Review for WWE: Best PPV Matches 2017

8 / 10

2017 was a year where we saw Goldberg become World Champion again, where Brock Lesnar hold the Universal belt for most of the year whereas the WWE Championship was Hot potatoed between four people over the first few months before we saw the rise of the Modern Day Maharaja. It saw possibly the retirement of The Undertaker, John Cena match Ric Flair with 13 World Championship reigns, the debut of a Miss Money in the Bank which was technically won by a man?

It was a strange year. And yet, if you are a fan of tag team wrestling this was the strongest year that WWE has had in the tag division in years with the return of The Hardy Boyz, the Heel turn of The Usos as well as strong showings from the New Day and Cesaro and Sheamus.

This set includes 19 matches of which I would say most are definitely deserving to be on a 'Best' set, however a few definitely don't.

WWE Championship Match
AJ Styles vs. John Cena
Royal Rumble • January 29, 2017
My feeling going into this match is simply this: John Cena cannot win. If he does it will destroy all the hard work that AJ Styles and the WWE has been doing over the past few months.

It was a good back and forth match and really when you think about dream matches this is still one that I never thought I would see. My biggest problem with this match was that the commentary was so pro-Cena that you almost forgot at times that AJ Styles was the champion and every time that Cena went for a pin my heart was in my throat... until the end when I wanted to throw up.

Ok, I don't have anything against Cena and I do think he is a much better wrestler than people give him credit for. However, him winning on his first match back is such a cheap move and it makes all the hard work of AJ Styles has been doing the last few months for nothing. The sad thing is this: This match was amazing, but as always it's the ending that leaves the bitter taste in the mouth. Cena is champion again and once again I cease to care.

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
Elimination Chamber • February 12, 2017
This was a great match. The whole Wyatt Family story arc has been fantastic and I think this match showed just how great both of these guys are. It was an odd match to call and at times I wasn't sure who I was supposed to be cheering for, but the ending was great and it really worked with the storyline.

Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
Elimination Chamber • February 12, 2017
This was one of the best Elimination Chamber matches I have seen in a very long time. Every single person who took part belonged in this match. I thought that maybe Baron Corbin would be the odd one out, but even he had an amazing showing as did everyone. Multiple times I called that someone was going to win and then they didn't. The ending shocked me out of my shoes and this will no doubt be included in my Match of the Year contenders. A fantastic way to end a PPV.

AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
WrestleMania XXXIII • April 2, 2017
This was a phenomenal match (pun intended). I really did not expect this match to be this good and was blown away by how Shane was able to hang with AJ Styles in this match.

John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
WrestleMania XXXIII • April 2, 2017
This was simply painful to watch. This match was setup simply for the proposal between Cena and Nikki and if this had been an episode of Raw or Smackdown it would have been fine, but this was Wrestlemania and it didn't deserve this.

Universal Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania XXXIII • April 2, 2017
Universal Championship Match with Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar was such a surprising match. It was short, which was expected, but not as short as most of Goldberg’s matches. I actually enjoyed it.

RAW Women’s Championship Match
Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley
Payback • April 30, 2017
I just don't know about this match. I like both and love both of their characters I just wish this was allowed to breathe more before this payoff. This could have been much better.

Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Payback • April 30, 2017
They probably should have went with Owens/Jericho or Joe/Rollins for the last match as this just felt like a bit of a let down. Both were fine in general, but this made Roman Reigns whole being passed the torch at Wrestlemania seem more pointless than it was. Strowman was surprising and hoping he gets that main event push he is deserving.

WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal
Backlash • May 21, 2017
WOW! I guess WWE have a tour of India coming soon. I have no real issue with the title change. What I have an issue with is that this is the fourth in a matter of months. As much as I'm not a fan of Mahal he works well with Orton and hopefully they can give him a better storyline than 'He's not American' which is all he seems to have at the moment. A shocking ending to an average match.

Fatal 5-Way Match to Determine #1 Contender for the Universal Championship
Roman Reigns vs. Finn Bálor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Samoa Joe
Extreme Rules • June 4, 2017
The PPV ended with the Fatal Five Way Extreme Rules Match to be Universal Championship Number 1 Contender between
Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt. This was a good match. It had some amazing moments, but it was hampered a little by there being five people and this odd number meant there were times when I forgot people where even in the match, but this is the issue with most multi-man matches. A great match overall and the outcome was certainly a surprise and a pleasant one to end a somewhat awful PPV.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Tamina
Money in the Bank • June 18, 2017
We come to the ground breaking, monumental, first-time ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match between Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Carmella, Tamina and Becky Lynch… which was won by James Ellsworth??? I don’t care if this was not against the rules it makes no sense and absolutely destroys what should have been one of the best moments in women’s wrestling. My brain almost shut down watching this and the worst thing is that this was actually a classic example of an amazing match RUINED by the finish.

Universal Championship Match
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
Great Balls of Fire • July 9, 2017
Then we come to the main event... all six minute, twenty five seconds of it!!!??? This is not a joke. The main event of a PPV is generally why we are watching. It is why we bought the PPV and so for it to last this long is a sham. The match seemed like it could have been great and the build was fantastic. Why would they throw away that for such a terrible payoff? Even if the result was the same this just wrong. I expect this kind of length from a Goldberg match or a Women's match but not from the Main Event??!!

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day
Battleground • July 23, 2017
The New Day against The Usos was a fine tag match. Great showing from both. I expected more from the ending, but I can't fault the match itself.

RAW Tag Team Championship Match
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins
SummerSlam • August 20, 2017
Both teams were fantastic in this match and it was great to see the start of the re-formation of The Shield. Both teams worked well together and Sheamus and Cesaro have taken them being thrown together randomly and turned it into one of the best teams WWE have. A great match, even if the ending was a bit predictable.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe
SummerSlam • August 20, 2017
Like most multi-man matches, this one was good, but at times felt like just three people all waiting around to get F5'd by Brock Lesnar. It is a shame as this match looked like it had the potential to be the crowning of a new champion and with the fire behind Strowman, Joe and even Reigns. It had some great moments, but the ending was a bit of a let down. 

Fatal 5-Way Match for the Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma
No Mercy • September 24, 2017
The Fatal 5-Way Raw for Women's Championship between Alexa Bliss, Bayley, Nia Jax, Emma and Sasha Banks was fine in
general, it was just let down by the ending. Nia Jax looked amazing and I do hope that WWE don’t drop the ball on her push.

John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
No Mercy • September 24, 2017
John Cena against Roman Reigns really needed more a build for it to mean anything. This should have been a passing of the torch moment, but as we found out at Wrestlemania no one wants Roman Reigns to carry the torch so not sure why they rushed with this one.

Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell Match
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Hell in a Cell • October 8, 2017
Finally the PPV ends with one of the best Hell in a Cell’s I have seen in a long time. This match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon was insane and exactly what I thought it would be. At times I thought that they would take it too far… then they would take it further and this made the match intense to watch. This is how you end a PPV.

“The Demon” Finn Bálor vs. AJ Styles
TLC • October 22, 2017
Finn Balor was originally meant to be facing Bray Wyatt, but due to an illness he had to pull out. We all benefitted from this with the addition of Smackdown’s AJ Styles in a Dream Match. This was match of the night for me and I can’t wait for these two to be able to face again for more and for lengthier battles. Both looked outstanding and this was definitely a time when WWE booked on the fly and came up with gold.

The set has definitely got some highlights with Balor vs. Styles, Owens and McMahon in the Hell in a Cell and the Elimination Match being definitely some of the best matches of the year.

Of course, like all 'Best of' sets, there are bound to be omissions and this is definitely the case with this set. It is not surprising that they missed out the Roman Reigns/Undertaker 'Maybe Retirement' match, but that is possibly because the reaction to the match was so negative.

Fastlane was completely forgotten about which is a shame as it included Charlotte getting her first PPV defeat by Bayley which I thought was a great moment. Other notable missing matches were anytime Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens were in the ring including their matches at Wrestlemania, Backlash and anytime Sheamus and Cesaro were on a PPV. The match I am shocked they did not include was their 30 Minute Iron Man Tag Match for the WWE Tag team Championship. This was a pitch perfect match and one of my best of the year. Not including Kurt Angle's redebut at TLC is also surprising.

I am surprised that of all the Wrestlemania matches they included the Miz/Maryse against Cena/Bella one which was basically setup just for the marriage proposal. It's not like they needed to include a Cena match with him appearing three other times. The inclusion of the Miss Money in the Bank match which was won by James Ellsworth is so insane as everyone hated that match and as groundbreaking as it was, it just felt cheap. The other match I was very surprised they included was the barely seven minute title match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe which was appalling for a PPV and didn't deserve remembering. It is again a shame that they don't wait until the actual end of the year to complete this set as they missed out some amazing matches from the Survivor Series PPV, but this is my gripe every year.

WWE: Best PPV matches 2017 is such a subjective set that I'm not sure whether it would ever please everyone. There are certainly matches missing and matches that should not be on here, but I do think that the WWE presented some great matches throughout the year. It was nice to not see the same match over and over again and the attempts to try out new things for better (AJ Styles, Finn Balor) or worse (Miss Money in the Bank, House of Horrors) showed that WWE were willing to break away from the norm which is always good. I do hope that they can build on this and that 2018 is even better.

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