It’s such a shame that Neville’s recent run in the WWE had to end the way that it did. The high flying Geordie was having an exceptional year, and he could have been even higher on this list had it not been for the events that saw him walk out in October.
Neville managed to make the Cruiserweight title feel important, putting on exceptional matches month after month and making the rest of the Cruiserweight division look good in the process. Having him lose the title to Enzo Amore was an insult, and while Enzo has not done a bad job as champion, Neville deserved so much better than this. I still think that his match with Jack Gallagher at Fastlane this year was one of the most underrated bouts of the year.
4: Braun Strowman
There’s definitely an argument to be made for Braun Strowman being number one on this list. The Monster Among Men is easily the most improved star of the year, and he has had some absolutely incredible moments throughout 2017. Braun entered the year on a wave of growing popularity, and his feud with Roman Reigns really helped elevate him as one of the company’s must-see stars.
Braun has also been involved in so many of the year’s best moments, and its hard to imagine that he won’t finally get to taste gold in 2018. His match with Brock Lesnar was a big disappointment at No Mercy this year but Braun has come on leaps and bounds in 2017 and is now one of the most popular stars in the WWE today.
3: The Usos
Who’d have thought The Usos would be one of the best acts in the WWE as 2017 draws to a close. The duo has gone from strength to strength since turning heel this year, cutting killer promos every week and delivering tag team classics as and when they fancy.
The team’s feud with The New Day was one of the best the company has given us this year, while their matches with the trio were nothing short of exceptional, each one being a potential match of the year candidate. Their match with The Bar at Survivor Series also proved that it wasn’t just a case of them having great chemistry with one team. The team continue to grow from strength to strength at the minute and look set to finish the year as tag team champions. I can’t wait to see what they have to offer us in 2018.
2: Roman Reigns
Yeah, yeah, I know. Roman Reigns is the company guy and he is forced down our throat, and he doesn’t deserve the position he’s in. The thing is, though, is Reigns has had an exceptional 2017, he has put on great matches, been involved in some excellent storylines, and is continuing to grow as a performer with each passing week. The problem Reigns faces is that it feels impossible for him to do anything right. Everything good that he has been involved in this year, and that’s been quite a lot, has either been gunned down or credited to someone else.
His match with Kevin Owens at the start of the year was great, his feud with Braun Strowman was one of the best of the year, and helped elevate his opponent massively, his match with Taker, while not great, will still be remembered because of the events post-match, The Shield reunion has been really good fun, he was involved in the fatal 4 way at SummerSlam, which was great and he is now having a really good run as the Intercontinental Champion.
I know this is a very unpopular opinion, but I’m fine with him being given the universal title at WrestleMania. He’s been one of the company’s most consistent performers from an in-ring point of view, and he has been protected on the mic for the majority of the year.
1: AJ Styles
Who else but AJ Styles? AJ’s second year in the WWE may not have been as strong as his first, but he is still the clear number one in the company right now. AJ started the year with a classic against John Cena at the Royal Rumble before entering into what many, myself included, saw as a demotion at WrestleMania against Shane McMahon.
AJ showed why he is one of the best in the world, though, delivering a great Mania match with Shane and then going on to feud with Kevin Owens for the summer. While this feud wasn’t what it could have been, AJ has had a tremendous final third of the year. His matches with Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar on pay-per-view were both legitimate match of the year contenders and his recent victory over Jinder Mahal was one of the year’s best moments. Nobody in the WWE right now is better than AJ Styles, and with a potential match against Shinsuke Nakamura in the works for 2018, don’t be surprised to see him in exactly the same place this time next December.
Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe