(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31355189?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=67740536&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )
I’ve said this plenty of times before, and I’ll say it again: the original is more often than not the best. On the Best 100…List, we’ve had the original Elimination Chamber match, the original Hell in a Cell, the original Money in the Bank Ladder match. And now we come to the inaugural Ladder match. Well, okay, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels did have an non-PPV Ladder match before this one, but that doesn’t really count. Can a Ladder match that’s over twenty years old be the best one? According to the 100 Best Matches…List, yes, it is the best (of course, there are TLC matches further up the List, but they are a different kettle of fish!). And I agree. Continue reading
(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31277487?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=no_mercy&contentId=66740026&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had one of the greatest feuds of all time in 2008. Yes, it started five years before that in 2003 (culminating in their WrestleMania XIX match positioned at #76), but the feud erupted like Krakatoa in the summer of 2008. It involved a Jeritron 6000, a damaged eye, HBK’s wife and much more. The latter feud culminated in this ladder match at No Mercy 2008. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. An obvious botch midway through the match dissolved my suspension of disbelief. And, I wondered, why did two veterans have a ladder match? In a ladder match, you expect the frantic, risk-taking actions suited to younger wrestlers. I was disappointed. However, viewing it now, I see it in a better light.
(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31366785/?contentId=31366785&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=no_mercy )
The Hardy Boyz and the team of Edge and Christian (along with the Dudley Boyz) reinvigorated the tag team division in WWF/E’s Attitude Era. Their willingness to be thrown off ladders and slammed through tables revolutionized the ladder match as well. Unbelievably, the first ever tag team ladder match was only a taster of the high risk insanity that the two teams would bring to the tag team division. But that taster blew my mind back in 1999. It still makes me gasp and wince almost twenty years on. This match heightened expectations for insane stunts in ladder matches that are still held today. But few ladder matches can match the insanity of the first ever tag team ladder match (and, as an aside, it led to the creation of my favourite wrestling video game, the N64’s WWF No Mercy!). Continue reading
Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs Tyler Breeze
Liger finally arrives in the WWE! Granted, he’s over fifty and can’t do half of what he’s famous for, but it was a great moment just to see him in a WWE ring. The match itself was a decent way to start off the PPV, but Liger had to play to the crowd rather than dazzle them with high-flying moves. His mocking of Breeze was funny, but it was telling that Liger had to use the bottom rope to get into Breeze’s lying pose in the corner. He simply couldn’t lift himself up like Breeze can. Breeze was the centre of innovation in this match, with his modified knee backbreaker and modified crucifix being notable in their novelty. Liger’s move of the match was the cannonball off the apron, but there was little to really appreciate from Liger. He is fifty, after all! His victory puzzled me. Surely Breeze needed the victory a lot more than Liger? Continue reading