Wrestlemania will have no audience for the first time ever.
BUT DON'T LET THAT FILL YOUR EYES WITH TEARS. I have you covered. Pro Wrestling has been a mainstay throughout the world for over a century. Yes, 1900 had the sweatiest of men battling for a championship belt. While the world is self-quarantining, why not sit back and watch some good ole' wrasslin!
These are 12 wrestling matches to watch while sitting in your house away from the infected world.
12. John Cena vs Edge vs Randy Orton vs Shawn Michaels (WWE Backlash 2007)Giphy
Big match Johnny Two Shorts was at the height of his WWE title reign in April 2007 when three guys wanted to knock his head off. Fresh off his Wrestlemania 23 victory over Shawn Michaels, Cena defended the title against HBK, Edge, and Mr. Bad Snake Randy Orton. A very underrated match in the large catalog of title matches.
11. Toru Yano vs Colt Cabana (ROH Global Wars 2017)
Comedy in wrestling runs rampant like a disease (YES, I SAID THAT). Sometimes it's god awful, but the other 50% is pretty good. Toru Yano is one of New Japan's funniest wrestlers, and his run-in with industry vet (and fellow funny wrestler) Colt Cabana. You'd be hard-pressed to find a funnier match that still tells a story, doesn't give away too much, and DVDs. Yes, DVDs.
10. Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship (WWE New Year's Revolution 2005)
What a war. Just trust me, it's a fantastic match with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee in front of a passionate Puerto Rican crowd. Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Batista, Edge, Triple H, and Randy Orton fought for the vacant title in a match that you should watch right now. Stop reading, you fool. WATCH. THE. MATCH.
9. Seth Rollins vs Triple H (WWE Wrestlemania 33)Giphy
Rollins' had one of the most interesting roads to Wrestlemania: he was barred from that year's Royal Rumble for speaking his mind about The Game; Samoa Joe "knocked" him out of WWE for a few weeks before finally signing the contract in a non-sanctioned match at Wrestlemania. It was full of interesting spots, a motorcycle gang led by Trips and Steph, and probably one of the coolest entrances when Rollins "lit" the ramp on fire.
8. Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn (ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999)
Picture this: two incredible athletes going at it for a television title. A TV TITLE. RVD and Jerry Lynn had one of the best rivalries in ECW history. Although the promotion was filled with hardcore matches that would spook even the craziest of people, Lynn and RVD managed to bring some nuance in their matches. They had incredible chemistry, and to be honest, it was tough which match from their rivalry to put here. I'd put all of them, but I DO HAVE A HEART.
7. Kevin Steen vs Shinsuke Nakamura (ROH War of the Worlds 2014)
Ring of Honor was the home of many future WWE stars, and two of them went to war in 2014. It was Nakamura's first real debut for American audiences, and he sure did deliver against wily heel Kevin Steen. The match is easy and fun to watch. There's cool moments, some funny dialogue, and an entertaining 'dream match' overall.
6. CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Over The Limit 2012)Giphy
Two of the most over faces in wrestling at the time, Punk and Bryan showed that legit professional wrestling in WWE could pop the crowd. Punk was in the middle of his historic WWE title reign, while Bryan was going through an interesting change in his persona. Both managed to provide an interesting match in a very poor PPV.
5. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart (WWE Survivor Series 1996)Giphy
The first battle between two of the best wrestlers in history is not talked about as much as their Wrestlemania 13 bout, but both men went to war in each one. Austin was kickstarting his big run that spearheaded the Attitude Era while Hart was still a main eventer keeping his 'old school' vibe in the face of the biggest heel. It's a good match that even the hardcore fan would enjoy.
4. The 2001 Royal Rumble Match (WWE Royal Rumble 2001)
Yes, that's Drew Carey competing for a chance to main event Wrestlemania X-7. No, he didn't win it. In fact, it was a surreal moment in a very awesome Royal Rumble. There were weapons brought to the ring, there were interesting eliminations, and even some BIG returns (have I mentioned my obsession with Big Show?) The match itself had an awesome cast of characters: The Rock, Kane, Raven, The Undertaker, and eventual winner Stone Cold Steve Austin. Although some may say the 1992 Royal Rumble was the best of all time, 2001 is a sure contender.
3. Triple H vs Chris Benoit (WWE No Mercy 2000)
The unfortunate tragedy of Chris Benoit forced WWE to basically 'ghost' Benoit from their records. The good thing is they haven't completely deleted Benoit's matches. Though he had awesome matches later on in his career, this encounter with The Game at No Mercy is a hidden gem. It's a simple story of Trippy Boy Sledgehammer trying to go toe-to-toe in the ring with the Crippler. It's full of great technical wrestling mixed with a bit of WWE drama.
2. Jushin 'Thunder' Liger vs Tyler Breeze (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2015)Giphy
The recent announcement of Liger's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame was a happy surprise to the entire wrestling world. His retirement match at this past year's Wrestle Kingdom for New Japan looked like the icing on the cake, but Vince McMahon managed to take it one step further. Liger's career has spanned many promotions for over 25 years, and his surprise appearance at NXT's first Takeover in Brooklyn was interesting. Breeze kept the heat on Liger while the masked superstar pulled out his arsenal to a very passionate Brooklyn crowd.
1. Golden Lovers vs The Young Bucks (NJPW Strong Style Evolved 2018)
If you want to cry during an entire wrestling match, please don't do it here. Be brave, you people! LOOK STRONG IN THE FACE EVEN IF KENNY OMEGA V-TRIGGERS HIS BEST FRIENDS. The storyline heading into this was Omega's loyalty to Matt and Nick Jackson while trying to get back on the same page with old friend Kota Ibushi. Bullet Club was still in turmoil at that point, starting with Cody's betrayal of Kenny pitting the Bucks to choose who to side with. On paper, this match looked like NJPW was pulling the trigger too early here, but it was a nice change of pace every time a wrestler (or, in this case, wrestlers) was getting bigger than Bullet Club. Hardcore fans were happy to see Golden Lovers reunite, but I was happy to just see four great wrestlers go at it while telling a heartbreaking story. Grab your tissues, and hand me one, too. Dammit.
Were there any matches you wanted to see here? WELL TOO BAD, WE CAN'T ALL HAVE RAINBOWS AND COOKIES IN THE WORLD! As always, I'm Jake from OPW, have a nice day.