Greatest Wrestling Matches
My Top 25 Greatest Wrestling Matches.
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Professional wrestling is one of the greatest forms of entertainment. I had been a huge wrestling supporter during WWF’s “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” era of the 1980s, NWA/WCW of the early 1990s, The Monday Night Wars, and “The Attitude Era” of the late 1990s to the new millennium. During those twenty years, it was a great time to be a wrestling fan. I witnessed so many classic matches and the memories are deeply entrenched in my head. Most of the wrestling matches I saw were some of the best wrestling action ever.
I present my personal Top 25 Greatest Matches in professional wrestling history. They are classic matches from the WWE and NWA/WCW. I enjoyed watching them repeatedly. I aspired to become a professional wrestler because of the action and athleticism the wrestlers displayed during that time. Too bad, wrestling fans of today do not see wrestling like this anymore.
1. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleMania III) was arguably the greatest match in WWE history. It was a masterpiece in front of 93, 173 attendees at the Pontiac Silverdome Arena. “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat were two of the most athletic performers in the WWE at the time. They stole the show with a brilliant performance. It was fast-paced, exciting, and very entertaining to watch. In the end, Ricky Steamboat rolled up Randy Savage and won the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It defined Ricky Steamboat as a true superstar!
2. Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart (SummerSlam ’91) was another great match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It was Perfection versus Excellence. These two great technical wrestlers delivered a grand performance. Mr. Perfect had a bad back and he still managed to outperform 99% of the top stars in the WWE on that night. In the end, Bret Hart defeated Mr. Perfect to win his first Intercontinental Championship.
3. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger (SuperBrawl) was my favorite tag team championship match of all-time. This match intrigued me because the four of them were best friends and top stars in WCW. When they collided, it was an instant classic! Their match consisted of high-risk moves, power moves, and action, which never fail to excite me. In the end, The Steiner Brothers defeated Sting & Lex Luger to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championships.
4. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleWar ’89: Music City Showdown) was one of the most entertaining and exciting wrestling matches ever. They raise the level of competition with their great performance. The chemistry between these two great legends was awesome. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat to win his sixth NWA World title.
5. The Rock vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania XIX) was my much-loved match between the three they had. The Rock and Steve Austin were the biggest stars of their generation, and this would be Austin’s final WWE match. They put on a fantastic show together for one last time. They impressed me with their energy and performance in that top caliber match. The Rock finally defeated Steve Austin at “The Grandest Stage.”
6. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (WrestleMania 21) was a dream match that I could not wait to see. They were arguably two of the greatest wrestlers, and most fans knew it was going to be the best match of that event which it was. Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle gave die-hard wrestling fans everything in this match. It had non-stop action, submission holds, high-flying maneuvers, and daredevil-like moves. Kurt Angle won the match when he applied his ankle lock and made Shawn tap. It was a classic match!
7. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania 6) revolutionized baby face versus baby face. Hulk Hogan was the biggest attraction in the genre, and the Ultimate Warrior had the potential to take the genre to the next level. This was the first time that I witnessed the crowd split 50/50. Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior traded blows throughout this historic encounter, which had fans in awe. The Ultimate Warrior cleanly beat Hulk Hogan, and became the new WWE Champion. What a match!
8. Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania 7) was the greatest Career Ending match I ever watched. Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior impressed me with their chemistry and storytelling in the ring. I had no idea who was going to win this match as it went back and forth, and both wrestlers survived each other’s finishing move. In the end, Ultimate Warrior “retired” Randy Savage. “Macho Man” lost his career, but he won the love of his life, Miss Elizabeth.
9. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 10) was the greatest Ladder Match in WWE history. It was the first of its kind, and probably the best match at that event. This Intercontinental Championship match was one for the ages. Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels had great chemistry, and they delivered a classic match. Razor Ramon defeated Shawn Michaels to become the undisputed Intercontinental Champion.
10. Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (Summerslam ’98) was a classic brawl between two of the top superstars of the WWE at the time. The Austin and Undertaker rivalry was one of the best ever. They had great chemistry, and the quality of this title match was great. Steve Austin and The Undertaker went back and forth like heavyweight boxers. They did not disappoint the fans with this intense battle. In the end, Austin retained his world title with a low blow and Stunner for the win.
11. The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan (WrestleMania X8) was one of the most amazing wrestling matches I ever had witnessed. It was shocking to see the Canadian crowd cheered the heel, Hollywood Hogan over The Rock. The match had excitement, excellent chemistry, and energy. I already knew The Rock was going to do a great job, but I was impressed how well Hogan kept up with him. The match concluded, when The Rock pinned Hogan for the three-count. Hogan passed the torch to The Rock, and he once again became a baby face.
12. Rey Mysterio vs. Dean Malenko (Halloween Havoc ’96) was the kind of wrestling I enjoyed watching back in the WCW days. The actions of the cruiserweights were unbelievable, and Rey Mysterio and Dean Malenko had a great match at Halloween Havoc. Their wrestling style was fresh, new, and very exciting. I did not want this match to end. Rey Mysterio won the match, and the fans gave both competitors a standing ovation.
13. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania 13) was the match that started the Austin 3:16 Era. This match was so intense, and the action was non-stop. Bret Hart and Steve Austin had excellent chemistry, and they impressed every fan in the arena. What I remembered most of the match was the sight of a bloody Austin not submitting to the Sharpshooter. He passed out, and Bret Hart wins the match. In the aftermath, Bret Hart strangely becomes a heel and Austin turned into a baby face. The legend of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was born.
14. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania XXV) was one of the most phenomenal main events WrestleMania had ever produced. It had classic written over it. I felt Shawn Michaels was the only performer who could end The Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak, and he was so close. The action and excitement went back and forth, until Shawn Micahels made a crucial error. He was caught mid-air while he attempted a moonsault and The Undertaker Tombstone piledrived him. The Undertaker was now 17-0 at WrestleMania.
15. Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude (Beach Blast ’92) was arguably the greatest Ironman Match I ever saw. These two well-conditioned athletes put on a classic performance, and the quality of this match was great. It was full of speed, and their timing was good. I was very amazed at the chemistry Ricky Steamboat and Rick Rude had in the ring. In the end, Ricky Steamboat beat Rick Rude and proved that he is one of the true greats in sports-entertainment.
16. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XII) took the Iron Match to the next level. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels already had a rivalry, which made this epic encounter intriguing. This match was so great that it had to go overtime to decide a winner. Shawn Michaels delivered “Sweet Chin Music” to Bret Hart, and he accomplished his boyhood dream by becoming the WWE Champion.
17. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (WrestleMania 17) was one of the best technical matches ever. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were two of the best in-ring performers of their generation, and they know how to keep their audience in awe with their brilliant wrestling skills. Kurt Angle won the match by pulling Benoit’s tights. This match was one of the highlights of WrestleMania 17.
18. Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (WrestleMania V) was the night the Mega Powers exploded. I watched this match at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, and it was great. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage renewed their rivalry, and delivered a classic performance. They went back and forth, and I was in awe with the energy of the match. Hogan conquered the “Macho Man” and won his second WWE Championship.
19. Ric Flair vs. Sting (Great American Bash ’90) was one of the greatest NWA Heavyweight Title matches of 1990. Ric Flair and Sting already developed a rivalry, and this match took it to the next level. Ric Flair had dominated the 1980s, and many saw Sting as the man who was going to dominate the ‘90s. This match consisted of energy, high-risk moves, and great chemistry. Ric Flair dropped the belt to Sting, and Sting became the poster boy of WCW.
20. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania XIX) was one of the most action-packed, entertaining matches that I enjoyed. They displayed great athleticism, and gave it their all. In the conclusion of the match, Jericho attempted a suplex, which Michaels successful countered into a roll-up that gave Michaels the three-count victory.
21. Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog (Summerslam ’92) was one of the greatest matches in SummerSlam history. It was not a dull moment in this Intercontinental Title match, which is great for fans. Bret Hart and The British Bulldog impressed 80,000 fans with their wrestling brilliance. The athleticism, emotion, and determination Bret Hart and The British Bulldog poured in this title match showed how much they loved the business. The conclusion of the match came when The British Bulldog reversed Bret Hart’s sunset flip into a pinning maneuver for the three-count to earned the WWE Intercontinental Title.
22. Ric Flair vs. Vader (Starrcade ’93) was one of Ric Flair’s greatest moments in his legendary career. He put his career on the line against one of the most dominating WCW champions ever, Vader. They went at it, and fans were really into this match. I prayed that the Nature Boy survived this match. In the end, Ric Flair seized Vader’s ankle, tripped him, and rolled on top for the three-count. He won his eleventh world title, and I was very happy.
23. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy’s & Dudley Boyz (WrestleMania 17) was the most dangerous and exciting match I think I ever witnessed. The moves they performed were incredible! There were powerbombs through tables, clotheslines using the ladders, and so many high-risk maneuvers. It was as if I was watching a scene from an action-packed movie. Edge & Christian won this match, and they took this style of wrestling to new heights.
24. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker (Vengeance 2002) was a classic Triple Threat Match for the WWE Undisputed Championship between three future hall of famers. The Rock, Kurt Angle and The Undertaker delivered a fast-paced, electrifying, exciting match that was full of momentum changes. I did not know who was going to be the victor as I was impressed the three superstars’ use of each other’s respective finishing moves, which was monumental. The Rock survived this brutal match and retained his Undisputed Championship.
25. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III) was arguably the most famous match in professional wrestling. This main event match was the reason over 93,000 fans packed the venue. Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant and went on to dominate sports-entertainment. This match took WrestleMania to the next level!