I’ve never been the best with creating favorites lists. I’ve said I would make a “top X favorite anime” list years ago, and I’m still trying to whittle it down. With me, I always find a new entry and so I have to redo everything from the top, and so the whole process starts over again. But with this, I feel a bit differently toward the concept. I feel a bit more confident with creating a list of favorites, and so, leading up to WrestleMania Sunday, I’m going to share with you, what I consider to be, my 10 favorite matches in WWE.
NOTE: These are not crafted by match quality, nor by in-ring performance. It’s just a list of subjective opinion and personal enjoyment.
#10 – Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle, 60-Minute Iron Man WWE Championship Match (SmackDown!, 9/18/03)
One of my favorite feuds from what I call the “peak period” of SmackDown – you know, when Dave Lagana and Paul Heyman were running the show from 2002 to 2004 – was the title feud between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle. It all started in the winter of 2003, leading to their WrestleMania 19 match, which was an instant classic (save for the botched Shooting Star Press), and after a few months for Angle to get surgery and heal from injuries, they had their rematch at SummerSlam, the following August. It could’ve used a lot less McMahon interfering, honestly. Which leads us to the rubber match, an hour-long Iron Man match, not on pay-per-view but instead on free TV. (Literal free, over-the-air, broadcast TV, mind you.) And it was as fantastic a feud-ender as there could ever be.
Two of the all-time greatest competitors WWE has ever had, going at it by giving each other everything they have, from mauling beatdowns to submission holds to grappling, all intertwining with one another for one full hour? Sign me up. Some have called this the greatest match in SmackDown’s broadcast history, others call this the least-best of all the Iron Man matches, but me? It’s a match that performs, delivers, and tells a complete story, serving as the epic climax to one of the best title feuds WWE ever put together. Just don’t expect this kind of performance when Lesnar takes on Goldberg in Orlando.