Rating The Champ

WWE World Titles – 2017

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we look back at the year 2017, and we’ll continue to go back from here.

In front of my star ratings for the matches, you’ll either see “HR”, “R” or “RTA”. “HR” means the match is highly recommended ; “R” means the match is recommended ; “RTA” means recommendation to avoid. In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing spectacular.


John Cena (January 29, 2017 – February 12, 2017)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 2-2

My match ratings:

  • John Cena def. AJ Styles(c) – Royal Rumble 2017 (*****) *HR*
  • Bray Wyatt def. John Cena(c), AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Baron Corbin in an Elimination Chamber Match – Elimination Chamber 2017 (****1/2) *HR*

John Cena’s sixteenth WWE Heavyweight Championship win was a moment that will be talked about for ages, but at the end of the day it lasted fourteen short days. Cena wrestled in four matches, two of those on PPV and two of those on SmackDown LIVE. Out of his two matches rated above, both are highly recommended and one of them is a five-star classic. After winning the belt in that fantastic match with AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble, Cena went on to lose it to Bray Wyatt two weeks later in a fantastic Elimination Chamber Match. That is impressive, but this Cena reign did start a game of hot potato over the top belt, which is always annoying and makes the title feel less special. It’s tough to rate this reign due to its length, but during those two short weeks we had ‘Big Match John’ at his best.

Rating: 5/10

Bray Wyatt (February 12, 2017 – April 2, 2017)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 3-1

My match ratings:

  • Bray Wyatt def. John Cena(c), AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Baron Corbin in an Elimination Chamber Match – Elimination Chamber 2017 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Bray Wyatt(c) def. John Cena and AJ Styles – SmackDown LIVE Feb. 14 2017 (***1/2) *R*
  • Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt(c) – WrestleMania 33 (DUD) *RTA*

Bray Wyatt’s first World Championship reign lasted 49 days, during which he wrestled four televised matches. I already talked about the Elimination Chamber Match in Cena’s entry, and two days later Wyatt went on to defend his title in a pretty good triple threat match against former champions John Cena and AJ Styles. Meanwhile, his rivalry with former partner/rival Randy Orton continued heading into WrestleMania 33, Orton who had won the Royal Rumble Match even before Wyatt became champion. The match, however, was absolutely horrible and is a strong recommendation to avoid. This reign could and should have been way better than it was. Still, points for having two recommended matches out of the three I rated.

Rating: 3/10

Randy Orton (April 2, 2017 – May 21, 2017)

  • Televised matches: 8
  • Record: 5-3

My match ratings:

  • Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt(c) – WrestleMania 33 (DUD) *RTA*
  • Bray Wyatt def. Randy Orton in a House of Horrors – Payback 2017 (DUD) *RTA*
  • Jinder Mahal def. Randy Orton(c) – Backlash 2017 (**1/2)

This reign was bad and quite pointless. After the horrible match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 33, the two managed to have an even worse one at Payback. A non-title “House of Horrors”, which was won by Wyatt thanks to Jinder Mahal’s interference. Then, at Backlash, Orton dropped the title to Jinder and that’s it. Awful, awful, awful title reign.

Rating: 1/10

Jinder Mahal (May 21, 2017 – November 7, 2017)

  • Televised matches: 13
  • Record: 9-4

My match ratings:

  • Jinder Mahal def. Randy Orton(c) – Backlash 2017 (**1/2)
  • Jinder Mahal(c) def. Randy Orton – Money in the Bank 2017 (***1/4)
  • Jinder Mahal(c) def. Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison – Battleground 2017 (DUD) *RTA*
  • Jinder Mahal(c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura – SummerSlam 2017 (**1/2)
  • Jinder Mahal(c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura – Hell in a Cell 2017 (**)
  • AJ Styles def. Jinder Mahal(c) – SmackDown LIVE Nov. 13 2017 (**1/2)

People have said everything about Jinder Mahal’s reign as WWE Champion. It was clearly done to explore the Indian market, almost the matches were average at best and almost all the matches had the same damn finish. Many people compare Jinder’s reign to JBL’s, but at least JBL’s reign was used to put John Cena over in the end at WrestleMania. With Jinder, it ended randomly on an episode of SmackDown because Jinder wasn’t credible enough to wrestle Brock Lesnar. This was a thing that happened.

Rating: 3/10


Goldberg (March 5, 2017 – April 2, 2017)

  • Televised matches: 2
  • Record: 1-1

My match rating:

  • Goldberg def. Kevin Owens(c) – Fastlane 2017 (DUD)
  • Brock Lesnar def. Goldberg(c) – WrestleMania 33 (***1/2) *R*

I’ll start by saying one thing: as good as the Lesnar/Goldberg feud was in 2016/17, it didn’t need the title at all. The Universal Championship was such an important part of the Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens act, and it hould’ve stayed there heading into WrestleMania 33. Anyway, the match with Owens at Fastlane lasted about a minute while the WrestleMania match with Lesnar exceeded all expectations. The title didn’t need to be in this feud at all, but it could’ve been worse.

Rating: 2/10

Brock Lesnar (April 2, 2017 – August 19, 2018)

  • Televised matches: 9
  • Record: 8-1

My match ratings:

  • Brock Lesnar def. Goldberg(c) – WrestleMania 33 (***1/2) *R*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Samoa Joe – Great Balls of Fire 2017 (***1/2) *R*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe – SummerSlam 2017 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Braun Strowman – No Mercy 2017 (**)
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Braun Strowman and Kane – Royal Rumble 2018 (*)
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Roman Reigns – WrestleMania 34 (*) *RTA*
  • Brock Lesnar(c) def. Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage Match – Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 (1/2*) *RTA*
  • Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar(c) – SummerSlam 2018 (**1/2)

Make no mistake about it, this reign was bad. The plan had always been for Lesnar to hold the belt for a year before losing it to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34, which was known by pretty much everyone at the time. However, we just had a swerve in the WrestleMania match just because, and instead Reigns’ inevitable win had to wait a few more months. He went on to lose another match to Lesnar, in that awful Steel Cage Match in Saudi Arabia, which would then lead to months and months of Reigns cutting horrible promos on RAW complaining how he was the rightful champion. The feud with Reigns was really bad, but he did have three (highly) recommended matches out of nine. Bad, but it still had its moments.

Rating: 3/10


  1. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  2. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  3. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  4. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  5. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  6. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  7. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  8. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  9. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  10. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  11. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  12. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  13. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  14. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1