5: The Authors of Pain Vs DIY – NXT Takeover: Chicago
The NXT tag division has been something quite special this last year and this match – a ladder match between The Authors of Pain and DIY was held in such high regard by the company that it was allowed to main event a PPV that also featured a match for the NXT title.
The match itself featured some incredible moments but the biggest talking point when all was said and done- was when Tomasso Ciampa turned heel on Gargano, brutalising him at the top of the entrance ramp as the show was about to fade to black. It was a perfectly timed turn and one that broke the hearts of NXT fans the world over.
4: Baron Corbin Vs John Cena Vs AJ Styles Vs Dean Ambrose Vs Bray Wyatt Vs The Miz – Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber had suffered a rough ride two years previously at the event of the same name in 2015, but it was back with a bang this year as SmackDown’s finest athletes competed for the chance to go to WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.
The problem with so many of the recent Elimination Chamber matches is that they have featured a dud performer of sorts. The fact that the likes of Mike Knox and Santino Marrella have competed for world titles in them kind of makes them feel a bit silly, but this year’s talent was nothing short of exceptional and every man performed on the night.
The finest moments of the match, though, were undoubtedly its closing moments, when Bray Wyatt and AJ Styles duked it out for the chance to headline Mania, with reigning champion John Cena getting eliminated earlier in the bout.
Despite the fact that we all knew Wyatt was going to win, there was a glimmer of hope that the WWE might change plans and just give the belt back to Styles. Either way, fans were delighted with either outcome and when Wyatt finally picked up the victory – the arena blew up in celebration of his crowning moment.
3: The Authors of Pain Vs DIY Vs The Revival – NXT Takeover: Orlando
The tag team division in NXT is something very special indeed. These three teams have, over the last year, gone above and beyond in the ring and redefined tag team wrestling in the WWE, by not only putting on some of the best tag matches in recent history but some of the best matches full stop.
This match was the finest bout of the WrestleMania weekend and is The Author of Pain’s best WWE match to date.
The story-telling going into the match was perfect too, as it was during the bout as well. Seeing long time rivals, DIY and The Revival team up against The Authors of Pain was a great moment and the elimination aspect, which can so often damage a bout, really added to the pace and excitement of this one.
While it never great reached the heights of last year’s 2 out of 3 falls bout between DIY and The Revival it comes pretty damn close and is one of the finest examples of tag team wrestling seen this decade in the WWE.
2: John Cena Vs AJ Styles – Royal Rumble
Surely, there are no wrestling fans left who think John Cena can’t wrestle? The Face that Runs the Place has put on some great matches over the last few years and his series of matches with AJ Styles have been nothing if not extraordinary.
The third encounter between them at the Royal Rumble was arguably their best match yet. The story going into this one was that if Cena could defeat Styles, then he would tie Ric Flair’s record of 16 world title reigns.
The two put on a match that was both a technical masterclass and a classic John Cena false finish fest. The match was expertly paced and is easily the best match anyone on the main roster has put on this year, so far anyway.
1: Tyler Bate Vs Pete Dunne 2 – NXT Takeover: Chicago
So the best match from the WWE this year is actually an NXT match. The bout, which took place between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne at NXT Takeover: Chicago is the second one between the pair to appear on this list, a fine testament to the talent of both guys.
Everything about this match was spot on for me. The in-ring psychology was excellent and the pair told a great story, but the work and the spots were better than anything the main roster has put together so far.
The two executed perfect spot after perfect spot, rallying the crowd into a frenzy as the match wore on. The collected shouts of ‘UK, UK’ from the Allstate Arena gave all of us British fans a tingle down the spine and having grown up about 15 miles away from the pair, I felt super proud watching these guys tear down the house down.
The ending was great as well, with Dunne deservedly being crowned the UK Champion after hitting the Bitter End to pick up the victory after Bate, who had his hand worked on the whole match, unable to hit his own finishing move.
What do you think has the best match in the WWE so far this year? Let us know in the comments below, or let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe