As we near the end of the year, we have witnessed several excellent matches over the months. Dave Meltzer himself has stated that 2017 has been the best year in terms of wrestling quality.
In spite of all the promos, storylines and vignettes, at the end of the day it is the magic that weaves in the ring which matters. So without any further ado let’s have a look at the 5 best WWE matches of 2017.
2017 being such an extremely good year in terms of Wrestling quality has had several matches that were close to making the cut, but couldn’t. Here are some honourable mentions.
1) Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns. Number one contender match for the Universal Championship; Extreme Rules 2017.
2) AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar; Champion vs. Champion match; Survivor Series 2017
3) New Day vs. Usos; SmackDown Tag Team title match; Hell in a Cell 2017.
Now let’s get in to the countdown,
Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn; Money in the Bank ladder match; Money in the Bank 2017.
The names in the match are enough to suggest that this was one of the most hard-hitting, well-paced, Money in the Bank ladder matchces since it’s inception. Every wrestler got attention and it was a well-executed match.
The match began with an intriguing angle where Corbin attacked Nakamura during his entrance which made the match a 5-man affair.
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The standout moments in the match include Zayn hitting a sunset flip powerbomb from the top of the ladder, Styles hitting Owens with the attitude adjustment over the bridged ladder, and Nakamura going bonkers by hitting Kinshasa’s all over the place.
The end sequence with Styles and Nakamura gave the viewers the taste of what they are capable of until Corbin picked up the eventual victory. The booking decision may not be the best considering what happened with the briefcase, but well nothing is ever perfect is it?
Match Rating: ****1/2
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly vs. Authors Of Pain, Roderick Strong vs. SAniTy; Wargames match; NXT Wargames 2017
WWE’s experimentation reached new heights in 2017 with several new ideas being executed. In the latter end of the year, WWE decided to bring in the retro WarGames match. The match was tried in the NXT circuit amongst the top three teams of the brand.
The match’s concept and the quality of the names involved were intriguing for the viewers. The match didn’t let down as it was filled with flair, power and spots at the same time. Adam Cole picked up the victory in the gruesome affair which lasted over 30 minutes.
The match satisfied the backstage officials and is speculated to be an annual Survivor Series weekend tradition.
Match Rating: ****1/2
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brawn Strowman; Fatal-4-way match for the Universal Championship; Summerslam 2017.
The match’s formula was simple, 4 biggest men on the red brand fighting each other for the top title. The power involved in the match was beyond imaginable, with Strowman running his own show.
The WWE Universe got to witness a rare beat down of “The Beast Incarnate” after he was slammed through two announce tables. Lesnar’s beat down reached to an extent that the doctors took Lesnar backstage for treatment.
But, as expected Lesnar made his predicted comeback into the match and surprisingly pinned Reigns for the win. The match delivered and launched Strowman as one of the top guys in the WWE.
Match rating: ****1/2
Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne; United Kingdom Championship; NXT TakeOver Chicago 2017
WWE ventured it’s business into the United Kingdom with a United Kingdom Championship tournament that spanned over 2 days. This match gave the WWE Universe a glimpse of European wrestling.
20 year old champion Tyler Bate defended his title against the “Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne. The chemistry between these young guns was imminent right from the start, as they proceeded with a lot of grappling which the viewers weren’t familiar with.
The Chicago crowd got on to their feet as the match picked up pace and the duo whipped up some never before seen moves in the WWE ring. In the end, Dunne managed to win the title after hitting the BitterEnd on the champ.
Match Rating: ****3/4
John Cena vs. AJ Styles; WWE Championship match; Royal Rumble 2017
In the words of Mauro Ranallo, the duo put up an “instant classic” at Summerslam 2016. Keeping that match as the barometer, it seemed unlikely that these two would be able to top that “phenomenal” match.
But they proved everyone wrong by putting up a flawless piece of wrestling. In the electrifying atmosphere of the Alamodome, Cena captured his elusive, history making 16th world championship.
The match was filled with fluidic counters, believable submissions and pinfalls and stunning moves. The backstory from Summerslam was portrayed beautifully as Cena failed to win with the Avalanche Attitude Adjustment.
In the end, Cena proceeded to deliver 2 more AA’s before pinning the champ.
Match Rating: *****
Well that’s it for 2017 then, no 6 stars from my side since I am not Dave Meltzer. Hope that WWE continues the trend of delivering good matches as we head into 2018. What are your favourite matches from 2017? Let us know in the comments section.