Even if you’re new to the wacky world of Pro Wrestling/Sports Entertainment, you come to recognize names such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock or Hulk Hogan. That is the brand that WWE have built over decades of their run. Professional Wrestling differentiates itself from Wrestling, as the matches in Pro Wrestling are pre-determined, not fake. So, the next time someone tells you that Pro Wrestling, or WWE is fake. The correct response to that would be to tell them that so is Game of Thrones, yet you still watch it, then proceed to give them a Stone Cold Stunner to prove your point.
The moves that WWE superstars do in the ring are very much real, albeit, perform them in a way it causes the least amount of pain. Because, the purpose of Pro-Wrestling is to tell stories and build characters and not actual competition.
WWE over the years have put on the best stories in Pro-Wrestling and build legendary characters such as Stone Cold, Triple H and more recently, John Cena and CM Punk. WWE offers entertainment of the wackiest order, and can often real emotions out of their viewers.
Here is a run-down of the Best Matches one should watch if they’re just starting to get into WWE.
10. Stone Cold Steve Austin v Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Wrestlemania 13.
Wrestling revolves around the concept of “Babyfaces” battling “Heels”. A “BabyFace” or “Face” is a crowd favorite, or simply a good guy loved by the fans. A “Heel” on the other end is a despicable bad guy, which the crowd loves to boo.
Back in 1997, Bret Hart was the ultimate, life-long babyface and Stone Cold Steve Austin was the young upstart, with no respect for authority or any of the other wrestlers in the company. Stone Cold was on the warpath to destroy the most revered figures in the company. Bret Hart was recovering from a serious hip injury, and had come back to see Stone Cold disrespecting and destroying everything Bret had worked for all these years, and the two battled it out on March 23, 1997 at the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania.
The match was an absolute wrestling clinic, and the two had put up an amazing match. Their contrasting styles added to the quality of the match. As, Stone Cold was a brutal brawler that’ll use any means necessary to win the match and Bret was a technical genius who applied holds and skill to win matches.
Then something entirely amazing happened which is referred in the Wrestling industry as a “double turn”. A double turn is when a Heel and a Babyface come into the match as such, and leave with both their roles reversed. Stone Cold was brutally battered by Bret Hart and, to end his misery after a long mauling, Bret Hart locked him in his signature Sharpshooter, but Stone Cold refused to give up and passed out in his own pool of blood.
This gave rise to the Stone Cold character who refused to give up. Bret won the match, but Austin proved that he will never take a lying down, and cemented himself as one of the best in the business.
9. Jeff Hardy v Edge, Extreme Rules 2009
Jeff Hardy was the ultimate risk-taker in the WWE, often putting himself in very dangerous positions just to deliver a breathtaking spots. Whether it is jumping off of a 30 foot ladder onto CM Punk lying on a table, or jumping off of the Titantron to decimate Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, does it all.
Edge, prior to his retirement was one of the best the company had to offer. Often dubbed the “Ultimate Opportunist”, Edge had been known to calculate his moves and annihilate opponents when the time was right and win matches. He won his first WWE World Title when he cashed in his Money in the Bank on John Cena after Cena had just won the brutal Elimination Chamber match.
The two had vastly different personalities, but one thing in common. Their expertise and skill in the Ladder match, where a wrestler has to climb the ladder and grab the Title belt hanging from the ceiling. The two had been known to be masters of the Ladder Match and competed in a number of them over the years. This one is particularly special as it was the last time they’d meet inside a WWE ring.
“You always impress, but I always win”.
8. Stone Cold v Triple H, No Way Out 2001, Three Stages of Hell Match.
This one is particularly hard but fun to watch, especially knowing we wouldn’t ever see something like this in this era of the WWE, where it’s strictly PG-13. But back in the day, matches like this were way more frequent.
The 3 Stages Of Hell match is one of particular devilish nature. The match, obviously, has 3 stages. The first one is a regular Singles match, then next is A No Holds Barred Street Fight and the final is the hellish Steel Cage Match. This is the kind of match where neither of the opponents walk out in the same condition as they were when they walked in.
The story leading up to it was captivating as these two had one of the most personal rivalries in the history of the sport. The two had similar brawling style and went up against each other full throttle and delivered one of the most epic fights of the decade.
7. Shawn Michaels v The Undertaker, Wrestlemania 26.
The Undertaker is one of the most powerful presence in the world of WWE. He has been resilient through a career spanning almost 3 decades. His skill is evident in the fact that he is still active in 2016 after debuting in the WWE back in 1989. The Phenom, as he is referred to, had the most famous Streak in Sports Entertainment, until it was broken in 2013(We will get to that later). But at Wrestlemania 26, The Undertaker’s streak was alive and he was 17-0. Everyone who stepped up to the plate had been left broken by him.
Up steps Shawn Michaels, unarguably, the greatest in-ring performer in the history of the WWE. The crafty veteran is responsible for putting up 5-star matches after 5-star matches and was amazing to watch in the ring. He attempted to break the streak at Wrestlemania 25 but came up short after an exhilarating match where Shawn came this close to beating the Streak. After he failed, his obsession with the Undertaker grew and he was determined to get a rematch. After months of persuading the Undertaker through devious means, the Heart Break Kid had his rematch.
The story leading up to the match was of the highest quality. Some prefer the original over the sequel, but personally, we prefer the rematch as it was the culmination of Shawn Michaels’ career.
6. Sting v Triple H, Wrestlemania 31
Back in the early 80s, there were two major Wrestling Promotions, WCW and WWE. They engaged in a battle of supremacy, which was dubbed the “Monday Night Wars”. The two wrestling giants went at it each week to see who would come up on top. Sting represented all that was great about WCW. The face paint, the silent avenger character was worked to perfection, which combined with his rivalry with the nefarious nWo became the instrument in crushing WWE in the ratings each week.
Triple H was a superstar on the rise at WWE, learning the tricks of the trade under the very best and he gradually trampled everyone in his path and became “The King of Kings” in WWE. He was the ultimate champion, the most dominant guy in the company and was dubbed “The Game” because he wasn’t just a meager player, he was the whole damn game.
WCW eventually lost the Monday Night Wars, and WWE bought the company along with their wrestlers. One man who did not board the WWE ship was Sting. The last remaining holdout for WCW. He refused to work in the WWE and chose to take his talents elsewhere. Then one night at Survivor Series 2015, he stepped inside a WWE for the first time to put Triple H out of power. This was a match decades in the making, as the two icons went head to head at the grandest stage of them all.
5. Edge and Christian v The Hardy Boyz v The Dudley Boys, Wrestlemania 17, TLC II.
A little tag team action,now. And one of the craziest order. This match was straight out of the pages of a child’s fantasy of how a WWE match should be. It was filled with ridiculous spots, crazy antics and just plain Tables, Ladders and Chairs(TLC) awesome-ness.
The match was no technical masterpiece but it was one of the craziest things ever seen on Television. The hype surrounding the match was un-earthly as this was the second TLC match between the Three teams and all looked to capture the Dudley Boys’ gold.
The match was particularly exciting as all three of the teams specialized in each of the three items from the match. Edge and Christian were particularly creative and dangerous with Chairs, the Hardy Boyz felt at home using ladders to decimate opponents, the Dudley Boyz had a condition wherein, if they didn’t put people through Tables, they got sick.
4. Daniel Bryan v Triple H, Wrestlemania 30
Daniel Bryan does not look like a WWE Superstar prototype. He is 5″8′ and barely 200 pounds and without any discernible muscles in his body. But he is one of the best wrestlers in the world when he steps inside the ring. There is no one in the company who can say they’re better than Daniel Bryan when they step in the ring with him.
He had been held down by the powers that be at WWE for years and years, and had been hitting the glass ceiling constantly. What Daniel Bryan had, and others did not, that he was loved by the fans universally, there were little to none when it came to Daniel Bryan’s haters. His fight against the Authority came to blows when Triple H screwed him out of his Championship win. This culminated in the iconic “Yes Movement” and one of the best Wrestlemania matches in the history of WWE.
This particular video is a work of genius by WWE, and still brings goosebumps.
3. Chris Jericho v Shawn Michaels, No Mercy 2008, Ladder Match.
This was an absolute wrestling masterpiece put on by two of the greatest in-ring performers in the history of the Sport. One hand was the ever charismatic, show-stopping, Superkicking enthusiast Shawn Michaels, an absolute legend of the business.
On the other corner, was a new version of the legendary Chris Jericho. He had dropped his goofy, fun-loving persona for a slow-talking, big-words-sing and in general being a very obnoxious heel. After being irked by Shawn Michaels, Jericho began his deconstruction of Shawn Michael’s career and looked to prove to the world that he was the “Best in the world at what he does”. The match was an emotionally charged yet technical spot fest (as weird as it sounds). This remains to this date as one of the best feuds of all time.
2. Triple H vs Undertaker, Wrestlemania 28, Hell in a Cell, Special Guest-Shawn Michaels.
Three giants of an industry. Three men who shaped an entire era of wrestling. Three Men that are destined to be in the Hall of Fame. Three Men that became Legends.
The first match between Triple H and Undertaker at Wreslemania 27 was absolute cracker of a match, wherein, Undertaker won the match, but couldn’t walk away the victory as he was carried out of the ring by ring staff and doctors. Two men entered and only man walked out, Triple H, even though he lost the match.
The story told by those two was amazing, even though Undetaker won the match, he was looking to put the hurt on the man that nearly crippled him. Triple H and Undertaker went at it again one more time, but this time, inside of Hell in a Cell.
A steel structure that is 30 foot high with no chance of escape. Triple H was known for being un-defeated inside the structure, and had made it his own personal instrument of pain. Undertaker and the Hell in a Cell have a special bond, it is often referred to as the “Phenom’s Playground”. The two men, along with special guest referee Shawn Michaels put one of the best matches in recent history. The match was aptly dubbed “The End of an Era”
1. John Cena v CM Punk, Money in the Bank, 2011.
Oh the hype surrounding this match. To explain why this match is one of the best matches in the history of the sport. We’ll have to break it down piece by piece. CM Punk was a superstar in his own right, and had the capability of being the face of the company. After years of slogging it at the company, The Powers that Be did not find CM Punk to be the superstar he claims to be. This gave rise to animosity between the WWE and Punk. John Cena had been the face of the company for well over a decade now, and this frustrated Punk past his boiling point. So one night, he blurred the lines between reality and TV when he cut a rousing promo explaining his beef with the WWE.
CM Punk was a superstar after this. He made wrestling, for a brief time, cool again. He planned to win the WWE Championship and walk out of the company along with it. This match made one hell of a highlight reel, and his entrance alone in his hometown of Chicago is testament to the fact. The way the crowd clamored for the man constantly throughout the match was a testament to how they perceived him as the “Voice of the Voiceless”. An especially juicy part of his entrance was when he yells “What’s my f****ing name?!”, and in response the crowd chant his name louder.
Here’s the highlights to the match.