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Best WWE matches of the 2000s - Scott's Livejournal of Doom
A temporary solution so Wrestlemania doesn't kill rspwfaq.com

Date: 2006-07-21 00:33
Subject: Best WWE matches of the 2000s
Security: Public
Uh oh, it's another list thread.

"Hey Scott I wrote this just for fun, and thought maybe you could post it on the blog. If not, maybe you could read it and tell me just what you think.

By the way when exactly is the book coming out? Amzon has no definitive date as of yet?"

Book is scheduled to come out August 30, but I got a big box of author's copies the other day so it's probably due out sooner.

I don't have too many major qualms with the list, although HHH v. Steve Austin from No Way Out 2001 is a HELL of a match and should be on the ***** list. The rest seems pretty good to me.

20 Best WWE Matches of the 2000’s

We’re more than halfway through the first decade of the new millennium, so I figured I’d take a look back at what I feel are the 20 best WWF/E matches in the past six and a half years.

If you’ve been reading Scott’s reviews for a while you know that he did a similar themed rant on the 20 best matches of the 90s, as did the folks over at Death Valley Driver. I am totally ripping them off here, but everyone loves a list so why not.

****1/2 matches

20. Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley (Backlash’04)

One of the most important matches of the 2000s, this match marked both the beginning of Orton’s credibility as a legit main-event-level guy, as well as proof that when you need to put a new star over, no one will ever be able to do it like Mick. Hogan never puts anyone not named “Rock” over, Austin ditto, and Michaels since his return has only legitimately jobbed to Hunter and Kurt (of course he got put over them as well). At WM 19 he went over Jericho clean, totally the wrong choice. Point being that Foley has never been a prima donna, or politics-oriented guy. He goes out, makes the people happy , kills himself and writes books about it. This match was all kinds of insane, including a Foley hip-toss off the stage through a table, a dive off said stage, both men covered in thumbtacks and featuring a HOT Edmonton crowd. Orton goes over clean with an RKO on a barbed-wire-bat.

19. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (Backlash’04)

From the same show as the previous match, this was a rematch of a classic that appears much higher up on the list. Probably the third or fourth best Triple Threat match, this was a retribution for all the Canadian fans who had been waiting to see Shawn get it in Canada for seven years. They got it in spades, as Shawn taps to the sharpshooter in thirty minutes. Shawn took an awesome dive through the Spanish announce table, that lead to Benoit-HHH going at it for about six minutes that were lacking and dragged the match down to only “Match of the Year Candidate” territory. Still, not bad.

18. Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (WrestleMania XX)

We hit another early 2004 match, as Eddie and Kurt went out in front of MSG (notoriously bloodthirsty) and WRESTLED, and had the crowd totally in the palm of their hands the whole way through. Eddie was the king in this period, and this match is no exception featuring some really sound psychology, with Angle working Eddie’s ribs, and an ending that is perfect. Meltzer only gave this ****, and a lot of people seem to forget about it due to the main event, but it is an undeniable classic.

17. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (Fully Loaded’00)

Fully Loaded 2000, an infamous show where all the WWF mainstays (Rock, Taker, HHH) beat the new blood (Benoit, Jericho, Angle), but the two last matches both rock. This was the match of the night, though, and Jericho’s first real foray into the land of the giants. To this day he has a 0-6 record against HHH, but this was the first one, and a really hot angle at the time. Last Man Standing rules, which I always hate, but the ending at least kept Jericho strong, with HHH just barely getting up at 10 and then dropping right back down. A really effective brawl, with both guys letting it all hang loose. The great thing about it was the freshness, so keep that in mind when watching it today.

16. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (Royal Rumble’01)

Easily the best singles ladder match since the Shawn-Razor classics, this is also probably the best match these two have ever had. Benoit debuts his crazy tope into a chair-shot spot here, and Jericho debuts his ladder-lion tamer finisher. A different type of ladder match, especially compared to the ladder-rinse variety of the past five years or so, as they somehow work technical wrestling into it. A gem.

15. Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin (SummerSlam’01)

If this match had a clean finish it’s in my top five. Sadly it doesn’t, but it doesn’t take too much away from a brutal, bloody masterpiece. These two wrestled each other a million times in the second half of 2001, but this was their peak, with Austin being suplexed every possible way, and Angle eating post for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Angle is probably the wrestler of the decade so far, and this match is one of the reasons why.

14. Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble’04)

Benoit sets a new rumble record (to be broken by Rey this year) in what was top-to-bottom the best booked Royal Rumble. Tons of cool shit like Big Show dominating five men, even after they all hit their finishers on him, and then Benoit proving himself to be for real. I think it lacked star power, but still the second best rumble, easily.

13. Chris Jericho vs. The Rock (No Mercy’01)

Jericho finally becomes WCW World Champion…in the WWF (sigh). Still, this is one of the best matches I have ever seen, as these guys set-up this match with gusto by giving killer promos for weeks prior, with Rock challenging Jericho’s ability to win the big one, and Jericho calling Rock out on his movie-star attitude. The resulting match is certainly Jericho’s best ever, as both men played mind games and truly gave us something special. The Steph run-in was a black mark, but the rest is pure gold.

12. Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar (No Way Out’04)

A match made even more significant with Eddie’s passing, this is the best big-little match ever in the WWE. The crowd was smoking throughout. Brock, to his everlasting credit, knew he was going to leave the WWE after Mania (where he’d job clean to Goldberg), but still didn’t phone this one in. He gave Eddie the title in style. A really emotional match if you watch nowadays, which if you can’t is totally understandable.

****3/4 Matches

11. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WrestleMania X-7)

I think all the TLC matches hold up to a certain extent, but this one is the best of all. Rhyno, Lita and Spike all get involved, the spots are eye-popping (Edge spears Jeff off a ladder anyone?!), the huge crowd didn’t hurt things, and of course the right team goes over again. I loved E&C.

Top 10

10. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio (No Mercy’02)

I have a feeling most people would have this higher, but I just couldn’t put it over anything else. It is however, a technically perfect tag team match, even more so than another tag match that appears higher on the list. I love it, and can watch in endlessly, but for some reason I don’t seem to have a special place in my heart for it like most do. Still, the second best tag match ever in the WWE.

9. Triple H vs. Steve Austin (No Way Out’01)

Austin hadn’t done much since his return in late 2000, and this was the jolt that sent him on his way to be wrestler of the year in 2001. 2 out of 3 falls, and 45 freakin minutes of pure wrestling and then bloody brawling. This one seems to improve on every further viewing. The ending is especially original. Scott’s right about Hunter, in the big match situations he always shows up in a big way.

8. Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit vs. Steve Austin & Triple H (RAW - 5/21/01)

In a weird storyline development Austin & HHH went from taking turns trying to kill each other to being Tag Champs. Only in wrestling. This was the famous match where HHH tore his quad, and he does man-up in a pretty big way by finishing the match and taking the Walls on the announce table. This was a wild match, with everyone stepping it up and really showing what a little bit of effort can do. The Canadians win the titles in the best match ever to air on RAW. Just about everyone adores this match, and I am no different.

7. Triple H vs. The Rock (Judgment Day’00)

No one thought they could pull it off, but they did it in spades. For 59 minutes this was art. We’ll pretend Undertaker has nothing to do with this match.

6. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)

A dream match that actually lived up to the dream for once. At WM21, the ladder match totally stole the show, so these guys had even more pressure on their shoulders, but they went out and proved why they are two of the all-time greats. Some of the spots still make me mark-out today, like Angle’s Angle Slam from the top, Shawn’s Superkick, Angle’s rising from the dead to put the Anklelock on, and Michaels’ awesome selling of it. The rematches were all good, but this was as close to ***** as possible without hitting that magic mark.

5. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WrestleMania X-7)

A really spectacular match. I watched it again to see if everyone overrates it, but no way. This was an instant-classic, with psychology, ass-busting and a crowd ready to riot if Rock wins. The ending is a little off-putting but who cares. The rest is so brilliant with shit like both guys applying the Sharpshooter, blood everywhere, Austin using his Ringmaster Million Dollar Dream and Rock sick slingshot head-first into the post.

4. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (Royal Rumble’03)

If you like technical wrestling, get this one. We all knew beforehand that it would be great, instead it was phenomenal. Matches like this make me sad, because I know how rare they are, and how very few guys in WWE now can pull it off. A stunning display of wrestling, made even greater when you consider the sad match that preceded it.

3. Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit (Smackdown - 5/31/01)

A forgotten masterpiece, I saw it again before making my list, and I recommend you do anything humanly possible to get a copy of it cuz it’s better than I remembered it being in 2001. In fact on any other day this match could very well be *****, which is what Scott gave it. For a match on free television this was amazing. Twenty minutes in Edmonton, with the classic 10-straight German Suplexes. No wonder Austin was so beat up by the time 2002 came around. Benoit and Angle destroyed the man in 2001. For all his faults, I’ll give Austin one thing: he may be one the most underrated guys ever when it comes to wrestling. Sure everyone says he can brawl but a match like this one shows how amazing the man’s psychology and timing are, as well as his willingness to kill himself. I really hope this one gets rediscovered.

***** Matches

2. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XX)

I still think the Triple Threat at Unbreakable’05 is better, but this is still the second best ever anywhere. WM20 may not be X-7 or X overall, but it did have 4 great matches, this one being the best of the best. Benoit finally achieves his destiny and is crowed World Champion, making Hunter tap to the crossface 25 minutes in. So much has been said about it since it happened, and it’s all true. This a flawless, furiously paced match, with originality and BLOOD. Shawn’s insane moosault to the floor, the double-suplex through a table, and the eventual winning crossface all still give me goosebumps. Nothing’s better than when guys give you a classic when you least expect it.

1. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble’00)

The single most important match of the decade. HHH had been WWF champ three times, but no one bought him as anything more than a placeholder until Rock or Austin got it. This match defined the rest of his career, as he came up big in a match people thought may be good, but nothing special. I really don’t think he’d have become the big deal he is now without Mick there to carry him to a brawl of epic proportions. Bret-Austin at WM13 is still better (and in my opinion the best match ever in the WWF/E) but not by much. MSG is the best place to make a superstar, and whether you like him or hate him, HHH became just that here. As for Foley, he’d put HHH over in a Hell in a Cell match (****½) before retiring. He was class all the way, and this was a beautiful memory for him to go out on.

Honorable Mentions
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero (SmackDown - 9/26/02)
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (Unforgiven’02)

That’s my list and I’m sticking to it."
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-21 06:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
An honorable mention should go to Kurt vs. Taker from this year's No Way Out as well as the Benoit/Guerrero/Edge/Angle #1 Contender's Match from Smackdown in December 2002.
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Brian McGrath
User: brian_solo
Date: 2006-07-21 06:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
angle vs. taker got rave reviews from many fans this year. i get it. however, in the vast scope of the wwf annals, this match is virtually meaningless and ultimately forgettable. i don't think it belongs anywhere near this list. i just think it's fresh on fans' minds, and there hasn't been much offered to us this year from the E as far as memorable matches go, so it undeservedly gets mentioned in the same breath as a match like HHH/Cactus Jack.
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Brian McGrath
User: brian_solo
Date: 2006-07-21 06:45 (UTC)
Subject: nice list
i think this is a pretty good list. i also think it's a bit odd how so many people dismiss austin when it comes to in-ring work. the compiler of this list doesn't meet that criterion.

when austin is motivated, i think he is in another league above so many that he's been compared to. i feel he deserves more credit for having an entertaining, and at times, technically enjoyable match with just about anyone he feels the need to do so with. for an example, austin vs. big show from insurrextion 2002 hardly deserves to be on this list. however, the match employs sound psychology and an entertaining story is told in this match offered live to the fans of the UK. anyone agree that austin is vastly underrated as a worker? if not, then go hug a root.
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-21 06:50 (UTC)
Subject: Re: nice list
I agree with you. I loved that feud between Jericho/Benoit and Austin.
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User: citizentino
Date: 2006-07-21 06:52 (UTC)
Subject: Couple observations...
Not a bad list, but a couple things:

- Not sure how you came up with that 0-6 mark for Jericho against Triple H, but I know he beat him in a nondescript match on Smackdown a few years ago. I think it was a handful of tights when H was distracted, but the only reason I remember it was because I specifically made sure to watch it after reading the spoilers, if for no other reason, to say "It's about f'n time."

- Totally agree with Scott on Triple H-Austin from NWO '01. That match is just off the page for the entire duration, and watching it now makes you realize how much they've really pulled back the reins on guys these days.
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-21 07:00 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Couple observations...
Jericho did beat him on RAW in April 2000...in a really spectacular match. However Hebner counted the pin and he wasn't the legal referee, so Triple H made him reverse the decision...then he fired Earl.
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Tug Nutskin
User: myfactsareright
Date: 2006-07-21 07:09 (UTC)
Subject: Check it out!!!
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Han Solo
User: laserninja
Date: 2006-07-21 07:18 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Check it out!!!
It could just be me, and feel free to shout me down, but it's weird. For two guys who are, undeniably, among the greatest competitors ever to step into the ring, as well as close friends who with tons of experience against each other... Guerrero vs. Benoit always kind of blew. Dunno why. It's bizarre.

Maybe they were saving up for one legendary match? That's a depressing thought...
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Han Solo
User: laserninja
Date: 2006-07-21 07:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good call putting Benoit/Austin at #3, by the time I got that far down, I'd assumed you'd forgotten it. Maybe my favorite match of all time.
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User: lalakers24
Date: 2006-07-21 09:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It really is quality stuff all the way. It's just so darn hard to find, I couldn't find a good copy until earlier this month. I hadn't seen it since 01.
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User: chanseywmu
Date: 2006-07-21 07:29 (UTC)
Subject: Augh
Some of the matches on here are pretty outdated, there's a major lack of any of the kazillion awesome Regal vs. Benoit matches (one of the best feuds ever in wrestling in terms of ring work) as well as recent stuff from Finlay and Mysterio who are doing their best shit ever in the twilights of their careers.

The end of Lesnar vs. Guerrero makes me fucking cry now, seriously.
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User: chinesedentist1
Date: 2006-07-21 08:16 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Augh
Kind of sad that Rey is like 32 and is in the twilight of his career. Puts a bit of perspective on McMahon having his talent tone things down, no? I remember in '98 when Rey came back from an extended knee rehab and the announcers talking about his "history of knee injuries." When you have a history of injuries to one part of your body when you're 24, that's kinda messed up.
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Greg Taven
User: thesuicidetree
Date: 2006-07-21 08:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sadly, I have not seen most of the matches on that list. I really want to check out the No Mercy tag match, the Benoit/Jericho ladder match and Angle/Benoit from the Rumble. What I make up for in missing out on so much I gain from seeing Austin/Benoit on S-Down live. I remember at the time thinking the match was strangely good and brutal for just a TV taping, what with Austin suplexing Benoit on the announce tables multiple times and the many many germans. Not sure if I've seen it on tape since.

1 match I would put on my top twenty list would be the Hardyz/Dudleyz table match from the infamous MSG Rumble. I hadn't seen anything like this prior in the WWF, as it was very fast paced and the spots were sick. I can't remember anyone attempting anything as crazy as a flip off a balcony at that time, and Jeff's swanton spot is a favorite for me. Also, I don't think I've seen a table match since that is as good.

Good list though, I just might try and look for a couple of those.
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User: fishymcb
Date: 2006-07-21 14:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Seriously, do yourself a favor and track down the Benoit/Jericho ladder match. That's my favorite ladder match, and lalakers hit the nail on the head when he talked about the creativity and ruthlessness of the spots. I mean, that's a match where these guys wanted to fucking hurt each other more than anything else.

Speaking of ladder matches, I would've given an honorable mention to RVD/Eddy from RAW in June 2002. It's at least four stars, hampered by the drunken fan knocking over the ladder as well as RVD blowing the finish. It's a shame, because I really feel that was the best match of his career.
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The Gospel according to St. Bastard
User: jesterstear
Date: 2006-07-21 12:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Benoit sets a new rumble record (to be broken by Rey this year) in what was top-to-bottom the best booked Royal Rumble. Tons of cool shit like Big Show dominating five men, even after they all hit their finishers on him, and then Benoit proving himself to be for real. I think it lacked star power, but still the second best rumble, easily.

There's also the oft-forgotten (because the moron commentators never pointed it out) conclusion to the Heyman vs. Benoit storyline. For those that don't remember, Heyman was intent on keeping Benoit from getting a title shot, and had a goon squad that was constantly dogging him. Benoit eliminated every member of Heyman's squad single-handedly.
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User: supertaker
Date: 2006-07-21 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It wasn't really that deep of a story though. The announcers should have obviously mentioned it, but it didn't get a lot of focus on tv did it?
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User: wantedbadass
Date: 2006-07-21 13:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Even though it's at #4, I still feel that Angle/Benoit from Rumble 01 should be higher on the list. One of my all-time favourite matches. You realized you were watching something special as it was happening, and the crowd showed their appreciation for it by giving Benoit a standing ovation even after his loss. Tremendous stuff. And, like you said, it stands out even more by being put on after the stinker that was HHH/Steiner (probably the all-time worst World Title match in PPV history).

I think that, while extremely good, especially for a TV match, the Austin/Benoit match from Smackdown is overrated. The Benoit/Jericho vs. Austin/HHH tag is also WAY overrated, but probably done so because of the historical significance (HHH tears his quad and the Canadians get their first victories against main eventers).

One match that should probably be on there is the Benoit/Angle cage match from Raw in 2001 (I think that was the year). Just a fantastic match with insane and innovative spots that literally shortened the careers of both men. I'd also want to put some more tag matches from the Guerreros/WGTT/Edge&Rey/Angle&Benoit series, but I can see why you would limit it to your favourite of the bunch. Man, these guys were just on fire during that run. Unbelievable.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 22:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I miss Smackdown '02.
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User: jdisbfp
Date: 2006-07-21 14:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think that HBK-Angle from Mania is overrated, and definitely think the WM XX 3-way match is overrated. People like to give it 5 stars, and I think that's based more on the moment of Benoit winning the belt than the match itself being a 5 star match.

They're both good, don't get me wrong, but I think WWE fans have really lifted them higher than I feel they are.
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User: theberserker
Date: 2006-07-21 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The HBK/Angle WM match you might be right about, but I can't agree on the WMXX 3-way. That match gave me friggin palpatations. I remember literally digging my fingernails into my buddies leather couch near the end when Benoit and HHH were facing off, and I also remember screaming my ass off when HHH tapped. Though, I was there live at the '04 Rumble, and I actually lost my voice shouting when Benoit won that.
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User: theberserker
Date: 2006-07-21 14:13 (UTC)
Subject: NWO '01
I've been trying to see that HHH/Austin match from NWO '01 for years now. I can't find it online anywhere though, does anyone have a link at all?

Also, unrelated, but I've never seen the legendaey Cactus Jack/Vader matches of 1993 either, cant find them as well.
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-21 15:29 (UTC)
Subject: Re: NWO '01
I think that 2/3 Falls Triple H/Austin match is on an Austin dvd...maybe that one called "What?" and theres a Cactus/Vader match from Saturday Night on Mick's Greatest Hits & Misses dvd.
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User: sirweeze
Date: 2006-07-21 15:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I seriously think the HHH/Austin match from NWO 01 is the best match that nobody EVER talks about or remembers. Austin is a MACHINE in that match, and HHH hangs with him no problem. The spot in the middle of the 2nd fall where Austin obliterates HHH with a chair as the crowd keeps roaring louder and louder gives me chills every time.
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User: lalakers24
Date: 2006-07-21 15:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
that spot with the chair is kick-ass but it's a rip-off of a spot they same two guys did in their first big one-on-one match (buried alive doesn't count) at No Mercy 99 i believe. It's even cooler there.
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User: metylerca
Date: 2006-07-21 16:12 (UTC)
Subject: Wheres the first TLC?
i would consider TLC 1 to be better than the second one, but not by much. The first Bubba quadruple table spot, Jeff missing the Swanton, ect....
this one watched with the second one is pretty much the same, except this one doesn't quite have Lite jerking Edge off...
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User: flipflopnfly
Date: 2006-07-21 17:16 (UTC)
Subject: The List (Pt. 1)
This is a great list, and I can't really argument with much of it. However, everyone has personal tastes, and sometimes I think mine are a bit whacky. Here are some thoughts on the list:

In my opinion, the WMXX 3-way is overrated. Its still a great, great match -- easily ****1/4, but I don't think it hits the ***** mark. Maybe I hold ***** is higher regard than others, but there are VERY few matches in history that have reached it (requiring the in-ring work, storyline blowoff, and crowd participation to achieve it). I'd probably place it around 6 or 7 on the list.

I think that Guerrero/Lesnar NWO '04 is criminally underrated, and as mentioned in the peice is THE BEST big vs. little match in the history of the company. I'd go ****3/4 here, with the lack of a clean finish being the only drawback. Also, I'd like to see Guerrero's leg work factor more into the fall. However, this match was amazing and deserves top 5 placement.

Just my opinion, but I don't think that the TLC matches have aged well. Then again, I've never been much of a gimmicky spotfest kind of guy. Just a personal taste thing. However, I do recognize the impact they had.

Some quirky matches that, while they might not make the top 20, are ones that I recognize as ****+ that others might not:

HHH/Flair Taboo Tuesday '05. This cage match was a bloodbath with probably the best instance of double juice of the decade. We've seen more blood from Guerrero, Taker, and McMahon, but I don't think we've seen a match where both guys are covered from head to toe in so much of each other's blood. The psycology here was amazing, with HHH dishing out the violence and Flair dishing it right back in the end, then just plastering HHH with all the cheap shots in the book to escape victorious, to the roar of the crowd. At ****1/4, I probably overrate this match, as I'm a mark for both guys. But, for my money this was in the top 5 for last year and deserves more recognition.

John Cena vs. JBL Judgment Day 2005. Seeing as how JBL might be my favorite character of the last several years, I have to make mention of his best match. While certainly not top 20 caliber, this was AWESOME and, in my opinion, the last match to date to showcase the now-defunct WWE Main Event Style that was so prevelant from '98-'02. For that alone it has some historical significance. Only ****, but I wanted to make note of it.

Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar WMXIX. Where is this match on the list? In my opinion it hit ****1/2 and deserves a 15-20 placement. Some have called this match boring, but I really dug it. Shawn/Jericho from the same show also deserves some type of honorable mention.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 20:59 (UTC)
Subject: Re: The List (Pt. 1)
I love the Cena/JBL match. Not only was there Eddie blood and great out-of-the-ring spots, but JBL used most of the match doing what he is great at: Ramming Cena down on the mic, even calling him a "punk ass bitch." And the entrance along with "unifying" the spinner title with the classic WWE title to celebrate made the match feel like a big event. An easy ****1/4

I honestly liked Angle/Lesnar's one-hour Iron Man match from Smackdown more. WM XIX was a **** for me, just underwhelming in some ways.

The best TLC match was the first one. I honestly enjoyed the Triangle Ladder Match from Wrestlemania 2000 more than any of the three or four TLC matches.
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User: smart007
Date: 2006-07-21 17:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You guys forgot Jackie Gayda & Chris Harvard vs. Trish Stratus and Bradshaw.

If you're cool, you'll know what match that is.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 21:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not cool, inform me.
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User: flipflopnfly
Date: 2006-07-21 17:16 (UTC)
Subject: The List (Pt. 2)
And, lastly, here are my top 5 WWE matches from the same time period. Note that, again, I seem to value storytelling and angle payoff more than others, and factor it in along with the in-ring presentation in my ratings.

(5) Edge/Rey vs. Angle/Benoit -- No Mercy 2002. Everything that needs to be said about this one, has been. Set the prototype for tag team matches in the decade to come, yet hasn't been touched since. I chose it over Austin/HHH and Austin/Angle, which was very, very hard to do. Those matches were much more significant than this one. Smackdown was on such a roll during this time.

(4) Brock Lesnar vs. Eddie Guerrero - No Way Out 2004. As mentioned above, I may overrate this match due to personal tastes, but this was everything I want in both a WWE title match, and a big vs. little match. Do yourself a favor and watch it again. Simply phenomenal.

(3) HHH vs. Cactus Jack -- Royal Rumble 2000. This may be the most circulated WWE match (in terms of DVD release) of the decade, and with good reason. The first of many similar (but not nearly as good) WARS that would happen in the main event scene in the following years. Stiff, brutal, intense, and amazing.

(2) Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit -- Royal Rumble 2003. The best pure wrestling match ever in the WWE, surpassing Bret/Owen from X. This match has no flaws, anywhere. Saved a wretched show in front of a rabid crowd, to boot. Flawless.

(1) Steve Austin vs. The Rock -- Wrestlemania XVII. In terms of storyline, atmosphere, payoff, and in-ring presentation, there is no match greater than this. Lets attempt to run down why this thing is so amazing: it had the perfect build up, with Steve Austin realizing (via his loss to HHH at NWO) that he simply couldn't hang with Rock and HHH, and knowing that he had to win this match ("I need to beat you, Rock..."), he does the unthinkable and aligns himself "with the devil himself" to secure the victory. Shit, I just got goosebumps typing that. The scene where Austin had to look himself in the mirror right before the match really drove this point home. Just perfect set up and execution.

Then, we got to the match itself. In front of one of the most rabid crowds I have ever seen, we got a classic. Rather, we got a presentation of THE CLASSICS. We had the all-over-the-place brawling of previous Austin/Rock brawls, but that wasn't what made this match. The Rock, knowing that he had never beaten Austin, went back and studied the last man able to do so -- Bret Hart. When Austin applies the million dollar dream, Rock attempts to counter it using the turnbuckle, just as Hart had done in 1996. Then, Rock locks a bloody Austin in the sharpshooter, just as Hart had done to beat Austin in 1997. This was amazing, amazing, AJPW circa 1994 type booking.

Wow, that ended up being a little wordy. I hope you all enjoyed it, and this can spark some good discussion.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: Re: The List (Pt. 2)
Totally agree with that top 5, save Lesnar/Eddie, but given his passing, that is forgivable b/c the match is forever timeless now. I would only flip-flop Austin/Rock and Angle/Benoit. Angle/Benoit from the '03 Rumble is the third-greatest match I've ever seen, right behind Flair/Steamboat and Hart/Austin.
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User: sweet_grizzly
Date: 2006-07-21 17:28 (UTC)
Subject: torn quad match from Raw
Anyone know if Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit vs. Steve Austin & Triple H (RAW - 5/21/01) appears on any DVD's? They should really put together a "Best of the SmackDown 6" DVD. Yes, it would validate Heyman's ability to book SmackDown but that was such an amazing time and would make a great DVD.
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User: ngjp
Date: 2006-07-21 17:55 (UTC)
Subject: Re: torn quad match from Raw
I think they did release a DVD of their "Best matches of 2001" year-end clipshow and the match is probably on it. Must be hard to find nowadays though.
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-21 17:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
These aren't necessarily the best matches from this decade, but these ones are my favorites:

-Jeff Hardy vs. Undertaker "Ladder Match" from RAW in 2002. I misplaced the tape and only have the one from a week or two before this. I loved how Taker kept coming back and beating him again and again after the match.

-Kurt & Benoit vs. Rey & Edge from No Mercy. Nuff said. Best WWF/E Tag Match.

-Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle from the Rumble 03. They have had at least a dozen televised matches and this was the best of the bunch.

-Benoit vs. Guerrero from Armageddon. I love the spot where Benoit lifts up Eddie with one arm to escape the hold. I remember Bulldog did that in a match vs. Shawn in 92.

-World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Rey & Kidman from Vengeance 2003.

-Jericho vs. HBK from WM XIX.

-Jericho vs. Rhino from Unforgiven. Maybe I'm a fool, but I've always liked Rhino.

-Austin vs. Triple H. I was pissed Triple H won at the time but the knock out finish made both guys look strong. Same as that Last Man Standing match w/Jericho.

-Angle vs. Undertaker from Survivor Series 2000.

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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Angle/Taker from Survivor Series 2000? Holy shit, that's craptacular, with the retarded Eric Angle switcheroo to make it totally forgettable. I'd rather watch their Smackdown match from July of '02.
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User: shaiyastudios
Date: 2006-07-21 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Personally, it's The Rock v Steve Austin @ Wrestlemania X-Seven as #1. Thrilling action from beginning to end with a super-hot crowd.

The ending with Austin whacking The Rock several times with a steel chair - some hated it, but I thought it was a great storytelling. Showing Austin's absolute desperation at capturing the WWF Title and it was a good transition into his heel turn.

The WWF Title really meant something that night. Great match.
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User: ngjp
Date: 2006-07-21 19:08 (UTC)
Subject: A few I like
I kinda thought the Rey/Edge vs. Angle/Benoit 2/3 falls match on Smackdown was actually better than their No Mercy match, but since they are both totally awesome it's kind of a tossup.

I really liked the Jericho-RVD hardcore match at Unforgiven '01, it was pretty brutal in spots and both guys brought it. Other RVD matches I liked: Invasion vs. Jeff Hardy and the RAW ladder match vs. Christian

Rock vs. Jericho at Vengeance was also fantastic, and their match at the 2002 Royal Rumble was their best, despite the run-ins. I loved the finish: bumped ref + low blow + steel buckle + roll-up with the tights + both feet on the ropes = win.

I also marked out for the Angle vs. Shane street fight at KOR '01. Too bad the only one to sell for it on RAW the next day was Angle.

I agree with all the other matches listed. I LOVE Austin/Rock at X-7.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 21:06 (UTC)
Subject: Re: A few I like
Respectfully, I have to say that Rock/Jericho from No Mercy '01 is the superior match. The crowd was hot for both guys, the spots were crisp and perfectly timed, and the table spot is awesome. The ONLY thing that fucked it up was Steph Infection, but I can forgive it.
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User: ktoby02
Date: 2006-07-21 19:09 (UTC)
Subject: rock/angle is on dvd too...
no way out 2001 is a really awesome ppv, but i think you can find rock/angle on the "just bring it" dvd. it also has the triple threat (with taker and angle) from vengeance 02, which is pretty good stuff too. i am positive you can find that dvd somewhere online for under 5 bucks.
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User: fanontheverge
Date: 2006-07-21 21:04 (UTC)
Subject: Re: rock/angle is on dvd too...
Waiting for NWO '01 on video at my doorstep as we speak. Just a phenomenal show, I can't believe they followed this up with Wrestlemania X-Seven. Ah, good times.
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User: therivershark
Date: 2006-07-21 19:22 (UTC)
Subject: My thoughts
In terms of having that "big match feel," and then going out and pulling out all the stops, and delivering in every way possible, I'd have to go with the Austin-Rock Wrestlemania X-7 match.

Also, I was at the Austin-HHH No Way Out match in Vegas in '01, and the atmosphere THERE was just completely off-the-charts. I too am happy that this post has kinda reminded everyone just what an excellent WORKER and story teller Austin was.
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User: sirweeze
Date: 2006-07-21 19:40 (UTC)
Subject: Re: My thoughts
What really stands out about the HHH/Austin match is that Austin just does NOT get tired. Nevermind the match is 40 minutes and its practically nonstop... Austin is intense as hell the entire match.
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User: albundy4td
Date: 2006-07-22 02:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For my list I'm going to 25 and adding TNA

1. Angle vs. Benoit-Royal Rumble 2003-*****
2. HHH vs. Steve Austin-Three stages of Hell-No Way Out 2001-*****
3. Foley vs. HHH-Street Fight-Royal Rumble 2000-*****
4. HHH vs. Benoit vs. HBK-WM 20-*****
5. Foley vs. HHH-Hell in the Cell-No Way Out 2000-*****
6. Royal Rumble Match 2004-*****
7. HHH vs. Y2J Last man Standing-Fully Loaded 2000-*****
8. Angle vs. HBK-WM 21_****3/4
9. The Rock vs. Steve Austin II-WM X7-****3/4
10.Sameo Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Daniels I-unbreakable 2005-****3/4
11.Angle/Benoit vs. Edge/Rey-No Mercy 2002-****3/4
12.TLC 1-Summerslam 2000-****3/4
13.AMW vs. Triple X-Six sides of steel-Turning Point 2005-****3/4
14.Y2J vs. Benoit-Ladder Match-Royal Rumble 2001-****3/4
15.The Rock vs. HHH-Iron Man match-Judgement Day 2000-****1/2
16.Angle vs. Benoit-WM X7-****1/2
17.Low-Ki vs. Lynn vs. AJ Styles-Ladder Match-weekly ppv 2002-****1/2
18.Angle vs. The Rock-No Way Out 2001-****1/2
19.The Rock vs. Benoit-Fully Loaded 2000-****1/2
20.TLC II-WM X7-****1/2
21.Hardy Boy's vs. Dudley's boy's vs. E/C-Triple threat ladder match-WM 2000-****1/2
22. Y2J vs. Benoit-2/3 Falls match-Summerslam 2000-****1/2
23. Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar-No Way Out 2004-****1/2
24. Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin-Summerslam-****1/2
25. Utimate X match-Petey Williams vs. Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles-Final Resoution 2005-****1/2

Close calls
Angle vs. Shane McHan-King of the Ring 2001
HHH vs. Benoit-No Mercy 2000
HBK vs. Angle II-Vengence 2005
Showster vs. Angle-BackLash 2000-the match was squash but this by far the funniest thing ever in the WWE

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User: rinehart316
Date: 2006-07-23 04:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Austin-Rock II at number 9??? You're out of your mind.
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User: fg76
Date: 2006-07-22 04:03 (UTC)
20. Hulk Hogan vs. Kurt Angle, King of the Ring 2002, June 2002: I love Olympic Bald Badass Kurt Angle, and the orginial Kurt Angle. I wasn’t too crazy about that angle where Angle wore a toupee. It was un-Angle like and I can only assume this was Hogan’s idea that Vince thought was good. Because the minute Hogan jobs to Angle, Angle dumps the toupee gimmick on Smackdown due to smarks like myself telling the net that seeing Kurt Angle, bald, and forcing Hogan to tap and then rushing for his hairpiece was LAME, LAME, LAME!!!

19. Hulk Hogan vs. Triple H, Smackdown, June 2002: Irony 101: Both men are considered cancers by the Smarks. Both men are considered poltical wizards. Both men feuded with Vince McMahon. Both men jobbed to the Ultimate Nutjob. The only thing these men don’t have in common is Stephanine McMahon, and I won’t go into the rumors that she actually had a crush on Hogan in her youth that led to her wild sexual romps with Triple H in the long run. Sadly, Hogan beats Triple H with the same trick he beat King Kong Bundy with in October 1985. Sadly, its 2002, and therefore the referee only counted two, and Hogan eats pedigree and jobs. Nice throwback to Jesse Ventura bitching about Bundy kicking out in 1985, and they used the same ending for the Triple H match where Hogan’s message was heard loud and clear. “If it was 1985, I’d had won this match, brother.”

18. Hulk Hogan vs. Nick Bockwinkle, Superclash 1983: Much better than the one in April 1982 that had a BS ending, but sadly this one has even a more BS ending. At least the 1982 one, showed Hogan using a forgin object and then the match was overturned the following week. This one has Hogan simply knocking out a referee, who wakes up and counts three, only to have AWA officials DQ Hogan and award the title back to Bockwinkle during the show, causing the fans to riot. Nice to see Bockwinkle eat Leg Drop, however.

17. Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaugher, Wrestlemania 7, March 1991: Hogan busts a$$ in a very unpopular storyline, where Slaughter joins the Iraqi forces and Hogan pretends its 1984 and does to Slaughter what he did to that “smelly, rat infested” Iron Shiek (His words, not mine).

16. Hulk Hogan vs. Masohiro Chono, Battle of the Worlds PPV, October 13, 2003: Hogan had just fallen out with Vince again, but needed a payday and decided to work this New Japan show with Chono, and even filmed a TNA angle with Jeff Jarrett as leverage to get back into the WWE. Instead Hogan got his own Tv show and used that as leverage in 2005 instead. Hogan works a little harder here than in the Michaels match, but being this match happened in Japan, and Hogan had to resort to all of his “Hulkamania” schitck in Japan, I rate this match lower than the HBK one. Features the only time Hogan had used the “hulk up” in Japan, and featues Hogan telling the Japanese fans to “kiss his ass” after the match; in spite of half the crowd still cheering him after the match was over.

15. Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels, SummerSlam, August 21, 2005: Hogan really does nothing here, but do a late 1986 offense and defense, while Shawn just oversells and makes the “a$$hole he hates” look like a million dollars. Then he goes on Raw, turns babyface and buries Hogan with one wry comment. Still a good “dream match” that Shawn asked for, and he got IT in spades. Not as good as the Rock match due to Hogan’s depleted condition, and inablity to do nothing more than a standard 1985-86 Tv match. Still high up due to the star power and the hyped up crowd in DC.
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User: fg76
Date: 2006-07-22 04:04 (UTC)
14. Hulk Hogan vs. Antonio Inkoni, Japan, 1983: Considered a shoot for years, but a well contrived storyline in 2003 with Hogan and Chono proved once and for all it was a clever work. Or did it? It is still a mystery to this day, but one of the greatest storylines that Inkoni was ever involved in that I ever saw. It is the finals of the new coveted award, the IGWP Title, a then yearly award and Hogan and Inkoni had made the finals of a long tournament. Rumor had it that Inkoni was to win this and Antonio took a harder “clothesline” shot out of the ring, and was in a coma for days. However, after watching the full 30 minute match on Samauri Tv a few years back, I really doubt by the flow of the match that this was some “unexpected” turn of events. I have seen matches where something goes wrong and they have to improvize. This includes Owen Hart almost killing Steve Austin at SummerSlam 97. The Hogan/Inkoni match seemed to have reached its peak when the clothesline (axe-a-boom-bah) spot takes Inkoni out. Not to mention, that a guy that was in a coma for a week, was in the ring for over fifteen minutes after the match ended and was seen actually talking to someone before another shot showed him passed out. Who knows for sure, I am still uninformed on some aspects of this match.

13. Hulk Hogan vs. Tajami Fujanami, Japan, 1985: These guys fought battles in 1985, and even did a fair match in 1994 for Battlearts. The match I’m refering to was one where Hogan breaks Japanese tradition and floors Fujanami with the Axe-A-Boom-Bah clothesline before the match even starts. The Japanese officials took five minutes for Fjanami to recover, and refused for Hogan to win the match without honor. Match I think goes either double DQ or a DQ win for Fujanami. Wasn’t too sure due to this being all on Japanese Tv. Fujanami does beg for a WWF title match after the match, and Hogan simply screams “Axe-a-boom-bah” in response to the challenge.

12. Hulk Hogan vs. Akira Medea, Japan, 1983: Madea basically stiffs Hogan the entire match to show his distain for the not-so Orange Goblin, but Hogan acts like a true pro and just works a great stiff contest with the shoot expert, and played it all cool. Hell Hogan was winning the match, so what was the point of pissing Madea off even more?

11. Hulk Hogan vs. Bob Backlund, Specturm, June 1980: Want to give the WWE a reason to put out a Backlund DVD? This match. Hogan is still green, but was a big monster heel that Vince J. McMahon wanted to make money off of and then trade him to the NWA. Hogan, however, went into business for himself with the Rocky movie offer and was fired by McMahon. This match, however, shows Hogan would have made the Main Event somewhere just based on his look. I’m just not sure if Hulkamania itself would have been born without the factors that occurred when Hogan was fired in 1981, and he went to the AWA. Backlund does carry does, and carries it well. He bodyslams Hogan twice, and even dead-lift presses him and piledrives him as well. Almost **** in terms of booking, and maybe one of Hogan’s longest matches ever.
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User: abadguy21
Date: 2006-07-22 06:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just remembered some more matches from the last 6 years I enjoyed. I wouldn't put them in the Top 20...but they're still pretty good.

Chris Jericho (WCW Champion) vs. Kurt Angle (US Champion): Rebellion 2001.

Los Guerreros vs. Benoit & Angle (WWE Tag Team Champs): Rebellion 2002.

Edge vs. Kurt: Cage Match from Smackdown in 2002.

Austin vs. Angle from January 2001; then from either Jan or Feb 02.
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