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Top 30 WWE Superstars In 2016

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Top 30 WWE Superstars In 2016

via:wwe.com/twimg.com/sportzwiki.com

2016 was one of the craziest years in the WWE when looking back at the previous years passed. The 2016 season began with Triple H at the top of the mountain and he was later dethroned by WWE star Roman Reigns in a lackluster bout at WrestleMania. Many predicted that Roman would hang onto the title for a long time, but his run came to an abrupt end 77 days after in a shocking loss at the Money in the Bank PPV. The decision raised quite a few eyebrows and it was later revealed that the reason behind the plan was because Roman failed a Wellness Policy Exam resulting in a 30 day suspension.

Dean Ambrose would benefit the most from his departure, rising up the ranks as the top dude in the company. Later on, with the emergence of NXT and an abundance of depth the WWE would announce another brand split to take place. As of now, fans have mixed views on how it has played out, but one thing’s for sure, various performers have stepped up to the plate and performed brilliantly as you will see in this list of the greatest in 2016.

Before we get to the list we’d like to shed a light on some disappointing omissions. For obvious reasons, part-timers such as Brock Lesnar were not included on the list. Other disappointing names left off the list include Neville, Sheamus, Paige, Baron Corbin and The Usos, who all had subpar years (to put it nicely). Nikki Bella was also omitted due to injury, but we praise her performances nonetheless since coming back from injury.

That’s all you need to know. Buckle up and enjoy this list brought to you by The Richest which features the top 30 WWE Superstars of the year. Let us know your thoughts, as always!

30. Randy Orton

via:pbs.twimg.com

via:pbs.twimg.com

Away from a WWE ring for almost a year, we really didn’t realize how much we missed Randy till he actually returned to SmackDown Live. After getting drafted to the Tuesday show, the Viper was instantly thrown to the forefront feuding with WWE part-time megastar Brock Lesnar. Not only did Orton successfully build up that feud, but he remained an integral part of SmackDown Live with his incredible draw value, which seemed to be forgotten.

Despite his short-run in 2016, Orton still cracks the list and just shows how significant his contributions have been for the company. Since his match with Brock, Orton continues to be a crucial part of the Tuesday show, working a long-term angle with the Wyatts which recently saw the plot twist dramatically with Randy turning heel and joining the group. With this storyline in play, 2017 is looking quite promising for the Viper who will surely move up this list given an injury-free year.

29. The Club: Gallows & Anderson

via:dailyddt.com

via:dailyddt.com

With A.J. Styles inking a deal with the WWE, it only seemed like a matter of time before his stable mates Gallows & Anderson, would be joining him inside a WWE ring. Following WrestleMania, the duo made their debut (re-debut for Gallows) on Raw attacking the Usos. Right off the bat, the team was very well received and thrust into an upper-card storyline alongside A.J. Styles.

Following the brand split, several fans worried with Styles going to SmackDown, while Gallows & Anderson were kept on the Monday Night show. Those fears were quickly made evident when the duo seemed to lose their way, getting defeated by the long time Tag Team Champions, the New Day.

As of now, the booking of the team has been extremely subpar. They can talk and fight, which is why their run has been so disappointing thus far. Despite their horrible usage however, the team does manage to squeeze into the top 30 for the year 2016. We seriously hope the team can once again re-establish their identity heading into 2017 and beyond.

28. Bray Wyatt

via:ytimg.com

via:ytimg.com

Entering the WWE in the summer of 2013, fans instantly labelled Bray Wyatt as a huge future star to look out for. Surely, WWE fans figured he’d be a Champion by this point helping to carry a new “darkside” gimmick into the future.

Somehow, someway, this has not happened for Bray. With loads of potential, Wyatt continues to be squandered and 2016 was perhaps his worst year yet. Instead of finally being put over bigger stars, Wyatt was once again relegated to joke/jobber when taking on some of the more prominent names. Just look back at WrestleMania 32, Bray was made to look like a joke in front of The Rock and this was furthered with a beatdown by the hands of The Great One and John Cena.

With a selection to the SmackDown brand, fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief thinking it was finally his time. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth as Wyatt once again flopped, losing match after match and running the same backstage vignette on various programs of the Tuesday show. Things got truly bizarre when Wyatt picked up a random loss to Kane at WWE Backlash.

With Orton by his side, fans remain optimistic heading into 2017. Surely, Wyatt is looking forward to putting his worst WWE year behind him.

27. Cesaro

via:tumblr.com

via:tumblr.com

Speaking of disappointments, another WWE Superstar who has no business in being ranked so high on this list is none another than beloved WWE Superstar Cesaro.

Like Wyatt, fans expected both performers to be thrust into the top 15 for 2016 but things just haven’t worked out that way for neither. With the WWE draft put into place, fans drooled over the possibility of Cesaro finally leaving to the Monday Night show and joining the SmackDown brand which was labelled to be “the wrestling show”. Instead, the WWE threw a wrench into the plans and decided to keep Cesaro on Raw. He was initially thrust into the main event scene which pleased Cesaro, but he was later once again relegated to mid-card status taking on Sheamus in a best-of-seven-series.

What made the series exciting was the fact that the winner got a WWE Title shot, but once again, the plans were somehow deviated for the worst and the story saw the Swiss Superman tag with his familiar foe, challenging for WWE Tag Team Championships.

Based on his performances alone, Cesaro deserves a spot on this list but his rank is rather disappointing. Dwelling in the tag scene, we hope for a better 2017 for this talented WWE star.

26. Sami Zayn

via:wrestlingrumors.net

via:wrestlingrumors.net

2016 was a year of redemption for Sami Zayn who underwent a terrible seven month hiatus after an entrance botch against John Cena in his very first WWE main roster match, in front of his hometown crowd in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

He would re-debut on the main roster to start 2016 entering the Royal Rumble. Zayn received a monster pop but wouldn’t return to the main roster scene till March, attacking long time foe Kevin Owens.

The feud between Owens and Zayn was truly a thing of beauty and arguably the rivalry of the year for 2016. The two finally put their differences aside in an epic match at WWE Battleground which saw the two real-life best friends steal the show. The match resulted in Sami finally getting the upper hand on his best buddy.

Following the victory, Sami’s booking has been pretty disappointing losing to the likes of Chris Jericho and feuding with under-card performer Braun Strowman. Though, we must remember Zayn is still quite green to the main roster, he’s only been a fixture on the main program for less than a year at this point. Understandably, the WWE has chosen to take their time with Zayn. Like the others we discussed, we hope to see Zayn bolster up a couple of notches in the 2017 rankings.

25. Heath Slater

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

This is a name perhaps nobody would have predicted to make this prestigious list during the first half of 2016. The Slater character seemed to be going absolutely nowhere and it was a shame considering the guy could put on a decent match and was pretty darn good on the microphone.

In a shocking twist, the WWE used the draft to make Slater relevant again and man, did it ever work out. Going un-drafted, Slater labelled himself as the hottest Free Agent in the world. He’d bounce around both shows for a while till he finally earned himself a spot on the SmackDown Live show. In doing so, not only was Slater relevant again but he sustained a large following with the WWE Universe backing him up.

With his new found confidence, the WWE crowned Slater the brand’s first ever Tag Team Champion alongside Rhyno. The crowd roared in approval following the win and the team has been untouchable since this writing, successfully defending their Championships on three separate occasions. Without a doubt, Slater is the feel good entrant on this list.

24. T.J. Perkins

via:performgroup.com

via:performgroup.com

Speaking of feel good entrants, another name you probably thought you wouldn’t see on a list of top stars before 2016 began was Indie journeyman T.J. Perkins.

If you watched the tournament, it’s really a no brainer, the Cruiserweight Classic was by far the best thing in the WWE in 2016. The tournament brilliantly captured the hearts and minds of wrestling fans giving us the opportunity to watch such an event we’d never seen before. The finals of the prestigious CWC saw the underdog T.J. Perkins win the entire tournament and receive the Cruiserweight Championship following the victory.

He brought the Championship to Raw and received a great ovation. Despite losing the title, not many can say they’ve won such a tournament, albeit the first one in history and hopefully not the last. Despite his brief involvement in 2016, Perkins still makes the list based on his incredible work ethic along with such a prestigious accomplishment.

23. American Alpha

via:topropereport.com

via:topropereport.com

2016 was certainly a year that American Alpha will never forget. On January 8th, the team was finally identified under their current name and took the developmental brand by storm. The team became must-see-television and the fans demanded more and more of the dynamic duo. After obtaining numerous victories, the team finally got a shot at the Tag Titles against The Revival at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. In a five star match, the team won the belts and the crowd roared in approval. Shortly after, the team was forced to drop the titles as the WWE decided they were main roster ready.

The team was picked during the draft and the crowd approved with a thunderous ovation. They’d go on to debut with SmackDown Live and have been booked pretty cautiously ever since their start on the Tuesday show. Look for the team to kick things up a notch and break into the top 20 of this list during the 2017 calendar year.

22. Bayley

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

Speaking of NXT, we switch our focus to one of the greatest NXT stars of all-time, Bayley.

2015 was by far Bayley’s best year. She defeated Sasha Banks in a match of the year candidate at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, and went on to dominate the women’s scene following her Championship victory. She truly was the hottest commodity down in development.

With Bayley due for a call up, 2016 saw her pass the torch to Asuka, dropping the Championship to the new wrestler during their bout at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. She took some time off following the defeat and would later return for a brief amount of time as she was finally called up to the main roster following an injury to Sasha Banks.

Similar to Sami Zayn, the WWE is wisely taking their time with Bayley. She’s only 27, so the company certainly has time on their side. Look for the California native to become the face of the division soon enough and embark on a long-term rivalry with the current WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte.

21. The Revival

via:ytimg.com

via:ytimg.com

Looking at the current WWE landscape on both Raw and SmackDown, both brands are desperately missing a heel Tag Team that can be thrust into a prominent position. Look no further than the NXT Champions to fill this void.

The Revival are currently regarded as the best Tag Team in the world by several wrestling critiques and their praises are quite merited given their body of work throughout 2016. Disregarding their two-time Tag Team Title runs, the team work an impeccable heel style in the ring which seems to be a lost art nowadays. You really get an old school feel when seeing the two in the ring. Like they say, their style is “no flips, just fists” and man, have they ever thrived with this persona during their NXT run. The team is long overdue for a main roster call-up and you can expect a quick rise to the Tag Titles as soon as they get the shot.

20. Alexa Bliss

via:tumblr.com

via:tumblr.com

Just squeezing her way into the top 20 is SmackDown Live’s very own Alexa Bliss. Her rise to the main roster was quite shocking considering the little ball of fury is only 25 years of age. However, her work down in developmental was deserving of a chance on the main roster despite her age.

Since joining the SmackDown brand, Alexa has thrived in bolstering the status of the women’s division. At first glance, SmackDown’s women were far less superior than Raw’s, but assessing the performances of both shows to this point, it’s pretty clear SmackDown has been able to hold their own and that all started with the great heel work of Alexa, who is arguably the brand’s greatest villain at the moment. With her work rate so highly regarded on the microphone and in the ring, her future has Champion written all over it. Expect big things out of the Ohio native heading into 2017.

19. Dolph Ziggler

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

We won’t go as far as to say that Ziggler’s inclusion in the top 20 was as shocking as Slater’s involvement on this list, but looking back at early 2016, his situation comes seriously close.

Entering his late 30s and in the midst of a new era, Ziggler was pretty much being used as a glorified enhancement talent jobbing to the likes of Baron Corbin. With the loses, the rumor mill was also buzzing indicating Ziggler was soon to be out of the company whether it was via a release or Dolph leaving on his own terms.

When he got drafted to SmackDown, fans really didn’t make much of it, but man did it ever become a big deal right out of the gate. Ziggler shocked the SmackDown audience booking a ticket to face former champion Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. The entire angle showed Ziggler’s great depth and the fact that he can still go with the best of them. He lost the match, but more importantly, he found himself as a performer.

The 36 year old would go on to feud with The Miz, as the two built a story which was arguably the greatest of the year. The angle is still on-going, but Ziggler was rewarded for his work being crowned as the new Champion at WWE No Mercy in a bout that stole the show. Kudos to Ziggler for such a bounce back year and his top 20 entry is certainly merited.

18. Rusev

via:wrestlingnews.co

via:wrestlingnews.co

Entering his prime at the age of 30, Rusev continues to excel on the microphone and in the ring. Looking back at the past couple of years, you’ll find it hard to find a better heel than the Bulgarian Brute.

Despite his obvious talent, Rusev had an up and down year. His involvement with The League of Nations was pretty lackluster and did nothing but slow down his momentum. Fast-forward to the summer and Rusev was finally put back into place winning the US Title and going on a dominant run. Early on in the brand split, Rusev became Raw’s number one act constantly being thrust into the main event picture alongside stars like Roman Reigns.

He would eventually lose the US Title, but his contributions should still be valued looking at how well he performed in the ring and on the microphone. Looking at 2017, you find it hard to search for another wrestler that is more due for a main event push than the number 18 entrant on this list.

17. Big Cass & Enzo Amore

via:ibtimes.co.uk

via:ibtimes.co.uk

Following WrestleMania, the duo of Big Cass & Enzo Amore made their long awaited main roster debuts to a thundering ovation from the crowd on hand. The team instantly connected with the audience on the microphone and they become one of the most popular acts in the WWE.

After sustaining a solid debut, the team would reach new heights after teaming up with John Cena at the last PPV before the brand split, WWE Battleground. Before the match, the team gave an electric promo as Cena just watched in shock. The entire segment was regarded as the best part of the entire PPV and the team would go on to win the match.

With a tremendous amount of popularity, Big Cass got involved in the WWE Universal Title picture participating in the fatal-four-way main event match for the Championship. Although he got eliminated first, the experience was invaluable and the crowd reaction during the match certainly indicated that the WWE had a huge future star. Still searching for a Tag Title victory, 2017 can further the duo’s rise to the top of the mountain.

16. Asuka

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

Respected pro wrestling columnist Dave Meltzer, had high praise for the signing of Asuka, claiming she was arguably the best worker in the WWE (male or female). As it turns out, the WWE seemed to agree launching Asuka in the main event picture of the Women’s Championship pretty abruptly. She won the title in early April against Bayley and seems to be untouchable ever since thrashing through her opponents down in development with ease.

It’s quite clear, Asuka is main-roster-ready but the lack of depth down in development has prolonged her run with the brand. How and when she will lose the title remains a massive question but we do know that once she gets started on the main roster, it’ll only be a matter of time before she claims the show’s Championship. Recently turning 35, we hope the WWE pulls the trigger on her call-up sooner rather than later. Look for Asuka to potentially break into the top 10 for the 2017 rankings.

15. Samoa Joe

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

The debut of Samoa Joe back in the summer of 2015 was one many wrestling fans thought they’d never see. The signing solidified the WWE’s new-found interest in Indie wrestlers and gave the fans a new sense of excitement.

Joe made his debut as a babyface, but his work with the company truly began to blossom in 2016 when he turned heel facing the likes of Finn Balor in the upper-card scene for the developmental brand. Joe would ultimately shock the world defeating Balor at a live event in late April and hanging onto the Championship till Shinsuke Nakamura would defeat the monster at TakeOver: Brooklyn II, ending his dominant 121 day run with the title.

Looking at his work with NXT, no heel came close to the work of Joe. Like we mentioned with Asuka, it seems like a matter of time before Samoa Joe finally gets the big call-up. Look for his status to only grow even larger once he debuts on the main roster.

14. The Miz

via:ultraimg.com

via:ultraimg.com

If you read The Miz’s name on this list a year ago, chances are you would have laughed at him just breaking into the top 30. Well, this year, not only is he on the list but The Miz was actually a strong contender for a top ten position on the year.

Since the brand split took place, no Superstar has seen their career trajectory change as much as The Miz has. Since getting picked to SmackDown, the Ohio native has drastically changed his persona becoming a big time player feuding with the likes of the ever so popular General Manager Daniel Bryan. His promo on Talking Smack gave the WWE Universe a new found respect for the long-time performer.

From his new valet, to passionate promos to an aggressive in-ring demeanor, everything seems to have changed for The Miz and he is now regarded as one of the best heels in the entire WWE landscape. The turnaround is truly surreal and one we should definitely applaud and praise because it truly is something to make such a drastic switch at the age of 36. We hope to see Mix continue his dominance heading into 2017.

13. Becky Lynch

via:tumblr.com

via:tumblr.com

A member of the prestigious Four Horsewomen, Lynch was always viewed as the beloved underdog of the group. When she joined the main roster, the WWE instantly booked her in comparison to Daniel Bryan as the crowd loved her work, but she lost a heck of a lot.

With the brand split in place, that all changed for Becky. Lynch was one of SmackDown’s top picks, and it was obvious big things were coming for the “Irish Lass Kicker”. Leading the SmackDown women’s roster, Becky was a crucial part in solidifying the women’s division as one that was actually must-see-television, despite what everyone thought after the draft. Becky would go on to become the first ever Women’s Champion, winning an epic Six-Pack Elimination Challenge for the title that stole the show at Backlash. She enjoyed her best year in 2016, and 2017 is set to look the same for the 29 year old.

12. Shinsuke Nakamura

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

January 6th of 2016 was a huge day for the WWE, as it was announced that Nakamura would be joining the WWE. Those that didn’t know much of Shinsuke were first introduced to his work at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, and man, were they ever treated to something special! Nakamura and Zayn brought the house down with an epic bout that stole the entire show and was arguably the match of the year for 2016. From that point on, it was obvious, the WWE had something special.

Nakamura joining NXT finally made it a possibility for Balor to get called up, which he eventually did. Shinsuke would turn into the top babyface and shortly after win the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe. In all of 2016, Nakamura is yet to suffer a loss and it looks to remain that way throughout the 16’ calendar year. Fans are drooling at his involvement on the main roster and we cannot wait to see how his WWE journey plays out in 2017. Rightfully so, Nakamura is the highest rated wrestler on this list pertaining to current NXT Superstars.

11. The New Day

via:wrestlingnews.co

via:wrestlingnews.co

Who could have predicted that the New Day would hang onto their straps following their 2015 victory in April at the Extreme Rules PPV, defeating Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. At the time of their victory, fans were enraged with the decision as the New Day were not well received at all and the crowds really disliked their gimmick. Well, fast-forward to now and they’ve become one of the most over acts in the entire company and threatening Demolition in becoming the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history.

Gradually changing into babyfaces, the New Day became one of the hottest acts in 2016. Not only were they killing it on-screen, but the team became merchandise machines for the WWE. This caused the company to keep the trio intact despite the brand split separating various teams.

Some worried that the group would become stale, but they’re still performing at such a high level and receiving great reactions. Their title run is historical to say the least and it’ll be interesting to see what 2017 holds for this group that had a year to remember in 2016.

10. Sasha Banks

via:ignimgs.com

via:ignimgs.com

2016 was a huge year for Banks who finally managed to overcome her previous injuries and sustain multiple Championship runs. She claimed her first title in her return defeating Charlotte on July 25th. Her title run was short-lived however, losing at SummerSlam, but she did manage to re-claim the Championship during Raw’s main event on October 3rd.

Banks would end up losing the title, but she did it in remarkable circumstances taking part in the first ever PPV Hell in a Cell main event match that featured women. The bout ultimately had mixed reviews, but the effort put forward and story going into the match was certainly something. 2017 should see Sasha climb up even further down the ranks and perhaps into the top five territory. Logically, the next step would see Banks turn heel and take on the likes of Bayley in another must-watch program. WWE fans will be watching closely to see Sasha’s progression in the future.

9. John Cena

via:fansided.com

via:fansided.com

Hard to believe the face that runs the place is ranked so high and not in the top five after sustaining an up and down year. Because of other projects outside of the ring, Cena has been inconsistently booked on WWE television and this has lead to some unthinkable loses against the likes of A.J. Styles and Dean Ambrose. The loss against Ambrose on SmackDown Live was in fact so significant, that it was the first time Cena lost a televised match since going down to Triple H on October, 19th, 2009 (if you can believe). Nearly seven years without a televised loss!

His ranking this year is unfortunate but you can expect “big match John” to have a tremendous bounce back in 2017. He’s a WWE guy at heart and can still perform with the best of them in the ring. Searching for his 16th title victory, look for the next year to be John’s year of resurgence.

8. Roman Reigns

via:twimg.com

via:twimg.com

In the history of the WWE, you’d find it hard to search for a wrestler that sustained such an up and down year like Roman Reigns has. His 2016 campaign was a roller coaster of emotions to say the least, which started off with Reigns dropping the title in a Royal Rumble match. His feud with Triple H came to an end at WrestleMania, when the two talented men stunk up the joint with a lengthy and lackluster bout. Fans expected Reigns to hold the strap till next year’s Mania but that surprisingly came to an abrupt end when he dropped the belt to Seth Rollins at the Money in the Bank PPV. Initially, the rumor mill labelled his short 77 day run because of ratings, with the company hitting some awful numbers (2.07, June 13th, lowest since 1997), but it was later announced that Roman had failed the Wellness Policy resulting in an immediate 30 days suspension.

Roman came back and paid his dues, losing a lot of matches including one to future WWE star Finn Balor. Roman is finally back on top ending 2016 with the US Title hanging over his shoulder. Pretty eventful year for the Roman Empire, wouldn’t you say?

7. Seth Rollins

via:twimg.com

via:twimg.com

2015 went from the year of Seth Rollins, to a year he just wanted to be done with after sustaining brutal ACL and MCL tears. Seth was sidelined for months till he finally made his long awaited return in May, attacking Roman Reigns following the main event match of the Extreme Rules event.

Since his return, Seth has been one of the most utilized wrestlers on any roster competing almost every show as it seems. The WWE finally decided to turn Rollins and he is currently in the midst of using an entirely different gimmick which sees him as a fan favorite and one comparable to Steve Austin playing the role of the rebel against The Authority.

Seth’s character is refreshing to say the least, and you find it hard to think where Raw would be without his services as the brand’s top babyface at the moment. With his new attitude, you can expect to see Rollins in the top three, perhaps, heading into 2018 and closing off 2017. Had it not been for his injury, Seth would certainly be in the top five of this prestigious list.

6. Chris Jericho

via:onionstatic.com

via:onionstatic.com

Having just turned 46, it’s truly remarkable to look at Chris Jericho’s work nowadays. You can make the argument, that Chris is perhaps enjoying the finest run of his entire career which was built up throughout 2016. His year started off on right track with an outstanding long-term feud against newcomer A.J. Styles. The two would clash at WrestleMania, with Y2J picking up the improbable victory.

His heel work following the match was simply breathtaking. Jericho managed to captivate fans through comedic angles in a PG-era, which seems impossible to pull off. Unlike others, Jericho took it as an opportunity and ran with it becoming one of the greatest and most entertaining heels in all of 2016. From his “drink it in” quote, to his “it” references, to even his new “list” bit, Jericho is just firing on all cylinders nowadays.

With his rumored band tour coming soon, fans will be yelling “please don’t go”, after such a remarkable 2016 campaign. Looking at 2017, we hope Jericho can claim the US Title, finally wrapping his pursuit of winning every single WWE Championship.

5. Kevin Owens

via:narvii.com

via:narvii.com

Signing with NXT in the summer of 2014, WWE officials weren’t too thrilled with his services being brought to the big company. Triple H seemed to be the only one into Owens, and made it clear to Kevin right off the bat that a WWE main roster career was no certainty. With a different build, Triple H didn’t promise Kevin that he’d make it out of NXT.

Not only would KO dominate the development, but he’d debut on the main roster shortly after defeating John Cena. Less than a year into his NXT debut, Owens was already a part of the main WWE roster putting on some epic matches with John Cena.

He would carry the Intercontinental Championship for a while, but ultimately, the goal remained the same and was to win the WWE Title. With the brand split in place and an injury to Finn Balor, Owens cashed in becoming the second ever WWE Universal Champion. His relationship with Jericho solidified the duo’s dominance and they’ve been untouchable in the upper-card scene since the brand extension took place. 2016 is certainly a year KO will never forget.

4. Dean Ambrose

via:pbs.twimg.com

via:pbs.twimg.com

For a while, 2016 was the year of Dean Ambrose. In the record books, Dean Ambrose will be remembered as the last ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion before the extension took place.

Dean had an eventful 2016 to say the least, which started with a feud against the WWE Champion Triple H. The heat between the two ended in a match at Road Block which saw Triple H barely escape as the Champion. The match was very well received and foreshadowed what was to come for Dean.

June 19th is a night Dean Ambrose will never forget. At the Money in the Bank PPV, Ambrose not only won the contract during the ladder match but instantly cashed it in during the main event which saw his two Shield brothers colliding. Dean ended the night beating the previous Champ Seth Rollins.

His Championship run had mixed reviews, but ultimately Dean did what he could in an era that is filled with limitations. He ultimately dropped the title to Styles but is still involved in the main event picture of the Tuesday show. It’ll be hard for Ambrose to sustain such a year in 2017, but looking at his recent history, anything is possibly with the “Lunatic Fringe”.

3. Finn Balor

via:sportzwiki.com

via:sportzwiki.com

Had it not been for his horrible injury sustained at WWE SummerSlam, you’d find it hard to believe that anyone could have possibly topped Balor in the rankings for 2016. His main roster debut was arguably the greatest in WWE history. Finn won two matches on the night which included a fatal-four-way against Cesaro, Rusev and the current Champion Kevin Owens. After winning the bout, Balor advanced to the finals on the night beating WWE megastar Roman Reigns and booking his ticket to SummerSlam, competing in the first ever Universal Championship match.

His win made the brand split that much more exciting but ultimately an injury derailed his future plans. Once he returns, you can expect Finn to get back right to where he started and dominating the WWE landscape in 2017. Predicting next year’s Richest Rankings, you can expect to see Balor’s name in the number one slot.

2. A.J. Styles

via:wwe.com

via:wwe.com

A.J. Styles officially helped to break the mold that Indie guys can’t make it in the WWE. His involvement since his debut has thrust Styles into the upper echelon of the WWE. As of this writing, Styles is currently the best male performer in all of the WWE and away from the pack by a mile as it seems.

Coming to the WWE, Styles was well aware that his promos were going to become a crucial component and he has managed to fit the bill quite nicely sustaining a brilliant heel run on the SmackDown brand. Once Styles disbanded on his own over to the Tuesday show, his contributions have been nothing short of brilliant with his dazzling displays night in and night out. Watching his work, you find hard to believe how the company waited so long to bring him. Needless to say, the WWE is currently reaping the rewards of Styles and booking to perform beautifully. It’ll be interesting to see if A.J. can continue his dominance throughout 2017. As of now, it seems pretty likely that he will.

1. Charlotte Flair

via:wrestlingrumors.net

via:wrestlingrumors.net

Quite simply put, 2016 was the year of Charlotte Flair. Her work as a heel is right now in a class of its own. We can honestly say, perhaps not even her father, the great Ric Flair, could have predicted how great his daughter would turn out to be. Charlotte was signed to a WWE deal in 2012, despite having no experience whatsoever; looking at her current body of work, it’s truly hard to believe.

Charlotte had a crazy 2016 becoming the last ever WWE Divas Champion and the first ever Women’s Title holder. She would go on to win the title two more times, setting an unbelievable mark as a three-time Champion in one year. Looks like she might catch her daddy’s mark of 16-times at this point.

Not only is Charlotte dominating the women’s scene but she has a remarkable record that has seen her win 14 straight matches at PPV events going undefeated. Her accomplishments certainly speak for themselves.

Whether it be cutting a promo or working with absolute class in the ring, we honor Charlotte as the greatest performer in the WWE for the 2016 year. Congrats Charlotte, well deserved.

Oh and, WOOOOOOOOOOO.

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