Top Ten Wrestling Matches of the 2010s

by on Dec.12, 2019, under Wrestling

I’m just gonna come out and say it, the 2010s weren’t that bad as everyone makes out to be – there’s been some insanely good matches not just in the WWE but even the many different alternatives to them and that’s what made the decade so good! So as we look towards 2020 and say farewell to this decade here’s my top ten matches from 2010 – 2019.

Obviously don’t take this as gospel and your mileage may vary when it comes to your taste in pro-graps but these are the ten matches that stood out to me from the 2010s that really hit me in that feel spot

10. Alberto del Rio vs Christian
WWE Extreme Rules 2011
You may not know this but out of Edge and Christian, I’ve always preferred Christian. There’s just something about him that makes him a stand out superstar in my eyes and his run in TNA from 2005 – 2008 was an Instant Classic. He became a two time NWA World Heavyweight Champion in Orlando and was a main event talent there so when the news came that he would be returning to WWE I was over the moon. Sure he was on the ECW brand but he was at the top of it, and became ECW Champion shortly. His match against Alberto del Rio at Extreme Rules for the World Heavyweight Championship stands out to me because it was the first time Christian got his hands on that title and became a World Champion in the realms of WWE and showed everyone that didn’t see him in his TNA run that this guy can carry your company on his back and do a damn good job of it too!

9. The Final Deletion
TNA Wrestling, 2016

Where do I start with this one… I’ve got a soft spot for TNA. Yes I know AEW is the new flavour of the month but since 2002 TNA Wrestling (now Impact Wrestling) has been the alternative to the WWE since WCW folded. The 2010s weren’t that kind to TNA though and the less said about it the better – but there was some shining lights in the laughable antics of TNA and ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy was a WONDERFUL shining light in a time where TNA was one the edge of obscurity… much like they are now. The Final Deletion, a battle between Matt Hardy and his brother Jeff, was so out there it made people turn around and look at TNA and go “You have got to see this!” Love it or hate it, it got people’s attention and it spawned two excellent spinoffs: Decay or Delete and Total Nonstop Deletion

8. AJ Styles vs John Cena vs Dean Ambrose
WWE No Mercy 2016

AJ Styles in the WWE. Now that was something you never thought you’d see in your lifetime but lo and behold it happened and after Mr. TNA debuted in the WWE at the Royal Rumble in 2016 he’s been one of the big players in the main event scene. This triple threat at No Mercy with AJ putting the WWE Championship on the line against Cena and Dean Ambrose was awesome because for me this was literally a dream match – the sort of thing that you’d set up in a video game but it actually exists and was a hell of a match too!

7. Johnny Mundo vs Alberto El Patron
Lucha Underground: Ultimate Lucha 2015

I honestly didn’t think I’d have two Alberto matches in my top ten… but here we are. We used to love watching Lucha Underground back in the day. It was just pro wrestling that was so damn different and The Temple was like nothing else we’d ever seen in the world of professional wrestling. But while we did enjoy the likes of Prince Puma, Pentagon, Sexy Star and Dario Cueto (or “Mexican Vince” as we liked to call him) we didn’t really know anyone. The match with two former WWE guys just doing whatever the hell they wanted to really opened up our eyes to what some wrestlers are capable of and I think my buddy Ned said it best: “I didn’t think I’d ever enjoy a Del Rio match, he’s so stale!”

6. John Cena vs CM Punk
WWE Money In The Bank 2011

In this decade my favourite wrestling was CM Punk and this was possibly the peak of his career in the WWE. His Money In The Bank match for the WWE Championship had everything you want in a good pro-graps storyline. Punk in his last match in the company with his contract done wins the championship from the face of World Wrestling Entertainment for nearly a decade in his home town. The atmosphere was electric and it really had that ‘what the hell is going to happen?’ feel to this match which made it not just a good match but one that’ll be regarded as legendary for years to come

5. Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega
NJPW WrestleKingdom 12, 2018

Bit of a confession: I don’t care too much for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Not to have a go at you if you enjoy it and it’s your premiere choice of consuming wrestling but it’s a no from me. Now I have enjoyed some aspects of Japanese wrestling (Chuck Palumbo as part of the VOODOO MURDERS in All Japan Wrestling or Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in HUSTLE is more my jam) and I’ve checked out previous WrestleKingdom editions before. But for me to watch NJPW I need a big carrot to lure me in there. WK2 in 2008 had TNA as a part of it, and recognizable stars like AJ Styles, Young Bucks, Jeff Jarrett, Shelton Benjamin and Alex Shelley to name a few made WK9 in 2015 appear on my radar.
Jericho v Omega did that in spades. Seeing Jericho wrestle in a non WWE ring for the first time in almost two decades was insane, and really made a lot of people take notice that even in his 40s – Jericho is awesome. I’ve never been too impressed at Kenny Omega but he brought it too and this match was well worth the hype!

4. EC3 vs Kurt Angle
TNA Impact July 1, 2015

I have a very very soft spot for EC3. I mentioned how Matt Hardy and his broken universe was a highlight of the wasteland era of TNA in the mid 2010s, but it wasn’t all bad. While we had Kurt Angle putting on good matches, Bully Ray completely reinventing himself, and MVP’s faction the Beat Down Clan doing some entertaining things, it was EC3 that was the guy who was the workhorse. He was a damn good character, had a catchy theme song, and always made his segments on Impact must watch. On this episode he took on Kurt Angle for the TNA World Championship and he won it. Might not be getting six stars from the critics but I loved EC3 as TNA Champ – lets hope he can reach those heights again in his WWE stint!

3. CM Punk vs The Rock
WWE Royal Rumble 2013

 

My all time favourite match is The Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 and The Rock is my all time favourite wrestler. That being said I’m a huge fan of CM Punk and it annoyed me for years that we were robbed of some great matches after he walked out of the WWE in 2014 – but that’s ancient history and he’s back in the fold now so it’s all good. Anyways, when two of my favourite wrestlers finally faced off in the squared circle – for me it lived up to the hype and while I really wish Punk walked away with the WWE Championship and continued his reign, it was very cool seeing The Rock as champ one more time!

2. The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels
WWE WrestleMania XXVI, 2010

Way to go HBK and Taker… start off the decade with an incredible high and set the bar that no match could compare to! Seriously though this match at ‘Mania is what makes wrestling so awesome. Billed as Career vs Streak – Michaels was so obsessed with avenging his loss from WM25 against Undertaker that he put his damn career on the line! This had a big match feel to it too and much more eloquent writers and fans have put in to words why this was possibly the greatest match in the modern era of the WWE but for me this event had a lot of special meaning to me. It was the last WrestleMania I watched on Main Event at my folks, and it was the last Mania I saw in Victoria before moving to WA later that year.

1. Buddy Murphy vs Cedric Alexander
WWE Super Show-Down, 2018

Anyone that knows me would know how much wrestling dominates my time and interests. I’ve been a long time fan for decades now and I don’t see myself not being a wrestling fan any time soon! So when the WWE came to Australia back in 2002 for Global Warning I thought that was as good as it was going to get. Boy was I wrong! Last year the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted for the first time ever, a live WWE broadcast and more than 70,000 strong packed the joint for a very very fun show.

Then local boy Buddy Murphy took on Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight title with two matches to go. No titles ever change hands at live events, especially not overseas, was always the rule – but Buddy was from Melbourne, surely he’d get the win? Myself and Bunn went to WrestleMania 33 in Orlando the year prior but for me at least, this was so much bigger! The card had Triple H and The Undertaker headlining, John Cena was there. Ronda Rousey even made the journey and we still had The Shield to go too – but this was all about Buddy Murphy.

Ned, the real Jase L Herbert, Lewis and I used to love Buddy back in his NXT days cause he was a local boy we could all get behind and he put on some pretty good matches too. When he got the call up to the main roster and made a bit of a splash we were happy as hell to see him on a bigger stage and with every move and every near fall there wasn’t a man woman or child at the ‘G that wasn’t on the edge of their seat!

When he got the pin on Cedric Alexander, the place erupted and being there for that moment was awesome! A hometown guy getting the win, cheered by all in the greatest sporting venue on the planet, and for me being there live to see it easily makes it the best match of the 2010s!

Click here for my recap of the WWE Super Show-Down


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