2017 Awards: Angle of the Year

I’m not even bothering to make the Kurt joke this year.

This is one of the biggest awards of the year because angles are what matters more than almost anything else. You can have a heck of a match but it doesn’t mean very much without a reason to care about these people. There were some great ones over the course of the year and you might have forgotten a few of them so here we are again.

We’ll start with the build to one of the biggest matches of the year. A three way feud is one of the hardest things to pull off in wrestling but NXT managed to do it (I’m as shocked as you are). This time around they set up Sanity vs. the Undisputed Era vs. Roderick Strong/Authors of Pain in FREAKING WARGAMES. That’s more than enough to make this a big deal and it was awesome as a bonus.

From the same show, we have a match that I completely underrated when it aired in the first place. In the build towards Takeover: WarGames, Velveteen Dream may have wanted to sleep with Aleister Black (it’s not clear) but the whole idea came down to Black not saying Dream’s name. The match wound up being awesome and we even got a payoff with Black saying his name after kicking Dream’s head off. Great build, great match, great payoff.

I know it was short term but Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega had a heck of a build to a match that wasn’t taking place in 2017. This felt like an old school blood feud between two guys who just don’t like each other. Jericho kept attacking Omega and now I want to see them fight. I mean, I’ve seen it by now but at least the build was awesome in a way you don’t get very much anymore.

If you’ve read my stuff over the last few years, you know I’m a big fan of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. That alone should tell you I was excited to see them getting a bigger push, which is exactly what we got when Sami saved Kevin from Shane McMahon’s latest Cell dive. This set them up as some awesome heels over on Smackdown and I’m interested to see where this goes from here, which is the best thing that can happen.

This is less of an angle and more of just the build to a match but John Cena vs. Roman Reigns became must see television for a good while there. It was in the same vein as Rock vs. Cena from years back with two guys trading bombs against each other, albeit with only one actually managing to make that much contact. Cena mauled Reigns on the mic and the win did help Reigns, but my goodness this was one sided up until the bell rang. Incredibly entertaining, but destruction otherwise.

That leaves us with one more option and it’s gone throughout the entire year. Johnny Gargano started the year as one half of the NXT Tag Team Champions but the Authors of Pain took care of that back in January. Then Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa lost the rematch at Takeover: Chicago, which resulted in the team splitting. It was all downhill for Gargano from there, even to the point of him losing matches just because he saw a DIY t-shirt. He kept fighting though and eventually won a #1 contenders competition to end the year. It was a year long story and it never once got boring, which made it the story of the year.

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