Check out our 3rd and final listing of the finest WWE matches that took place in 2016!
#DIY vs. The Revival (NXT TakeOver: Back to Brooklyn)
Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa went from NXT weekly special guests to one of the best tag teams on the circuit today. As for The Revival, they blossomed into a duo that had a breakout 2016. When these teams returned to Brooklyn on behalf of NXT, they gave the city crowd tag team wrestling at its finest. #DIY were on fire as they flew all over and through the ring at their rivals, while The Revival worked like a well-oiled machine throughout this bout. The Revival must have picked up a book of best tag team moves because they showcased a bunch of ’em during this title match. #DIY fought valiantly and tried hard to not leave this event empty handed. But it just wasn’t meant to be on this night. The Revival’s leg work on Gargano proved to be too much for him to overcome and #DIY fell. The Revival retained their titles in an amazing match.
AJ Styles vs. John Cena (SummerSlam)
Taken from Match Review: Excuse our french but…HOLY SHIT! This rematch was that much better than its predecessor. Cena and AJ are the consummate professionals who known how to perform on the biggest stages of wrestling. They did just that with this “Phenomenal” matchup. It seemed like every time Cena had AJ down for the pin, AJ blew the crowd’s mind by kicking out over and over again. Cena pulled out new moves, a dropkick, several AA’s, his STF and stiff strikes in order to get the win. But AJ fought right back with his dropkick, forearm strikes, Phenomenal Elbow, big kicks and more. The near falls here had us on the edge of our seat! Cena had the win in his grasp, but AJ did the unthinkable: survive an avalanche AA, land a Styles Clash and then a finishing Phenomenal Elbow. This was another coming out party for AJ and another fine notch onto Cena’s belt as one of the greatest of all time. Watch. This. Match!
Six-Pack Smackdown Women’s Championship Match (Backlash)
Taken from Match Review: SmackDown made sure to ring in the new era of Women’s wrestling for the Blue Brand right. All six women did an great job showcasing their brand and their individual talents. Alexa and Carmella were the dark horses of this match, but they almost made us think they’d win it due to how extra fierce they were. Carmella was focused on destroying Nikki, Naomi was a high-flying machine, Natalya got in some powerful maneuvers on each lady in her path and Becky was a suplexing machine. The Tower of Doom moment stood out the most, plus Carmella’s quick elimination of Nikki and Becky’s triumphant victory made this opening match such a treat. The pace of this match never let up and we loved the ending. This was a fine match to welcome the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles (Backlash)
Taken from Match Review: The face that runs the place…IS THE NEW WWE WORLD CHAMPION! AJ’s undoubtably WWE’s 2016 MVP. He’s constantly showing out against anybody he faces and he did that again right here. Ambrose’s match against Ziggler at this past SummerSlam was a disappointment, but this performance of his was a hell of a lot better. AJ was his usual cocky self and he pulled out all of his best moves to ground Ambrose. AJ’s work on Ambrose’s leg was smart, but Ambrose was a crafty lil’ bastard who fought tooth and nail to keep his title run intact. Ambrose pulled off some awesome offense here and there, including a stiff Shotgun Dropkick to AJ that pushed him to the outside. Plus Ambrose catapulted AJ head first into the ring corner and dropped him with a double axe handle right within the crowd. There were so many near falls, a hot audience and some breathtaking moves being dished out throughout this excellent main event. AJ may have ended the match under dubious circumstances, but it resulted in a new champion getting crowned. AJ pulled off his biggest WWE win in an amazing title match.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro, Best of Seven Series Match #7 (Clash of Champions)
Mick Foley had the right idea in mind when he put both of these Superstars in “Proving Ground” mode with his Best of Seven Series idea. Every match that took place before this finale was decent enough, but both Superstars put on an amazing final clash. The stiff uppercuts, punches and knees to the gut were all here and accounted for. What really stood out was Sheamus’ new unique offense (he broke out some kind of spinning kick to Cesaro while he was trying to recover in the ring corner). Not to be outdone, Cesaro was his usual amazing self as he pulled out his best maneuvers. We got quite the scare when he flew through the ropes at Sheamus and almost broke his neck, but the match got back to normal once that subsided. There were so many exciting near-falls that made us think either man had it in the bag. The end result was disappointing, sure. But that finish still didn’t sully our final impressions of this battle between newfound friends.