Top 5 WWE Matches for New Fans
A few weeks ago, I spotlighted some of the best matches from AEW for new fans. Next up is WWE. With decades of history, there is a lot to pick from. Here are a few matches that any new fan can enjoy.
Women’s Royal Rumble Match Royal Rumble 2019
Royal Rumbles are always an excellent place to start for new fans. The premise is fun and offers a look at the entire roster. It is the start and end point of many feuds. You see new wrestlers, and childhood faves, all in little over an hour. There is a reason so many people flock back to wrestling when the Royal Rumble is on.
While these are the typical elements of every Royal Rumble, what truly makes for a great one is an overarching story. A thread that runs from start to finish, an extra layer that goes beyond the physical elements of wrestling. The 2019 Royal Rumble has just that with the triumph of Becky Lynch.
After a hellacious year and the creation of her The Man persona, this match tells a great story of Becky as a last-minute replacement after wrestling earlier that night. It wraps up significant moments that punctuated Becky’s ascent to an adored babyface and points towards what awaits her in the future at Wrestlemania.
An entertaining Rumble with a perfect ending.
If you like this, check out: Royal Rumble 1999, Royal Rumble 2006
Trish Stratus vs. Lita RAW 12/06/2004
Two women pivotal in the genesis of modern wrestling, Trish and Lita, inspired a generation of women. So it makes sense to have them somewhere on this list.
While their rivalry stems all the way back to 2000, their 2004 main event match on RAW stands out amongst their many encounters. Not only because it was the first RAW main event to feature two women in the show’s then 11-year history. But it also marked Lita’s return to wrestling after a broken neck.
When placed in a modern context, it is easy to dismiss this match for not living up to today’s expectations. I believe that, at least with something as innocuous as wrestling, we shouldn’t hold the past entirely to modern standards. It shows that women were always capable of main-eventing shows and, as with every Trish and Lita match, highlights the variety wrestling characters can offer.
If you like this, check out: TNA and Trish Stratus vs. The Hardy Boyz and Lita Fully Loaded 2000, Trish vs. Lita Unforgiven 2006
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley NXT Women’s Championship Match NXT Takeover Brooklyn
Set to the backdrop of a rabid crowd of die-hard NXT fans, Bayley and Sasha were the co-main-event at NXT’s first big PPV outside of Full Sale.
Again, this match taps into the classic storytelling that we expect from wrestling. This is a story of good vs. evil the clean-cut Baylay trying to beat the meaner, more ruthless Sasha Banks. The match taps into the idea of staying true to who you are in the form of Baylay, overdoing whatever it takes to win, which Sasha embodies.
At times the match is brutal, each turn of the tide punctuated with a fantastic move. There is an effortless flow as both women go back and forth.
To top it all off, in the end, we get something that we rarely see in wrestling, friendship. All four horsewomen unite and celebrate, showing that there is space for friendship in wrestling.
A genuinely fantastic match that will have you engaged from start to finish.
If you like this, check out: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley’s 30-minute Iron Man Match NXT Takeover: Respect.
The Rock vs. Mankind I Quit Match Royal Rumble 1999
Wrestling is a sport built on violence. Certain matches are more violent than others, and violence can be used to elicit a particular response from an audience, whether that be a shock, grossing them out, or in some rare instances, joy.
Like everything in wrestling, the use of violence is a delicate balancing act. It is easy for matches to devolve into violence for violence’s sake. The Rock and Mankind’s I Quit match at the Royal Rumble push that boundary without fully stepping over it, thanks to the strong story that runs throughout.
The build is excellent. Mankind, a man almost impervious to pain with an undeniable will, against a cocky, arrogant Rock who has sold out and taken every shortcut he can. The match plays off that very notion. The crux of the match isn’t who will say I quit, but will Mankind say I quit at all. This heightens the already horrific brutality of this match to a different level, even more so in the wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat, where the camera cuts to Mankind’s (Mick Foley) family as his wife and children look on deeply concerned.
The match culminates in an unexpected and creative finish straight from the mind of Vince Russo. One fitting of both its wrestlers.
A product of edgy 90s counterculture, if there ever was one. It’s brutal, at times hard to watch, but captivating nonetheless. Not for the faint-hearted.
If you like this, check out: Mankind vs. The Undertaker Hell in a Cell, King of the Ring 1998, Mick Foley Vs Edge Wrestlemania 22, Cactus Jack vs Randy Orton Backlash 2004, Beyond the Mat (1999)
Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai vs. Kairi Sane – NXT Women’s Title Match: NXT TakeOver: New York
It is an excellent showcase of the different styles of women’s wrestling. You get the power of Bianca. The hard-hitting, high-flying Joshi style of Io and Kairi. The methodical brawling and grappling style of Shayna. This fatal four-way has a little bit of everything.
Again, this match has fluidity and a slightly more subtle story than the rest of this list. The emphasis is more on the action in the ring. Each move has meaning and purpose behind it.
An impressive rollercoaster of a match, with four women going all out, that highlights WWE’s variety. An excellent match for someone who doesn’t know what wrestling style is for them.
If you liked this, check out: Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair Winner Takes All Match Wrestlemania 35
This doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of all the great matches that WWE has put on over the years. Hopefully, the broadness of this list will help new fans pick out what they like about wrestling and use it as a starting point.
But what do you think? What are some of your top WWE matches for new fans? Share your thoughts. We love hearing from you.