2022 is over and as is the tradition on our site it is time for a new one: the good, the bad and the ugly. We start with WWE, which during the year was divided into two stages, the end of the Vince McMahon era and the beginning of the game in charge of Triple H.
Because of what the arrival of the man with the three Hs in command means, he will have a special section, which seems more appropriate to me, considering that he cannot be judged for everything that has happened in the year.
With that said, here we go:
The ucey from The Bloodline
My relationship with the WWE product this year (and the last two) has been very changeable, understanding that due to commitments with this project called DDSD you have to be watching it, despite the fact that for several passages I don’t feel like doing it. But if there’s one reason that kept me going, it was The Bloodline, essentially since the dynamic with Sami Zayn started to do something real.
I am convinced that this story must end with the Canadian being crowned world champion at WrestleMania (it will be addressed in another article). Sami managed to deliver that dose of comedy to a group whose main focus was always drama, leaving behind standout moments.
The moment when Zayn is finally accepted into the family is remarkablegenerating a genuine connection in the stands that had not been seen in WWE for years.
Added to that are all those moments where Roman, the Usos and even Solo Sikoa break their respective characters due to Ucey’s jokes and humor. Sami is a crá and hopefully in 2023 he will get what he deserves so much. Meanwhile, a space is earned here as the best of the year in WWE.
Gunther and the recognition of Sheamus
The Gunther thing has been very good and that has to do with the importance that Triple H gave to the midcard belts (I will elaborate on this point below). He also left us what for me is the best fight of the year in the company: against Sheamus in Clash at the Castle. The Austrian has adapted wonderfully to the main roster, leaving great fights on SmackDown and PPV.
In that fight in Wales, we saw a standing ovation for the Irishman, an act full of justice since for years he was always far from the approval of the fan. It was even questioned something ridiculous thinking that Sheamus is one of the best talents that WWE has.
This second air that he lived from that fight is to make him notice.
The Bianca vs. Becky
Let them fight as many times as they want, I’m not opposed. The WM combat is the best of the company this year and that must be noted. Bianca seems to me that she is a prodigy, since it is difficult for her to find such a high level in someone with zero previous experience in wrestling. Adaptation and evolution of scandal.
I’m not the biggest of Cody’s fans and still I find his return at WrestleMania great. With his lights and shadows in AEW, Rhodes knew how to become a bulwark of the industry and his name no longer went unnoticed. He created a symbol around the figure of him. And WWE bought that whole package.
The same music, the same picture, the same nickname and even the same horrible tattoo on the neck. Vince brought Cody that he established himself in another company because his vision has always been that, the business ahead. If it was time to refresh the programming, then go ahead.
Several AEW fans were upset by his departure, which I didn’t share at the time. Beyond his very valid desire to want to win the World Championship, I found it great that they raised a figure for Khan and did not change anything, presenting him as you saw him on TBS / TNT, but now on the USA Network. That is called recognition.
Now we have to see if Triple H has the same vision of Vince or the resentment is bigger. Time will tell.
It sucks how he dresses, I still believe that he has no definition as a character, but it must be said, at the in-ring level it was quite good. And while I’m not a huge fan of his current gimmick, at least I find it more satisfying than those versions of the king or beast slayer that didn’t end in anything concrete.
The SmackDown Women’s Division
2022 ended with a derisory event that demonstrated the horrendous year that the women’s division of the blue show had. Charlotte Flair, who had already been champion at the beginning of the year in one of her many inconsequential reigns, left to take a long vacation. She then she came back and in a minute she defeated Ronda Rousey to capture the title again.
Clearly it wasn’t Ronda’s best year or reign, but was this necessary? Another pyrotechnic spot to get reactions in networks with no background behind it. A company classic already. Liv Morgan suffered it too.
After winning the MITB, he immediately traded to achieve his first title. Everything was hubbub in networks, unaware of what would come next, an insipid reign without adequate prior construction. The same thing that happened with Nikki ASH in 2021.
The briefcase was the perfect instance to give relevance to Liv, build it around it and so feel your trade something really special and not leave it in a cheap and forgettable pop. She was even able to get a clean trade, in a one-on-one match, something that hasn’t been done yet with women.
To this we add that the current SmackDown roster lacks powerful names, with fighters that are very much due in various aspects. In short, the worst of the year by far.
The Men’s Rumble
Let’s just forget that this happened. Fucking Shane McMahon.
The ugliest and most unfortunate thing of the year without a doubt is that of Vince McMahon. His departure from the company is undoubtedly one of those news that marks a before and after, that rumble beyond the world of wrestling.
However, it must be clear, here what was relevant were the accusations and that is where the focus should lie. The fact of abandoning his great loot reflects that the investigation hit him a lot. It should not be taken lightly, because even looking at his history of bookeos, decisions and staging, the doubt bug is evident. Should not come back.
Theory’s failed trade for the United States Championship
The title says it all, one of the biggest nonsense of the year and the direction of Triple H (even counting his decisions in NXT). If you wanted to take another approach to Theory, look for other formulas, but don’t leave the briefcase in the hole. Indefensible decision.
That being said, I may have an unpopular opinion here, but the selfie jester Theory I found him much more attractive than this serious Theory with a stubble and a jacket.. It seems to me the same generic heel profile of the last few years in the company. The other version of him really was insufferable and that made him something different.
Thus we close the annual review, now it is time to:
It was at SummerSlam where Triple H’s adventure began in charge of the creative direction of the main roster, therefore, it does not seem very fair to draw great conclusions about his work when time is short. 2023 will be a good and necessary exercise.
In any case, there are still aspects that should be mentioned. One of them is the work with the midcard titles, especially with the CI. With Roman not defending the titles on the weeklies, Gunther has taken over at SD and in a big way. Recovering one of the most fundamental championships in the history of wrestling was a primary task. and Triple H did it.
As for the USA, it is also having an interesting role, although that title had already come like that since Vince. Following that same logic of Roman, in RAW we see the same thing with the leash.
However, it will be imperative for Triple H to regain the World Championship title defenses on weeklies, especially on RAW. A three-hour show can’t stand being without a world title. it feels emptylike something was missing.
On gravel, we find the “effect over effectiveness“, the bookear for the gallery and for the surprise factor. Much of the programming has consisted of bringing back those fired by Vince McMahon. Beyond specific names, the number of returns is excessive when you get the feeling that they did without a powerful plan behind. What has Johnny Gargano done? What is Karrion Kross offering? Patience is a virtue, but it can always end.
It would also add the division in female couples, although that is already an endemic evil of the company and where Triple H has only branched out. A while ago they were nothing more than ornamental titles with the excuse to put together tag randoms because yes. In other words, Raquel is with Aliyah first and then with Shotzi because, why not. I am also going to give him a vote in favor with Damage Ctrl, which although its bookeo has been a bit irregular, they have had a constant presence on television and PPV, demonstrating that there was indeed an established plan.
To finish, I also highlight that Triple H has tried to give more relevance to the action in the ring without the need to introduce forced stories or create rivalries with the aroma of a false epic as he did several times in NXT. So in SD you can have Gunther vs. Rey Mysterio one week and Gunther vs. Ricochet the other. Both with the title at stake, with a simplicity in the approach. That position that every combat must have a story behind it is a fallacy and more when you have several hours on television.
I remember on RAW a Ziggler vs. Bálor taken absolutely out of nowhere that turned out to be very entertaining. Well, give me more of that, of that formula that Khan also applies several times and works well for him. As much as the focus of your product is entertainment, ultimately what we want to see is wrestling. Good on giving a talent like Chad Gable more action, now make him win. Give me more of Mustafa Ali, of Santos Escobar, of Shayna Baszler. And not in fancy stories, we just want them fighting. That concept has managed to establish it, but it is still missing.
Especially, because there is something that it will be difficult for HHH to avoid and It is the already established structure of WWE. That status quo that you can’t break no matter how hard you try. And that is already being seen in decisions like Charlotte’s. There will be no greater margin to be a breaker and the fans must begin to accept it.
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The good, bad and ugly of WWE in 2022