Updated: Apr 12
It’s hard to say what makes a match of the year candidate. Often, as soon as fans see a great match they’re quick to deem it a candidate for match of the year.
For the second year in a row the WWE network has released a collection entitled Match of the Year and whilst there are definitely worthy candidates - Bate vs. Pete Dunne at Takeover Chicago and John Cena vs. AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble - some are not so worthy - *cough* *cough*Jinder vs. Randy Orton *cough!*
But, as with any list of matches,there are some that aren’t included that some people say should be.At the time of writing this, the collection only goes up to October, but they will likely update the collection like they did last year. For that reason, you won’t see Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream or AJ vs. Brock!
On that note, here are 6 matches that, in my opinion, should most definitely be included on WWE’s Match of the Year collection!
Kari Sane vs. Tessa Blanchard: There are several Mae Young Classic matches that could have made this list, but the one chosen for WWE’s collection was Sane’s semi-final match-up with Toni Storm. In my opinion,Sane’s standout match was her first-round match with Tessa Blanchard. It was one of those ‘can’t they both win’matches.
Any New Day vs. The Usos match: It’s almost impossible to say which of these guys’ matches was the best.The collection features only their SummerSlam match, but it’s hard to argue that their Battleground or Hell in a Cell encounters deserve to be on that list as well!
6. Neville vs. Jack Gallagher
[WWE Fastlane 2017]
While the 5-way Gallagher won to earn that shot doesn’t deserve to be in the collection, I just feel this match beats it. In my opinion, opinion best Cruiserweight match since the CWC, it even got a ‘This is Awesome!’ chant. Gallagher’s technical style blended with Neville’s hard-hitting style with some high flying thrown in. Just listen to the headbutts Gallagher uses and tell me you didn’t wince a little. It told a great story with Neville forced to use the Red Arrow for the first time since he returned!
5. Asuka vs. Ember Moon
[NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III]
It probably helped that expectations for this match weren’t too high. Their match in Orlando wasn’t quite what it needed to be, and it felt too obvious that Moon was being groomed to break the streak.
Easily Moon’s best match in WWE so far. As the match went on you weren’t sure if Moon would win or if Asuka was going up undefeated, a really quite excellent story told throughout!
4. The Bar vs. The Hardy Boyz
[WWE Great Balls of Fire]
When the Hardys returned, they entered a feud with Sheamus and Cesaro. Every match was better than the last with the best coming in this Iron man match at Great Balls of Fire.
On a show that had an ambulance match and a dream match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe, this was the match people were raving about the next day.
Thirty minutes of great tag team wrestling with plenty of near falls,showing that the Hardyz are far from past it and that Cesaro and Sheamus are one of the best teams in wrestling today. It had you gripped until the very last second with titles slipping out of the Hardyz grasp by only one second.
3. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
[WWE No Mercy 2017]
Given that this was match between the old and current face of the company, it’s surprising that it wasn’t included.You’d think they’d want to highlight this passing of the torch.
The first part of the match may have been a little slow with Cena going into full silly Cena mode. But once it got going, it was full of big moves including Reigns spiking himself with the Spear through the announce table.
Anyone who say’s Roman can’t wrestle, this match provided evidence to the contrary.
2. AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
[WWE WrestleMania 33]
AJ’s match with Cena at the Royal Rumble is in the collection rightfully,but AJ has had more than one match of the year candidate.
It opened and pretty much stole WrestleMania. The match just goes to show how talented AJ is that he got a great match out of a none wrestler like Shane.Anytime you think AJ is a match that is beneath him it just might ending up being match of the night.
As surprising as it was not to see this match, it wasn’t the most surprising AJ match not in the collection...that accolade goes to...
1. Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
[WWE TLC 2017]
This takes the top spot because it’s the most recent, yet already seems to have been forgotten. Sadly, that’s what losing to Kane does to you.
You have a genuine first-time match not just in WWE, but ever as these two had never crossed paths. That’s a rarity in wrestling today. The fact the fans chanted‘This is Awesome!’before they even touched says a lot.
They improved what had been one match show before the match was announced.It was almost 20 minutes of just great wrestling that even though it was only hinted at, had a lot of story behind it. Even if it hadn’t, it still would have been a great match!