The Top 10 Wrestling Events of 2017, 6-10
Editor’s Note: With more monthly PPV-esque events available to watch than ever, an elite group rises to the top when it comes to total pageviews on our site — a good indication of what moved the meter in terms of general fan interest for both pro wrestling and MMA. This is a list of those ten, starting with 6-10. Interestingly enough, a boxing fight made the list.
First, 11-20 (aka the honorable mentions):
20: NXT TakeOver San Antonio
19: WWE Clash of Champions
18: WWE Backlash
17: WWE Battleground
16: WWE Extreme Rules
15: WWE Money In The Bank
14: NJPW Dominion
13: WWE Elimination Chamber
12: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11
11: WWE TLC
10) WWE Hell in a Cell | October
The Smackdown branded-Hell in a Cell emanated from Detroit and featured two Cell matches: The New Day defending the tag titles against the Usos, and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens. Jinder Mahal also defended the WWE title against Shinsuke Nakamura. Then-US Champion AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger, and Bobby Roode making his WWE PPV debut in a match with Dolph Ziggler rounded out the card.
The tag title match to end to Usos-New Day feud was a very stiff, well-worked match, continuing the string of quality matches between the four men. Corbin would get the pin on Dillinger to become the new US champion, while Roode defeated Dolph Ziggler. Much to the fans’ chagrin, Mahal successfully defended the WWE title against Nakamura with a little assistance from the Singh Brothers.
However, this show was all about the main event with McMahon taking on Owens. This match also was a falls count anywhere match which all but guaranteed that the match would not end in the ring. And, it didn’t. The finish saw yet another high risk move from McMahon going off the Cell to elbow drop Owens. However, Sami Zayn was hiding in a hoodie ringside to help Owens move out of the way, subsequently re-aligning the two former best friends. Owens got the pin to finish a 39-minute match and continue the problems between he and McMahon.
9) WWE No Mercy | September
The WWE did everything they could to make this “B show” an “A show” at Los Angeles’ Staples Center with a monster Universal title match between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman as well as the first ever one-on-one meeting between Roman Reigns and John Cena. Enzo Amore, who had recently made the jump to 205 Live after the Big Cass injury, also took on Neville for the Cruiserweight championship in addition to former Shield partners Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continuing their rivalry with The Bar.
Two champions retained as Lesnar succesfully defended the Universal title against Strowman after just one F-5 while Rollins and Ambrose also retained. However, Enzo surprised everyone by defeating Neville for the cruiserweight gold. Finally, it took 22 minutes but Reigns got a marquee win over Cena in his last match before another break.
8) Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather | August
This was the lone non-wrestling match to make the list and in a down year for the UFC, that’s not surprising. The fight generated over $600 million in total revenue that night, pretty good considering it featured one fighter who was retired and another fighter who had never boxed before. Still, that didn’t stop well over four million PPV buyers from plunking down $100 to to watch the spectacle unfold — a 10th round TKO win for Mayweather who is now attached to rumors of him entering the UFC. While unlikely, a year ago at this time, we thought Mayweather-McGregor was also unlikely too.
7) WWE Payback | April
As a result of the Superstar Shake-Up, this PPV featured RAW vs. SmackDown branded matches with title implications and history-making wins. This PPV also featured for the first (and hopefully last) time, a “House of Horrors” match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton that Wyatt won, if you can call it that. The recently returned Hardy Boyz also successfully defended the tag titles against The Bar while Chris Jericho challenged Kevin Owens for the US title as their friendship had truly become unfixable. Jericho would go on to beat Owens and take the title with him to SmackDown.
Also on the show, Alexa Bliss beat Bayley to win the RAW Women’s title to become the first women to ever win both the RAW and Smackdown women’s titles. Finally, the main event saw Braun Strowman defeat Roman Reigns as their rivalry continued.
6) WWE Great Balls of Fire | July
Once you got past the odd name for this event (named after a Jerry Lewis song from the 1950s) there was a ton to look forward to. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman in an Ambulance match, The Hardy Boyz against The Bar in a thirty-minute IronMan match, and the first-ever meeting between Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe.
The Bar successfully defended their tag titles against the Hardys in a high scoring pinfall IronMan match (4-3) while Strowman defeated Reigns in an Ambulance match when Reigns dove into it trying to hit Strowman with a spear. After the match, Reigns took matters into his own hands by trying to end Strowman’s life by driving the ambulance through a semi-truck trailer. It took the jaws of life to pry open the smashed doors of the ambulance only to see Strowman climb out and stammer away under his own power.
In the main event, Lesnar retained the Universal title by defeating Joe in just six minutes in somewhat sudden fashion. It took just one F-5 to end the match which started the aforementioned trend of Lesnar winning his matches with just one F-5.
Tomorrow, we’ll finish up the top five with lots of potential candidates to go.