This forum needs to get back to fun, stupid wrestling talk. So, what are your personal favorite (not necessarily “the best”) matches ever? I’ll hang up and listen…
I usually like this topic. It’s hard to pick one.
The first match where I went WOW was HBK vs Angle at Wrestlemania 21 but I would agree with Davie Portman, the ultimate wrestling match has to be Gargano vs Andrade at Takeover Philadelphia. I don’t think anything can top this match.
My favourite TV and Triple Threat match of all time is Cole vs Ricochet vs Dunne from the last episode of NXT.
On the female side, I like the 5 stars Manami Toyota matches from the 90’s.
Kurt Angle vs Steve Austin SummerSlam 2001
Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit Royal Rumble 2003
I’ve got a few.
1: Owen Hart vs. Goldust vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley from a Raw in 97, mainly because it was the first match I ever watched and it made me a wrestling fan.
2: Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Hero from TPI 2007, I adore King and this feud was intense. The 2 legitimately hated each other at the time and it shined through during the CZW feud, then into this brutal match.
3: Jimmy Havoc vs. Will Ospreay from Progress Chapter 20, this was the first really big match that Progress held in my view and it showed they could have this big match feel to them.
4: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi from September 19th 2011, although any of their matches could be on this list as I just love both these guys.
5: CM Punk vs. John Cena from Money in the Bank, always been a Punk fan and there wasn’t a hotter crowd then on that night.
Warrior vs. Savage from Wrestelmania 7 is my personal favorite. I first saw it on VHS tape when I was 5 years old and believed that wrestling was real. It was the first match that was full of drama that I ever watched. To this day, Wrestlemania 7 is still my favorite Wrestlemania. 1991 WWF’s product is a little undersold in my opinion and was a very entertaining year.
I have to go with ultimate warrior vs hulk Hogan from mania 6. This match has such a special place in my heart. I saw this on closed circuit at the old Montreal forum, my dad bought me and my mom tickets in the nosebleed section not knowing I had vertigo. So the whole night I was watching the show glue to my seat not moving because I was scared that I would fall. Then this match happened and it made me forget all about my vertigo and That’s why this is still my favorite match
Here are some of my favorites, split into arbitrary categories to suit the matches that I felt like talking about at this particular moment.
Overall Favorite Match: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Wrestlemania X
Owen Hart was and still is my all-time favorite wrestler, and this is my favorite match of his. An honorable mention goes to Flair/Steamboat at Clash of the Champions, but if I’m going to throw on one match to watch, the 20-minute match beats the 55-minute match, even if it’s just for practicality’s sake.
Favorite Raw Match: Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid, July 1994
One of my favorite bygone match styles is “Champion vs. Underdog” where the underdog comes so close to winning that even the smarkiest of smarks bites on at least one false finish (see also: Taka Michinoku vs. Triple H). Throw in that this was an amazing match for 1994 WWF – probably one of the best of the 1990s to that point – and still a pretty great one today. WWE came close to capturing this with the Cena U.S. Championshpi Open Challenge, but I don’t think they ever reached the point where everybody thought for a second that Sami Zayn (still of NXT), Zack Ryder or whoever else was actually going to get the win.
Favorite Three-Way Dance: Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XX
Strictly speaking in terms of wrestling history, it’s a shame that this one is all but lost. The best match of Triple H’s career, my pick for best Wrestlemania main event ever, and also my favorite call of Jim Ross’s career. It seems a little obvious in retrospect that Benoit was going to win, but you can’t forget that this match was in the heart of the “lol HHH wins” era.
Favorite Tag Team Match: Revival vs. DIY vs. Authors of Pain, NXT Takeover: Orlando
To be honest, just about every Revival match from a Takeover would be counted among my recent favorites. But this one is a favorite as one of the best uses of psychology and best executions of a multi-man match in the last few years in WWE/NXT. Any storyline revolving around rivals working together always has such shit logic (see also: at least one spot in every Royal Rumble ever) , but Revival and DIY do a tremendous job of conveying both how much they hate each other as well as their acceptance that they need to work together to beat AoP.
Favorite WCW Match: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis, Bash at the Beach 1996
This was the first match as a somewhat “smart” fan (by 11-year-old standards, anyway) that stood out to me as incredible for its workrate. I had never seen anything like it – which I now know was true for a lot of American wrestling fans at this time. Honorable mention from the same card goes to Dean Malenko vs. Disco Inferno. I thought it was a classic at the time (again, I was 11 years old), but going back now I see that it’s really a “Flair vs. Broomstick” match with Malenko busting his ass to carry Disco.
Favorite Women’s Match: Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch, NXT Takeover: Unstoppable
One of not both of the Sasha/Bayley matches are probably “better” than this one, but the Sasha/Becky match from Unstoppable still stands out as my favorite. Sasha was great as the Ric Flair-esque heel (better at it than Charlotte, IMO) who will cheat but can still beat you clean because she’s better than you. A good finish and a great postmatch reaction from the crowd is one of the moments that “made” Becky.
I’m like everybody else and have a few matches I turn to that’ll never disappoint me and am willing to show non wrestling fans to show why I watch wrestling.
Macho Man vs Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III. First show I ever watched. As a kid I obviously loved Hogan vs Andre but over the years I would always go back to this much for the pure drama. After 30 years the match still holds up today
Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi from Joe vs Kobashi in ROH. This one one of the first ROH shows I bought based on the hype of this match. Nothing too flashy, just hard hitting action mixed with one of the hottest crowds I’ve ever heard.
Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn from Hardcore Heaven '99. This was the first ECW PPV I ordered due to the cheap price. Probably wore my tape out watching this match over and over. Sadly the death of my grandma happened in this time period but this match alone would help take my mind off of that. To me it still holds up, even with Bill Alfonso and his whistle.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart from Wrestlemania 13. No explanation needed.
That’s just a few as there are plenty other matches I pop on if i’m in a funk. Wrestling is the great escape to me so just tell me a great story and I’m hooked. Hell even Test vs Shane McMahon from Summerslam '99 I used to watch a bunch just for the fun story in that one. And if anyone doubts how invested people really get into characters and storylines, I just play the end of the streak with Brock vs Undertaker. That crowd reaction I will never forget and it shows how invested people can get into a “fake” sport and storyline.
The HBK v. Taker matches form Mania’s 25 & 26 with 26 slightly outweighing because Taker didn’t almost kill himself in that match. I was 10 and 11 when I saw them and even before i was able to appreciate the in ring work and story telling like i can now they still felt more special than any other match on those cards.
Paul from New Jersey
Rockers Vs. Orient Express from Royal Rumble 91
Bret Hart Vs. British Bulldog from SummerSlam 92
Marty Jannetty Vs. HBK RAW 93
Royal Rumble 92
Flair Vs. Macho from WrestleMania 8
I love and hate this topic. I love talking about great matches and what makes a great match. But everytime I make a list I always know I forget or overlook something. I also can’t even decide what’s the best match I’ve just seen live, let alone ever.
John Cena vs CM Punk on Raw from Dallas in Feb 2013. The greatest Raw match in history. This was a 30 minute classic that built off their previous matches and in the end teased their eventual mania matches with Punk doing a freaking Tombstone! The crowd was very polarized with huge support for both guys. Such a blast.
Sami Zayn vs Nakamura TakeOver Dallas in 2016. Before this year this was unquestionably the greatest NXT match ever. It was in an amazing venue with a few thousand of the most hardcore NXT fans packed in and losing their mind during this match. I lost my voice cheering for both. Nakamura also hasn’t had a match as good since.
Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell 2014. The hottest feud of 2014 coming to an end in a Hell in a Cell match. I was (and still am) a huge mark for Dean and loved this feud. As soon as Dean came out with the kendo stick strapped to his back like a samurai sword I was all in. And then they went on top of the cell which we hadn’t seen in several years. A really fun match even with the Bray Wyatt shenanigans at the end.
Triple H vs Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30. Bryan ending WM30 as the undisputed champion was one of the greatest moments I’ve seen live. But his match against Triple H was the better match in my opinion. I loved everything about the match from Triple H’s over the top warrior king entrance to both competitors pulling out different moves throughout the match.
AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose at TLC 2016. Ladder matches are true car wreck matches and these guys were determined to put on one of the best TLC matches ever and they did.
All time favorites:
Triple H vs Cactus Jack from the Royal Rumble 2000. The first PPV I ever saw and this didn’t disappoint. This was a brutal match telling the story of both guys who refused to quit. I was massive fans of both and this was the most brutal match I could remember seeing in WWE.
CM Punk vs John Cena Money in the Bank 2011. The match and feud that reignited my wrestling fandom and got my wife into wrestling. This was a terrrific showcase of what both could do in terms of Punks storytelling and Cena’s incredible stamina.
Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25. Possibly the match I have rewatched the most times. I remember having it favorited in YouTube and would watch it over again. Possibly the greatest Jim Ross call of his career. “Chokeslam, Last Ride, Tombstone and a kickout after kickout after kickout!”.
TLC 2 with the Hardy’s, E&C, and Dudley’s. I don’t need to explain why. This match is always near the top of any greatest list and it deserves it for the risks all three teams took. An absolutely awesome match.
RVD vs Cena at ECW one night stand. I can’t think of a match with a hotter crowd and opened my eyes to what an excellent storyteller Cena is in the ring and how he can adapt to any audience. I had been an RVD fan for a long time and had given up hope that he would ever be featured as a main eventer. These guys put on an excellent match which continued a great feud between the two and Edge.
As a kid, I only had a few tapes (WM7, RR93 and WM9) so it’s matches off those that have sentimental value.
I love Bret Vs Razor and Michaels Vs Jannetty from RR93. Both underrated matches imo.
I think Rockers Vs Hakiu and Barbarian from WM7 is great too. I’d make a case that it’s one of the best Mania openers ever.
Otherwise, gotta back up the shouts made for Lynn/RVD at Living Dangerously 99 and Sasha/Becky at Takeover. That Sasha Vs Becky match could have been better than Sasha/Bayley (one of my favourite matches ever) if given another 5 minutes or so.
I want to add another two to my list and that’s Jinny vs. Pollyanna vs. Dahlia Black vs. Toni Storm for Progress Chat Shit Get Banged, this was an awesome match and I’ve loved Jinny since the moment she debuted. There’s just something about her that I think works really well. It also helped that she was in there with 3 extremely talented women.
It’s also been mentioned but Sasha Banks vs. Bayley from Takeover has to be on my list. I can’t add anything new to this match but this shows you the potential of Banks as the heel and Bayley as a true face. In hindsight, it should have main evented the show.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior WM6
I watched this whole show a lot as a child, watched it to death, and I still love it.
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin WM13
This one is my actual all time favourite.
Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell Bad Blood 97
I didn’t see it at the time, but saw it many years later when I was binge watching a bunch of Shawn Michaels matches and seeing many of them for the first time. He’s a tremendous performer, but this match stood out.
Eddie Kingston vs. Larry Sweeney Strap Match UWA Hardcore Wrestling (sometime in 2007 I believe)
I sat in the front row for this show, and the energy and emotion was incredible for it, right in the middle of their heated rivalry. Doesn’t live up the same way on DVD today, but in the moment I was sucked right in.
Sasha Banks vs. Bailey Takeover Brooklyn
I actually cried at the end of the match. Any professional wrestling match that can bring me that level of emotion has to be on this list.
I’ve been watching wrestling for 30+ years. For me, for some reason, is the Young Bucks vs the World’s Cutest Tag Team at PWG Eleven. The match told a great story and showed Candice Lerae’s comeback.
HBK Vs mankind from mind games, it blew me away at the time and still ranks as one of my favourite ever. They psychology with Michaels attacking the hand is fantastic, shame the finish sucked.
Is this the best match ever with a DQ finish?
I reckon so, can’t think of any better. I don’t know why they didn’t just have Shawn win before the dq, Mankind would’ve been protected well enough.
I’m in Wrestle kingdom mode still so i went back and rewatched Okada vs Naito from wrestle kingdom 8. It was the one where the fans voted on which match would main even the Tokyo dome.
It’s so hard to pick one match you regard as the best ever (this might just be it for me) I implore anyone who reads this to go watch it.
Upon some reflection I have decided that 25 is better than 26. Maybe it’s one of those things where it depends on how I feel that day.