Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #9 John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Championship, WWE Money in the Bank 2011)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31359911/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=money_in_the_bank )

John Cena vs CM Punk from Money in the Bank 2011 fully deserves to be in the top 10 of the 100 Best Matches…List. It has all the components of a great match: an incredible build, a blistering crowd, an unbelievable match and John Cena. Of course, I jest about the latter. But I can’t deny he’s been in some great matches. This is probably his best (and Punk’s WWE best). Cena has always tried to outdo his “indie” opponents, and this trend started with CM Punk in this match. We’ve seen them fight before on the Best 100 Matches…List, at #62 (click here for my review), but that was an exchange of big moves. This match is a lesson in psychology, pacing, storytelling and high states. Continue reading

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #12 The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWE Title, No Disqualification. WWE Wrestlemania X-7)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31599441?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=69745716&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Is this the best WrestleMania main event ever? The 100 Best Matches…List would have you believe it’s Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII in an Iron Man match (placed at #10). I’m here to tell you that the Iron Man match is a borefest (if I remember correctly). The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania X-7 is surely the best ‘Mania main event ever at the top of one of the best Manias ever. Austin vs The Rock had everything, from a good build, a clash of two top stars, drama, blood and a delicious twist. It represented everything great about the Attitude Era whilst signalling the end of said era. Continue reading

Does Bray Wyatt Really Deserve A World Title?

bray-wyatt-titleChants of “You Deserve it!” are commonplace among the WWE crowds of modern times. AJ Styles, Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor are among the notable wrestlers to receive this chant after winning their first World title (or in Banks’ case, the Women’s title). On this week’s edition of Smackdown, Bray Wyatt was the most recent recipient of this chant. But just because a crowd chant it, does it make it valid? Did Bray Wyatt deserve to win the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber 2017? I can’t fault his character in anyway. While his mumbling, enigmatic but empty promos lost their attraction after his feud with John Cena, for the past few months they’ve regained their power. However, character is not everything in WWE. Wins and losses and feuds matter as well. In those areas, Wyatt is severely lacking. So does he really deserve it?  Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #42 Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Title, WWE Wrestlemania XIX)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348385/?contentId=31348385&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=survivor_series)

Would you expect anything less than a classic from Brock Lesnar (in his first WWE run) and Kurt Angle? At that point in Lesnar’s career, he was starting to have great matches. He finally began to understand how to work a match. And what else can you say about Kurt Angle, the man who could fight a blow up doll and have a great match? Angle vs Lesnar was a dream match that had to happen at some point. However, Angle had a serious neck injury heading into the bout. His presence at ‘Mania XIX was in doubt for weeks before the show. Watch the documentary ‘The Mania of WrestleMania’ for a deeper look into his troubles. For the entire match, I cringed and closed my eyes as Angle was suplexed hard and dropped on his neck a few times. It was a tough watch, knowing that Angle could be paralysed with one wrong move. But afterwards, I knew I had watched one of the great (and underappreciated) WrestleMania main events. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #44 Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (WWE Championship Match, WWE In Your House: Mind Games)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31317649/?contentId=31317649&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=in_your_house)

In his autobiography, Mick Foley calls this match against Shawn Michaels his favourite match. It’s debatable, of course, but I tend to agree with him purely in the sense that it’s probably his best ‘wrestling’ match. It’s not the usual Foley hardcore match. For almost half an hour, Foley/Mankind and Michaels (mostly) wrestle without liberal use of weapons. Mankind’s probably in the shape of his career here, and he runs about just as much as HBK does. We see a more aggressive side of HBK, which adds a different slant to the match. The question before the bout was: “How can Michaels cope with the unpredictability of Mankind?” The answer? Be just as unpredictable. What results is probably the best WWE match of 1996 (yes, it is miles better than the inaugural Iron Man match that is #10 on the Best 100…List!). Continue reading