It’s been a rather weird time to be a wrestling fan.
WWE have been taping shows in the Performance Center and they haven’t had a single fan in attendance for much of the past few months.
Okay, they have roped in a few wrestlers to play the part of fans but we see through that; it’s a very clear ruse and it doesn’t really work.
Still, it adds some energy and brings something different to the non-fan era the company is currently going through.
Fans or not, though, there has still been some mighty fine wrestling going on over in Florida.
GIVEMESPORT has taken a look at the 10 best matches of the non-fan era for your perusal below!
Daniel Bryan v AJ Styles (SmackDown)
This was a technical masterclass.
Two genuinely elite wrestlers going back-and-forth over the WWE Intercontinental Championship; what more could you ask for?
They exchanged hold after hold and built to a rousing crescendo of near falls that ultimately saw AJ pick up the victory and the strap in the process.
It boggles the mind that this match was given away on free television but we ought to just be glad that we all got to see it.
It will take some time for SmackDown to find a better match; unless they put these two back in the same ring.
Which they definitely should do. Please. Soon.
Randy Orton v Edge (Backlash)
The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.
It was a tagline that invited ridicule but Orton and Edge did their damnedest to live up to it.
The pair went to war at Backlash in a match that featured a number of new camera angles and a rather sportier presentation.
They both pulled out everything they had – from RKOs to Spears to Pedigrees to Rock Bottoms – as they told an engrossing, engaging story throughout the 40-plus minutes they were in the ring.
Orton won, ultimately, and then proceeded to taunt his bitter rival as he lay prone, staring up at the lights.
This may have been the best match of either man’s career, particularly in singles competition.
When you’re talking about Randy Orton and Edge, that’s saying something.
Io Shirai v Charlotte Flair v Rhea Ripley (NXT: In Your House)
The three women went head-to-head in a genuinely electric triple threat match at the NXT special.
Triple threat matches, of course, are no disqualification and the trio utilised that rule to a vicious extent, Flair even throwing Shirai through the In Your House set.
The Genius of the Sky recovered, though, and she ultimately won out, hitting a gorgeous moonsault on Ripley to steal the strap away from The Queen.
A see-saw match that could have seen any of the three crowned, this was a truly superb bout.
Timothy Thatcher v Matt Riddle – Fight Pit (NXT)
The first ever Fight Pit match in WWE history did not disappoint.
Riddle and Thatcher are both superb technical wrestlers and there was a reason for the Hall of Famer Kurt Angle being called on to don the referee gear and officiate the match.
The pair, while superb when it comes to their grappling, are also capable of genuine brutality and Thatcher ended the match without his two front teeth.
He won, however, choking Riddle out and sending him packing from NXT on a high note; he ended up moving to SmackDown shortly after.
Drew McIntyre v Seth Rollins (Money In The Bank)
McIntyre’s first proper WWE Championship defence after beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, the pair crafted a superb match that would have had a live crowd going wild.
The pair are both superb grapplers and they told an excellent story too, exchanging a number of high-energy sequences that led to a rousing denouement.
McIntyre kicked out of a stomp from the Monday Night Messiah and he eventually rallied from a superkick to hit a Claymore and leave the former Shield member down for the three count.
There had been some doubts among the WWE Universe as to whether the company would go all in on the Scot; this victory proved that they are more than willing.
Charlotte Flair v Asuka (Raw)
These two have genuinely tremendous chemistry.
Back when Charlotte was still NXT Women’s Champion, she took on Asuka in a champion v champion match, with her arm heavily taped after an attack from Nia Jax earlier in the night.
The pair told a superb story, with the Japanese superstar consistently targeting Flair’s arm and attempting to work her into submission.
Charlotte showed her fighting spirit but Asuka ultimately reversed a powerbomb into the Asuka Lock, making Flair tap and picking up her first victory over Ric Flair’s daughter in her WWE career.
Apollo Crews v Andrade (Raw)
Apollo has long been an underused member of the WWE roster but he finally won a main roster championship on Raw in May.
He took on Andrade after a mini-feud with the US champion.
It wasn’t a lengthy match but Apollo ultimately connected with an impressive standing moonsault and shooting star press to keep Andrade down and win the strap.
Andrade, of course, is a genuinely brilliant wrestler and can bring excellent matches out of pretty much anyone but this was as much Crews as his opponent, and the two stole the show on Raw.
AJ Styles v Undertaker (Wrestlemania)
Obviously, this one isn’t a straightforward match.
AJ and the Deadman went head-to-head in the WWE’s first ever boneyard match and, boy, was it a spectacle.
The pair were aided by some terrific camera angles as they beat the hell out of each other in a graveyard, before AJ was finally put down by his own complacency.
Having placed Taker in a grave, he jumped on a tractor and appeared set to leave the legendary figure down for the count, but he was jumped by the veteran from behind.
Undertaker then buried the Phenomenal One in the ground, making a statement and driving off on his American Badass bike.
A superb, campy delight.
Isaiah Scott v Tony Nese (205 Live)
205 Live isn’t given a lot of love but there are some excellent matches hidden away on the show.
Scott and Nese went head-to-head on the June 26th episode of the show, and were the only match on the card.
That meant that they were given the time to tell an engaging, impactful story, beginning with some excellent technical grappling and building to a crescendo at the end of the match as Scott’s fighting spirit came to the fore.
Nese grew frustrated after multiple attempts to best his rival failed and tried to hit his opponent with a chair, but Scott swerved and hit two double foot stomps for the win.
This one is a gem – seek it out if you can.
John Morrison v Matt Riddle (SmackDown)
Riddle is now on the main roster and this was another excellent showcase of his abilities.
The pair both have really interesting offensive styles and are capable of genuinely astonishing pieces of athleticism.
This was yet another example of that, as Morrison dominated from the off, hitting a superb corkscrew plancha.
Riddle fought back, though, and, given the push he is currently receiving, perhaps unsurprisingly picked up the victory, ignoring a distraction from King Corbin to roll Morrison up and get the three count.
AJ Styles then attacked Riddle on the ramp; that’s a match we can salivate over for quite some time and one that will surely end up on the next list we produce!News Now - Sport News