10 reasons why 2022 was the wildest year in wrestling

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As we close the book on 2022, fans, critics, and observers alike have broadly concluded that last year was one of, if not the – the wildest years in wrestling history, and that includes living through the Monday Night Wars.

Timing will help provide additional perspective, but ask yourself: How many times this year has something happened and you said to yourself, “Well, that was the craziest thing that happened all year”? It was a recurring theme on an almost monthly basis in a bizarre game of “Can you top this?” that no one could imagine.

Simply put, it’s no exaggeration to call 2022 the wildest year in wrestling history. Time could easily confirm that, and as you work your way up this list, you can feel the madness building up.

Even when it seemed like we reached this seismic crescendo in midsummer, 2022 wasn’t quite done with its madness, providing a few more jolts along the way. We have seen wrestlers suspended and released, others welcomed with open arms, and others who took their ball and went home. We saw industry giants toppled, icons returned to the ring, and the line between work and shoot became even more blurred.

You’d be forgiven if some of these incidents slipped your mind, or if you thought they happened 2 or 3 years ago, because that’s how you’ve felt this year. There are form over 10 wildly crazy stories, so let’s dig into some of the elements that just flew under the radar.

Let’s do it…

This is our catchall for the wild and wacky stories that didn’t make the cut. In a more “normal” year, these items could have easily dominated a top 10 list. Instead, they are relegated to the list of those who were also executed.

rebirth ring of honor – Tony Khan on the defunct promotion and brought it back to life on AEW television, defending the Ring of Honor titles on its programming and holding various ROH-specific PPVs. Having two wrestling promotions simultaneously under one banner was an odd situation, but it looks like the two brands will finally part ways for a bit in 2023.

Nash Carter Hitler photo – Just days after a months-long angle culminated in MSK regaining the NXT Tag Team Championship, Nash Carter’s ex-wife Kimber Lee accused him of assaulting her and posted a photo of Carter with a Hitler-style mustache doing a Nazi salute. Nash was released and MSK was stripped of the label titles. Wes Lee rebounded to win the North American Championship before the end of the year.

Big E breaks his neck – Former WWE World Champion Big E broke his neck just weeks before WrestleMania 38 on an errant suplex from Ridge Holland in one of the most gruesome wrestling injuries of the year. It is unclear if or when E will be able to fight again.

The return of Bray Wyatt – Almost immediately after its 2021 release, fans clamored for Bray Wyatt’s return to wrestling, with rumors dominating social media and wrestling news sites for the better part of a year. That ended in October when Wyatt returned to WWE at Extreme Rules.

Logan Paul joins WWE – Celebrity wrestlers at WrestleMania is not a new concept, but social media influencer Logan Paul made waves this summer when he announced that he had signed a contract with WWE, which will keep him performing with the company more frequently and will be a presence more regular. He repaid them with two very well-received matches at SummerSlam and Crown Jewel against Miz and Roman Reigns, respectively.

Jeff Hardy DUI – Jeff Hardy’s substance abuse issues continued into 2022. Hardy left WWE at the end of 2021, appeared on AEW in March, and was on the shelf in June when he was again arrested for DUI.

Mustafa Ali calls for his release – Wrestlers wanting to be terminated is nothing new, but Mustafa Ali publicly requested his release from WWE via Twitter, which was denied, was unique. Ali spent three months lobbiing hard to get him fired, only to return and spend the last few months getting sporadic TV time as a go-between for the stars.

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