2022 was one of the most eventful years in WWE history. The year saw the return of a full time touring schedule, regime changes, and comebacks galore. The opportunities available for certain WWE Superstars was not only given but taken and ran with.
Here is a list of WWE Superstars who had a breakout year in 2022
10. Liv Morgan
There can be no denying that Liv Morgan had a great 2022. She began the year challenging Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at Day 1. Despite being unsuccessful her determination to improve and reach the main event level garnered organic support from the WWE Universe. This support spurred her on to achieve her dream and claim the first title in her career. At Money In The Bank, she captured the briefcase before cashing it in on Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
As champion Morgan successfully defended the title twice against Rousey at SummerSlam and Shayna Baszler at Clash At The Castle. Despite losing the title to Rousey at Extreme Rules, she displayed a new-found aggressive edge that saw her continue to drive forward and remain a strong part of the women’s division.
- Facing Becky Lynch at Day 1 for the Raw Women’s Championship
- Winning the MITB briefcase and using it to become SmackDown Women’s Champion at Money In The Bank
- Successfully defending the title against Shayna Baszler at Clash At The Castle
9. Chad Gable
Shooosh Chad Gable is here. The Olympian had an excellent 2022 by constantly proving himself as one of the most entertaining WWE Superstars on the roster. His partnership with Otis led them to tag team gold with a victory over Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. The duo thrived in the tag team division having fantastic matches with The Usos, The Street Profits and Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins.
Aside from his stellar in-ring work his character and promo work continued to excel. Over the year Gable had great matches with AJ Styles, Matt Riddle, and Braun Strowman while adding to his brilliantly annoying persona and making him one of WWE’s standout performers in 2022.
- Winning the Raw Tag Team Championships from RK-Bro on Monday Night Raw
- Continuing to shoosh everyone, every chance he gets
- Getting drenched in milk at Kurt Angle’s birthday edition of Friday Night SmackDown
8. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens had an eventful 2022. He began the year in a highly-entertaining partnership with Seth Rollins in which they had excellent matches with RK-Bro, The Usos and Alpha Academy. In the lead-up to WrestleMania 38 Night 1 Owens did the unthinkable and brought the Texas Rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin out of retirement to headline the Dallas supershow.
Following this career triumph, he entered a bizarre, yet very enjoyable, feud with Ezekial. The angle revolved around Owens trying to prove that Ezekial was indeed Elias in disguise and not his younger brother as he claimed to be. The entertainment aspects of the programme are a testament to Owens and how he can make any situation work. Owens later became involved in the enthralling Bloodline storyline and continued to show that he is one of WWE’s greatest assets.
- Headlining WrestleMania 38 against Stone Cold Steve Austin
- Trying to prove that Ezekial was Elias
- Rekindling his longtime friendship/rivalry with Sami Zayn
7. Dominik Mysterio
In 2022, Dominik Mystery went from a rather bland babyface stuck in the shadows of his father to one of the best heels on WWE television. Upon turning heel on his dad and joining Judgement Day, Dominik adopted the goth attire, makeup and attitude. His new bad-boy persona elevated his standing in WWE and made him one of the most intriguing characters on television.
His relationship with his “Mami” Rhea Ripley has certainly been one of the highlights of the year. Their interactions are excellent. His willingness to do whatever she commands provides an interesting storyline beat and will undoubtedly lead to a match-up with Rey Mysterio further down the line.
- Turning on his father and Edge at Clash At The Castle
- Gatecrashing his family’s Thanksgiving with Rhea Ripley
- Getting arrested on Christmas Day for storming the family home once again
6. Austin Theory
Austin Theory had a breakout year. He began 2022 under the tutelage of Mr McMahon, who kept placing him in prominent positions such as the Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank. Theory repaid Mr McMahon and won the MITB briefcase. Throughout the year he tried and failed to cash in the championship contract against Roman Reigns.
Theory eventually lost the briefcase when he cashed in against Seth Rollins for the United States Championship. Despite the mishap, Theory rebounded with new aggression and ferocity before going on to capture the title from Rollins in an excellent Triple Threat match at Survivor Series.
- Winning the Money In The Bank briefcase
- Excelling his new role post-Vince McMahon-Era
- Winning the United States Championship at Survivor Series
5. Solo Sikoa
Solo Sikoa entered the main roster in the most impactful way possible when he cost Drew McIntyre his shot at the Undisputed Universal Championship at Clash At The Castle. Sikoa seamlessly joined the Bloodline and has thrived ever since. His look and style harken back to the Samoan dynasty of the past and certainly adds gravitas to his already intimidating persona.
The young star has picked up victories against the likes of Sheamus, Matt Riddle and The New Day while placed in prominent positions throughout PLEs and Friday Night SmackDown. He made a huge impact on the main roster in 2022 and looks to do the same in 2023.
- Debuting at Clash At The Castle
- Staring a hole through all of his opponents at Survivor Series WarGames
- Using the Samoan Spike on Matt Riddle
4. Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle’s 2022 was his most successful year in WWE. He began the year as Raw Tag Team Champion with Randy Orton before his partner was shelved due to injury. Forced to go out alone, Riddle thrived in singles action. During a feud with Bloodline, he won the opportunity to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship. Despite being unsuccessful he put on an excellent performance.
Following the loss, he entered a rivalry with Seth Rollins, which culminated in Riddle scoring the win over Rollins inside the first-ever main roster Fight Pit. He was written off television to deal with personal issues, but upon is return he undoubtedly pick up where he left off and continue his rise through the WWE ranks.
- Winning the Raw Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 38
- Challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship on Friday Night SmackDown – 17.06.2022
- Defeating Seth Rollins inside the Fight Pit at Extreme Rules
3. Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley made 2022 her standout year when she joined Judgement Day and became one of the best parts of WWE programming. Her character shift upon joining the faction unleashed the darker aspects of her persona and allowed her to flourish. She has been instrumental in the group’s success and her corruption of Dominik Mysterio is a joy to watch.
After a year struggling to find her footing on the main roster Ripley has committed her new with aplomb and is thriving because of it. She ends 2022 on a career high and will unquestionably do the same in 2023.
- Joining Judgement Day at WrestleMania Backlash
- Executing a con-chair-to on Beth Pheonix at Extreme Rules
- Calling out and beating Tozawa in first WWE inter-gender match in decades
2. Jey Uso
There has been no better story this year in the wrestling industry than the beef between Jey Uso and Sami Zayn. Jey’s constant distrust of Zayn resulted in months of superb storyline beats and drama between the two. All came to ahead at Survivor Series WarGames when Zayn finally proved his loyalty to the Bloodline by taking out his longtime friend Kevin Owens and allowing Jey to get the win.
Apart from his fine execution in The Bloodline tale he has also excelled in the ring in both tag team and singles action. Alongside his bother Jimmy, they unified the Raw and SmackDown tag team championships before becoming the longest-reigning tag team champion in WWE history.
- Pinning Kevin Owens to win Survivor Series WarGames for the Bloodline
- Hugging Sami Zayn putting an end to their beef
- Becoming the longest-reigning tag team champion in WWE history
1. Sami Zayn
2022 was arguably the year of Sami Zayn. Everything he has done throughout has been top-notch work and made him the most talked about performer in the business. At WrestleMania 38 he competed in one of the best comedy matches of all time. He took on Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew in an expertly crafted outing full of splendid moments. However, it is his character work in his quest to be accepted by Roman Reigns and The Bloodline that has made him one of WWE’s most treasured talents.
The storyline arc of him winning over the Tribal Chief and after months of tribulation, Jey Uso is some of the best work in WWE history and made him the most popular Superstar on the roster. Aside from his brilliant work outside of the ring he has also showed why he is one of the best in-ring workers in the company. He now enters 2023 as the hottest personality in business and on the verge of superstardom.
- Joining The Bloodline
- Becoming an Honorary Uce
- Helping Jey Uso win the Survivor Series WarGames