Looking Back at TJR's 2012 Staff Predictions
If you're a regular reader of this site then we thank you for all of your support. If you're a regular reader of this site then you may also know that way back in January of this year the TJR staff got together to offer up our predictions on what we might see in the wrestling business in 2012. You can read the original post RIGHT HERE if you need a refresher.
What I'm here to do in this column is go over the predictions of the guys that are still part of the TJR staff and see how we did as a group. When we did the column we didn't want to go with anything too obvious. I wanted the guys to be creative with their ideas. Keep that in mind as you read this and remember it's not as easy as it looks.
Now let's take a journey back to January for our wrestling predictions in the year two thousand…twelve.
1) The Rock will win the WWE Title.
I was off by a year because it's likely that Rock will be winning the WWE Title at January's Royal Rumble. I stand by this comment I made: "Whether it's at WrestleMania or another event, I believe The Rock will be WWE Champion one more time." The prediction holds true. However, since it won't be in 2012 it would have be considered wrong for this column.
2) The Miz will be a top babyface.
It happened. The turn happened towards the end of the year like I had thought. I think it would have been better if they did it around WrestleMania time when more attention would have been on it, but they waited. I'll admit that I don't think Miz is doing a great job as a babyface right now. It will take time. I think he'll improve. The writing needs to be better for his character too.
3) The feud of the year will be CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan.
I think it's true. At it is in my opinion. It won a coveted Johnny Award for best feud of the year. They had three PPV matches against eachother (one of them also involved Kane) and they had a number of great television matches as well. A year ago they were both holding major champions with Punk as a face and Bryan as a face that was turning heel. Now Punk is a heel and Bryan is a heel turning face. I'm glad the feud happened. I'd love to see it again. I'll never get tired of seeing these two wrestling eachother.
4) Samoa Joe will make the jump to WWE.
It obviously didn't happen. I guess this was more of a wish than anything else. He's still toiling in TNA coming off a recent loss of the Television Title, which didn't do much for him. My favorite year of TNA was when Joe was feuding with Kurt Angle in 2006. These days Joe is just an upper midcarder who isn't even sniffing the main event anymore. Free Samoa Joe.
5) Brock Lesnar's first opponent upon his WWE return will be Batista.
A year ago we didn't know if Lesnar would be back in WWE, but after a decisive loss to end his UFC career at the end of 2011 most of us figured he would return to WWE. I was obviously wrong on that one since we didn't see Batista in WWE at all this year. Lesnar's first opponent was John Cena at Extreme Rules in a very memorable match that was arguably the most physical match in WWE this year.
I got two out of five with the Rock one being very close to being true while the final two were a case of thinking outside the box a little bit.
1) Smackdown will move to Tuesdays
There were a few specials during the year, but they didn't make the full time move this year. I'm not sure if it's ever going to happen because whenever they do the Tuesday show the ratings are usually worse. People are used to the show being on Friday.
2) Matt Hardy will never be more clear minded and focused in his entire life for the 900th time.
Seems correct to me. Andrew loves Matt Hardy.
3) Arn Anderson will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame and only me + 30 other people will really give a shit.
He got inducted this year, so that's right too. I gave a shit too.
4) The Big Show will turn heel, then turn face, then heel, then back to face, then he'll be on a boat, then heel again, then you'll look at his hands and there will be two tickets to that thing you love turned to diamonds, back to face, and then he'll be on a horse. Then heel again.
I had to include the whole thing because it was so great. He did turn heel. Partial credit?
5) The Rock will lose to John Cena at WrestleMania, and stop his seemingly eternal campaign to discredit him.
Rock won, so this is wrong. Andrew's whole prediction was a fantastic parody of the Rocky Balboa/Apolo Creed relationship from the Rocky movies.
I'm giving him partial credit so he gets 2.5 out of five.
1. John Cena will (finally) turn heel.
Not this year. Maybe Thomas can predict it next year too and we'll see if it happens. If I had to guess I would say no.
2. Linda McMahon will lose the election for a Connecticut Senate seat, allowing the WWE to finally loosen up a bit.
She lost once again after spending another $40+ million just like two years ago, so he's right on this one. I'm not sure if we can universally agree that things are loosening up in WWE. That could be something we see over the course of the next few years, though.
3. The WWE Network will be the biggest story in wrestling for all of 2012, and it will stumble out of the gate.
I have to give him a no on this one. The much hyped WWE Network didn't even launch this year. I guess he's right in saying that they are stumbling out of the gate, but they're not even out of the gate yet. As we end 2012 there's no target date for the WWE Network.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin will begin a feud in 2012, leading to a return match in 2013.
This is a no too. Austin didn't even appear on WWE programming this year. He was heavily pushed for the WWE '13 video game and was featured in online interviews with CM Punk among others, but he played no role on WWE television this year. I think we all want to see a return match. It's been nearly ten years since his last match and he's just had major knee injury, so to me it's unlikely that we'll ever see him wrestle again.
5. Smackdown will move to Tuesdays, where it will air live.
Andrew had this same prediction and as mentioned it's wrong.
Sorry Thomas, but you only got one out of five.
MARC B. aka FOZZIE
1. Cody Rhodes wins MITB
That didn't happen. It was Dolph Ziggler and John Cena that won the Money in the Bank briefcases.
2. James Storm wins the TNA World Title and has a lengthy run.
That's a no too. The TNA World Title went from Bobby Roode to Austin Aries to Jeff Hardy, who is still the TNA World Champion. I was shocked that TNA didn't put the World Title on Storm at Lockdown considering the amazing build up to that match. But that's TNA for you.
3. Familiar faces will retire: HHH, Taker, Mysterio
I have to give this a no as well. Mysterio is still working on a full time schedule or close to it. Triple H lost to Lesnar at Summerslam, but it's expected that he'll be a part of WrestleMania 29. The same can be said about Undertaker who only appeared at WrestleMania 28 and the July 23rd edition of Raw, but it's expected that he'll wrestle again. I only consider retirement to be no matches ever again. All are expected to wrestle at least one match in 2013, so I'm afraid I'm giving you a "no" here Marc.
4. Cena will turn heel, defeat the Rock at WM.
That's a double no. Thomas also thought Cena would turn heel. If he did it would be huge. No question about that.
5. Dixie Carter will hire me to be on her creative team.
Nope. Since you've never worked for WCW or WWE like most of the people that work for TNA it's probably not happening.
That's a zero for Marc. Try harder next year buddy!
He already covered his picks in his NXT review from last week, but I'll touch on his predictions briefly as well.
1. NXT will stay the course.
Incorrect. They changed the entire format of the show, created a NXT Championship and taped the show exclusively at Full Sail University in Orlando. As a regular NXT watcher I think the changes have been for the better and I think Lonestar would agree with me.
2. CM Punk’s influence will continue.
Like Lonestar said, he was "partly right" about this one. I'll give him a half point in the unofficial stat tracking of this column.
3. Jericho will come in with guns blazing.
I'm with Lonestar on this one in saying it didn't happen. His return was okay, but not great. As a lifelong Jerichoholic even I can admit that his return was one of the bigger letdowns of the year. None of the matches with CM Punk were necessarily bad. I just had higher expectations.
4. Rock vs. Cena will be better than the internet expects.
It's a hard one to properly rate because it's not an exact prediction. I don't know what the internet as a whole expected. To me I expected a very good match and it was that. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't excellent either. I was entertained by it and I liked it. Being a part of the crowd that saw it live was one of the biggest thrills of my life as a wrestling fan. I'll give him a half point for this one.
5. D-Bryan will fall down the ladder….and climb back up.
This one was absolutely right. Bryan went from World Champ to losing the World Title at WrestleMania in 18 seconds to have the feud of the year with Punk and then the entertaining story with Kane to end the year. He had an amazing 2012.
That gives Lonestar a total of two out of five correct.
1. While Cena is king, Punk continues to drive the WWE ship.
I will give it to Mike. Cena was still the king in terms of being in the biggest angles and main eventing the most PPVs, but Punk drove the ship because he was the WWE Champion for the entire year.
2. Seth Rollins (Tyler Black), Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli), Chris Hero, and Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) all make their debuts.
He got three out of four, so I'll give it to him. If he got two out of four it would have been a half point. Obviously Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero) is still in NXT although I'd expect him to be called up soon. The other three guys are all very impressive performers who will be a huge part of WWE's future.
3. Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett all get pushes towards the main event.
It's only true in the case of Ziggler, so I'm saying no to this one. If two of them were right I'd have given it to him. Rhodes and Barrett are still midcarders who are not any higher than where they were a year ago.
4. The Miz turns face, and somehow actually pulls it off.
I'm being nice and saying that it's true because he turned face. Has he pulled it off? That's arguable, but since he's now in the babyface role I would consider this to be correct.
5. John Morrison will debut with TNA, and will win a championship before the year's end.
Not true. He stayed away from them. It wouldn't shock me to see him back in WWE in 2013.
Mike got three out of five.
MATTY J DOUGLAS
#1 – A Breakout Year for The Usos
I like them and think they're a talented team, but unfortunately it's a no for this one. They are in a similar spot this year compared to where they were a year ago.
#2 – 2012 Will be a Good Year for FCW Standouts
I'll give this to him especially because he included Sandow, Rollins & Ambrose in his write-up. All three of them are making major contributions to WWE programming right now.
#3 – Theodore Long will be relieved of his duties as Smackdown General Manager
True. I was hoping he'd be removed as a television character by this point, but that hasn't happened yet. Long never seems to go away. He's always around. And you know he loves his tag matches, playa.
#4 – One of the Big Three Babyfaces (Randy Orton, John Cena, CM Punk) will turn heel in 2012
If you look at the title you would say this is right, but look at his words: The WWE has been lacking a reliable veteran villain since Punk turned face and with three top babyfaces there is the opportunity to turn one heel to assume that role. Which one will it be? Not Punk because he just turned face in 2011. It’ll either be Orton or Cena. I’d want it to be Orton, because I think he is leaps and bounds better as a heel character.
What do you think? I'm giving him a half point because while he did get it right in the main prediction, in his written words he didn't think it would be Punk. I'm tough, but fair.
#5 – The Rock will wrestle more than one big match in 2012
This is wrong. He only wrestled at WrestleMania. I thought Summerslam might have been possible because it was in Los Angeles, but he had a busy filming schedule for most of the year aside from his appearances on WWE shows in March and April.
MJD gets a 2.5 out of five for his picks.
1. John Morrison returns
I thought he would too. His contract ran out and I figured he would be back. As mentioned earlier, he didn't show up in TNA so I think the likelihood of returning to WWE in 2013 is very high. For most of this year he worked indy shows, made appearances and tried some acting as well.
2. Brodus Clay wins a major championship
This one was obviously wrong. Sorry Jacob, but the "Best Dancer" Slammy Award doesn't count. I think Jacob was expecting Brodus to be a dominating heel character rather than a dancing fat man. He could thrive as a dominating heel. That's not something we saw in 2012, though.
3. Daniel Bryan turns heel
He turned heel at the start of the year as an egotistical World Champion, so Jacob was right on this one. At the end of the year he's a babyface although it's not like he's embracing the fans that much since he's still yelling "no" at them all the time.
4. WWE Network flops
Since it hasn't even launched yet I'll be kind and give this a yes. All the talk of the WWE Network this year has been a major flop and one of the more embarrassing things about the company in 2012. The fact that WWE rarely brings it up is not a good sign either.
5. Kharma returns
I'm torn on this one. She did return at the Royal Rumble, though, so I'll give it to him. The rest of the year we didn't see her and eventually she got released from her WWE deal. Still, she returned at the Rumble and that's enough for me to give this one to Jacob.
That means Jacob got three right, which ties him with Mike Aires.
1. We will see Brock Lesnar wrestle a match by SummerSlam.
Correct. We saw him wrestle John Cena at Extreme Rules. His only other match was against Triple H at Summerslam. Remember that at the end of last year we didn't know for sure if Lesnar would be back in WWE.
2. Dolph Ziggler will win the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.
It did not happen. Despite getting a WWE Title shot at the Royal Rumble and holding the Money in the Bank briefcase that guarantees a WHC match he did not win either of WWE's major championships. I thought it would happen multiple times. Christian was wrong on this and I was too.
3. The Undertaker will defeat Triple H at WrestleMania XXVIII and then officially retire.
He gets a half point here. Undertaker beat Triple H at WrestleMania 28, but he didn't retire. He'll likely be wrestling at WrestleMania 29 too.
4. Michael Cole will finally be removed off commentary and made a heel manager.
This one didn't happen either. Cole's a fixture on WWE commentary every week on Raw, on every pay-per-view, on Smackdown sometimes and also on Main Event. I don't think he will be remved from his position as the lead voice on Raw anytime soon.
5. WWE will unify the Intercontinental and United States Championships.
There are always rumblings that this could happen, but obviously it didn't happen in 2012. I'm not sure if it would help either title to unify. What they need is consistent booking. I think both titles are okay in terms of their status although I don't think WWE will ever make the IC Title as important as it was in the late 80s and into the 90s. Those days are long gone.
That means Christian got 1.5 out of five with his predictions.
1. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will make big splashes in WWE.
Correct. It happened at the end of the year when they debuted as part of The Shield. It's been great to see them finally on the main roster. Their futures are so bright.
2. John Morrison will re-sign with WWE after breaking up with Melina.
There's another Morrison prediction that was wrong. I believe he's still with Melina although I really could care less about that. I do miss him as a performer in WWE, though.
3. Cody Rhodes will win Money in the Bank and cash in to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Incorrect on both predictions. Ziggler won MITB although I think if you had to pick a second favorite for that match Rhodes would have been the guy to win it. I remember writing the preview and most of the buzz as a second pick was on Rhodes.
4. The Undertaker will retire at WrestleMania after going 20-0.
This is similar to one of Christian's predictions. He's not retired since he is scheduled to wrestle at WrestleMania 29, so it's a no for this one.
5. John Cena will get at least two more title reigns before the end of the year.
That didn't happen since CM Punk had a firm grasp on the WWE Title for the entire year. Obviously none of us saw that coming.
Matt got one out of five on his predictions.
The writers with the most correct predictions were Mike Aires and Jacob Lindsey with 3 out of five while I gave Andrew Johnson and Matty J Douglas a 2.5 out of five. I admit that my scoring system (which I just made up at the start of this column) wasn't that scientific, but I tried to be as fair as possible.
How will we do next year? Find out next week on Thursday January 3 when the TJR Staff shares our 2013 wrestling predictions.
You can talk about our 2012 picks below or share your 2013 predictions in the comment section as well.