2016 was not the best year for wrestling and that is very unfortunate. It's had some highs and many lows. Booking has been the main issue with both WWE and TNA this year. Both companies have made questionable choices. For example, Charlotte has already won the Women's Championship four times and the title has not existed for a full year. On the TNA side of things, the concept of the Grand Championship is awful. The one idea professional wrestling steals from mixed-martial arts is one of the worst aspects of it. The judging. However, one of the best things to happen this year was The "Broken" Hardys. The Hardys were able to create something interesting and exciting and were able to get the entire wrestling world talking about them. Another positive thing to happen in professional wrestling this year was AJ Styles' WWE run. Although he started off shaky and many fans were worried, Styles overcame the WWE's bad booking. Poor booking leads to people being in positions they should be nowhere close to being. Meanwhile, some guys are lost in the shuffle when they should be used close to the top.
Here are 8 overrated wrestlers and 7 underrated wrestlers from both WWE and TNA.
15 Overrated: Roman Reigns
I don't dislike Roman Reigns. He's not a bad wrestler at all but people still continue to criticize him for that. My issue with Roman Reigns is how he's been booked. When he feuded with Rusev, he felt like a heel (which would be good for him but he is supposed to be a face). Also, his match at WrestleMania against Triple H was slow, plodding, and downright boring. It made no sense for him to win the United States Championship as it has done nothing for him. It hurts wrestlers who have nothing going on for them and Reigns has only defended the title three times. He's done nothing to deserve the hate he has gotten this year but WWE's booking choices have hurt Roman Reigns a ton. It doesn't help that his acting and promos are still not the best.
14 Underrated: Nia Jax
Nia Jax deserves way better than what she has been given on the WWE main roster. She has not come close to a title shot even though she has never lost in one-on-one competition. They made her submit to Becky Lynch at Survivor Series when she should have been disqualified or counted out in order to maintain that "nobody can beat her" vibe. Once again bad booking. The women's roster on Raw has been horrible. Sasha Banks and Charlotte have traded the title back-and-forth seven times. Nia Jax should most definitely be a part of the Women's title picture but she hasn't even had a shot at it. She is heading towards a feud with Sasha Banks and if she doesn't mangle her, she will lose all credibility.
13 Overrated: Sasha Banks
Speaking of Sasha Banks, she lands herself in the overrated section. She is very talented and fun to watch in the ring. However, why is someone who labels themselves as "The Boss" a face? The Boss character in NXT was a heel and worked well and that's how she got herself over. Banks is already a three-time Women's Champion and the belt hasn't existed for a full year. Since she isn't the current Women's Champion, that means she has lost the title three times to the same person. Every time she lost clean. She has absolutely no credibility left. If she gets the better of Nia Jax during their feud that would completely destroy Nia's push. The best option to go is to have Sasha turn heel.
12 Underrated: Apollo Crews
This one is not all on booking. Apollo Crews has zero personality which is a shame. However, they fail to do anything with him over on SmackDown Live. He faced The Miz at SummerSlam for the Intercontinental Championship and has been used sparsely ever since. He is one of the most athletically gifted talents on the roster. The only other people I can think of when it comes to athleticism is Seth Rollins and AJ Styles. The amount of times he has been on SmackDown since the split are very few. Once again, charisma is the only thing holding him back. Roman Reigns is also lacking charisma but he's held the WWE World Championship on three separate occasions. Hopefully 2017 will be kinder to Crews.
11 Overrated: Moose
The failed NFL player has been booked incredibly strong in TNA. WWE were interested in Moose earlier in 2016 and they didn't pull the trigger on a deal. That was for the better. Crews is bad at showing emotion but Moose is even worse. People thought he would be the saviour of TNA but he's been lost in the shuffle. He defeated Mike Bennett at Bound For Glory for some reason and ended all the credibility that Bennett had. Moose then went on to defeat Aron Rex for the Grand Championship. For those who don't know, the Grand Championship has special rules where there are three rounds and the winners of the rounds win the match. The concept clearly is clearly from mixed martial-arts and does not fit wrestling at all.
10 Underrated: Braun Strowman
I may catch some flack for this but I believe Braun Strowman is one of the best things going for WWE right now. He feels like a serious threat like Nia Jax. He's ran through everyone and looked really good in the process. His career reached a hitch when he couldn't take out Sami Zayn in the ten minutes but he didn't. Rumors had been swirling that Strowman is due for push and it is believed that not only Triple H but Vince McMahon likes him as well. The big men in WWE are not going away and fans need to accept that. Look for Strowman to have a big year in 2017 as WWE will likely begin to push him towards the main event picture.
9 Overrated: The New Day
The New Day's act has been stale for over a year. There was no reason for them to hold the tag titles over year let alone for them to break the record for the longest reign in tag team history. I personally cannot wait for The New Day to split up. They have so many options as to what to do with them. Will Xavier Woods become the heel? Will Big E live up to his expectations in NXT? Will Kofi Kingston be as relevant again as he is now? I don't know the answers to any of the questions but all I know is The New Day need to split up. It's been two years that this group has been together and they haven't switched up their gimmick at all. The second year of The New Day have brought some of the worst moments of the year including The Old Day and Sonny Boy.
8 Underrated: Rusev
Rusev is one of the best character or gimmick in the WWE. Ever since he's backed away from the anti-America gimmick, he's been straight money. He overcame the nonsensical feud with Dolph Ziggler. He overcame The League of Nations. He made the United States Championship important again after it lost some importance. And then he ran into Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns feuded with Rusev where the role of heel and face were put into question. Almost every action done by Rusev was that of face. Meanwhile every action done by Reigns was that of a heel. Reigns took the United States title from Rusev and then beat him in the rematch. Hopefully Rusev doesn't fall in the doldrums again as he did after he lost the United States previously.
7 Overrated: Aron Rex
Aron Rex or Damien Sandow was released from WWE in early 2016. Many fans including myself believe Sandow was misued in WWE. They also failed to capitalize on him being incredibly over in early 2015 and just let him flounder until his release. After he was released many fans of Sandow voiced their displeasure with the company's choice to release the Superstar. He went on to TNA which was a surprise to most of the wrestling world. Many thought TNA would capitalize on the popularity but they didn't. They made him the first ever Grand Champion at Bound for Glory in a match against Eddie Edwards where the lights went off mid-match. Rex' ring work has also not been the best since joining TNA. He is not in the best of shape and his matches are not fun to watch.
6 Underrated: Neville
Neville's year started off somewhat promising. It was believed he was going to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania. But then got injured during a match with Chris Jericho on Raw and that plan was then over. When he returned from injury he was drafted to Raw. When he came back, he was used rarely and has a loss to Bo Dallas on his resume. When the Cruiserweight Division was making it's return many thought Neville would be one of the people at the forefront of the division. Unfortunately, he didn't even show up on TV until Roadblock. He turned heel and attacked the champion Rich Swann. That was easily the most intriguing thing Neville has done since joining the main roster. Hopefully the creative team doesn't screw this up.
5 Overrated: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is one of my favorite wrestlers in the WWE, but everything went wrong for him this year. His match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania may be Lesnar's worst since he came back to the company. And that includes Lesnar's match with Big Show at the Royal Rumble in 2014. He won the WWE World Championship at Money in the Bank and won The Shield Triple Threat match at Battleground. Then the Steve Austin Podcast interview happened on the WWE Network and it ruined Ambrose's run with the title. The interview was very awkward and uncomfortable and made Ambrose look really bad. He lost the title to AJ Styles at No Mercy. That isn't the worst thing but it proved that Ambrose's reign was a failure.
4 Underrated: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley does Brock Lesnar better than Brock Lesnar. Lashley is dominating everyone put in front of him in Bellator MMA. He is currently sitting on top of a 15-2 record. He has victories over Bob Sapp and Wes Sims. He dominated TNA Wrestling for all of 2016 and won all of the belts this year. He differs from Lesnar as he actually has to overcome some adversity. He has been in danger of losing and has lost, unlike Lesnar until Survivor Series of this year. It is unlikely that he will return to WWE once TNA closes it's doors. But this year showed Lashley can be a top wrestler. In 2006, many fans weren't fans of Lashley, but he improved and got better at wrestling thus making him a fun wrestler to watch in 2016.
3 Overrated: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar in 2016 was a failure. In the 2016 Royal Rumble he was eliminated by The Wyatt Family. This led many to believe that we would be gonna be given Bray Wyatt vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. But they just let it slip under the rug and we were given Dean Ambrose vs. Lesnar instead. That match showed to us that Lesnar, no matter the opponent, is one-dimensional. Ambrose complained that Lesnar was lazy and didn't want to do anything different for their match which explains why the match was bullocks. He ran through Randy Orton at SummerSlam which surprised no one and then began his feud with Goldberg. We were all surprised when Goldberg defeated Lesnar in a match that went under two minutes though. However, this made Lesnar ending The Undertaker's Streak feel less important.
2 Underrated: Cesaro
"The Swiss Superman" is one of WWE's most talented wrestlers. Fans have complained about his misuse since he came up to the main roster. Looking at the Raw roster, there is no reason as to why he's not competing for the Universal Championship. Instead, he is one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions with Sheamus. The ended the long, drawn out reign of The New Day. The two are entertaining to watch, but Cesaro should be doing way better. No one on Raw is ready to take the Tag titles from the two and hopefully when they split up, they don't feud with each other. In fact, the two should have a Team Hell No thing going on. Cesaro is clearly the Daniel Bryan of the two and should beat whoever the champion is clean much like Bryan did in 2013.
1 Overrated: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is a really talented wrestler. So why is he on the overrated side you might ask? Well he is overrated because his reign as Universal Champion has made him look like nothing more than a chump. He's played second fiddle to Chris Jericho and although they have been entertaining, Owens has been hurt by the pairing. The order of the group goes Jericho, then the list, and then Owens. That should not be the case especially since he's the Universal Champion. Everyone had high hopes and were excited when he won the title on Raw. But this reign has unfortunately fallen short. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 33 seems to be the way they're going and if Owens loses they're may be no going back for him.
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