2017 tied a WWE record for most pay-per-view events in company history, with 16. In that time, the company has given us a range in quality for those PPV main events. Now that the year is coming to a close, let’s take a look at how each main event stacks up.
16. Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton – Battleground
While it is fair to say this match is the most entertaining Punjabi Prison match in it’s history, that isn’t saying much. Both men are capable of better, but the stipulation limited the match. While we did see a brutal table spot with one of the Singh Brothers, the return of The Great Khali was not so celebrated. Many believe Battleground to be the worst PPV of the year, and the main event is a good reason why.
15. Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg – Fastlane
The shortest match on this list, Goldberg was able to make quick work of Owens thanks to the distraction by Chris Jericho. This angered many fans as Owens appeared to had been a pawn in a larger game between Lesnar and Goldberg. Add on the fact that Owen’s reign as Universal Champion wasn’t the best, and the belt was going to go to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, and you have a lackluster main event.
14. Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal – Backlash
The match that solidified Jinder’s presence in the main event as he won the WWE Championship in shocking fashion. While Jinder’s reign wasn’t been accepted well, there was hope when he first won the belt. The match wasn’t terrible, but the two would go on to have the same type of match over and over again. Both men use calculating styles, which doesn’t compute to great matches very often, but this was alright for what it was.
13, Men’s Five on Five Elimination Match – Survivor Series
This was great for about five minutes before the stare downs were getting old and the eliminations came quick. New talent in the form of Roode, Joe, Balor, and Shinsuke were eliminated early, and the reliance on established competitors was clear. Even Sami and Kevin’s involvement in the match seemed unnecessary since Smackdown Live was already beaten at that point. However, the match does get points for having Braun dominate, getting a good number of eliminations and standing tall over Triple H at the end. But compared to the year previous, and even the card that came before it, this match underwhelmed.
12. Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker – WrestleMania 33
One could place this encounter farther up or down on this list. The match itself was slow and clunky, but the direct aftermath made that somewhat irrelevant. Jim Ross also graced the commentary table to give as what we presumed to be Undertaker’s last outing. After the bell sounded we witnessed our childhoods flash before our eyes and disappear into the darkness. It will be a memory we hold onto forever, even if the Undertaker isn’t done quite yet.
11. Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman – No Mercy
A match with a great build but a disappointing outcome. Strowman seemed to be Brock’s greatest challenge to date, but fell early to one F-5, much like Samoa Joe before him. The match was haulted quickly as well, not being able to capture interest before Braun entered Suplex City. Coming off of their Summerslam encounter made it that much more deflating.
10. Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe – Great Balls of Fire
Like the Lesnar/Strowman match, this contest was well built with many looking forward to it. To be honest, the match was interesting before the abrupt end. The quick finish deflated both the crowd and the fans watching from home. It was a shame to, because the events preceding were some of the best we had seen in a while. Since then we’ve been anticipating a rematch, but it doesn’t seem were going to get one, leaving us even more disappointed.
9. AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal – Clash of Champions
A solid performance from both men leading to a main event that surprised a lot of people. It’s no secret Styles is one of the best in the world, but he wasn’t able to do much of what brought him to the dance with his hurt ribs. Jinder’s methodical pace assisted the story of Styles’ ribs being injured early in the match, and brought him to his best showing to date. The lack of Singh brother interference helped as well. AJ was able to retain the championship, leading many to believe that Mahal is out of the main event, which most are happy about.
8. Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins vs. The Miz, Braun Strowman, Cesaro and Sheamus, and Kane – TLC
Chaotic is one word that describes this match in its entirety. It has so much going on that it could be compared to the chaotic matches of the Attitude Era. Roman Reigns was unable to make the contest, leading to Angle’s return to the ring. That, along with the Braun/Kane stuff, Angle’s departure and return, and an abundance of hardcore spots made the match either seem diluted or awesome depending on who you ask. Nonetheless, considering the amount of changes it had to undergo, it’s Surprising the match went as well as it did.
7. Royal Rumble Match – The Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble match has received a lot of criticism the last few years. This match was not exception, with an underwhelming Randy Orton win and the surprise entrant Roman Reigns. There were some enjoyable moments, with all of new day being eliminated at once, Jack Gallagher’s umbrella antics, Baron being the one to eliminate Braun Strowman, and Undertaker getting the one up on Goldberg. It was arguably a solid match before Roman came out to a chorus of boos, and the line up of Goldberg, Lesnar, and the Undertaker could have been better, but overall it isn’t the most hated Rumble in history. Not even close.
6. Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money In The Bank
A bit high perhaps, considering Baron Corbin would go on to lose his cash in and previous Money in the Back matches are considered to be much better. However, there is still much to like here. Shinsuke was still a new face to SmackdownLive, so having him leave the match early helped him keep a certain aura. Though he did come back to have an epic showdown with AJ Styles. And though Corbin did fail his cash in, his win was an exciting moment for Corbin fans.
5. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor – Extreme Rules
This match will likely be forgotten in the sea of multi-person matches. What hinders this contest is the fact it was under extreme rules, but nothing extreme really happened. Also, the match wasn’t impactful in the grand scheme of things. Samoa Joe would go on to win the right to face Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire, only to lose in underwhelming fashion.
4. Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens – Hell in a Cell
An argument can be made on which Hell in a Cell match was better at the event, with the two focusing on different elements of a cell match, but both could be considered two of the best. Shane and Owens, as expected, found a way to the top of the structure, where they had everyone on edge. Looking away wasn’t an option, then again we didn’t want to see someone fall and get injured or worse. Thankfully, everything went well, with Shane diving off the top as he did against the Undertaker, and missing again. The Sami Zayn turn was a welcome sight, though we still have to wait and see where they go with that heading into 2018.
3. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman – Payback
While not their most memorable encounter, Reigns and Strowman are the perfect pairing it seems. Bruan has been a highlight of 2017 and him throwing Roman around was a welcome sight to most fans. The carnage of these matches always seems to increase with each contest. Braun came out on top, which is probably why this and their ambulance match is looked upon fondly. It is arguably the best one on one PPV main event this year.
2. Elimination Chamber Match – Elimination Chamber
What is said to be the last SmackdownLive exclusive PPV of its Golden Age, Elimination Chamber was one of the better events of the year. The Elimination Chamber match itself was a big part of that. With Randy Orton awaiting the winner for a match at WrestleMania, there was a handful of competitors who could’ve walked out at WWE Champion. It was Bray Wyatt, however, who claimed his first world championship in one of the best chamber matches of its fifteen year history. The new chamber itself has seen mixed opinions, but if every match is this good there won’t be too much complaining.
1. Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe
Aside from Brock’s recent match with AJ Styles, this is considered to be his best match of 2017. WWE hammered home the multi-man matches this year, but this was arguable the best. Summerslam turned out to be the worst of the big four PPVs, but did manage to have the best main event. While Lesnar was the odds on favorite to win, there was still a change of any of the men walking out with the Universal Championship. This match proves big men still, and will always have a spot in wrestling.
Top 5: WWE Raw Superstars That Should Go To Smackdown In 2018
The brand split has given us two distinct rosters with their own faults. While both shows could stand to mix the rosters up, today we look at five Raw superstars that should come to Smackdown Live within the next year.
5. Apollo Crews (Titus Brand)
Since coming to RAW, Crews was able to find a mentor in Titus O’neil, and did get a few wins under his belt. With Reigns and Lesnar holding both singles titles, the best opportunity for gold lies with the tag team championships, and that doesn’t seem probable at this point. A switch to Smackdown Live, not only for Crews, but Titus Brand, would open up opportunities. Smackdown’s tag team division is the best it has been in a while, and with a new U.S. champion getting crowned Crews can be a viable challenger for the victor.
With both Asuka and Paige top contenders for Alexa Bliss’ Woman’s Championship, and Sasha and Nia waiting in the wings, Bayley doesn’t have much she can do. Smackdown Live’s Woman’s division is in need of new competition, with Becky Lynch and Ruby Riott being the freshest competitors to challenge Charlotte. Reports are coming out that WWE is giving up on Bayley, but a switch to the blue show could open up
3. Samoa Joe
Unless he wins the Intercontinental Championship, there doesn’t seem to be anything for Samoa Joe to do on RAW until Roman eventually gets the Universal Championship. Even then the likely candidate to be a worthy challenge to the Big Dog is Braun Strowman. A move to Smackdown Live would give the main event scene a big player heading into WrestleMania and could provide for some memorable dream matches. Joe is one of the few NXT call-ups that still has a good bit of his aura still intact, but moving to SmackdownLive could provide much more prominent role.
2. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel
While a trade to the blue brand might not do much for the Miztourage, a change of scenery could do them justice. Bo and Axe are two talents most fans believe to be underutilized, as Axel is the son of Curt Henning and Bo is a former NXT Champion. The Smackdown Live tag division is flourishing at the moment, and while the two may not be challenging for the titles, at least Harper and Rowan can have another team to destroy outside of Breezango.
1. Finn Balor
Like Joe, Balor will have to wait a while before getting the chance at one of the two singles titles on Monday nights. A plethora of challengers awaits Roman Reigns with both his I.C. and Universal Championships, and while Balor could be one of those challengers, it is unlikely he will take one of them. A brand change could open up a possible run at AJ Styles, as Balor has a victory over him. Not to mention, like Joe, the plentiful amount of dream matches that could come of this.
Official Rundown: The Chairshot 2017 Match of the Year
All of the voting is done, and we finally know the winner of the Inaugural Chairshot Match of the Year. We’d like to thank everyone who participated across multiple groups, we saw a total of 400 people express their opinion in the results. Each of the five matches brought something a little different to the table, and in most groups we had a difference of merely 3 or 4 votes between first and second place. However, one group tipped the scales significantly for the match that ended up winning.
So let’s see where each of the Top 5 ended up in the final rankings:
(t) 5th – The Usos vs The New Day – WWE Hell in a Cell – 17 votes
While many people enjoyed this match, the in ring quality wasn’t quite up to par with the other options, as well as people preferring one of the other matches between these two teams. Given the year both teams had, and how The Usos are most people’s tag team of the year…tying for 5th in this vote isn’t really an insult.
(t) 5th – Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage – NOAH Summer Navigation – 17 votes
This match suffered from the lack of overall exposure to the general crowd. Brian Cage’s popularity in Lucha Underground helped to put this on some people’s radar but, Japanese companies not named New Japan still have issues garnering more fans. This match showcased a lot of Brian Cage’s ability not seen on Lucha Underground. So the fact it at least tied for 5th, instead of getting no traction, is a small testament for word of mouth still doing work in the social media age.
3rd – John Cena vs AJ Styles – WWE Royal Rumble – 56 votes
The WWE’s Match of the Year, finishes third, with a respectable number of votes. A very good match for WWE standards, had the uphill battle of following Wrestle Kingdom 11, and put up a good fight. Cena ties Ric Flair’s record 16 Heavyweight Title reigns with this match, but it sadly didn’t measure up to the caliber of our top two matches this year.
2nd – Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago – 91 votes
When this match ended and Meltzer’s ratings gave it less than 5 Stars, the internet wrestling community collectively lost their minds. NXT as a brand is highly beloved since it’s basically the WWE’s version of a Indy promotion, with better production values. The match was quite good and even won the vote in a few of the groups we extended the poll into. Definitely a well deserved Top 5 entrant, but still fell to the match that won over many critics and decisively won our vote.
1st – Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega – NJPW Dominion – 219 votes
Was there really any doubt? These two have put on enough classic matches this year to basically have a Top 10 of matches just including them. Not only did this match surpass their first bout, which was Kim Kardashian’s backside levels of breaking the internet, it immediately drew comparisons to Steamboat vs Flair thanks to the 60 Minute Broadway, which isn’t seen often, much less for the Heavyweight Championship. Regardless of where you lie on your feelings between the best match of the trilogy, or what trilogy is the best, or who the better wrestler is, the main fact is; without these matches capturing your interest, you wouldn’t have a basis for argument in the first place.
This vote caps off 2017 nicely as the year of New Japan. It became more visible to the public even before Jericho’s announcement and gives fans a plausible number 2 to try to rally behind. Would it be nice to see WWE step up their game a little? Yes it would, but it probably won’t happen yet. Should you be hopping on the Japanese Wrestling Hype Train and look into NOAH, Dragon Gate and All Japan? Definitely yes, at times those three companies put on matches that were better than New Japan and have stars that can easily compete with your favorites in NJPW.
Use your internet connection to educate yourself further…and Always Use Your Head.
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