By Justin Fitchett
The year of pro wrestling in 2015 had some very high and low points. You can say that injuries and some negative press played a bad case for wrestling. However, instead of looking at the negatives of what wrestling had offered us this year, lets look at the positives. The quality of matches this year have been very good. There were many matches that stood out and were very special. After we sat through a entire year, here is my list of the best matches of 2015.
10. The New Day (c) vs. The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons Triple Threat Ladder Match (WWE TLC 2015: Tables, Ladder, and Chairs)
WWE’s final pay-per-view of the year featured the best opening bout of the year. We expected these three teams to delivered a good match and pull out amazing and flashy moves. Trust me, all three teams did not disappoint. The MVP’s of that entire match was obviously The Lucha Dragons, especially Kalisto. Watching Kalisto put one of the Usos through a crashing ladder and then seeing the other Uso get squashed with Sin Cara’s Swanton Bomb right after was incredible. The New Day won this match, but the other two teams deserve praise for their performance.
9. Sasha Banks (c) vs Becky Lynch (NXT Takeover: Unstoppable)
This match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch was very good. This match was mostly submission attempts and how Banks did everything that she could to make Becky Lynch tap. In the end, Sasha Banks won and retained her NXT’s Women’s Chamiponship. However, it gave Becky Lynch an standing ovation as she was finally accepted by the WWE Universe. We didn’t know who Becky Lynch was in the beginning, but with the buildup, her story of how she got to the WWE, and her performance with Sasha Banks has shown what’s she capable of. I recommend re-watching that match because it is very underrated.
8. Vampiro vs Pentagon Jr. Cero Miedo (Ultima Lucha Part 2)
If your not a fan of Lucha Underground, watch what they’ll will offer in season two in 2016. This match between Vampiro and Pentagon Jr was brutal, bloody, and the aftermath of the match that surprised everyone was amazing. The story behind this match was a semi-retired commentator fighting against a guy that breaks arms as a sacrifice to his “master.” Going into the match, there were light bulbs being smashed by the head by both men, both went through thumbtacks back first, both were bleeding heavily, Vampiro ripped Pentagon’s mask, and blood licking. Ultimately, Pentagon put Vampiro through a flaming table to pick up the victory. Post match, it was revealed that Vampiro was Pentagon’s “master” all along and sets up what could happen on the second season of Lucha Underground. Both put on a great hardcore match, even to a level of ECW.
7. Kevin Owens (c) vs John Cena (c) (Elimination Chamber 2015)
When anything can happen in the WWE, ANYTHING can happen. Kevin Owens defeating John Cena on his first pay-per-view debut match was a shock that made people notice him. The IWC already knows how the WWE handles John Cena when he’s up against an up-and-coming talent. On that night, the WWE decided to have John Cena lose to Kevin Owens CLEAN in the middle of the ring. Both put on a good performance and Owens got a significant win under his belt. No matter what happens with Kevin Owens career in the WWE, he can say that he defeated the company’s standard bearer in his debut match on the main roster.
6. Fenix vs Mil Muertes Grave Consequences Match (Lucha Underground)
When yo have the chance, find and watch this match and compare it to how WWE has booked casket matches. This match was amazing from beginning to end. A fiery phoenix-type luchador with mythical powers trying to put a luchador from the dead with a rock-weilding, threat-licking valet in a casket might sound bizarre but worth watching without being too hokey. There were moments in the match where they were fighting through the arena to Muertes ripping off Fenix’s mask. In the end, Fenix put Mil Muertes with the help of Catrina in the casket to win the match. Fenix putting Mil Muertes in Casket was only a plot device to make him more dangerous when he returned and to set on his goal to become Lucha Underground Champion. Not only this was a classic Lucha Underground match, but a good and classic casket match.
5. Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns (WrestleMania 31)
Roman Reigns in the beginning of the year was rumored to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWEWHC and be the next top star for the company. Many have said he was not ready to win the belt. We’re set to wonder how would this match played out based on Lesnar’s stiff style in the ring and whether or not Roman would actually walk out with the belt. Well, this match was better than expected. When the bell rang, Lesnar stormed through Roman and beating him down every chance that he got. Roman had some comebacks too, especially the comeback when he kept hitting Lesnar with Superman punches to put him down. The crowd was pro-Lesnar and anti-Reigns even before the match started. The crowd really popped when Rollins came down to the ring, cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the WWEWHC. Reigns may have lost the match, but he put up one hell of a fight against Lesnar.
4. Bayley (c) vs Sasha Banks IronMan Match (NXT Takeover: Respect)
To have two of the very best women be featured not only in the main event of a major WWE event, the first time ever, but to have a 30-minute Iron”Woman” match is an honor for both girls. The praise that NXT Brooklyn got with the match between Sasha Banks and Bayley, NXT responded with a rematch that have both girls compete in 30-minute Iron”Woman”, that really up the ante and to culminate the end of their rivalry. Both girls did an amazing job with the time that they were given. Sasha Banks, once again, did everything that she could to win the match and to make people hate her, even making Bayley’s fan girl, Izzy, cry. Bayley doing a good job of being the underdog hero and making great effort to make a great comeback to win the match. The ending of this match saw Banks tapping out with a modified armbar by Bayley to win this match. After the match, both girls were crying the the entire NXT roster came out to celebrate. Both girls put on an excellent Iron”Woman” match.
3. Shinuke Nakamura (c) vs Kota Ibushi NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9
Many might ask what is this match, what is New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and why is it so high on the list? Honestly this match shouldn’t even be here, but that would of been unfair and it would just be a disservice to not give this match the credit that is due. After watching this entire match completely, the performance between Nakamura and Ibushi blew me away. If you don’t know what NJPW is all about, its just another independent wrestling company like ROH or PWG, but on a higher and grander stage similar to WWE. When the match started and ended, I expected to be the type of matches that I would see in Japan; kicks, flips, and insane action. This match was definitely great paced and both pull out all of the stops into having a good performance. If your not convinced, just look at the highlights between the two.
2. Brock Lesnar (c) vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins (Royal Rumble 2015)
Even though this years Royal Rumble PPV was horrendous, this triple threat match for the WWEWHC saved this event. Brock Lesnar walk in as the champion facing off against John Cena and the MITB holder Seth Rollins. All three played up their strengths and combined them all into this triple threat match. Lesnar just tore through everyone that got in his way with German Suplexes, even Rollins “stooges” went through Suplex City. Cena and Rollins working together to take down Lesnar, which led Rollins hitting the elbow drop on Lesnar through the announce table. Rollins pulled out his Phoenix Splash on Cena, then Lesnar woke up and destroyed his opponents. In the end, Lesnar gave Rollins the F-5 to retain his title. This triple threat match deserves to be on top as one of the best matches in 2015
1.Sasha Banks (c) vs Bayley (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn)
Without a shadow of a doubt, this match between Sasha Banks and Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship was incredible. I can not tell you how compelling this match was. Women’s wrestling has been giving huge praise, well mostly in the WWE this year. These NXT Takeover matches has given the women more time showcase their skills to world and to prove that women’s wrestling does exist. This match right here is the influential breaking ground of what women matches could be in the WWE. The storytelling in the match, with moments in the match where Sasha is hurting Bayley’s injured hand to Bayley fighting with a never say die attitude, made this match awesome to watch. Also that awesome Hurricanrana from the top rope spot followed by Bayley’s finishing suplex to pick up the victory had everyone’s jaw dropped. After all four Horsewomen were in the ring celebrating the performance from Sasha Banks and Bayley. This has been a very good year for both Sasha Banks and Bayley as there proving that women can be on the same level as the men.
What do you think? What was your favorite match this year that was not on this list? Let me know by either commenting down below, reach out to our Twitter handle @SportsTalkFeed or me @Fitchett_is_law.