Since we are nearing the end of 2017, it is time to reflect on the year gone by. 2017 certainly brought us some surprises, from unrealistic title changes to an amazing Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. It has been a year of contrasts, but also a successful year for the following male wrestlers. Here is my list of top 5 wrestlers of 2017! Surprisingly, most of these stars are not in the WWE. 2017 was a great year for independent wrestling and this list pays tribute to that.
1. AJ Styles
There are many reasons why I picked AJ Styles as the best wrestler of 2017. Firstly, the man can get a good match out of anyone, even the likes of Jinder Mahal! He is also one of the more interesting wrestlers to watch. Not only that, but he’s ending the year back on top as WWE Champion. With years of experience, a talent nobody can deny, and a WWE contract to boot, AJ Styles ruled 2017!
2. Kazuchika Okada
Some of the best matches of the year have been attributed to Kazuchika Okada. While he may not be known by WWE fans who limit themselves to watching the WWE, this is certainly a talented wrestler to watch outside of World Wrestling Entertainment. If you want to see Kazuchika Okada at work, then we recommend tuning in for New Japan Pro Wrestling! Okada has held their top title longer than anyone in history. Dave Meltzer and others think he’s having the single best year of any wrestler since Ric Flair in 1989. He’s that good.
3. Kenny Omega
Many people know the name Kenny Omega, but if you haven’t watched wrestling outside of the WWE, you probably never seen him work. Still, like Kazuchika Okada, he has been responsible for the best match of the year, since he faced Okada at Wrestle Kingdom IX. Omega has been a HUGE part of the Bullet Club’s surge in popularity. And with his impending match against Chris Jericho early next year, it looks like Omega’s rise is just beginning.
4. Hiromu Takahashi
One of the wrestlers I adore at the moment is Hiromu Takahashi. Unfortunately, his wrestling style is high-risk and this often means a short career for many wrestlers. Still, if you have a profound love for high-risk finishers and a wrestler who clearly has no fear, Hiromu Takahashi might be your favorite wrestler. Takahashi’s eccentric style in and out of the ring made him a cult favorite among Japanese wrestling fans.
5. Keith Lee
If you would have told me years ago Keith Lee would have been on this list, I would have told you it would be impossible because I wouldn’t know who Keith Lee was. However, Keith Lee is one of the most successful wrestlers on the independent scene this year. Putting down some amazing matches this year, it would be a sin not to mention him here. He’s a giant but extremely agile. He’s got a smug personality that some people take years to polish. Lee’s a 10-plus year veteran and only just know getting his break, proving that putting the work in will eventually pay off for you!
What is your favorite wrestler top 5 for 2017? Let us know in the comment section below!