Here we are with part 3 of this list and we are going towards the upper echelons. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here.
40. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn is an incredible wrestler that has shown on numerous occasions that he can steal the show when given the chance. He didn't really have enough of an opportunity to fully prove that in 2017 but his heel turn has been great and he always puts in 100% effort, regardless of the match. Hopefully 2018 sees him mix it up at the top of the card, as a WWE Title feud with Styles would be fantastic.
Cesaro has long been a great wrestler that has had no real sustained outlet to show it. He has been given that in his team with Sheamus. They have had a great run, putting on great matches almost every time they have competed. He has also become the master of the good TV match, putting on fun matches against the likes of Ambrose, Rollins and Jason Jordan.
38. Roderick Strong
This was Roddy's first full year in NXT and he was prominent throughout. He was featured in the title picture for a good chunk of the year and this led to really good matches against Drew McIntyre and Bobby Roode, amongst others. He was also involved in the WarGames match, teaming with the Authors of Pain. He is a wrestler that makes what he does look effortless.
37. Pentagon Jr / Penta El Zero M
Whether as part of Lucha Brothers, with Rey Fenix, or as a singles competitor, Pentagon was one of the more interesting wrestlers of 2017. He has a superb look that sets him apart from other masked wrestlers and his hard hitting style is great to watch. He is the current Lucha Underground champion and the Lucha Brothers have had a string of superb matches in PWG.
36. Adam Cole (BAYBAY!)
Cole started 2017 by winning the ROH Title at the Tokyo Dome, making him the most decorated champion with three reigns, and ended up losing it a couple of months later in an emotional match with Christopher Daniels. His time in the Bullet Club made him one of the hottest wrestlers on the independent circuit, which was evident from how over he was on his NXT debut. He was also the victor in the WarGames match, which immediately cemented his place at the top of the card.
35. Trevor Lee
Trevor Lee may well be the most underrated wrestler in the world. He is great every time he gets in the ring but the most he is ever seen is on Impact Wrestling. He is currently in the midst of a near 700 day run with the CWF Mid-Atlantic Title and it is a title reign that is full of Lee showing how genuinely excellent he is. The match with Chip Day from March is absolutely incredible and I urge everyone to watch it. In fact here it is.
34. Jeff Cobb
Cobb had a hell of a year. He may have established himself in wrestling later than most but he has made up for lost time and then some. In addition to putting on great performances in America, Europe and Japan under his own name, he also wrestles under a mask as Matanza in Lucha Underground. He was at his best when in matches with Keith Lee or Matt Riddle.
33. Aleister Black
It has been a long, long time since I have seen someone that was so well presented by WWE from the second they first appeared. His look, his music, his entrance and his ring work all combine into one of the best packages in all of wrestling. His match with Velveteen Dream had some of the best in ring storytelling you could hope to see. The sky is the limit here.
32. Marty Scurll
Scurll is a wrestler that has a fantastic grasp of working the crowd and that has meant that he is in demand the world over. He spent 2017 putting in great performances in New Japan, ROH & PWG, in addition to competing in the UK. He has a great balance between gimmick and ring skills and is currently a member of Bullet Club. Pretty much any Scurll match is gonna be worth your time.
31. Braun Strowman
I would be surprised if anybody thought that Braun would be where he is today. Not long ago people were annoyed that he might be facing Undertaker and now most people would be happy to see him take the Universal Title. He might not have had a ton of great matches, though he did have some, but he has been the most entertaining thing on Raw on a consistent basis. He should be even higher in 2018.
30. Brock Lesnar
This one might be a bit controversial as Lesnar only wrestled 14 matches in 2017, and some of those were house show matches. In the time that he has turned up he has added a presence that is often missing in WWE. He has put in some great matches too, including superb efforts against AJ Styles, the fatal 4-way at SummerSlam, and the match with Goldberg at WrestleMania.
29. Seth Rollins
Rollins might not have had a year where he was involved in world title matches, headlining PPVs, but he showed again that he is as reliable as anyone when it comes to putting on good matches. His team with Ambrose put on some great matches against The Bar and he is also someone who puts in good performances on Raw, which is very much appreciated.
28. Michael Elgin
This ranking is based solely on Elgin's performances in a wrestling ring, and nothing to do with any scummy things that he did in his personal life. His run in New Japan has included a number of fantastic matches, most notably the matches against Naito, Okada and Omega.
27. Samoa Joe
With so many of the promos in WWE having a similar style that sound overly rehearsed it's refreshing to hear someone with such a unique delivery. The promo he cut with Heyman during his feud with Lesnar was probably the best piece of mic work all year. The best match he was involved in during the year was the excellent fatal 4-way that closed out SummerSlam.
I had never really thought of EVIL as a potentially top level guy in New Japan but he has proven me very wrong in 2017. He had a number of excellent matches but it was during the G1 Climax that he really established himself. He had fantastic matches against Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada, giving the latter his first singles loss in a year.
25. Johnny Gargano
Johnny Wrestling knocked it out of the park in 2017. For the first half of the year he was having spectacular matches as part of DIY. He was then involved in the excellent break up angle with Tommaso Ciampa. He spent the rest of the year playing the lovable underdog, and finally fought his way to an NXT Title match, that will start his 2018 on the right foot. He is one of the best wrestlers anywhere in the world.
24. Masaaki Mochizuki
I am amazed by the standard of wrestling that Mochizuki has been able to produce over the last year. He is the oldest wrestler in the top 50, being 2 months older than Chris Jericho, but you definitely wouldn't know it. He has been the brightest light in Dragon Gate and that is not an easy thing to do. His matches against Big R Shimizu and Yamato were fantastic and I look forward to him continuing his Open the Dream Gate title run.
23. Roman Reigns
I get the feeling that many people will either think this is too high or too low. I'll get this out of the way, Reigns is a very good wrestler that puts on considerably more good matches than bad. In 2017 he had a ton of fantastic matches against the likes of Owens, Rollins and Strowman, among others. He isn't the best on the mic by any means though, as evidenced by his cold blooded murder at the hands of John Cena. He did however cut one of the best 4 word promos of all time the day after he beat Undertaker.
If Neville hadn't walked out of the WWE in October he would be even higher on this list. He spent a large portion of the year as the Cruiserweight champion and he was the only champion that has improved the stock of the title. He was consistently one of the most entertaining things on Raw/205 Live and the drop in quality of the cruiserweight division since he left speaks volumes. Incredible in the ring and unexpectedly excellent on the mic.
21. Travis Banks
Banks was one of the breakout performers of 2017, no question about it. He started the year as one half of South Pacific Power Trip, having fantastic matches every single time they went out. Following the temporary split of the team Banks set on a path to the PROGRESS Title and the whole story was very well told. He also won the Strong Style 16 Tournament and the final against Tyler Bate was fantastic.