2016 was a decent year in some aspects and a tumultuous one in the same token.
But if we’re talking about wrestling, this year was jam packed with some quality matches. The usual suspects, such as AJ Styles, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler and others stepped up to the plate to take part in amazing main show/PPV bouts. The true Women’s Wrestling Revolution also stood out as a shining beacon of the WWE. Plus some of the more shocking moments of 2016 just so happened to take place during the majority of the matches we’re going to speak on. There were so many awesome matches this year, which is why we’re going to mention them all in a 3-part series.
Let’s reminisce about the best WWE matches of 2016 during the 1st part of our year-end list.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (Royal Rumble)
Taken from Match Review: Ambrose and Owens have developed quite the rivalry and chemistry in the ring, haven’t they? Want more proof of that proclamation? Make sure you check out this Last Man Standing match if you missed it. Both men pulled out their best moves and plenty of under-the-ring hardware during this no-holds-barred brawl. The crowd (and us) came alive during the bigger moments involving both Superstars crashing through tables. The emotion that builds in most Last Man Standing Matches was prevalent here, as we were on the edge of our seat as both men fought to get back to their feet. There were moments where the action died down for far too long, though. The awesome table finish still did a great job of making this title match an excellent opener.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Fatal 5-Way (Feb. 15th Raw)
Ambrose was proud to defend his IC Championship during the beginning of 2016. He’d already dealt with Kevin Owens, but this Raw Fatal 5-Way presented him with insurmountable odds. Ambrose, Owens, Stardust, Ziggler and Breeze all did battle in a barnburner of a title match. Ambrose and Owens embroiled in some big back and forth moments, but plenty of props needs to go out to the rest of the competitors here. Breeze pulled off an amazing near fall that nearly made us think he could pull off the big win. Ziggler laid in a cool Zig Zag to Ambrose whilst he was dropping Stardust with Dirty Deeds. And Stardust seemed extra motivated to perform at a higher level on this evening. In the end though, Owens laid Breeze down with a nasty Pop-Up Powerbomb to reclaim the IC Title. This was the most enjoyable type of car crash mayhem.
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho (Fastlane)
Taken from Match Review: GOOD LORD! Was this match amazing or what? Styles and Jericho not only topped their previous matches, but they managed to bring the crowd’s excitement level to its maximum. Styles proved himself once more and threw out the most unique moves in his repertoire. Jericho scouted his high-flying opponent well though and saw Y2J counter Styles during a plancha and Springboard Forearm attempt. Jericho got even more physical with Styles and seemingly went back to his evil days as the Undisputed Champion from 2001-2002. As the match entered into its middle and ending stages, AJ and Y2J turned up the intensity and truly got things underway. AJ hit his Stylin’ DDT and Pele, while Jericho locked in his Walls of Jericho and brought back his Lionsault. We came out of our seats when Styles crashed Jericho to the mat with his Styles Clash (which Y2J kicked out of). The finish came when Styles locked in his incredibly painful looking Calf Crusher. Styles and Jericho’s back and forth feud over the past few weeks culminated with this amazing tie-breaker of a match. As AJ’s theme says – THEY DON’T WANT NONE!
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose (Fastlane)
Taken from Match Review: The mayor of Suplex City made this triple threat match all the more entertaining. Lesnar went on an insane mean streak and suplexed his opponents all over the place. The opening moments of this main event were amazing. Lesnar made his dominance known and had the crowd chanting “SUPLEX CITY!” Reigns and Ambrose teamed up of course and played up their past stable unity by Powerbombing Lesnar through two announce tables. Both former Shield mates went toe to toe in some quick but fun exchanges while Lesnar lay incapacitated outside the ring. We lost our minds when Lesnar hopped back into the ring and German Suplexed Reigns while Ambrose was stuck in a Samoan Drop position. There were several moments where we though someone besides Reigns was going to grab the victory. The best moment by far has to be when Reigns speared Lesnar, Lesnar locked in his Kimura Lock and Ambrose went to town on them both with a steel chair. But even after all that lovely madness, Reigns emerged the winner (what a shocker, huh?). While the result was far from a surprise, the match itself was simply excellent.
Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose (Roadblock)
Taken from Match Review: Our expectations ran high for this championship encounter. It’s safe to say that they were certainly met. “The Game” and “The Lunatic Fringe” put on a great main event during the very first Roadblock. This match started out slow as both men started to get the crowd within the palm of their hands. Ambrose smartly targeted Ambrose’s leg and got in a ton of offense on HHH. HHH used his immense power to slam Ambrose and cause him further punishment as their bout wore on. Ambrose was in fine form here as the match reached its crescendo. Imagine out shock when we though Ambrose finished HHH with his Dirty Deeds and won the championship! It was all for naught, though. After that big moment, the match continued on and got even better. Ambrose cost himself the match after missing a big elbow drop through the announce table, which led to him getting finished with a Pedigree. This was a great match filled with near falls, Ambrose’s infectious personality, HHH’s domineering presence and smartly paced sequences.