WWE's Top 10 Matches Since the Brand Extension

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WWE's Top 10 Matches Since the Brand Extension

In the year 2000, we were told to get the "f" out.  This wasn't a literal request for us to leave anywhere, but a change in name.

Vince McMahon was being sued by the World Wildlife Fund and was forced to change names.

In the year 2002, the WWE went through another change that no one saw coming: the brand extension.

We saw Ric Flair and Vince McMahon split up the roster, and Pro Wrestling has never been the same.

Since the brand extension, we've seen many amazing matches.  Here are my top 10.

 

10. Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton

WrestleMania 24—WWE Championship

A new era in the WWE was created by this match.  The rebirth of the heel was one of the defining moments of 2008.

The big dispute walking into WrestleMania was who was going to win the WWE Title.
Was it going to be John Cena?  Was it going to be Triple H?

John Cena came back from injury to win the 2008 Royal Rumble match, and his buildup was only outdone by Triple H's, who had spent the better part of six months chasing the title.  He defeated the skyrocketing Jeff Hardy and four other participants in a No. 1 contender Elimination Chamber match and was looking like a safe bet to win the World Title.

To everyone's surprise, excluding mine, Randy Orton retained his WWE Title.

 

9. The Undertaker vs. Edge—Tables, Ladders, and Chairs

One Night Stand 2008—World Heavyweight Title

Keeping in line with Vince McMahon's sudden urge to surprise us, we were dealt one of the biggest shockers in professional wrestling history.

The buildup for One Night Stand was about The Undertaker's career.

Vickie Guerrero, the (Kayfabe) wife of former champion Edge, had booked the two in "one final match" to end the rivalry.  If The Undertaker lost, he would be forced to retire.

We as wrestling fans have been teased with the retirement of many wrestlers, including Shawn Michaels' tomorrow.

This is the only time to my knowledge when it came through.

Edge defeated The Undertaker, and Vickie Guerrero fired him.

Although it was only a part of a storyline, the wrestling world stood in awe for a few brief minutes.

 

8. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Royal Rumble 2003—WWE Championship

In what could possibly have been the best match of the year, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle both wrestled their hearts out.  Kurt Angle had just turned heel, and Chris Benoit was on a roll.  There was no real question about who was going to win, after how much they had built up Brock Lesnar, but for at least a couple of minutes, everyone questioned it.

Kurt Angle went on to make Benoit tap to make his match with Lesnar even more hyped, but this could possibly be the best no chance for a title switch I've ever seen.

 

7. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. RVD vs. Booker T

Survivor Series 2002—World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber

In 2002, we were told about Eric Bischoff's new creation, the Elimination Chamber.

It was the most hyped new match since the Hell in a Cell, and the most hyped title defence since the brand extension.

The first ever Elimination Chamber was a legend.  It saw Shawn Michaels conquer his former partner and regain the World title.

 

6. Royal Rumble 2004

The second best Royal Rumble ever happened in 2004.  Chris Benoit's life was written into that match.

He came into the match as the first participant.  He was given no chance to win, and at the end of the match, he slowly, painfully got the Big Show over the top rope.  He had finally overcome his biggest obstacle and was given the throne in the WWE.

However, no amount of success could kill his demons.

RIP Chris Benoit, and his family.

 

5. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels

This match will always have a special place in my heart.  Coming into the match, Chris Jericho reminded us how alike he and Shawn Michaels were, and how his entire career had his struggle to not be "the next Shawn Michaels," but to become "the first Chris Jericho"

This night would start Chris Jericho's rise to the top of the wrestling world, even though he was already an undisputed champion.

The original plan, as I have heard, was for Shawn Michaels to lose to Chris Jericho.  Chris Jericho thought it was a once in a lifetime chance, and he chose to lose to Shawn Michaels.

 

4. Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels

WrestleMania 24—Career-threatening match

Ric Flair's career will be remembered as one of, if not the most influential and important to the wrestling community.

There was no question that Shawn Michaels would win, but everyone questioned how good of a match a 56-year-old and a 42-year-old could put on.

In this match, Shawn Michaels defined himself as the best of his generation.  Shawn Michaels' superkick on Flair was the most emotional moment I've ever witnessed.

 

3. Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle

No Mercy 2002—WWE Tag Team Titles

The best tag team match I've ever seen.  This match would showcase four of the WWE's biggest stars ever.

SmackDown! was stacked with stars, and this tag team match was unbelievable.  I personally expected Rey Mysterio and Edge to win, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This match was the finals in the tag team tournament to crown the first ever WWE tag team champions, and they couldn't have chosen a better tag team to crown the inaugural champions.

 

2. The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

WrestleMania 19

The match I will forever associate with the end of the attitude era was the greatest match they ever put on.  

The Rock had lost twice to Steve Austin at WrestleMania, but he had never beaten him.  Steve Austin was considered the face of the WWE, even months after he'd stopped (unofficially) wrestling.  WrestleMania 19 was the end of "Stone Cold," and the WWE felt the need to bury him big.  The Rock landed three "Rock Bottoms" and a "People's Elbow" to end the career of Steve Austin.

Both of these guys will be remembered amongst the best ever.

 

1. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

WrestleMania 21

In what could quite possibly be the best match in WrestleMania history, Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle took the modern grudge match to the limit.

Kurt Angle was getting stale on SmackDown! and had just lost a World Title match when he took Nunzio's Royal Rumble spot (which was hilarious).

Kurt Angle was super-kicked out of the match by Shawn Michaels.

Kurt Angle came back into the ring and began a brutal beatdown on the Heartbreak Kid.

This feud would go on until WrestleMania, where both men had amazing performances.

It's agreed by many that is was the best match on the card, and that it "stole the show."

Kurt Angle won this almost 30-minute epic performance.

 

So that's my list; what do you guys think?

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