104. Gunther (c) vs Sheamus (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match, WWE Clash at the Castle 2022)

Finally, WWE PPVs (sorry, PLEs) have come back to Britain! It’s been a long time coming, and yesterday’s ‘Clash at the Castle’ was, on the whole, entertaining. I remember the early 2000s UK PPVs events being glorified house shows. The wrestlers would put minimal effort into their matches. This PLE was intended to be a statement, a hint of things to come for the UK. But, of course, I always have to ask of these PLEs….what was the best bout of the night? For me, it has to go to Gunther vs Sheamus.

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #3 Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WWE Intercontinental Title, WWE Wrestlemania III)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348409/?contentId=31348409&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

At #3, we have the WrestleMania classic, Randy Savage vs Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat. Well, I say classic because the general consensus is they put on a classic match. And it’s at #3, for goodness sake! However, it’s one of those “classic” matches that hasn’t matured well with age. It set the bar high for WWE matches back when spectacle and A-list stars (and Hulk Hogan) were all Vince McMahon cared about. It blows anything away in 1980s WWE. But it’s merely very good compared to today’s standards. So, it’s on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List for what it stands for, rather than what it looks like today… Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #7 Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog (WWE Intercontinental Title, WWE Summerslam 1992)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31303263/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=summerslam )

Yes, you’d better believe it: once upon a time, WWE brought Summerslam across the pond to the United Kingdom! Summerslam 1992 took place in Wembley Stadium. Don’t we deserve another one? Yes, we do. Vince thought we were worthy enough to hold one of the big four PPVs in 1992. Why not now? Especially now that the United Kingdom has its own championship! However, its location would be all we remember about it if not for this bout. Bret Hart put on another Summerslam classic, guiding the addled Bulldog to the greatest Summerslam main event in WWE history. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #17 Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair (NWA World Title, NWA Wrestlewar 1989: Music City Showdown)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31674733/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlewar )

This is the final act of a trilogy between these two great wrestlers that lit up 1989. The other two take their places at #11 and #4 (click here for my review of #11, and here for my review of #4!). That’s funny, because this match was rated at the Match of the Year 1989 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. So why is the final act of the trilogy the lowest on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List? Of course, #17 is not anything to frown at. Yes, Flair vs Steamboat is truly one of the all-time great matches. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #18 Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart (WWE Intercontinental Title, WWE Summerslam 1991)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31304555/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=summerslam  )

Bret Hart is very well represented in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List. He has three matches in the Top 10 alone! But Mr. Perfect is only on The List twice. I’ve only seen his work during his come back in the 2000s. But I’ve always heard great things about him. His match at #36 against Ric Flair (click here for my review) was good, but not great. According to the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this match against Bret Hart is his greatest match. I’d have to agree with that sentiment. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #21 Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley (WWE Intercontinental Title, Hardcore Match, WWE Backlash 2004)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31345329?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=backlash&contentId=67696346&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

According to the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this is Mick Foley’s best match. And who am I to argue with The List? But out of all the matches of Foley, is this really his best match? I’d argue that his match against Shawn Michaels is his finest in-ring work. But that’s at #44 (click here for my review). However, as a close second best from Foley, this one against Randy Orton is spectacular. Yes, it follows the beats of a usual ‘no holds barred’ Foley match, but there’s more than enough twists and turns to elevate it to something extremely special.
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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #48 Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WWE Championship and WWE Intercontinental Championship Match, WWE Wrestlemania VI)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31356295/?contentId=31356295&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania)

I knew we’d come to this bout sooner or later. ‘The ULTIMATE CHALLENGEEEE,’ as Vince McMahon screamed during the opening video package of WrestleMania VI. We saw the two biggest babyfaces of the early WWF go one on one in the ‘ultimate’ WrestleMania main event. Like #49, pitting Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock (click here for my review of that match!), Hogan vs The Warrior is placed on the list more for its significance in WWF/E history rather than its in-ring brilliance. It isn’t as terrible as some would make it out, let me say that first. But it isn’t anywhere near the quality that one would expect from  the WWE Network 100 Best Matches…List. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #97 Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty (Intercontinental Championship Match: Raw, May 17, 1993)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31309845?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=raw_replays&contentId=67082300&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Ahhhhh, The Rockers…a tag team very much ahead of their time. Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty made most other tag teams of the late 80s and early 90s look like relics of the 1970s. They were a team that was constantly moving around the ring, showing off, jumping around, and pretty much doing anything to get noticed. Their break up never became a rivalry for the ages, which is a crying shame. It should have been an epic feud. Continue reading