Most Outstanding Wrestler Of The Year
Duan: CM Punk
Punk’s turn back heel and the pairing with Heyman, have refreshed him as a character. He’s had a hand in most of the compelling TV WWE produced in 2012, and the decision to have him carry the belt through the entire year has been the right one from an artistic perspective.
Alan: Kazuchika Okada
RAINMAKER BABY!!! 2012 was the year of Kazuchika Okada. I’ve never in my life seen a wrestler do what he did this year. He just came out of nowhere and became THE guy in Japanese wrestling. I write this hours before the biggest match of his career where he will no doubt rock the Tokyo Dome and become IWGP heavyweight champ again (Ed. Note: whoops). The sheer amount of epic matches this guy had in 2012 is ridiculous. Twice against Karl Anderson, twice against Naito, twice against Tanahashi and also one with Hirooki Goto. All bonafide MOTYC’s for me. Tack all that on to the buckets of charisma, the awesome look, the poise, and of course Gedo, and you have the total package.
Big D: Daniel Bryan
Defended the World Championship at Wrestlemania and lost it in 18 seconds and became the most popular guy of the weekend in a match that was meant to bury him, then went on to work a number of title matches throughout the summer followed by transitioning into a sports entertainer alongside Kane in one of my favorite acts of the year. Has had consistent great matches all year. Can’t go wrong with this man.
GG: CM Punk
In a day and age in US wrestling where whomever is at the top of the card really doesn’t swing the box office one way or another, you have to give this to CM Punk just based on the idea that he’s still WWE’s most consistently entertaining wrestler all while having good matches all year long. And the guy held the title all year long.