Wrestling is an acquired taste for sure, but any fan can go on for hours about their favorite wrestling matches of all time. There are so many matches which could be considered as the best depending on who you ask. However, these matches seem to come up time and time again in discussions over the greatest wrestling matches ever. So, without further ado, here is the list of the greatest wrestling matches of all time.
Mankind VS. The Undertaker
Starting off is the second hell in a cell match ever. Happening at King of the Ring 1998, pitting The Undertaker versus Mick Foley, under his Mankind gimmick. The bout saw Mankind take two horrific bumps. As the story goes, the first bump was planned, in which The Undertaker threw Mick Foley off the top of the 2-story cell structure, through an announcer’s table. After several minutes of being down, Mankind climbed back to the top of the cell, but after only a few moments, was chokeslammed through the cage, straight onto his back in the middle of the ring. This bump was not supposed to happen and knocked Mankind out cold, and even pushed a tooth through his lip, exposed through his nose. The match continued for another 10 minutes somehow and showed why Mick Foley is the king of pain.
Shawn Michaels VS. Razor Ramon
At Wrestlemania 10, WWE held its second-ever ladder match, which saw Shawn Michaels face off against Razor Ramon for the intercontinental championship. Up to this point, gimmick matches were not viewed favorably by most, but this match changed it all. This match saw the ladder being used as a weapon for the first time ever. It is also important to point out that they only had one ladder to use in the match, so if the ladder broke, they would have been screwed. This match also features the famous splash from the ladder, which any wrestling fan has seen countless times in replays.
Royal Rumble 2001
Of every Royal Rumble match, the fan consensus is that the 2001 Royal Rumble match was easily the best. Only five wrestlers realistically had the chance to win, which is better than most modern rumbles. This match also featured Kane eliminating 11 people, a wonderful hardcore section to make any ECW fan happy, and celebrity entrant Drew Carey. All-and-all, this Royal Rumble was one of the most diverse Rumbles to happen, and as such is one of the best matches of all time.
Sabu VS. Terry Funk
Some people may not agree with this match’s placement on this list, but any old school ECW fan will tell you that this is genuinely one of the most brutal matches you will ever witness. The match had one main gimmick, and it saw the ropes of the ring being replaced with barbwire, which resulted in numerous painful bumps. The worst of which saw Sabu cut his bicep so badly, his muscle reportedly fell out. Instead of ending the match, he just asked for tape, taped himself up, and continued wrestling for nearly 20 minutes. Add on the fact that Terry Funk was 53 during the match, and you can easily see why it is so shocking.
Vince McMahon VS. Shane McMahon
Wrestlemania 17 included one of the most unique storylines in WWE to date. Real-life WWE owner Vince McMahon is no stranger to the squared circle, and the same goes for his son Shane McMahon. The storyline saw Vince drugging his wife with a sedative which basically paralyzed her, and he would wheel her around being the son of a bitch we all know Vince loves to be. Shane came back to defend his mom’s honor in a street fight with Linda McMahon in her wheelchair ringside. The bout tells a story unlike any other match ever, with the biggest moment coming when Linda McMahon finally stood up and kicked her husband in the crotch to secure a win for Shane-O-Mac. Linda McMahon standing up has remained one of the loudest audience reactions of all time.
John Cena VS. CM Punk
Cena Vs CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 had one of the most indescribable atmospheres of any wrestling match ever. The storyline made it to where CM Punk was going to leave the WWE, after dropping the famous pipe bomb, insulting the WWE, and saying multiple things that felt genuinely off-script. However, CM Punk had a title shot the day before his contract was up, and said he was going to beat John Cena, take the WWE Championship, and leave WWE forever. The electric build-up to this match was only multiplied by the fact that the crowd had an insane amount of investment and energy for the match. Even though Punk and Cena had better matches than this, the crowd and the storyline take this from a B+ to an A+.
Triple H VS. Chris Benoit VS. Shawn Michael
I would consider this as the greatest wrestling match of all time. Three of the biggest names in wrestling in 2004 faced off in the main event of Wrestlemania 20. The entire match felt like anyone could and was going to win at any moment. For 40 minutes, each wrestler shined in what is also one of the most beautifully constructed matches ever seen. Fans were on the edge of their seats for every second of this match, all the way up for the finale which saw Triple H tap out to the Crippler Crossface, to win his first and only world championship in the WWE. Obviously, watch this match now does feel a bit immoral, but if you watch it ignoring everything that happened afterward, you will see how good this match is.
Wrestling has remained one of my favorite forms of entertainment, with literally countless hours of content out there to consume, you WILL find something that tickles your fancy. I would start with Royal Rumble matches if you are new, that, or any early Hell in a Cell match. Did I forget any really good wrestling matches? If so, make sure to let me know in the comments below!
Senior at Central State University. Major in Broadcast Media!