My 10 Favorite Wrestlers of 2017
The title pretty much says it all. My favorite wrestlers of 2017 based on well, how much I liked what you did in 2017. The Wrestlers on this list had either my favorite moments of the year, match of the year, feud of the year, or just put in amazing in-ring work consistently all year. This list is my thank you for your incredible dedication to your craft this year.
10. Marty Scurll
Every list needs a villain. With possibly my favorite entrance in wrestling, Marty Scurll has made his presence felt globally in 2017. The current IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion had classic matches in Ring of Honor, Defiant, and New Japan. To be a standout in an impressive Junior Heavyweight division is no small feat. Marty’s career can only go up from here. His association with Bullet Club will help to make sure his already hot career will stay stoked. Here’s to him breaking more fingers in 2018.
9. The Miz
The most underutilized Superstar on the WWE roster in 2017. The Miz has poured his soul into the Intercontinental Championship, into WWE, and into everything he does. Why WWE has never rewarded this man with a great feud is beyond me. It’s like they keep a glass ceiling on him because they know he’d blow their Raw poster boys out the water if they didn’t. His mic skills in WWE are matched by few and in-ring he can keep up with the best of them. The IC Belt just isn’t the same if he doesn’t have it, the mark of a true Superstar.
8. AJ Styles
If you take away AJ Styles from WWE in 2017, there would have only been a handful of great singles matches this year. AJ doubles that number and then some. The man is magic in the ring in WWE and is in the right spot with the WWE Championship. Putting on classics with Cena and Lesnar he’s shown to be the best in the company. He elevates everyone in a match with him and is invaluable to the company by doing so.
7. The Young Bucks
BE ELITE, BE BE ELITE. I love them. They’re disrupting the wrestling landscape in 2017 like very few people would dare to do, and I love them for it. Nick and Matt have been able to market themselves and gain exposure in ways no other act has. They’ve managed to piss people off just by being able to do in the ring what others can’t. That’s never a bad thing. They’re heading into WrestleKingdom 12 looking to stake a claim as the greatest Junior Heavyweight Tag Team of all time. It’s hard to argue against it.
6. Tetsuya Naito
The man who grew up with the luchadors now has a chance to sit on top of New Japan after January 4th in the Tokyo Dome. Some may not like his style, but it’s such a great Heel gimmick. I’ve enjoyed watching Naito climb up the ranks this year. His matches with Okada, Omega, and of course with Ibushi have been the match of the year candidates and rightfully so. Recently received the 2017 Japan wrestling MVP award he’s joined rare company in becoming a 2-time recipient. 2018 may be the time for Naito to sit on top New Japan Pro Wrestling.
5. Kazuchika Okada
The Rainmaker. There’s a strong argument to be made that Okada has the best in-ring ability of anyone in wrestling right now, and Okada adds more evidence to the argument every time he hit the ring in 2017. Whether it’s with Evil, Naito, Omega, Cody Rhodes, and the list goes on Okada is always on his A game. His proficiency in the ring is incredible. With Okada set to defend his IWGP Heavyweight title against Naito at WrestleKingdom 12, it’s looking to be another fantastic 2018 for Okada.
4. The New Day
NEW DAY ROCKS! NEW DAY ROCKS! One half of the best thing going for WWE in 2017, it’s The New Day. Though they took a back seat this year to put over The Bar on Raw and The Usos on Smackdown, they were always on their A game. Some fans think 2018 will see more singles pushes for The New Day, if this is true, I just hope they don’t break them up. They’re just on too hot of a run to ever derail them.
3. Chris Jericho
No one in wrestling has had quite the ability to make a sudden impact like Chris Jericho does. He came back to WWE in 2016 and immediately had the most over gimmick with The List of Jericho, and then had the best promo segment of the year with the Festival of Friendship with Kevin Owens in 2017. Jericho is just a goldmine of ideas and now he’s aiming them at NJPW. His match with Kenny Omega for the IWGP US Championship at Wrestlekingdom 12 will arguably be the biggest match of 2018 and the year hasn’t even started. It will be hard to top this match, but if anyone can, Jericho will. The Alpha knows how to stop and put on a show, and wrestling wouldn’t be the same without him.
2. The Usos
Day One Ish. The Usos have become the premier tag team of The WWE in 2017. Carrying the Smackdown brand all year, they were the showstopper of every PPV they were on. WWE is disrespecting the Tag Team division by not showing these guys like a hot commodity. I only pity them because there’s no one on Smackdown who can challenge them like The New Day, so where do they go after them? A brand switch in 2018 will do them some good, just as long as the Uso Penitentiary comes with them.
1. Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega currently is The Guy in wrestling. 2017 was the beginnig of the era of Omega. I’m not sure what else I have to say here. He and Okada’s trilogy may be the best in-ring trilogy ever. He’s already got the hottest match of 2018 booked. The Cleaner just seems to be unstoppable at this point. Backed by the hottest stable in The Bullet Club, there may be no limit for Kenny’s potential. He’s got the attitude, the mic work, and the in-ring ability to make himself and anyone else look good. He’s the best in the world, and he knows it, damn I love a good Heel.
Think your end of the year list is better than mine? Say something below, then head over to Twitter and Instagram to follow us @Baselinetimes and @TheHoWPod. Peace.
Senior Editor/Heels of Wrestling
@MXMurden on Twitter and Instagram