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Best WWE Matches 2015


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1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

2. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. WWE Royal Rumble, 25th January.

3. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens. WWE Money in the Bank, 15th June 2015.

4. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary 2015.

5. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May 2015.

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  • 3 weeks later...

1st of July today so the first half of the year is done with. Here’s my list of the top ten WWE overall matches and TV matches from the 1st January 2015-30th June 2015.

 

2015 WWE MOTY

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

2. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. WWE Royal Rumble, 25th January.

3. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens. WWE Money in the Bank, 15th June.

4. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 29th June.

5. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary.

6. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May.

7. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena. WWE Elimination Chamber, 31st May.

8. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May.

9. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

10. Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Wade Barrett vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

 

2015 WWE TV MOTY

1. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 29th June.

2. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary.

3. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May.

4. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena. WWE Elimination Chamber, 31st May.

5. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May.

6. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary.

7. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler. WWE RAW, 30th March.

8. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. WWE RAW, 4th May.

9. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro. WWE Smackdown, 18th June.

10. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus. WWE Smackdown, 2nd April.

 

Anyone else want to submit their's?

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I have a lot of Raw to catch up on. The NBA playoffs and my newly discovered love of golf have gotten in the way.

My #1 match of the year is still Sasha vs. Becky. It was just an absolutely terrific and wonderful match and, by itself without any context, is a worthy MOTYC. On top of the work itself, it also has the added benefit of making Becky Lynch's WWE career. We knew Sasha was aces for a long time now. Becky hadn't proven herself completely yet. That match cemented her as a "OMG BECKY LYNCH IS HERE!" type.

But of course, it gets giant points because it was a woman's wrestling match that good. It was such a great moment for people who like wrestling who also aren't creeps.Two amazingly talented women were given a shot to tell a story in the ring and it was "who can wrench who's arm out of the socket first." It wasn't "LOOK AT ALL THE MOVES WE KNOW HOW TO DO!" I don't know how many guys on the roster could have that type of match and pull it off. It's maybe "none." And because they went that way instead of what would be the first and easiest creative choice, it came off like way more of a feminist statement than anything else.

It was like peak era Joan Jett or Sleater-Kinney. The match rocked so much I forgot I was watching a WWE women's wrestling match until after it ended.

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My current top ten:

Reigns/Lesnar/Rollins - Wrestlemania

Reigns/Bryan - Fastlane

Banks/Lynch - Unstoppable

Lesnar/Cena/Rollins - Royal Rumble

Reigns/Show - Extreme Rules

Cena/Owens - MITB

Cena/Cesaro - Raw 6/29

Cena/Owens - Elimination Chamber

Reigns/Sheamus - Raw 6/22

Rollins/Ambrose/Reigns/Orton - Payback

 

Reigns/Lesnar is my top match. Banks/Lynch & Reigns/Bryan are about even for the number two spot with me. Not sure where I would place the rest though the Payback match would be the first to drop off and likely will once Sasha vs. Charlotte airs.

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Lynch and Banks are my #1 for sure.

 

I don't ever see Raw any more since I'm a "cable cutter" so I won't see Cena/Cesaro for another month. The two Cena/Owens matches and Reigns/Brock are the next three and I'm not sure what order they fall in. Reigns/Bryan at Fastlane probably rounds out my top 5.

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New addition: John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 7th July.

 

All:

 

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

2. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. WWE Royal Rumble, 25th January.

3. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens. WWE Money in the Bank, 15th June.

4. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 7th July.

5. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 29th June.

 

TV:

 

1. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 7th July.

2. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 29th June.

3. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary 2015.

4. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May 2015.

5. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena. WWE Elimination Chamber, 31st May 2015.

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New addition: Rusev vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens. WWE RAW, 13th July.

All:

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March.

2. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. WWE Royal Rumble, 25th January.

3. Rusev vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens. WWE RAW, 13th July.

4. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens. WWE Money in the Bank, 15th June.

5. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 7th July.

TV:

1. Rusev vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens. WWE RAW, 13th July.

2. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 7th July.

3. John Cena vs. Cesaro. WWE RAW, 29th June.

4. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. NXT TakeOver: Rival, 11th Feburary 2015.

5. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, 20th May 2015.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rollins/Neville, Aug. 3 Raw --

What an awesome segment of wrestling. Rollins breaks out his awesome new shirt that says "Never Shut Up" and gloats about breaking Cena's nose and how he should have had the match won for doing such a heinous act. And then to rub it in Cena's face, he starts his own challenge. Naturally, since he's a slimebag, there's a hook, with severe size limitations. Jo Jo says El Torito and Rollins makes a great lame-o joke. But then it's friggin' NEVILLE, and Rollins is taken aback.

Neville brought an absolute A+ performance with his insane highspots. There were so many great ones -- the corkscrew moonsault, etc. He's just so ridiculously graceful and strong.

This match will forever be known for having two all-time false finishes. The one on the roll-up was 2.999. What amazing timing with Rollins and, most importantly, the ref.

I loved the ending so much. Neville's completely understandable overexcitement causes him to put Rollins foot on the ropes/Rollins is an opportunist. What an absolutely ingenious rope break. Has that ever been done before? Neville then has to recalculate and decides to go to the top again, giving the conniving Rollins time to play possum, him the Pedigree and escape with the title.

A+ formula match.

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Rollins/Neville, Aug. 3 Raw --

What an awesome segment of wrestling. Rollins breaks out his awesome new shirt that says "Never Shut Up" and gloats about breaking Cena's nose and how he should have had the match won for doing such a heinous act. And then to rub it in Cena's face, he starts his own challenge. Naturally, since he's a slimebag, there's a hook, with severe size limitations. Jo Jo says El Torito and Rollins makes a great lame-o joke. But then it's friggin' NEVILLE, and Rollins is taken aback.

Neville brought an absolute A+ performance with his insane highspots. There were so many great ones -- the corkscrew moonsault, etc. He's just so ridiculously graceful and strong.

This match will forever be known for having two all-time false finishes. The one on the roll-up was 2.999. What amazing timing with Rollins and, most importantly, the ref.

I loved the ending so much. Neville's completely understandable overexcitement causes him to put Rollins foot on the ropes/Rollins is an opportunist. What an absolutely ingenious rope break. Has that ever been done before? Neville then has to recalculate and decides to go to the top again, giving the conniving Rollins time to play possum, him the Pedigree and escape with the title.

A+ formula match.

 

Great post. Outta likes. I was going to ask you for an updated list. Have you seen the RAW Triple Threat from the 13th of July yet?

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Did some re-watches today to update my list.

 

I'm very comfortable with my top 5 as is. Forgot how good Bryan/Reigns was. It looks so much better 6 months down the line when you can forget what a shitty hand they were dealt at the time. No one wanted to see Bryan lose his spot, but the match told the story perfectly. The top 2 are as hard-hitting and action-packed as you want, Brock is pretty easily WOTY in WWE for me. No one has presence like him. Every match, every segment he's been in feel like they're on another level. Owens/Zayn seems like the forgotten great match of the year. Perfect character clash and Zayn's bumping was ridiculous. If you like matches where the heel looks strong, this has to be among your faves this year. Sasha/Becky is a respect match second only to Zayn/Cesaro in recent memory with an impact in wrestling beyond MOTY lists.

 

There was some shuffling and adding outside of the top 5, though. The first Owens/Balor tv match is a really underrated fighting spirit match. It was the biggest mover for sure. I also realized I short-changed the NXT women by not including the 4-way from Rival on my list. Upon re-watch, that was very well put together, and had great torch-passing finish. Definitely belongs on any MOTY list this year. I added Ambrose/Show for the good pacing and creative finish. Neville/Rollins from Raw moved into the top 10 immediately, on first watch it's easily the best "open challenge" match this year, but I will need to re-visit Cesaro/Cena 2 and the Cesaro/Owens/Rusev 3-way when they hit the network.

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BAYLEY VS. CHARLOTTE, NXT --

The work itself was so smart and crisp. There were great reversals and bombs. Everything clicked super well. But it was also came within the confines of a long-term, complicated relationship where Bayley put Charlotte on a pedastal. Charlotte at one point screams, "YOU MADE ME DO THIS TO YOU!" That didn't just sum up this match; it summed up two years of storytelling. Bayley has some of the best facial expressions in wrestling. She showed determination and heart and guts. She knew she had to do two things: Keep out of the Figure 8 (which she coyly avoided) and try and hit a big bomb. She hit one Belly-to-Bayley, which got a near fall. Then she hit one that was set up very well from the corner for the pin, which was great heightening. And the emotional ending was awesome -- Bayley gave a little girl dressed like her a hug, which was followed by tears. Bayley has kept her innocent, sweet nature despite being bullied and humiliated and feeling alone in the face of a variety of mean girls. That's not just a babyface. That's a role model.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sasha/Bayley, Takeover Brooklyn --

 

Right from the beginning, they told the story. Bayley comes out with her usual entrance and the biggest crowd she has ever fought in front of cheering her name. She looks nervous and a bit uneasy. Then THE BOSS comes out in a friggin' Escalade with bodyguards. What's great about it, though, and one of the announcers touched on it -- as cocky and arrogant as Sasha is, this is mostly an act to get over the lack of self-confidence she had in her earliest NXT career. And in the pre-match, she told Bayley to grow up. But Bayley's stayed true to who she is and her nature despite so many people turning on her and abusing her and ultimately rewarded with being on Raw while she's still at NXT.

There were so many insane things in this match move-wish -- Sasha's Rey Mysterio ref hurdle tribute; Bayley's Bank Statement; the ending. Sasha dug down deep by ripping at Bayley's fingers and hand (something Becky didn't do). Bayley dug deep by getting out of the Banks Statement and finding things in her she didn't now was possible leading to her hitting a Poison Rana and B2Belly in the middle of the ring.

She's not on Raw. But she beat Charlotte, Becky and Sasha in that order. She proved to herself she's the best, and the rest of the world will find out about that soon enough.

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I just rewatched a second time. There is SO MUCH to this match that's awesome and callbacks to the NXT woman's matches since the last Takeover. There's just so much heightening and counters. Just truly great stuff.

Near the end, they had a great exchange on the corner. Bayley goes for the B2B from the top, which is how she beat Charlotte. Sasha blocks it. Then Bayley goes for the huru from the top, which she also busted out on Charlotte (and I think in the 4-Way Dance) and got dropped on her head. Then Sasha nearly pins Bayley by coming off the top with flying knees, which is like the evolutionary step from her corner knee stomp.

Then there's the finale that leads to the pin. Sasha's in control and is looking like she wants to do some sort of Bank Statement type thing, which is how she got Becky to tap in their thriller. Bayley gets out of that and goes for absolute broke by upping from her huru before into a reverse version.

Just great storytelling. Of course they'd one what to look out for and scout. AND they did all of that while still having so much great stuff. Sasha brought her trash talk game but it's always just caked in how insecure she is. It's not just "You're a loser, Bayley!" It's "You think you're something because all these people love you, huh, Bayley?" And Bayley's fired up faces are amazing, but her pain and fighting spirit and the like also tell the story.

If you like technical armwork and all that, Becky/Sasha's your story. But this had insanely clever work on top of the Underdog vs. The Boss tale. A+. MOTY.

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Can we just sit in the glow and talk about how amazing it is that probably the 2 most universally loved matches of the year are by female wrestlers under WWE contract? Imagine told you that would happen 5 years ago and how you would respond to that.

 

It feels good. It feels like justification for all the eye rolls I get from people when I tell them I love -- LOVE -- wrestling. So many people last tuned into wrestling during the Attitude Era. I do not look back on that era with a lot of nostalgia. Men's wrestling really changed with the times over the past few years (see: Daniel Bryan, nerd hero). But it still hasn't been that long since we had our last "Divas roll around in skimpy Santa clothing' matches and/or the reign of Kelly Kelly. That stuff has been straight-up embarrassing to watch. It's total lowest common denominator garbage. We're better than that.

I also enjoy women's sports. I watch a decent amount of woman's basketball. I went to a Woman's World Series watch party. I've scheduled entire weekends around Serena tennis matches. The only possible interest I would have in watching UFC would involve Ronda Rousey.

My skin still crawls when I see the Bella Twins do their pre-match stripper ass-bump (now amplified with Alicia's jacket twirl). Naomi's "black girls all have big butts!" moveset is repugnant and one step above a wrestler of color having harder skulls that make headbutts more effective. The Divas Revolution is getting better. The matches have been better. They've had more time. I will always think the Bellas are garbage -- they can't act; Brie can't work; and Nikki sandbags matches she's scheduled to lose. (And Nikki and Brie screamed over the AJ Pipe Bombshell. That felt super premeditated.)

 

Raw's getting better. But NXT is amazing. It makes me feel good to be able to admit I like play-fighting. It makes me happy to see someone like Izzy being given a positive female role model to look up to as a hero -- that there's someone for her that has had to endure mean girls and bullying and betrayal but has persevered (and you can, too). It's a great, great thing for wrestling.

 

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At this point there needs to be three WWE MOTY categories: MOTY: Cena Division and MOTY: NXT Women's Division and MOTY: everyfuckingbodyelse, so nothing gets left out of the top 10s

I do not remember a year in WWF/E where we were this spoiled for choice.

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Can we just sit in the glow and talk about how amazing it is that probably the 2 most universally loved matches of the year are by female wrestlers under WWE contract? Imagine told you that would happen 5 years ago and how you would respond to that.

It feels good. It feels like justification for all the eye rolls I get from people when I tell them I love -- LOVE -- wrestling. So many people last tuned into wrestling during the Attitude Era. I do not look back on that era with a lot of nostalgia. Men's wrestling really changed with the times over the past few years (see: Daniel Bryan, nerd hero). But it still hasn't been that long since we had our last "Divas roll around in skimpy Santa clothing' matches and/or the reign of Kelly Kelly. That stuff has been straight-up embarrassing to watch. It's total lowest common denominator garbage. We're better than that.

I also enjoy women's sports. I watch a decent amount of woman's basketball. I went to a Woman's World Series watch party. I've scheduled entire weekends around Serena tennis matches. The only possible interest I would have in watching UFC would involve Ronda Rousey.

My skin still crawls when I see the Bella Twins do their pre-match stripper ass-bump (now amplified with Alicia's jacket twirl). Naomi's "black girls all have big butts!" moveset is repugnant and one step above a wrestler of color having harder skulls that make headbutts more effective. The Divas Revolution is getting better. The matches have been better. They've had more time. I will always think the Bellas are garbage -- they can't act; Brie can't work; and Nikki sandbags matches she's scheduled to lose. (And Nikki and Brie screamed over the AJ Pipe Bombshell. That felt super premeditated.)

Raw's getting better. But NXT is amazing. It makes me feel good to be able to admit I like play-fighting. It makes me happy to see someone like Izzy being given a positive female role model to look up to as a hero -- that there's someone for her that has had to endure mean girls and bullying and betrayal but has persevered (and you can, too). It's a great, great thing for wrestling.

I'm with you on a lot of that stuff. But if we're not ok with Samoans having harder heads than white guy's, then we're not ok with pro wrestling.

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At this point there needs to be three WWE MOTY categories: MOTY: Cena Division and MOTY: NXT Women's Division and MOTY: everyfuckingbodyelse, so nothing gets left out of the top 10s

I do not remember a year in WWF/E where we were this spoiled for choice.

2013 was probably better than this year for in-ring performances but I'm not a big fan of a lot of Cena's stuff this year. I thought he killed Rusev and the only good match in the series was the WM non-gimmicked match.

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I have Sasha/Bayley at my new #1 with Sasha/Becky as #2. 

 

Look, I think the work in Sasha/Becky, from just a mechanical standpoint, was better, but Bayley's win was the culmination of a good person not taking shortcuts to win it all. Was it harder? Yes. Sasha is Bayley's mirror, and Sasha consciously chose to take those shortcuts. It's only fitting that she lost to Bayley, who chose a different path when she came to the fork in the road and Emma had her questioning herself. 

 

This is like Zayn's NXT Championship win last year where he could have cheated, but he was going to win ethically, and as I watched, I felt like he was a better person than me because I don't know what I would do in that situation (or an analogous one). I know what I hope that I would do, but you never really know until you're put in the position to cheat in order to get ahead. 

 

However, it was even better because Sasha was here as the living embodiment of what happens when you do cheat to win. It seemed like the bad guys were winning. Charlotte took shortcuts to become champ and so did Sasha. Becky turned on Bayley and immediately started getting title shots and eventually a trip to RAW. 

 

Did it take Bayley longer to win the gold? Yes. But ultimately, wasn't it more satisfying for her and for everyone who followed her growth as a person? I love that the message actually is not only "stick to your guns and have some ethics, and you can do things aboveboard with hard work and determination," but that the only change Bayley made was becoming more aggressive and focused. There were those skits where she sorta questioned herself and her happy-go-lucky nature, but instead of shedding that nature, she just matured a bit and realized that one could be happy but also more focused and driven to achieve one's goals at the same time, and neither would betray the other. 

 

So after thinking about this and scrambling some things that I've seen multiple times to better place them, my list so far is:

 

1. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn)

2. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable)

3. Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, (Royal Rumble)

4. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (NXT TakeOver: Rival)

5. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (NXT Takeover: Rival)

 

Honorable mentions include Reigns/Bryan (FastLane), Reigns/Lesnar/(Rollins) (WrestleMania), PTPs/The New Day (Battleground), Rusev/Cesaro/Owens (RAW), Charlotte/Sasha (NXT weekly), Owens/Cena (Elimination Chamber), Vaudevillains/Blake and Murphy (TakeOver: Brooklyn), Liger/Breeze (TakeOver: Brooklyn), and Owens/Neville (NXT Weekly TV)

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