I love this time of year – a sentiment i have shared in the past. The end of year lists that surface from every avenue, whether it be music, movies, matches, feuds etc. keep me entertained for hours. I also enjoy compiling such lists and looking back at the year that was and this year is no exception.
This time last year, I released a series of lists which i called the Stockwell Section Top Ten Series. It featured a number of lists, including what I thought was the best music in WWE, the hottest woman poll and stars that I thought were going to be the ones to watch in 2011.
This year, I’ve decided to do it again, so welcome to the second annual Stockwell Section Top Ten Series. This time however, I’ve decided to refine the concept.
Over the three instalments, I’ll share my thoughts on who I thought were the stars of 2011 and then which up and comers I predict will be the ones worth watch in 2012.
To kick off proceedings however, I’m going to look at the 10 stars I predicted would be the ones to watch in 2011 and see how I faired.
Honourable Mention – Awesome Kong / Kharma
At the start of the year, we all knew Kong signed with WWE and most of us couldn’t wait for the lady to make her impact in a WWE ring. Eventually, she did and what an impact she made. For a few brief weeks, I thought the WWE had found the right woman to reinvigorate the diva division but then came the news that the star had fallen pregnant and then she left for said reason. In those few short weeks however, she did enough to give us hope that when she does return, we can expect great things.
Number 10 – Skip Sheffield
WWE seemed particularly high on Skip during his tenure with Nexus and even though he spent a few months on the sidelines, they still rated him as a star to watch in 2011. But he didn’t return. He has surfaced sporadically at the end of this year in house shows and dark matches but has still yet to make his televised reappearance. Supposedly, WWE are going to bring the man back in his Ryback gimmick and if that is indeed the case, I don’t expect him to last long. Having a gimmick is fine if said gimmick is subtle but overly cheesy generally doesn’t cut it, just ask Paul the Pirate. Come on, man from the future sent back in time to destroy you – I’m sure that’d go down well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this star future endeavoured within the year.
Number 9 – Ted DiBiase
I did predict that Ted would move to Smackdown and I was right. I thought he may have enough talent to thrive on the blue brand, but sadly, that hasn’t been the case. This guy seems to possess all the tools but he still has yet to display them, and quite frankly, I’ve tired myself hoping for that day to come.
Number 8 – David Otunga
David has many qualities that understandably make him a desirable asset: the outside ties, the intellect, the look, the build. But he just doesn’t have ‘it’. I thought an extra year would help develop Otunga in terms of in ring skills and personality but in hindsight, the extra year has just reinforce the fact that he well and truly, a dud.
Number 7 – Ezekiel Jackson
WWE tried and tested Jackson this year and he (like Otunga) proved to be nothing more then a dud. His face turn was horrid, his work as a heel wasn’t that much better, he had terrible matches and his personality was basically non-existent. If I did a list of who I thought were the worst talent of 2011, Jackson would top it, placing significantly higher then Michael Cole.
Number 6 – Cody Rhodes
What a year for young Cody. He has been one of the most refreshing characters on screen, he has topped it off with some great matches and showed that he can cut a good promo. Quite frankly, he has proven that he is capable of being in the main event. Cody was a highlight of 2011 and I expect him to continue the trend in 2012.
Number 5 – Daniel Bryan
We know Daniel Bryan is capable, his ring work is a testament to this. But on the whole, it’s been a quiet and somewhat bad year for him. Aside from his Money in The Bank and World Title wins, Bryan hasn’t really done anything noteworthy in 2011 except lose a lot, which is a shame considering his talent. One can only hope that 2012 fair better.
Number 4 – John Morrison
Morrison started this year with a bang. He had a great match with Miz to start the year off, had a great rumble, competed in the Chamber match, was featured prominently at Mania and then put on a great showing at Extreme Rules. Then, it all crumbled away. This time last year, I didn’t expect John to win a title in 2011, but I did think he would rise up and become champion in 2012. I guess it won’t happen now. I hope Morrison returns sometime in the future because I do believe he is a great talent. Hopefully WWE doesn’t let this man slip through their fingers because he is one of those performers that’d I’d be sad not to see go somewhere. To this day, I still feel robbed of the great Muhammad Hussain and I really don’t want that same feeling in the future when I think of Johnny.
Number 3 – Wade Barrett
My fellow Englishman finished 2010 strong and I expected him to continue growing throughout 2011. However, Wade has had a pretty bad year. His Nexus days were past, The Corre didn’t fair overly well and then he seemed stuck in a rut with Big Zeke. In recent months however, things seemed to have turned around and Wade has started to show us once again that he has the goods to succeed. I think Barrett would benefit from a trade to Raw. I just feel he’d be a good fit to feud with Punk and possibly Cena once again, and with their history, it would be easy to kick into gear. I imagine that Barrett will feud with Bryan over the title sooner rather then later and I think the only logical step up from there is a move to Raw. I hope 2012 proves better for the Englishman and if the Barrett Barrage continues, I expect it will be.
Number 2 – Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio has had an odd year to say the least – he had a great start on Smackdown but after his trade to Raw, fell somewhat into obscurity. The Money in The Bank win was a highlight for The Mexican star but after he cashed in, his destiny was shattered. He was made to look weak against Cena and even worse against Punk, racking up two title losses in a few short months. Del Rio started 2011 strong, but his starting 2012 weak. I expect he has quite a ladder to climb before reaching the top again – maybe the injury will be beneficial in this case.
Number 1 – Dolph Ziggler
Dolph has been a shear pleasure to watch this year and he looks set to continue rising in 2012 with a title win surely in the cards. Dolph topped my list last year but he still has so much more to achieve in the coming year, so here’s a spoiler – don’t be surprised if Dolph tops my list of the stars I think will shine in 2012 too.
Until Nxt Time…..