here once again with another riveting edition of Tea Time with Liam, My first article of 2013 which was originally meant to have been my final article of 2012, but as you all know by now, I’m a very lazy boy. I’m not really big on New Years resolutions but I do have a mini one to write more this year. I’ve been writing articles for about a year now and I’d like to personally thank every reader who has taken the time to check out my stuff and every person who has sent me feedback, positive or negative over the past year. It’s been good to be able to get my points across and I hope to do it all over again during 2013.
This is usually the time of year where people list their own end of year awards for the wrestling world. I had that idea in mind, but I’ve chosen to do something slightly different. What I’ve done is compiled a list of every championship holder in WWE on January 1st 2012 and now as we’ve just passed a year since then I’d like to talk about each individual and what they’ve done over the past twelve months. If this turns out well and I get good feedback I may turn this into an annual thing. To be clear, I’m talking about the six main titles in WWE right now.
United States Champion - Zack Ryder
I wrote about Zack Ryder during the summer, I discussed how the “Ryder revolution” was dead in the water. But if you cast your minds back, Ryder was indeed the United States champion at the start of the year. Unfortunately for Ryder, 2012 has been a terrible year. After losing the title in early January, he was thrust into the whole “embrace the hate” feud with Cena and Kane while also trying to gain the attraction of Eve. Eve soon showed her true colours, stating that she never like Ryder, even kissing Cena in the process.
From mid January onwards he was basically used as cannon fodder, being destroyed by Kane on multiple occasions. I like many others expected a Ryder/Kane match at Wrestlemania. A big win against Kane at the biggest show of the year could of easily solidified Ryder as a solid mid card baby face on the roster. The match never materialised however as Ryder was put into that awful general manager tag team match, being distracted by Eve, losing the match, then having Eve low blow him.
Since then, Ryder has faltered and at this moment in time, he’s stuck back in his original position that he was in during 2011 and earlier. Maybe the fans are still chanting for him and they may want to see him, but WWE seems to have cooled on him and I don’t honestly believe that Ryder will be with the company this time next year.
Intercontinental Champion - Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes had a very impressive Intercontinental title reign, lasting 236 days. He had an impressive showing in the rumble, eliminating the most people and lasting over 40 minutes. He also competed in the world heavyweight title elimination chamber, eliminating The Big Show, setting up a feud in the process. In the lead up to Wrestlemania, Cody spent most of his time, trying to embarrass the Big Show, causing him to lose matches. He lost the title to Big Show at Wrestlemania. Cody won it back a month later, then spent the next few months defending it against Big Show before losing it to a returning Christian,
He had a brief feud with Sin Cara, becoming obsessed with unmasking him, although it ended quite suddenly. September hit and Rhodes teamed up with Damian Sandow, becoming Rhodes Scholars, starting a quest for the tag team titles. Rhodes missed Survivor Series due to a concussion, but returned in December, earning a tag team title shot, but losing to Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Cody is another guy who I’m a big fan off. Like with Kingston, I’d prefer to see Cody stay solo, He’s did his teaming with Hardcore Holly and Ted Dibiase, Just now I’d love him to be elevated into the main event structure. Last year I felt he was ready, but now I feel Dolph Ziggler has surpassed and with the Money in the Bank, seems to be the next guy in line. But with WWE, you never know, it could happen.
Unified Tag Team Champions - Air Boom
Can’t comment on Bourne as he was suspended for violating the wellness policy in early January 2012, then injured in a real life car crash, breaking his foot in numerous places.
Kofi Kingston -
Kofi lost the tag team titles in early January, Days later, he split with Evan Bourne after he was suspended for violating the wellness policy. He had a remarkable moment in the Royal Rumble after crawling on his hands to save himself from elimination. He even received a WWE championship match after being selected as a participant at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
Kofi has had many tag team partners and mid way through the year, he was patterned with R Truth, even winning the tag team titles again, carrying them until the Summer, beating the likes of Primo and Epico, the Primetime Players and Ziggler and Swagger. Eventually losing the belts to Daniel Bryan and Kane. They then lost in a tag team tournament and eventually disbanded.
In October, he had a nice little feud with The Miz in which I hoped would of ran longer. They had around four matches which were all fun to watch, it was nice to see two young mid carder feud other a mid card title. It makes the title seem that extra little bit more important than it has been over the years. In late October, Kofi beat The Miz to win the Intercontinental title for the fourth time. After a two and a half month reign, he lost the title to Wade Barrett a recently on a Raw.
I’m a huge fan of Kofi, I do hop that one day WWE will push the button on him. The one thing that I feel he needs to work on is his promos as I feel they could be holding him back. But what I’ve noticed with Kofi is that he seems to be the go to guy when WWE needs a new set of tag champs. If WWE is stuck for tag champs it seems all they do is stick Kofi with a random partner and give them the belts. I do hope they continue with his singles career. I look forward to the continuation to the feud with Barrett.
Divas Championship - Beth Phoenix
The diva division has been on a slippery slope for a number of years now, and along with Natalya, Beth Pheonix was the best woman on the roster. The problem was, even as a champion, WWE just wouldn’t seriously get behind her. I can’t actually recall a feud that Beth had in 2011 during her title reign. It just seemed to be constructed with random title defences against the divas flavour of the month. When Beth finally lost the championship, she was barely seen on TV until she was “fired” in the Autumn months.
As a diva, she really hasn’t be missed as the diva division is so bad. But with her gone and Kharma gone too, the diva roster is too inexperienced now with the exception of Natayla.
WWE Champion - CM Punk
Punk started the year with a feud against Chris Jericho after Jericho singled out Punk for mimicking him. Punk cheaply won at the Elimination Chamber by kicking Jericho out of the chamber, rendering him unable to continue. Jericho frequently mocked the “straight edge” lifestyle of Punk, claiming that his father and sister were alcoholics and drug users. Punk beat Jericho at Wrestlemania and once again at Extreme Rules.
At the one 1000th episode of Raw, Punk turned heel, attacking The Rock after his title match against John Cena. Punk thought he was being disrespected, he beat both Cena and The Big show in a triple threat at Summerslam. Punk would once again feud with Cena, drawing with Cena at Night of Champions. Cena sustained an injury forcing Punk to defend his title against Ryback at Hell in a Cell, barely managing to win after help from rouge ref Brad Maddox. Once again Punk survived a triple threat, this time against Cena and Ryback due to interference from The Shield. Punk sustained an injury that forced him to miss the December PPV
What can be said about CM Punk that hasn’t already been said by every other columnist out there. CM Punk has been the best thing in WWE for the past two years. The fact that his title reign is now into its second year just goes to show how much faith WWE has in him right now. He’s been a face and a heel and excelled in both roles, plus bringing in Heyman to work along side him was simply a masterstroke. Putting the current best talker in WWE with one of the greatest talkers in the business made magic happen. Maybe they over stepped the mark at times with the mocking of Jerry Lawler’s heart attack, but it got the job done.
What I love about the paring of Punk and Heyman is that they’ve managed to make the majority of the crowd hate them. Yes, the “smart” fans who turn up will always cheer Punk, but the casual fan and more importantly, the children despise him right now. Honestly I don’t know how long he’ll remain champion. The general feeling is that The Rock will beat him at The Royal Rumble. No matter what happens. Punk has had a phenomenal reign and has been the best and most consistent thing in WWE over the last few years.
World Heavyweight Champion - Daniel Bryan
There are many ways to sum up Daniel Bryans 2012. Yes yes yes!!!, eighteen seconds, no no no!!!! Bryan’s January actually consisted of three title defences, twice beating Big Show and one Mark Henry. Bryan even managed to survive the Elimination Chamber, keeping his title, although being attacked by Sheamus after the match, set up the wrestlemania feud. During this time Bryan also began to disrespect AJ. Attempting to kiss AJ cost him the world title at Wrestlemania, losing in eighteen seconds. He lost the rematch a month later at extreme rules.
But then. IT finally happened. The following night was the night in which the entire IWC had one big collective orgasm as Bryan became the number one contender to CM Punk, losing controversially. Then came the feud with Kane and Punk which also involved the crazy antics of AJ. This feud kind of annoyed me as it seemed that all three guys were fighting more over AJ than the actual title. It just seemed to be about a girl and it just happened to have the WWE title involved too. The IWC orgasamed once more as Punk faced Bryan and Money in the Bank, losing once more. Then came the quickest wedding in history as within a week, Bryan and AJ were engaged, only to have AJ jilt him at the alter.
The came along Team Hell No. Anger management. Some genuine funny moments between Daniel Bryan and Kane in anger management. Even managing to hug each other in what was one of the cringiest yet funny segments of the year. Becoming a team, they quickly became number one contenders, winning the tag team titles at Night of Champions.
Daniel Bryan is wonderful. Just like with Punk, he can do heel or face and can make it work. I love the pairing of him and Kane, they do have some amazing chemistry and made some of the actual genuine funny moments of 2012. With that being said, I think he will be a world champion again some day. I see maybe him and Kane splitting maybe during Wrestlemania season. Bryan hopefully can get straight back into the singles action. If he were to be a world champion again, I’d guess maybe towards the end of the year or early next year.
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