It’s October, which means that there are only three months left of 2017. WWE is currently gearing up for Survivor Series season, as the historic event takes place next month. 2017 didn’t start out great for WWE as The Royal Rumble was thought to be quite disappointing following Roman Reigns‘ addition to the annual match in the number 30 spot.
The year didn’t improve following this show in January, with NXT Takeover: Orlando upstaging WWE’s WrestleMania 33 before the only event of the year that did live up to the hype, which was No Mercy last weekend. WWE is finally picking up when it comes to their booking options towards the end of the year. One pay-per-view that was a shock this year was WWE Great Balls of Fire. It was an event that wasn’t overhyped and the fans didn’t expect it to deliver because of the name, but shockingly, it ended up being one of the best shows of the year.
Despite 2017 so far not being considered a memorable year for WWE, there have been some interesting feuds over the past few months: some that the WWE Universe didn’t want to end, as well as some that ended before they really began. The following list looks at eight of the best feuds from the past 10 months and seven feuds that should never have made it onto WWE TV, or should at least have been handled much better than they were.
15. Best: Seth Rollins Vs. Triple H
At the beginning of the year, Seth Rollins and WWE COO Triple H finally picked up the rivalry that had been building ever since Hunter cost Rollins the chance to become Universal Champion first time in the summer of 2016.
Rollins invaded NXT Takeover at the start of the year, which then saw him banned from The Royal Rumble match. Rollins was then injured by Samoa Joe the night after the rumble and it was reported that he could miss WrestleMania because of the knee injury. Despite this, Rollins was part of the build-up to the match and the follow-through in what was an unsanctioned match at WrestleMania. We saw Rollins finally end the feud with a win over the King of King that saw his wife Stephanie McMahon sent through a table as well. It was one of the better-handled feuds of the year and one that deserves a place on this list.
14. Worst: Bayley Vs. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss was promoted to the main roster as part of the WWE Draft back in the summer of 2016 and became a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion before she was moved over to Monday Night Raw following WrestleMania in April.
Bayley was the Women’s Champion over on Raw at the time and Alexa stepped up to the challenge as Charlotte was moved to SmackDown as her trade. Alexa won the Raw Women’s title at the first time of asking before Bayley’s rematch then took place at Extreme Rules in a kendo stick-on-a-pole match. The build-up saw one of the worst segments in WWE history as Alexa tried to recreate the famous Rock/Mick Foley “This Is Your Life” promo. Sadly, this didn’t live up to the hype and Bayley’s match against Alexa was one of the worst on the Extreme Rules card. Thankfully, Alexa was then allowed to move onto a feud with Bayley’s friend Sasha instead.
13. Best: Austin Aries Vs. Neville
Austin Aries spent several months on the NXT roster before he was injured and brought up to the main roster as a commentator. Aries then decided to pick a fight with King of the Cruiserweight’s Neville, and the duo faced off in a number of matches leading up to WrestleMania.
It was a shock when their Championship match was announced as a kick-off show match for the overall WrestleMania card, but it still delivered as the former TNA Champion took Neville to a level he had never been before. The title didn’t change hands as Neville managed to hold on to the Championship he won at the Royal Rumble for a number of months, but Aries left WWE not long after this feud ended. It seems that 205 Live wasn’t the division that Aries wanted to be part of, and because WWE wouldn’t allow him to move to the main roster, he decided to cut his losses.
12. Worst: Jinder Mahal Vs. Randy Orton
The Viper Randy Orton won his 13th World Championship at WrestleMania 33 when he defeated longtime adversary Bray Wyatt in one of the strangest matches on the card that night as bugs and insects made up the background to their match.
Orton then took the championship into a shocking rivalry with a Jinder Mahal, as WWE hoped that they could increase fans in India by making an Indian WWE Champion. At Backlash Mahal dethroned Orton with the help of The Singh Brothers and his shocking finishing manoeuvre, before he then retained the title in a Punjabi Prison match at Battleground. The Great Khali was forced to retain to add any kind of excitement to this match since the WWE Universe had already become bored of the storyline between Nakamura and Mahal. Mahal has since moved on to a feud with former NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, which is also part of this list.
11. Best: Roman Reigns Vs. The Undertaker
It wasn’t one of the most popular feuds of the year, but it was certainly one of the most effective. When Roman Reigns eliminated The Deadman from The Royal Rumble match back in January, it seems that the writing was on the wall and the WWE Universe knew that The Undertaker would come back to get revenge.
Of course, this led to the famous match at WrestleMania back in April where one botch from Reigns led to the entire WWE Universe slating him and declaring that he didn’t deserve to defeat The Undertaker on the sacred WrestleMania stage. Despite this, Roman stood in a WWE ring and said one sentence and caused perhaps the biggest reaction of his career the following night on Raw, which means that the entire feud with The Undertaker did the job it was supposed to and got Roman that reaction from the WWE Universe. I’d say that was a rousing success.
10. Worst: Dean Ambrose Vs. The Miz
Dean Ambrose lost his WWE Championship to AJ Styles towards the end of 2016 and was then forced into a mid-card feud with The Miz. The Intercontinental Championship changed hands a few times as the duo faced off many times over a number of months before both men were then moved over to Monday Night Raw following WrestleMania and for some reason, WWE decided to continue the feud.
Fans had reached the point where they couldn’t handle another match between The Miz and Ambrose, and the fact that Ambrose lost the title because of a stupid stipulation that almost asked for Maryse to get involved was just another thing that made very little sense. WWE played this feud for much longer than they should and because of this, instead of it being looked back on as one of the best feuds of the year, it slowly became one of the worst.
9. Best: Shane McMahon Vs. Kevin Owens
Shane McMahon became the Commissioner of SmackDown Live last year, and so far he has been seen as both a wrestler and an authority figure on the Tuesday night show. Shane faced AJ Styles earlier this year at WrestleMania, and he stepped into the ring with Kevin Owens at Hell in a Cell.
Owens and McMahon have allowed this feud to get personal; not only was McMahon suspended when he attacked Owens for making comments about his children, but Owens later attacked McMahon’s father and the Chairman of WWE Vince McMahon and left him a bloody mess inside the ring. WWE has built this match up so well that it has overshadowed everything else on the card this Sunday and has become a highly anticipated showdown. The build-up has been some of the best work Owens has ever done on WWE TV and now it is hoped that the match can live up to the hype this weekend.
8. Worst: Big Cass Vs. The Big Show
When Enzo Amore began being attacked backstage on Raw, no one was aware that it would lead to one of the most pointless feuds of the year between The Big Show and Big Cass.
Shockingly, this feud managed to last a number of months, saw Cass attempt to break The Big Show’s arm, and even saw the duo face off in a match during which Enzo was hanging above the ring in a shark cage. The promos before the matches and even the matches themselves just served to show WWE that Big Cass wasn’t ready for a main event push on the main roster. It wasn’t a great way for Big Cass to start his career as a singles star, especially since it was giant vs. giant and the WWE Universe found it hard to get behind it. If Cass hadn’t been injured a few weeks later in a match against Enzo Amore, who knows where the seven-foot star would be on WWE’s Raw roster right now.
7. Best: Seth Rollins And Dean Ambrose Vs. Sheamus And Cesaro
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose finally overcame the Tag Team known as The Bar at SummerSlam to become Tag Team Champions, and for Ambrose to become the youngest ever Grand Slam Champion.
Ever since WrestleMania, Cesaro and Sheamus have been on a mission in WWE and they took the Championships away from The Hardyz before they walked into a rivalry with the newly reformed Shield teammates. Their matches at both SummerSlam and No Mercy in recent months have been some of the best tag team matches that WWE has ever broadcasted. It has become one of the standout rivalries of the year.
6. Worst: Neville Vs. Enzo Amore
When Big Cass was put out of action with a shocking knee injury in the middle of his match against former teammate Enzo Amore on Monday Night Raw, WWE’s creative team panicked since they knew they had no backup plan for Enzo moving forward.
WWE managed to rush through a plan to put Enzo on 205 Live so that he could spend some time on a roster where he didn’t already have heat. Enzo managed to rub the Champion the wrong way and was beaten up by the likes of The Miz and Braun Strowman before his match with Neville at No Mercy. Despite this, Enzo still managed to walk out of the match as Champion after he low-blowed Neville behind the referee’s back. Neville has held down that 205 Live division ever since The Royal Rumble, despite losing and regaining that Championship once to Akira Tozawa. He didn’t deserve to lose his Championship in the cheap way that he did at No Mercy.
5. Best: Roman Reigns Vs. John Cena
When Roman Reigns and John Cena began exchanging insults on social media earlier this year, none of the WWE Universe expected the feud to deliver in the way it did.
Reigns and Cena didn’t even have to touch each other in the build-up to their match at No Mercy as the duo exchanged shade in some of the best promos that have ever taken place on Monday Night Raw. Cena and Reigns got personal very fast and both men picked apart the other’s personal life as well as their ability in the ring. Shockingly, their match at No Mercy had a clean finish as well, as Reigns became one of only a handful of men to have been able to beat John Cena clean on pay-per-view without a Championship being on the line. Big Match John lived up to his hype, but The Big Dog proved that WWE is now his yard.
4. Worst: Brock Lesnar Vs. Goldberg
When Goldberg returned to WWE back at Survivor Series to promote his character in the WE2K17 video game, none of the WWE Universe expected Goldberg to defeat The Beast Incarnate in just two minutes.
Did this literally make the likes of The Undertaker, Roman Reigns and John Cena all look rubbish in comparison to this man who hadn’t set foot in a wrestling ring in more than a decade, but was able to defeat The Unbeatable Beast? This was the real problem; WWE then allowed Goldberg to eliminate Lesnar from The Royal Rumble match before Brock predictably got his revenge at WrestleMania when he defeated him and took his Universal Championship, a Championship that he has held ever since. The damage had already been done to Brock, though, who is slowly trying to build back the momentum he had before the former WCW star decided to make a cameo appearance.
3. Best: The New Day Vs. The Usos
The New Day and The Usos have feuded before, but it was when The Usos played the faces and The New Day played the heels. Since New Day was moved over to the SmackDown roster in the WWE Shakeup earlier this year, it seems that these two teams have been stuck attempting to test their mettle against each other.
The Tag Team Championships have already changed hands a number of times, with the two teams putting on matches of their careers at both Battleground and SummerSlam. It has been a lengthy feud over the past few months, but somehow both teams have continued to up their game to keep the WWE Universe interested.
2. Worst: Finn Balor Vs. Bray Wyatt
Finn Balor stepped into a feud with Bray Wyatt in recent months over on the Raw roster, since Wyatt’s feud with Seth Rollins was mysteriously stopped after just one match. Balor and Wyatt have now faced each other three times: once on Raw when Wyatt managed to defeat the former Universal Champion, and twice on pay-per-view.
Finn has defeated Bray as both The Demon and as a man at both SummerSlam and No Mercy, but this seemingly isn’t enough, since WWE has decided to continue the feud and bring Sister Abigail into it. This would usually be exciting news, but since Bray has already been defeated twice, what kind of credibility does he really have moving forward? Finn Balor should be in the main title picture at this point, but it seems WWE still isn’t ready to push him forward.
1. Best: Kevin Owens Vs. Chris Jericho
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho became friends back in 2016 because there was no one else who would watch their backs. They then became the best of friends over a number of months and were inseparable; that was until the festival of friendship.
Owens turned on his best friend in the best possible way when Jericho revealed a list with just his name on it from “The List of KO.” Owens then beat his partner to the point where he was stretchered out of the arena and didn’t return until Fastlane, where he cost Owens his Universal Championship. The two then collided one-on-one for the United States Championship at WrestleMania 33, before the return match a few days later on SmackDown Live before Jericho left to tour with Fozzy once again. It’s fantastic that no matter how long Jericho is away, he is always able to return to WWE and put on a show-stealing performance.
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