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r/SquaredCircle's 100 Greatest Matches Ever Poll

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Our friends from Reddit organised a poll over the last couple of weeks. Can't say I'm a fan of the results, but at least there's some value in seeing how casual smart fans think. It's very Meltzerian, pro-recency (4 of the top 5 are from 2017-18!) and I was most struck by how there's not a single Lucha, Joshi, British or Shoot-Style match anywhere. I thought at least a Manami Toyota match would make it.

 

No Flair vs. Steamboat 2/3 falls either, I thought that match had been canonised but apparently not.

 

Oh and Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens ranking higher than any of the AJPW bouts they're cosplaying is funny.

 

1) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega - January 4, 2017
2) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega - June 11, 2017
3) NXT Championship: Andrade Almas (c) vs. Johnny Gargano - January 27, 2018
4) Submission Match: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin - March 23, 1997
5) WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena - January 29, 2017
6) NXT Championship: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn - December 11, 2014
7) Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - April 5, 2009
8) TNA X-Division Championship: Christopher Daniels (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe - September 11, 2005
9) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata - April 9, 2017
10) Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels - April 3, 2005
11) G1 Climax Bout: Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito - August 13, 2016
12) WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. CM Punk - July 17, 2011
13) NXT Tag Team Championships 2 Out of 3 Falls: The Revival (c) vs. DIY - November 19, 2016
14) G1 Climax Bout: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega - August 12, 2017
15) G1 Finals: Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito - August 13, 2017
16) WWF Tag Team Championships Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match: The Dudley Boys (c) vs. Edge/Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz - April 1, 2001
17) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - January 4, 2016
18) GHC Heavyweight Championship: Mitsuharu Misawa (c) vs. Kenta Kobashi - March 1,2003
19) Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn - February 27, 2014
20) WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Mankind - September 22, 1996
21) NWA United States Championship I Quit Steel Cage Match: Tully Blanchard (c) vs. Magnum TA - November 28, 1985
22) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Randy Savage (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat - March 29, 1987
23) World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. The Undertaker - February 19, 2006
24) WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Chris Jericho - January 21, 2001
25) The Hart Foundation vs. The Legion of Doom/Goldust/Ken Shamrock/Steve Austin - July 6, 1997
26) Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn - July 24, 2016
27) Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - April 1, 2016
28) WWE Heavyweight Championship Iron Man Match: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Brock Lesnar - September 18, 2003
29) PWG World Championship: Chris Hero (c) vs. Bryan Danielson - September 4, 2009
30) Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship: Mitsuharu Misawa (c) vs. Toshiaki Kawada - June 3, 1994
31) NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat - February 20, 1989
32) WWE United Kingdom Championship: Tyler Bate (c) vs. Pete Dunne - May 20, 2017
33) WWF World Tag Team Championships: The Two Man Power Trip (c) vs. Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho - May 21, 2001
34) Smackdown Tag Team Championships Hell In A Cell Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos - October 8, 2017
35) IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Kota Ibushi - January 4, 2015
36) Three Stages of Hell Match: Steve Austin vs. Triple H - February 25, 2001
37) IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - June 11, 2017
38) IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. AJ Styles - January 4, 2016
39) World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels - March 14, 2004
40) Losing Team Must Disband Cage Match: America's Most Wanted vs. Triple X - December 5, 2004
41. AJPW World Tag Team Championships: Kenta Kobashi/Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue/Toshiaki Kawada - June 9, 1995
42) NXT Women's Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Becky Lynch - May 20, 2015
43) NXT Tag Team Championships: The Authors Of Pain (c) vs. DIY vs. The Revival - April 1, 2017
44) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - October 14, 2013
45) AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championships: Dan Kroffat/Doug Furnas (c) vs. Kenta Kobashi/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - May 25, 1992
46) Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels - March 30, 2003
47) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada - April 7, 2013
48) NXT Championship: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Tyson Kidd - September 11, 2014
49) Streak vs. Career: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - March 28, 2010
50) No Disqualification: Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk - August 18, 2013
51) PWG World Tag Team Championships Ladder Match: The Super Smash Brothers (c) vs. Future Shock vs. The Young Bucks -  July 21, 2012
52) ROH World Championship: Bryan Danielson (c) vs. KENTA - September 16, 2006
53) WWE Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Chris Benoit - January 19, 2003
54) WarGames Match: Sanity vs. The Authors Of Pain/Roderick Strong vs. The Undisputed Era - November 18, 2017
55) NXT Women's Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bayley - August 22, 2015
56) Loser Leaves Town Street Fight Tuxedo Coal Miner's Glove Match: Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase - March 22, 1985
57) Ultimate Submission Match: Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle - April 29, 2001
58) G1 Climax Bout: AJ Styles vs. Minoru Suzuki - August 1, 2014
59) Vacant WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask - April 21, 1983
60) NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair (c) vs. Sting - March 27, 1988
61) NXT Tag Team Championships: The Revival (c) vs. DIY - August 20, 2016
62) CM Punk vs. The Undertaker - April 7, 2013
63) NXT Women's Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon - August 19, 2017
64) WCW Cruiserweight Championship vs. Mask Match: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio - October 26, 1997
65) WWE Intercontinental Championship vs. Career Match: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler - October 9, 2016
66) NXT Women's Championship Ironwoman Match: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks - October 7, 2015
67) Cage Of Death Match: Team CZW vs. Team ROH - July 15, 2006
68) WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Razor Ramon (c) vs. Shawn Michaels - March 20, 1994
69) Triple Crown Heavweight Championship: Mitsuharu Misawa (c) vs. Toshiaki Kawada - January 22, 1999
70) IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Bout: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Chris Jericho - January 4, 2018
71) PWG World Championship Ladder Match: Kevin Steen (c) vs. El Generico - October 22, 2011
72) Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa - June 8, 1990
73) G1 Climax Bout: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito - July 17, 2017
74) Ted Petty Invitational Quarterfinals: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush - September 30, 2006
75) WWE United States Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Cesaro - July 6, 2015
76) The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family - February 23, 2014
77) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Mr. Perfect (c) vs. Bret Hart - August 26, 1991
78) Necro Butcher vs. Samoa Joe - June 11,2005
79) IWGP Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Hase/Kensuke Sasaki (c) vs. The Steiner Brothers - March 21, 1991
80) NWA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: Harley Race (c) vs. Ric Flair - November 24, 1983
81) WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior - April 1, 1990
82) Dragon Kid/Genki Horiguchi/Ryo Saito vs. CIMA/Masato Yoshino/Naruki Doi -
83) PWG World Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (c) vs. The World's Cutest Tag Team - July 26, 2014
84) John Cena vs. Kevin Owens - May 31, 2015
85) Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship: Mitsuharu Misawa (c) vs. Toshiaki Kawada - May 1, 1998
86) Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue/Jumbo Tsuruta/Masanobu Fuchi - October 19, 1990
87) Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit - October 4, 1999
88) Hollywood Hogan vs. The Rock - March 17, 2002
89) Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome - June 12, 2005
90) World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker - March 30, 2008
91) IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii - July 2, 2017
92) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - March 20, 1994
93) WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page - October 25, 1998
94) Steel Cage Match: Brodie Lee vs. Claudio Castagnoli - September 7, 2008
95) ROH World Championship Ladder War: Kevin Steen (c) vs. El Generico - December 16, 2012
96) Loser Leaves Town: Chris Hero vs. Eddie Kingston - April 4, 2007
97) #1 Contendership Guerilla Warfare Match: Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan - March 22, 2013
98) WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins - January 25, 2015
99) Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin - May 2, 2005
100) Bobby Fish vs. Bryan Danielson - July 23, 2010

 

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Interesting that Magnum-Tully is the first old school match that pops up. I like checking in on Wreddit to see what the current smarks are thinking so I can stay on top of industry trends.

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Also, interesting that the NXT War Games appears on the list, but not any of the original ones.

 

Is the population on Reddit younger? That might explain some of the recency bias?

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Also, interesting that the NXT War Games appears on the list, but not any of the original ones.
 
Is the population on Reddit younger? That might explain some of the recency bias?


Absolutely. I come here for talking with peole who have similar knowledge to me, I go to reddit to see what the modern version of 16 year old Sean is thinking, they can shape how the industry develops.

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It's very Meltzerian, pro-recency (4 of the top 5 are from 2017-18!) and I was most struck by how there's not a single Lucha, Joshi, British or Shoot-Style match anywhere.

You said it yourself -- "it's very Meltzerian."

They treat his opinion as the gospel truth -- if he says a Kenny Omega match is the greatest match of all time, then it is and there's no debating it.

I only visit that place for wrestling gifs, random wrestler tweets as I don't follow any on twitter and random cards and news.

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Going through it, I think about a quarter of those matches would make an all-time list for me. There's still a ton of stuff I need to see, though.

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The list is going to be interesting as it is what the "casual/hardcore" audience likes in wrestling. Sure, it is "Meltzerian" but most fans of this group have been leaning "Meltzerian" for the past decade when footage wasn't a big issue and finding a starting point of great wrestling from outside WWE was as easy as looking at Dave's ***** matches. It isn't brainwashing, it is a product of wrestling being easier to approach than ever. 

 

The "hardcore/hardcore" is going to be found on http://gweproject.freeforums.net/ but that is clearly going to be overall a much smaller audience. 

 

The most interesting thing to me is it features SIX Benoit matches. Who is doing this?

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Let's not turn this into a "the dread Meltzer has brainwashed the masses into liking the wrong kind of wrestling" thread, thanks.

Simply stating that his opinion is worshiped by them is turning the thread into that? Okay...

 

Also wrong kind of wrestling?

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Only thing that interested me about the list was how many "old school" matches made it. Almost marked out when I saw Tully vs Magmun being the highest rated one.

 

On the other hand, the main thing that interests me about the GME project is how many "new" matches make the list.

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Yeah the Tully/Magnum one being the highest 80s one is interesting to me. I don't know how many votes were cast, it might have been like two people that got it up there, but you would have expected Flair/Steamboat or Steamboat/Savage.

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The list is going to be interesting as it is what the "casual/hardcore" audience likes in wrestling. Sure, it is "Meltzerian" but most fans of this group have been leaning "Meltzerian" for the past decade when footage wasn't a big issue and finding a starting point of great wrestling from outside WWE was as easy as looking at Dave's ***** matches. It isn't brainwashing, it is a product of wrestling being easier to approach than ever. 

 

The "hardcore/hardcore" is going to be found on http://gweproject.freeforums.net/ but that is clearly going to be overall a much smaller audience. 

 

The most interesting thing to me is it features SIX Benoit matches. Who is doing this?

After discussing on Twitter I have confirmed the list really isn't Meltzer like. Granted I don't know the formula that spits out this list cause it is indeed out there.

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Who the fuck cares ? I mean, really. Reddit ? I thought reddit was only good to get the leaking sex videos. Well, apparently it is. (yeah, that's a running gag of sorts).

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Sasha vs Becky being the highest rated WWE women's match surprises me especially since the Brooklyn Sasha vs Bayley match is typically given the most attention from that year.

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Okay, Danielson/Fish at 100 is such a funny pick it feels like something a poster on this site would do as an inside joke. I assume after the Top 50 canonized picks were getting pretty sparse.

 

EDIT: Okay, Jim Duggan match in the Top 100? This list isn't half bad. I'd be shocked if the GWE forums produces a better one.

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EDIT: Okay, Jim Duggan match in the Top 100? This list isn't half bad. I'd be shocked if the GWE forums produces a better one.

 

Are you on the GWE forums? I'm curious why your expectations are so low.

 

Or, I'm being trolled into a reply. I suppose that's possible too.

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Who the fuck cares ? I mean, really. Reddit ? I thought reddit was only good to get the leaking sex videos. Well, apparently it is. (yeah, that's a running gag of sorts).

Hey man, maybe you should log off. 

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I actually was expecting the absence of any lucha in this type of list, but no joshi is weird. No love for Han and Tamura is also quite sad.

 

But I can't say it's a surprising list. Wreddit has their own particular taste an demographich, PWO has theirs. Particularly, I'm in the middle of those two.

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I just read this off that subreddit: "Onita in AJPW before he fucked up his knee was great. FMW Onita is all smoke, mirrors, and theater." So, yeah, it's a weird place.

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I'd probably have around 20 of those matches in my top 100...

 

What surprises me is the lack of Kobashi and Danielson. I would have expected a list with that much Omega, Okada, and HBK to also have a fair amount of Kobashi and Danielson...

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I'd probably have around 20 of those matches in my top 100...

 

What surprises me is the lack of Kobashi and Danielson. I would have expected a list with that much Omega, Okada, and HBK to also have a fair amount of Kobashi and Danielson...

Yeah it's a weird list. It's interesting to pick through.

 

I'm surprised some of the 'classic indy' matches aren't on there - Punk's major WWE matches vs Cena, Lesnar, Taker are on but not Punk vs Joe from 2004? 

 

And there's no way on a poll of that size, that the majory of people on R/SC have seen 29) PWG World Championship: Chris Hero © vs. Bryan Danielson - September 4, 2009 - there's just no way. Especially with how many modern WWE and NJPW matches are in the top 50. So it's interesting to see what matches are highly regarded as classics and get votes just because of that aura and I'm really surprised Hero/Danielson from 2009 PWG is there. It's really good though.

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I just read this off that subreddit: "Onita in AJPW before he fucked up his knee was great. FMW Onita is all smoke, mirrors, and theater." So, yeah, it's a weird place.

 

Where did this person get that talking point? Where are the lists of pimped 70s Onita? 

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