It’s nearing the end of the year and like everyone else I’ve been looking back and thinking about the best and worse parts of it. Today I’m going to be looking at the 5 best things (in my opinion) that WWE has done in 2016. Then in a few days, I’ll look back at the 5 absolute worst things they done.
So here we go The 5 Best Things About WWE In 2016.
5. The Revival
We’re starting out under the WWE umbrella but heading over to NXT for number 5 on the list. There are many good things on NXT, in fact if NXT could have made the list as a whole entity really.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger, Bobby Roode have all been brilliant and have continued to make takeover’s must watch shows. Yet, out of everyone on the show two men have stood out more than anyone else for me. Scott Dawn and Dash Wilder, The Revival.
I love everything about these two. Their style is brilliant, I love that they’re a throwback to old school tag team wrestling. They actually use tag team psychology which makes their matches so compelling. Not only that I think that the duo are brilliant subtle heels. They are dastardly and dirty, all the while not really breaking too many rules. They bend them instead.
Dash and Dawson were also the first ever 2 time tag team champions and its the great work that they’ve done with the belts, i.e. being right bastards, that has made for such great moments when they lose them. Both American Alpha and DIY benefited hugely from having some true bad guys to work with. Making their title-winning efforts that much better.
Finally, any team who can steal the show at back to back NXT Takeover’s deserve to make the list. That’s no mean feat! Yes DIY played a big part too, but when you think that The Revival also came close to stealing the show at Takeover: Dallas and Takeover: The End, you know how good they are. Hell, they were even great at Takeover: London in 2015 too!
4. The Miz
It’s got to be said that since the brand split, The Miz has been fantastic. It all started with a worked shoot promo on ‘Talking Smack’ and his continued butting of heads with Daniel Bryan has been one of the highlights of the Smackdown brand.
Since then he’s had a fantastic feud with Dolph Ziggler, with a number of great matches between them, including a match of the year contender at No Mercy.
I’ve been a fan of The Miz for years and its been a source of constant frustration that the WWE seemed to have just forgotten about him. Hell, they forgot about him while he was main eventing Wrestlemania for God sake! He’s shown so many times that he can get people over. Daniel Bryan, Alex Riley, Damian Sandow and he even made Dolph Ziggler interesting again after years of floundering.
He’s a brilliant promo and recently he has been showing that he can truly go in the ring. So while him beating Zack Ryder for the Intercontinental Title the Raw after Wrestlemania was met with groans. Now, all eyes are on him and people are starting to wonder how long it will be before he’s involved in a World Title feud.
He’s helped make the IC Title relevant again and he’s made Smackdown worth watching.
3. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
2016 has arguably the best year for female wrestlers ever. The two women leading the charge? Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
Now, I’m not putting them in my list just because they’re women and have had a Hell In A Cell match. Though that is cool. Quite frankly I don’t care what kind of match people have as long as the wrestling quality is good and most importantly the story-line and feud is in place.
Now while I’m the first to admit that this feud has probably had too many title changes. I’ll also tell you that for most of the year this feud has been one of the regular highlights. Hell, since the brand split you could say that the Raw Women’s Title has been the most important on the show.
The reason I enjoy this feud so much is that the Title clearly means something to both women. They are invested in its importance and so I am too. The reality is, it doesn’t matter to me that women are suddenly allowed to do gimmick matches or are main eventing PPV’s because since when was the logic in place that the best matches and feuds always went on last? John Cena 06 to 2013 anyone? The two aren’t one in the same. In fact one feels very much like a marketing technique while the other feels like, top quality wrestling. No, what matters is that they’re putting on great matches in a great feud. It’s that simple.
2. AJ Styles
AJ Styles came so close to being my number one choice for this list, he’s been brilliant. As debut years go, he might have just had the best ever.
Debuting at the Royal Rumble to a huge ovation, he’s put on great matches all year. Proving time and time again that people are justified in saying he is the best in the world.
Putting on fantastic matches with Roman Reigns and John Cena and many more. He’s also made James Ellsworth bearable and just generally makes everyone look like a million bucks. On top of all that, he also won the WWE Title. Something that many people thought would never, ever happen.
I could argue that his matches alone are worth his place on the list, but it’s his work since his heel turn that’s ranked him so highly. It’s just been so entertaining. I think it was a massive shame that he got split up from The Club but you can’t have it all. He feels like a true Champion and much like The Miz has been a standout star post brand split.
1. Chris Jericho (and Kevin Owens)
If you’d have asked me at the start of the year, when Chris Jericho is in full on babyface ‘cool’ dad mode, if he would later be my number one thing in WWE all year. I would have called you a stupid idiot. This is despite the fact that Jericho is one of my favourite of all time. He had lost his sparkle and seemed to just be phoning it in.
He later turned full heel against AJ Styles and picked up a surprising victory over him at Wrestlemania. It’s really since then that he’s really picked it up.
The combination of Jericho and Owens felt very much like a last-minute thrown together plan to give them both something to do. Yet it proved so entertaining that they are still together/feuding today. Chris himself has admitted that his contract ended months ago and the only reason he is still around is because he’s having so much fun.
For months the pairing, though specifically Jericho have been absolutely outstanding on the microphone. Easily being the most entertaining part of Monday Night Raw. Just to prove that he is back in top form he got ‘a list’ and the term ‘stupid idiot’ over. Really over.
Quite simply. It’s been brilliant.
And that’s my list. Do you agree with me or have I missed off somebody/something so obvious that I’ll kick myself for forgetting? Let me know!