Is this the strangest year in modern WWE history?
Even if unwittingly, the company at long last tapped into the mainstream pulse by presenting a product fit for this post-satire world. It was the year in which Vince McMahon, sensing that the Network age affords him a level of control luxurious and self-indulgent even by his narcissistic standards, went full Vince McMahon. We saw the paradox that defines him manifested onscreen; the rank arrogance that was Jinder Mahal, WWE Heavyweight Champion contrasted with the universally-adored mega-hoss that is Braun Strowman. Vince, for better and too often for worse, has still got it.
In some respects, it was a year to both remember and savour. Goldberg made fools of the anti-nostalgia cynics by capping an emotive, redemptive character arc in memorable fashion at WrestleMania 33. The autumn months were at the very least interesting, and very dramatic, lifting the tedious hex of years past. WWE created and or reinforced new stars in Strowman, Alexa Bliss, and Elias - a triumvirate, incidentally, that might suggest WWE remains steadfast in its supposed superiority over the Independent circuit.
Given the year the elite stars outside of the WWE bubble enjoyed, it is a perception worth massaging...