The X-Factor: My take on 2017 Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 12/16/2017 at 03:55 AM
Itís appropriate that the motif for the WrestleMania 33 stage was a roller coaster.
We had the return of the Hardy Boyz. The split of Enzo and Cass. The marginalization of John Cena. The end of the Undertaker. The ďascensionĒ of Jinder Mahal. A PPV called Great Balls of Fire. The reunion of The Shield. The in-ring return of Kurt Angle. The burial of Finn Balor.
Donít even get me started on Triple H being an egomaniacal douchebag, AGAIN!
Hey, The Miz and Maryse are gonna be parents. Thatís great!
Plus, Matt Hardy is WOKEN.
The first major talking point I wanted to cover was the tag team scene. To put it one way, itís the best itís been since the Attitude Era. Quite possibly, the best feud across both brands was The Usos vs. The New Day. Good news for the latter given that they were in danger of becoming irrelevant. There was also The Barís angles with both the Hardys and The Shield.
Itís funny isnít it? Vince McMahon outright stated he wasnít big on Cesaro. Thing is, he wasnít wrong about him then. He would be now. Heís never been more relevant since teaming with Sheamus. Unfortunately, if recent news is to be believed, the Celtic Warriorís career may not be long for this world.
So, when are Breezango getting their title run? Theyíve been plenty entertaining with the Fashion Files, but that wonít hold them forever.
Put the Usos on the main ĎMania card, please!
The second talking point is the singles stars.
John Cena really hit the ground running in January. He finally nails his 16th world title by defeating AJ Styles in a true blue classic. Sadly, they wasted it when he lost it in the Elimination Chamber to Bray Wyatt. His subsequent rivalry against the Miz Ė which also involved their ladies Ė was one of the most well-received of the year. As has been the case with Cena in recent years, reality bled in.
It made the Miz far more relevant than ever and even helped undo the damage from 2011.
Cena outright stated that he wasnít this ďblack arts manipulatorĒ or he wouldíve been headlining WrestleMania against the Undertaker. To tell you the truth, he shouldíve been.
Has Roman Reigns regained some of his lost goodwill since the Shield reunion? Iím gonna say yes, but Iím not laying odds on him getting cheered heavily when he finally defeats Brock Lesnar. Mixed? Possibly.
Perhaps the hate peaked on WrestleMania Monday. Letís hope so.
AJ Styles wasnít booked perfectly in 2017 but he has still proven time and again that heís the best. His matches with Cena, Balor, and Lesnar all qualify for Match of the Year.
I wanted to touch upon something with NXT. Is it possible that fans have standards that are just too high? Theyíre the biggest deal in Full Sail. Then they make the transition to the big stage and you just expect them to automatically be big deals. Yes, itís true they bungled several NXT stars: Shinsuke, Bayley, Baron Corbin, and Finn Balor are good examples.
Bottom line, Triple H sabotaged his own NXT work this year too. When he inserted himself into Survivor Series he had a chance to do some real good. Did he? HELL NO!
There was Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, and Finn Balor in that match. All of them were big shots in NXT. Did Triple H do anything for them? Nope. He did do a fantastic job of stealing most of the heat and stroking his ego.
Could the NXT talents recover? I hope so. They had something great on their hands with Bayley, and they shot her career in the foot.
Iím trying to be optimistic. The Undertakerís first few years arenít usually reflected on for various reasons. They werenít all that great. He still became one of the greatest of all time. That could still happen with some of these guys.