Top Five Gifts Wrestling Gave Us in 2022

Brian Damage

With Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be as good a time as ever to look back on this year and reflect on some of the good things to come out of pro wrestling in 2022. Things that were certainly gifts to wrestling fans all around the world. Here are my top five gifts wrestling gave us in 2022.

The Push of Claudio Castagnoli

As a huge fan of his talent, Claudio Castagnoli was stagnant in WWE as Cesaro. Leaving the company and signing with AEW was exactly what he needed. He has since received a strong singles push by becoming a two time Ring of Honor heavyweight champion. While this version of ROH isn’t as meaningful as the original, it is still great to see Castagnoli be pushed properly.

The First Ever IWGP Women’s Champion is Crowned

After 50 years in business, New Japan Pro Wrestling finally has given a spotlight to Joshi wrestling. Some of the most talented female wrestlers have competed in Japan for years with names like Bull Nakano, Lioness Asuka, Dump Matsumoto, Manami Toyota and Jaguar Yokota. Japanese women’s wrestling was extremely popular, but never really had the brightest of spotlights to show off their skills. Now, with the creation of the IWGP women’s title and former WWE star Kairi as the inaugural champion, these women finally have a large stage to be showcased on.

The Return of Saraya

After several years of being sidelined with a serious neck injury, it was nice to see Saraya formerly known as Paige in WWE return to becoming an active wrestler again. This time, however, it is for All Elite Wrestling…but never the less…a huge comeback for her as pro wrestling is in her DNA since birth. When healthy, she is one of the top talents in all of wrestling. Whatever happens from here, remains to be seen, but definitely a highlight for her and her fans in 2022.

The “Retirement” of Vince McMahon

While the reasoning for Vince McMahon stepping down from his executive duties were certainly questionable, it was very much needed. For the last few years, McMahon seemed more interested in other projects (Like the rebirth of the XFL) and making money at the sacrifice of talent and loyal employees. Creatively, WWE was in a serious rut with several bad ideas passed off as “sports entertainment.” McMahon seemed to forget that it was pro wrestling that made him into the billionaire he became. His retirement was very much needed and welcomed.

The Emergence of Triple H

Whether a WWE fan or not, Triple H moving up to head booker or whatever the corporate title is for creative, was a true blessing. As a former wrestler himself, Triple H gets what it takes to make the locker room happy. For way too long, the environment in WWE was extremely toxic and had low morale. Triple H seemingly rejuvenated his talent and it shows on television each week. The jury is still out if Triple H’s vision of WWE will work or not, but so far, so good.

12 thoughts on “Top Five Gifts Wrestling Gave Us in 2022

    • That one really IS a hell of a head-scratcher isn’t it? Makes me seriously question the mental sanity of those few that do defend this move, like say a Rene Dupree. I know Corrigan doesn’t have a lot of options for big name talent who’re still loyal to the company to put the belt on, but Tyrus? Thom Latimer, Homicide, Harry Smith, or even Bully Ray would’ve been better choices.


      • It should’ve gone to Matt Cardona who had been really hot for nearly 2 years as he is someone that is a draw and can put asses in the seat. Instead, they went with some immobile, fat, dull-as-fuck, repulsive piece of shit who is so bad. He makes Ariane Andrews aka Cameron look like Curt Henning (no offense to the late Mr. Henning). I wouldn’t have Bully Ray anywhere near that since he’s too toxic to deal with and his opinions on today’s wrestling is shit as I hated what he said about Jon Moxley. Fuck that fat fuck for almost killing Ring of Honor back in 2019.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It really should’ve. I’m not sure why he lost the NWA so soon after winning it other than maybe he didn’t want to be exclusive to Corrigan or something. Even then, if he really wanted to bring back the spirit of the NWA, he’d have allowed Cardona to work other promotions, defending the belt there as well. Who knows.

        Pretty sure (and thankfully so) thanks to Bully’s comments about MOX I won’t EVER have to worry about him showing up on AEW tv ever.


      • He got injured and was forced to vacate the title. Cardona had the makings of what a champion should be as his appearances in other promotions not only would’ve helped the NWA but it would’ve added more to Cardona’s reputation as a major player.

        I never want to see Bully Ray in anything other than getting his ass kicked in the worst way. Especially in what he did to that one fan some years ago at a ROH show all because the fan got spat on by one of Bully’s former girlfriends and got pissed off. Bully then took the guy in the back and threatened him.

        I know what the ladies were doing was kayfabe but spit is spit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • All the more reason to put the belt back on Cardona once he was healed up. As it is it looks like he may be on his way back to Vinceland along with his wife.

        Yeah that was pretty fucked of him. I imagine he only reacted that way because it involved his then girlfriend.


    • While I agree there are much better choices than Tyrus, and your Cardona suggestion is great, I still believe your “hatred” of him is political based. Otherwise why such vitriol for a guy in a minor promotion that no one really cares about? Am I correct?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you seen Tyrus wrestle? Honestly, if you were a promoter, would you want someone like that as your top guy? Even with all of the baggage over the way he treats women and all of the nasty shit he says. Fuck that!


  1. I know another big gift for the WWE this year was Cody Rhodes, as well as a soon to be returning William Regal. 2023 has the potential to be huge for those two there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quality choices especially Claudio Castagnoli & return of Saraya to wrestling as well as Kairi getting the inaugural IWGP women’s title!
    Here’s a few I have enjoyed in 2022:-

    5 – Going past 6 months since MLW introduced the Featherweight women’s title & Taya is still helping push the women’s division in MLW with quality Luchadora talent getting title contender matches.
    4 – MJF getting to win the AEW heavyweight title – people compared MJF to the Miz but that’s only going off the promos, MJF has much more to offer.
    3 – William Regal returning to WWE, when Regal worked with HHH in NXT they both made it what it is today so the potential of that being carried over onto the Main Roster WWE is exciting for 2023!
    2 – Sami Zayn – Even before being linked with the Bloodline, Zayn was helping push the midcard talent while acting a great cowardly Heel role BUT since being linked with the Bloodline Sami Zayn really has helped stop the angle getting stale. His zany promos and his crowd connection is working to help keep the Bloodline being relevant.
    1 – NXT’s push of Bronn Breakker and his positive run with the NXT title since beating Ciampa in Jan 2022! A definite future WWE talent for many years to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would add the entertainment value Sami Zayn has provided us as well. While he has been around for years now, this was his best by far in his WWE run from the Jackass stuff to the Bloodline….entertainer of the year and a gift to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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