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2017 PW Awards: Top Ten Moments of the Year

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A couple of heartbreaking breakups, a ‘Dead Man’ retires, some major title wins, a true tear jerker of a moment, a surprise challenge for the ages and more—here are your top ten moments for 2017 as voted on by our award-winning panel.

Winner: Chris Jericho challenges Kenny Omega to a match (Power Struggle, 11.5.17)

“We knew something was up between these two fine Manitobans due to some noteworthy exchanges on social media. However, we had no idea we’d be getting a surprise promo from one Chris Jericho on New Japan programming. Jericho challenging Kenny Omega to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 was proof that anything can happen in this crazy world of professional wrestling. And there’s something to be said about keep things under lock and key to surprise your fan base. Somehow, someway, Jericho has been able to do this on multiple occasions in an age that has made it increasingly difficult. This was the ultimate pro wrestling moment that would lead to a historic once in a lifetime match.” – Dave Reno

Chris Jericho is coming to Wrestle Kingdom 12

“Just one?!? This was the hardest one to choose. There were so many great moments this year from the emergence of Braun Strowman, to Dalton Castle finally winning the ROH Championship, to the announcement of the Women’s Royal Rumble. I don’t think any moment moved the needle in Pro Wrestling quite like Chris Jericho showing up in NJPW to challenge Kenny Omega for WK12. This was legitimately a shock in the age of wrestling where no one can keep a secret. Jericho himself has said his returns to WWE have been the worst kept secrets in wrestling, but this year he finally got to shock the world with his emergence in NJPW. This has easily become the most anticipated match at an event that is overflowing with highly anticipated matches. I’ve watched the initial video package and his attack on Omega more times than I can count. I even finally splurged and got the NJPW World subscription because I’m so excited. Best in the World at what it is he does… AGAIN.” – Chris Langevin

2. Undertaker retires (WrestleMania 33, 4.2.17)

“Is he really retired? You never really know when it comes to Taker. If he is, and he most certainly should be, this was a beautiful moment that will absolutely stand the test of time, just like his legendary career. Well, I suppose we could do without the ‘American Badass’ stuff. But hey, even Prince and David Bowie had some forgettable work.” – DR

3. Hardy Boyz return (WrestleMania 33, 4.2.17)

“Remember that thing I said about surprises in wrestling. Well, sometimes, even when you know something is coming, it’s still just as incredible. Just one night after tearing the house down with The Young Bucks at Supercard of Honor in Lakeland, 70,000 plus were just waiting to welcome Matt and Jeff back home. The definition of a “WrestleMania” moment.” – DR

4. Tommaso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver: Chicago, 5.20.17)

#DIY: Tommaso Ciampa shocks Chicago with slaughter of Johnny Gargano

5. Katsuyori Shibata’s return at G1 Climax (G1 Climax Finals, 8.13.17)

“If you followed this story and this moment didn’t make you tear up then you may or may not have a soul.” – DR

Video: Katsuyori Shibata returns at G1 Final in Sumo Hall

6. Festival of Friendship (RAW, 2.13.17)

The second of three moments in this list involving Jericho.

‘Festival of Friendship’ turns into ‘Festival of Deception’

7. Kenny Omega wins the IWGP US Title (G1 Special in USA, 7.2.17)

Kenny Omega IWGP US Championship win, promo and celebration

8. Chris Jericho’s surprise attack on Kenny Omega (World Tag League Finals, 12.11.17)

“The moment of the year could’ve been the announcement of a legitimate dream match of Jericho vs. Omega because nobody thought it was even a possibility, but in typical Y2J fashion, he topped himself when he showed up live in a New Japan ring prior to the Tokyo Dome. The attack took a match that was already hyped as a dream match and added another level of intensity to it, which added another layer to the entire angle. The use of blood was done in such a way that it enhanced the entire visual and as simplistic as the angle was, it took the anticipation for the Wrestle Kingdom match to another level. It speaks volumes to the ability of Jericho as not only an athlete that can still go after a nearly three decade career, but also his passion for the business. In 2017, at a time when nothing is a surprise, Jericho shocked the world to challenge arguably the best wrestler on the planet for a major bout on Japan’s biggest stage. There’s no doubt, Jericho is truly an all-time great in the industry.” – Jim LaMotta

Chris Jericho busts Kenny Omega open at World Tag League Final

9. AJ wins WWE Championship in England (SmackDown Live, 11.7.17)

Even though I read about it earlier in the day, it is something that still came across as a complete surprise, and you could see it in the crowd that night in Manchester. Plus, that is the first time the title has changed hands outside North America in decades!!! – Frank Anguiano

10. Christopher Daniels wins the ROH World Title (15th Anniversary Show, 3.10.17)

Christopher Daniels wins the ROH World Championship

Dave has been covering Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts for various websites since 2010. He currently runs both FightBooth and FightBoothPW with the help of some lovely and talented people.

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