WWE's 25 Greatest Pay-Per-View Events in the History of the Company
WWE holds a pay-per-view every month and has done so for the past 15 years, give or take a few.
They are very special to us as fans because when we pay for an event, we expect the very best for our money.
I have created a list of the 25 greatest PPV events in WWE history—events that lived up to expectations, shocked, excited and entertained us and became talking points for years.
Most are still talked about today.
Some of this article you may disagree with, as everyone has their own idea of what makes a PPV great.
Feel free to comment in the comments section with your choices. Enjoy the read!
One Night Stand 2008
Ah, one of the last nights the WWE was truly extreme, before it completely changed the direction of its programming to cater to a younger audience.
It was an absolutely stacked card, worthy of more than just a minor PPV.
Orton and Triple H faced each other in a brutal match famous for a reversed RKO, which sent Orton over the top rope all the way to the outside, resulting in a broken collarbone for the Apex Predator.
Edge faced The Undertaker in a prelude to their famous SummerSlam Hell in a Cell match, which was also an extremely engaging feud.
There was blood, excitement, good buildup, solid matches and some impressive spots by Jeff Hardy. This PPV was a great showing and a thoroughly entertaining event.
John Cena vs. JBL: First Blood match
Batista vs. Shawn Michaels: Stretcher match
Triple H vs. Randy Orton: Last Man Standing match
Edge vs. The Undertaker: TLC match
The Great American Bash 2008
The last ever TV-14 PPV, and they made sure it was a good one!
The Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels match was as brutal as WWE could allow, with Michaels bleeding so heavily that the referee stopped the match and Jericho was declared the winner.
This match easily stole the show, as it was a rivalry that had been re-ignited. They had previously had some gruesome matches in 2003 around the Road to WrestleMania.
JBL and Cena had another extreme battle similar to the one at the aforementioned One Night Stand 2008.
Cars were destroyed, set on fire, used to crush each other—it was just a violent clash of two great superstars. It certainly gave new meaning to Great American Bash.
This PPV is a must-see in my eyes, as those matches were supported by a good undercard and midcard, and that is why it makes it onto this list.
Also, the first Divas Champion was crowned at this event!
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
JBL vs. John Cena: New York City Parking Lot Brawl
WrestleMania 2000 was the first WrestleMania I ever watched, and boy, was I impressed.
There wasn’t a single one-on-one match on the card, which maximised the usage of the talent they had at the time, and it significantly improved over the lacklustre outing the previous year.
The Triangle Ladder match is probably the most famous match of the night, with the three best tag-teams in the WWF at the time putting their bodies on the line purely to entertain the crowd.
They pushed the boundaries further than they had done at No Mercy 1999 and the crowd lapped it up, applauding all three teams after the match was over.
But what makes it special for me is the Triple Threat match for the two secondary championships in the WWF that were both held by Kurt Angle.
It was a dream match then and it still is now. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle put on a clinic, as Kurt lost both his titles without even losing a fall.
This would serve as a precursor to the excellent Jericho/Benoit feud that will no doubt keep popping up throughout this slideshow.
It loses points for a horrible main event.
The Fatal Four-Way elimination match was not a good WWF title match by any stretch of the imagination, and I was annoyed when I was 10 because Mick Foley had just put his career on the line at No Way Out and here he was wrestling in the main event of WrestleMania.
Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz: Triangle Ladder match
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho: Two-Fall Triple Threat match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and WWF European Championship
King of the Ring 1998
You’ve already thought about that 16-foot fall from the cell, haven’t you?
While the Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and The Undertaker is arguably one of the most famous matches in WWE history, I have not just included this event on the list because of that game-changing match.
The King of the Ring tournament that took place during this year is heavily underrated.
Ken Shamrock ultimately came out on top in an excellent match with the future People’s Champion, The Rock.
The feelgood handicap match with Too Cool vs. Al Snow came to an amusing end, as they used a bottle of Head and Shoulders to pin Al’s imaginary friend.
The main event between Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin was also a match that is heavily underrated thanks to the destruction that preceded it.
Stone Cold and Kane put on a classic WWF title match and with it being First Blood, and Kane threatening to set himself on fire, you knew there could only be one winner.
Despite this, the two superstars still get the heart racing towards the climax of the match, which shows fantastic skill.
The Undertaker vs. Mankind: Hell in a Cell
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock: King of the Ring final
Kane vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: First Blood match for the WWF Championship
If you put Chris Jericho and Christian in a Ladder match, good things are bound to happen.
This was an absolutely stellar match and with a Walls of Jericho on the ladder to boot, this match is a classic you don’t want to miss.
The main event for the World Heavyweight Championship was also a great match, as Triple H stole the World Heavyweight Championship from his then-apprentice, Randy Orton, after an interference from Randy’s former Evolution members.
If that doesn’t make you want to watch this PPV, then seeing Chris Benoit and William Regal take on Ric Flair and Batista should.
It was a great match to start the night off and is the sort of tag-team match we long for nowadays.
Chris Jericho vs. Christian: Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam 2003 was one of the best SummerSlam events the WWE has ever held.
Kane had just taken his mask off, which I really wasn’t too keen on, but Rob Van Dam entered into a great feud with him, which made it at least a little bit bearable.
There is no doubt that the two superstars and former friends put on an excellent match at this SummerSlam, with Kane’s anger looking so believable and Rob Van Dam playing the “he’s got no chance” role extremely well in his attempt to take down the Big Red Monster.
A follow up to their WrestleMania XIX encounter, Kurt Angle took on Brock Lesnar in a WWE Championship match that often gets overlooked in favour of the Elimination Chamber.
Moving on to the Elimination Chamber, this was only the second time the structure had been used and it was still fresh for the audience.
This created a great atmosphere during the match and allowed the superstars to be creative with their moves and really amplify the dangerous nature of the chained enclosure.
Triple H won, of course.
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar
Kane vs. Rob Van Dam
Triple H vs. Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Nash vs. Shawn Michaels: Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Over the Edge 1998
Some of you may not have even heard of this pay-per-view, and I wouldn’t blame you if you have not.
It is probably the most obscure PPV on this list, but Over The Edge 1998 had one of the best cards I’ve ever seen on a PPV.
It’s even better than some that come above it on this list but because of a lack of build, infamy and impact on WWF history, it comes in at No. 18.
Dude Love showed that he could wrestle a completely different way to Cactus Jack and Mankind, and it made for an extremely entertaining match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
DX taking on the Nation of Domination was a rare treat for what could be considered a C-list PPV, and The Rock taking on Faarooq was brilliant, especially with the added bonus of it being for the Intercontinental Championship.
Vader lost his mask to Kane and cut a scathing promo as he was coming to the end of his WWF career.
The whole card was just great.
WWF InVasion was pivotal in the invasion storyline in directing the storylines for the next few months.
This all culminated at the Survivor Series of the same year (2001), it but really kicked off on this PPV dedicated to the chaos.
Inter-promotional matches made the night exciting and fresh, as a WWF audience was not used to seeing WCW and ECW stars face the talent of the WWF.
Even when watching today, I still find myself really rooting for every WWF superstar.
There were plenty of "goosebump moments" during the invasion storyline, many of which happened on this night.
Considering most major stars were missing—especially for WCW—the WWF did a really good job of making WCW/ECW look like a real threat to the WWF.
It’s just a shame they couldn’t do that with Nexus two years ago.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent PPV that makes you feel you are watching an important part of history.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy: WWF Hardcore Championship
Team WWF vs. The Alliance: Inaugural Brawl
Bad Blood 2004
You have to wonder why the WWE ever got rid of Shelton Benjamin after watching him work a match with Randy Orton at Bad Blood 2004.
The Intercontinental title match would have stolen the show for me had it not been for one of the best Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history.
The Shawn Michaels/Triple H feud was coming to a close and this was a last effort to see who the better man was.
Both men came out of the cell bloodied, battered and bruised after nearly 50 minutes of punishment inside the demonic structure.
Both men bled like it was going out of fashion and the match was certainly a sight to behold, especially when compared to today’s tame standards.
The best part about the match was the fact that they made the audience feel the emotion. They weren’t just watching a match, but two men give everything they had in the name of pride and honour.
Even if you don’t watch the whole event, watch the Hell in a Cell match—you won’t be disappointed.
Randy Orton vs. Shelton Benjamin for the Intercontinental Championship
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels: Hell in a Cell match
One Night Stand 2005
This ECW reunion counts as a WWE PPV; therefore, it automatically gets a place on this list. ECW made excellent television and after four years of being adopted by WWE, it was time for a reunion of the best to put on a show like they used to.
Gone was the extravagant set and pyrotechnics of the WWE—it was back to basics for this one night only reunion. It featured many stars of ECW, including "old-school" Lionheart Chris Jericho.
Words cannot do this PPV justice—you just need to see it.
Lance Storm vs. Chris Jericho
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guererro
Over the Limit 2012
Over The Limit is the most recent PPV you will find on this list, and this slide will probably take quite a defensive stance, but it is with good reason.
If we forget about the horrible main event match between John Cena and John Laurinaitis, what we are left with is a brilliant pay-per-view which not only shows what the WWE is capable of, but also shows that we are nearly there in terms of booking—although it could be argued that it was purely a fluke judging from the latest No Way Out PPV.
The Fatal Four-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship was amazing, and all four competitors worked the match to near perfection for me.
Sheamus retaining put everyone in a good mood, including me, and it even resulted in Alberto Del Rio being sort of interesting for 10 minutes.
The Intercontinental Championship match felt like an Intercontinental Championship match of old because Christian and Cody Rhodes are the only two built mid-carders on the roster—the only two we can take seriously.
Because of this, the two men put on a great match, but I believe Cody could work with anybody. The WWE Championship is where this PPV really shines, though.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan was and still is an IWC fantasy, and it did not disappoint.
A multitude of submissions and catch as catch can wrestling, supported by Daniel Bryan’s unwavering support due to his "YES!" chants, make this match a sight to behold.
Buy it on DVD when it comes out. It is second only to WrestleMania this year so far.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho: World Heavyweight Championship
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes: Intercontinental Championship
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan: WWE Championship
Money in the Bank 2011
Money in the Bank 2011 is the only other PPV from the PG Era that has made my list of the top 25 greatest PPV events of all time.
SmackDown’s Money in the Bank match got the show off to a fantastic start. Featuring an array of extremely good talent such as Wade Barrett, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, it proved to be my favourite Money in the Bank match since it made the move to its own PPV.
Daniel Bryan proved to be victorious and eventually had a solid reign with the World Heavyweight Championship.
It was the perfect way to make Daniel Bryan relevant in a company that does not have much direction.
Christian, who was the challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship at this event, was embroiled in a feud with Randy Orton, who was up against the stipulation that if he got disqualified, he would lose the championship.
After yet another near-perfect match between the two, Christian managed to regain the title by spitting in Orton’s face—resulting in the Apex Predator blowing his top and hitting Christian viciously below the belt.
The WWE Championship match stole the show, however, with John Cena and CM Punk fighting each other with the WWE Championbship on the line
Punk then left the company as his contract ran out, taking the WWE title with him.
CM Punk and John Cena put on a match for the ages, a match which gained the first 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter since Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at Badd Blood in 1997.
This PPV was the highlight of 2011 and is the must-own PPV of last year.
It is critically acclaimed and it deserves to be.
If only every modern WWE PPV was like this. We'd be a happy IWC.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel: SmackDown’s Money in the Bank ladder match
Christian vs. Randy Orton: No disqualification match for the World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk vs. John Cena: Undisputed WWE Championship match
WrestleMania X saw Bret Hart win the WWF title from Yokozuna after losing to him a year earlier at WrestleMania IX. However, this is not what the event was famous for, and it's not why it appears on this list.
Bret Hart pulled a double-header on this night, and it was his first match with Owen Hart—a match with passion, emotion and excitement—that is mentioned when one talks favourably about the 10th annual WrestleMania.
Yes, Madison Square Garden was witness to a match which showed unbelievable technical prowess by both wrestlers and really helped to put Owen on the map.
What made the match a lot more exciting was the real life family tie that Bret and Owen had due to them being brothers.
With the same upbringing and the same training given to them by the legendary Stu Hart, neither brother seemed able to gain the upper hand. Owen eventually managed to get the sharpshooter on his brother and the crowd went mental, despite this being the opening match.
Bret managed to reverse but eventually lost to his younger brother by pinfall.
This sort of match is what makes WrestleMania so special. The match that stole the show, however, was the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon—the first of its kind in the WWF.
It truly did make the ladder match famous and helped future stars such as The Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian push the limits of this hellacious match.
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels: Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship
SummerSlam 2002 was a great event and the first time Brock Lesnar ever won the WWE Championship in a huge upset against The Rock.
It also presented the in-ring return of Shawn Michaels, who had been out of action for nearly four years after an injury that almost cost him his career.
The Unsanctioned Street Fight between the two was the start of a lengthy feud, which I’m sure will be mentioned again at some point in this slideshow.
The two men gave it all they had and in classic Triple H fashion, he attacked his former best friend with his patented sledgehammer, causing Michaels to be carted from the arena. Lesnar and The Rock put on a fantastic WWE Championship match and with The Rock’s tenure at WWE slowly coming to a close, this would be his final WWE Championship reign.
Brock Lesnar proved to be a worthy champion after beating the Rock cleanly for the one-two-three.
These two matches, as well as a strong undercard, make this pay-per-view extremely special for many people, but it is not in my top 10.
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H: Unsanctioned Street Fight
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar: WWE Championship
From one SummerSlam to another, but this one happened 10 years earlier in the only proper PPV ever held in England. London was home to SummerSlam 1992, the fifth annual SummerSlam event, and it did not disappoint the British fans.
The two main events lasted for nearly 30 minutes each, with the other matches pretty much serving as filler for the whole event, but it didn’t matter.
The ridiculous amount of people in attendance (close to 81,000, the biggest undisputed crowd for a WWF event ever) and two solid main events made the PPV one of the greatest in WWE history.
Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior both wrestled to a double count-out for the WWF title in a match that actually preceded that for the Intercontinental Championship.
Sounds like a PPV tactic employed today doesn’t it?
Rarely was the WWF title not defended last in the Golden Years.
The Intercontinental title match that pitted Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog, his real-life brother-in-law, was amazing and deserved the main-event spot.
Yet another match you should immediately find on Youtube. Bret Hart has been reported saying he thinks the match he had here with the British Bulldog in England was his best and favourite match of his career.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated named it the match of the year for 1992.
With such a stellar main event and a solid WWF Championship match, this event sky-rocketed to No. 12 on the list.
Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior: WWF Championship match
Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog: WWF Intercontinental Championship match
Unforgiven 1998 is one of my favourite PPV events of all time, and it is only because I tried to remove personal feeling from this article that it isn’t in the top five.
This PPV was the first time the WWF ever used the scratch logo on their promotional material, as it was the first PPV following WrestleMania XIV.
One of the main feuds that carried over from WrestleMania was the second-best feud from 1998—Kane vs. The Undertaker. This time they competed in an inferno match.
This match, for me, was one of the best worked matches of the year. Everything about it was perfect and for a first-time match left me wanting more. It was unheard of for anyone to wrestle in a ring of fire (in the WWF at least) and it fit Kane’s gimmick perfectly.
They managed to escape the wall of fire, as Kane was thrown over the top by The Undertaker.
The Phenom swiftly followed with his famous suicide dive (which looked exactly like Scar from The Lion King in this instance...), which was the perfect excuse for the superstars to escape the flames.
Kane was eventually set on fire accidentally when he tried to steady himself on the burning metal frame. Triple H and Owen Hart put on an excellent and rare European championship match, which is a hidden gem on this PPV.
The main event saw Dude Love go against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship, and it was yet again a surprisingly great match.
I still can’t get over to this day how good Foley was as Dude Love when facing Stone Cold.
They were clean, exciting wrestling matches, which were quite rare for WWF Championship matches at the time.
The match ended in disqualification, with a disgusting chair shot to Vince McMahon’s head. What a PPV!
Triple H vs. Owen Hart: European Championship match
Kane vs. The Undertaker: Inferno match
Dude Love vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: WWF Championship match
SummerSlam 2000 has the honour of hosting the first ever Tables, Ladders and Chair match, which pitted the Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge and Christian.
Hell, this match could have been the only match on the card and it would have made this list.
The three outstanding tag teams pushed themselves to limits we didn’t know were possible.
All three teams left the arena to a standing ovation for the hard work and effort they put into the match.
Jeff Hardy’s balance and agility were second to none, as he navigated his way from ladder to ladder with ease, and Bubba Ray Dudley, who arguably took the best chair shots in the business at the time, put on a great performance against the unrivalled talent of Edge and Christian.
All six men put on a clinic, and it is a match that is etched in nearly every wrestling fan’s mind.
Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho also competed on the card in a Two out of Three Falls match (I would give anything to see those two men wrestle again).
They are just astounding in the ring, and this match was no exception.
Granted, they have had more famous matches, a few of which appear on this slideshow, but this really is one of their best, and it really did help to put this PPV up a couple of places on this list.
The final match I really suggest watching from this PPV is the unsanctioned match between The Undertaker and Kane.
This was just an all-out brawl and only ended when the Undertaker ripped Kane’s mask from his face.
You can kind of see Kane’s face if you pause it on one exact moment.
That was exciting back in the day...we just had to see if he was burned or not.
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit: Two Out of three falls match
Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz: TLC match for the WWF Tag team championship
The Undertaker vs. Kane
No Way Out 2001
3 Stages of Hell. Though they are possibly one of the most predictable matches one can compete in, that didn’t stop the one at No Way Out 2001 from stealing the show in a big way.
The feud between Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin came to a head here, as they battled in a wrestling match first.
Austin won the fall with a Stunner and they embarked on an intense, violent, aggressive Street Fight.
They left hardly any white on the canvas (I don’t know where all the blood came from; I didn’t think there was that much in the human body).
Nevertheless, Triple H was able to level things up and force a cage match. Triple H got the third fall after another brutal fight, but only after falling on Austin, allowing both men to look strong.
This was an absolutely hellacious contest and one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
The Intercontinental title match was the second-best match on the card, with the rest feeling like filler. But the main event and the Fatal Four way, which pitted Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. X-Pac, was also amazing.
It’s one of the only times you’ll see these four men compete together, and it was a pure delight.
Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: 3 stages of Hell Match
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. X-Pac: Intercontinental title match
No Mercy 2002
No Mercy was a very monumental night in terms of pay-per-views, and it helped to shape a new direction for the WWE.
The Intercontinental title was unified with the World Heavyweight Championship, something that I can’t quite understand even now.
Kane and Triple H had a hell of a match, though, and it was a secondary main event that was certainly worthy of preceding the brutal Hell in a Cell match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker.
This is one of the best Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history and if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you Youtube it (if that is a verb...) right away! It was brutal, bloody and intense—basically everything a Hell in a Cell match should be.
For people who weren’t that into Brock Lesnar up until that point (such as myself), when he retained his championship in what was then the most brutal match in WWE, the fans' respect, as well as my own, sky-rocketed for the man.
For me, it was when he truly became a legend of WWE, despite already winning the WWE Championship and achieving so much in such a short amount of time.
Another gem found on the card was the first ever WWE Tag Team Championship match. Pitting four hungry young superstars against each other—Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Edge—the tournament final went down as a storm, and people were thoroughly entertained by the two talented teams.
Angle won the match for himself and Benoit by making Edge tap to the Ankle Lock. Angle and Benoit were a formidable team and great to watch at this pay-per-view.
Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit vs. Rey Mysterio and Edge: to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker: Hell in a Cell
Survivor Series 2002
Survivor Series 2002 was yet another awesome event from the beginning of the Ruthless Aggression Era.
The WWE Championship match was a pivotal match in determining the direction of the WWE for the next few months, as Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar’s manager, betrayed him in favour of the Big Show and cost Lesnar his title.
Lesnar suffered his first loss by pinfall to the Big Show at this event, but it was purely to turn him face for the fans at the time.
Brock Lesnar remained looking strong, however, as the loss he suffered was not without interference from Paul Heyman.
The youngest champion in WWE history was forced to climb the mountain all over again after this loss.
Brock showed unbelievable strength at the event by lifting Big Show for an F-5 (it wasn’t done every week back in those days), which displayed unmitigated power from the Next Big Thing.
The Elimination Chamber match was the last match on the card, and rightly so.
This newly established match was designed to be more deadly, more heinous than its predecessor, the Hell in a Cell structure.
Never had anyone seen anything like it, and with wrestlers being released at timed intervals, it just made the match all the more exciting. Shawn Michaels had not been back in the ring for long, but he managed to seal victory in the first ever Elimination Chamber match.
The sheer quality of both title matches on this card earn Survivor Series 2002 a place near the top of the list.
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho: Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show: WWE Championship
Royal Rumble 2001
Aside from Drew Carey and the Honky Tonk Man making a guest appearance in the Royal Rumble match, I have to say that this is one of my favourites, and it's definitely one of the best Royal Rumbles I’ve ever seen.
The match became a "hardcore" Royal Rumble as more and more wrestles brought foreign items into the ring to try and win that chance for a main-event spot at WrestleMania.
Kane was the most exciting entrant, however, eliminating 11 people in the match—an unfathomable achievement and a record that still stands today.
Steve Austin managed to eliminate the Big Red Machine, earning his third Royal Rumble victory in Cena-like fashion. Yes, I just compared Austin to Cena, because in 2001, with his rubbish entrance music and him putting nobody over, that’s who he was like.
Kane should have won and if he had, this PPV would probably be a couple of spots higher on this list.
The Ladder match was purely awesome.
Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit were still feuding into 2001 and this was a match of the year contender.
Neither man looked as though he was going to lose.
With Jericho eventually gaining the victory, what made this PPV all the more special was seeing Jericho put Benoit in the Walls of Jericho on top of the ladder because I’m fairly certain (I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong) that it had never been done before.
This PPV had excitement, brutality and a hardcore Royal Rumble—what more could a wrestling fan ask for?
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit: Ladder match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
2001 Royal Rumble match
No Way out 2000
I was just 10 years old when I saw this PPV. Cactus Jack was my favourite wrestler and I was certain he could beat The Game Triple H and go on to headline WrestleMania.
Oh the naivety and innocence of a child, eh?
Cactus lost his career in the heinous match, but it didn’t matter—the experience of watching this solid PPV live and seeing Cactus fall through the cell and through the ring will never be replicated.
The two men fought and thanks to Triple H being an excellent worker in the ring, he made Cactus look sadistic and dangerous despite his aged, ravaged body.
This match created the greatest promo for a match in WWE history. And I mean in since it was WWWF.
Nothing has ever beaten it and nothing ever will. It truly does give me goosebumps every time I watch it.
Kurt Angle challenged Chris Jericho at this event for the Intercontinental Championship—despite already being European Champion—in a match you should also watch, as it often gets overshadowed by the big main event.
Kurt actually won the title and became "Eurocontinental" Champion. The Rock and Big Show were also in a major feud going into this PPV over The Rokc’s disputed win at the 2000 Royal Rumble.
They actually worked a good match considering the limited move set they had to deal with, and the crowd lapped it up.
It was perfect primer for the Hell in a Cell match and it did help in hindsight to make this PPV as good as it was.
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho: WWF Intercontinental Championship match
The Rock vs. The Big Show
Cactus Jack vs. Triple H: Hell in a Cell match for the WWF Championship
Royal Rumble 2000
Yes, it’s another PPV from the year 2000, but in all fairness, it’s not my fault that it was the best year for the WWE.
Tazz vs. Kurt Angle kicked off the show in an explosive fashion, as it was the debut of the suplex machine and he beat Kurt Angle (his first competitive loss in the WWF).
The match was technical but also spilled to the outside and was a great opener for what was to be a jam-packed night.
The Madison Square Garden crowd helped the situation by being well involved in every match.
This first contest, which was followed by a tag-team tables match for the WWF Tag-Team Championships between the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz, was excellent.
Jeff Hardy did a Swanton Bomb off the Madison Square Garden balcony, showing that the Hardys could dive off anything; it didn’t have to be a ladder.
The guard rail spot by Jeff Hardy was also pretty cool.
The bikini contest was hot, as The Kat came out wearing a bubble wrap bikini. If that isn’t a decent enough reason for this coming in at third, then I don’t know what is.
The Triple Threat Intercontinental title match, which pitted Hardcore Holly against Chyna and Chris Jericho, was also an excellently worked match.
Jericho eventually won the contest. The New Age Outlaws vs. The Acolytes was the only forgettable match on the card.
Triple H faced Cactus Jack in a Street Fight and it was brutal and gratuitous.
The barbed-wire 2X4 made an appearance, making Cactus seem even more demented since it was not a common foreign object, and the gasps in the audience told the whole story when he lifted it up for everyone to see.
Triple H won the battle but lost the war, as he was stretchered off.
Cactus was still walking but “looked like a human pin-cushion,” according to Jim Ross.
The Royal Rumble followed and The Rock was victorious. Admittedly, it wasn’t the most exciting Royal Rumble, but Too Cool danced in a Royal Rumble first and Rikishi vs. Viscera was excellent booking.
After describing the good points of this PPV, you can see why it came in at third on the list.
The whole card was amazing.
Never mind "Houston, we have a problem," you might be thinking, "Daniel, we have a problem." You haven't misread anything, folks—this PPV truly has come in at No. 2 on my list.
There is one better, but we'll get to that later. WrestleMania X-Seven was the first time a WrestleMania ever felt larger than life for me, and it was purely because of the stage setup, the pyrotechnics and the array of top-notch superstars that wrestled on this card.
There were many great matches, too many to mention in detail, so I'll pick out the really good ones.
TLC was given a sequel at this PPV as the Hardy Boyz took on the Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian in yet another table-smashing, ladder-climbing, chair-butting extravaganza! Jeff Hardy jumped from an unbelievably high ladder right through the interfering Spike Dudley and Rhyno.
Edge and Christian retained their titles in a match that many consider to be the pinnacle of TLC matches.
Two great technical matches took place at the event as Chris Jericho took on William Regal and Chris Benoit defeated Kurt Angle.
The Undertaker faced Triple H in a No Disqualification match, which didn’t hold quite the same urgency in regards to the streak as it does do today.
Regardless, Triple H still became a victim to the streak, not knowing that 10 years later he would do the same again...twice.
No doubt the biggest match on the card was a rematch from the forgotten WrestleMania XV between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock.
The Rock would lose again but not before wrestling nearly 30 minutes with the Rattlesnake.
Both men showed they could hold the biggest stage of them all (as if they needed to), as they went back and forth, reversing finishers left, right and centre.
The tension built up and built up before Austin finally hit Rock with more chair shots than Mick Foley ever received.
The only thing that brings this PPV down (and it is only a minor thing) is Austin’s heel turn and the fact that he sided with McMahon to screw The Rock over.
Like I say, for many years, this PPV was unbeatable due to the excellent card, great booking and timing of each match, and the fact that it made WrestleMania feel truly out of this world.
But there is one that's still better...
The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz: TLC II
Chris Jericho vs. William Regal
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Steve Austin vs. The Rock: WWF Championship match
I finally made my mind up. WrestleMania XXVIII was better than WrestleMania X-Seven. There, I said it...or rather, typed it. It is the highest-grossing pay-per-view in professional wrestling history, garnering over 1.2 million buys.
I am not just basing my decision on the buy-rate, though.
WrestleMania XXVIII felt more epic than X-Seven. It had better matches than X-Seven and it was a lot more exciting than X-Seven.
After the event had aired, I did wonder whether it had beaten the previous best PPV, and today I decided it did.
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds, which I don't agree with, but it’s the result that needed to happen at the time. Now Daniel Bryan is more popular than ever off the back of that loss, challenging for the WWE title instead.
Kane and Randy Orton headed into WrestleMania in a feud and actually had a surprisingly good match in which Orton put Kane over cleanly.
Needless to say, those in attendance at Sun-Life stadium (myself included) were shocked at that result, and it also made me lose my prediction league.
Big Show and Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title was an excellent bout despite Big Show spoiling everything by winning.
The strong matches shown on the undercard help this PPV beat X-Seven, where the undercard matches were not quite as good. Even the Divas match was surprisingly good here.
The Undertaker faced Triple H in a Hell in a Cell/End of an Era match, which I watched three times before Monday was over.
Words cannot describe how amazing that match is, and you should buy it not just on DVD, but on Blu-ray as well in order to get the full experience.
Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy was the only forgettable match on the card since it was just a way to get more talent on the big stage.
CM Punk faced Chris Jericho in a real technical battle that also showed aggression on Punk’s part and allowed Jericho to play his heel character perfectly.
Punk made Jericho submit and managed to solidify himself as a true champion and the best in the world at what he does.
The final match. Once in a lifetime.
The Rock vs. John Cena. The Rock vs. Austin happened three times. Who needs that? The Rock faced John Cena in a battle that lasted just half an hour.
The two men gave it everything and the Rock never missed a beat. He eventually beat the Superman superstar in true Rocky fashion.
They also included spots that haven’t been seen for years, such as the "fading" when in a submission hold.
This should be the match of the decade, as I can’t see the WWE coming up with anything better than this.
It truly was the greatest PPV in WWE history.
Everything but Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy.