Happy New Year, Little Doomers. It’s January, and that brings us to our monthly look at pay-per-view matches that took place during this month. I only look at the big two, WWF/E and WCW. If you have favorites from TNA, ROH, ECW or any other company, feel free to give them some love here.
For WWF/E, PPV shows have included Royal Rumble (of course), with the pay-per-view version beginning in 1989 running through today. They also had New Year’s Revolution from 2005-2007. For NWA/WCW, they ran a Bunkhouse Stampede show in 1988, Souled Out from 1997-2000, and then Sin in 2001, before their untimely demise. They have been many contenders from these shows, but I have studiously whittled it down to five. But this time, I have decided to include an Honorable Mention section, to show that it was very difficult to decide on just 5. Let’s do this!
1. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – Ladder Match – WWF Intercontinental Championship – Royal Rumble – January 21, 2001.
2. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Championship – Royal Rumble – January 19, 2003.
3. Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 29, 2012.
4. The Rock vs. Chris Jericho – WWF Undisputed Championship – Royal Rumble – January 20, 2002.
5. Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – WCW/New Japan Supershow – January 4, 1993.
Now to the A+ GOAT Top 5 match list. Remember, completely subjective on my part, and meant to spark conversation.
5. Chris Benoit vs. Raven – WCW/NWO Souled Out – January 24, 1998.
I could easily have plugged in Benoit/Angle here, but I feel that this match does not get the love it deserves. It’s not a long match, and I think if it had more time, it would be remembered as a classic. It’s probably Raven’s best match, even better than the (“gasp! He’s not going there!”) dog collar match in ECW. But as for Benoit, he was just getting started, as evidenced by the fact that he is all over this list.
4. 2010 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 31, 2010.
Let’s start by saying that CM Punk OWNS the first 1/3 of this match. He was in his Straight Edge Savior phase and was cutting promos while eliminating guys. Until you-know-who shows up. This Rumble had great pacing, the storyline of Shawn Michaels needing the win to face Undertaker, and the surprise return of Edge at the end. I call it a ***** Rumble.
3. 2004 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 25, 2004.
Let’s face it. WWE has gone through painstaking hoops to eliminate Chris Benoit from their history. In my opinion, that is a shame, because he was one of the best in-ring performers of our time. Without dwelling on WHY he is wiped from memory, we should remember the many hours of entertainment he brought to our eyes. This match is probably his crowning achievement, even more so than the WMXX moment.
2. 1992 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 19, 1992.
The first truly great Rumble match. The WWF Championship was up for grabs, so you had plenty of star power with Hogan, Flair, Savage, DiBiase, Piper, Roberts, Undertaker. But the big deal in this one was Flair with an early draw, and lasting to the very end, which had not been done prior to this. Those that had not been exposed to his NWA days would find out, with this match, that he was “the man”.
1. Cactus Jack vs Triple H – Street Fight – WWF Championship – Royal Rumble – January 23, 2000.
Triple H vs Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble 2000… by puropwgwwestuff
I could not, in good conscience, put a Rumble match over a singles match in the #1 slot. Also, when you consider historical perspective, this makes more sense. This kicked off Triple H’s awesome 2000 run of great PPV matches. This is one of those matches that builds slowly, and then comes to a boil, before finally exploding our eyeballs. I’m calling it the greatest January PPV match of all time.
There you have it. Any controversy here? Too many Rumbles? Too much WWF/E? Remember, WCW didn’t run a regular January PPV until 1997, four years before their closing. I welcome your opinions, and as I mentioned, feel free to give love to your favorites.
See you in February with the next list.