Just a few days ago, we reached the halfway point for 2012, so I thought this would be a good time to look back on what we’ve seen in 2012 so far. To do this, I decided to create a list of who I feel are the Top 25 Wrestling “MVP”‘s of the half-year. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best in-ring workers, but they had the biggest impact or were the most valuable to the industry as a whole over the last 6 months. This list includes personalities from WWE, TNA, ROH, and even a couple from the indy scene.
Of course, please take note this only one person’s opinion. Feel free to agree/disagree as you see fit.
25) Eddie Kingston - Brought credibility to CHIKARA as their first champion.
24) Michael Elgin - Had a star-making match with Davey Richards and is poised to be ROH’s next big thing by the end of the year
23) John Laurinaitis - Although the gimmick eventually got overdone, he played a fun heel GM, particularly in the build-up to WrestleMania.
22) Ryback - The fans are actually getting behind him. Still a question of where he goes from here, though.
21) AJ Styles - Even if the Dixie Carter angle is insane(ly awful), we’re talking about AJ Styles more than we have in years.
20) Archibald Peck/Mixed Martin Archie/RD Evans - Delivers consistantly reliable comedy matches, and seemingly can work with any gimmick
19) Cody Rhodes - As he continues to move up the card, he continues to show how great he can be. The feud with Big Show really hurt his momentum, but he seems to be back on the uptake.
18) Davey Richards - Still remains a reliable worker for ROH, and had some really great matches
17) Kane - His matches were Orton were surprisingly good, and he never felt as out of place as I expected during the CM Punk/Bryan angle.
16) Charlie Haas - Finally, ROH has a heel the audience will actually play along with and boo. He’s great at it.
15) Austin Aries - Although he’s always been a great in-ring worker, this year he finally got to show some personality, and it’s paid off.
14) TIE: Joseph Park/Abyss - This angle with Bully Ray is so silly on paper that it should not have worked, but it did, and Park is a big part of that.
13) Dolph Ziggler - The WWE’s workhorse. They rely on him more than they give him credit for.
12) TIE: Triple H/The Undertaker/Shawn Michaels - Even though it was only one match, the “End of an Era” Hell-in-a-Cell match was one for the ages.
11) Sheamus - Just misses the top 10 because he hasn’t yet done nearly enough to move to that top level. The quick title change at WrestleMania was memorable but did him no favors with the crowd. Still, he’s proven to be a reliable champion after some great matches in the last few months
10) AJ - The WWE audience truly cares about a diva for the first time since I can remember.
9) El Generico - The most reliable in-ring worker on the independent circuit.
8) Chris Jericho - His return, “trolling” the audience, was one of the most talked about moments of the year, and he continues to show just how good he is in the ring.
7) Bully Ray - One of the best heels in wrestling right now, and half of TNA’s most well-received angle in a long time along with Park.
6) John Cena - The matches with The Rock and Brock Lesnar had the big match feelings the WWE wanted. He would have ranked higher if not for the momentum-killing feuds with Kane & Laurinaitis
5) Daniel Bryan - Turning heel allowed Bryan to show how great he can be on the mic, and he was finally able to show just how great he can be in the ring with fantastic matches against Sheamus and CM Punk
4) Kevin Steen - No one person means more to a company right now than Kevin Steen does to Ring of Honor.
3) Bobby Roode - Made the TNA World Championship seem legitimate for the first time. His feud with Storm is one of the best feuds TNA has ever done.
2) Brock Lesnar - His return was easily the most talked about moment of the year, and even in his absense he remains one of the most talked about members of the roster.
1) CM Punk - Continues to live up to his “Best in the World” moniker. His two biggest feuds so far this year have been the great feuds with Jericho & Bryan. His ability to attract both casual fans and “smarks” put him over the edge.