One week before the TLC event, it looked as though the card was nothing that exciting, then a sudden illness struck down both Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt and all of a sudden we had the prospect of a dream bout between AJ Styles and Finn Balor, and the long-anticipated return to the ring of Kurt Angle.
AJ and Finn managed to deliver one of the best WWE matches of the year while Angle’s return to the ring was a chaotic but highly enjoyable attitude-era style match. The rest of the card ranged from average to good as well, with the Cruiserweights putting on an enjoyable 6 man match earlier on the card and Alexa Bliss and Mickie James putting on a solid bout for the Women’s title.
4: Elimination Chamber
Back in February, before WrestleMania, and the superstar shakeup, SmackDown was the brand on WWE television. The show was delivering top-level matches week in, week out, and in many ways, Elimination Chamber was a swansong for the show. The main event match featured six of the brand’s biggest talents and the match was a blast, one topped off with Bray Wyatt finally capturing the gold in WWE.
The rest of the card ranged from fairly good to great, with Harper and Orton delivering the former’s best PPV match to date to open the show.
3: Royal Rumble
Like a lot of the big cards this year, Royal Rumble was a great show that was let down by a forgettable main event. This year’s Royal Rumble had some serious hype around it, and feasibly, any number of superstars could have walked away victorious from the event. So, with such a strong array of new stars at their fingertips, the WWE once again decided to stick their fingers up at the fanbase and have Randy Orton win the headline slot at Mania.
This was the only dampener on an otherwise great night, though, and the rest of the card featured two match of the year candidates in the shape of AJ Styles and John Cena’s exceptional match for the WWE title, and Roman Reigns and Kevin Owen’s under-appreciated bout for the Universal belt.
2: Survivor Series
The last few years have seen the WWE really try and make an effort when it comes to Survivor Series, billing the show as the one time a year both Raw and Smackdown get to share the same ring. Now, while we know this isn’t the case, this year’s Survivor Series still managed to deliver a spectacular slice of inter-brand warfare.
The card underwent some serious changes in the week’s leading up to the event, with three titles changing hands over the course of the month and changing the card. These changes were all for the better, though, and Survivor Series, outside of a disappointing main event, delivered in every bout.
The match between AJ Styles and Brock Lesnar was one of the finest of the year, while The Usos and The Bar showed us all why it has been such a good year for tag team wrestling in the company. Alexa and Charlotte put on a good show, while The New Day and The Shield got things going with a bang. It’s a shame the show had to end the way it did, otherwise, this would have taken the top spot.
1: Wrestlemania 33
Yes, for once, WrestleMania was the best PPV of the calendar year in the WWE. While the night didn’t deliver any match of the year candidates, the matches, for the most part, were pretty darn good and the night was chocked full of excitement. Reigns’ retiring of The Undertaker was one of the most iconic moments of the year, even if the match wasn’t anything special (I still think it told a good story) The Hardy boys return gave us one of the biggest pops of the year while Triple H and Shane McMahon even made the authority figures look good with great matches against Seth Rollins and AJ Styles respectively. Sure, Orton Vs Wyatt was a dud, and the women’s battle royal was an afterthought, but this was still the most enjoyable night of the year for me, which is exactly what WrestleMania should be.
What was your favourite PPV of 2017? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe