The Top 100 WWE Matches of the Year (So Far), Ranked

We are halfway through the year 2019. The Federation has had quite a six months so far. While some aspects are hit and miss, there’s little denying that the in-ring work this year has been great yet again. There’s an abundance of talent just about everywhere, and nearly everyone has been able to get their shine.

You may have been keeping a quiet track of the match of the month lists that I’ve been providing in the WWE Top 25 posts. For the sake of hitting the halfway point, I’ve decided to change things up. This post will feature my Top 100 Matches of the Year, so far, ranked from 100-1. You’ll see some memorable encounters on this list, some very good ones, and maybe some that you don’t remember that might be worth checking out yet again.

With that said, let’s get started shall we?

100. Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese
205 Live | 2/12/19 | ***¾

First up on the list is a fantastic No DQ Match between Noam Dar and Tony Nese. Prior to becoming Crusierweight Champion, Nese was involved in a heated feud with Dar on 205 Live. Things came to a bitter end in this No DQ Match in Toledo. Nese won the match and, of course, would later go on to even bigger things. This is a really, really fun brawl if you’re into that sort of thing.

99. Ronda Rousey vs. Bayley
Raw | 1/28/19 | ***¾

We should’ve known that Bayley was in for a big year after this match. I mean, she literally came out to control a crowd with a promo - and it worked! Then she challenged Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship. Bayley arguably outperformed Ronda in this match and assumed the role of ‘ring general’ very well here. This is a great match with a great crowd to boot that’s fully behind The Hugger.

98. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
NXT | 1/23/19 | ***¾

This tag is a really fun one between two of the best teams under the WWE umbrella. There’s a lot of fast-paced, furious energy to this one. The babyfaces get the victory in this one, but Aichner and Barthel showed their stuff in a big way here. This is a very enjoyable tag team sprint.

97. The Forgotten Sons vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch
NXT | 3/6/19 | ***¾

This match was part of one of the funnest episodes of NXT all year. There was nothing but tag team wrestling on this particular edition of the brand’s TV series, and all four matches would go on to make the cut here. This was the “weakest” of the bunch, but is still a very fun treat. The Forgotten Sons win this one. No idea if that’ll turn you off, but I promise it’s worth a view and the spot here.

96. The New Day vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ***¾

Fastlane was one of my favorite shows of the year. This tag match was part of that effort and it was on the Kickoff Show! There’s hardly anything better than New Day tag matches, and Rusev and Nak put in great performances themselves here. New Day were victorious, as we were barreling towards quite the coronation for the other member of the group at this time.

95. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
WrestleMania 35 | 4/7/19 | ***¾

You might remember this match for reasons that… well, didn’t actually involve the match. There were lighting issues during this match that kind of distracted the crowd at MetLife (not me though) in a big way. If you can ignore the crowd’s reactions, I’d suggest trying to sit through and watch this match. It’s a real good one with two of the biggest names in the company.

94. Moustache Mountain vs. The Street Profits
NXT | 3/6/19 | ***¾

This was the second of four tag team matches that took place on March 6. The Street Profits put on a pretty good showing here against NXT UK’s Moustache Mountain. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford had bigger things on the horizon for them, and laid down for the count against Trent Seven and Tyler Bate in this contest. The Full Sail crowd was pretty fun for this one.

93. Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
Raw | 1/21/19 | ***¾

The prelude to Seth Rollins’ Royal Rumble win was this match against Drew McIntyre. This was one of the better Raw matches of the year. There was a good feeling in the air for Rollins, as he’d delivered a money promo prior this match. As a result, the atmosphere for this match is a good one.

92. Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan
Raw | 5/6/19 | ***¾

The start of the ‘Wild Card Era’ certainly got off to a good start at least… Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan’s second encounter may not have been as great as their first, but it was still fantastic. Kingston retained his WWE Championship in this banger of a matchup, and showed he could hang with the best of the best yet again. Bryan’s performance, unsurprisingly, is sterling here as well.

91. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ***¾

The Royal Rumble was an all-timer of an event in my opinion. AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan may have been the “weakest” match on the card, which is still saying a lot because this match was really good. It was a bit slow, although it was in a total cooldown spot so it’s hard to hammer it too much. Stay for the arrival of Bryan’s new henchman, Rowan.

90. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
NXT | 3/13/19 | ***¾

This was a semifinal match in the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The shortlived second run for DIY came to an end after this match, but this is certainly a doozy. DIY lose to Black and Ricochet, who would of course go on to win the Dusty Classic a few weeks later. For sentimental reasons, you might want to watch this one again, knowing how things break down in the end for everyone.

89. Candice LeRae vs. Kay Lee Ray
Worlds Collide | 4/24/19 | ***¾

Candice LeRae and Kay Lee Ray had tangled in one-on-one matchups in SHIMMER, Southside Wrestling Entertainment and Fight Club: PRO prior to this matchup. This was part of WWE’s WrestleMania Worlds Collide event and taped at Pier 12 in Brooklyn during Axxess. It is a brilliant match, in my opinion, and among the best of the entire Worlds Collide series dating back to their run at the Rumble. Run this back if you didn’t watch the Worlds Collide event. Trust me, you’ll like it.

88. Johnny Gargano vs. Roderick Strong
NXT | 4/24/19 | ***¾

Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong’s only NXT match to date took place on April 24. To the surprise of nobody, the match was a total hit. Gargano and Strong locked up in a match that, naturally, the NXT Champion at the time got the victory in. Undisputed Era appeared to be fraying at the seams, although we know how that all turned out. Still though, this was a quality match in a long line of quality matches for both guys.

87. Finn Bálor, John Cena and Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre
Raw | 1/7/19 | ***¾

Good times… goooood times. Look at that assembly of talent huh? This six-man tag opened up shop on this episode of Raw and absolutely brought it home. This is a really fun trios tag match that gave way towards Finn and Seth prospering in their own ways down the line. Watch for some sentimental value here, because Cena’s in it, and you don’t know how much more you’re going to see him around these parts.

86. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Finn Bálor vs. Randy Orton
SmackDown Live | 5/14/19 | ***¾

This was a Fatal 4-Way between the four SDLive competitors in the Money in the Bank match. This really ruled. All four guys got their kicks in here, and not one guy looked bad. Amazingly, we haven’t seen much of… well, any of these guys in the last month or so. Hopefully that changes right? The post-match angle is also pretty fun.

85. Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
NXT UK | 3/6/19 | ***¾

Jordan Devlin and Travis Banks had their blowoff match in a Falls Count Anywhere battle on March 6. This was a really, really fun brawl that spilled just about everywhere that the two would allow it to go. Devlin comes out on top here, but Banks shines in his own right. This was one of NXT UK’s best matches of the year and I highly recommend watching this one if you haven’t already.

84. Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre
Raw | 3/11/19 | ***¾

This was Dean Ambrose’s final Raw match. He went out with a bang in a Falls Count Anywhere match against Drew McIntyre. Mac beat him from pillar to post and the ending was absolutely brutal. If you’re into plunder brawls and if they’re you’re thing, watch this one.

83. The Usos vs. The Bar
SmackDown Live | 1/8/19 | ***¾

Two of the best tag teams in the company at the time, duking it out on TV. It explains itself right? I thought so too. This match was non-title and seemed to setup a match between the two down the line for The Bar’s Tag Team Titles. We, however, know how that all turned out, since The Miz and Shane McMahon got the title shot at the Rumble.

82. Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush vs. Finn Bálor and Ricochet
Raw | 2/18/19 | ***¾

Otherwise known as Ricochet’s Raw debut. This match set the tone for what we’re currently seeing now from the high-flying superstar. He performed really well in a great TV tag match at the Cajundome in Lafayette. There’s some very good storytelling here and some good spots towards the dramatic conclusion.

81. The Revival vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ***¾

This was for The Revival’s Raw Tag Team Championships. This wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be, but it’s still a really, really fun Triple Threat Tag. All three teams looked brilliant in this one. The Revival won to head into WrestleMania as Tag Team Champs. It’s worth a rewatch, because Fastlane was so good.

80. Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami vs. Kalisto
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ***¾

This match was for Buddy Murphy’s Cruiserweight Championship. Typically, the cruiserweights show out no matter where they are on the card. This one was no different. I personally think this was missing an extra gear, but these four totally went all out. This was also Hideo Itami’s penultimate performance in WWE before he was granted his release. So, some sentimental value here in this one.

79. Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm
TakeOver: Blackpool | 1/12/19 | ****

This was for Rhea Ripley’s NXT UK Women’s Championship, which eventually fell into the hands of Toni Storm. The match’s result was pretty predictable going into this one. It felt that way throughout the match. While it was still great, I definitely think they could’ve 50/50’d this one a bit more. But it’s still a very cool moment for Toni and a really good match.

78. Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair
TakeOver: Phoenix | 1/26/19 | ****

This one was for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship. Shayna retained her title, but Bianca Belair’s performance in this match was awesome nonetheless. Belair used a lot of power moves and counters that really showcased her ever-growing skillset.

77. Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey
TakeOver: Blackpool | 1/12/19 | ****

This match was for Dunne’s NXT UK Championship. The Bruiserweight retained in this one, which picked up as time went on. It was pretty slow at the start of it, but both Dunne and Coffey started beating the pants off each other by match’s end. Rewatch it, and stay for the post-match angle with WALTER.

76. Tyler Bate vs. The Velveteen Dream
Worlds Collide | 2/2/19 | ****

The conclusion of the first Worlds Collide event winds up being, in my opinion, one of the best matches from the entire event. In fact, it was the best of the first go-around during Royal Rumble weekend. Dream and Bate, two of the best under the WWE umbrella at the moment, went at it and a really damn good match. Dream won and earned himself a title match of his choosing. He’d go on to use that later on in the month, of course.

75. Baron Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Bálor vs. John Cena
Raw | 1/14/19 | ****

This was a #1 Contender’s Match to determine Brock Lesnar’s opponent at the Royal Rumble. Finn Bálor proved victorious by match’s end. This is as fun as any TV main event can get, honestly. All four of these dudes looked awesome in this match. Finn capped off a two-match night and looked GREAT by match’s end. High recommendation here.

74. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Dean Ambrose
Raw | 1/14/19 | ****

As you can well tell, this was a great episode of Raw, because two matches from the show were on it. This was for Seth Rollins’ IC Championship, which he dropped to Bobby Lashley. Seth of course was bound for bigger and better things, so it made sense for him to drop the title here. The three here put on pretty great performances in this one. This just edges out the previous match, but it’s pretty close.

73. Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami
205 Live | 1/9/19 | ****

This match was an entryway to either Cedric or Itami getting into the aforementioned Fatal 4-Way Match at the Royal Rumble. Hideo would win this match, and it was one of his last great efforts in WWE. This was one of my favorites at the time in January.

72. Mustafa Ali and Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade and Samoa Joe
SmackDown Live | 1/8/19 | ****

A really fun, no-stakes tag team match here. This showcases some of SmackDown’s brightest talents at the time. All four looked pretty great here, and the dynamic between Rey and Andrade sets the table for some epic bouts later on in the month. Definitely a really fun one that you may have forgotten about.

71. Cesaro vs. Ricochet
Raw | 5/27/19 | ****

This was Cesaro and Ricochet’s Memorial Day matchup. These two were putting on some really good matches of late, and this one was no different. There’s some really fun sequences here. These two are two of the best in the damn game right now, and they proved exactly why in this bout.

70. AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe
Raw | 4/22/19 | ****

This Triple Threat Match helped set the table to determine who would be Seth Rollins’ MITB opponent. This is a very fun match that opened the show and went a rather long time. That’s not a complaint either, especially who’s in this match. This was a real treat at the time and it still is two months later.

69. Akira Tozawa vs. Cedric Alexander
205 Live | 3/5/19 | ****

This was a first round match in the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament. Tozawa and Alexander are and were the two of the best in 205 Live. So it was no surprise that these two put on a total banger. Alexander won to move on in the tournament. This is a terrific match in a long line of great 205 Live matches this year.

68. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel
NXT | 3/6/19 | ****

This was one of the four Dusty Classic First Round matches that took place on this unique episode of NXT. It’s the second best match of that night. Black and Ricochet’s rapport as a team only grew further in this tag team bout, and Aichner and Barthel absolutely shined, too. Black and Ricochet won to advance in the tournament.

67. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. The Undisputed Era
NXT | 6/12/19 | ****

This match took place in Bel Air, Maryland at a house show, but was streamed on the Network earlier this month. This UE combo was the great duo of Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong. While this didn’t compare to the TakeOver match they had a year prior, it’s still a really, really good match that you should watch if you have yet to. Especially if you’re into tag wrestling.

66. The Usos vs. Daniel Bryan and Rowan
SmackDown Live | 5/7/19 | ****

This match was for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships, which were vacant at the time. Putting The Usos against Daniel Bryan and Rowan was a swift move and a great one, too. These two teams rocked the house that night, as Bryan and Rowan emerged victorious with a big win over the best tag team in the world.

65. The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ****

This, at the time, was The Shield’s last hurrah. For that reason, you might find it wise to check this out. They play all the hits and get a big win over the bad guys. This was very fun.

64. Drew Gulak vs. KUSHIDA
NXT | 6/12/19 | ****

This was a submission match between Gulak and KUSHIDA. This was the best match of their short series of matches that the two had. There was a lot of technical prowess on display here. It was unique in that regard, as it’s not necessarily what you see all the time these days. For its uniqueness, it really stood out to me, and was one of the reasons I ranked this where it is.

63. The Usos vs. The Revival
Raw | 5/20/19 | ****

What a surprise that these two teams put on a quality match, right? We need more of The Usos vs. The Revival in our lives, and hopefully that happens soon enough. I really liked this match, and you probably did too when it happened.

62. Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
SmackDown Live | 4/23/19 | ****

I foresee a bigger stage for this match very soon. But Bayley and Charlotte kicked serious tail in this one. The Hugger came up short but of course ultimately got the last laugh later on. This is a fantastic TV match between these two, who have been no stranger to each other in the past. It’s pretty easily one of the best women’s matches of the year.

61. Women’s Tag Team Championships Elimination Chamber Match
Elimination Chamber | 2/17/19 | ****

An historic match in every regard. The Boss and Hug Connection emerged victorious and became the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. This match had a whole lot of physicality to it and some very good storytelling as well. This one will have a lot of emotional attachment to lots of fans all over for a very long time.

60. Tag Team Gauntlet Match
SmackDown Live | 3/26/19 | ****

This match helped catapult Kofi Kingston into the WrestleMania WWE Championship Match with Daniel Bryan. There are so many great elements in this matchup. The final two are what stand out to me. The Usos giving their respect to their rivals, The New Day, and Big E and Xavier beating Bryan and Rowan last really help to make this a memorable bout.

59. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
SmackDown Live | 5/7/19 | ****

Kofi Kingston successfully defends his WWE Championship in this Triple Threat. This was the second night of the ‘Wild Card Era’ in WWE. Looking past the weirdness of that rule and all that, this match was fantastic. It’s also AJ’s last appearance on SmackDown, to date at least.

58. Cedric Alexander vs. Oney Lorcan
205 Live | 4/16/19 | ****

This was Cedric Alexander’s swan song on 205 Live. Oney Lorcan beats him here in a really damn good match. There are lots of good elements to this, especially knowing that Alexander wraps his stint on 205 Live up in this match. It’s definitely worth the watch if you haven’t seen it.

57. Tony Nese vs. Buddy Murphy
205 Live | 4/9/19 | ****
This was Buddy Murphy’s swan song on 205 Live. I liked this match better than their WrestleMania encounter, to be honest. They really went all out in this one in a very enjoyable encounter. I’d like to see Buddy Murphy wrestle more. Anyone else?

56. Buddy Murphy vs. Akira Tozawa
Elimination Chamber | 2/17/19 | ****

Speaking of, here’s another match of Buddy’s. He faces Akira Tozawa and successfully defends his Cruiserweight Championship. Really like this one a lot. The two bring a lot of energy on the Kickoff Show, as the cruiserweights are to do when they’re given the stage and spotlight. Another in a long line of great Murphy title defenses here.

55. Hawkins and Ryder vs. The Revival vs. The Usos
Raw | 6/10/19 | ****

The Revival became two-time Raw Tag Team Champions with their victory here. This was a highly enjoyable Triple Threat Tag Team match quite honestly. One of the better matches on Raw the entire year if we’re really being honest. Most of them have included The Revival. What does that say? We’ll leave that up to you.

54. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Harper
Worlds Collide | 4/14/19 | ****

This was Harper’s most recent match to date and it was totally awesome. It’s a shame that things have gone by the wayside for him, because he’s a phenomenal worker and this match showed exactly why. Watch this one if you haven’t already. It’s a total doozy.

53. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. The New Day
Stomping Grounds | 6/23/19 | ****

I’ll never tire of watching these two teams tangle with each other. Their match at Stomping Grounds was no different. I really liked this one a lot. There’s so much good back-and-forth action here. Owens and Zayn pick up the victory here. In case you missed Stomping Grounds, watch this match.

52. Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak
Stomping Grounds | 6/23/19 | ****

Drew Gulak unseated Tony Nese to become the Cruiserweight Champion here. This was another really damn good Cruiserweight Title match on a Kickoff Show. All three look totally great in this one. Gulak gets a much-deserved moment here after putting in some great work the past few years.

51. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak
205 Live | 6/4/19 | ****

Speaking of, this 205 Live match between Gulak and Akira Tozawa also really owns. Gulak made his return to the brand after his brief stint in NXT and stood up to the task of facing Tozawa. He wound up defeating him on that night, which helped set up the aforementioned title victory.

50. Chad Gable vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher
205 Live | 6/11/19 | ****

Halfway home! Did you forget how good a worker Chad Gable is? Well, this match will do the trick to remind you. This was a fantastic match that took many by surprise as it happened. Lots of people fawned over it afterwards, and for good reason. Check this one out, for sure.

49. Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Money in the Bank | 5/19/19 | ****

Bayley won the Money in the Bank contract here. This was a brutal and pretty violent match, all things considered. There were some really cool moments here. Naomi really shined herself, and Bayley did of course too. Ember’s Eclipse on Natalya was an awesome moment as well. This is a personal fave of mine. I’m sure you’re so surprised to read that.

48. R-Truth vs. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe
SmackDown Live | 3/5/19 | ****

This match gave Samoa Joe his first career singles title in WWE proper. This was a really good Fatal 4-Way that they’d run back at Fastlane a few days later. The pacing in this match is great and so is the energy. Lot of really good stuff in this match.

47. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. The Revival
Raw | 2/11/19 | ****
RAW MATCH OF THE YEAR

This match gave The Revival their first run as Raw Tag Team Champions. The match started off slow and got an otherwise quiet crowd really enthused by match’s end. This is a great tag team display and one that obviously has plenty of value to you Top Guys fans out there. This is my Raw Match of the Year so far.

46. Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai vs. Kairi Sane
TakeOver: New York | 4/5/19 | ****

This was for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship. Baszler retained in a pretty great match. I watched this a second time after seeing it live and I definitely thought it was better a second time. However I’m certain I probably would’ve boosted this match even more if there was a title change. They did Bianca really wrong here. Looking past that, this is a great F4W with some great character work by The Sky Pirates.

45. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
Money in the Bank | 5/19/19 | ****

This was for Kofi’s WWE Championship, and Kingston would retain over Kevin Owens. This match was paced well and booked well. It played out really well as the match went on. Kofi’s on a total heater right now and this was another shining example of that.

44. Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch
WrestleMania 35 | 4/7/19 | ****

This was the historic Winner-Take-All main event, the first of its kind for the women at WrestleMania. There are a lot of people who hate on this match. I think it definitely didn’t sync as well as people thought it would going in. But, the expectations were always insurmountable. It’s still really, really great. Becky gets her memorable coronation that her fans will never ever forget.

43. Adam Cole and DIY vs. Aleister Black, Ricochet and The Velveteen Dream
Halftime Heat | 2/3/19 | ****

This six-man tag at the Performance Center took place during halftime of the Super Bowl. Bringing back Halftime Heat and using it to showcase these six was an awesome decision. This kicked serious amounts of ass and was better than even I thought it would be. This is worth a rewatch for a lot of the really fun spots that happen in this match.

42. Drew Gulak vs. Matt Riddle
NXT | 2/6/19 | ****

Any Catch Point fans here? You’ll like this one a lot then if you haven’t seen it yet. Gulak and Riddle went blow for blow in a matchup that I think really helped Riddle get some more shine. His match against The Velveteen Dream in New York was his coming out party, but this was a great table setter for things to come. I could watch these two wrestle each other all day.

41. Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ****

Seth Rollins won the Royal Rumble in this one. This was a pretty well-booked Royal Rumble all things considered. I think the 2018 one was better, but this definitely didn’t lag too far behind. The spots were unique and I loved the fact that they didn’t heavily rely on surprise appearances. This is a very fun Rumble match on an all-time great Rumble PPV.

40. Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ****

Becky Lynch got her big moment and won the Royal Rumble in this one. This started off really slow and felt out of sync. However, it got better as the match progressed. Becky’s arrival to the match, combined with the crescendo of the crowd noise to her eliminating Charlotte Flair make for a really sweet moment. This one will hold up plenty of emotional and sentimental value for a very long time.

39. Elimination Chamber Gauntlet Match
SmackDown Live | 2/12/19 | ****¼

This match was used to see who would come out last in the Elimination Chamber Match. Kofi Kingston’s road to WrestleMania officially started on this night, although no one quite knew that as time went on. The benefit of hindsight probably makes this match, and his performance, all the better. Randy Orton won this match at the horn with an RKO on AJ Styles. This is one of the better TV matches of the entire year.

38. Pete Dunne vs. WALTER
TakeOver: New York | 4/5/19 | ****¼

This might be a bit controversial. This match is really good, don’t get me wrong. I also understand the fact that Dunne was champion for nearly two years heading into this bout. So, a quick title change probably wouldn’t have been too effective. However, even after a second watch, I felt 25 minutes for this one was WAY too long. It’s no real slight against the wrestlers. But, production wise, this one lands here instead of near the top.

37. Daniel Bryan and Rowan vs. Heavy Machinery
Stomping Grounds | 6/23/19 | ****¼

This was for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles, and it was a hoot. Heavy Machinery, Otis especially, came out looking like a million bucks after working with Bryan and Rowan. They retained their championships, but the challengers in Heavy Machinery looked a lot better after this one. This is a star-making performance.

36. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio
SmackDown Live | 1/22/19 | ****¼

This was the 2/3 Falls edition of this matchup. It was not quite as great as their first encounter, but these two still went crazy. The match didn’t really suffer from the ending of it, and there was probably no real way of them hitting the highs that they did just a week prior. But Mysterio and Andrade could wrestle for days and I’d never tire of it. Really great TV match here.

35. The Usos vs. The Miz and Shane McMahon
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ****¼

I, non-ironically, enjoyed the hell out of this. Shane McMahon may have tired and soured on everyone by now, but he does great in this match. As does Miz, who works as a totally effective babyface. Working with The Usos never really hurts either. This was a super fun PPV opener at the time and one of The Usos’ finest pieces of work.

34. Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai
TakeOver: XXV | 6/1/19 | ****¼

This was for Shayna’s NXT Women’s Championship. Baszler won, defeating Shirai and continuing her reign as champ. I enjoyed this one, and while I don’t know if I really expected Io to win, it suffers only slightly from the fact that Baszler is a literal cheat code. Their second match was better, at the very least. Shirai does a great job here though.

33. Samoa Joe vs. Ricochet
Stomping Grounds | 6/23/19 | ****¼

This was for Samoa Joe’s United States Championship, and Ricochet won it from him in this bout. This started off slowly but both of these dudes turned the heat up. They beat the pants off each other. Both of them sold their asses off and the conclusion was really fun too. This was a great moment for Ricochet, as he won his first singles title in WWE proper.

32. The Velveteen Dream vs. Buddy Murphy
NXT | 4/17/19 | ****¼

This was for Dream’s NXT North American Championship. It’s also Buddy’s last match to date so far (and hopefully that changes). This was a super fun match that Dream won to retain his championship. I think Murphy did a bit too much kick spamming here, but this was very, very good regardless.

31. Gauntlet Match
SmackDown Live | 3/19/19 | ****¼

This was Kofi Kingston’s first attempt at trying to get to the WrestleMania main event. They played everyone hook, line and sinker here on the way towards his eventual coronation. Vince plays a perfect shit heel and Bryan’s about face to corporate chum was a delight to see. Hindsight makes the journey all the more worth it here. This was a fun-ass TV match.

30. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
SmackDown Live | 3/26/19 | ****¼

This was for Asuka’s SmackDown Live Women’s Championship. While this match definitely could’ve just happened at WrestleMania, eliminating a lot of the problems that swelled up, this was an absolute dandy. Charlotte wins the SDL Women’s Championship on a whim to take it into WrestleMania. It is among the best women’s matches of the year and the best women’s match that’s happened on TV so far.

29. Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns
Stomping Grounds | 6/23/19 | ****¼

Drew Mac and Roman Reigns fought at WrestleMania and on a Raw later on. But this match was the best of their series. It was just the two of them beating the crap out of each other, with a little bit of drama inflicted by Shane McMahon in the midst of it. Roman defeated Drew to perhaps rid him of his problems with him. Nevertheless, while this feud has been dragging, this match was an absolute hit.

28. Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese
205 Live | 6/25/19 | ****¼

Tozawa and Nese put on an absolute show just a couple of days ago on 205 Live. So much so that this match leapt up all the way to 28th on the rankings with only a short time to go. Near falls aplenty and great action overtook this one in a big way. Nese proved victorious to win himself a shot at Gulak’s Cruiserweight Championship.

27. Samoa Joe vs. Andrade vs. R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ****¼

This was for Joe’s US Championship, and he retained his title. This was also a rematch of the Fatal 4-Way that took place just five days prior to the show. They outdid themselves, honestly, with this match as the four went all out. This was one of the best multi-man matches of the year at the time and still remains that way, too.

26. The Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze
TakeOver: XXV | 6/1/19 | ****¼

This was for Dream’s North American Championship. Have you forgotten how good Breeze was? If so, watch this match! Dream and Breeze use their character work to the best of their abilities to make it all work. Dream retained his championship. It doesn’t seem like they’re running it back to this yet, but one day, hopefully they will.

25. DIY vs. The Undisputed Era
NXT | 3/6/19 | ****¼

This was the final of the four First Round Dusty Classic matches. And they certainly ended on a high note. DIY and O’Reilly and Fish put on a great tag team display in this one. The talent is overflowing here and they really just turn this into a great display of tag team wrestling. DIY won here and moved on to the semifinals.

24. Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
SmackDown Live | 5/28/19 | ****¼

This was a rematch of Money in the Bank, and I thought it was even better than their first encounter. They tapped into a lot more and Kingston picked up the victory yet again. This was yet another great SmackDown Live TV match, which continues to be a theme here if you can’t tell.

23. The Undisputed Era vs. The War Raiders
TakeOver: Phoenix | 1/26/19 | ****¼

This was for The Undisputed Era’s NXT Tag Team Championships. The War Raiders claimed the titles after a ridiculously good match. The size difference between the two teams meant no difference at all. They found a way to get into their wheelhouses and make the match an absolute treat. It’s yet another great TakeOver opener.

22. Johnny Gargano vs. The Velveteen Dream
NXT | 2/20/19 | ****¼

This was for Gargano’s North American Championship, which Dream won after a damn good match. It shouldn’t surprise you that a Gargano match was great, as he has quite the rapport of course. Dream, naturally, shined brightly here too. Everything Dream’s touched since this match has turned to gold, so watch this if you want to see his great 2019 run start.

21. WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Elimination Chamber | 2/17/19 | ****¼

This was for Daniel Bryan’s WWE Championship. This is also best remembered for Kofi Kingston’s memorable run through the Chamber. Just a few days after replacing an injured Ali, Kingston was able to get every damn person in the building to chant his name and get right behind him. This match has plenty of thrills and sentimental value too, as it’s the origins of his road to WrestleMania.

20. Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Money in the Bank | 5/19/19 | ****¼

Just an absolutely violent Ladder Match here. So many great spots, so much ridiculousness and carnage. And you have to love it right? Many soured on the end, but Brock Lesnar showing up and winning MITB was a crazy swerve that took just about everybody by surprise. This is among the best gimmick matches of the entire year so far.

19. Moustache Mountain vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
TakeOver: Blackpool | 1/12/19 | ****½
NXT UK MATCH OF THE YEAR

The first match at an NXT UK TakeOver was a certified banger. Moustache Mountain and The Grizzled Young Veterans battled it out to see who would become the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions. This was a worthwhile match that has since set up James Drake and Zack Gibson has a legit tag team that still rules over the division as its champs now. Trent Seven and Tyler Bate went all out in this one too, and they obviously remain two of the best around right now. This still stands out to me as NXT UK’s best match of the year so far.

18. Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese
205 Live | 3/19/19 | ****½

Cedric and Tony battled it out on March 19 to determine who would face the great Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania. Alexander and Nese emptied the tank and then some in a classic bout that Nese won to punch his ticket for Mania. This was the best 205 Live match of the year for a long while and still, to some, might rank as their personal fave from this brand. It’s obviously worthy of recognition, and its current stature on this list.

17. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Oney Lorcan
205 Live | 6/11/19 | ****½ | 205 LIVE MATCH OF THE YEAR

My current 205 Live Match of the Year took place only two weeks ago. While many were dazzled by the match that took place earlier that night between Chad Gable and Jack Gallagher, I myself was much more dazzled by this frenetic Fatal 4-Way. Tozawa, Gulak, Carrillo and Lorcan went balls to the wall in this high-energy contest. The finish saw a double pin between Gulak and Tozawa, which paved the way towards the Triple Threat Match that took place at Stomping Grounds. I myself wasn’t bothered by that finish, because the action beforehand was too good to not be immersed in. This is a dandy.

16. Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black vs. Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet vs. The Velveteen Dream
NXT | 3/20/19 | ****½

NXT needed an opponent for Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: New York. So, why not just pit the five best in-ring talents on the brand against each other? Whoever made that easy decision gets a hearty hug from me. This match delivered and then some. EVERYBODY got their licks in at some point or another. Adam Cole rose above the rest to become Gargano’s opponent at TakeOver, and we all know what happened there.

15. Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Bálor
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ****½

At the time, I suspected that this would be one of my favorite matches of the year. Six months later, it still remains that way. Brock Lesnar faced off with Finn Bálor for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Many were probably disappointed that Finn didn’t pick up the win (or use his Demon getup) but this match was still really awesome. Finn went full-sprint and made many believe that he could slay the Beast. He came up short, but certainly did his job. As did Lesnar, who sold his ass off for Finn. This was so fun and I hope they run it back one day in the future.

14. Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai
NXT | 6/26/19 | ****½
NXT TV MATCH OF THE YEAR

Clutch isn’t something often talked about in wrestling. However, in this case, Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai were ‘clutch’ on the final episode of NXT in the month of June. How so? Well, they both made serious moves in the Women’s Top 25 after this incredible Steel Cage Match for Shayna’s NXT Women’s Championship. And they also wrestled their way up to 14th on the list and got a coveted honor too. This was the first-ever women’s steel cage match in NXT history, and these two absolutely brought it. I loved the intertwining of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, as well as Candice LeRae in this match. Io had an incredible Moonsault off the top of the cage that was certainly memorable. The finish of this match was also awesome, as Shayna tried choking Io out, but Io sent her head repeatedly into the turnbuckles. But, that strategy bit her, as Baszler toppled through the ropes and outside the cage onto the floor to win the match. This had physicality, drama and great spots, and is must-watch. This is my NXT TV Match of the Year so far.

13. Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Money in the Bank | 5/19/19 | ****½

Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles never happened in WWE before May 19, 2019. These two made the absolute most of this opportunity. This match was outstanding. Styles brought it and then some in what I believe was his best match in a very long time. Rollins had all of his energy going for him in this one and wound up retaining his championship in the process. This match is a favorite of mine and is probably among the MOTY contenders for many.

12. Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan vs. The Street Profits vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. The Undisputed Era
TakeOver: XXV | 6/1/19 | ****½

What an awesome Ladder Match this was. I had hardly ever seen as much violence in a ladder match these days as there was in this clash. All four teams deserve credit for busting their asses (among other things) in the fashions that they did in this one. Kyle O’Reilly especially, who’s still feeling the effects of that match today unfortunately. The Street Profits stood tall and won the NXT Tag Team Championships, which was the absolute right call. In their first big TakeOver match (and Dawkins’ first EVER TakeOver match) they seized the moment and then some.

11. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano
TakeOver: New York | 4/5/19 | ****½

Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano’s 2/3 Falls Match just misses out on the Top 10. Perhaps a little controversial? The match was great, no doubt. Yours truly was in the building that night to witness Gargano’s long-awaited coronation. Cole, obviously, put on quite the performance in this one too. Now while I think the match was great and the conclusion was epic, the first two falls of this match really prevent it from making the cut to the Top 10. They were just a little too dry for me to really think it was MOTY worthy. That being said, it’s still in a high percentile and still one of the top matches of 2019.

10. Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
TakeOver: XXV | 6/1/19 | ****½

Their rematch at TakeOver: XXV however is one that I think was certifiably better. Probably because much of the beginning of the match wasn’t dry as a bone like their first encounter. That’s not to say it didn’t have the typical slow start as most Gargano matches do. But it picked up and then some. I also thought the storytelling in this match was leagues better than their match in Brooklyn. The teases of interference, as well as a few other nuggets sprinkled around, popped me more this time around. Cole won the NXT Championship to set up what should be a barnburner of a third encounter in Toronto.

9. Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ****½

Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks were expected to tear the roof down at Chase Field in January. Tear the roof they did. In what I believe to be Ronda’s best match ever in WWE, her and Banks put on a clinic. There were so many fun aspects that were tapped into in this one that make it so very great. It is, at worst, the second-best women’s match of the year so far and that’s an honor that will be tough to break. Go watch this match again if you forgot how damn good it is.

8. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
Royal Rumble | 1/27/19 | ****½
WOMEN’S MATCH OF THE YEAR

Becky Lynch’s big moment came later on in the show, but her match with Asuka at the Royal Rumble really set the pace for the night. The Man and The Empress went blow for blow in an extremely hard-hitting affair. It was a match that reminded you just how good these two can be when they’re at their peaks. Asuka retained her championship to help set the stage for later, but these two absolutely shined bright on this night. This is my Women’s Match of the Year.

7. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio
SmackDown Live | 1/15/19 | ****¾
SMACKDOWN LIVE MATCH OF THE YEAR
TV MATCH OF THE YEAR

Many of us probably figured we’d never get Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio in any sort of arena. Well, these two finally made it happen on January 15. What followed was an unforgettable contest. Mysterio and Andrade wowed fans all over with a high-flying, high-impact display. Andrade won with the Hammerlock DDT after Zelina Vega got involved, but the loss obviously didn’t impact Rey too much. These two can dazzle any time they face each other and hopefully they’ll get to one day again. This is my SmackDown Live Match of the Year AND my TV Match of the Year.

6. The War Raiders vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet
TakeOver: New York | 4/5/19 | ****¾
TAG TEAM MATCH OF THE YEAR

Aleister Black and Ricochet’s run as a tag team in the early quarter of 2019 was incredible. They saved their best effort for last against the likes of The War Raiders at TakeOver: New York. This was the opening contest and continued a string of excellent TakeOver openers that’s still ongoing. All four put on an incredible display in this matchup and it was nothing more than a certified banger. The War Raiders retained their NXT Tag Team Championships in this one, but the lack of a title change didn’t impact my enjoyment at all. This is my Tag Team Match of the Year.

5. The Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle
TakeOver: New York | 4/5/19 | ****¾

The legend of Matt Riddle had been making plenty of waves for a while before he signed with NXT. Fans got a small taste of what Riddle had to bring to the table in the months prior to TakeOver: New York, but nothing quite amazing had happened yet. Well that all changed on April 5. His match with The Velveteen Dream, incredible in his own right, was Riddle’s coming out party. This match was damn near flawless to me. Riddle put on an amazing performance, and Dream did as Dream does and was amazing too. Velveteen retained his championship in this bout. Like the match before, the lack of a title change doesn’t necessarily impact my thoughts on it. This match is amazing and is worth all of the rewatches.

4. Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano
TakeOver: Phoenix | 1/26/19 | ****¾

Mouths watered when it was announced that Ricochet and Johnny Gargano would collide in Phoenix in January. And for good reason. Both are incredible performers in their own right and were set to deliver a classic match on January 26. That’s exactly what the two of them did. While this certainly a forgettable portion of Gargano’s NXT run, he still put on a ridiculous performance in this match, as did The One and Only. I came close to giving this one the FULL FIVE at the time, but I wouldn’t blame anyone if they did anyway.

3. Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali
Fastlane | 3/10/19 | ****¾
NON-BIG 4 MATCH OF THE YEAR

I will admit that this might be a little bit ‘controversial.’ You might not remember this match being so damn good, but trust me: This match was so damn good. For 18:45, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali went full throat. They battled in one of the most action-packed Triple Threats that I could remember. The only ones that I could think of at the time that brought THIS much heat was the WrestleMania 32 Triple Threat between Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Sasha Banks, and the Royal Rumble 2015 bout between Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins. Bryan retained his championship, but had his moments where he nearly lost it. The drama, action and energy in this one make it my Non-Big 4 Match of the Year.

2. Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong
TakeOver: XXV | 6/1/19 | *****
TAKEOVER MATCH OF THE YEAR
NXT MATCH OF THE YEAR

Remember that bit I just told you about how Riddle-Dream was The Original Bro’s coming out party? Well, this match was the one that made many realize he really is that damn good. Heading into this show, I knew that Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong was going to be fire. Sure enough, it was. It was one of the best TakeOver openers of all time, and in fact might be the greatest opener in TakeOver history, with its only competition being the match that happened in Brooklyn two months prior, and the North American Championship Ladder Match in NOLA. Riddle won this bout and will likely have plenty of classics in the coming months. Roddy himself has had plenty, and the potential for more is there, too. This is my TakeOver Match of the Year, NXT Match of the Year, and one of two matches I’ve given the FULL FIVE to.

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston
WrestleMania 35 | 4/7/19 | *****
BIG 4 MATCH OF THE YEAR
WWE MATCH OF THE YEAR

There really is no other choice for #1 than this one. Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 is the Match of the Year. This match had everything that you could possibly want from a wrestling match. It had all the drama, all the action and all the excitement. It had a capacity crowd at MetLife Stadium on the edges of their seats. It had real life implications and attachments to it as well. In the end, Kingston won and became the first African-born WWE Champion of all time. So not only is this the Match of the Year so far, but it became an indelible piece of WWE and pro wrestling history in the process.