With it being 2023, wrestling followers are already buzzing concerning the new yr. Whether or not or not it’s New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 17, AEW Dynamite’s new period, or WWE getting into Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season, there’s a lot for followers to be excited for.
Trying again on the final yr, WWE delivered top-of-the-line years in current reminiscence, largely as a consequence of a change in management midway by means of 2022. Whereas some names similar to Bianca Belair, Seth Rollins, and Sami Zayn supplied standout performances, there have been a lot of WWE Superstars who underwhelmed or flat-out disillusioned in 2022.
10/10 Tommaso Ciampa
A wierd case on the primary roster in 2022, Ciampa would arrive on Uncooked after shedding the NXT Championship to Bron Breakker at first of the yr. From there, he would ultimately type a partnership with The Miz, as the 2 would grow to be heel associates on Monday nights. It was a wierd pairing, nevertheless it at the least gave Ciampa one thing to do.
Nonetheless, longtime NXT followers would hope for one thing extra important for the person, particularly underneath Triple H although it could by no means come. Ciampa would proceed to be caught within the midcard all yr till he would go down with an damage, undergoing surgery on his hip in late October. Upon his eventual return in 2023, followers ought to hope Ciampa sees a inventory improve underneath Triple H’s watchful eye.
9/10 Raquel Rodriguez
Whereas she could also be a polarizing determine to some, Raquel Rodriguez is a former dominant champion in NXT, reigning on the prime of the division for a while. Being known as up in 2022, she could be remodeled from her heel persona right into a babyface that would not cease smiling.
The yr as a complete was weird for Rodriguez, who would discover herself thrown right into a random staff with Aliyah. Extra shockingly, the duo would defeat Harm CTRL to grow to be WWE Girls’s Tag Crew Champions in a really baffling artistic transfer from Triple H, earlier than shedding them every week later. Raquel has failed to perform a lot on the primary roster and seems like only a physique on the roster reasonably than the promising star she was in NXT.
8/10 Karrion Kross
Returning to the corporate following SummerSlam, considered one of Triple H’s favorites from NXT, Karrion Kross, would get one other shot at success on the primary roster. Regardless of it being a greater run than his first, Karrion Kross has nonetheless failed to interrupt out as the primary occasion star that Triple H appears to suppose he must be.
Initially returning and taking goal at Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, Kross would wind up slowly falling down the cardboard, as following the conclusion of his feud with McIntyre, Karrion Kross and Scarlett would begin a program with Madcap Moss and Emma, firmly establishing him as a midcard act reasonably than a main-event expertise. Whereas it’s extra becoming of his expertise to be within the midcard scene, Kross additionally simply has not impressed in his matches since returning, with there being loads of extra gifted wrestlers round him.
7/10 Hit Row
Undeniably the worst signing that Triple H has made since taking energy in WWE, Hit Row returned to SmackDown to lower than stellar fanfare, with B-Fab, Ashante, and Prime Dolla getting a second probability inside the firm. The obvious challenge across the group could be the dearth of a real celebrity to guide them, as Swerve Strickland would reportedly be asked to ask for his release from AEW, although he would refuse.
With out Swerve, the group has felt so lackluster, with the three of them being completely inexperienced and being thrown into the deep finish. It’s laborious to see them discovering any success inside WWE this time round.
6/10 AJ Kinds
A fan-favorite who has seemingly accomplished all of it in WWE, AJ Kinds is within the twilight of his wrestling profession, with him brazenly stating as a lot in recent times. Whereas followers shouldn’t anticipate to have Kinds working full-time for for much longer, followers did at the least anticipate extra from him in 2022. Regardless of being one of many largest names within the firm, final yr wouldn’t be an exceptional one for AJ Kinds.
Missing compelling storylines, AJ would fail to do all that a lot throughout 2022, except for reuniting with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, one thing that has been polarizing for a lot of followers. On the very finish of the yr, Kinds would break his ankle, ending a underwhelming yr on a bitter be aware as he now probably misses the Royal Rumble.
5/10 Liv Morgan
Profitable Cash within the Financial institution in 2022, Liv Morgan would find some of her best success within the first half of the yr, cashing in on Ronda Rousey to grow to be SmackDown Girls’s Champion.
Regardless of 2022 being the yr when Liv Morgan would lastly win singles gold in WWE, the yr would wind up being a unfavourable one for the younger star. Dropping her championship at Excessive Guidelines after a horrible feud with Ronda Rousey, Liv has did not get better, falling down the cardboard and feeling like a shell of the champion she as soon as was, with little motive to anticipate her returning to the highest of the cardboard.
4/10 Mustafa Ali
After publically requesting his launch from the corporate, with studies that WWE had crossed the line in terms of a creative pitch for him, Mustafa Ali would fail to ever get out of his contract. Followers would get #FreeAli trending on Twitter, however the day would by no means come. Ultimately, Ali would return to TV after a hiatus, with many followers speculating that issues had modified and he could be used correctly.
They’d be incorrect. Since his return to TV, Mustafa Ali has once again been thrown into the midcard, often being booked to lose to the celebrities that the corporate sees as greater offers. As a substitute of getting one thing to sink his tooth into, Ali simply tends to point out up, present promise, and get booked to lose these days.
Making her grand return to motion after a yr out from damage, Bayley would feature in a truly great segment at SummerSlam, that noticed her, Dakota Kai, and IYO SKY type a brand new faction collectively. From there, it was all downhill for Bayley, as she could be positioned as Bianca Belair’s prime rival, one thing that ought to have been optimistic.
As a substitute, Bayley would lose all of her huge matches, falling to Belair on PPV twice, whereas failing to be a compelling villain on TV. It definitely has not helped that Triple H’s reserving of Harm CTRL has left rather a lot to be desired, with the entire faction seemingly shedding inventory frequently. In 2023, Bayley wants one other overhaul and extra constant reserving with a view to keep a prime star.
2/10 Johnny Gargano
Returning to WWE as one more considered one of Triple H’s huge free agent signings, Johnny Gargano would appear to be selected as a major star when he debuted on Raw during the summer of 2022. Reducing a terrific promo about betting on himself and returning to WWE after turning into a father, Gargano’s run since has been one of many worst of the yr.
Being slotted into an prolonged feud with Dexter Lumis and The Miz, Johnny Gargano, the previous face of NXT and a person that many followers noticed because the second coming of Daniel Bryan in WWE, would characteristic in a feud lasting over 4 months that has solely gotten worse because it has progressed. Gargano’s reserving has harm his inventory within the firm enormously, and at this charge, it’s laborious to see how he recovers or strikes up the cardboard within the coming months.
1/10 Ronda Rousey
Returning as a shock entrant within the 2022 ladies’s Royal Rumble match, Ronda Rousey would leave fans scratching their heads, as she would win the match, solely to fail in her championship battle towards Charlotte Aptitude at WrestleMania 38. She would seize the belt a month later, solely to later be cashed in on by Liv Morgan. Throughout this era, Rousey was making an attempt to painting a babyface character, although her efficiency lacked and followers didn’t take nicely to it.
Her summer season feud with Liv Morgan would do various harm to Liv, who had grow to be one of many prime ladies within the firm, solely to slide down the roster following her lack of the WWE SmackDown Girls’s Championship to Rousey, along with her failing to get better. Rousey’s 2022 would finish virtually comically, as Charlotte Flair would return and defeat Rousey in a matter of seconds.