Favorite Matches That Aren't "Classics"

Just wondering. What are everybody’s favorite matches that are a little bit off the grid? We all love the Flair/Steamboat or Omega/Okada matches of the world, but how about the other ones that aren’t “five stars” or Match of the Year contenders?

Goldberg vs. Lesnar, Survivor Series 2016
A genuine shocker, at least to me, with Goldberg squashing Brock in 90 seconds. Absolutely perfect execution on that night and for what it was setting up.

Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, Wrestlemania IX and X
There are ton a great Bret Hart matches that are better than these. But if you ever want to explain why he might be the best technical wrestler ever, watch what he gets out of Yokozuna in these matches. I don’t even know if there’s a third “good” Yokozuna singles match in WWF beyond these two.

Shawn/Diesel vs. Razor/1-2-3 Kid, 10/30/1994
This one might be cheating because Meltzer actually did rate it 4.5 stars. But given that it aired on WWF Action Zone on a Saturday morning in late 1994, I think it fits the spirit of the thread. It definitely is/was somewhere on the WWE Network though, because that’s where I saw it. But this is peak “Kliq members making each other look great” and I am here for it.

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Savio Vega vs Stone Cold Steve Austin - Caribbean Strap Match, (Beware of Dog 2) May 28, 1996

Not much in depth to say about this match. Iwas a bignfan of Savio Vega and always thought he was an underrated performer furing this period of his run. His feud with Steve Austin produced some of the best matches in that era and what I pinpoint to the groundwork of the initial “Stone Cold” character. The strap match was a culmination of a lengthy feud in which both men’s performance helped strengthened a limiting stipulation. If younever want to see how great Austin was in the ring (before the neck injury) then check out matches with Vega as he had the best chemistry with

Goldberg/Lesnar at wrestlemania 2017 was also excellent.

It is not a classic because it is too recent but the Men’s Royal Rumble 2020 was the best rumble match ever in my opinion. The story, the booking, the spots, just perfect.

I was at SS for Goldberg vs Lesnar - was stunning

For me it’s:

Bret vs Macho Man - SNME - just a great match before Bret was a star. Great selling and loved the pin

Bret vs Diesel - SS - for the time the table spot was hardcore and the sympathy costing Diesel was a great angle to turn him heel.

Goldberg vs Lesnar - WM rematch - a great 5 min match if there ever was one. The right result too

Brock vs Rock - SS - a terrific match where the crowd turned on a rock. The start of the Lesnar run

Raven vs Chris Benoit vs DDP: Uncensored 98

The best three-way in WCW history and full of violence and super fun spots. Even before Benoit died it was criminal how few people talked about this match.

Pentagon vs Vampiro: Ciero Miedo match

Could mention so much from Lucha Underground but I loved the story this match told. Again, very violent and IMO turned Penta into a star in North America.

Dean Malenko vs Scotty Too Hotty: Backlash 2000

The best cruiserweight match in WWE history and the best opener outside of a Mania. That entire card was the absolute peak WWE.

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels on Monday Night Raw - December 29, 2003

I really enjoyed this match and these two are very underrated as opponents. I know people defer to their match at Summerslam 2002 but this one doesn’t get enough credit but understandable considering the Dusty Finish there after with Eric Bischoff handing the belt back to HHH. The crowd in HBK’s hometown of San Antonio was hot and HBK was overdramatic af at certain points here.

Triple H & Stephanie vs Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey is the match I’ve most enjoyed in recent years. Perfectly booked and the spots involving Ronda were progressively surprising and thrilling.

I’m a sucker for a good triple threat match and WWE seemed to have perfected the formula a long time ago. But they never get held in as high esteem as singles matches by most fans.

Daniel Bryan vs Batista vs Randy Orton - WM 30 - Daniel Bryan overcomes the odds. I was there. It was awesome.

Jeff Hardy vs Edge vs Triple H - Armageddon 08 - Jeff Hardy finally wins the WWE championship.

John Cena vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels - SS 09 - HBK immediately super kicking HHH signaled this would be a great match.

Charlotte vs Becky vs Sasha - WM 32 - Again I was there. But they absolutely stole the show.

This is one might be in the “everybody calls it underrated, so it’s no longer underrated” category, but Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid at KOTR 1994 is a four-minute masterpiece.

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Bret vs 123 Kid on MNR
Shawn vs Cena on MNR
UT vs Hardy ladder match MNR

Survivor Series 95 as a whole is an completely underrated PPV, that is probably one of the best of the New Generation era.

  • Bret vs. Diesel in a match that basically to me, is the kick-off towards the tone of the build to that attitude era.
  • The absolutely BONKERS for its time in WWF, Joshi survivor series elimination match. This match could have changed direction for so much in WWF if they stuck with the plans for the women’s division.
  • The super fun “Wild Card” match which featues heels and faces mixed up, against each other.
  • Goldust’s second WWF PPV appearance vs. Bam Bam Bigalow in his last WWF PPV.
  • A fun opener involving Chris Candido, Louie Spacolli, Sean Waltman, Hakushi, and Bob Holly.

Again, I really think this overlooked PPV really was the foundation that the direction of the Attitude era was started with.

96 was a mix of that direction, and old habits - but it begins with this PPV.


I remember John Cena vs Shawn Michaels on an episode of Raw in London on April 23, 2007. I thought it was way better than their WrestleMania match a few weeks earlier.

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Yeah, I was like 45 minutes or something. I remember it vividly. That’s the one I mentioned earlier and better than WM24

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This is another discussion: that’s why I never understood the hate of John Cena by a lot of people for so many years. Yes, I know his character was so goofy and cringe and paved the way for the lean years of the product in the early 2010s but when paired up with fantastic in-ring workers like Punk & HBK, he’s so underrated and good give out fantastic 4+ star matches. I would consider him one of the GOATs and I’m biased as he’s my first wrestling hero growing up.

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Following up on @Alex_Patel’s post about Bret and Diesel at Suvivor Series 95 - I’ll add Bret vs. Davey Boy Smith from In Your House December 95.

Bret’s first PPV Main Event since defeating Nash, he works a now-heel Bulldog, in a rematch from their epic Survivor Series 92 match.

Bret secretly blades, and gushes for half the match. The canvas, Davey Boy’s tights, and the mats outside the ring are covered in blood by the end of it.

Just wildly physical match.

It’s a shame we never got a proper Bret vs Vader feud in 96 (at the time, I felt Vader coming in as a monster heel fresh from WCW, and winning the Rumble to set up Bret vs. Vader at Mania 13.
Eventually could have gotten to Shawn beating Vader in late 96 / early 97, and not much is different).

While Hogan was still trying to keep Hulkamania alive in 95 in WCW, Bret in these style matches was the perfect antithesis.

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Vader was a classic “wrong guy at the wrong time” signing. Vince was never going to put a WCW guy strong over his WWF guys, at least not without beating him first. And Shawn hated working with Vader and got him buried. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Vader was slotted for the spot that went to Sid, winning the belt at Survivor Series 1996 and dropping it back at the Alamodome.

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I loved the stupidity of Undertaker vs Yokozuna at RR94

I really enjoyed Savage vs Crush for WM10 as well

As a whole event King of the 93 was my fave PPV

Both of these are terrible when I watch back now but as a kid I must have watched these 2 matches 100 times alone

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Summerslam 1991 gets more love because it was Bret’s big singles coronation, Bret vs. Hennig at King of the Ring 1993 was an absolute master class from the backstage promos right up through the match itself.

I think it’s the better match of the two between Bret and Perfect… though if you watch Summerslam 1991 knowing that Hennig was in so much pain that he probably shouldn’t have been out there, it’s incredible to see how hard he works to put Bret over.


Yup. Shawn derailed things for Vader big time. And yes, Sid took his spot.

I just think Bret’s style would have complimented Vader way more than Shawn. I don’t think Bret would have been as upset over some snug shots.

I also think during that time - and as low as WWF was - Vince might have made an exception. Much like Flair years before.

I think this match is highly regarded by everyone.