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20191213_Matchesoftheyear_FC--fdff279c2e

Here’s a little inside baseball secret: Putting this list together is a battle. This year, it became a war. How do you possibly account for five brands, all of which were fighting to outdo each other for a full 365 days — sometimes on the same show? You don’t. It’s that simple. You just collect the gems you have and hope for the best. Undoubtedly, some slipped through our fingers (two stone-cold 205 Live classics barely missed the cut), but truth be told, you could collect any 25 matches from this year alone and barely even scratch the surface of what it meant. This was the year WWE went wider, bigger and higher, all the way through the glass ceiling even, and it says a lot about the Superstars that there’s almost no list that can possibly put those accomplishments into perspective.

That said, we feel pretty good about this one anyway.

25. Roman Reigns & The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre (WWE Extreme Rules)

24. Rey Mysterio vs. Cesaro (Raw, May 13)

23. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley — Last Man Standing Match (WWE Extreme Rules)

22. Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre (Raw, Aug. 12)

21. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic (NXT, Sept. 25)

20. Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy (SmackDown, Aug. 13)

19. The Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle — NXT North American Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: New York)

18. Women’s Elimination Chamber Match (WWE Elimination Chamber)

17. WALTER vs. Tyler Bate — WWE United Kingdom Championship Match (NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff)

16. Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery vs. The New Day — Triple Threat SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match (Extreme Rules)

15. Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano — NXT North American Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: Phoenix)

14. Men’s Survivor Series Match (Survivor Series)

13. Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali — Triple Threat WWE Championship Match (WWE Fastlane)

12. Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne — NXT Championship Match (Survivor Series)

11. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade — 2-out-of-3 Falls Match (SmackDown, Jan. 22)

10. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins — Universal Championship Match (SummerSlam)

9. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch — Winner Take All Triple Threat Match (WrestleMania 35)

8. Men’s Elimination Chamber Match (WWE Elimination Chamber)

7. Pete Dunne vs. WALTER — WWE United Kingdom Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: New York)

6. Men’s Money in the Bank Match (WWE Money in the Bank)

5. Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks — Raw Women’s Championship Match (Royal Rumble)

The world of WWE moves incredibly fast. When a match goes down in January, it, at times, can lose its place in the conscience of the WWE Universe by year’s end. So, I’m here with the friendly reminder that Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble 2019 was ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Banks challenged Rousey in arguably the most anticipated match of Hot Ronda’s WWE career at the 32nd annual Royal Rumble event. And, turns out when you pit two ultra-driven Superstars both hyper-obsessed with proving they’re the best sports entertainer breathing against one another, an absolute classic emerges.

Rousey was appropriately decked out like the White Power Ranger because what resulted was her and Banks pushing each other to their max like they were Tommy and Jason at the Angel Grove Youth Center in ’93. Combat turned into martial art with Hot Ronda and Sasha going back and forth, blending different styles into one ultimate melting pot of an unreal fight. Rousey would prevail, snagging the first pinfall victory of her WWE career, giving the WWE Universe in attendance at Chase Field in Phoenix a first-ever moment to lay eyes on… and the perfect wrestling match. — RYAN PAPPOLLA

4. Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles — Universal Championship Match (WWE Money in the Bank)

Slaying The Beast at WrestleMania brought adulation for Seth Rollins, but it also brought him a hoard of new challengers, including The Phenomenal One. Light years removed from their only previous meeting 13 years earlier in a Muscatine, Iowa, gym, their similar, yet divergent paths brought them together for a dream showdown in a WWE ring for the first-time ever. Mirroring each other’s squared circle mastery, both were forced to dig deep into their repertoires to try for an upper hand, highlighted by an inverted version of Rollins’ patented superplex/Falcon Arrow combination and Styles’ exquisite counter of the Stomp into the Styles Clash. The Architect ultimately outlasted his adversary, but the competitive respect earned from each other was palpable and the WWE Universe took notice, showering them with “This is awesome!” chants throughout. — JORDAN GARRETSON

3. Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole — 2-out-of-3 Falls NXT Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: New York)

Tommaso Ciampa’s unfortunate injury left NXT temporarily without a champion, but it also set up one of the more unforgettable trilogies in sports-entertainment history. It all started with this bout during WrestleMania weekend with neither Superstar leaving a stone unturned while composing a symphony of gasps and sighs from the Barclays Center crowd. Johnny Gargano would have to overcome not only Adam Cole, but also the rest of The Undisputed ERA, who couldn’t help but get involved in the third fall on The Panama City Playboy’s behalf. Moments after kicking out of two superkicks and The Last Shot for one of 2019’s most unbelievable near-falls, Johnny Wrestling locked on the Gargano Escape to finally conclude his arduous climb to the top of the NXT mountaintop. Johnny Gargano had been the man who was unable to win “the big one” — until he wasn’t — upending the narrative in spectacular fashion. — JORDAN GARRETSON

2. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks — Hell in a Cell Raw Women’s Championship Match (WWE Hell in a Cell)

Sometimes, you just get a feeling. An unequivocal, unwavering feeling that you’ve just watched something so transcendently special and so uniquely singular that it will be talked about long after any of us are still around to be yapping about sports-entertainment.

Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks inside Hell in a Cell this year gave me that feeling, y’all. It also made me come alive, which almost seems coldly ironic to say aloud when it pertains to two Superstars putting each other, and themselves, through literal hell for the rights to pride and the honor of being called a champion.

Lynch, as she did throughout the entire calendar year, would find a way to prevail, temporarily halting Banks’ return to the championship circle. And although nothing is more important than winning, in this one specific instance, who walked out as Raw Women’s Champion is almost secondary to the fact that these two Superstars — scratch that, these two warriors — walked out at all after one of the most brutal, innovative and flat out best matches in WWE history. — RYAN PAPPOLLA

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston — WWE Championship Match (WrestleMania 35)

Was this a match or a moment? I say both. Let us agree that while the sight of Kofi Kingston finally — finally — clutching the WWE Championship he probably should have won at least, oh, five WrestleManias ago, is the type of “WrestleMania Moment” that will (justly) be a staple of promo packages from now until the sun burns out, the significance of this match goes beyond a highlight reel.

Let us agree that although this saga was certainly wrestling at its finest, dragons (wink) and dragonslayers, the sight of the Ghananian-born Kingston hoisting the WWE Championship in the shadow of New York City carries a significance that goes beyond a 20’ x 20’ ring. (On a single wrestling note, let us also agree Daniel Bryan has rarely been better than he was as a sneering, gnarled Ghost of Underdog Future, and that’s saying a lot.)

Let us agree that there will be people who disagree with that statement, and that’s fine. But it’s worth going back to watch the tape if you are such a viewer to see if you can’t be persuaded otherwise. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, or at home, or in Ghana, or in the dive bars where noted tough guys MVP and Shad Gaspard went viral as they choked back tears watching someone who looked like them breathe the same rarefied air as the greatest of all time. Even if you don’t understand the tears, let us at least agree that this happened, that it reverberated, that it mattered, in a way that a wrestling match almost never does.

If there’s one thing we won’t agree to do in this entry, it’s dwell on, or even consider, the almost transactional manner in which the reign ended. Business is business at the end of the day, but this transcended the boardroom, transcended the ring, transcends the turning of the machine that eventually declares that all things must end. As far as we’re concerned, Kofi’s still up there, on Big E and Xavier Woods’ shoulders, his family in his arms and the world chanting his name. KofiMania lives and lives forever, Hallelujah, amen. — ANTHONY BENIGNO

More write ups at the source.

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9. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch — Winner Take All Triple Threat Match (WrestleMania 35)

Making history in WWE is a unique beast. The magnitude of what’s about to be created is ever-present in the leadup to the moment. However, once you arrive, dust off your boots and step through the ropes, more often than not all the pyro and bombast go out the window and instincts take over like they always do.

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey’s instincts were all on overdrive at WrestleMania 35, as the three Superstars did not flinch in the face of being the first women to ever main event The Show of Shows. Instead, all three strapped in, focusing their attention on walking out of MetLife Stadium as both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champion in what turned out to be a physical, gritty affair.

Lynch shattered Flair and Rousey’s onslaughts and the final glass ceiling for the Women’s division in one fell swoop, handing Hot Ronda the first (controversial!) defeat of her WWE career, morphing The Man into “Becky Two Belts” in the shadow of New York City on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The rest, fittingly, is history. — RYAN PAPPOLLA

This shouldn't even be top 10 tbh.

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Just now, Mariah. said:

This shouldn't even be top 10 tbh.

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I would put it below all of Dana and Sarah's matches on Main Event 

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WWE got number one correct tho

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*record scratch*

where the FOCK is women's war games at baby girl? that should be the second highest placing women's match, what the hell?

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They're missing the women's war games match!

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am so ready to leave this company in the previous decade

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All of the NXT matches are too high. They’re all boring

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And where is the women's war games + Io vs Candice? :k2:

At least they acknowledge Sasha had the superior Honda match.

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how did you guys manage to get this baby yoda picture in so many different sizes 

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4 minutes ago, shumiley said:

how did you guys manage to get this baby yoda picture in so many different sizes 

glkdjgkldg if you ctrl+right click you can change the size manually by clicking edit image

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3 minutes ago, Mariah. said:

glkdjgkldg if you ctrl+right click you can change the size manually by clicking edit image

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oh i thought they were just really bad at copying and pasting the url i didnt know they did it on purpose

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Nattie/Lacey should have been on for impact and Nattie/Becky was far superior to the WM match, not that it’s saying much, but I digress. WM 35 tag outsold the Elimination Chamber as well. Asuka/Becky from RR was solid as well, but forgettable, though I could say that for any of the men’s matches on the list.

lCNHawL.gif

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5 minutes ago, shumiley said:

oh i thought they were just really bad at copying and pasting the url i didnt know they did it on purpose

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it's probably that tbh and they were too lazy to size it back down

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Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t the two Sasha matches listed her only two singles PPV matches? She’s really THAT bitch if so :skull: 

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The snub to Asuka vs Naomi. Must have been too colored for them

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1 hour ago, Mariah. said:

glkdjgkldg if you ctrl+right click you can change the size manually by clicking edit image

EMKnN5rXUAENVMp?format=jpg

GNENGMMFMFGNENGMKFMF 

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1 hour ago, Daniel42 said:

And where is the women's war games + Io vs Candice? :k2:

At least they acknowledge Sasha had the superior Honda match.

The gag is Ronda vs Nia at TLC 2018 was actually her best match but Sasha gets it on a 2019 technicality 

:perched:

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Io/Candice & Women’s WarGames deserved spots on this list. 

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2 hours ago, Mariah. said:

This shouldn't even be top 10 tbh.

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It shouldn't be top anything. 

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Charlotte @Survivor Series was R*nda's best match. They shouldn't have even bothered with that one. And that bs about her pushing Sasha to her limit made me nauseous. 
 

Io/Candice is tea. Wargames is tea.

Carmella/Charlotte/Alexa was cute too

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Sasha carrying the two highest ranked women's matches. Yup! Yup!

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