While there are some fans who will claim that the WWE has pushed Asuka a little too hard in NXT over the last year, I, for one, think that she is one of the most impressive wrestlers on the WWE roster right now and absolutely love the way she is being booked.
Extending her unbeaten streak in great matches with the likes of Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross and Ember Moon, Asuka has built an aura around herself – effectively becoming the female equivalent of Brock Lesnar. Sure, booking her defeat will be a difficult task but if done right it will not damage her in any way and will also elevate another talent for when she steps up to the main roster.
Talk about a second wind. The first half of Neville’s career in the WWE was mediocre to put it kindly. The former NXT champ never really got going as the super flippy babyface and looked destined to get lost in the shuffle.
Then he went and got injured and the WWE universe forgot about him. That was until he returned at the end of last year as one of the best heels on the whole roster. Neville’s run as the king of the cruiserweights has been nothing short of outstanding and he is one of the most consistent performers on the whole roster – consistently delivering a great in-ring product on both weekly programming and PPV events.
3: Roman Reigns
Booo, Roman sucks, boooo.
I’m sorry but love him or, most likely, hate him – Roman Reigns has had a pretty great year so far in the WWE. He started things off with a cracking match with Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble before most controversially, retiring The Undertaker at WrestleMania. He then cut one of the best promos on Raw this year the night after Mania before entering into a massive feud with Braun Strowman.
Strowman has had a great year, but it takes two to tango and the majority of his best work has come alongside Roman Reigns. The clashes between the two at Fastlane and Payback were both solid and the interactions between them on Raw have been a great way of putting the Monster Among Men over.
He has also taken part in some great multi-man matches and had some solid matches with the likes of Samoa Joe and Finn Balor on Raw as well. Many will groan when Reigns is inevitably given the Universal Title again but for me, this year, he actually deserves a shot at the belt.
2: Braun Strowman
If you’d have told me 12 months ago that I would be marking out at the sight of Braun Strowman stepping out of the back of an ambulance one day, I’d have laughed in your face. But that is exactly what happened earlier this month when Braun made his return to Monday Night Raw.
The former Wyatt family member has grown from strength to strength since switching brands last year and both his character and in-ring work have increased ten-fold. He has taken part in some of the best moments on WWE television this year, including tipping over an ambulance and collapsing the ring with The Big Show. His feud with Reigns has really elevated him to a new level and right now, he is the hottest superstar in the WWE.
1: AJ Styles
Come on, were you really expecting anyone else? After having one of the best debut years in the history of the company, AJ has continued his hot streak into 2017, becoming one of the biggest names on the WWE roster and the face of Tuesday nights.
He started the year with a match of the year candidate against John Cena, before playing a part in another great match in the Elimination Chamber. He then had some awesome TV matches with Randy Orton and Luke Harper before putting on a brilliant match with Shane McMahon. Shane McMahon! The guy even managed to get a great match out of a part-timer.
He then continued to have great matches week in, week out on SmackDown before entering a program with Kevin Owens for the US title. The company could now also pull the trigger on the long-awaited WWE match between Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, which will no doubt cement AJ’s place as not only the best wrestler in the WWE right now but also in the world.
What did you think of our list? Who do you think has been the best wrestler in the WWE this year? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter here @liamhoofe