Greetings fellow wrestling fanatics. My intent was to wait until after the TLC pay per view to write this, thinking we might get one more classic bout before the calendar turns to 2010. I was wrong. The TLC themed event of the same name was a complete disappointment, with sloppy matches and poor booking decisions throughout the show, but that's a different story for a different article.
The WWE will have The Slammy awards tonight on Monday Night Raw , and one of their prestigious awards is for match of the year. I think it is safe to say we all know the epic contest between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker from Wrestlemania 25 will win, and rightfully so. It was an amazing match that totally lived up to its expectations and completely captivated the wrestling world. Some are calling it the greatest of all time.
What I wanted to do here on Bleacher Report is find out from you, what you think were the other top matches of the year. In my opinion, there were about 14 or 15 truly great matches that took place this year, and I've narrowed it down to my top 10. I will list my choices below, and if you'd like, please post your top five or 10 or whatever matches you really enjoyed throughout 2009. I'm interested to see which ones you pick. The following are my top 10, in the best order I could come up with.
10. John Cena vs. Triple H, Raw , 10/19/09
This was the match that was potentially John Cena's last on Raw , due to the stipulation that if he lost his match the following Sunday against Randy Orton at Bragging Rights , he would have to leave Raw forever. His opponent was "The Game," and what we got was a classic, 21 minute, back and forth Monday Night Raw match that Triple H won by pinfall.
9. Edge vs. John Cena, Backlash , Last Man Standing match
Yes I know, two John Cena matches to start off the list doesn't look too promising. But this was another great match, that saw these two rivals annihilate each other in any way possible for 30 minutes. In the end, Big Show interfered by launching Cena through a huge searchlight, rendering him unconscious, and giving Edge his fifth World Heavyweight championship.
8. DeGeneration X vs. Legacy, SummerSlam
This was Shawn Michaels' first match back since his epic contest with Undertaker at Wrestlemania . Triple H had been having problems with Rhodes and DiBiase, and he made one phone call to help solve this problem. A very exciting contest that showed HBK still had it and Legacy belonged in the ring with anyone the business has to offer. These teams had great matches at Breaking Point and Hell in a Cell , basically saving both of those pay per views, but this was my favorite of the three. DX pulled out the victory after Shawn hit Cody with "Sweet Chin Music."
7. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge, Extreme Rules , Ladder match
This was the third time these two met at a pay per view this year. Edge had two victories over Jeff, one at The Royal Rumble and one at Judgement Day. Sadly, during both encounters, Jeff's brother Matt interfered costing Jeff the match. That wasn't the case this time, as the two ladder match veterans put on an incredible show, with Jeff capturing his first World Heavyweight championship of his career. Seconds after his win, CM Punk cashed in his "Money in the Bank " briefcase, hitting Jeff with two "GTS" ending the shortest World Heavyweight championship reign in history.
6. John Cena vs. Randy Orton, Bragging Rights , Iron Man match
These two competitors also met several times during 2009 for the WWE championship, with Orton gaining victories at SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell , and Cena winning an "I Quit " match at Breaking Point . This was to be the final contest, no matter the outcome. It was Orton's last chance against Cena, and if Cena lost he had to leave Raw forever.
In a 60 minute Iron Man match that could have been disasterous due to Cena's limited offensive skill set, as well as how many times the two had already met, Cena and Orton pulled out all the stops. They brawled up and down the arena. Orton used microphones and tv monitors on Cena, as well as literally tried to blow his opponent up using the pyrotechnics control board.
Legacy got themselves involved, and Kofi Kingston came to the aid of Cena, igniting the current feud between Randy and Kofi. After an Attitude Adjustment through a table, and a tie score of five to five, Cena locked Orton into an STF. As the clock counted down the final minute, The Viper could no longer stand the pain, and tapped out with less than 10 seconds left, giving Cena his seventh World championship.
5. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk, SummerSlam , TLC match
This was the main event of SummerSlam 09, and it did not disappoint. Hardy and Punk had been engaged in a feud all summer long, battling each other week in and week out on SmackDown , as well as previous pay per views. Punk had feigned an eye injury at The Bash , and got himself disqualified by striking the referee. Hardy won the World Heavyweight championship by beating Punk in a great bout at Night of Champions , and this was the rubber match. It was also tables, ladders, and chairs.
Jeff would wind up leaving the WWE a few days later, but he gave us one more incredible match, along with one more indelible image to remember him by. Standing on the top step of a twenty foot ladder, with his opponent lying on an announcers table way down below, Jeff gave us a Swanton Bomb for the ages, crashing down, sending Punk through the table, and the crowd into hysteria.
4. John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio, SmackDown , 9/4/09
It's not often you get matches like this on free TV, but sometimes, things just click. Rey had been the Intercontinental champion since Wrestlemania 25 . After succesful title defenses against Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler, he met his friend, the "Friday Night Delight" John Morrison in a title match.
The two gave us a well executed technical match, as well as an exciting, high flying aerial assault. With innovative pin attempts and never before seen counters, the two superstars had the SmackDown audience on their feet, chanting "This is Awesome!" It truly was, and in the end, Morrison hit "Starship Pain " and won his third Intercontinental championship.
3. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena, Survivor Series
The best main event of the year came at Survivor Series, in a triple threat match, for the WWE title, between arguably the company's three biggest stars. Many people wondered how DX would handle being in a title match together. Would they unite against Cena, would they take it easy on each other? Well, the Heartbreak Kid answered that question for everyone rather quickly when, seconds into the match, he hit his partner Triple H with "Sweet Chin Music" sending him flailing out of the ring, eliminating him for the first five minutes of the match.
Once HHH made his way back into the match, he put his buddy HBK through the announcers table, and went at it with Cena for a while. By the time Shawn came back, all three went at it nonstop, back and forth, with all three hitting their finishers on each other. It was anyone's match, until Michaels hit Triple H with "Sweet Chin Music," and Cena immediately threw Michaels on top of Triple H with an "Attitude Adjustment," pinning The Game for a three count, retaining his WWE title.
2. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho, The Bash , Mask vs. Title match
This was the rubber match from an intense feud between these two veterans. Rey was the newly crowned Intercontinental champion, and Jericho was obsessed with taking Rey's mask off. He also wanted to add to his already record eight Intercontinental championship reigns.
They had great matches at Judgement Day and Extreme Rules , but this was their best contest to me. A very fast paced match with many near falls, with Rey coming out the winner when Jericho pulled his mask off, only to reveal, another mask. Another win for the ultimate underdog.
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker, Wrestlemania 25
I know, not very surprising. But that is just a testament to how epic of a contest it was. When everyone knows what number one is going to be, it usually deserves it.
There is not much else I can say that hasn't been said already about this match. It was a beautifully performed, emotional, tug on your heart strings match that had everyone on the edge of their seat. The company's two greatest performers on the company's greatest stage delivered to us a match we will never forget as long as we live.
Thanks for reading, here's looking to more great matches in 2010. And please, post your favorite matches from the past year if you'd like.
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