2012 was a year of love as the personal relationships of four wrestling personalities made mainstream media news. Inside of the ring, one man dominated the title scene while two former WWE Champions made their returns to singles competition. There were so many things going on in 2012 that Linda McMahon's loss in her bid to become Senator, which was the number one story in 2010, did not even make the top 10 list this year.
10. Ring of Honor Technological Difficulties
Ring of Honor had a bad year when it came their iPPV events. The problems began with their Showdown in the Sun events when night one feaure a problem with the audio and video synching together properly and then the stream went down on night two. After that debacle, they stopped showing their events on GoFightLive.tv and took to showing the events on their own website. Things went from bad to worse as fans could not log into their accounts to watch their first event, Border Wars. After getting it right for their next show, things took a bad turn again as many paying fans missed portions of Death Before Dishonor. Thankfully, things have gotten better and their last two iPPV events have gone off without a problem.
9. Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson's Relationships
Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson both began their wrestling careers in WCW and both joined WWE after that company went out of business. In 2012, both of them were involved in very high profile relationships that were on both the front and back pages of newspapers throughout the country. Torrie Wilson is dating New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez while Stacy is dating George Clooney. It seems that every time Stacy and George go to an event without one another, the gossip sites write about how they have broken up. The sports pages were filled with stories about Alex and Torrie after A-Rod allegedly got some phone numbers from some female fans in the stadium during a horrific playoff slump. One thing I'm certain of is that we will hear more about both of these relationships in 2013.
7. Wrestling Goes Crazy Over Social Media
It seems as though you can't watch wrestling anymore without being bombarded with news about Twitter, Touts, and other social media nonsense. What began as a minor irritant went totally crazy when WWE bought a stake in Tout and started using the technology in storylines. TNA's attempt to go social media crazy was met with laughable results as the wrestlers spent an entire pay-per-view event avoiding answering any questions the fans asked them on Twitter. I really hope this social media craze meets the same fate as WWE Universe.com.
6. More Hours of WWE Programming
In July, RAW turned 1,000 episodes old. In honor of that landmark, the show has been expanded to three hours long. The company also added a new program to their weekly schedule as WWE Main Event made its debut on ION Television this past October. Not only did the company add two more hours of programming to their primetime lineup, they also debuted a Saturday morning show geared towards children called Saturday Morning Slam. As if that wasn't enough new programming, the company started eight new weekly web series on Youtube.com.
5. The Return of Brock Lesar
Brock Lesnar shocked the wrestling world in 2004 when he abruptly left the sport to try and start a football career. While he failed in that endeavor, Brock went to the UFC where he quickly became the Heavyweight Champion. His career in that sport was derailed due to two bouts of diverticulitis. After retiring from that sport in 2011, Brock returned to WWE and wrestled twice for the company. He lost to John Cena in an Extreme Rules Match and then beat Triple H at SummerSlam a few months later.
3. Once in a Lifetime
The night after WrestleMania XXVII took place, it was announced that the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII would be John Cena vs. The Rock. After a over a year of trading insults with one another, this "once in a lifetime" match between the biggest stars of two different eras resulted in the most successful WrestleMania ever. WrestleMania XXVIII set new company records for pay-per-view buys and gross sales. According to a press release by the company, the event garnered 1.3 million pay-per-view buys with global gross sales in excess of $67 million including the live event. As far as the match itself went, The Rock won this dream match that actually lived up to the hype. The match was later broadcast on NBC and a DVD about the feud was produced.
The Hulkster was literally caught with his pants down when he was filmed having sex with Heather Clem, who at the time was married to his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge. After footage from the tape went public, Hulk went into lawsuit mode. He filed lawsuits against Bubba, Heather, and Gawker.com.
1. CM Punk's Title Reign
For the first time since 1987, the WWE Championship did not change hands. In 2012, CM Punk became only the fifth man in WWE history to hold the title for an entire calendar year. In doing so, he has joined Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan in this very exclusive club.