5 Best Wrestlers of 2017 So Far
Which wrestlers have been the best performers in 2017 so far? Here are our picks.
As we are at the halfway point of 2017, now is a good time to take stock of what has happened so far this year in the world of professional wrestling and give some praise to those that deserve it. Over the coming days we will look at a number of categories but I can’t think of a better place to start than with Best Wrestler.
When considering which wrestlers should be shortlisted for this category you need to take into account consistent match quality, standard of opponents, story telling ability and, to a certain extent, their place on the card. This was exemplified perfectly in 2016 by AJ Styles, who was, and still is, excellent every time he steps in the ring.
With that being said, let’s take a look at who has been setting the world of wrestling alight this year.
1. Kazuchika Okada
It would be so easy to put Kenny Omega in the number one spot, and there is a definite argument to be made that he deserves it, but for me the run that Okada has had since the turn of the year has been exemplary. He shared two incredible matches with Omega and made IWGP Title defenses against Katsuyori Shibata, Minoru Suzuki and Tiger Mask W, all of which were excellent matches. He even managed to get a really good match out of Bad Luck Fale, which speaks volumes. He has a style that meshes well with anyone and this year has proven that.
2. Kenny Omega
At number 2 on the list we have Omega who, in addition to the aforementioned matches with Okada, had two fantastic matches with Tomohiro Ishii. He has spent the rest of the year mostly wrestling in tag and 6-man matches and it is harder to stand out in those surroundings.
3. AJ Styles
The third spot is taken by the best wrestler in the world, AJ Styles. He has had the best match on every PPV he has been on this year. He started the year by having a superb match against John Cena at the Royal Rumble and from there he was in the excellent Elimination Chamber match. He also got a great match out of Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, had a very good match with Kevin Owens at Backlash and was part of the MITB ladder match at Money In The Bank.
4. Hiromu Takahashi
In at four we have Hiromu Takahashi, who has been the revelation of 2017. He won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title from Kushida at Wrestle Kingdom 11 and from there he was booked incredibly strong by New Japan, creating a major star in the process. In addition to matches against Kushida he also had excellent matches against Dragon Lee, Ricochet and Will Ospreay.
5. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate
For the final spot in this list I couldn’t decide between two of the UK’s finest, so I took the cheap way out and picked them both. The British wrestling scene is at its strongest level since the days of William Regal, Marty Jones and Rollerball Rocco and these two are at the forefront of it. Their match against each other at NXT TakeOver: Chicago was one of the best this year and in addition to their work in WWE/NXT they have been tearing the house down night in, night out on the UK scene. The best of their work has come in PROGRESS where they both put on consistently great matches as two of the members of British Strong Style.
As the year progresses there will almost certainly be changes to the order of this list, and there may very well be some new names forcing their way in. Tetsuya Naito has an incredible gimmick and has consistently great matches, Matt Riddle keeps getting better and better, and Travis Banks is having a breakout year. The future looks bright.