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

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(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

Advertisements

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #4 Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair (NWA World Title, 2/3 Falls, NWA Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32297671/?contentId=32297671&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=clash_of_the_champions )

This is the second battle between Flair and Steamboat in their Holy Trilogy of matches. We saw the third match at #17 (click here for my review) and the first match at #11 (click here for my review). There’ll always be debate about which match is the best out of the three. For me, I’d say it’s a tie between this bout and the concluding part. They’re both on the same high level but a dodgy ending lets this one down a little. After nearly an hour’s worth of quality wrestling, the ending seems like a bad joke. But what happens before is nothing short of spectacular. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #5 Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (WCW Cruiserweight Title vs. Mask, WCW Halloween Havoc 1997)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348221/?contentId=31348221&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=halloween_havoc )

I’ve mentioned it several times whilst writing about the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, but the Cruiserweight division was a main selling point of WCW back in its 90s peak. Yes, the NWO was there, but for actual wrestling, you couldn’t get any better than the cruiserweights. Look at the WWE’s Cruiserweight division today and you’ll see something quite different. There’s plenty of great talent, but nothing behind them. They even have their own WWE Network show and still no one cares about the Cruiserweight division. Now they have Enzo Amore as champion…God help them! But the greatest match in Western Cruiserweight history is surely this classic between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #6 The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Retirement Match, WWE Wrestlemania VII)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31356293/?contentId=31356293&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

Don’t get me wrong; I love this match. It’s easily The Ultimate Warrior’s greatest match, and would be on the Top 10 matches of Randy Savage’s career. However, I don’t think it belongs in the Top 10 of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List. Top 20, maybe. But including it in the Top 10 is pushing things. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the match. Savage works well with Warrior’s limitations to produce something great. But too much outside interference from Sensational Sherri and a silly finish stunt my enjoyment of it. 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)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(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: #8 The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian (WWE Tag Team Titles, TLC Match, WWE Wrestlemania X-7)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31599441/?contentId=31599441&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

We saw the beginning of the Attitude Era’s tag team revolution #29 with The Hardy Boyz vs Edge and Christian in the first ever tag team ladder match (click here for my review). You could say that the tag team revolution reached its peak with this match. Personally, I prefer the first ever triple threat tag team TLC match at Summerslam 2000. But this sequel is just as insane and incredible. The Hardyz, The Dudleys and Edge and Christian pull out all the stops to top the craziness seen in the first TLC match. Rhyno, Spike Dudley and Lita all get involved to make the encounter even more chaotic. Continue reading

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)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(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

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #10 Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE Title, 60 Minute Iron Man Match. WWE Wrestlemania XII)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348419?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=67696930&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Oh goodness, we’re entering the Top 10! My journey through the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To Watch Before You Die has taken me over two years…but I’m nearly there!

I’ve mentioned before during my reviews of the 100 Best Matches…List that the original version of a gimmick match is, more often than not, the best version of it. Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, Ladder match…all the originals are superior to what came after them. Not only that, but they usually involve Shawn Michaels as well. However, Shawn Michaels failed to make the inaugural 60 Minute Iron Man Match better than what succeeded it. The Iron Man match between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, placed at #52, is far better than this one (click here for my review). It’s a match of two halves. The first half is as dull as waiting for a bus. The second half is action-packed, but the wait was so long for the action that it’s hard to feel excited for it. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #11 Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (NWA World Title, NWA Chi-Town Rumble)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31572841/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=chi-town_rumble )

We saw the concluding bout of Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat’s “Holy Trinity” of matches at #17 (click here for my review). We all are familiar with a trilogy: the first part is very good, showing lots of promise. The middle part is spectacular, the best of the trilogy. As for the final part: more often than not, it’s a disappointment in relation to the second part. Think of the great film trilogies: most end with a whimper, not a bang. However, #17 was something rather special. If that was the concluding part of the trilogy, the other two would have to be mind-blowing. Flair and Steamboat left little on the table in their first bout, but I still preferred #17… Continue reading

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)

20141106_EP_LIGHT_100best_2_home_nologo

(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