Liam Hoofe with his countdown of the 10 best WWE superstars of 2017…
2017 has been an interesting time to be a wrestling fan. The year started off with a controversial Royal Rumble victory for Randy Orton (spoiler alert: he’s not on this list), made us all cry our eyes out when The Undertaker took his last ride at WrestleMania 33, and then left all of our jaws on the floor when Jinder Mahal was crowned WWE champion.
So in a year which has featured Jinder as WWE champion, the debut of the house of horrors match and the return of The Great Khali, which wrestlers have been a shining beacon of hope for us fans? The roster is arguably more talented than it has ever been, and from an in-ring perspective, the company has had one of its most consistent years to date. We’ve seen the rise, and fall of many new stars, while many others have been repackaged and found success in their new gimmick, but who has been the best superstar of 2017? Let’s take a look through this year’s top 10 WWE superstars.
10: Charlotte Flair
When Charlotte Flair won the SmackDown Women’s title late this year, it felt like it had been a lifetime coming. It may have taken ‘The Queen’ some time to settle into her gimmick as a face but she is head and shoulders above the rest of the talent on the SmackDown roster right now. While her match quality has never quite hit the same heights it did last year, she has shown what is an exceptional talent she is and has turned one of the company’s most obvious heels into one of its most lovable faces. A big match at WrestleMania looks likely for Flair, and it’s no less than she deserves.
9: Kevin Owens
KO has had a bit of a rough ride in 2017 but its testament to his character that he has still been able to shine in spite of his dodgy booking. Owens started the year as Universal Champion and put on a great match with Roman Reigns at this year’s Royal Rumble event. His match with Goldberg at Fastlane was a joke but his feud with Jericho gave us some of the best television moments of the year.
While the resulting matches with Jericho weren’t quite what they could have been, Owens’ still shone as a performer and the same is the case for his feud with AJ Styles, which never quite found its feet in the ring either. His feud with Shane McMahon has dominated SmackDown for the final third of the year, and while it has grown tiresome in recent weeks, this is not because of Owens, who has been exceptional week in, week out on the microphone. He also took part in an excellent HIAC match with Shane as well, and hopefully, he can move back up the card once all of this is finished.
8: Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss has definitely made the most of her first full calendar year in the WWE. Since joining the roster in 2016, she has established herself as the company’s hottest female act right now, and the majority of that is down to her excellent character work. While her in-ring work may not be quite as good as the likes of Charlotte or Sasha, she more than makes up for it on the mic, and her recent matches with Mickie James and Charlotte Flair have shown just what she is capable of between the ropes.
Alexa is likely going to drop the title to either Paige or Asuka before Mania, but personally, I’d love to see her walk into the big event with the belt.
7: The Bar
Who’d have thought when Sheamus and Cesaro were thrown together in 2016, that they would go on to become one of the finest tag teams in the WWE. The duo has had an exceptional year, one which only grew stronger once they went full heel. They have put on exceptional matches this year with the likes of The Usos, The Hardys, and The Shield, and their current position on the roster speaks volumes about what they have achieved since being partnered together.
6: Samoa Joe
The WWE’s success rate with NXT call-ups this year has been pretty shocking. The company have struggled with the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode, while The Revival have been ravaged by injury since their call-up. Thankfully, the company also called up Samoa Joe this year, and he has been nothing short of excellent since his arrival back in February.
Joe has had an excellent debut year in the WWE. While things started slowly with a so-so feud with Seth Rollins, his feud with Brock Lesnar was the highlight of the summer, and he has been excellent since his return from injury a few months back. If they can use him correctly, the company have a major star on their hands here, and he could easily fill in for Brock Lesnar if the Beast decides to leave the company after WrestleMania.
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