The Year In Review: The Best Pro Wrestling Matches of 2016
The year 2016 was an exciting one in the world of professional wrestling. All year wrestling fans worldwide tuned in and watched their favorites collide in the ring and put on classics. And whether it was in the local bingo hall, in sold out Cowboys Stadium, or even in the Tokyo Dome, these guys stole the show. Here on That Geek Show, we will take a look back at the top ten greatest matches in 2016 from WWE, ROH, NJPW, and TNA… Yes Impact Wrestling had some great matches this year. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top ten wrestling matches of 2016.
10. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Revival (NXT Takeover: Toronto)
This match was most definitely the greatest tag team match of the year, maybe even of all time. When these two teams faced off in August at Takeover Brooklyn they tore the roof down, but in Canada they blew the arena up. For all of you tag team aficionados that enjoy some great technical-smooth-sound-old-school tag team wrestling, this match is it.
9. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Battleground)
A true rivalry that has withstood the test of time and has been fought around the world, two best friends turned enemies collided on the main stage of WWE, in a battle that was a true classic of this year. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have had their encounters in the past, but this match was by far one of the best that they have had and it is certain that in 2017 these two warriors will meet again.
8. The 2016 Royal Rumble Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
For the first time since 1992 the WWE Championship was defended in a Royal Rumble match, and this one was a thriller. With the debut of AJ Styles making an appearance in a WWE ring and Brock Lesnar causing havoc, this match had all the action you could stand. All this lead to Triple H eliminating Roman Reigns to become WWE Champion. This match was definitely one to remember.
7. Ladder Wars 6: The Addiction vs. Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin vs. The Young Bucks (ROH All Star Extravaganza)
Talk about great ladder matches! Ring of Honor’s Ladder Wars 6 for the World Tag Team Championships did not disappoint. Three of the best tag teams in the world went at it in the middle of the ring, putting it all on the line. This match is a definite must watch if you haven’t already; a real blockbuster.
6. IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW Invasion Attack 2016)
2016 was a breakout year for both of these international superstars, Okada and Naito. Two of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s top guys did battle, and Naito, after a hard fight from Okada, emerged as the new World Champion. Naito clocking in one of his biggest wins of the year also changed his attitude, and he is ready to claim his top spot in Japan in 2017.
5. ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal(c) vs. Adam Cole (ROH Death Before Dishonor)
After a monstrous return to the ring from injury, Adam Cole came back to Ring of Honor with a bang, literally, by joining the Bullet Club. And he only had one thing on his mind: the ROH World Championship. He got that opportunity against Jay Lethal and seized it with a victory in a very exciting back and forth match. Definitely a five star match from these two.
4. WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz(c) vs. Dolph Ziggler (No Mercy)
Let’s be honest here people, 2016 was the year of The Miz. This guy is on fire, and his matches were exactly the same every time this year: awesome. This match in particular with Dolph Ziggler was more than impressive. 2017 will be huge for The Miz, who arguably is the best Intercontinental Champion of this generation in my opinion. Oh yeah internet, I said that.
3. Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander (WWE Cruiserweight Classic)
The words “Cruiserweight Classic” accurately describe this bout between these two fantastic athletes. This was a match that had me on the edge of my seat because it could have gone either way, and kudos to Cedric Alexander on the major performance. And the reaction he got from the crowd at the end, with the approval of Triple H, almost brought a tear to my eye. It was awesome.
2. AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Summer Slam 2016)
Two words describe this match: block buster. Just when you think John Cena was starting to fall off, he comes back with a huge match like this. And talk about the old “TNA vs. WWE dream match” we wanted to see, right? These guys delivered, and Cena loses to the new guy clean. Five star match indeed.
1. IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs. AJ Styles (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10)
This match was a shoo-in for Match of the Year. It was the farewell match for both of these men, and on New Japan’s biggest stage, Wrestle Kingdom, with such a stacked card, this match stole the show. This was by far the best pure wrestling match of 2016. Maybe in 2017 these two will collide in a WWE ring sometime, which is something we wrestling fans will just have to wait and see what happens.
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