I want to write about wrestling I love, so I'm going to make a list of my fifteen favorite wrestling matches. This isn't an attempt at some kind of definitive best matches ever list just the matches I can watch any time and be happy to watch them. It was just going to be ten with five honorable mentions I didn't write about, but I love too much wrestling. I was surprised making this list that I had no PWG matches, but the shows overall are always awesome so matches rarely stand out. This was a hard list to narrow it down to and I find it pretty weird I don't have anything by Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, or Rey Mysterio on the list, but I can't really find something I'd want to get rid of. I had an original list of nineteen and it was tough cutting some of those as well, but if there aren't some hard choices to be made it's not much of a list to make.
15. Samoa Joe vs. Necro Butcher (IWA:MS Something to Prove)
This would be the easiest to cut from the list, but it's just insane to watch and got Necro into a lot of non-deathmatch matches. It's not a pretty match to watch, but it's hard hitting and Necro messes up some bumps and takes them forehead first and gets busted open hardway and bleeds a ton. It's just such an insane spectacle to watch. Definitely not for people who are turned off by blood though.
14. CM Punk vs. John Cena (Money in the Bank 2011)
Their match on Raw two years later is technically a better match, but this one has the best storyline of the past ten years going into it with Punk threatening to leave with the belt if he won and the interference and shenanigans at the ending were so well done. John Cena pulled out his shitty hurrincanranna and this was just a match where both men did everything to tell the story of Cena being the stalwart WWE guy, but still wanting the clean win and Punk wanting to screw over the McMahons.
13. Paul London vs. Michael Shane (RoH: Unscripted)
I rewatched this match when people tweeted about it's fifteenth anniversary and it's so goddamn good. It's the match that made me a huge fan of London and Shane has always been underrated. These guys give it their all and innovate so much with the ladder. I don't know which is more iconic; London running up the ladder in the corner and doing a plancha to Shane on the outside, or London coming off the ladder with a shooting star press while the crowd chants please don't die. It builds on the rivalry these two had before hand and a lot of other stuff from other graduates of the TWA class that competed in RoH and is just amazing.
12. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania XII)
The Ironman match and the demonstration of how well these two could work together, even though they hated each other backstage. These two just do what they both do best and it goes together so well. Bret is the great technical wrestler, but Shawn takes chances and flies and those pay off for him. To me this is the easiest to watch hourlong match, which is more impressive considering there were no falls until overtime. This match made a lot of the matches I watched in WWF afterword pretty disappointing because it was such an impressive bar to clear.
11. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles (NJPW Wrestlekingdom 10)
This was one of my most looked forward to matches from the moment AJ showed up in NJPW and it took a full year before it happened and it was worth the wait. Two of the smoothest performers in the ring had a damn fine match. They do hold back a bit as it wasn't the main event of the show and NJPW tends not to let matches outshine the main event. I'm looking forward to a rematch between them in WWE, preferably high on the card at Wrestlemania.
10. Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuhara Misawa (NOAH Navigate to Evolution)
This fucking match is awesome. I don't always feel in the mood for two big dudes beating the fuck out of each other pretty much legitly so it doesn't go higher, but this is one of the best matches ever and these guys do some crazy shit like suplex each other off the ramp to the floor and generally drop each other on their head a lot. This is the first match where I really understood what Strong Style was and started to get into the Japanese Heavyweight style of wrestling.
9. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (WWE: Wrestlemania X7)
Fucking TLC man, you know what I mean. Anybody who doesn't love this match is a crazy person. The swanton off the way too tall ladder and all the other crazy bumps. It's just pure chaos and fun.
8. La Sombra vs. Volador Jr (CMLL 80th Anniversary)
Lucha Libre is fucking awesome and I needed a match to represent that and this one is damn good. A lot is added to it as Sombra loses his mask and it was basically his goodbye match before going to WWE. But these two feuded forever and always have good matches against each other.
7. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WWE: Wrestlemania X)
A great demonstration of just how good pure wrestling can be. Plus it's got the great backstory of a younger sibling wanting to best his older brother. Plus I made a music video to this set to Metallica's “Hero of the Day” which has sadly been lost to time on the internet and many computers ago, but this was match was just great and I love watching it.
6. CM Punk & Ace Steel vs. Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer (RoH: Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 2)
This is my favorite crazy bump hardcore match and these guys go all fucking out. There's blood, barbed wire, and the crowd fills the ring with chairs and they wrestle on top of it and it's just so crazy and awesome. Plus it makes me happy to give three guys who don't get much props for their indy work a spot on this list.
5. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW Wrestlekingdom 11)
This match is awesome and both of these guys did insane shit in this match and it fucking ruled. They both take some crazy bumps and Omega takes one of the craziest bumps, although it's not even the craziest bump he took in NJPW that year involving a table, but that's because he's crazy. These guys go all out for the last twenty minutes of this match and it's an awesome rollercoaster.
4. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW Wrestlekingdom 9)
These two guys are both awesome, but most importantly it has the first time I've ever seen the coolest move where Ibushi stood on the second rope and german suplexed Nakamura from the apron into the ring and it was dope. Also the entire match was great.
3. Roderick Strong vs. Bryan Danielson (RoH: Supercard of Honor)
This match is the final of a trilogy between these two and it's hard hitting and goes for a long time and it's awesome. They weave in amazing technical wrestling and Roddy doing his stiff chops and backbreakers and they just go back and forth the whole time. I was a big Roddy fan before this, but this match cemented the idea that he was big time.
2. KENTA vs. Naomichi Marafuji (NOAH First Navigation 2006)
These two guys were the ones that got me into Japanese wrestling to start with thanks to the RoH forums and people talking about how good they were and asking for them to be booked. They were great as a tag team, but even better as opponents and they beautifully play up how well they know each other with tons of counters and stealing each others moves.
1. Paul London vs. Bryan Danielson (RoH: The Epic Encounter)
This has been my favorite wrestling match since the first time I saw it. These two were guys I was instantly fans of when I first saw them in RoH and this match is just so good. These two guys work perfectly together and just have an amazing match. The way the top rope belly to back suplex is built up to is phenomenal. These guys just have a good, really well worked match and I love it so much.