Where does time go? Seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in 2018 with confetti and fireworks, and here we sit in the dog days of summer. So much as changed since the dawn of 2018: England stands two wins away from winning the World Cup (yay for my Cultaholic lads), the Philadelphia Eagles finally won a Super Bowl (yay for me), and Cultaholic brought me on board (yay for….hmm…I’ll get back to you on that).
In terms of WWE matters, the first half of 2018 has been marked with a number of major changes and occurrences, some good, others not so much. For this list, we’ll focus on the 10 main roster performers I subjectively feel have been the most productive, important, and relevant for the first half of 2018. Those wrestlers whose matches, promos, and overall performances have been a boost to WWE programming at large.
Obviously, this will be a subjective list, with no true concrete parameters in place for determining the value and effectiveness of a wrestler and their performances. But in the words of former US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: “I know it when I see it.” And that phrase gives me carte blanche to make my own assessments. So with that said, here’s one man’s personal feelings on WWE’s best and brightest over the last six months.
10. Samoa Joe
In many ways, 2018 hasn’t been Joe’s year so far. He would miss both the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 34 due to a serious foot injury, and his match with Roman Reigns at the ensuing Backlash event earned almost universal scorn.
But where Joe has made his biggest mark in 2018 is on the microphone. During the run-up to Backlash, Joe began cutting some especially weighty promos on Reigns that opened many eyes toward his skill level in that category. Often thought of as a technically-proficient brawler and striker first, Samoa Joe has proven both eloquent and intimidating when given a chance to speak. It wouldn’t be fair to say that Joe was ever a one-dimensional performer, but he’s certainly been delivering on the stick in 2018 better than he ever has, cutting main event-calibre promos over the past three months.