The following is my list of the best professional wrestling matches of 2017. Each match is given a star rating between 4 and 5 in quarter steps. Two matches – both between Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada – earned 6 stars. Their first match at the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 was, at the time, the greatest match I had ever seen and it wasn’t even close. Their rematch at Dominion was even better, and I will contend that it is the greatest professional wrestling match in history.
Kazuchika Okada held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the entirity of 2017, and deservedly so. His matches against Omega, Shibata, Suzuki, EVIL and others were classics. With the possible exception of Kenny Omega, no one was better this year. KUSHIDA remains one of the most talented, if underrated wrestlers on the planet. His match against Will Ospreay (another standout) in the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors was one of the finest Jr. Heavyweight bouts I’ve witnessed. Tetsuya Naito and the rest of Los Ingobernables de Japon found themselves as the NJPW’s top merchandise sellers, and Hiromu’s performances deserve special mention.
On NXT, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne were revelations. Barring injury, these two should have sterling careers ahead of them. The TakeOver shows continue to be some of the best of the year and are truly can’t-miss. And War Games returned! WWE had something of a lackluster year, with John Cena vs. AJ Styles being the best of the bunch.
On a sadder note, we did lose Bobby “The Brain” Heenan this year. He will go down as the greatest manager in WWF history, and arguably its best color commentator.
I have limited my focus this year largely to WWE, NXT, and New Japan, with a bit of PWG and ROH sprinkled in.