With less than one month until the new year begins, it’s time to look back and reflect on the year that was. Like most years, it was a great year for wrestling fans, as we got to see some great matches and the action did not disappoint for the most part. All of the wrestling matches on this list are technical masterpieces and are a must watch for any wrestling fan who has never seen these matches, or just wants to see them again. Even though there is still a month left of wrestling left and this list could change, I don’t think it’s too early to look at the best wrestling matches of 2010. Now, please note that I have seen just about every TNA and WWE wrestling match this year that has been on television and these ten matches are my opinion only. Here are my top ten wrestling matches of 2010:
#10) Edge vs. Christian (Monday Night Raw – May 17th): Edge and Christian were arguably one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history at one point, before branching out and becoming highly successful singles competitors. These two had a brief feud in 2001 after breaking up as a tag team, but later went their separate ways. Edge went on to become a multi-time world champion, while Christian could not find that same success in the WWE, and went to TNA, where he also became world champion. After Christian returned to the WWE early last year, this was the match that most of the wrestling public wanted to see and it finally happened on the May 17th edition of Monday Night Raw. The match did not disappoint as Edge and Christian went toe-to-toe for more than twelve minutes with many near pinfalls, before Edge picked up the victory with the spear.
#9) The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan (Night of Champions): The back-story for this match was that The Miz was Daniel Bryan’s pro on season one of NXT. This drew heavy criticism from some wrestling fans, considering Bryan was a wrestler for twice as long as The Miz was, and was labeled by some as the best wrestler in the world. This feud escalated when Bryan took the last spot on Team WWE at the SummerSlam pay-per-view against Nexus. The match that these two had at Night of Champions pay-per-view was excellent and the match of the night. It was The Miz’s best match of his career and showed that he now belongs with some of the best wrestlers out there. After a back and forth battle, Bryan made The Miz tap out to the LeBell Lock, winning his first title in the WWE, the United States Championship.
#8) Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler (Bragging Rights): Another Bryan match makes the list at number eight. This match pitted the United States Champion Daniel Bryan versus the Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler in a special interpromotional bout at the Bragging Rights pay-per-view. The Bragging Rights pay-per-view is all about interpromotional matches between superstars on the Raw and SmackDown brands going against each other and seeing which brand will take the Bragging Rights trophy. In this match, Bryan and Ziggler got to show off their impressive offensive repetoire, and it resulted in many near falls and finishes. Like The Miz match, Bryan makes Ziggler tap out to the LeBell Lock to win this special match-up. This led to more Ziggler versus Bryan matches, which were equally as good.
#7) Evan Bourne vs. Chris Jericho (Fatal 4-Way): The feud between Bourne and Jericho started a few weeks before their match at the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view. The week prior to this match on Monday Night Raw, Jericho and Bourne had another match, which ended in disqualification. Both superstars had unfinished business and they took care of it at Fatal 4-Way. This match stole the show that night, and Bourne’s style meshes well with that of Jericho’s. In this match, both Jericho and Bourne showed their athleticism, with Bourne landing his high-flying moves and Jericho landing his precise offense. Somehow Bourne was able to kick out of Jericho’s finisher, something not many have done. Bourne was able to hit his own finisher, “Air Bourne” and cover Jericho for the pinfall victory. This also marked the biggest win of Bourne’s entire career.
#6) John Cena vs. Wade Barrett (Hell in a Cell): Nexus has proven to be a dominant force in the WWE since their debut earlier this year. Along with leader Wade Barrett, they have targeted every wrestler in the WWE, in their attempts to take over the company. One of the people that Nexus has targeted more than others is the top face in the WWE, John Cena. This led to a feud between Barrett and Cena, and a match at Hell in a Cell, with the stipulation being that if Cena wins, Nexus must disband, but if Barrett wins, Cena is forced to join Nexus. This was a great match by two world class wrestlers with both Cena and Barrett kicking out of each other’s finishers. The finish of the match came when a “fan” tried to get into the ring, followed by another “fan” hitting Cena in the back of the head with a lead pipe. Barrett took advantage and pinned Cena for the three count.
#5) CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio (Extreme Rules): CM Punk and Rey Mysterio had one of the better feuds in wrestling in 2010. The feud between these two wrestlers lasted over a few months, and over three pay-per-views. CM Punk’s goal was for everyone to join his Straight Edge Society (SES), and to live a life more pure, like Punk was living. Punk’s motto was that he is better than everyone else. Punk tried to induct Mysterio into this stable, but was met with hostility, leading to their feud. The way that Punk inducts new members into the SES is to shave off all their hair, and the stipulation made for this match was if Punk lost the match, his hair would have to be shaven. CM Punk was able to save his hair on this day, beating Mysterio by GTS after fifteen minutes of high-paced action.
#4) AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle (TNA Impact – January 4th): This episode of TNA Impact would mark the first time that TNA ever aired on Mondays, and was supposed to start up the Monday Night Wars again. The main event on this night was TNA World Champion AJ Styles, against the man he took the title from, Kurt Angle. This match was pay-per-view quality all the way and for fifteen minutes, these two competitors gave it them all for the fans in one of the best matches of the year. The two traded their finishers multiple times, but neither man would stay down and no one knew what it would take to win this match. The finish of this match finally came when AJ Styles countered a rollup attempt into the Styles Clash, followed by a springboard splash for the pinfall victory.
#3) Edge vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania 26): The feud between Edge and Chris Jericho had been brewing ever since they formed a tag team and won the tag team championships. Edge wound up tearing his Achilles tendon weeks later, having to undergo surgery and vacated his half of the belts. For the next few months, Jericho would ridicule Edge, saying how he always was the weak link of the team. Edge made a surprise appearance at this year’s Royal Rumble, winning the Rumble and a guaranteed title match at Mania. Jericho won the world title at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and Edge picked to face him immediately. This match lived up to all the hype, with both men pushing each other to the limit. Jericho retained the title with the codebreaker but Edge got Jericho in the end, spearing him through the barricades after the match.
#2) Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle (TNA Lockdown): Mr. Anderson had just made his debut in Total Nonstop Action and what better way to make an impact than take on the only Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling history and one of the faces of the company, Kurt Angle? Anderson came into the company as a fan-favorite but quickly became a heel after attacking Kurt Angle on an episode of TNA Impact. This led to a long program between Angle and Anderson, trading wins at previous pay-per-views and the feud getting more and more heated. Their match at the Lockdown pay-per-view which was contested inside a steel cage would decide who would win this feud. This brutal and bloody match saw many crazy spots, including an insane moonsault from the top of the steel cage by Angle, helping him come out victorious in the end.
#1) Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania 26): The best match of 2010 has to be Shawn Michaels versus The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26. This match was a rematch of last year’s WrestleMania match between these two legends, and people called that the greatest match of all-time. There was much more on the line this time, with Shawn Michaels putting his career on the line, and Taker putting his WrestleMania undefeated streak on the line. Once again, both Michaels and Taker brought out the best in each other. There were many near falls in this match, with Taker kicking out of Sweet Chin Music twice, and Michaels kicking out of the tombstone piledriver. The finish came when Taker delivered a third spiked tombstone to Michaels. Maybe not good as the one they had at WrestleMania 25, but still an all-time classic battle and a fitting end to their rivalry.