Welcome to part 2 of our countdown. Part 1 can be found here. Today we look at numbers 70 to 41. Lets keep it snappy, here we go.
70. Chuck Taylor
I could have picked many pictures for Chuckie T but that one seems to fit. He is one of the most fun wrestlers there is and his winning streak and eventual title win in PWG was superb. He also had a good run in the New Japan World Tag League with Best Friends tag partner Trent Baretta.
69. Jay Lethal
Lethal has been a consistently good performer for years and 2017 was no different. He was mostly away from the title picture in ROH, other than a loss to Christopher Daniels. He did have great matches against Cody, Silas Young and Marty Scurll in the company though.
68. Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa's injury could not have come at a worse time as he was white hot at the time, having just turned heel on tag partner Johnny Gargano. Even though he only wrestled for half a year, it was a hell of a 6 months. Well, 5 months. #DIY were incredible in the first half of the year, having superb matches regularly and I look forward to his return and subsequent feud with Gargano.
67. Johnny Mundo
Mundo has pretty much spent his entire year having title matches in whatever company he wrestled in. He held the AAA and Lucha Underground titles, among others, and joined Impact Wrestling later in the year. Unfortunately he uses the name Johnny Impact there and that is awful. His match with Prince Puma at Ultima Lucha Tres was excellent.
66. Yuji Nagata
Nagata is 49 years old, so he may not be involved in the high profile feuds that he once was, but he did take part in his last G1 Climax tournament and it was fantastic from start to finish. Nagata was as good as anyone in the tournament, putting on a string of great matches. The sendoff he got following his last match was one of the best, most heartfelt moments in wrestling in years.
65. Daisuke Sekimoto
Sekimoto wrestles mostly in All-Japan and Big Japan and spent 2017 being one of the most underrated, reliable wrestlers in the world, much like any other year. His team with Yuji Okabayashi is one of the best in the world and there are very few wrestlers that can be counted on more to have a very good match than Sekimoto.
64. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Nakajima feels like he has been around forever, even though he is only 29. He has established himself at the top of the card in NOAH, having spent the first 8 months of 2017 as the GHC Heavyweight champion. His matches with Kenou and Brian Cage are both excellent and are well worth a watch.
SANADA is an athletic specimen and it is slightly disappointing to rank him this low, but despite putting in really good performances regularly he has been overshadowed somewhat by three members of his own faction. He always shows his talent in singles matches though, as evidenced in his G1 match with Kazuchika Okada.
HARASHIMA is a rare specimen outside of WWE in that he only wrestles for one company, DDT. This means that he doesn't get to show his talents against as wide a variety of opponents as others. He still had a great 2017 though and his matches against Shigehiro Irie and, especially, Tetsuya Endo were fantastic.
If this list was based entirely on gimmick Cody would be very high indeed. He has managed to package himself incredibly well since leaving the WWE. He looks the part as much as anyone and plays a superb heel. Unfortunately his matches often fail to live up to the gimmick. They aren't bad but they are frequently mediocre. His match against Okada was fantastic though.
60. Naomichi Marufuji
Marufuji was less active in other companies in 2017, preferring to spend the majority of his time in NOAH. This had meant that he had a slightly less productive year. He has spent a portion of the year in tag wrestling too, winning the GHC and KO-D tag titles with different partners.
59. Kassius Ohno
Ohno is one of the very best wrestlers in the world but due to the position he now holds in NXT he doesn't get to show it as much as he has in the last few years. He has become a gatekeeper of sorts in NXT but has still managed to put on great matches with Johnny Gargano, Hideo Itami and in the mixed tag match at TakeOver: Orlando.
58. Dean Ambrose
The Rollins/Shield reunion probably came at just about the right time for Ambrose as he had been treading water for some time. He had been consistently around the top of the card while not actually doing a lot other than feuding with the Miz. His tag team with Rollins produced excellent matches with The Bar and rejuvenated him. Unfortunately he suffered a torn tricep that will keep him out for a large portion of 2018.
57. Kyle O'Reilly
O'Reilly spent the first half of the year traveling the independent circuit, where he had great matches in Evolve and WCPW, and the second half of the year in NXT. During his time in NXT he has been involved in the crazy WarGames match and is one half of the current NXT tag champions. 2018 will be an intriguing year for him.
56. Killian Dain
Dain may be the wrestler that saw his stock rise the most in 2017. He took part in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania, finishing third, and was an NXT tag team champion, but it was at the end of the year that he excelled. He was the star of the WarGames match and also shined in the number one contender tournament that was held in December. He looks primed for a true breakout year in 2018.
Cena isn't the 55th best wrestler in the world, he's better than that, but he had a year that was very up and down. He was involved in some of the year's best matches, such as the Elimination Chamber and the spectacular match with AJ Styles, but he is also at the stage in his career where he regularly comes and goes, and inserts himself in storylines with no real explanation.
CIMA has been one of the best wrestlers in Dragon Gate for years, and even at 40 he had a great 2017. He is frequently the best thing in Dragon Gate's action packed multi man tag matches, and he won both the Open The Twin Gate and Open The Owarai Gate titles in 2017. The Twin Gate title run in particular produced a number of excellent matches.
Sheamus is another wrestler for whom a switch to tag wrestling came at the right time. His singles run had been boring for a long time but his team with Cesaro has been a revelation. The matches with Rollins and Ambrose have been excellent, as have a number of their other matches. It's good to see Sheamus get his great run in the company, as he is is a better wrestler than many give him credit for.
52. Trent Barreta
Barreta has been noticeably improving over the last 18 months or so and his 2017 was excellent. He started the year by winning the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Titles with Rocky Romero but would eventually move to the heavyweight division. This led to an excellent match with Kenny Omega. He also put on some top notch matches in PWG and ROH.
51. Juice Robinson
It's back to back former NXT wrestlers. I would never have thought at the start of 2017 that Juice would be on this list, never mind at 51, but he has become one of the best babyfaces in the business. He is just so damn likeable. He got a surprise victory over Kenny Omega in the G1 which led to a superb rematch at Destruction in Kobe.
50. Big E
Big E is an absolute gem. Simultaneously the New Day's most entertaining performer and best wrestler, I would love for him to get back to holding a singles title. He was involved in more New Day matches than either of the other two members in 2017 including their best efforts against the Usos.
49. Shinsuke Nakamura
Well I'm not sure how we got to this point but here we are. Nakamura started the year as NXT champion but lost it to Bobby Roode and also lost the rematch, with both matches being very good. He debuted on the main roster on the Smackdown after Mania and has been booked very strangely since. He lost every match in his terrible feud with Jinder Mahal but beat Cena and was involved in the excellent Money In The Bank match. He doesn't feel anywhere near as special as he should.
48. Chris Jericho
Nobody in wrestling can reinvent themself like Jericho. He started off the year with the List of Jericho, a gimmick that would probably have failed in the hands of a lesser talent. He then took part in the best team breakup in years, the Festival of Friendship. He took time off from wrestling to tour with Fozzy but he returned in spectacular fashion, appearing on screen to challenge Kenny Omega in New Japan.
47. Finn Balor
Balor is another wrestler that is lower on this list than he should be due to the bewildering booking given to him. He had great matches when given the chance, such as his match with AJ Styles or the fatal 5-way match at Extreme Rules, but he was also involved in an interminable feud with Bray Wyatt and went on a run of facing jobbers with no end game. 2018 will hopefully highlight more of his wrestling talent.
46. Trent Seven
Trent Seven has been entertaining in the brief amounts of time he has spent in a WWE ring but it is on the UK scene where he has been at his best. The British Strong Style team of Seven, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne was one of the best things in wrestling during the entirety of 2017, and it was in PROGRESS that they were at their peak. Everything they did is worth a watch.
45. Donovan Dijak
Dijak had a very impressive year in 2017, and it got him a contract in NXT. He is incredibly athletic for a guy his size, and the things he can do are very impressive. The best matches he had in 2017 were those that also involved Keith Lee, either as an opponent or partner. You really can't go wrong with any of them, though my personal favourite is the one in PWG.
While I may not watch a large amount of lucha libre, at least compared to other wrestling, but luckily Fenix has done great work everywhere he has been. His tag team with Penta El Zero M has produced a number of excellent matches and his solo work was great too. His mask vs hair match at Ultima Lucha Tres features some of 2017's best storytelling.
43. Bobby Roode
Roode didn't have any spectacular matches in 2017, he rarely does, but he is a consistent performer that looks great and has a fantastic grasp of his gimmick. He started the year by winning the NXT title from Nakamura in a very good match and would hold it until August. He moved to the main roster where for some reason they turned him face, which has dulled him somewhat.
42. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre spent the first portion of the year putting on a series of great performances on the independent circuit before being resigned by the WWE and heading to NXT. He won the NXT title from Bobby Roode in a very match but lost it to Andrade 'Cien' Almas in a better one. Unfortunately he suffered an injury during that match and will miss a stretch of time.
41. Kento Miyahara
Miyahara is at the forefront of the resurgence that is currently going on in AJPW. He started the year as the Triple Crown champion, lost it, won it back, and lost it again. What stood out the most, though, was the standard of the matches he was involved in. His matches against Shuji Ishikawa and Suwama ranged from excellent to incredible and he is still only 28 years old.