If you’re like us and you have a love for pro-wrestling that borders on obsession then you’ll know how difficult it can be to explain to your non-wrestling friends and loved ones just why this is. Today we’re going to be looking at what some consider to be included in the conversation of the top 5 WWE wrestling matches, that might sway your friend’s opinion on the sport.
“After all” they will say with a look of scorn upon their face “Isn’t it just grown men and women bouncing around in a ring in their underwear? Besides, you do know it’s fake, right? What age are you, twelve?”
To which you will reply “That’s stupid. You’re stupid”. The reason they wear the gear they do is for safety and to make sure that they don’t get dropped on their heads and they don’t bounce around a ring, they put on a goddamn beautiful ballet of violence and it’s not quote-unquote fake it’s far more real than any TV show or movie that YOU waste your time watching and no I’m not twelve, I’m forty-eight and would expect you of all people to know that, mother.”
As these occasional bouts of fisticuffs with your parents prove, it can be nigh on impossible to convince those in your life who haven’t embraced the sweet science of grappling, that it’s worth the time or effort they’d need to put into it to even start. In this situation, it seems easier to retreat and give it up as a lost cause but that’s the coward’s way out in our opinion.
Did Ric Flair call it a day when he broke his goddamn back in a plane crash? No, he didn’t, he got it together and was back in the ring within 8 months. Did Big Van Vader whine and moan when Stan Hansen popped his eye out in the middle of a match? Hell no, he just popped that sucker back in and got on with the business at hand.
Real champs never back down, so to help you on your way with converting the heathen non-believers into bona fide smart marks, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best WWE wrestling matches to show your non-wrestling friends and you can trust us, these will soon have your friends and family hooked to the seven hours of weekly programming, not to mention the monthly PPV’s.
John Cena vs The Rock: Wrestlemania 28 & 29
Thanks to a rather successful transition from WWE in-ring talent to Hollywood actor, most non-wrestling fans who’d never really heard of John Cena before, have a pretty decent idea of who he is now. As for Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson, everyone on the planet knows who he is, so this match should be a pretty easy sell. Like every match on this list, you may need to run people through just why they are duking it out, but there are more than enough videos on YouTube that will accommodate you. Prepare to be called fruity pebbles for a while by whoever you show them to as, for some reason, normal people find that kind of thing funny.
There’s an argument to be made that both Cena and The Rock are the two biggest stars the WWE has ever known and, in all honesty, the only way that this could’ve made this a bigger spectacle as if Stone Cold Steve Austin and laced up his knee brace again and turned it into a triple threat.
Now, neither of these matches are five-star classics, but both men are ring savvy enough to pull off a very decent affair in both outings, and if you claim to have watched either of these Wrestlemania’s and didn’t find yourself out of your seat on more than one occasion, then you, sir or madam, are a dirty, dirty liar.
Shawn Michaels vs Hulk Hogan: SummerSlam 2005
We know for a fact that this works on non-wrestling fans, as we showed it to a friend who has zero interest in the sport, only for them to nearly pass out from laughter while claiming it was the greatest thing they’d ever had seen. Admittedly, they’re not a full-on convert but they no longer kick up hell when they come to visit and we stick some grappling action on the idiot box.
This is all down to Shawn Michaels doing everything in his power to show up Hulk Hogan, due to Hogan refusing the idea of trading wins with HBK and deciding that one match was all that was needed instead of the three that had been planned. Y’know, as long as he was going over of course. The Heartbreak Kid was also pissed that he was having to turn Heel, due to The Hulkster’s straight out refusal to play any role other than Face, so with a whole lot of resentment, he entered the match planning to make sure everyone and their Aunt Sally knew he wasn’t happy about the situation he found himself in. Boy, does he do that quite, quite brilliantly.
From the first tie-up, where Hulk shoves Michaels and he throws himself halfway across the ring as if he’s just taken a shot on the chin from Superman, HBK sets out his stall and continues in that fashion throughout. Every shot he takes from Hogan. no matter how weak looking, is sold as if he’s just been hit by an 18 wheeler, and he pinballs around the ring like a rag doll, quite literally from pillar to post, and he just keeps cracking up the absurdity of the whole thing until you can’t stop the tears rolling down your face. Some people have said that Shawn Michaels was being very unprofessional here.
We say those people are idiots and Racist Grandpa got everything he had coming to him.
Daniel Bryan’s Rise Towards Wrestlemania 30
Everyone loves a good underdog story and Daniel Bryan capturing the WWE World Championship at Wrestlemania 30 is the greatest underdog story of all time and more than deserving to be included in the top 5 WWE wrestling matches of all time. Even if the company that he worked for didn’t see it that way to start with. Those that follow wrestling know the story here, but for those of you who don’t, perhaps it’s not your sport or it is, but you have been living in a cave on Mars since the start of 2014, D-Bry was the people’s choice, but The Authority (a Heel faction that was just an extension of the WWE higher-ups themselves) didn’t agree.
It seemed as if they went out of their way to try and legitimately bury him, but when the fans decided that enough was enough, and started making a nuisance of themselves every week on WWE programming by hijacking the shows, even Vince had to pay attention. Thus, began Daniel Bryan’s run towards the gold. He was still getting screwed over at every opportunity, having the title stripped from him as well as being on the receiving end of a heart-breaking double-cross.
Still, Bryan went to Wrestlemania XXX with the promise that if he could defeat Triple H, he’d be put in a Triple Threat with Randy Orton and Batista. Bryan did beat The Game, in quite a good match, but he fell foul of an enraged Hunter who tried to break his arm, meaning that he’d get his title shot but with a clipped wing. What a title shot it was.
Bryan was outmatched due to his injury and outsized by The Viper and The Animal, he should never have stood a chance but he somehow pulled it off in some of the best storytelling that the WWE has ever managed. It was THE feel-good moment of the year. Let’s be honest here, if he hadn’t won, the fans would’ve probably burnt the Superdome to the ground.
Edge & Christian vs Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz: Wrestlemania 17
We’re not convinced that anything we say can do this TLC match justice as it truly is something you have to see to believe. It cannot be left out of the conversation for one of the top 5 WWE wrestling matches, in general. It’s insane. All three teams involved were at the top of their game and we’re willing to do whatever it took to steal the show every single night and that’s just what they did at Wrestlemania 17. It’s a high octane, high impact wrestling from the get-go, with bodies flying everywhere like a Jackie Chan movie as all six men put themselves through hell, as well as tables, ladders, and chairs, in their quest to secure the Tag Team Titles.
There’s no time to catch your breath as it’s non-stop and when those in the ring need to take a breather, then their associates, Rhyno, Spike Dudley, and the always amazing Lita bum-rush the show to add even more jaw-dropping layers to this tasty violence cake. There’s no reason that anyone should not find themselves getting involved in this match unless they hate action, and if they’re not hooked by the end, the moment that Edge spears Jeff Hardy off of a ladder about 12 feet in the air should seal the deal.
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels: Wrestlemania 25 & 26
We weren’t sure if we should put the previous entry in the top spot but considering that a lot of people consider these two matches as the greatest of all time, who were we to argue?
Across both wars, as that’s what these were, both the Undertaker and HBK put on a masterclass in in-ring storytelling that NJPW would’ve been proud of. Both bouts are littered with near falls and genuine holy s*** moments. If you’ve managed to get your chosen person to this point in our guide, then they should be suitably mesmerized by every moment that unfolds in the ring.
The WrestleMania 25 encounter was, at the time, the one that no one would ever be able to surpass, right up until they did it all again a year later and somehow bettered it. Where the first encounter was about The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak, this one was about a man’s career as The Heartbreak Kid said that he’d retire if he didn’t win.
If you haven’t seen these two matches, we won’t ruin them for you, but you can trust us when we say they deserve to be considered the greatest of all time if for no other reason than that outrageous white suit Shawn Michaels wears to the ring in their second bout.
Only a true G.O.A.T could’ve pulled THAT off.
What do you think of our top 5 WWE wrestling matches to show your non-wrestling friends? As a lifelong wrestling fan, would you choose these same matches to show a non-wrestling friend, in hopes of getting them interested in this great sport? If you would choose other matches, which ones would you choose and why? We’d love to hear it. Let us know in the comments section below and keep this conversation alive.
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