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Best three matches of the decade?


tiger_rick
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Approaching this like the old desert island duels - if I had to take three I'd go with...

John Cena Vs. CM Punk (Money in the Bank 2011) - Awesome match, unique atmosphere, great finish, and takes me back to a moment in time when things felt like a breakthrough was coming. It wasn't, but you don't know that watching this...

The Shield Vs. The Wyatt Family (Elimination Chamber 2014) - I'd have to have a Shield match in there, and this is arguably the best of the lot.

Kota Ibushi Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WrestleKingdom 9) - New Japan has had so many awesome matches since 2010 it's hard to narrow it down, but this match is so excellent. Peak Nakamura, peak Ibushi, great match on a huge stage, what more could you want?

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Shamefully my list doesn't include a Shield match. I'd go with

Triple H vs Undertaker, WMXXVII - for backstory, investment, drama, storytelling and the greatest nearfall ever. I've gone on about this one before.

Brock Lesnar vs John Cena, Summerslam 14 - the one that changed everything. Brock's return had been good up to this point but after this he took on an aura of unstoppability that he's still got three years later even though it feels like he's coasting a lot of the time now. Unbelievable to witness the destruction in this match and Cena's rarely been better.

Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura, NXT Takeover Dallas - speaking of never being better... both men's best night, superb workrate match and an amazing enough atmosphere that even 'fight forever' is almost forgivable.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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In no order.....

Cena vs Punk - MITB 2011 - This hooked me emotionally more than anything in recent memory, or since to be honest. It all felt so real, Cena was amazing, the crowd was tremendous. The emotion during that match left me drained afterwards. I really feel this could have led to a new interest in Wrestling as a whole, people who hadn't been watching or maybe slipped away were talking about the "pipebomb" and this match.

Kevin Steen vs El Generico - Final Battle 2010 - A year long feud, this period might be my favourite in ROH. Steen turned on Generico and they battled all over the country for a whole year leading to this match, it was brutal. Steen donning the t-shirt of Generico's severed head, this maniacal Steen is one of my favourite characters in recent Wrestling history. What a babyface Generico was, with no facials he still managed to convey despair and desperation.

Okada vs Omega - G1 2017 - I'm going with this over the longer first 2 matches, like Flair/Steamboat I think it varies depending on taste and personal preference which of these 3 matches is best, but I loved this last outing. It built on the previous 2 and the added factor of the shorter time limit was brilliant, Omega came flying out of the blocks trying to secure a quick win, Okada's selling as the banged up champion, both had come through the brutal G1 tournament and it had come down to this. These 2 create magic.

Edited by Ambulance Chaser
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What's astonishing with this, for me, is that I could easily come up with three matches that happened this year. It's been an extraordinarily strong decade already.

Off the top of my head, I'd go with the second Okada vs. Omega, which might be the best rematch I've ever seen - watching it felt like it took half as long as it actually did, the time just flew by, and everything that happened was perfectly informed by the match that came before it. Just a perfect storm of wrestling.

Beyond that...the first Brock Lesnar/John Cena match after Lesnar's return; as much as I would love to give the nod to the Summerslam match, for being one of the only times in my life I've watched wrestling and been rendered speechless and amazed by what I was watching, this match - Cena win aside - felt like the perfect way to reintroduce Lesnar to the WWE. It felt exactly like what a No DQ match featuring a former UFC heavyweight needed to be; hard-hitting, violent, like nothing else in WWE at the time.

Struggling to think of a third right now, so I'm going to echo the love for Shinsuke Nakamura/Kota Ibushi, though I'd like to give an honourary nod for the first Sasha Banks/Bayley TakeOver match.

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Cena vs. Punk - Money in the Bank 2011

A manager at work spoilt it for me despite me clearly saying not to. He let slip that Punk had posted a photo of the title in the fridge. I'd have loved to have seen it live but I was at a festival. I still enjoyed it and thought the Del Rio part was great in adding to the drama and excitement too. As others have said, it felt like a turning point. Also Punk's best entrance with his best entrance music.

Cena vs. Lesnar - Extreme Rules 2012

I'll always remember the emotion watching this with friends and being taken off guard. Great build, shocking match. It felt like anything could happen and felt like Lesnar could be huge coming off the back of this. Cena's promo afterwards felt unnecessary - I'd have preferred him to be so fucked that he couldn't speak.

Triple H vs. Undertaker - WrestleMania XVII

I liked it at the time but really appreciated it on another viewing. The thread on here with a recap of it encouraged me to watch it again. I love both for being great strikers, everything looking solid, the big match atmosphere and the pacing. Even the smallest things are impactful.

Edited by Sphinx
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I watched Cena vs. Punk from MITB 2011 again this week. Doesn't hold up at all without the feeling of that night. It's good but not great. There are four spots that are really horrible. The cross body into the roll through into the AA into the GTS into the STF is still beautiful though.

The really great matches stand up on repeat viewing. Some get better. This loses too much. The crowd is still brilliant but it loses the drama. 

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16 minutes ago, tiger_rick said:

I watched Cena vs. Punk from MITB 2011 again this week. Doesn't hold up at all without the feeling of that night. It's good but not great. There are four spots that are really horrible. The cross body into the roll through into the AA into the GTS into the STF is still beautiful though.

The really great matches stand up on repeat viewing. Some get better. This loses too much. The crowd is still brilliant but it loses the drama. 

Wrestling for me is about being in the moment. The really great matches suck you into the moment. That did.

Couldn't really care whether it stands up now or not. It was fantastic at the time and that's what matters.

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34 minutes ago, tiger_rick said:

The really great matches stand up on repeat viewing. Some get better. This loses too much. The crowd is still brilliant but it loses the drama. 

Yeah i couldn't disagree more. I watched it recently and I was completely in the moment. Fantastic matches do that. I would imagine most of the matches mentioned here in this thread will give people those feels. For me, the hype video gets you right into it, but the minute CM Punk's (inferior old) music hits, the crowd goes banana and I'm in. I'm completely in. This match definitely makes my list without a doubt. 

Edited by marc2j
screwed up my first sentence
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35 minutes ago, FUM said:

Wrestling for me is about being in the moment.

I agree but that's what separates great matches from great moments. You can't take away that night and the shock of Punk winning and that amazing feeling of "What will happen now?" The match just doesn't stand up. It'll always be worth another watch but it really loses something when watched again. For me anyway. Unlike Wyatts/Shield or Zayn/Nakamura which are great moments but really briliant matches that feel as special on another watch.

marc2j watched it again and was "in the moment". My favourite matches do that for me. Warrior/Savage and I'm 10 years old again. Canadian Stampede main event and I'm in the summer of 1997 and eating up the Harts/USA feud. Maybe it's an age thing but this doesn't do that for me.

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1 hour ago, tiger_rick said:

I watched Cena vs. Punk from MITB 2011 again this week. Doesn't hold up at all without the feeling of that night.

I'm with you Rick. I missed Summer of Punk first time round and caught up with it a year later. Didn't really click. The crowd atmosphere and storyline is electric but there's not much going on in the ring. 

I nominate Shield v Wyatts, Elimination Chamber 2014. I rewatched this earlier in the year and it's just bell to bell chaos. So much fun. 

Bayley v Sasha, Takeover Brooklyn. Such hatred, great execution, superb storytelling. The headband spot! The fingers! It's maddening they can't even slightly recreate their characters or intensity on the main roster. Bayley should be as Regal scouted her, the female John Cena. 

Tyler Bate v Pete Dunne, UK Championship Tournament Final 2017. These guys absolutely made each other and birthed two great characters on screen. Dunne is so vicious, Bate is a great face. It's a shame this championship was only a gimmick to frustrate ITV and we don't see more of it. 

Edited by Onyx2
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CM Punk v John Cena at MITB 2011

I couldn't give a care if it doesn't hold up (in truth, very little of 'pipe bomb' Punk does, but prime The Rock is mostly cringe now too). I just remember how alive WWE felt and how invested I was in that match, which should be what it's all about. Never since the early 00s have I ever given a care about every nuance of a match, ever twist and turn. For me, the genius of what they did that night was take you down a familiar road, only to suddenly dart off in another direction. Trademark spots and what not were all over the place and it made everything that little more engrossing. Of course, what made it so different was that mad crowd reaction. Iconic ending too.

 

Brock Lesnar v John Cena at Extreme Rules 2012

VIOLENCE, in a word, but it was such a brilliantly executed story. Similar to the match above (although to a lesser degree), I was so invested in the match and particularly the safety of John Cena during this. Cena took a monster beating during this, so much so it was about the only time Cena has managed to turn a booing crowd into a cheering one. Even the knobheads couldn't help but drop their bollocks. Of course, the finish soured a lot of people at the time, but Cena more than made up for it by getting squashed at Summer Slam. Big Match John.

 

Shinsuke Nakamura v Sami Zayn at NXT: Takeover

The high point of NXT and both wrestlers WWE careers. I'll be surprised if any of those three reach this level again. It's a shame all three have sort of fizzled out too, because you can be excused for thinking it was some fluke, but everything clicked that night. It's just a shame someone I rate as highly as Nakamura has been so middling ever since.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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