Pro Wrestling 2017 Year In Review: Company Grades

Our first in a few videos recapping the year of 2017 in pro wrestling looks at various companies and grades each.

From WWE to Lucha Underground to New Japan Pro Wrestling, there were many high’s and low’s during 2017. We’ll give company grades to each and explain why in this Year in Review video.

Rassslin Rantin
Pro Wrestling 2017 Year In Review: Company Grades

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  1. WWE: SD's main event took a hit quality wise with Bray's trash title run, Jinder's push and the loss of Miz to Raw. Their tag division was stronger but top heavy. The reunion of The Shield, Mae Young Classic & some main events were killer. (C+)

    NXT: They deliever in big spots at Takeovers and they do more with less time weekly. If I ever quit watching the main roster. I'd stick with this brand as long as Vince doesn't meddle. (B+)

    NJPW: One of the best inring years I've ever seen, overarching storylines and great tournaments.

    They get a deducation for lack of improvements for NJPW World, Suzuki's anemic Never Championship run and the disappointing Heavyweight Tag division. (A-)

  2. Best and Worst of 2017:

    Best Wrestler: Tetsuya Naito
    Best Champion: Kazuchika Okada
    Best Improve Wrestler: Cody Rhodes
    Best Match: Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Dominion
    Best Rivalry: Kushida vs Will Ospreay
    Worst Rivalry: Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman
    Most Overrated Wrestler: Brock Lesnar
    Most Underrated Wrestler: Sami Zayn
    Best Technical: Zack Sabre Jr
    Best Striker: Marty Scurll
    Best High Flyer: Will Ospreay
    Best Brawler: Hangman Page
    Best Tag Team: The Young Bucks
    Most Prestigious Title: IWGP World Heavyweight Title
    Meaningless Title: Universal Title
    Best Female Wrestler: Candice Le Rae
    Best Wrestling Event: G1 Climax 27 Tournament
    Best Wrestling PPV: Dominion
    Worst Wrestling Event/PPV: Battleground
    Best Faction: Los Ingobernables De Japon
    Best Gimmick: The Cleaner Kenny Omega
    Best Wrestling Veteran: AJ Styles
    Best Company: New Japan Pro Wrestling
    Worst Company: Global Force Wrestling
    Best Junior/Cruiserweight/Lightweight: Will Ospreay
    Best Heavyweight: Tomohiro Ishi

  3. Ring Of Honor lost a lot of popularity ever since Adam Cole left the Company, it is really sad because i miss seeing Adam Cole there he was basically ''The Guy'' in ROH just like Kenny Omega is for NJPW, Kyle O' Reilly & Bobby Fish leaving were also big losses.
    IMO Lio Rush & Donovan Dijak are WASTING their time in that so call ''developmental'' (which in reality it is just marketing) WWE's Department known as NXT they are doing nothing with them in WWE; that was also a terrible decision NXT is meaningless people are realizing how UNEFFECTIVE it is, you can tell that by listening & watching how Zack Sabre Jr, Juice Robinson, Kota Ibushi & Ricochet turned down their respective WWE offers.

    About the big elephant in the room for WWE being Jinder Mahal, well i agree but i think he shares that spot with Brock Lesnar; that company is only focusing on nostalgia and basically EVERYONE can cut a promo by just shooting on other people's real life issues.

    Progress was really good Matt Riddle, Flash Morgan Webster, Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven are killing it! Plus their Women's Division is doing good!

    There is a Scotish promotion i'm a big fan of, it is call: Insane Championship Wrestling, just like ROH they lost a lot of popularity because most of them left for Progress, PWG, NJPW or NXT.

    About TNA it is bad i know (we all know that) but there is something they STILL have and it's call: Kayfabe.

    There is a Promotion growing and having a lot of fans it's call Wrestle Circus, that's the place were Sami Callihan works.

    And last but not least New Japan Pro Wrestling: no much words about but the Best Wrestling Promotion in the World, instant classic matches and the best wrestlers working there. I would give them an A+.

  4. ROH continues to disappoint me
    it's not nearly as good as it used to be when they had guys like danielson, Joe, Aries and others despite being much bigger these days
    it just doesn't have that pure wrestling feel that it used to have
    they do nothing in terms of stories or characters and even the match quality has gone down since their early days
    they need to press the reset button ASAP, every ROH show I watch just annoys me

  5. Personally I can only watch NJPW. Any other wrestling is boring in comparison. I know I should expand my horizons and all that but I just can't get myself to like WWE anymore.

    I would rate NJPW at a B to a B+. They do a lot of things right and the wrestling is top notch, my only issues with them are they have too many belts and not enough roster to have that many belts without making a bunch of overlapping programs. They need to trim it down to 5 belts. They should go one of 2 ways. Get rid of the Jr. Division and have World (for your top few guys), IC (for your mid-upper midcard guys), US (when they open US brand, mostly for your top gaijin), World Tag (for your top few tag teams), and World 6 Man Tag (basically a lower mid-midcard tag title) as their only titles. Or keep the Jr. Division and have World Heavy, World Jr. Heavy (with more relevance and treated almost as important as the World Heavy where they can main event the B-shows), NEVER Openweight (for midcardish Heavyweights and Jr. Heavyweights), World Heavyweight Tag, and World Jr. Heavyweight tag.

    I also am not a big fan of their tag division being treated as an afterthought and having a bunch of multi team matches. I think some better tag team booking could go a long way.

    Anyway this is all just my opinion. You all have a good day.

  6. Not surprised that NJPW got the highest rating, and when you consider all the pros they have compared to the cons, I'd be hard pressed to disagree with you. New Japan in general has been killing it for the past few years, and with their expansion outside of Japan, I expect the company to keep up their momentum for a while longer. Really looking forward to wk12.

  7. NJPW deserved A+ , they did everything better then all the other companies, mainly the wrestling which is what its all about, they don't do too much story telling, but the Omega vs Okada trilogy was the best story for me this year.

  8. Most promotions have been at a steady jog this year. While New Japan been high steppin' like Deion since January. As an Impact viewer I give them a C-.They had a solid first half of the year, but it's been a steady decline since the attempted GFW rebrand to about….last week. I tuned out of ROH since Cody won the title and I'm not really a fan of Dalton Castle, so it may be a while for me and ROH. Love that MCMG are tag champs though. My favorite promotion AAW gets a B+, probably the company's best year so far. I give women's promotion Stardom a solid B. They've done really well considering that they could've lost all 3 of their top stars. I give PWG a low B. Still great wrestling but it just seems like they're running fewer shows. Finally I give WWE a A.O.T.D.P. as in All Over The Damn Place.

  9. Match of the year will be a tuff one. NJPW A +, the others is fair to rank them with B+ to C-, except for WWE, not hating but they are the "'#1" company in the world with a better budget and the roster full of prime atletes so is unnaceptable the mess of a show they deliver, how you fail to deliver having everything to easily destroy any competition, only WWE knows how to fail on a position like that, WWE D +

  10. I give TNA a C.
    Consistent story telling.
    New Stars such as Alberto El Patron, Johnny Impact/Morrison, OVE, etc.
    Their partnerships with Noah, Crash, AAA, BCW is getting better and stronger.
    Global Wrestling Network.
    Mass Exodus of stars leaving.
    Pop TV, they are going nowhere on that network.
    Temporarily merging with GFW. That was bad.
    Not doing enough house shows.

  11. I would like to give Youtube a A because it has opened up a whole world of wrestling info and content (including your good self). The amount of indie wrestlers matches i have seen on here, great interviews and stories and then that lead me to start watching different promotions. It was like being on a island that was called WWE and TNA and hearing about other islands, then one day i jumped in the sea and swam over too see what was out there….and have not regretted it one bit. loooool

  12. so here are my grades for the company/promotions that i have watched

    WWE = C- some good stuff i liked the jinder idea but horribly executed and some other bad things AJ was the best thing on the main roster IMO

    NXT = B- Some great story and matches and with them filling up the gap in the womens and main event scenes really has you said made it watchable again
    RevPro = B some great matches better then last year production was a bit better and with there joined tours with NJPW and ROH stars and other talent outside of the RevPro roster it had some great stuff.

    Progress = B- same reasons as you said

    ROH = B- same reasons as you but for me i liked some of the angles and got into it more but agree they still lack the step to get to the next level

    Impact = C- impact is always been up and down but this year there was still some stuff i enjoyed and with the stars of AAA and NOAH making some appearances as well as Moose it just makes a C-

    PWG = C+ same reasons as you plus didnt get to see enough of it

    NOAH = B- some great stuff with there first gaijin no Japanese champ, some great tournaments and with there cross promotional stuff with AAA and Impact as well as return of sugiura takashi

    AAA = B again some good stuff with the Lucha World cup, triplemaia, there shows in japan and more overall they had some good stuff and also seemed like they are making more moves to expand globally

    Lucha Underground = C+ same reasons as you

    NJPW = A just a great year all round to much to say

    AJPW = B- some great matches, champions carnival was very good this year and some new talent getting to shine

    WCPW/Defiant C+ again some good matches bought stars from around to world to great some dream and memorable matches they had a gap when a lot of ppl left what culture but the re branding gave it a fresh start

    these where the main shows i watched there where some others i have seen but not enough to give a rating such as CMLL, wXw, ICW, DDT, Stardom, Dragons Gate, The Crash.

  13. I personally really liked Lucha this year including the storylines cause they were just insane. You had shit like the magic metal glove and Cage fucking killing a dude (spoiler) and Dario getting killed (spoilers). It made go like “what the fuck is going on in a good way. It was like attitude era styles balls to the wall wrestling television and I loved it. I give it a B+

  14. Totally agree on NJPW… As I've said before, just started watching earlier this year, but NJPW is a fucking revelation. I think a lot of people forgot or never knew wrestling could be like that. I give props to NXT, but WWE seemed to just be more or the same. Case in point… bringing back the Hardy's giving them the belts for a minute and then right back to what they have always done with the Hardys, which is waste them. With ROH, I went to Survival of the Fittest in SA, and it was seriously one of the best times I ever had, and for that I can let the small shows go, because I get the feeling (especially if Cody and the Bucks do the 10, 000 seat thing and it goes well) that these small intimate shows may quickly become a thing of the past, gone will be the meet n' greet, and being so close to the ring and the action that you can literally reach out and touch it.

  15. i agree for the most part except i wouldve given wwe a straight F-. theres zero hype surrounding this company, theres NOTHING cool about this company. the blatant stubbornness to turn reigns this year was entertaining for the wrong reasons. on booking alone this company deserves an F.

  16. NJPW gets an A+ for me

    I need to watch CMLL and Progress with all the good things I've been hearing!

    WWE…. D-, few good matches but that was it, terrible booking was just awkward lol NXT though SHOULD be more of the direction the whole company should go… B+

  17. WWE, I would give a D. Just because I feel like the fans deserve better than they got this year.

    The positive things about WWE in 2017 I thought:
    – The Mae Young Classic
    – NXT (great all year).
    – Bobby Roode and Asuka on the main rosters
    – Mickie James returning to WWE.
    – The Hardyz returning to WWE at Wrestlemania

    Negative things about WWE in 2017:
    – Roman Reigns. Having him retire the Undertaker at Wrestlemania and turning heel, yet showing heel tendencies (Dumb idea this year, if you ask me) and his match at No Mercy against John Cena (Just awful match in my opinion).
    – The Hokey and Cheesy crap is still precedent in storylines.
    – The Jinder Mahal idea was just plain stupid.

  18. 2017 was a great year for wrestling (except in wwe for the most part).
    NJ expanding in the US, the fantastic G1 tournament, the series of trilogies (favourites our Ishii vs Kenny, time bomb vs Time Splitter and Hiroshi vs Naito), Rise of Juice and Daryl. Another great year for a great company.
    Lucha Underground had a mixed year. First half was rather weak and the break didn't help. Second half was better, and Ultima Lucha was solid. Hopefully S4 will be just as good.
    NXT had stronger events than the main roster. Best matches were Auska vs Moon, triple Threat match for the tag titles, Velvet vs Black and Tyler vs Pete part 2. Sometimes, less is more.
    Main Roster was a mess, from poor booking decisions to stupid storylines. Highlights were Kevin and sami, Braun, The Bar, Usos vs New day trilogy and Styles. But, in the end, the bad outweighed the good for me.
    ROH is a shadow of its former shelf. Final Battle really showed how thin the roster is right now. And Cody was a weak champion, all talk but no action. And the lighting does look rather weak as you and others have mentioned.
    I have only seen one Progress event and it was a great one (Riddle vs Walter was a fantastic match and the rivalry between BSS and CCK was great). I hope to see more next year, if I can.
    Impact is just there. Don't really care about it at this point.
    I highly recommend watching Evolve Wrestling. The wrestling has been strong all year and the talent they have are great: Lee, Jaka, Jason Kinceid, and Fred Yehei.

  19. Lucha Underground and NJPW are my favorite promotions. I would grade Lucha Underground at a B+ but that's because I'm a huge mark for it. I'd also grade WWE D+, I find the entire product almost unwatchable. NXT is the only show WWE produces that is consistently decent and that's still not enough to get me to subscribe to their network.

  20. As an IMPACT wrestling fan, I'd give it a C-. I mean, they did have talent like The Broken Hardys and Drew Galloway. Needless to say, however, they had left around late February this year along with Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis and went to WWE. Despite, the huff and puff that critics had against Anthem for the legal quarrel against the Matt Hardy and Reby Hardy over the"Broken Matt" persona, I enjoyed Rosemary and Eli Drake throughout this year. As too the Josh Barnett stuff with Bobby Lashley.

  21. It was a good year for wrestling! Great video my grades: ROH C+/ PWG B/ Progress B+/ Whatculture (defiant) B-/ NXT B+/ WWE C/ NJPW A-/ Lucha underground B-/ Impact D+ Konnan makes impact watchable i encourage you to watch his & Sami callihans park meet up segment it was pretty good

  22. WWE deserves a D. Those negatives do not outweigh the positives at all. They've fucked up so much, and put on some of the worst PPVs I have seen in my life. For me, the only positives about WWE this year are AJ Styles, and The Tag Team Division. No part timers. None of the underwhelming returns. The product is so bad. I hate it. I feel that you were being a little generous here, because that Heavyweight summer was just a compilation of spots. No actual Wrestling. And I feel it's unfair to attribute the tournament's to the Main Roster. I'd saddle those with NXT.

    ROH deserves the C. I totally agree with you on the production and storyline flops. ROH needs to work on their storylines, and their production. There's no reason the production should be the same as when CM Punk was in the Company. There's also no reason why the matches don't have good build to them. I think the only matches that had good builds were the Hardyz vs the Bucks, Hangman vs Kazarian, and Cody vs Dalton Castle.

    NJPW this year was arguably the greatest incarnation of a Wrestling company I've ever seen. I'm excited for 2018. I just hope they don't overly rely on outsiders such as Jericho, or the potential Daniel Bryans/Dolph Zigglers. An A grade for NJPW. I'm excited for Wrestle Kingdom 12 in a few weeks.


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