With the current unprecedented lockdowns/cancellations etc. caused by the coronavirus wrestling is needed more than ever. That’s why we are here to recommend some good ole professional wrestling matches to fill your time and give you your fix. This is a time when the streaming services like the WWE Network, Powerslam TV, and IMPACT Plus among others come into great use for you to go back and find some classics. This is the “Must Watch Matches” series, in this edition we explore the must-watch main roster matches for the WWE in the late 2010s.
Note: This is not necessarily based on anything except wrestling matches that can bring any fan pure joy to any fan at any time. We hope you enjoy the list and check out these matches in this time of difficulty. Enjoy!
2015: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble
Brock Lesnar’s first run as world champion in his return to wrestling was his best. The matches, the run, the length. It was done right. This Royal Rumble triple threat was the highlight. Lesnar was on a rapid rise to one of the most dominant ever with this run but hed the challenge of a lifetime between John Cena and Seth Rollins charging for the title. Rollins was the one who took the craziest bumps, but Cena and Lesnar did their part in the best way possible. Hard to be upset with a match that is all action from bell to bell.
2015: John Cena (c) vs. Cesaro for the United States Championship at Raw on July 6
The United States Championship Open Challenge that John Cena brought to the world in 2015 was the best part of really anything that year on the main roster. And this is the best match for them all. Cena’s challenge was answered by Cesaro and these two put on one incredible match with feats of strength that were difficult to believe.
2015: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Neville for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Raw on Aug. 3
An underrated but incredible singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is the one that went down between Seth Rollins and Neville. It was an open challenge by Rollins and was a match where a lot of people almost saw the shock of their lives. One of the best near falls in the history of Monday Night Raw goes down in this one. Make sure to check out these two former NXT Champions go head-to-head.
2016: Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 32
The match that revealed to the world that women’s wrestling was taking over the WWE. Down goes the Divas Championship and the division was rebranded with three of the four women who stood at the center of this “Women’s Evolution” in the WWE. NXT had figured it out a whole year earlier, but these three delivered the best match on the entire WrestleMania card that year. This was the official coming-out party to the casual fans.
2016: Roman Reigns (c) vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship in an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules
AJ Styles signed with the WWE in 2016 and proceeded to have the best year for any male superstar on the roster. The best match in his first couple of months came against Roman Reigns in a feud where it became The Bloodline vs. The Bullet Club. Even if Styles didn’t commit to his Club brothers, that’s how it was. He helped make Roman Reigns a star that night, giving him his best match to date in one of the better Extreme Rules matches in the PPVs history. It includes a phenomenal end as well (no pun intended).
2016: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship at Raw on July 25
Raw’s quality really got improved from the women and this match is the perfect case behind it. Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks was a rivalry that delivered classic after classic, but this may have been their absolute best. Great women’s wrestling that saw Sasha Banks walk out of Raw as the Raw Women’s Champion for the first time in her career.
2016: John Cena vs. AJ Styles at SummerSlam
WWE vs. TNA. That’s the only way to talk about this match. And while it was their second of three, it was their best. “The Franchise” of the WWE faced the long-time face of TNA wrestling in a series of matches that no one ever believed would be possible. John Cena and AJ Styles displayed incredible chemistry and put on what many believe to be the match of the year. It was also another feather in the cap for Styles, who put on another classic within his first year as a member of the WWE. The finish of this one is something to behold as it was a true classic between these two men.
2017: Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33
By far the shortest match on the entire list is the battle between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33. Not so shocking considering the men involved, but it proved to be entertaining and one of the best matches for both since returning. Goldberg defended his Universal Championship and these two superhero-like performers beat the life out of one another in order to walk ut as the champion. Spears, suplexes, and full out destruction.
2018: The Ultimate Deletion at Raw on March 19
If you followed IMPACT Wrestling, or more importantly “Broken” Matt Hardy, you will love this match. The only edition that Hardy was ever able to do as a member of the WWE but he sure delivered. The lake of reincarnation, Vanguard 1, the entire crew was present. The Ultimate Deletion between Hardy and Bray Wyatt should have only been the beginning of these insane experiences. But hey, enjoy the one we did get under the WWE umbrella for what it is.
2018: Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy in a No Disqualification Match at 205 Live on July 3
The cruiserweight division returned following the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016 and saw plenty of great action on the 205 Live brand but did not have the fan fair that it should have from the start. That didn’t matter to those who competed on the roster, especially Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy. Two men who tore through one another in a No Disqualification Match on 205 Live in the summer of 2018. A fight between these two that made waves at the time, but still deserves more viewings than it has gotten to this point. Cruiserweight style at it’s absolute best.
2018: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair in a Last Woman Standing Match at Evolution
Considered by some to be the best main roster women’s match possibly ever. Evolution as a show was something that felt surreal in itself and was far and away the perfect conclusion to the “Women’s Evolution” phase in the sense that after this, they should be strictly viewed as equals or better, nothing less. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were on a mission that night. Whether it was because they were somehow not main eventing, or because their rivalry was on another level of seriousness. The first Last Woman Standing match in main roster history not only lived up to expectations but hit it out of the park in the terms of greatness in wrestling.
2019: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35
Sometimes the story of the match can be so good that the match may disappoint when we get to that point. This was not one of those times. The road to Kofi Kingston getting a singles WWE Championship match for the first time in his 11 year career was not only brilliant in its own right but so was the match where he finally won it. Daniel Bryan played the perfect heel to try and keep Kingston from achieving his dreams. If you want a story, great wrestling, and a perfect ending, this is the match for you.
2019: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship in a Hell in a Cell Match at Hell in a Cell
The final match in our list of must-watch list for the WWE in the 2010s is when Becky Lynch defended the Raw Women’s Championship inside Hell in a Cell against Sasha Banks. These two women brutalized the other all to hold the title and show they were the face of the women’s division. The women showed wittiness in terms of how to hurt their opponent and try to win the championship. Many fans may be angry with the product right now or even in 2019, but the women involved in this one made you forget any anger and forced you to appreciate the greatness of the Hell in a Cell stipulation and witness a blood rivalry at its boiling point. This is one to go out of your way to re-live in these times of craziness.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? Check out the WWE Network to view all the matches above!