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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

AJ Styles, Roman Reigns and Alexa Bliss lead the top 10 WWE Superstars of 2017

It has been a busy year of WWE programming and here is a look at who shone the most and what we can look forward to them in 2018.

AJ Styles is top of The National's top 10 for WWE Superstars in 2017. Image courtesy of WWE
AJ Styles is top of The National's top 10 for WWE Superstars in 2017. Image courtesy of WWE

As 2017 draws to a close, here is a look at who was rated by The National as the top 10 acts on WWE on their main rosters during the past 12 months.

1) AJ Styles

The phenomenal one lived upto his nickname with a pretty phenomenal year.

Continues to be an excellent performer in the ring, and he was the driving forces behind great matches at the Royal Rumble (John Cena), WrestleMania 33 (Shane McMahon), Survivor Series (Brock Lesnar) and Clash of Champions (Jinder Mahal).

The fact he took a limited performer such as Mahal to two fine matches, including their match on SmackDown in November where Styles won his second WWE World Heavyweight title, is the underlining point of Styles being a magician in the ring.

He should take the title to WrestleMania 34 and continue to be a focal point of the programming for the year ahead.

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Roman Reigns on WWE's Abu Dhabi tour and beating The Undertaker and John Cena

Sasha Banks on making history in Abu Dhabi, putting the spotlight on the women's division, and ideas on the Royal Rumble

Triple H on WWE's tour of Abu Dhabi and facing Roman Reigns

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2) Roman Reigns

He still continues to divides audiences and reactions, but Reigns has had an excellent year in the ring. He had a superb feud with Braun Strowman and other than his WrestleMania 33 main event with the Undertaker, which was limited largely because of the age and mobility of his opponents, almost every Network Special match he was involved in, was at least a 7/10.

What he still lacks in microphone skills, as highlighted by his feud with John Cena, he made up for with a fine performance in the squared circle.

Reuniting with the Shield clearly helped relax him and it was good to see him having fun again. It was also nice to see his enthusiasm in winning the Intercontinental title.

A lengthy WWE Universal title run in 2018 is likely, with him the man most likely to dethrone Lesnar at WrestleMania 34.

3) Alexa Bliss

The centre of the women's division this year. Became the first woman to be champion on both the SmackDown and Raw brands and has proven an excellent focal point for the division.

Her mannerisms and skill on the microphone mean she has remained very over despite high profile losses, and in a year when a number of the leading ladies in the WWE have struggled to find traction, the organisation have been able to rely on her.

Likely to lose her Raw title to Asuka at some point in the opening months of 2018, and it will be a good test for her to see where she goes without a belt around her waist.

4) Braun Strowman

A breakout year. More than held his own against Reigns and the crowds got so into his dominant big man act that the WWE have turned him face.

The only letdown was how badly booked his title shot at Lesnar in September was, but his showing at Survivor Series and beatdown of Triple H regained some of that heat.

Faces feuds with veterans in Kane and Triple H in first third of 2018, which should help him gain more experience. But needs, and deserves, a title run to cement his role at the top of the card.

5) The Usos

They have been around WWE for sometime now, but this was a big year from Jey and Jimmy.

Reinvented as heels, they were fantastic as they brought real attitude and menace to their work.

Their feud with the New Day for the SmackDown tag titles was arguably one of the best tag team rivalries the WWE have had in recent years.

They appear to have gone face again, which could be a mistake, but they have the potential to build on their work in 2018.

6) Charlotte Flair

A good year overall for the Queen of WWE. Started the year as champion on Raw and ended it on top on SmackDown.

Did her bit to put over Bayley and the only downside was playing fiddle on SmackDown as the WWE tried to build Naomi.

Defeated Bliss in their champion v champion match at Survivor Series and should take that momentum into a strong 2018 where she will be in the women's main event at WrestleMania 34.

7) Brock Lesnar

The obvious criticism is he is not there enough, and when he is some of his matches have been far too short (Strowman and Samoa Joe).

But he told a good story and had a cracking WrestleMania 33 match with Goldberg to win the WWE Universal title and he played his part in the SummerSlam main event and also against Styles at Survivor Series.

When motivated is still capable of putting on a hell of show. Will almost certainly be in the main event at WrestleMania 34 against Reigns, and where he goes after he drops the title and what challenges are left for him should be fascinating to watch.

8) The New Day

Given they have now been together for more than three years, the fact they do not feel stale is a compliment to their hard work and fine efforts in the ring.

Played their part in the feud with the Usos and the fact they are so over despite not having the titles, and losing a lot of big matches, is impressive.

Lose points for not wrestling at WrestleMania 33 and for ultimately losing their feud with the Usos.

9) Samoa Joe

Excellent and vicious in the ring and produces a level of intensity to his promos that few others can match.

He did an outstanding job in creating interest in his feud with Lesnar, so it was such a pity when he was booked to lose so quickly to the champion.

Joe needs some big wins in 2018 to establish himself at the top of the card. Everything else is there, and it is only the lack of big results that mean he is not higher in the top 10.

10) The Miz

Again did the best he could with what he was given.

Carried the Intercontinental title with credit during the summer, and his Miztourage faction has been fun.

Deserves to be higher up the card, or at least given a shot at been there, but the fact he made the throwaway feud with John Cena and Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33 work is a sign of just how good the man is.