I was originally going to have one list for both female and male competitors but as a large number of companies don't feature intergender matches it is difficult to compare, so I elected to make two separate lists. As with the tag team list I am combining match quality, in ring skills, and gimmick with my own personal preference. Finally, I haven't watched all of the world's supply of wrestling so let me know if I have forgotten someone.
50. Dahlia Black
A fixture on the UK scene, Dahlia is still firmly in the improvement portion of her career. Her best successes came in PROGRESS where she was embroiled in a feud with Jinny that culminated in a good No DQ match at Chapter 58. She may well be higher on next year's list.
49. Mickie James
Mickie has had the sort of year that is to be expected from a veteran. She put younger stars over while making them look good and was given title shots when they needed to fill out a month of programming. She continues to be a reliable opponent for anyone.
Shotzi has been working tirelessly on the independent scene this year, putting in a ton of matches against other names on this list, winning titles along the way. She has a great look, she works a fun style and she continues to improve. I see good things on the horizon.
47. Santana Garrett
Santana has continued to work hard this year, picking up more titles to add to her collection. Her best moment of the year came when she looked great, despite losing, in her Mae Young Classic first round match against Piper Niven. She sometimes gets unfairly pegged as being successful due to her looks but matches like the one against Niven prove that isn't the case.
46. Alex Windsor
Alex Windsor is another of the crop of young British wrestlers but she hasn't been given the attention that many of her contemporaries have. She has been putting on good matches throughout the UK scene and it is only a matter of time until she is mixing it at an international level.
While Jinny may not be the most capable wrestler on this list she does have a greater grasp of her gimmick than most. She has an ability to connect with her audience, as a heel, that many of her peers simply don't have. Wherever she wrestles, there will be a reaction to Jinny.
44. Cheerleader Melissa
Melissa barely wrestled any matches in the first half of 2017, only appearing on the pretaped Lucha Underground as Mariposa. During the second half of the year she would resume her position as a major player in Shimmer, as well as wrestling for the newly formed RISE promotion. She is one of the most reliable female wrestlers in the world.
43. Nicole Matthews
Nicole Matthews worked a much lighter schedule, at least among the more well covered promotions, in 2017. She spent a lot of the year in her native Canada, along with the Northwestern United States, but also wrestled for Shimmer in Illinois and Florida as well as making a trip to wrestle for EVE in the UK.
42. Hikaru Shida
Shida wrestles as a freelancer in Japan and has therefore wrestled a ton of matches for the likes of OZ Academy, SENDAI Girls, and Pro-Wrestling WAVE. She also took part in her first tour of Shimmer since 2014. Her best moment this year came in an OZ Academy Openweight Title match at Korakuen Hall, which is a match I highly recommend.
41. Madison Eagles
Eagles is another wrestler that would be higher on this list if she was involved in more matches. Most of her work this year was in her native Australia but also showed that she is as good as ever in her matches for Shimmer, where she faced Mercedes Martinez, Nicole Savoy, and Shayna Baszler.
40. Abbey Laith
Laith has wrestled a ton of matches this year but most of them were on NXT house shows, which is a surprise as whenever she has been given the opportunity to shine she has impressed. Her run in the Mae Young Classic was great, with her first round match against Jazzy Gabert being a particular highlight.
39. Bianca Belair
There may not be a wrestler on this list that has shown more promise in such a short amount of time. She is athletic, has a ton of charisma, and showed in her Mae Young Classic match against Kairi Sane that she can be a part of great matches, even at this early stage of her career. That hair whip gimmick helps set her apart too.
Sienna may be a divisive figure in terms of her in ring ability but she has a good grasp of her gimmick and works hard to improve. She has been the second best thing in Impact Wrestling's Knockouts division this year, while also wrestling a whole heap independent matches.
Let's get this out of the way, Carmella isn't the greatest wrestler. There is an argument that every other wrestler on this list is better from a technical standpoint, and I would struggle to argue with that. What she does have is a 2017 in which she showed that she has a desire to develop her character on a Smackdown women's roster that can be a bit short on it.
The Queen of Aerobic Style has had a great 2017. She has been tearing it up everywhere, including having 2 matches as a jobber on WWE TV, and the next logical step is having an extended tour in one of the big Joshi companies. She is currently the holder of the Phoenix of Rise Title, having last defended it in a bloody cage match against Rosemary, as well as a Shimmer tag team champion as part of the Totally Tubular Tag Team with Leva Bates.
35. Kris Wolf
4' 10" tall and quicker than a heart attack, Wolf is a joy to behold. She occasionally works in America but mostly wrestles for Stardom in Japan, which is arguably the premier destination for women's wrestling. She has a natural charisma and I'd be tempted to put her on this list for this promo alone.
34. Hiroyo Matsumoto
Matsumoto is another Japanese freelancer that has wrestled a seemingly endless series of matches this year. This is because she is a very adaptable performer, capable of having good matches with anyone. She has held titles in Stardom, OZ Academy, and Sendai Girls during the course of this year and it is in OZ Academy that she had her best matches this year.
33. Nicole Savoy
Savoy may have spent the first half of the year injured but she more than made up for it upon her return. Though she lost her Heart of Shimmer Title in her second match back, this started a storyline that saw her break from her teammates in Trifecta to beat one of them, Mercedes Martinez, for the Shimmer Title. She was also a part of the Mae Young Classic, making it to the second round. I expect a higher placing in 2018.
32. Tessa Blanchard
Blanchard has wrestled in the USA, UK and Japan this year and has been competing for, and winning, titles along the way. She spent the majority of the year as one half of the Shimmer tag team champions with Vanessa Kraven, and she was also part of the Mae Young Classic where she lost in a great first round match to Kairi Sane. She is only 22 and continues to improve well.
31. Jazzy Gabert/Alpha Female
Jazzy is a 16 year veteran who has mostly wrestled on the European circuit but has had a breakout year in the mainstream due to her appearance in the Mae Young Classic. Even though she was beaten in the first round she impressed with her performance. The WWE could do a lot worse than bring in someone with her unique look, size and athleticism, and her experience working in companies such as wXw in Germany would be a big asset to them.