Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Top Ten February PPV Matches

10) No Way Out 2001; Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. X-Pac - We jump start our list with a forgotten classic. On an absolutely stacked No Way Out 2001 card that featured a really good Kurt Angle/The Rock main event and another match that will be on here soon, this is often overlooked. All four of these guys can work and they stole the show early on. The action was fast paced, featured multiple near falls and gave everyone a chance to shine. The finishing sequence was fun and Jericho retained after rolling up X-Pac. All four guys looked great and this featured wall to wall action. ***3/4

9) In Your House: Rage in the Cage; Number One Contender's Match: Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - The absolute hottest wrestler around this time was Shawn Michaels. Not only did he win the 1995 Royal Rumble, but he turned face that year and went on to repeat in the 1996 Rumble. With a potential match against Bret Hart set for WrestleMania XII, Shawn put his title shot on the line against Owen and they went on to have a great match at the WWF's first ever February Pay-Per-View. These are two of the best performers in the history of the business and this was probably my favorite match between them. It was a great precursor to WrestleMania as Shawn picked up the win before beating Bret a month later. Great match. ****

8) No Way Out 2009; WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Edge (c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H vs. The Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. Vladimir Kozlov - I do realize that the photo I used is of Edge with the World Heavyweight Title. See, Edge opened the show as WWE Champion and defended it in this Chamber. In less than three minutes, Edge was eliminated and that completely shocked everyone. Edge would go on to steal a spot in the World Title Chamber later in the night and win that. However, back to this match, it ended in the best way possible. Triple H and the Undertaker tearing things up before the Game captured the title. This was filled with fun action, shocking moments and an epic conclusion. ****1/4

7) No Way Out 2004; WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero - This will probably go down as one of the best David vs. Goliath matches in history. Brock Lesnar could pretty much do no wrong at this point in his career, and Eddie Guerrero was red hot. I didn't think Brock would lose because I expected him to go into WrestleMania and defend the belt against Goldberg. Instead, Goldberg interfered here, helping Eddie to do the unthinkable and capture the title. It was a pretty amazing moment, as one of the better workers in history got to have his moment and be one of the few people to beat Brock. ****1/4

6) Elimination Chamber 2010; World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber: The Undertaker (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio - The best thing to happen in Elimination Chamber matches usually is when the weak links are eliminated early. In this case, that link was R-Truth. He was gone in about three minutes, leaving CM Punk alone in the ring. Just like he did at the 2010 Royal Rumble, Punk began to cut one of his amazing Straight Edge Savior promos. Rey Mysterio came in next and we saw a precursor to their upcoming rivalry. In the end, this came down to the Undertaker and Chris Jericho, who had only one singles match against each other from my memory. When Undertaker seemed near victory, Shawn Michaels came up through the floor of the Chamber and hit Sweet Chin Music on Undertaker, allowing Jericho to win. It was a great match, part of an amazing Undertaker/HBK angle and it all came together perfectly. ****1/4

5) No Way Out 2000; WWF Championship vs. Career Hell in a Cell: Triple H (c) vs. Cactus Jack - At the 2000 Royal Rumble, Triple H had THE match that a lot of guys need to really solidify them as a major player. Yes, he was already WWF Champion, but the Street Fight against Cactus Jack was damn near perfect. The stakes were raised for the rematch as they stepped into Hell in a Cell and Cactus' career was on the line. While this wasn't on the level of the Royal Rumble classic, it was still a brutal match with huge spots. It was a suitable sequel and both guys delivered. Cactus' career ended and Triple H earned another massive win. ****1/4

4) In Your House: Final Four; WWF Championship: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader - The 1997 Royal Rumble was one of the most controversial in history. Steve Austin was eliminated before Bret Hart dumped out Undertaker and Vader. Austin snuck back in and tossed out Bret. This led to a Final Four match, the first of its kind, to see who gets to go to WrestleMania. I recently, along my with my friend Bash, did a video podcast about this show (which you can find here The match got a stellar review from us as all four guys were awesome, with Vader stealing the show. See, the rules here were that you could be eliminated by pinfall, submission or getting thrown over the top like in the Royal Rumble. Bret Hart clotheslined Undertaker over the top and became WWF Champion for the fourth time. ****1/2

3) No Way Out 2006; World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. The Undertaker - There are two matches on this list that should have been saved for WrestleMania and this is the first. I get that they wanted the Rey Mysterio title win that year but Kurt Angle as a viable threat to Undertaker's streak would have been better than Undertaker/Mark Henry. Both guys were incredible here and the climax was astounding. While locked in a choke, Angle would roll through and pin Taker's shoulders to the mat to retain the belt in a 30 minute classic. ****1/2

2) Elimination Chamber 2014; The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family - Here's the other match on this list that should have been saved for WrestleMania. There was something incredibly special about these two teams. The crowd was absolutely on fire every single team they even had a stare down. The atmosphere was always red hot and when they finally met at Elimination Chamber, they produced magic. I've not only picked it as my Feud of the Year for 2014, but also as my match of the year in 2014. It was breathtaking, featured non stop action and one of the best things I have ever witnessed. ****3/4

1) No Way Out 2001; Three Stages of Hell: Triple H vs. Steve Austin - Before Steve Austin was set to face The Rock in a MASSIVE match at WrestleMania X-Seven, he had a score to settle with Triple H. A Three Stages of Hell had never happened before, and has only been done a few times since. None would top the first though. We started with a regular singles match, which Austin won before moving to a Street Fight that Triple H won. The final fall was a Steel Cage match that Triple H would also win. For nearly forty minutes, these two beat the hell out of each other and it was glorious. ****3/4