Happy New Year everyone! Tanner here to give you the run down of the best of 2022 in wrestling!
Promotion Of The Year: WWE
2022 was arguably the craziest year in all of wrestling and WWE objectively took the biggest hits, but those hits didn’t hurt then at all it seems as they managed to produce an insane year of new stars and new stories. After Vince McMahon shockingly announced his “retirement” from his run as Chairman of WWE, Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan took over, but basically gave the job to Triple H who has led the charge to WWE being the hottest act out now. After subjectively getting their butts kicked by AEW these past couple years, a sudden turn took place and WWE is starting to look like the “cool” promotion to watch again. Although WWE had its giants flaws this year, they took all that an buried it with all the fantastic television produced.
PPV Of The Year: WWE Clash At The Castle
This year WWE took its first ppv trip to the UK since 2003 with its introduction to ‘Clash at the Castle’ giving their UK fans the big experience they deserved while partially showcasing Europe’s best. From Gunther vs Sheamus to Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre, banger after banger was the theme of this electric crowded show. There was never a dull moment, even the womens title match was decent! Emotional, exciting, thrilling. This show personified what WWE does best and that’s their ppvs. Can’t wait for them to go back!
Breakout Star Of The Year: Carmelo Hayes
NXT’s big standout this year was the newbie Carmelo Hayes who suddenly received a big push winning the North American Championship in October of 2021. In 2022 he continued his dominance defeating Roderick Strong to unified/retire the Cruiserweight Championship. Throughout the year he defended his title in fantastic matches while looking fresh as hell. He managed to win back the title after losing at NXT Stand & Deliver and had another fantastic reign. Now it seems that chapter has closed and perhaps 2023 will be an even bigger year for the future star…
Promo Of The Year: “You f***ing mark, fire me!!”
Fresh off a complete squash loss to Wardlow at AEW Double Or Nothing, MJF cut a fiery promo on the real life situation with his boss Tony Khan regarding his treatment in the company. This promo would go on to be infamous for not only drawing the lines between reality and fiction, but also made headlines for MJF’s explicit use of the f word in an emotional tantrum following his issues with money on not being at the top. Looking back at this after what has happened, this has to be one of the best builds to a World Title Win ever. Whether it was intentional or not, this promo started one of the greatest stories AEW has ever told.
Faction Of The Year: The Blackpool Combat Club
Forming off the quick blood feud between Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson, former NXT general manager William Regal took a visit to AEW to snap these two out of it and make them release they’re better as a team then at war with each other. Quickly they became a dominant team and helped form the really really long feud against Chris Jericho’s appreciation society. Soon they recruited upcoming underdog Wheeler Yuta after Moxley nearly beat the life out of him just to test how much respect he had for him.
After Claudio Castagnoli aka Cesaro left WWE and joined AEW, he joined the BCC and led the charge against Jericho and his meat riders in the second ever Blood & Guts match. They continued to feud with them for the rest of the year, but always had side quest of some sort to make them look like the badass team they were to basically cover up that AEW had zero idea what to do with them after the Jericho feud. Loved this group a lot this year.
Wrestler Of The Year: Seth Rollins
One word you can use to describe Seth Rollins in 2022 is ‘workhorse.’ Rollins built a fantastic, snarky, cocky character while constantly delivering fantastic matches. Leading his top feuds this year, aka making them fun, Rollins was constantly the life of the party in 2022. Improving his moveset, evolving his storytelling skills, and becoming one of the most interesting characters to watch on television, Rollins proved that it’s never too late be at your best. From feuds with Cody Rhodes to Matt Riddle, Seth managed to make everything involving him feel right while managing to secure a championship in between. 2022 was truly the year of Rollins…will 2023 be even better?
Match Of The Year: FTR vs The Briscoes II | ROH Death Before Dishonor
FTR and The Briscoes were truly one of the best pairings to ever grace my screen in my time watching wrestling. With such a different wrestling style from one another, they managed to adapt to said styles and create some of the best matches all year. The best one they produced was their over 40 minute two out of three falls ppv main event. This was them just WRESTLING. They did so at Supercard of Honor, but wrestled nearly twice as long as before. Even then they managed to have a more exciting and intense match with the uncertainty of what would happen making it an even better experience. There was zero BS in this match, these guys just beat the hell out of one another and it was the best match of the whole year!
So what did you think of wrestling this year? What are your choices for the awards presented today? Want to see more? Subscribe to SmarkDown’s Blog TODAY to receive more content just like this!