2017 was more of the same for the WWE. The creative team pushed some wrestlers that fans weren’t so keen on while holding back some superstars that were expected to get a major push.
We did get to see AJ Styles build upon an excellent 2016. Few superstars ever had such a great calendar year like the one Styles had in 2017. We also saw a reunion of The Shield, which few fans can really complain about.
All around, it was a pretty good year for the WWE and its fans. Of course, there were also some beloved wrestlers that were overrated and didn’t achieve as much as you may think. Here are your five favorite but overrated wrestlers of 2017.
5. Enzo Amore
We knew Enzo Amore and Big Cass were going to break up eventually, but the way it went down wasn’t so great. Cass and Amore were in the midst of a rivalry until the 7-foot-tall giant tore his ACL and is expected to be out until WrestleMania 34.
Without Cass to work against, Amore was instantly shoved into the Cruiserweight Division, where he’s mainly wrestled against inferior superstars who have less momentum and relevance as the Certified G. Amore didn’t have any defining moments in 2017, but is strong microphone skills were able to cover up what was otherwise a fairly mediocre year.
2017 was a big chance for Amore to receive a bigger push and become a stronger mid-card wrestler. Instead, he proved some of our suspicions that he’s not as big of a deal without Big Cass.
4. Dean Ambrose
WWE tried to push Dean Ambrose as the face of SmackDown last year, but fans were more interested in AJ Styles and gave the Phenomenal One more support. The creative team also made a handful of questionable calls that held back a potentially huge year for Ambrose.
He didn’t win the Royal Rumble, which could have been a defining moment of his career. Ambrose didn’t even get a main card match at WrestleMania 33, instead facing Baron Corbin in the kickoff show.
Ambrose then returned to Raw via the Superstar Shake-Up and was embroiled in a rivalry with The Miz that became super dull and dragged on for far too long. He didn’t become an impact star until he finally reunited with The Shield, though many will agree that Seth Rollins carried the team more.
Ambrose, unfortunately, suffered a triceps tear and will be out for nine months. It was a bad end to a not-so-great year for The Lunatic. The fans still love Ambrose, but 2017 really didn’t build him up much.
Expectations were high for Bayley in 2017, but it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the year we had hoped for. She defeated Charlotte on the Feb. 13, 2017, episode of Monday Night Raw to capture the Raw Women’s Championship for the first time.
Yet, Bayley didn’t seem to really get over with the crowd all that much. Many of her promos were awkward as the fans barely gave her any reaction. She was a mega fan favorite in NXT, so the change of heart from the fans is confusing and can’t be explained.
Bayley’s title reign only lasted 76 days, and a shoulder injury sidelined her for a brief period. Her run as the face of the women’s roster didn’t go so well, so Bayley has to be considered one of the more overrated wrestlers of the year.
2. Shinsuke Nakamura
After a wonderful run as the face of NXT, major things were expected for Shinsuke Nakamura. The hype around this guy cannot be explained enough. Fans were ready to see the next face of WWE. How else can we put it?
But oh, count on the creative team to ruin and waste an entire year of Nakamura’s career. He joined the main roster on the April 4 episode of SmackDown, but never got the push we waited to see. Nakamura beat John Cena and Randy Orton, a sign that he was about to get over.
Nope. The creative team had him lose to Jinder Mahal, one of the worst WWE Champions in recent memory. Nakamura was a non-factor in the five-on-five interbrand match at Survivor Series. He has yet to win a championship.
We’re not calling Nakamura himself overrated. He has all the talents to be one of the top stars of the PG Era. But the creative team duped us by building him up in NXT, only to make his first year in WWE a major flop.
1. Roman Reigns
Come on, who else was it going to be?
What did Roman Reigns do? Hmm, he “retired” The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. He cleanly pinned Braun Strowman, he beat John Cena, he won his first United States Championship (to become part of the Grand Slam club), and reformed The Shield! Not bad at all for one year.
And yet, here is Reigns—still not over with the crowd. Still receiving lukewarm to cold receptions from the fans. Still being shoved down our throats by the creative team. Still cutting mediocre promos—outside of that really good post-WrestleMania promo. Credit Reigns for having a great 2017 by accomplishing so much. But the man still isn’t any more “over” than he was in 2015 and 2017.
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