One of the most popular features on my blog are my reviews of the ‘WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches To Watch Before You Die’ (click here to check it out yourself!). I’ve been meaning to expand on the section for a while, including a list of matches that should be on there amongst other things. Now, that’s a tough one, with over thirty years of not only WWE content, but with content from WCW, ECW, and other wrestling companies on the WWE Network as well. I’m not as familiar with the other companies as I am with WWE (a twenty-plus year loyalist here!).
However, an easier list to compile would be a list of matches that I think don’t deserve to be on that list. For the most part (except the fact that it only includes two women’s matches on it!), it’s a thorough list. However, some matches are seem to have been included purely for their importance rather than their quality. And there are some matches that I just don’t think are that great or are overrated! So here is a Top 10 List of Matches That Shouldn’t Be On The WWE Network’s ‘Best 100 Matches To Watch Before You Die’ List!
(In the second part of this Top 10 List, I’ll recommend matches you should watch in place of those I don’t think belong on the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches…List!)
#96 Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WWE Championship Match, WWE WrestleMania III)
The only part you need to see from this match is the end, where Hogan body slams Andre and hits the Leg Drop of Doom to finish the match. The previous 15 minutes may as well not be there! According to legend, Andre had had more than a few bottles of red wine. He was a physical wreck as well. Hogan was never one to carry someone, preferring his opposition to do the heavy lifting. From the opening bell to Hogan’s comeback, it feels like a 60 minute Iron Man match with holds that last 15 minutes a piece. Andre’s bear hug seemingly lasts forever. This match is only on the list for that iconic image of Hogan slamming Andre.
#95 Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (Falls Count Anywhere, WWE RAW, September 22, 1997)
There’s nothing wrong with this match; it’s a good example of a ECW-type brawl on a WWF stage. However, it’s far too similar to their superior Street Fight clash at Royal Rumble 2000 (that match is #26 on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List). Like a superior remake, that glorious and brutal bout superannuates this bout. This is me being very picky, of course, and this Raw bout is still worth watching. However, there is a better match between HHH and Foley than this one (but one still not as good as their Rumble clash).
#79 Diamond Dallas Page vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (No Disqualification Match, WCW Spring Stampede 1997)
I am not sure why this match is so beloved. For a No DQ match, it’s rather tame, utilising a chair once (yes, just the once!) and seeing the wrestlers engage in a mediocre brawl in the crowd. The most entertaining part is watching Savage beat up the referee (for no real purpose, but it’s fun to watch!). It’s a poor of the No DQ stipulation, and a poor use of the talent involved. And don’t get me started on the overbooked ending. DDP apparently considers it his best match, but I can’t see the appeal of it at all.
#57 The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match, WWE WrestleMania XXVIII)
This ‘End of an Era’ match feels as though it lasts forever. I love their WM XXVII match, properly paced, brutal, and full of drama. They chose to oversell, staying down for relatively large periods. Here, that is taken to the extreme, with each move seemingly taking five minutes to recover from. The addition of HBK felt forced to me, a way to artificially include a bigger story. I know most people regard it as one of the best matches in Mania history. But it’s not for me.
#50 The Undertaker vs. Mankind (Hell in a Cell Match, WWE King of the Ring 1998)
Mankind’s fall from the top of the Cell is one of the most replayed moments in WWE history (along with Hogan’s slam on Andre). Mankind’s two death-defying falls from/through the cell are what make this match; after that, it becomes clumsy and slow, until the thumbtacks come out. Mankind was KOd, and ‘Taker was suffering from a broken foot, so it’s understandable they couldn’t put on a classic. It’s worth watching for those two falls (which, twenty plus years on, are still horrifying to watch), and the ultraviolent ending with thumbtacks. In between, though, it’s a little dull…
#48 Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WWE Championship and Intercontinental Championship Match, WWE WrestleMania VI)
One word: boring. This is probably on the list because it’s the first notable mega-babyface v mega-babyface clash on WWF PPV, two of the biggest stars of that era. Unfortunately, neither were well-renowned for their in-ring prowess. And it shows here. It’s twenty minutes of rest holds and punches…and not a lot else.
#40 The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan (WWE Wrestlemania X8)
Strip away the crowd and this is a mediocre, slow-paced match. The massive crowd reaction makes the match, but a crowd doesn’t make a match. The wrestlers do. Hulk Hogan was out of his depth wrestling in the 1980s, and he couldn’t perform to the level expected of a performer in the early 2000s. The Rock was great, but carrying Hogan was far beyond his capabilities (as evidenced by their rematch almost a year later, which was terrible). This bout isn’t terrible, but it’s only on the WWE Network’s Best 100…List because of that epic crowd reaction.
#30 Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum T.A. (NWA United States Title, I Quit, Steel Cage, NWA Starrcade 1985)
This is regarded as stone cold, brutal classic…but I find it tedious. It’s just two wrestlers rolling around on the match, occasionally throwing each other into the cage and punching each other. There’s a spot of blood and each wrestler asks the other if they want to quit (usually after punching them in the head). In glowing reviews I’ve read, people say this match is great because it resembles a real fight. But…real fights are boring, aren’t they? I’ve never witness an exciting fight on the streets…because most of them end up in childish scuffles on the floor. Just like this bout. Not for me at all.
#25 Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match, WWE No Mercy 2008)
What is the love for this match all about? I don’t find it terrible, but merely…average. Yes, it came off the heels of a fantastic feud between the two…but I only remember the feud, not this feud-ending match. Y2J is sloppy, missing a few spots and botching a few others. Something about HBK seems peculiar as well, but I can never put my finger on it. Another irritation is, at times, this doesn’t feel like a feud-ending match full of hatred and bile. And, after a deeply personal feud, it should be dripping with animosity, shouldn’t it?
#10 Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE Title, 60 Minute Iron Man Match. WWE Wrestlemania XII)
I’m going to use that word again: overrated. For the first 30/35 minutes, this match is deathly dull. Hart and HBK ramp up the action late on in a segment that would have made a very good regular bout…but it’s too little too late. With only one pinfall happening after the bout finished, there’s no real reason for it to be an Iron Man match. The original is usually the best…but that is not the case here. People are visibly walking out during the first half an hour. I don’t blame them.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my follow up blog: My Suggested Matches to Replace These Matches! I’ll think about a snappier title in the mean time…
Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?