2016 was difficult to beat in the brainless gimmicks department.
It was the year in which WWE attempted to make the never-great Darren Young 'Great Again' with the assistance of demented life coach Bob Backlund, some mystifying, wooden vignettes, and a massively halfhearted push. Those vignettes were incredibly weird; Backlund raged against smart phone technology, for some reason, and note-taking. Backlund also instructed Young to "cut way down on the shopping" and to "walk briskly," instead of running, unless maybe he missed a bus. This was avant garde Adult Swim anti-comedy of the weirdest order, though unintentionally so. The whole thing was probably designed to make fun of Backlund's latter-day insanity, a joke that wore thin during the Attitude Era.
2016 also heralded the arrival of the Shining Stars - Puerto Rican time share salesmen! - who tried to sell time shares backstage in thoroughly baffling segments. David Lynch at his most insane was more comprehensible than this.
This was sh*t-thrown-at-walls stuff for the deadest of undercard acts.
2017, somehow, was worse - in that performers with genuine star potential were subjected to stuff as bad...