It’s been a hugely eventful year for WWE, but will mainly be remembered for things that happened outside of the ring.
But amidst all the reluctant involvement in global political scandals, NXT beginning to spread its wings over the wrestling world, and the women’s revolution moving into a higher gear, we’ve seen some damn fine matches too.
Weirdly, WWE’s so-called ‘developmental territory’ has provided us with the year’s most memorable matches – but that doesn’t mean nothing of note happened on the main roster. Far from it, in fact.
We’ve seen epic no-DQ brawls, chaotic multi-man scrambles, and massive moments on the grandest stage of all. Now it’s time to look at the best of the best, including a few honourable mentions:
January brought us the historic first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match, a significant and dramatic start to 2018.
At the SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view, we were treated to a ‘six-pack challenge’ in which AJ Styles retained the title, frustrating a desperate John Cena in the process.
WrestleMania kicked off the main portion of the show with an excellent triple threat match between Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and The Miz – a bout then followed by the equally exciting SmackDown Women’s Championship bout between Asuka and Charlotte Flair.
The latter half of the year featured Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell – a match that was gruesome in entirely the right way.
Finally, it’s important to mention Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey’s clash at Survivor Series, a wonderful blend of technicality and intensity.
Before we move onto the list proper, I should point out that no 205 Live matches were taken into account – but if they had been, Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy would definitely have been in with a strong chance.
10. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose Vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre – Hell In A Cell
Although certainly a bout full of good wrestlers, The Shield vs. Ziggler and McIntyre seemed confined to the background when the Hell in a Cell card was finalised. Up against two HIAC matches, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, and Alexa Bliss’ rematch with Ronda Rousey, it seemed likely to be forgotten.
Instead, this actually turned out to be the best match of the night (although not the best moment, which surely must be Becky’s title win). The quartet put on a match that successfully blended traditional tag team psychology and modern flair – all wrapped up in a WWE sports entertainment bundle.
If this bout has a weak point, it’s the storyline. Braun Strowman’s sudden heel turn (and lightning-fast recruitment of Ziggler and McIntyre as his cronies) wasn’t really the direction anybody wanted to see Raw’s main event scene move in. Also, I’m not sure if this bout holds up too well on repeated viewing, simply because the four men involved have clashed a seemingly infinite number of times in 2018.