For the third straight year, I’ve decided to host my own annual awards for what WWE has had to offer in the calendar year of 2017. More often than not, a lot of people were left saying “meh” and we had the feeling that WWE was not horrible, but nothing great either, making 2017 a relatively average year for WWE. However, we were left with some bright spots and positives to take into the new year, so with that said, here are my categories. As a disclaimer, there will be no NXT here, because I consider them to be a separate entity from the main roster. As another aside, because I don’t want to cram everything into one long article, I’ll be posting different articles throughout the day for more detailed analysis for each. I’ll start here with the first two on this list.
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.
Now, let’s get started!
OMG Moment of the Year
And the nominees are….
1. The Hardy Boyz win the RAW Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania
Gallows and Anderson were due to defend their RAW Tag Team Championships in a triple threat ladder match against the teams of Cesaro and Sheamus and Enzo and Cass. Right before the match was about to start, however, the hosts of WrestleMania, The New Day, came out before the match to announce in a last-minute breaking decision, the match would be changed into a Fatal-Four Way. When that was said, everyone’s heart started to collectively beat faster. Could The Revival be called up? Could the rumors saying The Hardy Boyz were backstage actually be true? Or is WWE just trolling us and will The New Day simply be just walking down the aisle and joining to have a match at WrestleMania?
Immediately as the music hit, the WrestleMania crowd became unglued, as one of the greatest tag teams in the history of the division made their return as a tag team for the first time in about a decade. With Matt hitting a Twist of Fate on Karl Anderson from the top of the ladder and Jeff Hardy hitting a Swanton Bomb onto Cesaro and Sheamus like the old days, the Hardy Boyz would win their 8th WWE Tag Team title together and win their first WrestleMania match as a tag team in a moment of pure nostalgia.
2. Jinder Mahal Upsets Randy Orton At Backlash
Now here’s something I’m sure no one saw coming. One night on Smackdown, Jinder Mahal, who hadn’t won anything in the previous 2 years, all of a sudden became the number 1 contender for the WWE Championship. Then, at the Smackdown-exclusive PPV show of Backlash, Jinder Mahal defeated future Hall of Famer Randy Orton to become the new WWE Champion. This was a moment that didn’t feel real at all, as this was the definition of throwing caution to the wind. Randy Orton wasn’t going anywhere with the WWE Championship and WWE appeared to show interest in going in a different direction. Putting the title on Jinder Mahal in the moment was a complete shock, simply because of who everyone knew him to be to that point. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of his title reign in the future, but in that moment, that was something that would make anyone say OMG.
3. The Shield reunites
“Who said anything about rumors?” This was a long time coming, and made even more apparent it would be happening once Dean Ambrose came over to RAW after the Superstar Shake-up. It all started with the reunion Seth Rollins made to Ambrose, apologizing for his past transgressions and asking if he’ll help him take down the likes of The Miz, Cesaro, and Sheamus or if he’d remain bitter about the past and refuse to move on. They let bygones be bygones, and together the two put aside their differences and won the RAW Tag Team Championships at Summerslam from Cesaro and Sheamus. However, after a series of ambushes from The Miz and company, Roman Reigns found himself in a bind until he was joined by his former Shield brethren. Then, one night, Roman Reigns found himself side by side with the Hounds of Justice once again. They destroyed the set of Miz TV and put aside any doubt that The Shield, at least for that moment, was back in action as one.
4. Kevin Owens attacks Vince McMahon
The feud Kevin Owens had with Shane McMahon reached its tipping moment when the Chairman of the Board, Vince McMahon, inserted himself into the proceedings. Vince proceeded to rip Kevin Owens apart on his appearance, his behavior and attitude towards Shane McMahon. However, the two came to an agreement, saying that if physically provoked, Kevin would be justified in attacking a McMahon. Little did Vince know, he forgot to check his last name, and KO proceeded to headbutt Vince and brutally assault the decrepit, arrogant Chairman. While I’m sure most of us kind of saw that something was about to brew, I think we didn’t expect Vince to get busted open (blade or not) and for KO to absolutely destroy Vince. For the longest time, we all knew that KO had the look and feel of a guy that Vince McMahon didn’t like. Hell, even after his WrestleMania match against Chris Jericho, Vince told him to his face that it wasn’t what they were looking for. So you can imagine how it must have felt for KO to put the old man out to pasture.