5 Best Wrestling Matches Of 2017
In 2017, the entire wrestling world was talking about two men: Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada. On the fourth day of the year, Omega and Okada put on such a good match that it broke the scale, so to speak.
It was rated six stars out of five, which is something that hadn’t been done since 1994. That shocking rating set the stage for 2017, and soon everyone was wondering if anyone in wrestling would be able to top that score.
Also Read: 5 Best Wrestling Matches Of 2016
WWE certainly tried by putting on a phenomenal match of their own at the Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, that match didn’t get the same critical acclaim, despite a lot of people thinking it should have.
If there’s one thing that was proven beyond a doubt in 2017, it was that WWE was no longer the be all and end all of pro wrestling. You COULD have a great career outside of Vince’s company and make great money while doing so.
Don’t believe me? Just look at Kazuchika Okada, who was one of three wrestlers in 2017 to have a match rated higher than five stars. He was also named #1 on Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s PWI 500, becoming the first Japanese wrestler to ever do so.
Keep in mind that PWI has long been known to present its scores and rankings in a way that aligns with storylines and the illusory nature of wrestling; whereas other ‘outside’ publications like the Wrestling Observer have been presumed to be more critical and unbiased because they originated outside the wrestling business.
And speaking of the Wrestling Observer, that (in)famous publication became a lightning rod for controversy as the year progressed. Not only did four matches get rated more than five stars (two of which happened one day apart from each other), but Dave Meltzer also rated six other matches five stars out of five.
That means that in 2017 there were TEN matches that were deemed more or less perfect. And that doesn’t even take into account the myriad of matches rated 4.5 out of 5 or 4.75 out of five.
That tells you how many spectacular wrestling matches there were in 2017. Yet those ratings aren’t everything, and we’ve looked at these matches carefully to see which ones truly were the five best matches of the 2017 calendar year.
#5 Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega – G1 Climax 2017
For the first time since the 1993 edition of this series, one wrestler features on this list at least three times. But this marks the first time that the same match-up appears more than once. And that is because Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada (with Gedo’s help), created one of the best wrestling rivalries of all time.
The third installment in this mythical match series featured elements from their previous two battles. The time limit element from their Dominion match returned, but this time with only 30 minutes for them to work with.
Secondly, Okada had (allegedly) suffered a neck injury during the G1 Climax tournament, yet continued to wrestle regardless. Kenny, like any wrestler with a brain, targeted that neck viciously, which was enough to get him a much-needed win.
That win would not only send Kenny to the G1 Climax finals for the second straight year, but it also proved something critical: Omega could beat Okada (albeit an Okada that wasn’t at 100%).
So not only did we get yet another breath-taking wrestling match between two of the greatest in-ring workers of this era, but the series between them was now completely even at 1-1-1. A grudge match HAD to happen sometime down the road, and luckily, it did.