8: Money in the Bank- Despite using two taglines to advertise this show that reflected poorly on the company’s tact and self-awareness, this show was entertaining enough. Sure, there was some missable stuff (Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt, Bayley vs. Tamina, Bobby Lashley vs. R-Truth), but a fun multi-man tag, an excellent Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre WWE Title match, and a cinematic dual-Money in the Bank match that you couldn’t take your eyes off of. And hey, they ultimately screwed it up (because it’s WWE), but give the company credit for trying something new with Otis and attempting to capitalize on a midcarder with some momentum.
7: Payback- While this show, which aired a week after SummerSlam, represents the worst of WWE oversaturation, this was arguably the most inoffensive show of the year. Yes, there are some critiques (the Mysterios/Rollins & Murphy tag match felt like a bout from a mid-2000s SmackDown PPV that ran 10 minutes too long and Roman Reigns waiting until the last minute to sign his title match contract as the match was happening was stupid), but overall, it was an easy watch and, if nothing else, we saw the ascension of The Tribal Chief.
6: Clash of Champions- The bad/questionable: a contrived Drew McIntyre/Randy Orton ambulance match, booking Asuka vs. Bayley (again) when a forfeit spot followed by Sasha Banks returning to attack Bayley would’ve worked just fine. The good: Asuka vs. Zelina Vega slightly exceeded expectations, an entertaining triple threat ladder match between Sami Zayn, Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles, and everything about Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso. On this show, the good was good enough to outweigh the bad.
5: Survivor Series- Just about every match on this show, especially Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks vs. Asuka (despite WWE going to that well too many times this year), accomplished what it meant to accomplish. The women’s Survivor Series match, however, only succeeded in making the audience feel dumber for having witnessed it.