10 Best WWE Storylines Of The Past 5 Years

Written In The Stars

Cody Rhodes Roman Reigns Goldust
WWE

Since its 2012 Orlando rebadge, NXT has been the preserve of the well-told tale. A shrewd amalgamation of modern concepts booked in a traditional style, the one-hour weekly broadcast furnished by lengthy and logical tapings has generated a treadmill of creative triumphs. It can do wrong, but rarely does, and to this end won't feature in the following list.

WWE's creative staffers are charged with something far tougher. Each week, a minimum of five hours on USA Network requires wall-to-wall content that should ideally flow from last week's folly and feed into next week's feast. Challenging enough, it must then survive the inspection and interjection of the talent involved as well as the fickle filter of Vince McMahon - the lionised godfather of everything around him with a diminishing wisdom few higher-ups will question and even less would dare admit.

It's as though a high quality storyline has to sneak or fight through now, rather than playing out in grand (and planned) fashion. On his 'Something To Wrestle' podcast, Bruce Prichard fondly recalls booking meetings at Vince's house, whilst others speak similarly of McMahon and right hand man Pat Patterson pencilling in a year of television perched by his private pool.

The system remains the same, but virtually every creative mechanism is unrecognisable from that charming visage. NXT has donated world class talents to the main roster over the last five years, but a genuinely thrilling angle can't be carefully crafted at the Performance Center or lifted from the independent scene. Not most of the time, anyway...

10. Fight Forever

Daniel Bryan This is the YES era
WWE.com

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn may not have had the smoothest lifespans on the main roster beyond star-making moments with John Cena upon their respective arrivals, but a 2016 angle between the pair at least made ample use of the unending link between the pair.

Prolific first as a team and then as enemies in Ring Of Honor, NXT made canny use of the duo when Owens joined his longtime compadre on the developmental brand. Zayn's long quest for the NXT Heavyweight Championship culminated on the very same night 'KO' debuted, resulting in a show-closing swerve-turn from the 'Prizefighter' and shocking title switch exactly two months later.

An unfortunate injury to Zayn upon his aforementioned Cena soft-launch allowed the feud to reach the main roster unblemished. Redebuting in the 2016 Royal Rumble to eliminate Owens, Zayn's return triggered an exceptional series between the two that travelled through WrestleMania and Payback multi-man matches and an exhilarating Battleground grudge match.

Laughably billed as their 'Final Battle', the two were warring again on Raw before the end of the year, and again on SmackDown Live! after both were drafted to Tuesdays shortly after WrestleMania 33. Their October 2017 reconciliation has already shown wear and tear, with an upcoming WrestleMania 34 clash likely to trigger their latest collapse.

Contributor
Contributor

We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash). Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, new AEW storylines or the new WWE push they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.