Here is the fourth and concluding part of the list and we are at the stage where everyone had spectacular years. The first three parts can be found here, here and here.
WALTER is an absolute beast. He spent 2017 having one great match after another and is comfortably one of the best hosses in wrestling. I may actually be doing him a disservice by ranking him this low. He has had incredible matches in PROGRESS, wXw, PWG and Evolve against the likes of Ilya Dragunov, Zack Sabre Jr, Matt Riddle, David Starr and Axel Dieter Jr. You really can't go wrong with a WALTER match.
19. Tyler Bate
Bate is 20 years old, which is ridiculous. He started the year by winning the WWE UK Title, and it would be a precursor to the rest of his breakout year. His feud with Pete Dunne produced three great matches, including one of the year's best, and the team of British Strong Style was also a highlight. In addition to this he had great matches against Travis Banks and as part of Moustache Mountain with Trent Seven. Near unlimited upside.
18. Andrade 'Cien' Almas
It is my personal opinion that Almas is as good an in ring talent as there is in WWE, with the exception of AJ Styles. He has also been fantastic from a gimmick standpoint since he was paired with Zelina Vega. His matches against Johnny Gargano and Drew McIntyre were excellent and he is as deserving an NXT champion as I can think of.
17. Will Ospreay
Probably the most divisive wrestler on the planet. The main knock on him is that he either doesn't sell or that he can't tell a story in the ring, both of which are at least somewhat unfounded. He has shown in his matches with Zack Sabre Jr and Katsuyori Shibata that he has more than one string to his bow. He is one of the most athletic wrestlers anywhere in the world and he put on a ton of great matches in 2017, the best of which was the BOTSJ final against KUSHIDA.
KUSHIDA lost his IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title at the start of the year, which thrust him into a story where he had a crisis of confidence until he regained it. It was really well executed. He maintained his position as one of the premier high fliers during 2017, having wonderful matches with Will Ospreay and Hiromu Takahashi among others.
15. The Miz
The list of people that are better on the mic than the Miz is very short indeed. In fact it may be non existent. He was consistently the most entertaining aspect of whichever show he was on. He has become an excellent in ring competitor too and his performances in the Elimination Chamber and the triple threat match with Balor and Rollins are proof of that. The 2017 version of Miz would be a great WWE champion.
Ricochet was at his absolute peak in 2017, putting on spectacular performances pretty much every time he went out. It doesn't really matter who he is facing either as he is just as likely to put on a fantastic match against Will Ospreay as he is against WALTER. The man is a phenom and I look forward to seeing what he does in NXT/WWE during 2018.
13. Keith Lee
Keith Lee is probably the most athletic big man around. He does things that 350 pounders don't do. 2017 was the year that he really took a step onto the international stage and he showed just how much talent he has. He has put on some of the year's best hoss battles with the likes of Tomohiro Ishii, WALTER and Donovan Dijak and I look forward to seeing where he goes in 2018. Hopefully a trip to New Japan isn't too far away.
12. Matt Riddle
Riddle has been getting better and better and at this point he is one of the go to names for a good match. He had a superb run in the middle of the year, where he put on great matches against WALTER, Keith Lee, Travis Banks and Jeff Cobb. He also formed a great tag team with Cobb that went undefeated in PWG, having great matches and winning the tag titles. The MMA style may not be to everyone's taste but nobody does it as well as Riddle.
11. Kota Ibushi
Ibushi could well be at the top of this list if he would focus his energy on wrestling for New Japan but he likes to do his own thing. He wrestled for a period as Tiger Mask W, and had a great match against Okada, and then he took off the mask and had a whole bunch of superb matches against Tanahashi, Naito and Ishii. Of everyone in wrestling, Ibushi makes it look the most effortless.
10. Zack Sabre Jr
Sabre Jr is the best technical wrestler in the world, so if that isn't your style then I assume your mileage will vary here. I originally had him ranked a couple of spots lower but his incredible match with WALTER and superb effort against Will Ospreay pushed him into the top 10. Whether it is PWG, Evolve, New Japan, or anywhere else, Sabre Jr will give you a top notch performance. His heel persona is pretty fucking great too.
9. Hiromu Takahashi
2017 was the first year that Takahashi used his own name, as opposed to the Kamaitachi gimmick. He joined Los Ingobernables de Japon, the coolest stable in wrestling, and immediately started having great matches. For the first half of the year everything he touched was gold, and even though the second half of the year saw him have a slight drop off he was still among the year's elite performers. Check out his matches against KUSHIDA and Dragon Lee.
8. Hiroshi Tanahashi
It is a minor miracle that Tanahashi keeps performing at the level he does considering the sheer amount of wear and tear that he has accumulated. He put in top of the line performances against Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata and Zack Sabre Jr and showed throughout the year that even at 41 years of age there are very few wrestlers that can compete at such a high level.
7. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been fantastic since signing with WWE and 2017 was no different. You would never know that English is his second language as he speaks it better than most native speakers. What I'm saying is, his promos are amazing. He started the year in the excellent team/feud with Chris Jericho and finished the year teaming with longterm friend/enemy Sami Zayn. Even when he is put in a poorly booked feud, which is quite often as it is WWE, he manages to improve it. He is consistently great in the ring too and is one of the most effortless heels there is.
6. Pete Dunne
From his trilogy of matches with Tyler Bate, to his PROGRESS Title reign, to everything that British Strong Style did, 2017 was a hell of a year for Pete Dunne. He possesses wrestling savvy that is far beyond his 24 years, showing time and time again that he knows how to control a crowd and he may well be the best pure heel in wrestling. He should only improve from here too, with the only real concern being that he gets bogged down by WWE booking.
5. Tomohiro Ishii
The Stone Pitbull is the very epitome of a wrestler that goes out there and puts in 100% every single time. He deserves more mentions than he gets when people are talking about the best wrestlers in the world. In 2017 he put on world class matches against Omega, Shibata, Naito, Sabre Jr, Goto, Ibushi, Nagata, Tanahashi and Keith Lee. What I am saying is that he was as reliably great as you could ask from anybody.
4. Tetsuya Naito
Naito might well be the coolest wrestler on the planet. His give no fucks attitude is fantastic and was best exemplified when he tried to use the IC Title as currency. He is an unbelievable wrestler too and his matches against Tanahashi, Ishii, Omega, Ibushi and Elgin are must see. You can't go wrong with checking out a Naito match.
3. AJ Styles
In my opinion Styles is the best wrestler in the world, maybe of this entire generation. For the first half of the year he was involved in the best match of every PPV he appeared on. He was a part of both the Elimination Chamber and the Money In The Bank ladder match, put on an incredible match with John Cena and managed to have a great match with Shane McMahon. The most impressive thing he did, though, was manage to get the only two good matches out of Jinder Mahal.
2. Kazuchika Okada
Okada spent the entire of 2017 as the IWGP champion and it is one of the greatest title reigns I have seen in my time as a wrestling fan. He goes absolutely all out in every singles match and it resulted in a string of exemplary matches during 2017. His trilogy of matches with Kenny Omega were classics but they were only the tip of the iceberg as he also had incredible matches against Minoru Suzuki, Katsuyori Shibata, Tiger Mask W, Cody, Michael Elgin, SANADA and EVIL. Okada has the look, the booking and the wrestling quality to be number 1 in almost any other year.
1. Kenny Omega
The year that Kenny Omega had in 2017 was comparable to the best years that any wrestler has ever had. He had the matches with Okada that will be remembered for a long time, but he also had another trilogy of excellent matches with Ishii. He wasn't done there though and put in astonishing performances against Elgin, Juice Robinson, Beretta, EVIL and, most of all, in the G1 Climax final against Naito. When he was on there was nobody that could touch him in 2017. He also took great strides outside the ring too, becoming one of the biggest merch sellers in all of wrestling. Maybe the biggest. His shirts are available in high street stores. He can cut promos in both English and Japanese too which makes him pretty unique. He has the best chance at being a truly big star outside WWE.