Entertainment

101 Wrestling Shows To Watch Before You Die – Parts 11 to 20 Recap

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Wrestle fans rejoice! We’ve smashed through the complete 101 shows and because we love you all so much here’s a handy recap of parts 11 to 20, all on one page, just keep scrolling, you know you want too.

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50. ECW Heat Wave (1996)

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1996 was the year that ECW had really established their reputation as a true alternative wrestling product for fans worldwide and on this night fans were treated to one of the greatest matches in the companies history. Battling for the TV title Shane Douglas, Pitbull 2, Chris Jericho and Too Cold Scorpio waged war in a mat classic that is always in contention amongst fans for best ECW match ever. Worth checking out.

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49. ECW Living Dangerously (1999)

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Sticking with ECW again here, the group staged the 1999 edition of this event for the second time in front of a rabid crowd in Asbury Park, New Jersey. At a time when the folks in New York and Atlanta were taking as much talent as they could, stellar performances from Taz, Sabu, Rob Van Dam. Jerry Lynn and Justin Credible reminded fans that no matter who was on the card, ECW could always deliver on PPV.

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48. ROH One Year Anniversary (2003)

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Only a year into its existence and ROH had become the standard bearer for wrestling in North America. The Elks Lodge in NYC, former stomping ground of ECW, yes them again, was sold out and created an atmosphere unlike no other. A ‘Riot’ featuring Homicide, Steve Corino and countless others is a highlight here as all in attendance weren’t quite sure if it was a shoot or not. Add in incredible performances from Paul London, AJ Styles, Low Ki and Xavier and you have the makings of an epic night of action.

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47. WWE WrestleMania 18 (2002)

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Icon vs Icon. Legend vs Legend. Hogan vs Rock! Yes folks this was a one-match show plain and simple. The great thing about this was that technically it was a poor match but when you add in the back story and the incredibly vocal crowd in Toronto throughout the match, both stars attained everything from barely nothing. That children is pro wrestling psychology 101!

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46. WWE Survivor Series (1996)

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Was this show memorable for Bret Harts return after an 8 month sabbatical against Steve Austin? Maybe. Was this show memorable for the latest war between Mankind and The Undertaker? Perhaps. This writer believes that this show will be remembered for the sold-out MSG crowd brutally turning on then WWE champion Shawn Michaels on route to his title loss to the insanely over, at least that night, Sid! New York was definitely growing tired of HBK at this point.

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45. WCW Slamboree (1998)

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It was the year that WCW started to lose their grip on top of the wrestling mountain but the 1998 edition of their annual May PPV was another choice entry into a great run of events from the Atlanta based group. Action a plenty was featured here as DDP and Raven waged war in a hard-hitting cage match, Scott Hall shocked all WCW and NWO fans alike by turning on longtime friend Kevin Nash and the main event of Bret Hart vs Randy Savage may have been the last great performances by both men on PPV. Check it out on the WWE Network and see for yourself.

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44. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 (2016)

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Tokyo, Japan was once again the setting for NJPW in 2016 to showcase to fans all over the world some the finest in-ring action of all time. Whether you watch this on NJPW World or purchase from Wreslingstore.co.uk, you will be in awe of some jaw-dropping collisions. Stand out battles include AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental title in a match that will leave you speechless and the insanely epic IWGP title encounter between then champion Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. With that as a main event, you know you are in for something special.

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43. WWE Survivor Series (1998)

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Vince Russo will always be a polarising figure but this night will always be viewed as his finest hour and proof at under guidance, he could pull something out of the bag. The one night ‘Deadly Game’ tournament to crown a new WWE champion was viewed as a vehicle to get the strap back on Steve Austin but due to some fantastic booking and a hot crowd all night. The Rock went from almost main event to full-on main event and took the title in dramatic fashion. Another example here of tremendous storytelling and incredible psychology. Ah, the good ole days indeed.

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42. ECW Cyberslam (2000)

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It’s pretty safe to say that ECW were holding on by a thread at this point with the much-documented controversy surrounding then ECW champion Mike Awesome. The title itself was taking its toll on the company from a creative standpoint. The title and company needed stability and it was on this night at the ECW Arena that Paul Heyman finally settled things down, temporarily at least. Taz dropped the title to Tommy Dreamer who then dropped it to Justin Credible in a frantic turn of events. Credible excelled in his role as champion and furthered his name here as an underrated workhorse. Tremendous stuff!

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41. WWE Vengeance (2005)

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Easily one of the more overlooked PPVs of the 2000s, Las Vegas hosted a cracking night of action, fresh off the then annual WWE Draft lottery. Never reaching the high standards of their Mania 21 classic, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels still bring their working boots here in a hell of a rematch. We see glimpses of a main event level performance here from Christian as he hangs well in a great triple threat match with Chris Jericho and then WWE champion John Cena. The main event sees one of the best Hell in a Cell matches of all time as then World champion Batista and Triple H complete their 2005 trilogy of matches in brutal fashion as the superstar status of Batista is secured here in a selfless performance by Triple H. Awesome, awesome and awesome!

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40. WWE Royal Rumble (1995)

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During what was heralded as a ‘dark time’ for WWE, this gem of a PPV has slipped under the radar for years as a quality event. Diesel and Bret Hart compete for the WWE title in one of the finest PPV matches of 1995 with both men once again showing off the fantastic chemistry they both had. Of course its the Rumble match itself that has the major talking points as Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith provide us with incredible performances, literally from start to finish. Watch this back now on the WWE Network. You really won’t be disappointed.

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39. WCW Spring Stampede (1994)

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April of every year from 1994, minus 1995, up until 2000 was always a PPV that WCW tended to load with quality matches and major storyline developments. The inaugural Stampede event was a tremendous night of action and one of the best wrestling shows of 1994. Featuring big marquee matches such as Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat and Sting vs Rick Rude, preceded by a superb undercard with the likes of Vader, Steve Austin and Cactus Jack, this show has something for everyone.

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38. 1PW All or Nothing Weekend (2006)

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Whispers of the relaunch of 1PW are making waves across the internet so we recommend what was another thrilling weekend of action back in March 2006 from the Doncaster Dome. Night one featured the one-night tournament to crown the first 1PW champion and was highlighted by amazing performances from AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and eventual champion Abyss. Night two featured ‘That Moment’ from Ulf Herman. Seek them out now!

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37. ECW Born To Be Wired (1997)

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Widely regarded as the most insane and brutal match in ECW history, this was the night that Sabu and Terry Funk but their bodies through torture of the most bloody kind in their epic Barbed Wire Ropes match for the ECW title. Whilst the undercard boasts some fine action, the main event is the big sell here. Head to the WWE Network and see for yourself.

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36. ROH At Our Best (2004)

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Coming off the heels of the well documented ‘Feinstein Scandal’ that made news all over the world, ROH knew they had to bring the attention back to the in-ring action and how sweet it was what they did give us. Matches such as Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe in a cage match, AJ Styles vs CM Punk and a red hot appearance from Dusty Rhodes, ROH gave fans yet another reason that night to love everything they were doing. Golden age of ROH here people!

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35. AEW Double or Nothing (2019)

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Yes, we know this PPV only happened under a week ago but it was indeed a game-changing night of professional wrestling action. From top to bottom the card had a tremendous mix of action to satisfy any and all needs grapple fans have. If you have already seen it then you know what we mean. If you still haven’t, make it a priority to check it out. Check out our recap if you need further inspiration.

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34. CZW Cage of Death (2003)

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For a promotion that has built its legacy on UltraViolent wrestling, it was during 2002-2004 that they were also churning out some quality wrestling with stellar lineups to try and compete with Ring Of Honor. Yes, they were in competition for a short time. A quality card of action was seen here as along with the insane multi-man COD main event, stars such as Jimmy Rave, Dan Maff, Ruckus and Sonjay Dutt provided much to be happy about on the undercard. Worth a view here folks.

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33. WWE In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (1997)

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Following what was viewed as a poor WrestleMania the month before, WWE staged a fantastic night of action here in front of a vocal crowd throughout the night. The double main event of Undertaker vs Mankind for the WWE title and Bret Hart vs Steve Austin delivers in a big way with all 4 men showing why it would only be a matter of time before the ratings on Monday nights would not be as one-sided as months prior.

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32. WCW Bash at the Beach (1994)

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This was the night where Eric Bischoff would see if his huge gamble on bringing in Hulk Hogan would change the fortunes for WCW. Whilst it may have taken two years for the gamble to pay off, it was on this night where WCW took it’s first step to becoming a genuine force in the world of wrestling. Along with a very underrated Hogan vs Ric Flair WCW title match, great performances by Vader, Steve Austin and, in what would be his final match in WCW, Ricky Steamboat carry what was an eventful undercard. Underrated show here from the good folks down in Atlanta.

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31. TNA PPV Week 2 (2002)

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Included here for the main event as it was not only a hell of a match but would set the stage for a division that for the next 3-4 years would be the big selling point for the company. Of course, we are talking about the X division. On this night veterans Jerry Lynn and Psychosis shared the ring with, at the time, unknowns Lowki and AJ Styles. The match to crown the first X champion was a breathtaking display of innovation and intensity and was the night AJ Styles began his ‘Phenomenal Journey’ into wrestling infamy.

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30. WCW The Great American Bash (1997)

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When we look back at 1997 and the rivalries that were standouts, one that demands attention was the almost year-long feud between Randy Savage and DDP. Their second PPV clash main evented the 1997 edition of the Bash and they absolutely tore the house down. DDP became a serious player during this time and the Macho Man once again silenced critics with his dynamic performance here. Other notable performances are on display from names such as Chris Benoit, Ultimo Dragon and Ric Flair.

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29. NXT Takeover: New Orleans (2018)

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Mania weekend has become the time where NXT fans salivate knowing they are likely to be witnessing incredible action from top to bottom. One of the very best and most critically acclaimed shows in all of WWE over the last 20 years, it was a flawless night of action. Whether it was the opening six man ladder match for the newly created NXT North American Title or the show closing war of attrition between Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, this event is worth watching or rewatching on the WWE Network.

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28. ECW Hardcore Heaven (1999)

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1999 was the year the cracks began to show for ECW but when it came to Supercards and PPVS, they truly were untouchable in North America. Far from the best ECW PPV of all time but when compared to what WWE and WCW were churning out at the time, this event definitely deserves your attention. Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn for the TV title was another memorising entry into their series of wars and choice performances from Super Crazy, Lance Storm and Tommy Dreamer provide much entertainment in front of a rabid New York crowd.

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27. OVW Christmas Chaos (2001)

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During a time when the future stars of WWE were plying their craft in Louisville, Kentucky deep in the south of the USA, this event gave the world a glimpse into the future. Revered as one of the best OVW shows during their stint as a developmental system to the folks above, names such as Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Batista, Shelton Benjamin and Eugene are on display here. Combined with appearances from Steve Austin, Big Show and Jim Ross, this was a hell of a night of wrestling. It can be found out there on the internet so should you find it, it’s worth a viewing.

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26. Brian Pillman Memorial Show (2000)

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From 1998 to 2001 a special tribute show was held in Ohio in memory of the late, great Pillman to raise money for this family and charity. The 2000 edition of the show is regarded as the best of the four and was best remembered for the classic encounter between Chris Benoit and William Regal. Also featuring stirring encounters such as Justin Credible vs Raven for the ECW title and the team of D-Lo Brown and Eddy Guerrero vs Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. Look hard enough and you will find this show, you’ll be glad you did.

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25. WCW Nitro Final Episode! (2001)

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Documented so many times, the Monday Night Wars captured the imagination of fans worldwide and even introduced new fans to the sport. This night was an incredibly emotional broadcast as we all wondered what would happen next for wrestling. Sadly it was, at least up until May 24th this year, the end of the wrestling boom period in North America. We are including this event for the implications it had for pro wrestling and for the surreal sight of the simulcast as the show went off the air for the final time. This writer has never truly gotten over the demise of WCW.

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24. WWE Raw is Owen (1999)

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Including this was something this writer went back and forth on but its inclusion is here based on two reasons. 1. Owen Hart was one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time by fans and his fellow wrestlers. Seeing the respect and love he was shown during this broadcast, especially the salute by Steve Austin during the show close, was as emotional as anything you will ever see. 2. Jerry Lawler said it best during the show when he said we should never leave home without telling the people we love how much we love them as we never know when it could be the last time we have that chance.

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23. WWE Raw – Bret Hart Returns (2010)

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Hell froze over January 4th 2010 in Dayton, Ohio when the Hitman made his long-awaited and much overdue return to WWE TV. The sight of Bret in there was one thing but seeing him share a ring with Shawn Michaels, awkward hug and all, and Vince McMahon really was a sight to behold. If you have never seen this broadcast before, go out of your way to see it and enjoy!

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22. WWE Raw – Night After WM 24 (2008)

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Let’s be honest here. No one really thought that Ric Flair had truly retired at Mania 24 but damn it we all wanted to believe it so much! WWE gave ‘Naitch’ the send-off of a lifetime for his Farewell Address and pulled out all the stops. Featuring friends, former partners and foes of old and new, including the Boss himself Vince, this was a special moment on Raw and one could argue one of the very best moments in the history of TV Wrestling.

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21. TNA Impact Spike TV Debut (2005)

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This was the year and night that fans had been waiting for. During a time when TNA was a genuine alternative to WWE, the hype for their debut on a national TV channel was so high that it was almost combustible. Included here for the short term, pardon the pun here, ‘Impact’ it would have on wrestling, TNA held nothing back here. AJ Styles was spotlighted, Kevin Nash made his return and Team 3D made their TNA debut to a massive ovation. It really was a one-hour adrenaline rush. If only things could have been different and yes I know we have said that before!

 

20. WWE WrestleMania 15 (1999)

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Though this will never be considered the best Mania from a ‘workrate’ standpoint, Mania 15 personified the whole ‘Attitude Era’ from top to bottom in front of a rabid crowd in the city of Extreme, Philadelphia. Under the eye of everyone’s favourite Vince Russo, the action here came thick and fast. Whether it was the madness that was Undertaker vs Big Boss Man in a Hell in a Cell match or the blistering brawl for the world title between Rock and Steve Austin, Mania 15 deserves your attention for what it symbolised during the Era that fans loved the most.

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19. WCW Halloween Havoc (1999)

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Having rewatched this event many times, this writer has included this for 3 reasons. 1. It was the first PPV under the Russo regime and throughout you could actually feel things could possibly change for the better for WCW. 2. Goldberg vs Sid was a match of the year candidate. Yes that does not look right does it but trust us when we say, this match was incredible. 3. It was the final time fans old and new of WCW had smiles across their faces all the way through the show. See for yourself on the WWE Network.

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18. ROH Final Battle (2004)

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Still today regarded as the greatest ROH title reign in the companies history, this was the night that Samoa Joe finally passed the torch to a new hero in ROH, Austin Aries. The crowd were White Hot for this and the fact that the match itself was a classic should tell you all you need to know. A tremendous card from top to bottom, as was the norm for ROH back then, Final Battle 2004 was a night of epic proportions.

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17. WWE Badd Blood (1997)

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Overlooked by many, this was a hidden gem of a show that featured action that was evident that the WWE was slowly but surely catching up on their heated rivals in Atlanta. Despite the tragedy of the death of Brian Pillman during this weekend, WWE did it’s best to churn out a quality show, obviously highlighted by the inaugural, and best, Hell in a Cell match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. “THAT’S GOTTA BE KANE!!!!!”.

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16. ECW Heatwave (2000)

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Always regarded as one of the best annual PPVs for ECW, Heatwave 2000 kept that trend going. So let’s see. Jerry Lynn vs Steve Corino in a bloodbath that truly needs to be seen to be believed. Rob Van Dam vs Scotty Anton, Riggs from WCW, in a choice battle. Despite the fools of XPW trying to ruin the main event, Justin Credible and Tommy Dreamer have a superb main event in a ladder match but not for the dangling ECW title. Barbed wire was more enticing. Why not eh?

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15. ECW Guilty As Charged (2001)

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January 2001 would mark the final time the original ECW would stage a PPV event so we are including this for historical purposes. Although not the best show the company ever produced, Paul Heyman and his loyal band of misfits were giving the spotlight one final time to remind fans who influential the group was and the impact it would leave on pro wrestling. Good times!

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14. AEW Fyter Fest (2019)

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Before some people start exploding about how we are ‘AEW Fanboys’, this writer is including this for two reasons. Firstly, it was a fantastic show that kept the momentum for AEW building as we approach their debut on primetime TV. ITV 4 PEEPS!. Secondly, should anyone in 10 years time go back and re-read this feature, they can say that they and everyone else were at the start of what is quickly becoming the next boom period for this beautiful sport!

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13. WWE Royal Rumble (1998)

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Featuring a solid undercard, this will forever be the night that two men solidified their spots as the future of the WWE for several years to come. The sight of The Rock and rumble winner Steve Austin battling out for supremacy before the next chapter of their legendary rivalry would begin the following year was something that still gives fans goosebumps to this day.

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12. ROH World Title Classic (2004)

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2004 for ROH fans will forever be remembered for one feud. Samoa Joe Vs CM Punk for the ROH World title. During the first of many rebuilding phases for ROH, they were eager to keep fans and bring new ones in and this was the magic that did it. Three Epic battles for the title that are still talked about today. If you have never seen the matches they had, seek them out now. This is also coming from a writer that was never a fan of Punk!

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11. WCW Souled Out (1998)

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Vince McMahon and his merry men were starting to close the gap on WCW around this time in 1998 but when it came to PPVs, WCW were still churning out underrated gems. Bret Hart vs Ric Flair, Chris Benoit vs Raven, Chris Jericho vs Rey Mysterio Jr. What more do we need to say? See for yourself on the WWE Network.

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10. WWE SummerSlam (1991)

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During this period WWE was still riding high with momentum throughout the wrestling world and this hot night in New York in front of a wild crowd was another fantastic edition of the annual summertime classic. Bret Hart and Mr Perfect battled in an all-time classic for the IC title that still holds up well 28 years later. Big Boss Man and Mountie engage in an underrated corker and who could ever forget the moment Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth created the Match Made In Heaven. Great stuff!!!

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9. WCW Great American Bash (1989)

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Heralded still to this day as one of the finest wrestling PPVs of the 80s, this night provided much entertainment for all tastes of wrestling fans. Whether it was Brian Pillman wowing the crowd with his ahead of his time offence, Sting continuing to blossom into the Icon her later became or Ric Flair vs Terry Funk in an all-out war of attrition, fans here will definitely have their thirsts quenched.

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8. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 7 (2013)

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NJPW’s version of WrestleMania would once again deliver the goods here in front of a wild crowd, as always, at the Tokyo Dome in 2013. Each man on the roster came with their working boots on with the main event of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP title ranking up there as one of the finest matches in NJPW history. If you have never watched an NJPW show, this would be a tremendous place to start.

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7. CZW Best of the Best (2002)

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Independent wrestling was really thriving during this period in North America and in many ways this was the show where fans of a more ‘pure’ style of wrestling started to take notice of CZW. Indy alumni such as the late Trent Acid, B-Boy, Ruckus and our very own Jodie Fleisch staged a memorable night of action. Seek this out and see for yourself.

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6. WWE Survivor Series (1992)

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WWE was going through a transitional period as the event drew close with more emphasis being placed on the ‘smaller’ look in stars due to the steroid trial what was looming around this time. The show itself is a hidden gem in many ways with two matches in particular standing out. The team of Ric Flair and Razor Ramon battle the team of Mr Perfect and Randy Savage in a very competitive tussle. The main event of Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels for the WWE title is an instant classic that deserves more credit than it receives.

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6. ECW CyberSlam (1996)

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1996 was the year many feel ECW hit its creative peak with the product and this show was a testament to the companies appeal at the time. Raven and The Sandman continue their personal war over the ECW title, Sabu and 2 Cold Scorpio raise the roof in a classic for the TV title and Brian Pillman shocked the world by showing up in the midst of his amazing run as the ‘Loose Cannon’. Quality stuff here that can be enjoyed on the WWE Network.

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5. WCW SuperBrawl (1994)

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One of the best feuds during the early 90s for WCW was Ric Flair vs Vader. The big man vs little man theory has always been a selling point in wrestling this feud proved that theory and then some. Waging war inside the Thundercage, both men once again delivered the goods. Underneath, amazing performances from the likes of Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Rude and Steve Austin show that from an in-ring product point of view, WCW was leagues ahead of WWE at the time.

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4. WWE In Your House: Ground Zero (1997)

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Summer 1997 was the time where WWE started to slowly but surely catch up to WCW during, yes one last time, that fabled ‘Monday Night War’. This event in question was a brief yet exciting glimpse into the soon to be dominant future for WWE over the folks down south. A tremendous WWE title match between Bret Hart and The Patriot, a killer in-ring segment with Steve Austin and Jim Ross and a wild main event between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels capped off a more than underrated show.

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3. ROH Glory By Honor (2002)

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Promoted as the first ‘Big’ event by ROH, which would later go on to become an annual event for years, big-time matches and performances were on show here. Incredible contributions from the likes of Jay Briscoe, Christopher Daniels and UKs own Doug Williams were on show here. The marque match between Low Ki and Samoa Joe was as brutal and hard-hitting as you would think and is still talked about today. See for yourself via HonorClub now!

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2. ECW November To Remember (1995)

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Filled with surprises and amazing action, this one is a must-see. ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin makes his presence felt when The Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck do battle over the ECW title, Rey Mysterio Jr and Psicosis throw caution to the wind in a Mexican Deathmatch and Tommy Dreamer/Terry Funk vs Raven and Cactus Jack is everything you would expect and more from these four ECW legends. One of the finest ECW Supercards of all time and will not disappoint.

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1. WWE WrestleMania 19 (2003)

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Billed as ’20 years in the making’, Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon was pushed as the main event at the 2003 Mania. But the show had so much more to offer! Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho, The Rock vs Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, featuring that Shooting Star Press, vs Kurt Angle for the WWE title. As far as classic Manias go, this one was artistically one of the very best and deserves more adulation that it receives.

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Well that’s it for our recap of parts 11 thru 12, keep those eyes peeled for the complete list coming soon!

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