2017 was an interesting year for the WWE, it certainly had many memorable moments that fans will talk about for a while. But it also offered the usual storylines, matches, and segments that just left everyone dumbfounded at the booking decisions. Like always, the year was filled with drama and surprises with a twist of unnecessary events that we could have gone the rest of our lives without having seen. It was a decent year for the company, certainly not the worst but far from the best as well.
Thanks to all the shenanigans that went down, we have some unforgettable photos that will always be associated with this past year. As we look back at previous years, there are always photos that take us back to remind us of certain events that transpired. For the better or worse, these moments make up everything that sums up an entire year of intriguing events. We have witnessed everything that one could have imagined, from shocking returns to awful debuts and some unbelievable victories.
When it comes to wrestling, opinions will always be split; what someone may consider a terrible moment may be a great one to another person. Years from now, there will be certain moments that stick out when wrestling fans look back at 2017 – some of which they may be very fond of while others were cringeworthy. With today’s list, we look through 15 wrestling photos of 2017 that we can’t unsee.
15. You Can’t See John Cena’s Hair
John Cena has been balding for a few years now but it got much more noticeable in 2017 since he grew out his hair. Although his hairline remains intact, he has a giant bald spot in the back of his head which looks out of place. Cena looked youthful for most of his career but there were visible aging signs this year, mainly due to the loss of hair. For the past couple years, he had been getting short haircuts which effectively hid the bald spot, and he’s probably better off sticking to that look.
It’s possible that Cena has simply been growing out his hair for a movie role as he has been away from WWE for most of the year, but images of Cena’s bald spot may become a symbol of the year he officially went from the company’s top draw to an aging wrestler who is now an actor.
14. Jinder Mahal Crowned As WWE Champion
From a jobber to a WWE Champion overnight, fans will never forget Jinder Mahal‘s crowning moment at Backlash when he defeated Randy Orton to shock the entire world. That image is one that most fans would love to erase from their minds for eternity because Mahal is simply not championship material, and his push was just too random for fans to take seriously.
And it’s not like he had been building steam from the past couple months, he transitioned from a jobber who doesn’t get a reaction to the top face of the company. It wasn’t an experimental title reign either – at least not a short one – his run lasted longer than the likes of The Undertaker and Eddie Guerrero which upset the fans. The photo above will go down in WWE history, granted it may be on the wrong side, but that’s a sight that no WWE fan will ever forget.
13. Trick Or Street Fight
Every year, WWE likes to celebrate Halloween in style. Unfortunately, these matches always end up being a disaster and fail to serve any real purpose. While there is no faulting WWE for attempting to have fun with their booking, fans are almost never entertained by these matches, especially the one we saw this year featuring Heath Slater and Rhyno against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
If you needed any further proof of how disastrous this was, the crowd’s reaction spoke volumes as you could hear a pin drop in the arena. Fans were also frustrated that Gallows and Anderson had been reduced to such matches when they could be doing so much more on the roster. The photo above is one that will be difficult to erase from our minds as it explains how out of touch the company is with its audiences in some ways.
12. Bray Wyatt As Sister Abigail
Bray Wyatt was seen as a breath of fresh air upon his early years in the WWE. But that has taken a turn for the worse as he has struggled to truly find his place on the roster. Some fans continue to believe that Wyatt may turn things around, but booking decisions have basically ruined his career. It seems like the company always finds a way to ruin what could be a turning point for him as we witnessed this year with Sister Abigail.
For a while, Wyatt had mentioned her but it started increasing during his feud with Finn Balor. Fans were speculating as to who it could be with theories piling up, but as it turned out, it was really a ghost speaking through Bray Wyatt’s spirit or something along those lines. The angle was almost immediately dropped because it was truly the epitome of corny, but the image of Sister Abigail’s appearance is one thing that we can never unsee.
11. The Undertaker Leaves His Gear In The Ring At WrestleMania 33
For a while, fans believed that The Undertaker may have unofficially retired at WrestleMania 33 after leaving the ring in a dramatic way. Others noted that he may have simply been passing the torch to Roman Reigns, but we will soon find out as we approach WrestleMania season. The Undertaker is rumored to appear at Raw’s 25th-anniversary show, which would certainly clarify his future.
Regardless of his decision, fans will never be able to get this photo out of their mind as it was symbolic in many ways. While Taker’s longevity has been impressive, he also showed visible signs of decline in his last match with many believing that he should immediately retire. But since it’s The Undertaker, fans will always respect his decision whether he chooses to carry on or leave that iconic photo as the final chapter of his storied career.
10. WWE Universe Meets Woken Matt
For many years, it seemed as if Matt Hardy had nothing left in the tank as he faded into irrelevancy. But then he adapted the Broken Matt gimmick in TNA and his career turned around as fans were captivated by his new persona. Once his contract expired, he returned to the WWE alongside Jeff Hardy, which was certainly the best return of the year.
Although it took a couple months due to legal issues, Matt finally debuted his character in WWE and fans were immediately excited at the prospect of seeing a feud with Bray Wyatt. Despite being currently overused by the company, the Woken Matt laugh is definitely one of the top moments of 2017. Fans hope that the WWE will allow Matt to show more variety of his persona as they may be risking of running the laugh to the ground.
9. The Miz And Maryse Impersonate John Cena And Nikki Bella
The build-up for the WrestleMania match between John Cena and Nikki Bella against The Miz and Maryse was done brilliantly. Although it was the latter couple who carried most of the feud with memorable promos and hilarious segments, the team of Cena and Nikki came out on top with an easy victory. The feud was only booked to allow Cena to propose to Nikki after the match, which has now ruined all the work that had been done prior to the match.
In many segments, The Miz and Maryse impersonated them and poked fun at their interactions on Total Bellas. The photo above cannot be unseen for several reasons; the first being that they nailed their impersonations. And the second is that Maryse managed to portray a hotter Nikki Bella than Nikki ever could. But sadly, their great work has mostly gone to waste with the events that transpired.
8. Jason Jordan Revealed As Kurt Angle’s Son
This photo will never be unseen, not even 10 years from now. Most fans are still mind blown by the events that transpired as WWE revealed that Jason Jordan was Kurt Angle‘s son, which seems out of place and random in every possible way. Jordan’s whiny gimmick and lack of charisma haven’t helped him either, gaining him heat among fans when he is supposed to be cheered.
This goes to show that being associated with Angle doesn’t guarantee success, although it may have worked if Jordan was, in fact, his son. But these kayfabe storylines are more likely to flop in this age as fans are no longer receptive to these deceptions. It didn’t help matters that the segment was so cringeworthy as seen by the photo of nobody really taking it seriously. Whether Jordan goes on to have a great career or become a flop, this photo and segment will be talked about for years to come.
7. Braun Strowman Flips An Ambulance
Every now and then, fans may forget why they even follow WWE in the first place but then moments like the one from the image above serve as a reminder. For months, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns engaged in a feud where they brutally beat up each other. During one segment, after Strowman had served him one hell of a beating to the point he had to be stretched off, he followed Reigns to the ambulance and flipped it over.
These are the type of moments that you can only get from watching the WWE, and as ridiculous as it may be, it makes for great entertainment. While there are some who went out of their way to prove that it’s fake, wrestling fans were far more concerned about how they would top it off. The image of Strowman flipping an ambulance is one we never thought we would see, but we are thankful that we did.
6. Goldberg Defeats Kevin Owens In 21 Seconds
When Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar in just seconds at the 2016 edition of Survivor Series, fans were left in shock as they witnessed a vintage performance. It was his first match since his 2004 departure and fans were definitely interested in seeing Goldberg once again. But as always, WWE took it one step further and decided that Goldberg could carry on, which is why he defeated Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship.
To make matters worse, Goldberg ended Owens’ reigns by squashing him in 21 seconds. Plenty of fans were upset about the decision and started booing Goldberg as he reigned over Raw. Owens had an impressive title reign and most thought that he was buried by Goldberg at Fast Lane. The photos of Goldberg spearing Owens and pinning him to be crowned Universal Champion will never be forgotten, and not necessarily for a good reason.
5. Festival Of Friendship Painting
Despite an underwhelming WrestleMania match, the friendship between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens was one of the better angles in recent years. Before their eventual split, there was a segment known as The Festival Of Friendship, which was supposed to be a celebration although it ended with Owens turning heel on Jericho. The highlight of the segment, as well as one of the most memorable photos of the year, was this painting offered by Jericho to his best friend.
Fans loved it and eventually turned it into a meme as expected. Years from now, when people remember this past year, that will be one of the first images that come to mind. While some believe that their feud peaked at that night, you certainly cannot take away from this segment or the build-up to the feud as the duo ran Raw for a few months.
4. Cesaro Loses His Front Teeth
For the past few years, fans have been behind Cesaro in hopes of seeing him rise to a higher spot on the card. While that appears to be unrealistic at this point, fans have been excited to see him form a team with Sheamus as they have fantastic chemistry. Cesaro is known for being one of the best workers in the company and willing to put on a show for the fans.
During a match between The Bar against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, Cesaro ended up losing his front teeth when Ambrose threw him towards the turnbuckle. Cesaro was bleeding in the ring but carried on like nothing had happened until the end of the match. And the worst part was the revaluation that his teeth had been pushed up further into his jaw, which needed some immediate medical attention. Any image of toothless Cesaro will always remind us of 2017.
3. The Return Of The Punjabi Prison
Fans love specialty matches and always hope to see more of them in the WWE, unfortunately, they did get one this year but it wasn’t one that anybody had missed. We have already established earlier in the list that Jinder Mahal with the WWE Championship is a sight we can never unsee, so it’s no surprise that the Punjabi Prison match found its way on here as well. It’s an offensive match, to say the least, that was initially introduced during The Great Khali’s run and brought back for Mahal.
While the match did feature a memorable bump, it simply isn’t interesting enough to be held. And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it was Khali who returned to assist Mahal in retaining the WWE Championship – a one-time appearance that only took place because of the Indian connection. Not very logical if you ask me.
2. Lavar Ball Goes Off Script On Raw
Lavar Ball is currently one of the hottest names in all sports. The father of Los Angeles Lakers player Lonzo Ball, as well as fellow basketball players LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, he rose to fame quickly for his controversial opinions. As one would expect, the WWE tried to capitalize on his buzz by having him and his sons appear on The Miz’s show.
What transpired in the ring was beyond WWE’s initial script as Lavar went off script, took off his shirt and started acting up while his younger son shouted the n-word on national television. Months since the segment took place and most still can’t really make any sense of what happened in the ring. According to The Miz, Lavar had declined to go over the script by claiming he knew what to do out there and went on to promote his brand while talking trash to The Miz.
1. James Ellsworth Captures Money In The Bank For Carmella
With the rise of the Women’s Revolution in WWE, we have witnessed some history in recent times. Among them was the very first women’s ladder match for the Money in the Bank briefcase, which ended with Carmella as the winner. But it really wasn’t Carmella who enjoyed the historic moment as her sidekick James Ellsworth climbed the ladder to unhook the briefcase and hand it to Carmella.
That’s one way to ruin a historic moment. By that time, Ellsworth represented everything that is wrong with a WWE booking – they take a character that is over and start pushing him in all the wrong ways. And if you had the slightest doubt that WWE got it wrong on all account, Ellsworth was released in November just five months after the Money in the Bank match. Years from now when people talk about this historic event, the image of Ellsworth holding the briefcase will sadly be the first thing that comes to mind.
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