2012 was a year of monumental change for WWE RAW. For starters, the company adopted its three-hour format with its 1,000th episode. The year also saw the return of Brock Lesnar after a seven-year absence from WWE.
The Beast quickly regained his spot as one of the top attractions on the red brand. When it came to in-ring storytelling, WWE RAW gave fans many incredible matches with stars such as Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan tearing the house down week in and out.
That being said, let’s take a look at five of the best WWE RAW matches of 2012:
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (Falls Count Anywhere Match – September 3)
John Cena found himself farther away from the WWE title picture toward the end of 2012. The Cenation leader entered into a feud with Alberto Del Rio, who was also trying to get his hands on the championship.
The pair locked horns in a Falls Count Anywhere match in the lead-up to Night of Champions 2012. Both men took the fight backstage, where Del Rio finally got the upper hand. After the match, CM Punk showed up and put Cena away with the GTS.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston (September 24)
Kofi Kingston has gone on record saying he and Dolph Ziggler can create a best-out-of-500 series and never get tired of working together. That’s just how good their chemistry was inside the ring when Ziggler was still with WWE.
The two had many solid matches in 2012, but their best one (arguably) came on the September 24 edition of WWE RAW. The pair vowed the crowd with their in-ring storytelling and a tremendous display of athleticism.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE RAW – October 22)
Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan had a series of fantastic matches in 2010. The pair found themselves standing on the opposite side of the ring on WWE RAW in October. What followed was a superb performance from both men.
The American Dragon showcased his technical prowess against the always-reliable Ziggler. Unfortunately for Bryan, an accidental distraction from Kane cost him the incredible match against the Show Off.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (WWE Championship Match – April 16)
CM Punk successfully retained his WWE title against Chris Jericho in a great match at WrestleMania 28. The Straight Edge Superstar found himself at odds with the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry.
Henry gained the upper hand in this feud leading up to their Extreme Rules match on WWE RAW. The stipulation allowed both men to use their surroundings for better or worse. In the end, Punk finally defeated Henry with an improvised elbow to the heart to retain his title.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE RAW – January 30)
Both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were top champions heading into WrestleMania 28. But before their title defenses at the grand event, the pair were pitted against each other in a Champion versus Champion match on WWE RAW.
This was an exceptional outing from the two veterans who had practically grown together from a career standpoint. Punk and Bryan’s amazing chemistry resulted in one of the best matches on WWE RAW in 2012.
Also read: CM Punk’s 5 Best WWE Feuds