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

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network:

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

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network:

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 WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List! Click here for my review). Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #53 Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Title, 60-Minute Iron Man Match, WWE Smackdown, September 18, 2003)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network:

How can two people wrestle for one hour straight? We’ve seen five one hour Iron Man matches in the history of the WWE. The only other one included on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List is the inaugural 60 Minute Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at #10. That one, I’d say, is vastly overrated (click here for my review!). We’ve seen the perfect template for a 30 Minute Iron Man match at #87 between Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat (click here for my review). Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle take that template and stretch it out to an hour. For my money, they also gave us the best Iron Man match in WWE history (closely followed by the 60 Minute Iron Man match between Triple H and The Rock at Judgment Day 2000). Lesnar and Angle batter, pummel and suplex each other silly for a whole hour! Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #55 John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, WWE Summerslam 2013)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network:

Why isn’t this match higher on the list? This is one of the great Summerslam main events of all time! It’s Daniel Bryan vs John Cena, babyface vs (ostensible) babyface in a clash that was a little reminiscent of Cena vs CM Punk. The crowd were almost entirely pro-Bryan; instead of the typical duelling chants of ‘Let’s go Cena’/ ‘Cena sucks,’ Bryan’s catchphrase ‘Yes’ was the mantra of the match. On any given night, Bryan was guaranteed to put on a great wrestling match. Here, in front of thousands of fans chanting his name and his catchphrase, he wrestled like a man possessed. Let’s not forget Cena’s part in this match. When pushed, Cena can wrestle with the best of them, and usually puts on a cracking show when the heat is on. The two created something special at Summerslam 2014! Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #73 Bret Hart (c) vs. The 1-2-3 Kid (WWE Title, WWE RAW, July 11, 1994)

I imagined early 1990s Monday Night Raw as a series of boring squash matches. This entry proves me wrong! Obviously, I didn’t factor in Bret Hart into my squash match theory. Nor did I factor in the 1-2-3 Kid (known in the Attitude Era as X-Pac). Here, the 1-2-3 Kid put on a blistering display that leaves anything he did in the Attitude Era in the dust. Bret Hart could always be relied on to put on a good match, but in this WWF Championship bout, he works harder than usual to put on a great show. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches: #75 The Undertaker (c) vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (WWE Title, WWE Vengeance 2002)

In at #73, we have one of the greatest Triple Threat matches in WWE history! I say that without much exaggeration. Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, and The Rock are three of the best wrestlers of the late 90s/early 2000s.  Admittedly, at that point in his career, The Undertaker was not in the best shape of his career. He often phoned in his matches. The ‘American Bad Ass’ was becoming stale and dull in the ring. However, he pulled out all the stops in this triple threat match, as did Angle and The Rock. A thrilling, rollercoaster ride of a match is surely one of the Top 5 matches of 2002, and one of the best matches post-Attitude Era and pre-Cena Era! Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #81 Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, Extreme Rules 2012)

At WrestleMania 28, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus fought for the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan lost in less than ten seconds. What a waste of a wrestling match! The upside was that the lack of a proper match led to the ‘Yes’ chants and Bryan’s escalating popularity. Without that quick loss, the rise of Bryan may never have happened. However, we did get a proper match between these two at the following PPV, Extreme Rules 2012. They certainly proved that we missed out on a classic WrestleMania match. A back and forth battle that is Sheamus’ best match of his career, and one of Bryan’s best as well! Continue reading