Matt O’Brien maintains the poll

Wrestling rosters are in a constant state of change. There is always someone coming or going, and there are always people moving up and down the card. Whether someone new comes in, or a veteran gets a break, there are always a handful of breakout stars each year. 2012 was no different.

With the year almost over, Wrestleview asked you who your favorite breakout star has been. The results are in!

Who has been your favorite breakout star of 2012?

AJ Lee 9.57% (752 votes)
Antonio Cesaro 2.32% (182 votes)
Austin Aries 34.82% (2,737 votes)
Daniel Bryan 12.81% (1,007 votes)
Kevin Steen 3.26% (256 votes)
Ryback 33.94% (2,668 votes)
Other 3.28% (258 votes)

Total votes cast: 7,860

Coming in first place with over 2,700 votes is Austin Aries. When the year started he seemed to have a promising future with TNA, but few expected him to be the man to unseat Bobby Roode for the TNA Championship. Aries quickly became a centerpiece of the show, interacting with Hulk Hogan and even headlining Bound for Glory.

Not too far behind Aries was Ryback. The former Skip Sheffield returned to WWE television this year and spent months laying out local wrestlers. Then came Hell in a Cell. With John Cena unable to compete in the main event, there was only one guy fans could buy into replacing him, and that was Ryback. Some have wondered if he is the one to take Cena’s place, but only time will tell. A year ago, this man was not even on television, now he is about to headline his third pay per view.

With just over a thousand votes, Daniel Bryan did pretty well. The argument can be made that Bryan had broken out long before 2012, and to an extent that is true. However, 2012 truly became the year of Daniel Bryan. He has been perhaps the most entertaining character and is arguably among the best in the company when it comes to cutting a promo. The Yes chants have been the catchiest since the days of Steve Austin. It doesn’t hurt that his ring skills are excellent. Bryan always had this in him, but in 2012 he got a chance to show the world.

Just below Bryan in the voting was his former companion, AJ Lee. AJ, like Bryan, got an opportunity to be more creative, and it paid off with her going from just another diva to becoming the Raw General Manager at Raw 1,000. Currently being involved in a storyline with the company’s top act shows how far she has come in such a short time.

Both Kevin Steen and Antonio Cesaro pulled in some votes for themselves. Steen returned to Ring of Honor late last year and has become ROH Champion. Cesaro’s reign as U.S. Champion has given him a prominent place in the WWE’s mid-card. Votes for others included Bobby Roode, who became TNA’s longest reigning champion until Austin Aires unseated him over the summer. He continues to be an integral part of the TNA roster. Eve Torres also received praise. Last year she was the top female baby face. This year her character grew and became more complex, if not morally unstable. Her work with John Cena and John Laurinaitis allowed her to shine.

Thanks to everyone who voted. As always, make sure to check out the latest poll on!

Matt O’Brien