Top ten wrestling matches of 2021
By: Justin Hopkins
It is that time of year, where we sit back and recollect on the past. Thinking about the excellent movies, shows we got to experience over the past 12 month. Which we will soon be getting to, but lets kick the countdowns off right, with the best wrestling matches of the year, and was it no easy feet. In some cases, felt like there was a new candidate nearly every week, especially where a certain Bryan Danielson was involved. Who threatened to take over the entire list by himself. Now, this list will contain matches from AEW, NXT, and WWE, because those were the three I followed most. I promise I will change that next year, cause I just know the like of Impact, NJPW, and so many others put on bangers as well. Just need to make the time to check them out. With that said lets jump right in with…
Christian Cage Vs Kenny Omega Impact Championship
This is a compromise to myself. How much I wanted to put this on my top ten list, because I was there for it. Had a fantastic time and this match was so good. Didn’t think for a moment Christian was walking away with the victory either. Figured no way they would have an Impact title change on AEW, but was wrong in the best of ways.
10. Pac vs Orange Cassidy vs Kenny Omega AEW Heavyweight Championship Double or Nothing
At some point, going to stop rolling my eyes when Triple Threat Matches are announced. I am proven wrong nearly every time, and this match blew away every expectations. Three completely personalities and styles and they knocked it out of the park. Knew that Kenny wasn’t losing that belt, but they sucked me in and made a believer that both Pac and Orange had a chance, and that moment where Pac had Orange locked in the Brutalizer and Kenny is kicking him but Pac is laughing off the blows. Forcing a Panicked Omega to take out the Ref to save the match will live on in my head forever.
9. Bianca Belair Vs Sasha Banks Smackdown Women’s Championship Wrestlemania Night 1
For the moment alone, this would have made the list. Two of the best going in WWE today, in Bianca and Sasha. Two of the most deserving women, who have worked so hard to be where they are. Such a feel good moment to see them bath in the Crowd reaction to them Main Event Night 1 of Mania. Then they had a stellar match. Cementing this is the place of history and with Mania going to two nights. will hopefully open the door to more women’s matches in the Main Event Slot.
8. Pete Dunne vs Finn Baylor XXT Championship Vengeance Day
As someone who really likes slow build technical based matches, these two guys ticked all of the boxes. Finn can go against anyone and make something magical and Pete Dunne is fantastic when it comes to working over his opponents, Together they made something magical and I hope Dunne finally gets that belt in 2022.
7. MJF vs Darby Allin Full Gear
I knew this match was going to be good going in, but was not ready for just how good it turned out to be. They opened the show and could make the argument that they had the match of the night. Highlighting both of their strengths and brought out the best in one another. Looking forward to see what happens next, in what I am sure will be a storied rivalry between the two and I am willing to be next time will involve a championship.
6. CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston Full Gear
Now this is how a blood feud is done. Two guys who don’t like each other and wanted to fight. Punk didn’t do his normal routine on the ramp. Eddie starting things off with the spinning back fist and they just went from there. Flipping each other off and went at it till Punk hit the final blow, but even in defeat, Kingston felt so important cause on another night. Could swing his way and with how Kingston’s year went. Think that might be sooner then later.
5. Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega Grand slam
This is a match I have been looking forward to, even when this was a pipe dream. Would talk about this with Co-Workers who would wish I would talk about anything else, and was thrilled to see that we were not only getting it, but weren’t wasting time. The match was everything that I wanted. Even knowing they would probably run the time limit draw, was still so entranced by everything they did, and the way they ended it. Suggested this is just an appetizer for things to come.
4. Bryan Danielson vs Hangman Adam Page AEW Heavyweight Championship Winter Is Coming
From a time limit draw we saw coming to one we did not. We get this gem from deep into the year. They had set the match up perfectly going in and Bryan almost toying with Hangman as the match went on. Proving more and more that he is less human and more actual wrestling machine. From someone who never yells at the tv, when it was under a ,minute, I was out of my seat yelling for Hangman to get up. Part 2 can’t get here soon enough.
3. IIja Dragunov vs WALTER NXT U.K Championship NXT Takeover 36
The best match WWE put on this year, was easily, Dragunov vs WALTER 2. These two guys went out there and beat each other like a bongo drum. WALTER being the prominent monster for 800 plus days and IIja being a smaller guy, but refused to being defeated on this day. Returning fire with everything that he got and getting the win by submission felt like a massive feather in the cap for him.
2. Thunder Rosa vs Dr. Britt Baker Unsanctioned Lights Out St. Patrick’s Day Slam
For me, this was monumental. Sure other places have let the Women’s Wrestlers go like this, but I had never seen it. Let alone on National Television like this. They made it feel like a big deal and solidified that Lights out matches will be brutal no matter who will be in them, and Baker and Rosa set the bar incredibly high. The match complimented the rivalry, paving the way for the two of them to go tooth and nail against one another and in the end. Both walked away bigger stars for it and was so close to being my match of the year.
1.Bryan Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki on a buy in for a Rampage on freakin YouTube!
Let that sit in for a moment. This was a dream match on YouTube. A counter to what WWE was trying to do to them. No one would have faulted them for going half speed and taking it easy. Nope, they beat each other within an inch of their lives. So, many moments they went toe to toe, throwing punches and kicks and every time was more exciting then the last. Concern every time Bryan hit the ground like a safe and felt like he only got 9the win, cause for a single moment. Was able to outsmart the murder grandpa. I don’t normally share matches with my non-wrestling friends. Last time was Shield vs Wyatt Family. I shared this one though. They treated a free match on YouTube like it was a Main Event of a Big PPV and will love it forever.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!