TOP 5 PRO WRESTLING MOMENTS OF 2017 (1st batch): Jericho-Omega angle, Styles beats Jinder, Styles-Lesnar, Gargano-Ciampa, Festival of Friendship

Jinder Mahal after losing the WWE Title to A.J. Styles (photo credit Ross McAdam © PWTorch)

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We have invited PWTorch.com readers to submit their Top Five Pro Wrestling Moments of 2017. Read the first batch, and then join in by sending us your list –  pwtorch@pwtorch.com


PWTorch.com reader Shane of Dublin writes…

First of all I’d like to wish everyone at PWTorch and everyone reading this a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks also to everyone at the Torch for all your hard work, I really recommend everyone to become a VIP Member if you are not already, I promise it is money well spent every month! With that said here is my top five wrestling moments of 2017 in no particular order:

(1) John Cena winning his 16th world title at the Royal Rumble: Like most adult males I am not Cena’s biggest fan, but I take my hat off to him for his body of work. His series with A.J. Styles is, in my opinion, up there with some of his very best in-ring work, capped off here with my personal favorite match of the year in WWE.

(2) Festival of Friendship: The chemistry between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens was awesome and was my favorite aspect of WWE TV for months, and this was such a fun and great angle for their break-up.

(3) Chris Jericho surprising us all with Kenny Omega angle in NJPW: I am not an avid NJPW follower, but my interest was piqued big time by this. I have watched some of Omega’s matches over the last year or so and he is fantastic, and the “Being the Elite” YouTube series is a lot of fun. On top of this Jericho is one of my favorite wrestlers and he proved yet again he is one of the most creative minds in the industry. I will definitely be watching Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January for this match.

(4) Women’s Money in the Bank: It ended in a ridiculous manner, but I was excited for the first-ever women’s MITB match as a big moment for the continued growth of equality for women in WWE – and I am really looking forward to the women’s Royal Rumble match too.

(5) The Shield reunite: The Hounds of Justice have put the band back together. Enough said. (Ambrose’s injury is a bummer, though.)

Here’s hoping for a great 2018 in wrestling!


PWTorch.com reader Dave T. writes…

This year has been light on BIG moments I think, but here are mine.

(1) Owens/Jericho Festival of Friendship

(2) Usos-New Day feud culminating in the Hell In a Cell match

(3) Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate. Pick any match they have had together

(4) Aleister Black-Velveteen Dream from Takeover. Their whole feud was GREAT.

(5) Tomasso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano.

Honorary mention: Revival versus DIY tag matches. Wow.


PWTorch.com reader Brandon LeClair writes…

Here are my personal top 5 moments of 2017

(5) The Hardy Boyz Return at WrestleKania 33. This one surprised me a bit as I started to go over big, memorable moments. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Hardys in recent years, although I was admittedly intrigued to see them come “home.” Being in attendance for this year’s WrestleMania likely influences my feelings about this, but it was, to me, one of the highlights of the night and rather surreal, given the fact that they were just in ROH the night before.

(4) Chris Jericho attacks Kenny Omega en-route to Wrestle Kingdom. As a casual watcher of NJPW, I tend not to catch most of the secondary events. My interest certainly peaked when I learned Jericho would be facing Omega, but I truthfully didn’t expect him to actually show up on the Road to Wrestle Kingdom. His viscous in-ring attack, coupled with the press conference angle, turned this into one of the more compelling stories of the year both in terms of in-ring expectations, and because of the pieces that needed to fall into place for the match to even occur.

(3) A.J. Styles defeats Jinder Mahal to regain the WWE Championship. My position on Jinder Mahal falls very much in line with what PWTorch VIP Audio Analyst Todd Martin expressed on “The Fix” podcasts. I was perplexed and surprised (not in the good way) when he won the title, and grew increasingly disinterested in Smackdown as his reign laboriously sauntered on throughout the summer and much of the fall. A.J. winning the title in England felt like a huge sigh of relief – as though the course had been corrected and I could begin to truly enjoy Smackdown again. And, truth be told, I have. Had Jinder reclaimed the title last weekend, I’m sure this would fall off my list entirely, but now that we seem to be safely out of those woods, it’s solidified as a joyous moment in 2017.

(2) Tommaso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano at Takeover: Chicago. I’ve been a wrestling fan for nearly twenty years now, and at that point, it’s hard to say much “gets me.” This turn got me in the best of ways. I was fully invested in DIY and felt like my heart got ripped out along with Gargano’s as Ciampa beat him down. I was angry at Ciampa, I was sad for Johnny. I bought in hook, line, and sinker. It’s a shame that Ciampa’s injury derailed what could have been the most memorable angle of 2017, but here’s to hoping they can rekindle the magic next year.

(1) A.J. Styles vs. Brock Lesnar from Survivor Series
I want to believe. I want to become fully invested and forget, even if only for a moment, that what I’m watching is a carefully choreographed spectacle. Styles vs. Lesnar, much like the DIY angle, did that for me. When Lesnar was tossing A.J. around like a rag doll, I was pleading internally for A.J. to fight back. I was angry that the company would book A.J. to get squashed by Lesnar. When A.J. turned the tide, and Brock sold for him, my frustration turned to elation. Even knowing Lesnar was a lock to win the match wasn’t enough to put a damper on how strongly they’d hooked me in. From the promos leading to the match, to the execution, I was all on in this ride.


Let us know your Top Five Pro Wrestling Moments of 2017! Send them to pwtorch@pwtorch.com in the above format.


NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT COLUMN: BRUCE MITCHELL: What a Great Wrestler Does

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