2017 wasn't a banner year for WWE, defined as it was by cynicism, hopelessly misguided experimentation born from Network Era luxury, and a disgustingly disproportionate emphasis on talent most are sick to the back teeth of.
Even in the ring, the escape from the dirge, the arena in which the talent simply show off that talent, a raft of matches underwhelmed. Brock Lesnar Vs. Samoa Joe was merely good; Lesnar Vs. Braun Strowman was a borderline inconvenience. The programme between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens failed to deliver on its promise because it was stymied in order to promise Kevin Owens Vs. Shane McMahon. Exciting though they were in the moment, the multiple multi-woman matches suffer in retrospect as a result of their multitude and meaninglessness.
Samoa Joe Vs. Sami Zayn - a theoretical dream match - was, in reality, a deflating opener to Fastlane. It stretched the premise of a squash to a tedious, almost depressing breaking point. Dolph Ziggler Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, at Backlash, resolutely failed to accomplish its showcase bout brief. WWE's underdog version of "Shin" was hardly worth showcasing.
But, when WWE excelled, it f*cking excelled...
N.B. NXT matches are exempt; if they weren't, the list would surely look a lot different.