2017 was a banner 12 months to be a wrestling fan. The WWE stepped up their sport with some nice matches and returns, and New Japan Pro Wrestling got here nearer to changing into a world superpower, giving the WWE some competitors it hasn’t had in near 20 years. With all the wonderful matches in both league, there have been an infinite quantity of memorable moments, however in honor of Macho Man Randy Savage, we’re selecting the cream of the crop. Let’s have a look at seven of the moments of 2017 that made this 12 months particular.
7. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega Three-Match Sequence
On January four, June 11, and August 12, Kenny Omega wrestled the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in a trilogy of matches which are thought of three of the most effective matches of all time. What made these matches superb was the overarching narrative of the feud. Omega persistently tried to land his ending maneuver, the One-Winged Angel, on Okada with various levels of success. He couldn’t do it of their first assembly, leading to Okada’s victory. Omega nailed it at their second assembly, however Okada’s foot was on the ropes. This led to the very uncommon time-limit draw. Lastly, of their third assembly, Omega was lastly in a position to execute the maintain in the midst of the ring, scoring a victory. With one win apiece and one draw, the last word match to find out who the most effective of the 2 will likely be nothing in need of epic.
6. First Ladies’s Cash within the Financial institution Ladder Match
This previous summer time noticed the primary ever WWE Ladies’s Cash within the Financial institution Ladder match. The principles are easy: climb the ladder, seize the briefcase, get a contract to battle the Ladies’s champion anytime, wherever. Due to some assist from her “supervisor” James Ellsworth, Carmella turned the primary “Ms. Cash within the Financial institution.” With the primary Ladies’s Hell in a Cell match just a few months earlier, this reiterated the arrogance the WWE has of their ladies’s division, and that it’s solely going to develop in 2018.
5. Goldberg’s Return
Generally, you don’t notice what you actually need till it’s reintroduced in your like years later. That’s what Goldberg’s return run was for wrestling followers. For followers previous and new, these transient six months domination by Goldberg, culminating in a Common title match at Wrestlemania confirmed that real-life superheroes can and do exist.
four. The “Retirement” of the Undertaker
After being defeated by Roman Reigns at this 12 months’s Wrestlemania, The Undertaker slowly folded up his legendary overcoat, took off his hat and left them within the ring as he slowly walked away. Whereas nothing has been formally introduced, it was closely implied that this was the swan music of one of many biggest WWE superstars of all time. The longer term could also be unsure for “the useless man,” however the feelings introduced out by that second will likely be remembered for years to come back.
Three. AJ Kinds vs. Brock Lesnar
After a very intense match, The Common Champion Brock Lesnar defeated the WWE Champion AJ Kinds on this 12 months’s Survivor Sequence. Since his return in 2012, Lesnar has dominated virtually each particular person he has stepped into the ring with. Nonetheless, for the fifteen minutes that he was within the ring with “The Phenomenal One,” Lesnar was proven that the competitors within the WWE has solely gotten higher. After virtually pinning him with a 450 splash and making him undergo the calf-crusher, Kinds ultimately succumbed to Lesnar’s devastating F-5. Although there needed to be one winner, each are already legends within the making.
2. The Reunion of The Protect
From 2012-2014, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns have been essentially the most dominant faction within the WWE, the Protect. When Rollins betrayed his teammates in 2014, it set all three on separate paths to changing into the Architect, the Lunatic Fringe, and the Huge Canine respectively. Every path ultimately led every to a run because the WWE champion. Nonetheless, this fall the Protect put apart variations and united as soon as extra in opposition to a standard enemy, selecting up precisely the place they left off.
1. Chris Jericho Challenges Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega is arguably the most effective wrestler in New Japan Professional Wrestling, and naturally the identical will be mentioned for Chris Jericho within the WWE. At 47 years previous, Jericho had certainly one of his greatest years ever in 2017 each teaming and feuding with Kevin Owens. That’s why it was a shock amongst wrestling followers around the globe when Jericho, who has mentioned he would by no means wrestle outdoors the WWE, challenged Omega to a match for Omega’s IWGP United States Championship on the annual WrestleKingdom present on January four within the Tokyo Dome. Labeled “The Alpha vs. Omega,” this match represents the most effective of WWE vs. the most effective of New Japan, one thing followers by no means thought might occur. If the match lives as much as the hype, followers are in for one thing particular.
It’s been a protracted 12 months, however there have been a number of nice moments inside it. What was your favourite wrestling second of 2017? Let me know on Twitter @donnielederer or hold forth within the feedback beneath.
Photos: WWE, New Japan Professional Wrestling