As 2020 draws shut and 2021 rears its head, we take a look at the very best of WWE this year and the top ten matches to be delivered by its talented roster.
I’m not going to pretend that WWE programming was the best it could have been in 2020. In fact, many sports have seen a quality dip largely in part to the pandemic, but WWE has been on a steady decline for years.
One thing never to be disputed, however, is the talent the roster possesses, and, as such, it has been a privilege for me to go back and look upon some of the best technical, cinematic, and storytelling masterclasses of the year.
If you are scratching your head and struggling to remember any of these matches, I heavily implore you to go back and binge, as, in times like these, wrestling allows one of the greatest escapes.
Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles (SmackDown June 12th)
Men’s Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
10. Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher: NXT Fight Pit (NXT May 27th)
Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle (now shortened to just “Riddle”) had a little marriage of convenience with their makeshift tag team run in NXT in the spring of 2020, where Thatcher even refused to be recognised officially as a tag team champion despite defending the belts with “The Original Bro”. To be understood, the “wrestle first, laugh later” Thatcher had grown tired of Riddle’s antics and inevitably abandoned him to cost them the titles and then attacked his temporary partner in the weeks following.
Riddle has an MMA background and Thatcher is well-known for his limb targeting submissions, so it made sense that we would eventually see them in a cage fight. The introduction of a new gimmick match called the NXT Fight Pit only sold the legitimate feel to the clash, and they battled in a stiff MMA-Wrestling hybrid match.
The booking behind the match was solid with Thatcher riding the waves of attacks from Riddle to synch in a submission victory. A fantastic solo introduction for someone sure to be a big player for NXT in 2021.