10 Best Matches of 2011 (WWE)
Now I’m not going to lie and say 2011 was chalk full of awesome-holyshit type matches because that is not the case. There is certainly a lack of quality wrestling on the weekly shows and some disappointing Pay-Per-View matches. Lucky for you I sifted through the garbage (like that lady that goes through my recycling every Friday morning when I’m trying to get into my car to go to work and gives me an awkward smile as I try and avoid eye contact because it’s incredibly awkward watching someone pick through your garbage in person) and I’ve picked out the 10 best matches of the year.
10.Smackdown Elimination Chamber: Elimination Chamber is not one of my favorite of the gimmick matches but this years; specifically The Smackdown Elimination chamber was excellent and stole the show. At first glance the line up of the match seemed pretty second rate with guys like Drew McIntyre but it had good gimmick spots and that lead way to Edge and Rey Mysterio putting on a hell of a finish to a match. This is a highlight video of the whole event, best I could do.
9.CM Punk vs. Randy Orton (WM) Some thought this was the show stealer at Mania and one could plead a convincing case given the circumstances. These are two of your most talented wrestlers and the end result showed in these two putting on one hell of a match. The only thing this match was missing what some type of consequence maybe a belt or maybe winner gets to take home the actress that played Randy Orton’s wife on Raw leading up to the match.
8.Undertaker vs. Triple H: This was no HBK vs Taker but it went off in another direction which was just an all out brawl. Lotta good prop spots and there were legit moments where you thought maybe the streak would be end which is either a testament to Triple H as a wrestler or maybe he just had enough clout and ego to insert himself as the man who ends the streak. Both of these guys were on the shelf prior to Mania and it showed at the end of the match because these two guys were completely gassed but still managed to put on a memorable match.
7.Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio(Extreme Rules) After the retirement of Edge his best friend Christian was given the spot light at Extreme Rules against Alberto Del Rio and Christian would seize the opportunity. It was a very competitive and sometimes brutal match with both guys taking some scary looking bumps. Christian win the match but would lose the title to Orton 5 (but really 2) days later and then turn heel which seemed to be the original plan before Edge retired.
6.CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio (Capital Punishment) I’m pretty sure these two guys are incapable of having a bad matche, and as good as their match at Wrestlemania was in 2010, this match was even better. This was a pretty garbage PPV for the most part but this match stole the show and it was around this time that the CM Punk machine was picking up steam and he was starting to make a case that he is “The best in the world”
5.Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler (Royal Rumble): Due to the 40 man Royal Rumble that was going to eat up most of the air time for this pay-pre-view Edge and Ziggler was actually the opening match and it’s tough to imagine a better opening match. People were barely in there seats when this match started but once their asses were in their seats everyone was glued to this match. It’s no secret that Dolph Ziggler is one of the best wrestlers in the WWE and is destined for a big future in the business, but having a guy like Edge to work with was great to watch and help him develop. This match might not be on many peoples radar as one of the best and maybe I’m a bit biased because I saw it live, but this match just stuck with me and when i re-watched it I decided it needed some love.
4.Smackdown Money in the Bank: From Sheamus impaling Sin Cara on a ladder to Daniel Bryan pulling off the improbable win, this match was damn entertaining. This crowd was buzzing in anticipation of the Punk/Cena match but this match was one hell of an appetizer. The star power of the Raw money in the bank match was far greater but the Smackdown one was hands down more fluid, better paced and had a much less predictable finish.
3.Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes (WM) Mania usually racks up the best matches of the year so I don’t feel guilty about having 3 Mania matches on the list and I have to say this match was the true show stealer weather people realized it or not. To be honest I’m not even a Mysterio fan, but you can’t deny he brings it up a notch at Pay Per View time. Yet Mysterio wasn’t the story in this match, it was the emergence of Cody Rhodes who really set himself a part from his Legacy persona and showed he’s going to have a bright future in the WWE.
2.Christian vs. Randy Orton, (summer slam) The Punk/Cena rematch for the title was the story at this years Summerslam but the show stealer was Orton and Christian for the World Heavy Weight Title. As viewers we’re not subjected to hardcore style matches on a weekly basis any longer as we had just become numb to wrestlers brutalizing there bodies so frequently. This helps when you do get a match where two guys just decimate each other; it stands out and that was the case with this match.
1.Cm Punk vs. Cena (Money in the Bank) This was an easy choice as match of the year. No match had the build up, the buzz, and hype and the pay off that this match did. Enough has been said about CM Punk’s wrestling ability but I think John Cena gets unfairly criticized. As seen in this match, given the right circumstance he can put on one hell of a match as evidence here. That being said, this was CM Punk’s party as he emerged champion and is right now the top guy in the WWE. Another unforgettable factor was just the tone and feel of the match, taking place in Punk’s hometown of Chicago; the crowd really was a factor and it felt similar to when Cena has to face RVS in the ECW arena. Money in the Bank reminded us as fans why he love wrestling, because there really is nothing in entertainment like it.
bonus: Best TV match of the year hands down.