Cenation leader had a solid yearHow was 2015 for WWE?Some wild adjectives would have flooded your mind by now. Moreover, if it were up to me, I would say, pretty average. The company slept their way through most of the year, resulting in some awful storytelling.While the storytelling part of wrestling failed to reach the standards, this did not stop the wrestlers from having their body on the line. After all, that is their job. However, not all the WWE superstars would have fond memories of 2015.Some enjoyed it, and some struggled. This list will focus on the former category: the superstars that impressed.
After a buffer title reign towards the end of 2015, mid card is the potential destination for Sheamus in 2016. This, however, does not take away the effort he produced.
The fruitful part of 2015 for Sheamus, without any doubt, is his title reign. His matches with Roman Reigns at Survivor Series and the Raw that followed were hard hitting and punishing. Apart from this phase, WWE treated him as a supporting character that got a random booking.
Despite all these, Sheamus played his part well and proved to be a catalyst to put over Reigns in front of the WWE Universe. In addition, if it is important, he won the Money in the Bank in 2015.
#9 Nikki Bella
The inclusion of Nikki Bella might spark controversy. Her work rate went sky high during this year and the matches she had were solid. Still, we see her as the diva that makes it big because of her boyfriend.
When it comes to the statistics, Nikki Bella broke the record of AJ Lee and became the longest reigning Divas Champion. The reign did have its flaws. However, holding the championship for such a long time is not a cakewalk, ask Seth Rollins if you have any doubts.
Nikki held together the divas division before the whole ‘Divas Revolution’ and she deserves credit for that, whether you like her or not.
#8 Dean Ambrose
Ambrose had immense potential when Shield broke up.
He had a lunatic purpose to go after Seth Rollins, a luxury that Roman Reigns did not have. Still, WWE thought that it was good to push Reigns to the top rather than pushing Ambrose.
The lunatic fringe wandered throughout the year without much storyline backup to the solid matches he worked in. Things did light up when he won the Intercontinental title, but we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
There is still unexplored potential in Ambrose, and he could break into the main event scene in 2016. We all want that Shield Triple Threat, right?
2015 came in two parts for Cesaro, the pre-Tyson Kidd injury period, and the post-Tyson Kidd injury period. The Swiss Superman enjoyed success in the Tag team division, before venturing into mid card.
As usual, the matches involving Cesaro were solid. The most memorable ones perhaps would be the bouts he had with John Cena. He had great outings with Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns as well.
The consistency was what drove Cesaro throughout the year even though the booking was against him. Injury slowed him down towards the end, but as they say, there is always next year.
A return alongside Tyson Kidd in 2016 might work wonders.
#6 Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was the change. He was the breath of fresh air amidst the stinking garbage that WWE threw at us. In fact, the Twitter account of Owens was more entertaining than most of so-called WWE storylines.
He started his main roster career with a feud with John Cena. Not many superstars out there have such an achievement in their resume. He later went on to have numerous feuds that displayed his skills and for a superstar in his first year, Owens exceeded expectations.
I am still wondering how he did not win the Breakout star award at the Slammys. Nevertheless, WWE could make a better use of Owens in 2016.
#5 New Day
Professional wrestling is unpredictable; the success of New Day in 2015 is the proof. No one had his or her money on the stable when WWE first came up with it. They had all the reasons to do so.
Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were going through horrible phases and having them as a stable was bound to fail. At least, that was the prediction. But to our surprise and WWE’s fortune, New Day flourished.
The trio glued the Tag Team division together, had some solid matches, and entertained the fans – everything that an ideal tag team should do. Hopefully, they can carry the momentum forward to 2016 as well.
#4 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar wrestled only a handful of matches in 2015, but as usual, all of those matches were top notch. He was probably the only superstar in the list that was immune to WWE’s bad storytelling.
Perhaps the part-time arrangement was what contributed to this immunity, or maybe it is the sense of realism that Lesnar radiates. Either way, Lesnar delivered every time. Be it at the WrestleMania main event against Roman Reigns or against Undertaker at Hell in a Cell – Lesnar delivered.
He proved his worth to the entire WWE Universe once again in 2015 and if Lesnar is going to come up with such performances in 2016, I have no complains about his part-time schedule.
#3 John Cena
2015 was a career-changing year for Cena.
He showed the guts to step down into the mid-card and it was fruitful. Cena went to his roots by winning the United States Championship. While some expected it to be a blunder, it turned out to be one of the most successful reigns in recent history.
He delivered good matches every week and the US Championship open challenge gave Raw that extra edge. Cena flirted with the main event on numerous occasions as well, making it a year worth remembering for him.
The amount of criticism towards Cena did not tone down despite the hard work, but we are well aware of his value thanks to the matches he had in 2015.
#2 Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns was a victim of bad booking like most of the other superstars in this list.
WWE tried to shove him down our throats throughout the year. It did not work well for anyone, but the work rate of Reigns never went down.
He fought like a valiant warrior against Daniel Bryan, smiled at the Beast, tore apart the Authority, and finally captured the gold. Remember that he did all these despite WWE’s ill efforts to make him the next corporate face.
Imagine how he would have looked if he was booked like a warrior from the start itself. Fans believe in Reigns now, and WWE should build on this rather than make him look like something that he is not.
#1 Seth Rollins
There are no arguments regarding this one – Seth Rollins is the superstar of the year.
Just like Reigns, Rollins did have his share of bad bookings. His reign attracted criticism from all corners, but that did not stop everyone from heaping praise on him when he was injured.
The brilliance with which Rollins performed was the reason for this. His matches, as standalone entities, told stories. This happened while the surrounding structures were falling apart.
And as an experienced performer, Rollins had a big role in this success. The injury was bad on some levels, but on others, it is a blessing. We now know the value of Rollins and when he returns, we will give him a hero’s welcome.