With just under two weeks left in 2017 and this past weekend’s Clash of Champions being the last WWE pay per view of the year, the time seems right to do a recap of the best and worst in the year that was in wrestling and in particular in WWE. There’s a lot of ground to cover so let’s begin.
Return of the Year
We begin with the biggest/best return of the year. This was open to wrestler/s returning to WWE from another company of from injury. Our first unanimous decision – Matt and Jeff, The Hardy Boyz. If I’m be honest, there wasn’t a lot of competition in this category. To be consistent, the honorable mentions here would be Paige in November and Finn Balor in April. But nothing can top the Hardyz returning at Wrestlemania. Just watch this:
Couple that initial reaction – which in itself is amazing considering how much speculation there was about their potential return – but couple that initial reaction with the fact that they won the Raw tag titles, held on to them for about two months and had some decent matches in that time frame and after and you have the recipe for the best return of the year. This wasn’t just a nostalgia act, the Hardyz came to perform and while a little older and a half step slower, they put on a number of good to great matches over the course of this run. …And that is before we even get to Woken Matt Hardy and his developing feud with Bray Wyatt.
Just a note, where the number one in a category is unanimous there will be one explanation.
Honorable Mentions: Paige returned from injury in November with a new stable, Absolution, in tow. Finn Balor returned the night after Wrestlemania to aid the guy who put him on the shelf in the first place, Seth Rollins. It’s too early to give it to Paige and Finn’s 2017 has been mostly a loss. Also, The Shield reunion doesn’t count.
Feud of the Year
I am going to go out on a limb here and give this one a tie. (It’s my blog, get over it.) I honestly was completely unable to choose between Roman vs Strowman and New Day vs The Usos. For their own reasons both feuds have been fun, exciting, intriguing and important in pushing all wrestlers involved forward.
Much to Ricardo the False God’s chagrin, I have to put the New Day/Usos feud in this spot. There has been no shortage of classic matches between these two ever since The New Day debuted on Smackdown Live and went after the Smackdown Tag Titles. In the past 5 years the New Day and Usos have probably been the most popular babyface tag teams. They had a brief feud prior to the brand split when New Day were heel and Usos were face. In this feud, New Day was the face team and the Usos heel. The difference in this dynamic and the willingness to do whatever it took to get their matches and segments over made this feud must see for more than a two month stretch. Two pieces of evidence:
Now, Roman vs Strowman. Where do I even begin? First off, recent reports indicate that Strowman (along with the rest of the WWE locker room for that matter) has a great deal of respect for Roman Reigns. Reigns is now the unquestioned face of Raw and quite possibly of WWE (more on this later). With that position secure, he has made it a point (whether of his own accord or because of Vince’s push) to help put Strowman over. The things that these men have done to each other at this point is downright ridiculous. Strowman tipped over an ambulance with Reigns inside. Roman reversed an ambulance into a wall with Strowman in the back. Strowman pushed Roman Reigns (who was strapped down to a gurney) off of the loading dock on Raw. Roman Reigns speared Strowman off the stage. This has been an excellent feud between two large, athletic men (pause) who have been willing to put their bodies on the line (pause) to put on amazing matches and feats over the course of 2017. If 2018 holds a revisit to this feud over the Universal Championship I, for one, would be all in on that (more on that later).
And this only covers the build of their feud up to the end of April. In the immortal words of Ryback, feed me more (pause).
Cardo: AoP vs #DIY
Javon: Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar
Honorable Mentions: Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns, there was a little too much stop and start to this for my liking, and we haven’t quite fully scratched the surface of this yet either, but this also has potential as a 2018 Universal Title feud. #DIY vs Revival vs AOP, every match combination between these three teams worked in 2017. If it wasn’t for the fact that this was NXT, this might be feud of the year.
Gimmick Match of the Year
I was going to put the fatal four way from SummerSlam in this spot. I had a whole paragraph written and everything but then I remembered that New Day/Usos match from Hell in a Cell and the Ladder Match at NXT Takeover Chicago between DIY and AOP and War Games and things got real complicated. Because the New Day and Usos are getting a lot of love elsewhere in this piece, I have to go with War Games. Look, when WWE digs into the WCW archives and pulls out a beloved gimmick match and doesn’t absolutely bury it or irrevocably alter it it has to be a win. Combine that with the teams involved – AoP + Roderick Strong vs Sanity vs the Undisputed Era – and you have a match that checks off the nostalgia box, the great teams involved box, and a mostly respectful use of history box. This match was great and barely inched past a number of other worthy matches considered.
Cardo: Money in the Bank, Men’s Match – It was the come up of Baron Corbin and it worked.
Javon: New Day vs Usos, Hell in a Cell.
Honorable Mentions: Where do I begin? This has been an excellent year for Gimmick Matches in WWE. Money in The Bank. Usos/New Day at HIAC. Any number of fatal fourways or triple threat matches as well.
One could argue that the answer for this every year is WWE Creative, but that’s lazy. The biggest disappointment in WWE this year was the handling of WWE’s two main championships. (Yes, I am grouping this as one. As already stated, it’s my blog, my rules). Honestly between booking Lesnar to win the Universal title at Mania and defend it only four times in the almost eight months since has been such a roadblock for the true ascension of main event talent. Imagine if Roman vs Strowman was for the title or Joe vs Roman or Joe vs Strowman or Roman vs Finn or Finn vs Bray – but no, we get a part time champ with no respect for the 30-day defense rule. Then when you look at Smackdown and the fact that Jinder Mahal, jobber to anyone just days before joining Smackdown and just weeks before becoming WWE Champion it is even worse. So instead of AJ vs KO for the WWE Title we got that for the US Title. Instead of Shinsuke vs AJ for the title, we got Shinsuke losing (God knows why) to Jinder. We got a series of lackluster matches between Jinder and Randy Orton – literally Smackdown’s title scene got bleaker and bleaker as the year wore on. Damn it we had a Great Khali sighting in a meaningful moment in a WWE title match in 2017. Thank God it seems that Jinder is finally out of the WWE title picture. But shame on WWE for wasting almost an entire year of possible world title feuds on a part timer and a jobber. Do better in 2018, please, we beg of you.
Cardo: Randy vs Bray
Javon: Brock’s unending reign as WWE Champ.
Dishonorable Mentions: WWE Creative, as a whole.
Best Face/Heel Turn
There are times when wrestling finds a way to break your heart. Not in the truest real-life way such as career-ending injuries or life-ending mishaps, but in the way that every wrestling fan loves to have their hearts ripped out – a devastating turn. Most years the best turn I imagine would lean heel because there is usually a bigger impact from a good guy going bad than vice versa. With that being said, this was another unanimous decision. I can’t even bring myself to write about it. Just know this, Tommaso Ciampa is an animal and deserves every bad thing that ever happens to him.
I am not sure if there was even an honorable mention for this category so I’ll explain why this was so great. First, at the start of the video please note that the NXT Takeover Logo and copyright information are on screen. This typically means an event is over and the only thing left is fade to black. Nope, they completely sell that this is just two disappointed guys walking out after a tough loss. Then it happens. And when it happens we get callbacks to these two guys’ competing in the Cruiserweight Classic and Ciampa not being able to hit Gargano with the knee then but now, lights out. We get almost a full three minutes of a methodical destruction of a tag team that almost every NXT fan fell in love with. We would all have been ready for one more time for #DIY going after AoP’s titles but alas we would not get that. Instead we got one of the most intense breakups of a tag team and the most impactful heel turns since The Shield broke up a few years ago.
Honorable Mentions: Big Cass turning on Enzo.
Biggest Non-WWE Development/Story
The American Nightmare World Tour – another unanimous decision. This is not because of some perceived WWE-bias. The biggest story outside of WWE for the past three years has been the Bullet Club and every iteration of it. Two of WWE’s top current stars are former leaders of the group – Finn Balor and AJ Styles. It’s just that when you tack on Cody (Rhodes) alignment with the BC and his tour around the indies, man this is quite possibly the best thing going outside of WWE. TNA’s struggle continues. NJPW and ROH are both benefiting from Cody’s run, so in a lot of ways the one thing making a consistent impact across the non-WWE wrestling world is the son of a son of a plumber taking his talents to every beach imaginable and kicking ass and taking names. Don’t look now, 2018 might be more of the same. With Cody and the Young Bucks plan to finance a 10k seat show in 2018 Cody could find himself right back here next year (especially if he gets Daniel Bryan as his main event dance partner) or perhaps as the biggest return to WWE – the world literally is his oyster right now.
Honorable Mention: And the only thing that could quite possibly move this award from Cody is Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho. The build so far for this, while brief, has been great. The fact that WWE is speaking publicly about being okay with it (Jericho may or may not be under some form of contract with WWE). The match itself has the possibility of being an early frontrunner for Match of the Year 2018.
PPV of the Year
Javon: NXT Takeover Brooklyn III
Alex: I had a really hard time deciding on this. I’m going to cheat and take both Cardo and Javon’s answers and say SummerSlam weekend. With all the ppvs in WWE this year it was hard for any one card to stand out. But when you consider the combination of Takeover Brooklyn III and SummerSlam, it is hard to argue that any one other ppv or weekend came close. We weren’t ecstatic about all of the results, particularly from SummerSlam, but the overall series of matches put on by the NXT and main roster talents stood above any individual or combination of ppvs from the rest of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Wrestlemania, because you have to. Clash of Champions – be it because of low expectations or whatever – was also a fairly good card.
NXT Call-up of the Year
Cardo: Shinsuke Nakamura. This started out as a unanimous decision amongst the three of us, but then Javon and Alex had a change of heart. For me, it was the ovation the first night that the violin started on Smackdown and then the promise of what could be. His arrival and the shockwaves it could have on WWE are why I go with Shinsuke.
Alex & Javon: Samoa Joe. I will admit that it’s my fault that this went another way. Everything Cardo said is true. But when you consider the actual impact of their arrival to the main roster, it becomes more difficult to argue Shinsuke’s case. Joe debuted as an enforcer and a roadblock between Seth Rollins and HHH. Shinsuke debuted and went into a feud with Dolph Ziggler. Joe then went on to short but meaningful feuds with Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and to some extent Braun Strowman – all four men were involved in matches surrounding the Universal title. We had to live through Shinsuke losing to Jinder Mahal (TWICE!) while battling for the WWE championship. At the end of the day it might be splitting hairs, but in our case, Samoa Joe inched past Shinsuke.
Honorable Mention: Asuka, Bobby Roode, Tye Dillinger
Tag Match of the Year
AoP v Sanity v Undisputed Era, NXT War Games – Listen to me…… I will fight both you and your first born if you object to this. Beside it being the return of War Games, this match had it all. Full disclosure, I re-watch this match at least 4 to 5 times per month.
AoP v DIY, Takeover Chicago – I dare you to go watch the match and not re-watch it right after. I can’t.
AoP v DIY v Revival, Takeover Orlando – Honestly, this made me hate tag matches from the main roster. Truly one of the best match of Wrestlemania weekend.
Usos v New Day, SummerSlam – Ask the guys, I hated the Usos, this was the match that turned it around for me.
The Bar v Ambrose & Seth Rollins, No Mercy – Cesaro lost teeth to make this epic. It wasn’t scripted. The entire match was epic.
The New Day vs Usos, Hell in a Cell – If you weren’t sold on The New Day and Usos up to this point, let me direct your attention to this match.This match right here put an examination mark not only on the feud between these two tag teams, but the division as a whole. Singles or Tag this match deserves to be placed on any list for match of the year. Not only only did the New Day and Usos succeed in telling a great story within this match and delivering top notch spots, but made you feel as though this was actual he’ll within a cell, something that hasn’t been conveyed in a HIAC match a very long time, and I’ll be even as bold to say these guys can be your main event.
AOP vs DIY vs Revival, Orlando Takeover – Listen to me people…listen to me, if you haven’t seen this match or any tag match on NXT as yet, please load up your streaming device or however you get access to content and watch this match. AOP is the truth, DIY is the truth(before the split), The Revival (whenever they can get healthy) is the truth. The number 2 is just a placement, this match here deserves as much of the praise for its great build and execution to the ring, this would be a tough match to follow even on the main roster.
The New Day vs Usos, Battleground – This is the match here that solidified that any time these two groups step in the ring, expect for the show to be stolen and this was also off the heels of an interesting rap promo between the two…yeah you heard me right!
AOP vs DIY, NXT Takeover Chicago – This one here saw DIY put on one hell of a show and just served to remind me, why I’m gonna miss these two as a tag team, and served in showing me that AOP is gonna be around for a long time
5. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs The Bar, No Mercy – This one saw two groups that worked unexpectedly well together and served in bring some interest back into the duo of Sheamus and Cesaro, and come on my guy Cesaro lost a tooth for efforts in what would be an memorable tag match for years
AoP vs DIY, Takeover Chicago – you will note from the unanimous decision above regarding the heel turn of the year that this match and its aftermath has a very strong place in the hearts of WWE fans. Oh my God, everything about the post-match breakup of #DIY was pitch perfect, but we have already covered that. This match was epic. I mean, excellent storytelling, excellent booking. This match was a tour de force of tag team wrestling. Also, I am a sucker for tag team ladder matches and for storytelling and wrestling being on a similar plane of excellence and this match ticks both boxes.
AoP v DIY v Revival, Takeover Orlando – it is difficult to order the next three matches (essentially think of these as 2 a, b and c) and it took everything in me to not put the Usos/New Day Hell in a Cell match higher. But the work put on in this elimination three way match between undoubtedly the three best tag teams in NXT at the time is hard to top. This match was great, in almost every way imaginable. And again, to be fair, the fact that we had to split match of the year into singles and tag tells you how great tag team wrestling has been in WWE this year.
Usos vs New Day, Hell in a Cell – The fact that this match is third on this list and behind two matches from NXT again speaks to the outstanding year that was for tag team wrestling in WWE and especially in NXT. But, as far as the main roster goes, this feud and this match in particular represented the pinnacle of tag team wrestling in WWE. From the New Day trapping one Uso in the corner of the cell with kendo sticks to the Usos hanging Xavier Woods up on the ring post and going to town on him (also with kendo sticks) this was the most brutal Hell in a Cell match in quite some time and was a fitting end to the blood feud between the two teams.
New Day vs The Shield, Survivor Series – People may feel a type of way about this match making the top five, but I couldn’t have it any other way. You have arguably the two best factions that WWE has created in the past five years (sorry Wyatt Family) going head to head at Survivor Series with brand supremacy at stake. The match was booked to perfection in my opinion and ultimately it is hard to argue with the Shield victory. But this was a fine match and WWE was wise to show New Day as being equals or near equals to The Shield.
The Bar vs The (mini)Shield, No Mercy – This was just another example of the amazing tag team wrestling in WWE in 2017. That man Cesaro lost his two front teeth in this match (shoot, not work) which led to WWE leaning in on his wearing a mouthguard for the last two months or so. This match was another classic and continued the trend of great tag team wrestling. Not to mention that they did the build to Seth and Dean reuniting particularly well.
Singles Match of the Year
Styles v Brock, Survivor Series – Remember when Vince remembered who he was and gave us what we wanted. This is what you get when that happens. Greatness!
Cena v Styles, Royal Rumble – Again we saw Styles coming up short, but some of the best spots of the year were in the match and spearheaded by Styles.
Brock v Strowman v Reigns v Joe, SummerSlam – My favorite part of this match was watching Roman attempt to square up with Brock and get smacked. Amazing.
AJ v Bray v Cena, February SmackDown Live – From the build up to pre match, all the way down to match’s end, this was special.
Pete Dunne v Tyler Bate, NXT Takeover Chicago – Every spot was perfect. Trust me, NXT is the truth.
Finn vs AJ Styles, TLC – Now a lot of you may be wondering, how does a match with no build up and the product of unfortunate illness end up at the top, well let me explain. This match here solidified the gold standard that AJ Styles has brought to the WWE all year long, not only does it put a stamp on the trust and acknowledgement from Vince himself, but showcases exactly why Styles is THE phenomenal one of the ring. Styles put on a show of the night that had no business happening at all, and not to get lost in the shuffle Finn was also unleashed in this match showing what can happen when you put quality behind the Demon and why I feel his talents would be better served on Smackdown.
2. AJ Styles vs John Cena, Royal Rumble – Here we go again and with no surprise another match from the phenomenal one takes the number two spot. But let’s take a minute away from Styles and first acknowledge the transcending talent that is John Cena, yes you heard me right…transcending talent. For as much as many of you may not want to admit it, John Cena has been putting on A+ matches with quality people and Styles is far from the exception. This match had it fills of spot after spot along with the ooo’s and ahhh’s that brought about what felt like a dream match long in the making.
3. Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar, Great Balls of Fire – Well here’s where the masses may or may not agree with me. This match has one of the better builds that I’ve seen in WWE, even moreso on Raw in some times. From the promos between Joe and Paul Heyman to the brutal encounters exchanged between Brock and Joe himself this had its fill of “this is awesome!” moments straight to the climax match at the awkwardly named pay per view Great balls of Fire (editor’s note, this ppv name has been scrapped for 2018). The investment and conclusion of this match was a marvel to behold, to the point that this is one feud I wouldn’t mind reliving.
4. Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles, Survivor Series – Another Styles match, it really shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. Styles played the role of underdog to perfection in this match (take not Sami Zayn) to where the story told inside the ring was simply amazing and doing that with Lesnar at that. There really hasn’t been another wrestler that personifies their name more when they step in the ring than the phenomenal one AJ Styles.
5. Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman vs Samoa Joe, SummerSlam – Here we had a monster of a match that did not disappoint from start to finish. Filled with much spots and brutality that you’d expect from a match of this caliber. Each guy here definitely stepped there game up to create of the better matches of the year.
AJ Styles vs John Cena, Royal Rumble – Imagine if we had this for the last 10 to 15 years instead of only the past two. AJ Styles, the man capable of having a four-star match with a garbage can got to have a series of matches with John Cena between mid 2016 and early 2017. The fact that this was the third singles match between them only goes further to show how capable both men are at excellent storytelling both in and out of the ring. As much as we hate on Cena, this was no fluke, he has been quietly doing this since the CM Punk feud.
AJ Styles vs Brock Lesnar, Survivor Series – this match takes second place for two reasons – Brock is still mostly doing the same schtick ever since Suplex City was commissioned in 2015 and because this match was mostly an exhibition and lacked the stakes it could have had, had it went on last at Survivor Series. That being said, more of this please WWE. I said to the guys that my fear with this match is that WWE put it on because either AJ is not moving to Raw at any point in the immediate future or because Brock might just be gone in five months or both. Upon first watch, I wasn’t as impressed with this match as others were, however, upon rewatching, they told a solid story in the ring and in the end we got the closest thing to a rub from Lesnar without beating him and that was a sign of earned respect from Brock towards AJ.
Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada, Wrestle Kingdom 11 – I had to knock the AJ Styles vs Shinsuke tease at MITB off the list to fit this in. But trust me, it was worth it. Just go watch it.
Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe vs Braun Strowman, SummerSlam – It is unusual for WWE fans and Vince McMahon to want the same thing. And at some level almost all WWE fans wanted what Vince wanted for SummerSlam – four unbelievably athletic behemoths tossing each other around the ring with no regard for human safety. This match, while not the most technical in the world and while also containing a “let’s eliminate Brock so we can fight this out” element was fun and fun to watch. While many fans remain disappointed in Brock as Universal champion and the finish of this match, these four guys took fans on a journey in that match through dumb fun, high spots and ridiculous comebacks. Sometimes Vince is right. Now we all wait for the clock to strike 12 again.
Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream, NXT War Games – because sometimes you have to sit down, shut up and recognize something special. (For transparency, I removed the Bray, AJ, Cena match for the WWE title from this list in favor of this match.) Going in to War Games I’m pretty sure this match was under the radar. We were all here for Sanity, Undisputed AoP – but like any great Takeover card, there is always that one match that decides it is going to be a whole lot better than anyone thought it could or should be and try to steal the show. This match was it. The whole idea of Black not saying Dream’s name and how that played into the overall match and story was excellent. I am a mark for great storytelling in a wrestling match and these two told a masterpiece. This would have been higher if it were an NXT title match. Nonetheless, this match serves as a reminder that NXT remains a fertile breeding ground for future main roster talent.
Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Dolph Ziggler vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Money in the Bank – This match warrants consideration simply because WWE teased AJ vs Shinsuke and gave us a taste of what a matchup or series of matchups between the two could be. Yes, and more please in 2018.
Roman Reigns vs John Cena, No Mercy – a potential torch passing match that almost lived up to the hype of its first promo and build, it was hard to keep this off the list.
Wrestler of the Year
AJ Styles – Trust me, there is no debate on this. All of your favorites… and mine too… none had a better two year run than this guy.
Braun Strowman – The “Monster Among Men” moniker fits so perfectly. Rings aren’t safe!
Asuka – Check the record books and then come at me smartly.
Kevin Owens – From run-ins with all of the top superstars you can name to moments with Vince and Shane…. arguably, the best heel in the company right now. (Sorry Miz)
Johnny Gargano – IMO, he’s the heart and the soul of NXT right now. The reason I watch and the most underrated performer in the business.
AJ Styles – Honestly I shouldn’t have to say much as to why this man is at the top of the list, his name as the phenomenal one say it all, he truly is Mr.Must see of the WWE
Braun Strowman – Break out star of the year as well, in just a short time in the WWE, he’s transcended from a cog in the Wyatt family, to superstar monster of the WWE
The New Day – Ok let’s start the controversy train, if we’re talking top stars of 2017 there’s no way I can just regulate these guys to just a tag sub section, these 3 undoubtedly have a place as one of the top performers of 2017. No other person right now embodies the soul and heart of a division as The New Day does right now. As they’ve been the catalyst of the revival of the tag division for years now, and the bar they set in in marquee matches is better than some of your favorite main event guys.
Asuka – Now we come to the true queen of the WWE Woman’s division, like styles there shouldn’t be much that needs to be said here, the undefeated reign speaks for itself
Roman Reigns – The last and probably hardest pick for myself, though I never thought I’d have Roman up here as one of the top wrestlers of 2017. It definitely has been undeniable to turn a blind eye to the man’s improvement, work ethic and steller matches, now if we can get proper direction from creative, Roman would definitely be on his way to claiming “his yard”
AJ Styles – agree with Ricardo – there can be absolutely no debate on this. Anyone who has someone other than AJ at the top of their list is plain insane. Go find almost any AJ match from 2017 and it is sure to better than almost every other WWE performers best match from the same time period.
Roman Reigns – I started the year with about as much hate as one could have for Roman, but damn it the man has been on a run of high level main event matches and feuds since he fought Daniel Bryan at Fastlane almost three years ago now. His character has issues, but his in-ring work is indisputable. Only AJ was better this year.
Braun Strowman – the most promising in-house performer since Roman. He has been made to stand toe to toe with Brock, Roman, Joe, Big Show, Kane and in some way has destroyed and or manhandled all. 2018 may just be the year of the Monster Among Men.
Kevin Owens – this may be a cheat of my own rules because a part of this is just my own personal affinity for KO, but he has had a solid 2017. He came in as Universal Champ. Lost to Goldberg, who lost to Brock. He had an excellent feud with Jericho and went on to battle the best of the best across both rosters. Add in the Vince moments and the Shane feud and it’s near impossible to keep KO out of the top 5.
New Day – I have to agree with Javon here. (Yall know the drill, my blog, my rules). New Day has been at the forefront of a tag team revolution (at least on the main roster) for about two years or so now. Their feud with the Usos landed tied for top feud. Yes, I am aware that there are three of them, I don’t care. The excellence of what they have done, especially in gaining Vince’s support and their own level of creative freedom, is amazing. There will be a lot of stiff competition in 2018 and it’s likely that we may need a separate category for tag teams, but nonetheless for 2017, it had to be done.
Honorable Mentions: Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Seth Rollins, John Cena (in limited action)
Biggest Wish for 2018
I have to start with Ricardo on principle. This dude laid out the most elaborate idea and seemed to pull it either right out of thin air or from deep in the recesses of his mind as though it was something he was sitting on since April. This is probably the most Attitude era idea I have heard in the last five years, in any event, here we go…
The formation of the Dark Alliance
I hated the way the Undertaker left the ring at Wrestlemania. Broken and dominated by Roman (you make me sick) Reigns.
Therefore, I’m petitioning the WWE to assemble all of the dark forces in the company – Woken Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, Sanity, Elias, the Bludgeon Brothers, Finn Balor (Demon King) and all of the like under one umbrella; one faction.
My idea starts with these superstars being taken over during matches throughout January and summoned away by some unknown power.
Then in February we see Kane spazz all the way out and be overcome by this same spirit… in this moment we see the appearance, for the first time, of sister Abigail in person.
She approaches Kane in the ring, with him now on his knees and she touches him and he becomes calm immediately. She tells him it’s time. He leaves with her.
A few weeks later we hear the Undertaker’s gong during a big match. Not his music. Just the gong and it goes pitch black. The lights turn on moments later and all of the superstars I mentioned earlier are in the ring in cloaks surrounding the participants of the ongoing match.
They reveal themselves and destroy the participants of the match.
They do this all the way to the build up to Wrestlemania .
A month out from the big show the Undertaker reruns as the leader of the faction. They declare that he deserves special carriage to the after life and the promise to give it to him.
He challenges the then WWE Champion, wins at mania and retires the right way in New Orleans.
He leaves the belt in the middle of the ring, lays in his coffin (now at ringside) and the “Bearers” usher him into retirement the right way.
Alex: I only ask for two things, a Daniel Bryan return and Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles in the main event of Wrestlemania.
Javon: Shinsuke, AJ Styles, Wrestlemania say no more fam.
Here’s to 2018
It has, as usual, been an up and down year for WWE. While most fans have enjoyed AJ Styles putting on a show or Braun Strowman destroying WWE top to bottom, WWE had its fair share of missteps including too many ppvs, taking attention away from the top two titles, and potentially ruining superstars like Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and others. Here’s hoping that WWE looks at what worked and didn’t work in 2017 and gives us a better overall product in 2018. We want AJ vs Shinsuke, and AJ vs Brock II, and maybe even Roman vs Cena II. While most of us will continue to watch anyway, here’s to bigger and better wrestling in 2018. (Sad thing is, 2017 wasn’t awful, wrestling fans just have unbearably high standards.)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers.