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Opinion

Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2020: #25-21

The official start to Mathew’s Top 25 matches! Starting at the bottom, peep 25-21!

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Welcome to the Top 25 Matches of 2020! I’m sure you all have seen the honorable mentions in the previous article and probably thinking to yourself, “what could be on this list?” Well, we’re about to find out together. This has been a rough year for all of us, especially with American wrestling…and I guess the pandemic. This year will be a little bit different due to the circumstances as I usually do two top matches per wrestler but that’ll be lifted for this year, especially with a certain wrestler.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?


25. Kenny Omega and Adam Page vs. Young Bucks (AEW Revolution 2/29/2020)

– It’s no secret to those that know me that I’m not a big fan of AEW and find it to be very mediocre. However, I will give credit where credit is due whenever a good match is involved and this is the best AEW match they’ve produced. The build-up to the match has also been really well done with the tension between all four of them along with the tease of a possible betrayal between the champions. Once the match happened, they gelled well and gave us a good half hour of entertainment.

You’re probably asking yourself, “why is this in here and not Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks when that happened two years ago?” While it is true that it basically is the same match in terms of story, just a different partner for Omega. The real main difference for this is that this one was less sloppy compared to the other one and that was what hurt the quality of the match for me personally. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the Bucks and Omega, this was still a great match and Adam Page is someone I am a fan of, so I was glad to see he was able to keep up with their style of wrestling. Good storytelling, emotion, the conclusion, all-around fun time.


24. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE SmackDown 6/12/2020)

– This was for the final round of the Intercontinental Championship and this was a match I didn’t expect to get the amount of time as they did since I was gonna assume they would give them ten minutes on television. I’m glad that’s not the case as they were able to deliver their best match together in the WWE. All of their matches have been enjoyable together and this match is just another one added to the books. It would go on for a half-hour and it made the title seem a little important like how it used to be back in the day, it reminded me of those matches.

The two may be getting up there in age but they have shown that they can still go and show why they’re WWE’s best in-ring workers. We got an actual wrestling match out of it and there was no dusty type of finish of anything, it was clean and that’s what made it better. When AJ finally won the Intercontinental Championship, I did have a small glimmer of hope that we would be getting these types of matches for the title. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case as it didn’t last too long but they did try it at the beginning, so that was at least. We were able to get one of the best matches for the title in a long time and that’s something fans will remember.


23. Charlotte Flair vs. Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley (NXT Takeover: In Your House 6/7/2020)

– NXT was another brand that has been a mixed bag compared to its glory years but this is what happens when you try to force change its magic to try and compete. There was been some great matches from time to time but the rest of the matches on this list were just better than NXT’s best. One match, however, was lucky enough to get on the list and it was the NXT Women’s Championship between Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley, and Io Shirai. I know a lot of people hate Charlotte from how much she gets pushed but it’s hard to argue that she is one of their top stars in the company. You had two of NXT’s best women with Io and Rhea going against WWE’s biggest female star, and they were able to get a great match out of each other.

Io Shirai was someone who reinvented herself over the past year instead of being another foreign babyface like Asuka and Kairi Sane before her, so she was able to get the slow build during all of that and it came into a full circle. All three of them would deliver great action and they would pull the surprise by giving Io Shirai the victory since people would assume Charlotte would either retain for a one-on-one rematch with Rhea down the road, or Rhea would get it back to redeem herself but that’s thankfully not the case. Io has worked hard in WWE and I know people said she should’ve won the title years ago but this moment felt more perfect to work her way up through the ranks and reinvent herself rather than getting it soon as she stepped into their doors. Great match and the right person won that night.


22. Undisputed Era vs. Imperium (WWE World’s Collide 1/25/2020)

– If this had a proper build-up and were able to do long-term storytelling, this probably would’ve been one of the best matches of the year with the story alone before getting into the match. We had the top heel factions of NXT and NXT UK battling it out for brand supremacy to see who was the real top heel faction. The two invaded their respective territories to help hype up the match for the past month at the very least. This alone was enough for the fans to get invested in it and to nobody’s surprise, the payoff in the short-term of things was worth it. Everyone involved in this match looked like a star and it made Imperium feel like they were exactly on their level, which is something you needed to do for this type of match.

The one big takeaway in this match was the unfortunate injury that occurred to Alexander Wolfe, causing him to be taken out for the rest of the match. Despite being a man down, WALTER would make up for the slack and wrecked everyone during his comeback after being taken out by UE. WALTER would get the win for his team, showing the world that Imperium is something you need to be watching. Undisputed Era is already well-established stars, so they didn’t need the win here to get over since they were already over. The right team won that night and we had a great match out of it, making all of Imperium look good in the process.


21. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi (Wrestle Kingdom 14 1/4/2020)

– Honestly, this match in general almost didn’t make the list, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I watched this live in the Tokyo Dome, high chance this wouldn’t be on here. This was the biggest match in Ibushi’s career than when he fought Nakamura five years ago and this was when he won his first G1 Climax leading into this match. The entrance Okada had before he came out was godlike, especially when you’re in the crowd to experience it live, it was just incredible and you know you have a star right in front of your eyes. Watching it on the television days after it happened would show the flaws of the match with how they paced it out.

But I’m not gonna talk about that version of the match and gonna focus on my live experience with it instead as I go forward with talking about it. The atmosphere for this match was intense, the moves were crisp, the story for it was top-notch between the two of them together. This was their best match together on a bigger level, and it showed that Kota Ibushi could potentially be an IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Kota would fail to win the match but still left a big impression on the fans, even coming close to winning. Kota is in the main event of the same night but against Tetsuya Naito, so let’s see if he can bring it home or at the very least, deliver another classic.

This will conclude the first five matches of my list and very excited to show the next five tomorrow. Till next time!

 


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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