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Best Of The Year 2014


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BRAY WYATT VS. SHEAMUS, MAIN EVENT --

This match is being so incredibly slept on. This is great. Sheamus is a big dude who knows what he's doing. Bray Wyatt's a big dude who knows what he's doing. Anytime you get two big dudes who know what they're doing who decide to beat the hell out of each other rules. Then you add in Bray's great theatrics and crazy-man selling and Harper and Rowan being brainwashed at ringside and Sheamus really putting over how it's seemingly impossible to beat this man, and you get one of the best matches of the year.

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I haven't actually watched that match yet, but I will. However, the first few lines of your write-up make me so excited for the day we finally get Wyatt vs. Cesaro.

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Update:

 

1. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE Elimination Chamber, 23rd February.

3. Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan. WWE Royal Rumble, 26th January.

4. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 3rd March.

5. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan. WWE Main Event, 8th April.

6. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

7. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista. WWE Extreme Rules, 4th May.

8. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

9. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 17th February.

10. John Cena vs. Luke Harper. WWE RAW, 24th March.

 

Added:

 

Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista. WWE Extreme Rules, 4th May.

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Didn't expect to update this so soon...

 

1. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE Elimination Chamber, 23rd February.

2. Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan. WWE Royal Rumble, 26th January.

3. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 3rd March.

4. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan. WWE Main Event, 8th April.

5. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

6. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista. WWE Extreme Rules, 4th May.

7. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 5th May.

8. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

9. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 17th February.

10. Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose. WWE Smackdown, 9th May.

 

Added:

 

Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 5th May.

Sheamus vs. Dean Ambrose. WWE Smackdown, 9th May

Edited by The Natural
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Wyatts/Shield from lat night, I thought, was the third best in the series. The best part about this feud is all four matches have been so wonderfully different from each other. This one had the inverse ending from the first one, where this time Bray ended up surrounded by The Shield before Evolution made their run-in, allowing our socialist messiah to steal a victory with Sister Abigail.

 

The Rollins corner flip into Harper's stiff ass superkick was the spot of the match. I loved that since it's building on what we've seen from these guys already. Harper had that in the back-of-his-mind, in terms of kayfabe strategy.

Also, big ups to Erik Rowan. I thought he was fantastic in this. I also thought he was great in the cage match, romping around on the outside to prevent Cena to leave the cage while also willing to have Cena smash his face into the steel via his beard. I thought he was good from the start (most everyone thought he was green) and now he's really hitting a new stride. You can make a case that Bray/Harper/Rollins/Ambrose/Reigns are five of the seven best workers in the company (not in that order). Rowan's not on that elite list (he doesn't have the flashy offense but is awesome at clubbering and his basic strength spots) but he's really not too far behind anymore.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a few weeks since we've added anything to this! But I think it's been a few weeks since there was anything truly great. I need to go back and see the Cena/Usos/Wyatts mash-ups again to remember what happened when.

Anyways, from NXT --

 

SAMI ZAYN VS. TYLER BREEZE -- This was a great coming out party for Tyler Breeze, who has gone from "entertaining comedy worker" to very, very good since his character made his debut. This was a really fun indie spot fest. It felt a lot like high-end ECW stuff from the 90s. Everyone remembers all of the insane hardcore stuff from ECW, but they would then throw out something like "Chris Candido vs. Lance Storm" or "RVD vs. Jerry Lynn" or "Super Crazy vs. Tairi" that were just really fun, fast-paced matches. I know our tastes have matured a lot since then, and we've moved on past spot fests. But this had all of those plus a really fun story of both guys thinking they needed to try new things to put away the other. This was especially true on Breeze's end, and he emphasized that point in his promo. This also had a really fun end with Breeze taking advantage after a cheapshot to steal the win. Fun stuff.

NATTIE VS. CHARLOTTE FLAIR -- This is a miracle match. Charlotte's been a lot of fun since she joined the BFFs but she hasn't had any singles matches that were anything too special. Nattie's polarizing in wrestling dork circles. I think she's pretty bad a lot of times but I'm changing my mind. This match was absolutely golden. It had some sloppy stuff to it, like the weird rolling Figure Four stuff. But the actual intensity and emotion they put into the match -- slap and chop exchanges -- and stuff like "I'm hooking your niece in your finishing move right in front of your face, Bret" will always go a long way in my eyes. Stuff like that is more important to me than whether or not stuff looks clean, and this had it in spades. They did a great job making this the next stage in a family rivalry.

It looses points, though, for Bret Hart sandbagging his apron work. He should be ashamed of himself for someone who prides himself on his professionalism and always makes a point to talk himself up in that aspect. No "COME ON, NATTIE!" or turning to the crowd when she's in control or even a threatening point at Flair? Come on, dude. If he upped his apron game, this match would have been even better.

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Smackdown spoiler:

 

Going on their past matches, Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett from this week's Smackdown should be a something else. Hope to see it ASAP.

 

EDIT: Just have. Great match

Edited by The Natural
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Added: Cesaro vs. Kofi (SD 5/30)

 

Goes to the bottom of the list, but I feel it does deserve some recognition next to Ambrose/Henry in the "midcard match where both guys play their roles perfectly" category.

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On 30/05/2014 at 8:56 PM, KidKash202 said:

Natural, didn't recognize you with the change of the avi.

 

Do you have a list from 2013? 

I do. Here it is:

1. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena. WWE SummerSlam, 18th August. *****

2. Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro. WWE RAW, 22nd July.

3. Antonio Cesaro vs. William Regal. WWE NXT, 25th December.

4. Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk. WWE SummerSlam, 18th August.

5. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton. WWE RAW, 24th June.

6. Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn. WWE NXT, 21st August.

7. Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio. WWE Payback, 16th June.

8. The Undertaker vs. CM Punk. WWE WrestleMania XXIX, 7th April.

9. The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio. WWE Smackdown, 11th January.

10. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. WWE Payback, 16th June.

Terrific year.

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I thought Bret was really good as Nattie's corner man,. He's way more of an understated character than Flair, but his little smirks and fist pumping to the crowd, as well as the apron smacking during the "this is awesome" chant, were nice touches.

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JOHN CENA VS. BRAY WYATT, PAYBACK --

This was an awesome, out-of-control brawl that had so many crazy stuff. The most famous spot from this match will be Cena launching the steps into Bray's face. But stuff like Bray's running step senton on the floor were in this insanity, too. I also loved the Family/Usos interaction and their insane dives in this. Bray conducting his orchestra on top of the steps made him look like a completely and total madman in the best way possible. I actually liked the ending a lot. The only way Cena could beat Bray in this thing was to send him into an AA off of some equipment and then entomb him.

I'm perfectly fine without blood in wrestling. But man oh man do I wish we got to see Bray Wyatt in an era when you could bleed. I can't even begin to think what him vs. Cactus Jack or Bray vs. Sabu or Bray vs. Brody would have looked like.

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Unless I'm sleeping on some stuff, I think my Top 7 of the year list at this point would be:

1) Shield/Wyatts 1
2) Bryan/Bray

3) Shield/Wyatts 2

4) Bryan/HHH

5) Bray/Cena last night

6) Cena/Cesaro

7) Shield/Wyatts 3 (The Main Event match)

After that, it gets hazy and there is so much great stuff and it all bleeds together.

But the general theme: Bray's been in five of the best matches of the year, including a MOTDC. He's had what is Daniel Bryan's best match of the year and probably Cena's, depending how you want to compare that vs. Cesaro. The Shield, too, also rule it.

It's a new world and it's awesome.

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Unless I'm sleeping on some stuff, I think my Top 7 of the year list at this point would be:

1) Shield/Wyatts 1

2) Bryan/Bray

3) Shield/Wyatts 2

4) Bryan/HHH

5) Bray/Cena last night

6) Cena/Cesaro

7) Shield/Wyatts 3 (The Main Event match)

After that, it gets hazy and there is so much great stuff and it all bleeds together.

But the general theme: Bray's been in five of the best matches of the year, including a MOTDC. He's had what is Daniel Bryan's best match of the year and probably Cena's, depending how you want to compare that vs. Cesaro. The Shield, too, also rule it.

It's a new world and it's awesome.

 

I agree with your choices, some we have in the same order but others different.

 

My updated list after WWE Payback 2014:

 

1. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE Elimination Chamber, 23rd February.

2. Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan. WWE Royal Rumble, 26th January.

3. John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. WWE Payback, 1st June.

4. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 3rd March.

5. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan. WWE Main Event, 8th April.

6. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

7. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Triple H/Randy Orton/Batista. WWE Extreme Rules, 4th May.

8. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs. Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns. WWE RAW, 5th May.

9. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H. WWE WrestleMania XXX, 6th April.

10. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 17th February.

 

Bray Wyatt's been in my top five matches, seven in total.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two more this week:

CESARO VS. SHEAMUS -- This match was great and was such a fun story. The set-up is great. The last time they met, Sheamus won via a roll-up, prompting Heyman to call it a cheap win because he won via a wrestling move in a match that was a fight. In the rematch, Cesaro comes out with taped fists to win a brawl. Sheamus does the same. They spend this match beating the crap out of each other. They really lay in the shots, including a Swiss Death from Cesaro that's unreal and only topped by the one he gave to Cena in their classic. The end is super clever. Sheamus sets up for The Brogue Kick, but Heyman distracts him. Cesaro then a bit after this wins via a roll-up of his own. This was a total heel douchebag "taste of your own medicine!" victory. I liked Cesaro/Cena more than this but, still, a very good match between two of the best big men going today.

AMBROSE VS. BRAY -- I can't believe the Smackdown thread doesn't have like 50 pages of notes because of this match. This was a total, absolute war with two guys who look like they are absolutely brutalizing each other throughout. Ambrose throws his fists and Bray does his insane stuff. This has a ridiculously terrifying looking spot where Dean goes for a plancha, only for Bray to catch him and throw him shoulder-first into the apron -- a bit of a call-back to Bray hitting the Sister Abigail to Bryan after his dive at the Royal Rumble match. I like that's now a Bray thing -- he knows when dives are coming and he knows how to use that to his advantage. Dean spends the rest of the match trying to put his arm back in his socket and the like, with Bray targeting it the entire time, including headbutts while the shoulder's propped up against the ring post (if memory serves correct). Dean has a fantastic comeback with his Ricky Morton On Formaldyhyde Loosies act, including a suicide dive despite the busted shoulder. I totally believe that spot, too, because Ambrose has so convincingly played a lunatic. After a bunch of counters from the two, Dean hits DIRTY DEEDS onto his great rival. But then Seth Rollins stands on the table, sending crazy ass Dean into a fit. Dean chases, Rollins sneaks into the ring and Bray -- with enough time to cover -- furthers his reborn quest for absolution with a Sister Abigail to the distracted Dean.

This is up there with The Shield vs. Wyatts Part 2 for best TV match of the year. This had it all, except for a clean ending. But I'm fine with that as it advances both of Dean and Bray's stories -- Dean and Rollins have a date with destiny and Bray wants the brass ring to cement his ever growing power over the WWE Universe.

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That was such a great pair of matches and next to nobody talked about them, I can't believe it. You forgot to mention that Cesaro was holding the tights on Sheamus which the announcers made a great point at making mention of because the initial camera angle didn't catch it (or maybe that was just me). That's like the cherry on top for that finish. Ambrose is finally throwing punches that look like they connect, and hard, in the other match.

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I'll be adding Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose to my top ten. Just have to think about the placement.

 

I think I only like three matches more: Shield/Wyatts 1, Bray/Bryan and Shield/Wyatts 2. It's between that and Bray/Cena for me. I'll probably lean back to Bray/Cena because of stuff like the steps but Bray/Dean is a fresh match-up and that gets some points from me. Cena/Cesaro and Bryan/HHH also need to get rewatched promptly for my half-year list.

I know I'll be taken to task to this in some form but Bray's the best worker in the WWE right now. I don't think there's even much of an argument at this point, either. He's been involved in possibly the five best matches of the year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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