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Posted in: Requesting Flyby
REQUESTING FLYBY: Maverick's Top 10 Pay-Per-View Matches Of 2014
By Maverick
Dec 31, 2014 - 9:27:16 AM

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Maverick’s Top 10 Pay-Per-View Matches Of 2014

2014 was an incredible in-ring year, even more so than 2013 which set a high bar itself, and a lot of very good matches didn’t even make the cut, so let’s start by talking Honourable Mentions….The Elimination Chamber Match was the most fun version of that gimmick for many a year and only narrowly missed this list. Likewise, if you can cast aside the Batista controversy, The Royal Rumble Match was an excellent watch too. Of course, many will be saying that Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan at The Royal Rumble should be in the top 10, but I think it just falls outside the top tier of matches, as does Bryan’s title defence against Kane at Extreme Rules which was a beautiful expression of love for the Attitude Era. I thought that John Cena vs. Randy Orton at Hell In A Cell went out of its way not to be a typical Orton/Cena match and was all the better for it. The two matches between Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt at Survivor Series and TLC were both interesting psychologically and enjoyably violent, while Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship made a late bid for inclusion too by bringing back crazy ass physicality to that gimmick.

Those were the ones that didn’t quite make it...but let’s move on to those that did!

10) Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger to win the Money In The Bank Ladder Match in 25:44 at Money In The Bank 2014

For me, this was the best iteration of the Money In The Bank concept in years, and that all came down to the way that the story of the match was constructed around the frenzied hatred of Dean Ambrose for his ex-Shield cohort Seth Rollins. Seth actually begged Triple H to put The Lunatic Fringe in the match on the basis that he could control the whirling dervish if he could see him, but not if he was a rogue agent appearing from the crowd. The Game assented, and a beautiful story arc commenced. Sadly, the first act of their multi match series has since been largely overlooked by fans since, but the way they interacted in the ladder match environment somewhat re-energised a tired genre, for me and that’s why I have chosen to rehabilitate it here. It deserves its place.

The Lunatic Fringe and The Architect’s beef rightly took centre stage, and the bout adopted a creditably transparent structure of having the supporting cast periodically be downed so that the principle players could duke it out. Some of the spots the two former Hounds of Justice put together were a great taste of things to come; a pair of ludicrously dangerous superplexes from Ambrose, for example, and the exit through kayfabe injury and hot return of the unstable man from Cincy worked a treat, with the vicious chair shots seeming to signal Rollins’ comeuppance, only for Kane to thwart the Lunatic Fringe and hand the victory to the man who “bought in”. Huge credit to Ziggler, Swagger, Kingston and Van Dam for fitting their spots in around the main storyline; there was an awful lot to enjoy from those guys, and the match as a whole just had so much more charm than the previous few years worth of this gimmick. Well worth another look.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¼

9) John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) in 22:25 at Wrestlemania XXX

Although I have my problems with the route the feud between The Franchise Player and The Eater of Worlds took in the end, the entire presentation of the first match in the rivalry between the two men made an absolute mockery of the complaints some had had that Wyatt was not big enough for Cena back in January when the pairing was first rumoured. Bray is a star now, make no mistake about it, and this match, even more so than the Bryan match, for me, made him so. On the night of the Grandaddy, I found it one of the most absorbing contests in a whole evening of absorbing contests. I had not imagined that Wyatt’s unorthodox style would mesh so well with the rigid conformity of Cena’s, but the two made for compelling dance partners and put together great strings of offense and counter offense in a match that was gruelling without having to resort to stipulations. In fact, I would probably contend that the gimmick match environments that followed this opening salvo contributed to the feud going off base.

The heavy hitting start to the bout, with the son of IRS punishing Cena with heavy blows until the multi-time WWE champ finally struck down “with great vengeance” as Jules Winnfield said in ‘Pulp Fiction’. The acting from Cena was top notch as you could see internal conflict etched upon his face, while Bray never let up with the verbals or his unique brand of offense. It took me a while to be a believer in Bray Wyatt as an in-ring performer, but goodness gracious, he won me over that night in NOLA, and I feel he may now be heading to that Mick Foley in 1996 place I always thought he should be going. The moment he met the “you can’t see me” with the spider walk was just genius. I literally laughed with joy watching live and did the same re-watching it as I type. Wyatt seemed to get stronger and stronger in the ring as the bout wore on, showing enviable conditioning for such a naturally big man, and he seems to have found a way to hit Sister Abigail from absolutely anywhere; the running version here caused a thrilling near fall. The chair being passed to Cena was yet another masterful psychological touch, one which seemed to bring us nearer than ever before to a John Cena heel turn, but he instead nailed Rowan with it and powered out of Sister Abigail to hit the AA for the win. On the night, I very much felt that it was a great match with the wrong result, but in the clear light of day, I changed my mind somewhat. The old Paul Heyman adage “one man goes over, the other gets over” certainly applied here, even if the matches that followed didn’t follow the rule quite as well.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¼

8) Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista in 23:20 to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX

The night long story of Daniel Bryan finally realising his dream after all the bumps in the road set down by The Authority in kayfabe (and perhaps in real life, depending on your perspective on WWE’s booking philosophy) has mostly been remembered in year end chatter in terms of the match with Triple H that turns up later in this list and in the visual of the bearded one shouting “YES” as ticker tape rains down on the Superdome, but we must not forget that the match that actually won him those two belts was an absolute corker in its own right. Despite the awkwardness of Orton and Batista’s heel vs heel interactions over the previous weeks, the injection of D Bry into the mix instantly galvanised the two OVW classmates and together with the fan favourite they put on a clinic in how to wrestle a triple threat in the WWE main event style.

Although it was certainly not a redefinition of the three way dance, it was an almost perfectly performed rendition of one, with the usual pattern of one man being taken out so the other two can get it on executed brilliantly, and with Daniel Bryan’s insatiable will to win against all odds illustrated time and again as his comebacks against the two fresher heels got the crowd hot each and every time. The screwy run ins from Hunter and Steph were placed extremely well within the time frame of the contest, and the supposed match ending injury to Bryan off the combined Batista Bomb/RKO through the announce table was a great touch too, as fans were so swept up in the emotion of the night that they might for a few moments have suspended disbelief entirely and believed that the Yes Man truly was too hurt to carry on. After Goat Face climbed off the stretcher to an incredible pop, the breathtaking sequence of finishers and near falls that followed really worked us up to fever pitch until Big Dave’s hand tapped the mat and we all exploded, no matter where we were at the time. What we got here was a truly magic moment, a celebration of everything wrestling is, and a fantastic justification of the WWE product; when they manage to put it all together, there is no more entertaining company to follow on this planet.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¼

7) The Shield defeated Evolution 3-0 in a No Holds Barred Elimination Match in 30:57 at Payback 2014

After the initial engagement of these two factions at Extreme Rules, the humiliated Evolution went all out to come back and dominate The Shield on successive TVs, with Triple H choosing a no holds barred elimination stipulation with the kayfabe idea being that the three veterans would comprehensively take apart the young upstarts and gain their “payback”. This idea was cemented at the contract signing for the match, where a sledgehammer and the Hounds’ own triple powerbomb finisher were used to take them apart.

The story of the match was fascinating and the action inside the squared circle was gruelling, befitting the type of trench warfare the two teams had chosen to engage in. The supreme confidence of Evolution upon the entry oozed from their chiseled bodies, while the usual electrifying through the stands entrance of The Shield showed that they had every intention of taking the throne from Triple H, Batista and Orton. The bout began with an arena wide brawl, with the six men pairing off with each other in three individual battles to contextualise the wider war. By the time we settled down into the traditional tag structure, the teamwork of the Hounds seemed superior, with plenty of quick tags, until a mistake from Ambrose saw him isolated and beaten to within an inch of his life by a focused Evolution. The veteran nous of the three multi time World Champions was very much sold by this section of the match, and it was compelling to witness, particularly as it led to a massive hot tag to Reigns and another wild brawl between all six combatants. With Roman downed by a triple powerbomb through the announce table, the outnumbered Ambrose and Rollins were subjected to a heinous chair assisted beat down on the ramp, after which they turned their attention back to Reigns in an ECW style kendo stick fest. The systematicity of the destruction was visceral in its intensity, but it also set up the twist in the tale; the hubris of Evolution in insisting on total domination led to their ultimate downfall, which began with Seth Rollins diving from the tron to the floor to take out all three of Evolution’s members. In quick succession, Batista departed following a spear, Orton got a Dirty Deeds right on a steel chair, and Triple H’s sledgehammer assisted last stand was broken by a flying knee and another spear. Some of the best storytelling you’ll see in a WWE ring.

FLYBY! Rating: ****½

6) The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield in 22:42 at Elimination Chamber 2014

Is there ever a better story than that of gang warfare? When the Wyatt Family inadvertently cost the three members of The Shield places inside the Elimination Chamber, an epic ‘Gangs of New York’ style running battle began, leading to a wild brawl at that very pay-per-view. The rhetoric from the two sides whet the appetite tantalisingly; Seth Rollins said “this is our yard, and we have intruders” to galvanise his cohorts Reigns and Ambrose into focusing on the task at hand, while Bray Wyatt bellowed that he “welcomed this war” and stated that he liked to play games...but war was his favourite. Even with our expectations at fever pitch, we were not disappointed by the instant classic that ensued.

The extended stare down and trash talking segment, with the crowd’s duelling chants of “LET’S GO WYATTS/LET’S GO SHIELD” was an incredible start, and the place exploded when Ambrose leapt at Wyatt and a mass six man brawl broke out. Hot isn’t the word for it. Once the dust had cleared, the elite teamwork of The Shield saw Luke Harper get methodically taken to pieces, with the Hounds controlling the pace of the match and imposing their will on the dangerous big man. That situation was soon reversed though, with Ambrose putting in the first of what would end up being many face in peril performances through the year, as Harper and Wyatt in particular impressed with outrageous athleticism for their size. However, with the unique balance of abilities The Shield possessed, they always had an answer, and Seth Rollins’ high octane brand of offense impressed in the middle section of the bout, to say the least, and when he lost the advantage, his bumping was of the Curt Hennig variety and equally impressive, as he too played face in peril to set up the smouldering Reigns for a hot tag of enormous impact. Inevitably chaos ensued, with a Harper suicide dive, Seth Rollins going for a crazy somersault plancha, and Dean Ambrose fighting Wyatt all the way into the crowd like it was 1999! With The Lunatic Fringe AWOL, the numbers game saw The Wyatt Family take out Rollins with a double chokeslam through the Spanish announce desk, and then, after a heroic fight, pin Reigns to signal the coming of age of Bray’s band of madmen. Tremendous!

FLYBY! Rating: ****½

5) Team Cena defeated Team Authority in 43:07 to banish Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at Survivor Series 2014 (Dolph Ziggler sole survivor)

After a decade of comparative neglect, the traditional Survivor Series elimination match was put firmly back on the map in a thrilling, unpredictable main event upon which rested the storyline futures of the tyrannical McMahon and Helmsley, as well as Cena’s four babyface team mates. The month long build of stipulation swerves and face team revolving doors, if anything, actually made how it all came off on the night even better, as for one thing, expectations were lowered so that everyone enjoyed the bout for what it was rather than getting all smarky about it, and for another, it made the match less predictable (before the game of stip tennis, I was convinced that The Authority were nailed on as winners). And even with the dirtsheet rumours of Sting being in the building, I still wasn’t expecting it, which is the sign of a match that you have been able to get completely lost in.

It was the expert booking of this one which made it as much as the performances of the eleven superstars (including The Stinger) and five managers (Lana, Trips, Steph, Noble and Mercury). In many ways though, the bout became a tale of two wrestlers, with Rollins and Dolph Ziggler gluing the match together, and a typically sympathetic extended face in peril sequence from the Show Off in the middle of the match indicated that a special performance was in the offing, as a fast start from him was soon cut off by The Authority team and he ended up pounded in the corner as the heels tagged efficiently in and out. Throughout that passage of play, Zigs was able to create some wonderful hope spots, before getting himself cut off, a skill that few modern babyfaces possess in the way that he does. The eliminations were creatively booked through the mid to late section of the contest, leaving Ziggler on his own against the combined powers of Kane, Harper and Rollins, and an epic HBK ‘03 tribute followed from Dolph that will be remembered for years to come. In a transcendent moment for a long time internet favourite, Ziggler went toe to toe with Kane and pinned him clean off a combo of his tertiary and primary finishers, while the big man Harper was rolled up, setting the stage for a dynamic and tense battle between two of the most aesthetically pleasing workers in the world today. How they competed at that pace after such a gruelling match was beyond me, but they absolutely nailed it, with near falls, missed finishers, reversals, the lot. Just great stuff.

The final shenanigans portion of the evening inevitably came about with the King of Kings desperate to keep his power, and the destruction of referees trying to count Ziggler to victory was a great storytelling touch. The mugging of Dolph by Trips seemed to indicate that he and Stephanie would continue their rule, but of course, the entrance of Sting changed everything. What a great way to debut an all time great, and his stare down with The Game and subsequent Scorpion Death Drop sent the match over the top. It was a compelling main event for the ages in terms of its historical significance and it delivered hugely on quality too.

FLYBY! Rating: ****½

4) Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in 12:10 in a Lumberjack Match at Summerslam 2014

The choice of an unfashionable match type for the first singles match between Ambrose and Rollins turned out to be a genius one for several reasons. Not only did it give two uber talented men the chance to reinvent the genre, it also played into the long term story of The Shield by surrounding the ring with all the men they built their kayfabe reputation on, creating a chaotic, frenzied atmosphere perfect for the revenge narrative Ambrose’s character intended to author. In the most exciting twelve minute match anyone is ever likely to see, the two former Hounds pulled out all the stops to make a mockery of most other matches this year that got more time than them. They certainly achieved their goal of re-defining the lumberjack match; that much is not in doubt.

In a volcanic start, both men were thrown to the outside early and thrown straight back in by lumberjacks doing their job in a traditional way…at least to start with. Ambrose, after establishing dominance in the brawling game, focused on inflicting pain and humiliation on his former stablemate. When Ambrose got tossed out he attacked the lumberjacks before they could attack him, which was great character work on The Lunatic Fringe’s part. In a cerebral move, Seth then threw him out again for vengeful lumberjacks to beat him down, which meant that the technician Rollins could go to work once Dean was tossed back in the ring, and I loved the scientific portion of the match that followed. When the match left the ring after Rollins was backdropped thrillingly into the fans, and even though Dean was marched back into the ring he instantly took the lumberjacks out with a suicide dive so that he could refocus his attention on Seth, performing that awesome running table spot to take out Kofi and Rollins. A brawl every bit as good as one you might have seen Rock and Mankind have during the Attitude Era followed as Kane, introduced to the story as Director of Operations, sent the lumberjacks after them. As Ambrose got caught by the outside enforcers, Rollins tried to take off, living up to his sneaky heel character, but he was stopped from doing so by the Dusts and the Usos. I loved the psychology of Ambrose stealing the kerb stomp but Kane, to huge heel heat, broke up the cover. Goldust and Stardust took out the D.O.O and a huge brawl followed, which almost became a mini Royal Rumble, with Ambrose last getting rid of Harper and Rowan, but inevitably turning into a briefcase to the face! The story of Ambrose’s chaotic style causing his eventual downfall was fantastic, the Authority influence was felt, and the Attitude Era was channeled brilliantly. Wonderful stuff; is there anything these two can’t do?

FLYBY! Rating: ****½

3) Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in 13:54 in a Hell In A Cell Match at Hell In A Cell 2014

The multi-month story of Ambrose and Rollins came to an end- for now- in the confines of the Cell, in the first match to really justify the use of that structure since Triple H vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVIII and probably the most heated iteration of the gimmick since the heyday of the Attitude Era. The bout was probably best described as a tribute to the great Cell contests of the past, with the start on top of the structure recalling Mankind vs. The Undertaker, the fall from the side of the cage riffing on Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, and the intrusion of Bray Wyatt at the end being a nod to the debut of Kane in that same match. Even then, there were countless small moments and tropes culled from the entire storied history of the gimmick. The Architect and The Lunatic Fringe are keen students of the grappling arts and their performance here showed that for a certainty.

Just as with their lumberjack match, their actual bell time was limited, as the pre-match brawl took up around half their allotted time, so the 13:54 figure doesn’t truly tell the full story. After that insane opening stanza, once Ambrose got his arch enemy inside the Cell and got the door locked behind them, they fit an awful lot into those minutes, with the revenge angle once again coming to the fore. Ambrose sat on a chair and shouted to a writhing Architect about being stabbed in the back before delivering a series of vile chair shots in a smart nod to the original betrayal. Rollins was bumping like a missile every time he was flung into the steel, and when he tried to run, he got clotheslined over the top from behind and rocked by a suicide dive. However, Kane arrived and used a fire extinguisher to allow the Rollins comeback, with the Authority hitter taking Ambrose through a table with a sick powerbomb. The kerb stomp was hit cleanly, but the Lunatic Fringe would not lay down and got the shoulder up to a rapturous reception from the crowd. Rollins unleashed a series of crazed chair shots that recalled Austin on Rock at the climax of the ‘Mania XVII main event and set up for kerb stomp on the briefcase, but Ambrose sprang up, and even an enziguri couldn’t stop him as that awesome rope bounce clothesline and a briefcase shot got the babyface a two count. Ambrose got the cinder blocks out, selling the idea of poetic justice, but just as he was setting up a stomp of his own, the lights went out and weird chanting in tongues began, sending us older fans back in time to the Ministry of Darkness days. It was so creepy that I wondered if WWE’s production had been hijacked or something. A fluorescent lantern appeared in the middle of the ring and that was when I suddenly thought of Bray Wyatt. As the light grew brighter, his form became discernible, and he attacked with that gnarly Rock Bottom/chokeslam hybrid to Ambrose. A wary Rollins rolled over to get the pin, whilst Dean Ambrose received a Sister Abigail after the match, with Bray posing to end the show. Pacing, intensity, violence, unpredictability...a truly great modern Cell match in an era where we thought that was no longer possible due to PG confines.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¾

2) The Shield defeated Evolution in 19:51 at Extreme Rules 2014

The presentation of the prospective six man in the build up to Extreme Rules was pitch perfect, and the contest delivered in spades, just as every six man tag The Shield had done. It was as inevitable as the tides that the Hounds of Justice would put on a match of the year contender every time they stepped through those ropes, but particularly with opponents of the calibre they had at Extreme Rules, with the most dominant stables of the modern era facing off against each other, with a whole lot of pride and bragging rights on the line. The big match feel was there from the moment the first strains of Motorhead echoed around the arena, and the opening brawl that resulted in the Hounds standing their ground in the middle of the ring showcased the theme of youthful chaos against wily experience to perfection. The match proper was booked brilliantly, with each member of The Shield getting a fantastic showcase to show their unique gifts. Rollins owned the early stages, with his high energy offense and bumping. My favourite moment of the whole match came when he escaped his face-in-peril status by hitting a magnificently Owen Hart step up enziguri on Triple H and tagging in Dean Ambrose, who exploded on all three members of Evolution with lunatic fury, culminating in his picture perfect figure four on Orton. Later, as the contest descended into chaos, the Attitude Era was channelled wonderfully, with Ambrose’s insane running announce table charge being another highlight reel moment.

The brawl around the arena between The Game, The Viper, The Lunatic Fringe and The Architect was as hot as anything you’d have found between ‘97 and ‘01, and its culmination, Seth Rollins’ insane cross body from one tier of the stand down to the next, was just something else. Back in the ring, Batista showed just how generous he was during his return in allowing himself to be comprehensively dominated by Roman Reigns, who once again got himself a marquee scalp with that Superman Punch/spear combination. The ending, which involved Reigns picking up his fallen comrades and carrying them back to the dressing room, was brilliant for showing the sense of brotherhood between them; indeed, it was a throwback to their debut at TLC ‘12, when Rollins took a similarly bonkers spot. What a match. This has been a fertile year for match of the year candidates, and Evolution vs. The Shield certainly placed itself firmly in that category on first viewing and never left the top two places once it had established itself there. Tightly booked, brilliantly wrestled and with a fantastic story behind it. In the annals of Shield six mans, I place it firmly at number two, behind only the TLC match with Ryback, Bryan and Kane from December 2012.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¾

1) Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H in 25:58 to advance to the main event at Wrestlemania XXX

For my money, there has been no finer one on one contest this year than the Wrestlemania curtain jerker between Daniel Bryan and Triple H. The video package that kicked this match off, soundtracked by Imagine Dragons’ ‘Monster’, made it a classic before the bell was even close to being rung. The use of the indy footage, the reflection on Bryan’s NXT partnership with The Miz in NXT and his growing success through the years despite those early jibes about a “lack of charisma”, the six month storyline from Summerslam to Wrestlemania…it was just beautifully put together, to the extent that the Bryan/Trips montage instantly became my second favourite of all time after Rock/Austin II at Wrestlemania X7. Triple H’s entrance to ring was announced by Steph in what looked like an outfit from ‘Cabaret’, with The Game reaching back into his Conan The Barbarian dressing up box to appear upon a throne in gold armour and red cloak surrounded by slave wenches. If that’s not an apt metaphor I’ve never seen one! In all seriousness, despite an air of high camp, it worked well in setting up Helmsley’s egotism as a character, while the green lighting and water spitting apron spot is something everyone can get onboard with when it comes to heel Trips. We then got our first sight of 70,000 fans YES chanting in unison, proving what a good decision it was to put this match on as the curtain jerker. An already hyped crowd began to seriously mark out.

In psychological terms, Bryan’s taped shoulder was a visual reminder of Triple H’s brutal attack on him three weeks before, and knowing what we do about the ring game of the Cerebral Assassin, an obvious weak point to be exploited by the C.O.O. The offering of the handshake was a classic touch on Helmsley’s part, and I loved the homage to Bryan’s last two ‘Mania matches with the long two count off the quick roll up. The early exchanges showed D-Bry’s speed and technical acumen, with The Game taking a breather in a nod to his long experience in the squared circle. It didn’t take long of course for Trips to go after the injured arm, but the Beard’s high flying abilities evened things out again. After crotching the Leader of the Yes Movement on the top rope, the flavour of the match’s storytelling went to the Attitude Era, with The Game starting to work in the way he did in his 2000 prime, targeting the arm on the announce desk and applying submissions, with small flurries of Bryan offense cut off smartly by Helmsley.

Of course, Daniel Bryan was booked as a pocket rocket, not easy to keep down for long, and his high octane style always threatened to burst out of the control Triple H was trying to establish, as with the running forearm smash and German suplex combination that showcased the smaller man’s incredible timing. The Game showed moments later, however, that he can also throw a mean suplex, with Bryan landing on the bad arm. The back and forth became breathtaking as the match sped along- a blocked superplex into a powerbomb off the top, two corner drop kicks with the third cut off by a huge clothesline- meaning that both men took time to sell their injuries, until Bryan’s missed headbutt led inevitably to yet another crossface from The Cerebral Assassin, which was rolled through in a spot immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever seen Wrestlemania XX, but Goat Face managed to reverse into the Yes Lock in an absolutely thrilling moment which the veteran sold superbly. The pace picked up yet again moments later with a twin suicide dives, both of which the Attitude Era star bumped like 1996 Shawn Michaels for! The running knee countered with a spinebuster and followed with The Pedigree gave the crowd their first opportunity to come completely unglued, and these two masters of their craft went on to give them several more, with a small package almost getting Bryan a sneaky three count followed by some breathtaking reversals of The Pedigree and a bridging suplex until the final separation created the opportunity to hit the knee for the win. What a brutal, brilliant battle, destined to age very well. Bryan beat The Game 100% clean in the Wrestlemania curtain jerker in a match where his offense was sold as deadly throughout its lengthy duration.The post-match beat down only added to the intrigue of the winner’s story heading into the rest of the evening, and in terms of a match with true emotional resonance, you won’t find many that match this one. Maverick’s match of the year- but no, it is NOT better than Owen vs Bret. Don’t be silly.

FLYBY! Rating: ****¾


Well folks, that’s the list. Ultimately these are very fine margins and there’s barely anything to choose between the matches in the top 7 in particular. I’m sure everyone will want to have their say on this topic, so feel free to hold forth below in the comments, or tweet me here:

And 2015, this is Maverick, requesting flyby! A Happy New Year to all my readers! Thanks for making the first six months of main page Flyby such a raging success.