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The 10 Best WWE NXT Superstars 2017

The 10 Best WWE NXT Superstars 2017

When I compiled my list of The 10 Best WWE Superstars of 2017, I thought about including NXT superstars on the list, but it seemed unfair after thinking about it. With not the same level of TV exposure and storyline weight, the parameters of compiling this list should be different.

These superstars I’ve picked due to shown potential, growth in NXT this year, and in-ring match quality. NXT, for the most part, has showcased tremendous talent this year and I have nothing but the best of hopes for these NXT Superstars.

Honorable Mentions

Peyton Royce

Street Profits

Drew McIntyre

Bobby Roode

10. Asuka

Had Asuka been on NXT for the full year, she’d probably be higher on this list.  However, Asuka got injured and was brought back on the main roster on Raw. Before leaving she left us with two NXT classics in her Last Woman Standing match with Nikki Cross and her last title defense against Ember Moon. Thank you for all you did in NXT, Asuka.

Notable Match: Asuka vs. Ember Moon (NXT Takeover: Orlando)

WWE NXT Superstar Asuka

9. SAni†y

It’s hard to find someone who can talk on the mic and has great in-ring ability. It’s even harder to find that combo in someone who can also be convincing as a cult leader. But Sanity has it in Eric Young. Young is backed by surprisingly high flier Alexander Wolfe and muscle man Killian Dain, both who have become tremendous talents in NXT. Sanity is well equipped to face any opponent in the ring and beat them. SAni†y needs to be called up to the main roster soon as a faction to be feared right off the bat.

Notable Match: Sanity vs. Authors of Pain (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III)

WWE NXT Superstars Sanity (Dane, Young, Wolfe, and Cross)

8. Authors of Pain

Anchored by Paul Ellering, these two have a chance to make a shakeup in the current WWE tag team scene. There hasn’t been a duo of strong men who got over as a tag team in WWE in a long time. We can only hope the best for Akam and Rezar as they go forward and destroy everything in their path to hopeful main roster gold.

Notable Match: Authors of Pain vs. #DIY vs. The Revival (NXT Takeover: Orlando)

WWE NXT Superstars Authors of Pain

7. Johnny Gargano

Johnny Wrestling started the year as half of D.I.Y. a tremendous technical wrestling team with Tommaso Ciampa. The two had classic tag team matches, but then the latter turned on the former. Now Johnny is on a singles run and is already the #1 contender for Cien Almas’ title after winning a brutal 4-way match at the last NXT of 2017. The Sky’s the limit for Johnny. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t end up on 205 Live.

Notable Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan (NXT 12/22)

WWE NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano

6. Roderick Strong

Roderick Strong is an excellent talent. His in-ring ability is great, but it seems like he’s missing an edge or something else to him to give him that push. He has a very Dean Malenko type feel without the intensity behind it. His technical brilliance has got him over with the crowd, but this makes me worry about his future main roster showing. Hopefully, he can remain in a good light.

Notable Match: Roderick Strong vs. Hideo Itami (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III)

WWE NXT Superstar Roderick Strong

5. Velveteen Dream

The star of untapped potential on this list. Velveteen Dream has sky-rocketed up my list of favorites this year. The pace at which he’s developing in-ring is phenomenal. His character work is already top notch, and the only question is will WWE let this character translate onto the main roster. If they do, they’ve got a bonafide star on their hands here. Say his name.

Notable Match: Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black (NXT Takeover: Wargames)

WWE NXT Superstar Velveteen Dream

4. Nikki Cross

Cross has been my favorite surprise in NXT. After scrambling around for a while as a jobber, she found her place in Sanity, but just lumping her in with the men didn’t do her year the justice it deserved.  She is putting on fantastic matches in the women’s division including a Fatal 4-Way match for the vacant title and a historic Iron Woman match with Asuka. If WWE books her right she can be a menacing heel for the Women’s division on the main roster, something it desperately needs. And with Sanity behind her, it makes her even scarier. Nikki can and is a rare combination for WWE and one that can have massive appeal.

Notable Match: Nikki Cross vs. Asuka (Last Woman Standing Match)

WWE NXT Superstar Nikki Cross

3. Andrade Cien Almas w/ Zelina Vega

Quietly the best story of NXT this year, Almas has found the recipe with success with his manager Zelina Vega by his side. Almas has turned into a fantastic heel, and his manager can work the mic with ease. I hope this pair doesn’t get the Rusev and Lana treatment and get split up while they’re hot. WWE needs a good management pair, and these two can be it.

Notable Match: Andrade Cien Almas vs. Drew McIntyre (NXT Takeover: Wargames)

WWE NXT Superstars Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega

2. Ember Moon

The woman who was behind Asuka all year long is now finally atop of the NXT Women’s division, and she’s earned her position. I wish we could have seen her get a proper 1-2-3 over Asuka for it, but we’ll have to settle for the Empress coronating her as champion. NXT is about watching people grow and come into their own and Ember Moon has done just that. WWE should give Ember a strong title run to set her up for main roster success in 2018. Ember will be a boon to either division she enters on the main roster, and I’ll be happy when it happens.

Notable Match: Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross (NXT Takeover: Wargames)

WWE NXT Superstar Ember Moon

1. Aleister Black

Talk about a complete package out the gate. Aleister Black has put on a show all year long in NXT. He’s so over it’s hard to put him in the title picture and not have it be a predetermined outcome. Black may need to be called up in 2018 relatively soon if they don’t plan on giving him a lengthy title run. Black is a gift horse that will kick the teeth out of your mouth, and Vince needs to let him bring the Black Mass to the main roster in 2018.

Notable Match: Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III)

WWE NXT Superstar Aleister Black

Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment below. Then head over to Twitter and Instagram to follow us @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod. Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram

10 Best WWE Superstars of 2017

10 Best WWE Superstars of 2017

2017 was a rough year for WWE Superstars. There were plagues of injuries, subpar storylines, and pushes that halted. However, some Superstars did become brighter in 2017, and others kept their remarkable paces going. The Superstars on the list are a mix of the best in-ring matches, promos, storylines, and overall entertainment value of the wrestler. These are those Superstars.

Honorable Mentions

Rusev and Aiden English

Randy Orton

Asuka

Sami Zayn

Chris Jericho

10. Brock Lesnar

BROCK LESNAR. The man was so busy defending WWE against the Universe that he shows up when he wants. When he does, there’s usually carnage and a lot of big moves to go with it. Holding the red strap since Wrestlemania, the Beast Incarnate may keep the belt until mania, and there’s not much any mortal man could do about it.

Notable Match: AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar (Clash of Champions)

WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar

9. Kevin Owens

The former Universal Champion had a quietly excellent year in WWE. The breakup of him and Jericho was the story of WWE heading into Mania, and Chris left putting Owens over.  Ownes had a period of being saddled without a great opponent who could bring out his best in-ring work. He and Zayn have been fantastic together at the end of the year, and I hope he gets into the WWE title picture very soon in 2018. He’s probably the best heel Smackdown has at the moment in their single’s division.

Notable Match: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell)

8. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)

Collectively Sheamus and Cesaro have helped to keep Raw’s tag team division at a good caliber. The two European born stars have gelled into something great together. Their seemingly year-long feud with The Shield is hopefully coming to an end, but with the current booking, who knows?

Notable Match: The Bar vs. The Shield (Raw 11/7)

WWE Superstars The Bar

7. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins (The Shield)

After the brand shakeup in 2017, it was almost impossible to see one of these men without the other one. I thought about separating them on this list, but their best run was once they joined forces. Their matches against the Bar were tremendous and after the inclusion of their third wheel Roman Reigns, these two still shined together, especially in Reigns’ absence. Hope you come back stronger than ever, Dean.

Notable Match: The Shield w/ Kurt Angle vs. Braun Strowman, Miz, Kane, and The Bar (Summer Slam)

WWE Superstars Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins

6. Roman Reigns

The current Intercontinental champion Roman Reigns had a great year. At Wrestlemania, he beat the Undertaker being his highlight of the year. Roman’s being kept in the chamber so he can slay Lesnar at Mania and we all know it. However in-ring he’s had some great moments and his “This is my Yard Now” promo may be the best of his career.

Notable Match: Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania)

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns

5. Braun Strowman

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN. Talk about a breakthrough year for a Superstar. Strowman was let loose from the Wyatt Family and spent most of the year laying waste to Roman Reigns. After having his momentum halted by Brock, hopefully, next year brings some gold his way.

Notable Match: Braun Strowan vs. Roman Reigns (Ambulance Match) (Great Balls of Fire)

4. The New Day

After their historic title reign was ended by The Bar, The New Day seemed aimless on Raw. Then they were moved to Smackdown and had the feud of the year with The Usos. It’s only a question of whether The New Day should be separated or kept going, either way, all these guys are incredible talents, and I look forward to everything they do.

Notable Match: The New Day vs. The Usos (Battleground)

3. AJ Styles

It feels like AJ Styles spent most of 2017 in subpar feuds that ended up with fantastic matches. A run with Baron Corbin made him cool off a bit, but high level matches with Lesnar, Cena, Balor, and more established Styles was high on this list. Plus he somehow made Jinder look okay for 15+ minutes. The Phenomenal one is the current WWE Champion and I hope 2018 brings memorable feuds for him while he’s in this position.

Notable Match: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Royal Rumble)

WWE Superstar AJ Styles

2. The Miz

The only reason Miz isn’t #1 on this list is that he didn’t have a remarkable match this year. The Miz’s mic work, in-ring psychology, and just overall wrestling business sense aren’t matched by many this year. Taking him off of Smackdown was a massive mistake by WWE, he owned that show and Talking Smack. I can only hope The Miz comes back, gets his IC Title again, and keeps his fantastic run going. Thank you, Miz.

Notable Feud: The Miz vs. WWE

1. The Usos

Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! 2017 was the year of The Usos. At the beginning of the year, The Miz and The Usos made Smackdown the program to watch. Heel Usos have been the best makeover in WWE in quite some time. The rap battle promos, the matches with New Day, American Alpha, and others have solidified The Usos as my favorite Superstars of the Year. If WWE had any sense, they’d give these guys the main event match at a PPV. Every Smackdown PPV slumped after their matches, and they’d usually be the first ones. I’m all in on some Day One Ish, and I hope WWE gives them their due come Wrestlemania 2018.

Notable Match: The Usos vs. New Day (Hell in a Cell)

WWE Superstars The Usos

Agree or Disagree? Leave a comment below. Then head over to Twitter and Instagram to follow us @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod. Peace.

Markus X. Murden, Esq.

Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling

@MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram