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Your Personal Top Ten Matches


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I also dislike that match because that is the match which made Kurt Angle into the wrestler he became.


Chris Benoit is the rabid wolverine. He's 5'6, and 210. So he's gotta be really intense and keep on top of people and go at them whenever he smells blood because that's how he overcomes his deficiency is size. SO when he's going non-stop in matches it makes sense within a pro wrestling narrative because he needs to keep on top of people in order for success. It involves doing a lot, but again, it makes sense for Benoit to do a lot in order to hang with larger wrestlers, So again, Benoit intense, gogogogo, makes sense.


Kurt Angle is an Olympic Gold Medallist. He can, according to pro wrestling narrative, outdo anyone on the mat and can grind people technically. He doesn't have to do anymore than he needs to, because if his opponent makes one wrong move on offence and does so much as put his arm in the wrong position then Angle as a wrestling genius can take advantage of that. For this formative years Angle did this, and wrestled like someone who's an Olympic gold medalist should do. Slower, using amateur throws, spacing out his suplexes as his suplexes would be the bes as he's an Olympic Gold Medalist so he one belly to belly from him is like 3 from someone else.


Anyway, in this Royal Rumble match Angle started working like Benoit on speed. GOGOGO! 100MPH! STAY ON TOP! DESPERATION IN MOVES! NO TIME TO REST! NO TIME TO SELL! And ever since that match Angle worked a style which made no sense but was just "WORKRATE!!!!".


Workrate's meaning, contrary to popular belief does not mean how good a wrestler is, but at it's base means action vs inaction. Inaction is wrestling means just as much as action, as without inaction the action doesn't have time to make an impact on the consumer of the product. If someone has a "good workrate" that'd mean they're always working or always doing something. However, in wrestling, for me, what you don't do is equally important as what you do. How can I get emotionally invested in the match when you won't give me a chance to as you've no-sold something to do a pop up belly to belly superplex, or why should I think about how you're a world class wrestler who can grind anyone down on the mat when you're attempting weird 450 degree knee drop/splash things? If you're an Olympic Gold Medalist how come you're going 50/50 in convoluted mat exchanges with people who primarily work as brawlers?


So yeah, for the aftermath, I also hate RR 2003's match.

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Epics are special and happen naturally, they aren't created on purpose. And it was just so obvious they went out there with the "This is going to be an epic match as we're going to do A,B,C (without thinking about what goes between A, B and C) that it didn't work for me.

I'd agree with some of what you said about the Angle/Michaels match but surely the exception to the bit I've quoted above is Rock/Hogan? They went through that match exactly as it was laid out even though the fans had the complete opposite reaction to what they wanted for the most part


If you don't count the Rock giving the odd snide look at the crowd, he wrestled the entire match as he normally would, still a great match though despite it not building up naturally

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WWE knew how a Canadian crowd was going to react to Hogan. He was always going to be a babyface in that match. That's why Hall and Nash put an exclaimation mark on it at the end


Stadium crowd, an historically strong WWF city during Hogan's city, and the smarkish and nostaligic Wrestlemania crowd meant Hogan was always going to get cheered. If if you look at how Hogan wrestles in the match he doesn't really wrestle as a heel, it's more like a crafty veteran babyface, bending the rules, and playing to the gallery for cheers while he was doing it. If it was on the fly I don't know, but I'd say that was organically good. As Hogan got more and more positive reaction the more he'd show out for the crowd. I'd say it's not a rigidly "Self Conscious Epic" (to steal a phrase from elsewhere). Hogan works more baby accordingly with the positive reactions he got. And to be honest, when I mean Epic when I talk about Angle vs Michael I mean it in a different way to how I'd see Rock vs Hogan being an epic. Rock vs Hogan wouldn't be full of "Stuff" like a Michaels vs Angle. Michaels vs Angle is an epic in a "We're going to do all these cool spots, all this cool stuff, were going to get loads of shit in, we're going to annoy Butch by doing loads of finishers or reversals from them and really cheapen them for future matches" and then Kurt said "I know, I'll do a leg lace out of my ankle lock to get the win as loads of reversals and rope breaks out of my normal ankle lock will do even more damage to it so it'll get to the point then no-one buys it as the finish anymore and wait's for however it's broken, so I'll add a leg lock like I did at RR 2003 as then it's KILLER ANKLE LOCK until I let people get out of that as well and both moves will mean as much as the Angle Slam which hasn't won me a match since 2001 and people don't even suspend their disbelief for near falls from it"


I've lost my train of thought.

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As it's personal, I'll pick the matches that mean the most to me rather than the best in-ring quality. Some though, will include some top notch quality and some will be laughed at but who cares, it's a personal opinion after all.


In no order;


1 - Undertaker v Shawn Michaels, Hell in a Cell, Badd Blood 97.


Taker and HBK were two of the biggest names in the world of wrestling at the time and you can count on them delivering a good match. A new concept with the Hell in a Cell added to the buzz surrounding the match as did the fact that the winner would become the number one contender. But the real reason why it's up there as one my favourite matches is because it introduced the man who would become my favourite wrestler as a kid, Kane. We'd heard so much about him in the weeks building up and seeing this fucking giant rip a steel cage apart was quite impressive to a naive 6 year old.


2 - Kane v Stone Cold Steve Austin, WWF Championship, King of the Ring 98. 


This match probably won't go down as a classic by many. But as I've already said, Kane was my favourite wrestler, so to see him win the title was as good as it got for me as a kid. It's a shame that he only held it for a single day in his entire career but at least he did get to hold it. I was chuffed when he won, for the sheer elation I felt at the time it has to be in my top ten.


3 - Undertaker v Mankind, Hell in a Cell, King of the Ring 98.


Again this match isn't everybody's cup of tea, especially given the hype that surrounds it nowadays but at the time I remember thinking that JR was right, Undertaker had killed Mankind. It scared the shit outta me. It's one of those matches that reminds me wresting is real.


4 - Team WWF v Team Alliance, Elimination match, Survivor Series 01.


Again, I know a lot of people who knock this match and there's part of me that agrees with the critics. But, as a kid I was always a WWF fan. And to see my team defeat the enemy put a huge smile on me face. It was at a time where I didn't pretend to know the goings on behind the scenes, I genuinely thought that the WWF could be going out of business if it lost. So I was rooting for my boys to knock WCW and ECW out of business and we did. 


5 - DX v Jerishow, Tag Team Titles, TLC 09.


I always loved DX and again, it's the joy I personally got out of the match that ranks it in my top ten. Finally HBK and the Game were tag team champions together. The founding members of DX had the gold. Given the talent involved it weren't as good as it could have been but "suck it" because DX still left with the Tag Team Titles. 


6 - Triple H v Shawn Michaels, Unsanctioned Street Fight, SummerSlam 02.


Again, as I've just said, I've always loved DX so to see them reunite when HBK returned was great, only for Triple H to ruin it. I don't think I've hated a wrestler more than I did Triple H at that point. Looking back on it now, I think it's even better than it was then. The build up was great, the match was outstanding and HBK won. It's a match I could happily watch over and over again. 


7 - Dudley Boyz v Hardy Boyz v Edge and Christian, TLC 2, WrestleMania X-Seven.


Huge fan of tag team wrestling so to see three of the best ever put on a show like they did on the "grandest stage of them all" is quite a good thing in my book. Sequels are usually not as good as the original but this one outdid the original TLC match. Even with all the other shenanigans going on and other people getting involved, this was immense. WrestleMania 17 is often called the best WrestleMania ever and this match is a huge reason why.


8 - Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton v Batista, WWE Title, WrestleMania XXX.


Even at 23, I could still get sucked into a storyline of professional wrestling. The culmination of such a hard journey for Bryan. Again, this is in my top ten because it makes me remember wrestling is real because it can still make me feel great joy. That's credit to everybody involved in that long Daniel Bryan saga. 


9 - Triple H v Sting, No DQ, WrestleMania 31.


The quality of this match was nothing spectacular but to two men way past their primes they still delivered a more than good enough match. The reason I picked this one was because of the story they told beforehand, Sting being the last WCW soldier. It was taking me back to being a kid again. WWF v WCW. DX v nWo. And again, we won. It's purely nostalgia that gets this into me top ten, even if it was about fifteen years too late.


10 - Undertaker v Brock Lesnar, The Streak, WrestleMania XXX.


Final pick and again I've gone for one that is no technical clinic but one more that reminds how wrestling can be real. The shock on people's faces when the Streak was actually broken puts this into my top ten. I felt that same shock. I thought the Streak would never end and yet it did. I love when wrestling can make me feel genuine emotion, whatever emotion that be, and the night Brock Lesnar ended the Streak made me feel emotion.

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Butch I seem to remember reading in Power Slam around that time that Hogan went into business for himself in the match and as a result the agents and Vince were furious.


Was Fin Martin just being an arse, being worked or something else?


It's got to be bollocks. The whole match was more the "two big legends collide" rather than "the hero Rock getting revenge against the evil bastard that tried to kill him" with complete co-operation from Rocky, a "Hulking Up" sequence and a conveniently timed battering from his heel stablemates afterwards. What was planned to happen is what happened.

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