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Are these the top 10 (and top 25) greatest WWE matches of all time?


Maikeru
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Only five WWE matches in history have received 5 stars from Meltzer - all of which are also in the WWE's Greatest 100 Matches book (published in 2016):

 

20/03/1994 Wrestlemania 10 Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels

29/08/1994 Summerslam 94 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

23/03/1997 Wrestlemania 13 Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin

05/10/1997 In Your House 17 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

17/07/2011 Money in the Bank 2011 CM Punk vs. John Cena

 

 

A further twenty matches in WWE history have received 4.75 stars from Meltzer - but only five of which were included in the aforementioned book:

 

01/04/2001 Wrestlemania 17 Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley vs. Christian & Edge vs. Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy

03/04/2005 Wrestlemania 21 Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

05/04/2009 Wrestlemania 25 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

01/04/2012 Wrestlemania 28 The Undertaker vs. Triple H

25/01/2015 Royal Rumble 2015 Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

 

 

The other fifteen that didn't make it in to WWE's book were:  

 

19/07/1993 Monday Night Raw Marty Jannetty vs. Shawn Michaels

20/03/1994 Wrestlemania 10  Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

27/08/1995 Summerslam 95 Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels

17/12/1995 In Your House 5  Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog

22/09/1996 In Your House 10 Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels

21/01/2001 Royal Rumble 2001 Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

25/02/2001 No Way Out 2001 Steve Austin vs. Triple H

21/05/2001 Monday Night Raw Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Steve Austin & Triple H

24/05/2001 Smackdown Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley vs. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Christian & Edge vs. Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy 20/10/2002 No Mercy 2002 Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio

19/01/2003 Royal Rumble 2003 Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle

14/03/2004 Wrestlemania 20 Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

28/03/2010 Wrestlemania 26 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

11/12/2014 NXT Revolution Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn

29/01/2017 Royal Rumble 2017 John Cena vs. AJ Styles

 

- Six are Chris Benoit matches (excluded for obvious reasons);

- One happened after the book was published (at Royal Rumble the other day);

- Another four were likely excluded because there was already an entry for another match between said participants elsewhere in the book (Bret v Owen, Razor v Shawn, Bret v Bulldog, Taker v Shawn - which did get two other entries);

- NXT match likely not included because they like to pretend it's not WWE;

- The three matches left out for no obvious reason were therefore Marty v Shawn, Mankind v Shawn and Stone Cold v Triple H 

 

----------------------

 

Thoughts? With both Meltzer and WWE backing them, one could make the case that this is arguably the definitive top 10 of all time at least? What about the other 15 bouts? Any you reckon should have gone in the book instead of the five 4.75 starred ones that did?

 

Either way, I've only seen around 10 of these and I'm going to enjoy re-watching them and checking out all the others over the next few weeks. So much wrestling around these days and so little time; why not focus on watching the best eh? 

Edited by Maikeru
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As a bit of a stats spod, I do my own version of snowflakes for PPV matches, I'd likely include these that weren't mentioned for top marks.

 

HHH V Cactus Jack, Rumble 2000

TLC #1, Summerslam 2000

HHH V HBK, Summerslam 2002

HBK V Jericho, Mania 19

Orton V Cactus Jack, Backlash 2004

*Masato Tanaka V Mike Awesome, ECW One Night Stand 2005, technically WWE I guess!

Styles v Cena, Summerslam 2016

 

If NXT counts, add in Sasha V Bayley in Brooklyn, Zayn V Nakamura and DIY V Revival 2 out of 3 falls

 

Seeing those 5 lone 'perfect' matches in WWF/E history really emphasises that 6 star stuff as a bag of shite doesn't it?

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As a bit of a stats spod, I do my own version of snowflakes for PPV matches, I'd likely include these that weren't mentioned for top marks.

 

HHH V Cactus Jack, Rumble 2000

TLC #1, Summerslam 2000

HHH V HBK, Summerslam 2002

HBK V Jericho, Mania 19

Orton V Cactus Jack, Backlash 2004

*Masato Tanaka V Mike Awesome, ECW One Night Stand 2005, technically WWE I guess!

Styles v Cena, Summerslam 2016

 

If NXT counts, add in Sasha V Bayley in Brooklyn, Zayn V Nakamura and DIY V Revival 2 out of 3 falls

 

 

Those all got 4.5 from Meltzer, except HHH v HBK, HBK v Jericho and Tanaka v Awesome (which each got 4.25 :dry: )...........

 

would really like to know the criteria for distinguishing 4.5 level work from 4.75. 

 

Savage v Steamboat at WM3 got 4.5, as did Mankind v Taker in the Cell in '98........

Edited by Maikeru
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That's one persons opinion. I think most people consider Shawn vs the Undertaker at Mania 25 is miles better than the Bret and Owen cage match for example.

But it's not just the match in a vacuum. Dave did a good explanation when comparing the (frankly overrated) Omega match with a Misawa/Kawada match from All Japan in 94 (I think) that he also gave five to.

 

It was all about working to your audience, giving them what they want and working to the standards of the time/era. As he said, you can't blame the older guys for not doing moves that weren't invented.

 

BUT, Shawn/Taker was definitely better than that cage match. I won't disagree on that one! No changing eras and audiences etc would change that.

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No match pre 93? How long as he been ranking matches? A few of the top of my head pre 93.....

Hogan v Andre and Savage v Steamboat - Mania 3.

Harts v Bulldogs 2/3 falls SNME post Mania 3.

Savage v Bret Hart SNME 87

Rockers v Orient Express RRumble.

Harts v Busters, SS89

Hogan v Warrior, Mania 6

Warrior v Savage. Mania 7.

 

I remember at the time i found the Austin v HHH match a bit of a slog.

I also loved Funk v Cactus on Raw.

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See i think Hogan vs Rock is from Mania 18, why......nobody got dumped on their noggin, nobody was an inch from being paralysed, it was fucking Pro Wrestling, as i think of it, it created a moment in time that completely sucked me in and captivated me. That arena, that crowd, arguably 2 of the 3 biggest stars ever in this industry and a weird dichotomy of fan support.

 

It is a match i may have gone back and watched more than any other, along with Andre/Hogan, Austin/Hart. It's the emotion man, it's the goosebumps, not how many German suplexes are racked up.

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I'd add a couple of matches that I've always thought were blindingly good...

 

Kurt Angle vs Undertaker, No Way Out 2006 - I know the rumours were that this should have been at Mania 22 but wasn't for various reasons, but if it had been, that card would have been massively improved from what it was.

 

Any of the Punk vs Bryan matches from 2012 (I think?)

 

From Summerslam 2013, either Bryan vs Cena or Punk vs Lesnar

 

Hogan vs Warrior also needs to be in here, as mentioned above. That match cemented me as a wrestling fan and I think newer / younger fans don't quite appreciate just how huge that match was, the biggest face-vs-face match I'd ever seen.

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The Bret/Owen match from WM10 in my opinion is the best WWE match of all time. Again, only my opinion.

 

This is one of those "what is the best song ever" discussions. The so much variation that its impossible to just pick one really, because as in Music its difficult to compare Elvis/Sinatra/Beatles with acts such as Guetta or Slipknot. Same in wrestling, its difficult to compare the likes of Savage/Steamboat, Bret/Owen or Bret/Austin to the likes of TLC or Wargames.  

 

I will say the below is probably my top 5 favourite matches of all time for varying reasons in no particular order.

 

Bret/Owen WM10

Bret/Austin WM13

Canadian Stampede 10 man Tag

Royal Rumble Match 1992

Rock/Hogan WM18

 

But then Best and favourites can be so different. There is always matches that as an individual you love that everyone else will argue is the pits.

 

For me I absolutely love the final match in the best of 7 series between Cessaro and Sheamus. Slug fest that just got better and better as it went on and got me invested in a Sheamus match for the first time in forever. 

 

I must have watched the Andre the Giant Battle Royal from the WM31 kick off show 10 times and never get bored of it. From the setting, the guys involved, the Axle Mania spot, Miz/Mizdow coming to the boil and Mizdow trying to come over the odds of beat the massive Big Show. Proper wrestling! 

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