As another WWE pay-per-view approaches this weekend, with a card packed full of what should be good matches, topped off with a confrontation between “The Game” Triple H and “The Icon” Sting; now seems like as good a time as any to have a look back at some of the best matches to take place on a WWE PPV.
A PPV is a chance for WWE superstars to put on showcase performances and over the years some have stood out more than most. Without doubt, WrestleMania is the “Grandest stage of them all” and has been the scene of some of wrestling’s finest performances. But other PPVs have produced top matches over the years as well.
5. Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve Austin - No Way Out 2001
Triple H and Stone Cold, two icons of WWE embarked on feud that lasted nearly two years and culminated in one of the most physically brutal matches of all time at No Way Out. What began At SummerSlam 1999, after The Game attacked Austin when he failed to win the WWE title from him, led to a series of events that involved a storyline which Stone Cold get run over by a car.
Later finding out it was Triple H that paid Rikishi to run him over, the two continued their feud after Austin’s nine-month lay-off due to neck surgery. A series of attacks on each other and interferences in each others title matches led to a stipulation that meant neither wrestler could touch the other before their match.
That led to Triple H delivering a Pedigree to Austin’s close friend Jim Ross, with Austin giving Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon a Stone Cold Stunner in return.
The match itself was brutal and culminated inside a Steel Cage match. With both wrestlers covered in blood due to the battering they had given each other, it ended with Austin and Triple H hitting each other simultaneously round the head with foreign objects resulting in The Game collapsing on Austin and getting the pin for the win.
4. Mankind vs The Undertaker - King of the Ring 1998
One of the most infamous matches of all time took place at the King of the Ring PPV, which no longer exists. Two wrestlers that are legends of the industry put their bodies on the line inside a Hell in a Cell match.
Defined by Mick Foley’s Mankind, and the punishment that he put his body through. The iconic images of The Undertaker throwing him off the top of the cell 16-foot down onto the announcer’s table below accompanied by JRs commentary of “Good God almighty! That killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!”.
Foley didn’t move for some time and the match appeared to be over but then he kept of the stretcher that was taking him backstage and began climbing the cell once more.
The Undertaker didn’t take pity on him, and Chokeslammed him the cell roof down to the ring below only for Lawler to exclaim “That’s it he’s dead!”.
The Undertaker picked up the win in one of the most dramatic marches of all time. From then on the Hell in a Cell match was never the same again and neither were The Undertaker and Mick Foley.
3. Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels - No Mercy 2008
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels created one of the greatest story lines in recent history when they feuded throughout 2008.
What led from Michaels deceiving Jericho that he had picked up an injury during a match with Batista that Y2J was the guest referee for, and allowed him to cheat to win, only for Jericho to call the Heartbreak Kid out on his actions.
A super kick to the face of Jericho every other week and Jericho throwing Michaels through a TV screen damaging Michaels’ vision in the storyline led to series of events that including Jericho punching HBK’s real-life wife in the face.
A ladder match at No Mercy for the World Heavyweight Championship ended the feud. Michaels made a name for himself in an iconic ladder match with Razor Ramon in 1995, and this was no different. Some great storytelling was on display at No Mercy and a great match capped off one of the best story lines in WWE history.
2. The Undertaker vs Triple H - Wrestlemania 28
The match was billed as the “End of an Era” featured a rematch from the previous year’s Wrestlemania between The Game and The Undertaker, but this Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee and it was inside Hell in a Cell.
The Undertaker hadn’t wrestled since the previous years Wrestlemania when he beat Triple H, but only just, after taking one hell of a beating. In fact he had to be carried from the ring after it. At Wrestlemania 28 Taker was keen to put to bed any weakness he showed in the previous year.
He debuted a radical new haircut, getting rid of the long, dark hair he has had for years and shaving his head. A very physical match that saw the fans hang on every punch involved countless chair shots to both men, Sweet Chin Music from Michaels, Pedigree after Pedigree and Tombestone Piledriver after Tombstone Piledriver.
Eventually The Undertaker got the win and extended his Wrestlemania winning streak to 20-0.
After the match, Michaels, Undertaker and Triple H stood at the top of the stage together and embraced after the gruelling match. Truly a Wrestlemania moment.
1. The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels - Wrestlemania 25 and 26
The two matches between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 and 26 are too close to choose between so they will share the top spot.
The match at Wrestlemania 25 was one of the most perfect matches in WWE history, it was just dramatic moment after dramatic mount, it was exhausting watching it because it was such a roller coaster ride.
Similarly, with the second match. Both were fan favourites and it was hard to pick between who you wanted to win. You never want The Undertaker to lose at Wrestlemania because of his streak but at Wrestlemania 26, you didn’t want HBK to lose due to the stipulation, which meant he would have to retire.
Ultimately The Undertaker won both matches. But Shawn Michaels will always be remembered as “Mr Wrestlemania” for the show he put on every year at the biggest event the WWE has to offer.
Two of the greatest performers of all time are responsible for arguably the top two matches in history and it is hard to imagine them ever being bettered.