The year is very rapidly coming to a close and with that, it’s time to reflect on what exactly we’ve seen over the past 12 months. 2017 has been a pretty incredible year for professional wrestling. From Kenny Omega versus Kazichuka Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 at the turn of the year all the way up to AJ Styles being crowned WWE Champion for a second time in Manchester, England just last month. We won’t want to remember every last minute of what WWE has given us this year, however. As always with pro wrestling’s top dogs, there has been an awful lot of bad to go along with the good. Here are the five moments from WWE’s 2017 that most fans will likely want to scrub from their memories as they head into the new year.
5. Kane Buries Balor
Kicking things off with a relatively recent one, Kane‘s decimation of Finn Balor. There was a time, not too long ago, when it seemed Balor was being built to potentially face Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble. The Irishman is owed a Universal Title rematch after all. That championship match now feels further away than it ever has. When Kane returned to Raw recently someone backstage decided that the best Superstar for The Big Red Machine to display his dominance over was Balor. Kane ran through Balor in what was almost a squash match. The angle could have been redeemed if Balor had returned in his demon paint and got his win back but that ship has long sailed by this point.
4. Bliss Is Your Life
The Rock and Mankind once staged what has become one of the most loved Raw segments of all time. Mankind wanted to show his tag team partner how much he meant to him and he did that by putting on a This Is Your Life show just for Rock. It was incredible, hilarious, and will be remembered for years to come. Vince McMahon loves to try and replicate segments and angles that worked as well as that one, so earlier this year Alexa Bliss put on a This Is Your Life segment for her rival at the time, Bayley. It did not go well. It dragged on and on and included some “stars” that should not have been in front of a camera. The segment culminated in Bayley’s supposed childhood friend and ex-boyfriend awkwardly making out in the ring as the crowd booed. Booker T said at the time “this is hard to watch.” You really weren’t kidding Booker.
3. James Ellsworth Is Miss Money In The Bank
2016 was a terrific year for the women of WWE and that only carried on into and throughout this year. One of the biggest moments for WWE’s women came with the announcement that they would be having their first ever female Money In The Bank match, a big deal indeed. Well, thanks to the booking of that landmark match, it will now be remembered for the wrong reason. The first-ever women’s Money In The Bank match was won by a man. James Ellsworth scaled the ladder, grabbed the briefcase, and tossed it down to Carmella. Yes, this was rectified by having a rematch a little while after, but that doesn’t take away the fact that this happened.
2. Bray Wyatt Is A Cross Dresser
Finn Balor really hasn’t been involved in many favorable angles this year, has he? Throughout the summer and into the fall, Balor battled back and forth with Bray Wyatt. That rivalry looked to come to a head a couple of months ago when Wyatt teased the reveal of the eerie entity who provides him his power, Sister Abigail. Fans speculated as to who exactly would be cast as Abigail and it turned out to be more disappointing than anyone could have ever imagined. Judging by the promos Sister Abigail is simply The Eater Of Worlds dressed as a woman. The angle was brought to a premature close due to Wyatt being sidelined with a virus. Not that we’d wish that on anybody but maybe it was a blessing in disguise.
PREVIOUSLY: SUPERSTARS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SISTER ABIGAIL
1. Who’s At Number 30?
The Royal Rumble match is one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the year. One of the best things about the 30-person over the top rope epic is not knowing everyone who will come through that curtain. Fans hope for comebacks and nowadays also significant NXT call-ups. That’s why when we arrived at number 30 this year, everyone in the arena and watching at home was on the edge of their seat. Who would it be? Samoa Joe? Finn Balor? Shinsuke Nakaura? No, it was Roman Reigns. The Big Dog is used to entering the ring to a chorus of boos but this was on another level. Vince McMahon may be blissfully unaware of what he’s doing a lot of the time, but this one felt like a rib on wrestling fans around the world courtesy of the WWE chairman.
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