SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
We have invited PWTorch.com readers to submit their personal Top Five Pro Wrestling Moments of 2017. Read the second batch, and then join in by sending us your list – firstname.lastname@example.org
PWTorch reader Paul from Delaware writes…
(1) Roman Reigns retiring the Undertaker.
(2) Goldberg winning the Universal Title and wrestling at WrestleMania.
(3) Memories of Bobby Heenan after his passing.
(4) A.J. Styles becoming World Champion again made even better because of…
(5) The Era (Error) of Jinder Mahal. He improved this year, looked like a million bucks, but his push came out of nowhere and was received poorly because of it .
(6) Rise of Braun Strowman & Samoa Joe. True WWE main eventers.
(7) NJPW strong showing in America
(9) Cody Rhodes working everyone- former WWE mid-carder never delivering above a 3.5 star match being a needle mover outside of WWE
(9) NXT continuing to shine with a loaded roster and War Games
(10) Starcade! Lots of buzz for a house show that only those in attendance saw. I personally was more interested in this show than half the PPVs WWE offered this year
I need to add #11, the return of The Hardy’s at WrestleMania, which drew the biggest pop at the event and it feels right they are back in the fold. With all the internet buzz on everything, it was great to see a true surprise again.
My wildcard is the recent news of Vince McMahon starting Alpha Entertainment. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the WWE with an older Vince McMahon looking at other ventures and maybe becoming less involved in the day-to-day of WWE. This has the long term possibility of being the biggest story of 2017 for wrestling, maybe positive, maybe negative. Time will tell.
PWTorch reader Tyler Morgan writes…
(1) The Hardy Boyz return at WrestleMania.
(2) Kevin Owens headbutts Vince McMahon.
(3) Chris Jericho tears up Kenny Omega picture in Japan.
(4) Goldberg makes his return to wrestling.
(5) A.J. Styles and John Cena matches.
PWTorch reader Mike B. from So Cal writes…
(1) Tomasso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano at TakeOver. NXT did an amazing job to me, and the fact Ciampa has been out with an injury just makes it all the better for whenever he returns and screws Johnny Wrestling again. These two had amazing chemistry, had been built up as a strong team since facing off at the Cruiserweight Classic, and rose to the top of the card after former fan favorites Enzo & Cass, and American Alpha left and got called up. What Ciampa did to Gargano was absolutely disgusting. Six to seven months later, I still need awnsers Ciampa!
(2) Braun’s rise to the top of WWE. Never would have expected this from Braun in such a short period. When he was first called up and was protected as well as he was, I thought it was more-over because he was the new toy for Vince. He’s often booked cartoonishly, but I feel like he’s proven more than enough to warrant the strong push. Couple these things with his awesome series of brawls (matches) with Roman, and Braun has had a monster year!
(3) NJPW in Long Beach, U.S. Specials. I’m admittingly a newer NJPW fan, only having truly followed the product (365) for a full year as of WresteKingdom 12 – However, after ordering New Japan World for WresteKingdom 11… I was hooked. In three months I fell so much in love with New Japan I had to have tickets to their Long Beach shows!
(4) Andrade “Cien” Almas’s rise in NXT since pairing with Zelina Vega. I’m a huge NXT fan, and felt like Almas was being massively under-utilized in NXT. Once he was paired with Vega his booking took a 180, and I feel like he has the potential to be a real star on the WWE roster. I’d love to see him on SmackDown working with Nakamura and Styles, ASAP.
(5) Hardy Boyz return at WrestleMania. As a 32 year old man, this had me screaming and out of my seat when their music hit. Since then, the focus of the Hardyz have been “meh” at best, but given their long-running history with me they’re must see for me still!
Thanks again for all you, Wade! Can’t live without the Torch!
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS BATCH: TOP 5 PRO WRESTLING MOMENTS OF 2017 (2nd batch): Return of the Hardy, rise of Strowman, Mae Young, Lesnar-Styles, more