How is it possible for a man who spent the first three months of 2012 as world heavyweight champion to win "Breakout Wrestler of the Year," you ask?
Because the title doesn't make the man, that's why.
Daniel Bryan won the title late in 2011 and a slow burn heel turn started him on his path to greatness. Sure, he had already kicked around the independent scene as one of the best wrestlers in the world but he only really started to get over as a heel who was mistreating his girlfriend, the lovely AJ Lee.
Then, WrestleMania 28 and the 18 second defeat heard round the world.
The hot Miami crowd that night decided Bryan losing in such a short amount of time was damn near worthy of a riot. The next night on Raw, he was treated like a king, despite his heel status. Now, almost a full year later, it's entirely possible he's the most over guy on the roster, consistently getting the biggest reactions, even though he's currently running the mid-card in a tag team with Kane.
For that, he's the "Breakout Wrestler of the Year" for 2012.
That's how you voted, at least. Here are the full results from our poll:
- Daniel Bryan -- 65 votes
- AJ Lee -- 23 votes
- Dolph Ziggler -- 19 votes
- Ryback -- 18 votes
- Damien Sandow -- 15 votes
- Austin Aries -- 13 votes
- Antonio Cesaro -- 8 votes
- Bully Ray -- 2 votes