The votes have been counted and winners revealed. There were a few ties and more than a few blowouts. Here are the winners and runner-ups in the 2012 WNZ Year-End Awards, as voted by you the fans. Thanks to all 22,801 of our fans who voted!
Most Underrated Wrestler of 2012: Tyson Kidd
It’s hard to pinpoint why Tyson Kidd hasn’t been given the opportunities that the vast majority wrestling fans believe he deserves. He’s a gifted technical wrestler – no doubt thanks to his lineage to the Hart Dungeon – a high-flyer and a versatile all-round performer. And perhaps that’s partly his undoing. Kidd can have an entertaining match with practically anybody, no matter how green, which might be why he’s been relegated to NXT and undercard matches. Hopefully 2013 will be his year to emerge from the shadows, following a similar path as Dolph Ziggler.
Runner-up: Wade Barrett
Fail of the Year: Hornswoggle as Anonymous Raw GM
The idea of an Anonymous Raw General Manager was somewhat intriguing when it was first introduced in 2010. As the weeks and months passed, with every episode of Raw filled with incessant bulletins read aloud by Michael Cole, the schtick wore thin. It became obvious that WWE’s creative team had no idea what to do with the concept, nor anyone in mind to eventually reveal as the mystery man. When the storyline was finally dropped, fans breathed a collective sigh of relief. When Hornswoggle was “revealed” as the Anonymous GM during the 1,000th episode of Raw, it was like picking an old scab, and reinforced that countless hours of Raw had essentially been little more than a dumb joke.
Runner-up: WWE Network Launch
Failed Push of 2012: Tensai
Like an avalanche barreling down Mount Fuji, this category was a landslide. For weeks we were teased with promos about this mysterious Japanese monster, whom keen-eyed fans quickly identified as the man formerly known as Albert, minus the back hair. Rather than marauding through WWE like Godzilla, however, Albert quickly became a mid-card jobber, and then an outright joke. Stumbling Shockmaster-style at the Slammys essentially sealed his fate as a punchline. He’d be wise to book a one-way ticket back to Japan.
Runner-up: Sin Cara
Trend That Needs to Die: Turning Monsters Into Jobbers
See the “Failed Push of 2012” winner, Tensai. He’s a perfect example of WWE perpetually turning its most physically imposing giants into pushovers. Although The Great Khali is athletically limited, his stature alone could make him a marquee attraction, if used properly (repeat after Paul Heyman: “Accentuate the positives, hide the negatives”). Brodus Clay’s highly anticipated debut left many fans scratching their heads. What happened to the mammoth thug we were promised, and who is this dancing fool?
Runner-up: Constant Mentions of Hashtags on TV Shows
Tag Team of 2012: Team Hell No
In another landslide victory, Kane and Daniel Bryan took this prize. Wrestling’s most entertaining odd couple kept us laughing for most of the year. With their grammatically dubious mantra “I am the Tag Team Champions,” they provided both comic relief and a breath of new life into the stagnant tag scene. A stylistic mismatch of technical wrestling and brute force made them a formidable force, and their group therapy sessions provided the gel they needed.
Runner-up: The Rhodes Scholars