Review for WWE The Best PPV Matches of 2016
The Best PPV Matches of 2016 is the annual jumping the gun set that WWE releases every year. As with every year it is released before the end of the year and so misses out on a number of PPVs... most notably Survivor Series. I don't understand why WWE does this and continue to do so or why the next set doesn't pick up where the previous one ended.
The set includes 18 matches, plus each PPV has a highlight reel of the best moments which is a nice touch. Unlike in some of the previous years every PPV is represented with a match with some represented multiple times (Fastlane x2, Wrestlemania x3, Money in the Bank x2 and Summerslam x2).
The only matches I have not reviewed on previous releases was from Backlash and No Mercy. However, here are my original thoughts on those matches:
Last Man Standing Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
Match of the Night was without a doubt the Last Man Standing match between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens for the
Intercontinental Championship. The interplay between the two was fantastic and this felt almost like a throwback to the kind of matches that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were infamous for.This could easily have been the main event and I would have been happy with that.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
After seeing their first two matches, I knew that this was going to be a (pun intended) phenomenal match. I was surprised there was not a stipulation for this match, but I knew that they didn't need one to make this match amazing. And they didn't. This was a technical masterpiece between the two and it is only a shame that this wasn't for a title shot or something as it was a great showing full of just some perfectly timed and executed moments. I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't on some Top Ten Match lists for this year.
Triple Threat Match to Determine #1 Contender
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
When this match was announced I felt like this was a lose lose lose match. If Lesnar wins, there was no heat for him against Triple H at Wrestlemania. If Reigns wins, the crowd will once again boo all over it. If Ambrose wins, what does that leave for Reigns and Lesnar? I know who I wanted to win and feel that anything other than that would be a disappointment.
First up. This match is given twenty five minutes. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES!?? This is the main event and considering the type of match it is, it needs more time than that to mean something. One of the main problems with this match is that Lesnar is so strong that even two on one, he is still too much for Ambrose and Reigns. Everyone gets in their big spots and at times it felt like there was far too many times when there were only two people in the ring. This was taken to extremes at times which (though made sense) wasn't great to watch.
When it was Ambrose against Reigns one on one, I did think the match worked. There was some great back and forth and both get the best of the other. The ending? Well we shall have to see what the WWE Universe makes of it. I wasn't happy with it, but then it wasn't what I wanted.
Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara
Ladder Match was exactly what I thought it would be a spotfest. It was exciting and enjoyable, but nothing really stuck out. Having Zack Ryder win was a surprise and it will be interesting to see what they do with this now. (Note: The answer is nothing!)
Triple Threat Match for the Women’s Championship
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
I'm glad that they are changing the name of the belt from Divas, but why did they make it look like a WWE Jammy Dodger? I said that this match was too important to be less than 15 minutes and probably should be even longer. Not including the entrances was just over 16 minutes of pure brilliance. I can't decide whether this is match of the night now. They were given the time to steal the show and I think they may have done that. Charlotte's moonsault was a thing of beauty!
Hell in a Cell Match
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
Much like Ambrose/Lesnar, this seemed like such a one sided match that I couldn't understand how it would work. But it did. The storyline and stipulations going into the match helped and certainly just how great Shane O'Mac can be on the mic and in the ring. The Cell was not needed in this match though, but elbow drop off it... Just WOW!!!! But seeing Shane take moves like a chokeslam on steel steps was just amazing. The Hells Gate into a Sharpshooter was also great to show Shane as a smart wrestler and not just someone using weapons like Ambrose.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Spotfest. This was a good match, but after seeing so many moves mean absolutely nothing you do wonder who booked
this? The fact it was supposed to be Zayn getting payback on Owens the outcome didn't make any sense either.
Extreme Rules Match for the WWE Championship
Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles
Finally we have a very good match between Roman Reigns and AJ Styles. I think this was better than the match from last month and I am glad that WWE didn't just drop the ball on Styles. The match was exactly what I expected from an 'extreme' match and I enjoyed every minute of it. The inclusion of The Club and The Usos worked and I didn't think it could get any better... until the end and the return of Seth Rollins.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio
Money in the Bank
This match was just brutal. Usually there are one or two moments when you think it's gone too far, but this match had multiple moments. The fact that everyone could have won made it very exciting. The match had some great moments and is possibly one of the best Money in the Bank's I have seen in a long time. The winner thoroughly deserved it and really by him winning it made the main event all the more interesting. This is exactly what this match needs to be.
WWE Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Money in the Bank
We knew this match would happen at some point and the match did not disappoint. Rollins has returned back from injury just as good as he ever was and the back and forth between the two former friends along with the storyline that went with it made this an exciting match up. As for the ending. JUST WOW!!!
Sasha Banks & Mystery Opponent vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke
I love Bayley and seeing her debut with Sasha Banks against Charlotte and Dana Brooke made my night and such a great way to start the PPV. This match was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. I do wish that this had been a 'winner wins the title' match as they are always good, but this was a great showing by all the women here and if this is your first Bayley match then you need to catch up on her amazing work in NXT.
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
Triple Threat for WWE Championship is a great end to the PPV. All three members of The Shield had some great dynamics and there were some great moments throughout from all. I am glad that WWE did the right thing with the championship and the right person won and the crowd really got behind it and the celebration, which is always an amazing sight.
John Cena vs. AJ Styles
John Cena against AJ Styles was match of the night and I don't think anyone would say otherwise. I would not be surprised if this won every Match of the Year poll. It was fantastic and what I loved about this match is that it really did feel like a passing of the torch and John Cena really did his best to show how great The Phenomenal One really is. If there were any doubts before, this match should eliminate them all.
Match to Crown the 1st WWE Universal Champion
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor
Finn Balor against Seth Rollins for the Jammy Dodger... I mean Universal Championship was amazing. This really felt like a wrestling match and definitely (after AJ/Cena) one of the best matches. It was given enough time and both looked great throughout. I was happy at the end and it is just a shame that this wasn't how the PPV ended and I really do think this should have ended on at least one of the title matches.
6-Pack Challenge Match for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
This is a bizarre match. I understand its importance and it certainly belongs alongside the Wrestlemania match in regards to starting a new era of Women's Division on Smackdown, but the match just felt like a too many cooks scenario. I enjoyed moments and the right person won, which was a shock considering who was in the match.
Match #7 in the Best of Seven Series
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Clash of Champions
Cesaro/Sheamus was a horrible match, a horrible idea to do the Best of Seven and how they ended it was utterly ridiculous. I understand that in this day and age we have to think about the health of the two of them, but this just made everything seem pointless.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match (Career vs. Title)
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
This would have been a great match if they hadn't added the 'Career' aspect. We all knew that Dolph wasn't retiring and that he simply isn't popular or talented enough to carry a 'Getting my job back' storyline in my opinion. The match itself was great and these two always work well together, but again the whole 'career' part of the storyline meant that I knew what the ending was going to be and that is such a shame.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Hell in a Cell
The main event is special for a number of reasons. As I said before, it is the first WWE PPV headlined by a Women's match, first Women's Hell in a Cell and possibly the biggest let down of the night.
I shall explain...
Firstly, this is Boston. Sasha Banks hometown, so logic would dictate that they would let her win and have her moment in glory. Second, Sasha is far too easily injured to support the whole 'Boss Persona' that she has developed. It works for Bayley, but seeing her get dominated by Charlotte at times can be painful to watch. That's not a good thing. Thirdly, this is the FIFTH TIME the belt has changed hands since April. In fact (as of writing this) the belt has changed hands more times in nine months than the original women's title did between 2008 and
And remember... THIS is supposed to be the Women's Revolution!!??
The match itself is fine. I enjoyed most of it, but again Sasha is injured far too easily and has to sell far too much. It makes the whole 'rush of adrenaline' moments look a little goofy. Once to end a match is great akin to Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior, but it happens so often that it has no effect. As great as it is to allow the women to showcase in the main event, I don't think this did anything special and will probably never happen again.
Of the matches included I would say I agree with all of them except the inclusion of the Sheamus/Cesaro match. The rest I enjoyed watching again and even in hindsight I have to admit the Women's Hell in a Cell is still a great match if you take out the 'Multiple title change/hot potato' factor.
There are no matches I can recall that they missed, although it is surprising they don't include the Brock Lesnar/Dean Ambrose match from Wrestlemania or indeed the main event between Roman Reigns and Triple H. The one that does surprise me is that they don't include the AJ Styles match against Dean Ambrose from Backlash or his match against Dean Ambrose and John Cena match from No Mercy. These were both two of the best matches of the year in my opinion.
Despite my grief over WWE's year ending in October every year I still think there is a lot on here to enjoy. With over nine hours of footage here I would say it is definitely worth the money, especially if you haven't purchased the other PPVs then this is definitely something all WWE fans should pick up.