The Best WWE Matches of 2016 (Part 1)

Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (NXT TakeOver: Dallas)

Shinsuke Nakamura’s arrival to the WWE was highly anticipated. Everyone who followed his NJPW exploits knew just how incredible he could be. But WWE fans not in the know may not have known much about the Japanese superstar. This match not only solidified him as a legit star, it also gave him the perfect introduction into the WWE. Zayn and Nakamura tapped into their own version of “Strong Style” and emerged with one of the best NXT matches of the year. Zayn used everything he’d learned up until this point, while Nakamura tapped into his stiff offensive arsenal to wear down his opposition. This one ran long and we’re glad it did. Both men presented a modern classic to the live crowd in Dallas, Texas that made them all chant “FIGHT FOREVER!” Zayn exited NXT on a high note, as expected. As for Nakamura, he excelled here and gave us a hint of what’s to come.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania 32)

Taken from Match Review: AJ came to his 1st WrestleMania with something to prove to his doubters. He certainly performed like the Superstar we’ve always known him to be. AJ and Y2J got enough time to put on an incredible back and forth contest that had the crowd going wild. Both men broke out every move in their wide arsenal and tried to put each other down permanently. AJ pulled out everything from his Springboard 450 Splash, Brainbuster and a Styles Clash. Jericho came prepared as he locked in the Walls of Jericho on two occasions. This match went long and we’re glad it did. AJ caught a big Codebreaker and that was that. AJ lost in his ‘Mania debut, but he has nothing to be ashamed of. This match was a top-notch contest between two amazing dance partners.

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (WrestleMania 32)

Taken from Match Review: All three Women marked the revival of the WWE Women’s Division in a big way. First off, let’s give them kudos on their flashy entrances. Secondly, let’s also give them all a round of applause cause their ring gear was phenomenal (especially Banks’ “Latino Heat” tights and Charlotte’s light blue robe). And finally, we have to give these three incredible talents all the credit in the world for putting on an amazing contest. This one never seemed to enter a dull period. From the opening bell, all three women pulled out their best moves and doled out their smartest counters. Charlotte worked extra hard as the defending champion, Banks use her wits to pick hr best spots and Becky landed a nice series of suplexes on her two opponents. We legit laughed for a good while Ric got put on his back via a Becky Lynch plancha. The finish had us biting out nails since we thought Banks was gonna win via submission. But Charlotte used her Figure Eight Leglock (plus her father’s assistance) to grab the sneaky victory. This awesome match will be remembered for a long time as the rebirth of the Women’s division.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro (April 4th Raw)

The night after WrestleMania is often heralded as the more anticipated event than ‘Mania itself. We tend to agree with that sentiment and this match is proof of that statement. Four of the WWE’s most amazing Superstars who always put on amazing matches fought tooth and nail here to become the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A Tower of Doom spot was just one of the many highlights of this Raw main event. AJ crushed Y2J with a Springboard 450 Splash, Cesaro went European Uppercut crazy, Y2J hopped over Owens for a Code Breaker, Cesaro locked in the Sharpshooter on Y2J after some intense counters and AJ rocked Cesaro with a Phenomenal Elbow while he had Jericho locked into his submission. The Styles Clash finished off Jericho, gave us a new challenger for Roman Reigns and gave the live crowd something to remember for years to come.

Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (Payback)

Taken from Match Review: Not only was the action inside and outside the ring during this match awesome, but the match stipulation changes made it even more of an insane event. AJ and Reigns fought tooth and nail during this entire main event. AJ used his agility and unique moveset to keep the champ off balance. Reigns reached into his powerful offense and continually put AJ on his back. There were moments where the match seemingly ended, but Shane and Steph saw fit to restart it on two occasions. The crowd (including us) came unglued when AJ hit his Phenomenal Forearm to Reigns through the announce table. We equally lost it when Reigns hit a Superman Punch on AJ while he took to the air. Once Anderson & Gallows and The Usos got to fighting, the action intensified. AJ and Reigns both took to the air to cut off their respective allies. The finish came during a cool moment where AJ went for a springboard maneuver, but he flew over Reigns and got finished with a Spear. Reigns retains after a pretty crazy encounter.

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