Top Five Wrestling Turkeys of 2022

Brian Damage

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers! For everybody else, Happy Thursday! As is the tradition here on the blog, we have our Top Five Wrestling Turkeys for the year. Basically, the very worst in pro wrestling this past year. What bombed, flopped or simply stunk in professional wrestling?

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Silent Fanbase

A very important part of attending or viewing a pro wrestling event is the fans interaction and participation on the shows. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when everything was shut down and wrestling shows were recorded in empty arenas, we learned first hand how vital fan participation is to events. As the entire world started to get back to normal operations, Japan seems to be one of the last nations to follow the lead of others.

According to the New York Times, the Japanese government only allowed fans back to arenas with the agreement that fans are not allowed to use their voices during shows. This of course goes for all sporting events in Japan, but for this piece it is focused on wrestling. Fans are only allowed to clap or stomp their feet to make noise out of fear that cheering may actually spread the virus further in Japan. That rule, has certainly hurt pro wrestling in that country, as the lack of fan involvement doesn’t help to accentuate great wrestling matches. Some New Japan wrestlers like ‘The Switchblade’ Jay White and Will Ospreay have vocalized their frustrations with the lack of noise from fans. In my opinion, New Japan has suffered somewhat because of that lack of extra layer to wrestling.

The NWA and Nick Aldis Fallout

‘The National Treasure’ Nick Aldis and NWA owner Billy Corgan have had a very publicized falling out with one another. Their philosophical and creative differences led Aldis to go o social media to tell fans that he was leaving the NWA once his contract expires in January of 2023. That in turn, led Corgan to suspend Nick Aldis from all remaining shows in 2022. When Billy Corgan purchased the rights to the NWA in 2017, Nick Aldis was his franchise player. He was the NWA worlds heavyweight champion and was the face of Corgan’s promotion.

Since then, the two men have bickered publicly and called each other names like “spoiled” and an “embarrassment.” While Nick Aldis may not be the superstar he was in the NWA anywhere else…he was the superstar Corgan needed to launch his vision of the NWA. People change and creative visions change, but the situation is very unfortunate to all involved…including fans and followers of the NWA brand.

Ric Flair’s Last Match

At 73 years old, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair made the announcement that he was putting on one last match of his illustrious career. Many fans and critics thought it was a suicide mission for Flair at his age to do such a thing. Especially considering he was at death’s door not too long ago. The Last Match turned out to be a tag team match between Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett versus Flair and his son in law Andrade.

The match was pretty much a train wreck when Flair was involved and looked awful despite a packed, sold out audience at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Several of Flair’s friends were in attendance including Mick Foley and the Undertaker. Not so much to see a five star classic, but to make sure Flair legitimately survived. Ric Flair did indeed survive the mess, but now has talked about doing it all over again in another last match.

AEW Backstage Chaos

When CM Punk made his triumphant return to pro wrestling in 2021, he did it in AEW. It looked as if some momentum was shifting to AEW’s side against WWE as they had someone with true recognizable star power that transcended pro wrestling. A year later, and things appeared off in the company. There were reports and rumors that certain wrestlers and Punk did not get along and then those rumors became truths as CM Punk was involved in a backstage altercation with Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. It led other wrestlers to come forward and talk about their disdain for Punk and going to AEW owner Tony Khan requesting they fire the Second City Saint

Despite all the controversy and chaos involving Cm Punk, he was not alone in all the turmoil. There were skirmishes involving Eddie Kingston, Sammy Guevara, Britt Baker, Thunder Rosa, Tay Conti and Andrade just to name a few. AEW had become a three ring circus with the inmates running the asylum. Tony Khan seemed oblivious to all of it. Wrestling fans were tuning into AEW Dynamite and Rampage just to see who was legitimately fighting who.

The Vince McMahon Non Disclosure Agreements Scandal

For a long time, WWE fans…including myself have called for the resignation and/or retirement of Vince McMahon. In recent years, McMahon seemed to become extremely complacent with WWE’s creative process. Everything was about the financial bottom line for him and making money hand over fist. In that time, McMahon started and stopped storylines mid way, tinkered with proven wrestlers characters and fired several longtime, loyal employees all in the name of “budget cuts.”

When the Wall Street Journal broke the story of Vince paying women for their silence after sexual relations in the form of non disclosure agreements…it was both surprising and well…not so surprising. What it did do was leave a black eye on the company and forced McMahon to “retire” from running WWE as the CEO. The silver lining to this was it allowed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon take over and change the perception of how to view the company. It is still too early to tell how that will end up, but for now a welcomed change.

13 thoughts on “Top Five Wrestling Turkeys of 2022

  1. I think the biggest turkey this year is NWA. Having an immobile fat fuck in Tyrus as your world champion holding that historical Ten Pounds of Gold is an embarrassment. This is pretty much taking a shit on an entire championship’s legacy. This is like having the Majarajah-bum being the WWE champion and he didn’t draw a fucking rupee.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Let’s not forget that Tyrus also has a track record of sexually harassing Fox News coworkers, but still works there, because… well… it’s Fox News… Just a terrible decision all around- looks dumpy, wrestles dumpy, doesn’t respect women… at least Jinder Mahal is scandal-free and looks like a champion. I have no idea why they thought putting the belt on a washed-up Brodus Clay would get them POSITIVE attention… despite the old phrase, there IS such a thing as bad publicity.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I think both of you are using your dislike of conservatives/ your liberalism to bash Fox News and Tyrus. Fox has fired many employees far more valuable than Tyrus over the years including the highest ratings cable host on TV in Bill O’reilly. Tyrus isn’t that important to them so it seems there wasn’t enough proof to fire him.

        That said, I agree he’s a poor Champion as a wrestler in 2022 but let’s face it, it’s a very minor league organization at this point.

        And Happy Thanksgiving!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I think Sasha Banks and Naomi’s walkout deserves to be on the list. A lot has happened in the women’s division this year and they’ve missed pretty much all of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The weeks to come will show what kind of a boss Tony Khan really is. We’ll see if the people who supported Punk (like FTR and Hobbs) will be pushed or buried.
    By the way, where’s Colt Cabana? Could it be that it was just a one-off to piss off Punk? Nah, no way Tony Khan could be that petty. He has to give Cabana that well-deserved push now, put him in a prominent position on TV, extend his contract, right? Right???

    I’m also curious how they will handle MJF’s shout out to Jim Cornette at the last scrum.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 100% Agreed with all of the choices here. I’m still perplexed by the whole entire Aldis/Corrigan fallout thing, but it is what it is. I’m wondering though, not only just where he goes from here since he’s wanting to be a free agent ( Guess he’ll tour the indies since as far as we know the WWE don’t have a huge interest him at the moment. Maybe a stop in NJPW/NJPW Strong or go back home to Impact?) but if he’s even still relevant as a sought after commodity after spending or wasting so much time (depending on how you feel about his NWA run) in the NWA when he could’ve been in places like ROH, back in Impact or AEW.

    Either way, I truly wish him nothing but the best going forward.

    The whole AEW thing is hard to watch unfold in real time considering I’m a huge & very loyal AEW fan. Despite remaining a huge CM Punk as well, I truly feel he was in the wrong by choosing the wrong time & very public place to air dirty laundry that was best saved to be discussed & hashed out in private between all the involved parties & Khan instead of where it was. Because of that, things escalated to the scale they did, thus leaving us where we are now, with Punk’s return to wrestling run seemingly prematurely ending (at least in AEW). I sincerely wish as both a respected veteran & older adult in the situation, chosen a better, more mature way of conflict resolution. This of course has & will for some time to come, divide the AEW fanbase by the day.
    As I’ve said, the whole thing, with all these beefs getting so physically out of hand (while being absolutely NOTHING new as pertains to the wrestling business) while both intriguing & entertaining, do nothing but make Khan & the entire company look bad in the process. Khan’s DEFINITELY going to have to have as many roster meetings as it takes to get everyone on the same page & treat everyone fairly, regardless of their position on the card going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Going to try pick 5 sure is a tough topic this month tho…

    5 – Closure of NXT UK to form NXT Europe in 2023 – I know it was a financial decision and NXT UK had a great run but I feel it never got its due exposure or good setting. Why it never stayed at Ballroom in Blackpool I’ve no idea but the BT sports arena studio was too low key and it deserved the prestige and historic setting of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom.
    4 – Sasha/Naomi doing the walkout during the biggest woman’s push in WWE, their personal reasons of lack of story/push is odd considering they could go to both main brands but wwe DO need to get more women tag-teams on the roster.
    3 – Riddle being all fanboy to Orton – even if it is a legit friendship their storyline was too fanboy to the point it got cringe.
    2 – The Reigns ‘legacy’ title reign push – With the history behind how hard & long Vince tried all ways to push Reigns it was no surprise it would take Heyman to pull it off and intelligently base it around the family legacy as much as the clever use of Reign’s opener – ‘Acknowledge me’ – something Vince tried to get done for way too long!
    1 – The overkill of Gable’s ‘shush’ – if you remember the movie California Man then you know what I’m saying when I automatically think of Pauly Shore (Stoney).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ric Flair is just beyond sad at this point, Nick Aldis was great. A worker, a talker, a scientific wrestler/rulebreaker, who took it seriously and came across like a real old school, NWA kingpin. Now we have Brodus Clay. as for WWE, hey, at least Vince finally retired. But what a cesspool that place is.

    Like

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