Hello, grapple fans. We are back with entries 96-91 in our rundown of the 101 Wrestling Shows to watch before You Die. Let’s not waste any time and continue the countdown.
96. THE ERA OF HONOR BEGINS
(ROH, FEBRUARY 23 2002)
By 2002, ECW was long gone but the fan base was crying out for more. Step-up Ring Of Honor, a promotion founded by former ECW staff. The Era of Honor Begins is included here as it gave independent wrestling a massive shot in the arm and gave a spotlight to many of the stars of today a platform to hone their craft. The double main event of Eddie Guerrero vs Super Crazy and the 3 way battle between Lowki, Christopher Daniels and American Dragon (Daniel Bryan) ushered in a new day for wrestling in America and beyond.
95. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
(AAA, NOVEMBER 6 1994)
Mexican Wrestling truly exploded onto the worldwide scene one fateful night in LA during the winter of 1994. Executives from WCW were in the house to scout for its continued rebranding during that time so there was a buzz in the air. As for the action, one could still argue that from an overall quality and impression standpoint, this was perhaps the best PPV of the 90s. Future stars like Rey Mysterio Jr, Eddie Guerrero, Psicocis and the late great Art Barr took centre stage and gave America and the world a preview of what the game-changing style of the cruiserweights was to be.
94. NXT TAKEOVER: BROOKLYN
(WWE, AUGUST 22 2015)
NXT has arguably become the most popular brand in all of wrestling and this night in question just may have been the catalyst for what was to come. Critics said a so-called ‘developmental’ brand couldn’t fill a large venue and produce a Supercard of amazing quality to match it. Well look back and see. Venue? Sold out! Event quality? Incredible! Notable for Finn Balor and Kevin Owens battling for the NXT Title in a ladder match and the incredibly emotional Women’s title match between Sasha Banks and Bayley, whose popularity at the time was a sight to behold. This event was a true turning point for NXT and all involved.
93. THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH 1996
(WCW, JUNE 16 1996)
Widely regarded as one of their greatest ever PPVs, WCW truly came into their own on this night. Featuring action such as a true powerhouse battle between the Steiners and Fire and Ice, sheer brutality with Chris Benoit against Kevin Sullivan in a crazy falls count anywhere match and the moment where Kevin Nash and Scott Hall left Eric Bischoff in a broken mess on the entranceway, this PPV was the start of WCW’s run of unmissable PPVs.
92. SUMMERSLAM 1998
(WWE, AUGUST 30 1998)
Highway to Hell! Everything a WWE fan could want was on display here. Included on our list because if you compare the product to that WCW at the time, and WCW was still rolling at this point, everything feels fresh and the emphasis is clearly based on building for the future. When your top to matches features Steve Austin and The Undertaker in their prime and Triple H and The Rock knocking on the doors of the main event, it’s clear to see that WWE was always going to win that little War that occurred every Monday!
91. HEAT WAVE ’98
(ECW, AUGUST 2 1998)
ECW crowds were always loud and rabid but this night in Ohio, you could truly feel the energy coming through the screen. Mike Awesome vs Masato Tanaka. Justin Credible vs Jerry Lynn. Taz vs Bam Bam Bigelow. What more can we say really? Still a viable alternative at the time for fans and wrestlers, this event is a truly underrated classic.
That wraps up another instalment of our 101 Wrestling Shows to Watch Before You Die. We’ll return next time with numbers 90-86. For now though, let us know your thoughts and memories of the events listed so far, in the comments section below.