In total, 2017 wasn’t really a good year for WWE. The start of 2017 was good with several things happening but after the first quarter of 2017, it started to fade away.
And let’s face it, from the mid of 2017, WWE became more boring. Poor storylines, ignorance of full timers have made 2017 one of the year of ups and downs.
Last year, WWE took some poor decision which didn’t go down with the fans. So, let’s give a look at the top 5 biggest mistakes made by WWE in 2017.
#5. Not booking Finn Balor properly
In recent times, can you name one NXT debutant who on his first PPV won a major title? The answer would be no.
But if you give a look at 2016, you will find your answer, because, in 2016, Finn Balor made his debut on RAW.
On his first night, he defeated Roman Reigns who by the way was the current face of the company.
Later, Finn also beat Seth Rollins to win and become the first ever WWE Universal champion. Unfortunately, during his match, Balor got injured and had to forfeit the title the next very night on RAW.
After months of absence, Balor came back on RAW after Wrestlemania 33. Sadly, since his return, WWE hasn’t given Finn Balor a rematch or a push.
Earlier it was planned that Finn Balor vs Brock Lesnar will take place by the end of 2017 or by early 2018.
Fast forward, the plan was scrapped as Vince McMahon felt that Balor isn’t ready yet.
Despite having a good winning record, Finn Balor was ignored by the writers which have to be one of the biggest mistakes WWE did in 2017.
#4. Making Jinder Mahal the WWE Champion
WWE is trying to make it to other countries like India, Japan, etc. Out of all the other countries expect the USA, India is the hottest market where WWE is trying to expand and gain more viewership.
Apparently, WWE doesn’t have many Indian superstars. Jinder Mahal was once fired from the company, but he rebuilt himself and made a comeback at the end of 2016.
When the modern Maharaja got drafted to SmackDown, he was given a major push which made him the no 1 contender for the WWE championship.
And then to everyone’s shock, he ended up defeating the then current WWE champion, Randy Orton.
Until the mid of November, Jinder was the WWE champion. But the problem was that despite being a heel Jinder Mahal didn’t get booed or cheered.
Even in India, fans were not much excited about Jinder Mahal being the WWE champion.
WWE was planning for a Jinder Mahal vs John Cena match at the Royal Rumble PPV of 2018, but that match was canceled as Jinder lost his title to AJ Styles on SmackDown just before Survivor Series PPV.
#3. SmackDown losing Survivor Series
As already mentioned, 2017 wasn’t a good year for WWE. After Jinder Mahal was crowned champion, SmackDown rating and viewership took a fall.
Know that it was poor before Jinder Mahal was the champion, but after Jinder won the championship it got worst.
During one of the shows of SmackDown live, the attendance was low to 3500, which means only 20% of the arena was filled. This continued for a long time.
Many criticised WWE for making Jinder the champion, some were also pointing the lack of star-studded roster behind the low ratings and viewership.
Even at this moment, SmackDown doesn’t have a lot of big names. Top names include Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Nakamura, Booby Rhode, Owens, Zayn, etc.
But if you give a look at RAW’s roster, they have gotten big and popular names.
And at the Survivor Series PPV, WWE officially made the blue brand as the ‘B’ show as RAW completely dominated team SmackDown in the main event.
Hell, they even made John Cena and Randy Orton and Cena look like jobber just to give Strowman a push.
There was once a plan to send Roman Reigns to SmackDown but that plan was also canceled. Hope WWE will bring in some new names or old superstars to SmackDown.
#2. Making Randy Orton a Jobber
If you look at some of the best feuds of WWE in the past 10 years, you’ll find the name of Randy Orton.
Whether it was with Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Triple H or any other superstar, the Viper is one of the best heels of this generation.
Back in 2017, it was Randy Orton who won the Royal Rumble PPV and then went to become the WWE champion by defeating Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33.
Randy Orton lost the title to Jinder Mahal at the Backlash PPV. And after losing it to Jinder, Orton hasn’t been able to win it back.
After his feud got over with Jinder, WWE put Orton in a feud with Rusev which was nothing more than a joke.
And then, WWE finally made him a jobber, who lose matches against new superstars like Nakamura, Owens, Zayn, etc.
The same superstars who lead team SmackDown to victory last year at the Survivor Series PPV were eliminated easily this year by Braun Stowman.
Turning one of their best heels into a jobber was one of the biggest mistake WWE did in 2017.
#1. Roman Reign retiring the Undertaker
Roman Reign is the current face of the company. And from a WWE wrestler perspective, Roman had the best year of his career, even though he didn’t win any of the major championship belts but he did beat two of the biggest names this industry; The Undertaker and John Cena.
Beating Cena can be considered as the passing of the torch as the former 16 time World champion has now officially become a part timer.
Nonetheless, Roman beating the Undertaker is something which shouldn’t have happened.
When we talk about Wrestlemania, you talk about the Undertaker and his infamous ‘Streak’.
WWE sent the Deadman to retirement last year by losing against Reigns who isn’t liked by the fans and isn’t even deserving to be an opponent of Taker.
But as Vince McMahon’s Golden boy Roman gets all the favour.
Coming to the point, the intial plan was to make Cena the person who makes the Deadman retire and it completely makes sense. However, Vince favored Reigns and rest is the history.
The next very night on RAW, WWE understood how big of a mistake they have done as Reign during his segment was booed for a duration of 8-9 minutes, which is something that hasn’t happened in WWE for a long period of time.