It’s part 2 of my awards segment, covering the best of the best WWE has had to offer this year, and in this portion, I will be covering who I thought to be the best tag team and what was the best promo of the year. Here’s a reminder of all the categories I will be covering:
OMG Moment of the Year – Given to the single most shocking or surprising moment in all of WWE this year. Genuine shock factor is stressed here.
Return of the Year – Given to the best return of a superstar(s) that no one saw coming.
Tag Team of the Year – Given to the most consistent and best-performing tag team of 2017.
Promo/Segment of the Year – Given to the best promo or segment in all of WWE.
Newcomer of the Year – Given to the superstar either new to the main roster or put in a different role who’s performed the best in 2017.
Rivalry of the Year – Given to the best rivalry between two opposing entities in WWE this year. The rivalry has to span at least two matches in order to qualify.
Superstar of the Year (Men’s) – Given to the best overall performing superstar on the men’s roster.
Superstar of the Year (Women’s) – Given to the best overall performing superstar on the women’s roster.
Match of the Year – Given to the best overall match of the year in 2017.
TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR
And the nominees are….
1. The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus)
Cesaro and Sheamus certainly raised the bar for tag team wrestling in 2017. The tag team won the titles off of the New Day to end 2016, and for the majority of 2017, they remained arguably the most consistent tag team in all of 2017. From feuds to Gallows and Anderson to the Hardy Boyz to The Shield, the tag team duo remained hard-working and never let whoever their opponents were impact the quality of their work. The two were also involved in the first ever tag team iron man match at Great Balls of Fire in which they won. Cesaro and Sheamus compliment each other’s styles immensely as a physical duo that prides itself on old-school style heel psychology in their matches. Their heel turn at Payback also facilitated the great run in the second half of the year they had in which they won the RAW Tag Team Titles twice.
2. The Usos
Just like Cesaro and Sheamus, The Usos set the standard for tag team wrestling for their brand on Smackdown for the majority of 2017. Of course, it helps that for most of 2017, the tag team division in 2017 was relatively thin and there were no real threats to The Usos’ dominance. That is, until, another tag team on this list came along and pushed The Usos to their absolute limits. The Usos turning heel has done wonders for their career, as it has shown in their promos, their wrestling style, and their newfound aggressiveness. The twin duo won the Smackdown Tag Team Title three times in WWE, most of which came during their feud with The New Day throughout the summer. They were highly loathed in the past due to them being essentially Roman Reigns’ security, but as their own individual unit, they have worked hard to make a name for themselves and had as great a year a tag team can ever have.
3. The New Day
Kind of hard to believe that The New Day is somehow still together and that they will have been a faction for three years now. The New Day wasn’t doing anything of real note before WrestleMania, as they mainly served as hosts for WrestleMania and didn’t have a concentrated feud to which they were involved in. However, after it was announced that The New Day would be making their way over to Smackdown after the Superstar Shakeup, they proved to be the perfect foil for The Usos in their intense feud over the Summer. They had incredible matches together and helped carry the Smackdown tag team division through the fall of this year. While they had more eventful years in 2015 and 2016, 2017 was still a year where they were able to win two more tag team championships to their collection.
4. The Shield (Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose)
The Shield’s reunion was capped off with an exciting win over The Bar at Summerslam this past summer. A lot of people were saying back in 2014 that before The Shield split that Ambrose and Rollins should be a tag team due to the chemistry that they had with each other. The former Shield brothers reunited for a tour with the RAW Tag Team Championship and had a pretty swell series of matches against The Bar at Summerslam and No Mercy. While their stint as a tag team duo didn’t last as long as the other teams on this list, they were very impactful during their stint as champions and it did give WWE fans a little taste of what they once were. In addition, by virtue of Dean Ambrose winning the tag team championship, he is now one of nine superstars in WWE history (Jericho, Edge, Guererro, Angle, Big Show, Miz, Bryan, Reigns) to have won every major active title in WWE.
5. The Hardy Boyz
The Hardy Boyz returned with a vengeance in 2017 as they won their first match as a tag team at WrestleMania en route to winning the RAW Tag Team Championship and carrying it up until Extreme Rules. While the reunion, just like Ambrose and Rollins, didn’t last too long due to Jeff Hardy’s injury, they were still amazing to see after all the time they have spent in other promotions over the years. Considering that we really thought we had said goodbye to Jeff Hardy in 2009 and Matt in 2010, their return shows that you can’t keep a good tag team down.
AND THE WINNER IS…..
Bottom line is that there was no tag team that asserted their dominance and consistency throughout the entire year more than The Usos, and they enter 2018 as THE team in WWE today.
PROMO/SEGMENT OF THE YEAR
1. Festival of Friendship
If wrestling wasn’t scripted, I might as well have cried when this happened. For so long, the buildup between the inevitable breakup of Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens had been teased for months, but WWE never fully pulled the trigger. That is, until one night in February, after Chris Jericho helped facilitate a Universal Championship match between Goldberg and Kevin Owens at Fastlane, Kevin Owens decided that the final straw had been had, and Kevin Owens viciously attacked Chris Jericho in a similar manner in which Jericho attacked Shawn Michaels in an episode of the Highlight Reel in 2008. When Kevin Owens handed Jericho a new list, and when Jericho said “How come my name’s on this?”, the collective mood in the arena shifted in an instant. This was all shades of brilliant. Jericho poured his heart out to his friend, hit us with the humor early, and then got the big beat down in a segment that really delivered one of the best WWE breakups in forever.