WWE Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2017 DVD

DISC ONE

Royal Rumble 2017 – January 29, 2017
WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (C) vs. John Cena

The DVD kicks off with arguably the best main roster match of the entire year. AJ and Cena had already put on some fantastic matches in 2016, but their showdown here was even better. Enhanced by the Alamodome setting, and Cena tying Ric Flair’s record of World Title wins in the process (by WWE’s counting, anyway), it’s the match that many WWE fans will most remember 2017 for.

 

Elimination Chamber 2017 – February 12, 2017
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper

At a time when Randy being a member of The Wyatt Family was one of WWE’s most intriguing storylines, Luke Harper was quietly rising up the SmackDown ranks. His singles push didn’t last very long, but it did give us this contest, which featured what was arguably a career performance by Harper. This was also one of Orton’s better PPV matches during the year.

Elimination Chamber 2017 – February 12, 2017
WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match

John Cena (C) vs. Bray Wyatt vs. AJ Styles vs. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin

A classic Elimination Chamber contest, this incarnation of the stipulation (with a new-look structure) had it all. A ton of big moves, storyline developments ahead of WrestleMania 33, fantastic performances and the shock finish of Wyatt becoming WWE Champion made this one of the very best WWE matches of the whole year.

 

WrestleMania 33 – April 2, 2017
AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon

The next few matches come from WrestleMania 33. The first of these is the bout that arguably stole the show that night in Orlando, as AJ Styles and Shane McMahon deliver a thrilling encounter. At the time, I was surprised to see this in the opening match slot, and given how well the match turned out, it probably would have been better had it taken place later in the (very long) show.

WrestleMania 33 – April 2, 2017
Mixed Tag Team Match

John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

This existed purely to set up the post-match engagement between Cena and Nikki. It’s a memorable moment, but the match itself doesn’t belong here in terms of in-ring action. It’s good if you’re a fan of either Cena or The Bellas, though.

WrestleMania 33 – April 2, 2017
Universal Championship Match

Goldberg (C) vs. Brock Lesnar

Never let it be said that a short match can’t deliver the same level of excitement and drama as a long match. The perfect example comes here, as Goldberg and Brock Lesnar pack plenty of hard-hitting action into a brief amount of time, bringing an end to what I thought was a really enjoyable feud between the two destroyers.

DISC TWO

Payback 2017 – April 30, 2017
RAW Women’s Championship Match

Bayley (C) vs. Alexa Bliss

One of the better women’s matches on the main roster in 2017, this match marked Alexa Bliss’ quick-fire elevation to the top of RAW’s women’s division, a spot that she has held ever since, with the exception of an eight-day title reign for Sasha Banks in August. Though Alexa had previously held the SmackDown Women’s Championship twice, this victory was the moment when Alexa officially took her spot as the “Goddess” of WWE.

Payback 2017 – April 30, 2017
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Honestly, I would have preferred either the Fast Lane or Great Balls of Fire bout between these two to have been on the DVD. But this is still a really enjoyable clash which really helped to establish Strowman as a major player, following the incredible angle a few weeks earlier which saw Braun absolutely decimate Roman over and over. This DVD wouldn’t be complete without an excerpt from the most memorable feud of the entire year.

Backlash 2017 – May 21, 2017
WWE Championship Match

Randy Orton (C) vs. Jinder Mahal

Next, we get the moment where Jinder Mahal ascended to the top of the SmackDown mountain by defeating Randy Orton for the WWE Title. Jinder’s abrupt climb to the position of WWE Champion will be discussed, and most likely slated, for years to come, given that his reign featured few enjoyable matches and little in the way of a positive impact on business. Still, WWE was always going to feature Mahal in some way on the DVD, so it makes sense that his WWE Title victory would be chosen.

Extreme Rules 2017 – June 4, 2017
Fatal Five Way Match To Determine The #1 Contender To The Universal Championship

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt

We then get the Fatal Five Way main event from Extreme Rules. This tends to be forgotten in a lot of lists profiling the year’s top matches, but upon second viewing it’s a spectacular headline attraction, with every participant giving it their all. Samoa Joe getting the surprise win sets up another match later in the DVD.

Money in the Bank 2017 – June 18, 2017
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match

Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Natalya

This is followed by arguably the most controversial PPV bout of the year. The first Money in the Bank Ladder match starring women ended up with James Ellsworth unhooking the MITB briefcase for Carmella, much to the dismay of many who felt it cheapened the historic nature of the encounter! I personally didn’t mind, realizing that it was a way to get heel heat onto Carmella, though it probably shouldn’t have been done in the VERY FIRST women’s MITB match.

Great Balls of Fire 2017 – July 9, 2017
Universal Championship Match

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Samoa Joe

This is the fall-out from Samoa Joe’s win at Extreme Rules, as he received a Universal Championship shot at Brock Lesnar. If this had not been so short, this could have been a genuine classic, but even in a brief format, Joe and Lesnar put on a memorable and hard-hitting main event, one where Joe was presented as being on Lesnar’s level as a killing machine.

Battleground 2017 – July 23, 2017
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match

The Usos (C) vs. The New Day

The best was yet to come between The Usos and The New Day, but this is still a tremendous doubles encounter, and a fine example as to why this was the top tag team rivalry of the year. It also provides a snapshot of Battleground, which was otherwise filled with uneventful and disappointing matches.

DISC THREE

SummerSlam 2017 – August 20, 2017
RAW Tag Team Championship Match

Sheamus & Cesaro (C) vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose

If The Usos vs. The New Day was the peak of WWE tag team wrestling in 2017, the feud between Sheamus & Cesaro and the team of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins was a close second. This bout from SummerSlam was a great doubles encounter, and the culmination of a well-constructed storyline that saw Ambrose finally find it within himself to forgive Rollins for breaking up The Shield in 2014.

SummerSlam 2017 – August 20, 2017
Universal Championship Fatal Four Way Match

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman

Take the elements from the Roman/Braun feud and the Lesnar/Joe clash from Great Balls of Fire, put them together and throw in plenty of chaotic spots, and what do you get? You get one hell of a main event for SummerSlam, with Strowman in particular coming across brilliantly as an absolute monster. Lesnar winds up retaining, but everyone grafted to ensure that this match ended SummerSlam on a high note.

No Mercy 2017 – September 24, 2017
RAW Women’s Championship Fatal Five Way Match

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma

Prior to Asuka joining the main roster and Paige returning, this bout featured almost everyone involved in RAW’s women’s division (Mickie James would receive her shot at the title at TLC the following month). Similar to the SummerSlam main event, everyone had their moments to shine, and though Alexa ultimately retained her championship, she had to put up a tremendous fight to secure a victory here.

No Mercy 2017 – September 24, 2017
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns

I’ve previously written about the decision to have Cena and Reigns collide at No Mercy, despite it seeming like a natural WrestleMania main event down the line (the same applied to Lesnar vs. Strowman that night, but Cena vs. Roman was the biggest singles match WWE had yet to present not involving a name from the past). Nevertheless, this is still a strong effort by both, though I expect the two to collide again on a bigger stage in the future.

Hell in a Cell 2017 – October 8, 2017
Hell in a Cell Match

Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens

It’s amazing to see how this storyline has evolved, from Shane being a sure-fire babyface opposite the wicked KO, to Sami Zayn joining forces with Owens to disrupt life on SmackDown, to the two having caused friction between Shane and Daniel Bryan at time of writing. As we wait to see how it all culminates, it’s definitely worth checking out Shane vs. Owens under HIAC rules, with McMahon taking another huge bump, and this being the moment where Zayn surprisingly rekindled his old friendship with Owens.

TLC 2017 – October 22, 2017
AJ Styles vs. Finn Bálor

The DVD ends with the suddenly-booked encounter between Finn Bálor and AJ Styles at TLC. In the face of the card being disrupted by illnesses to Reigns and Bray Wyatt, WWE pulled some rabbits out of the hat, one of which was this thriller between two of WWE’s most popular performers. Bálor’s head is raised in the end, but again I anticipate a rematch in the near future. Might it happen at WrestleMania 34, with the WWE Championship at stake?

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