The 100 Greatest WWE Matches of the Decade: 2009
- WWE Champion Edge vs. Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Undertaker vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Big Show – Elimination Chamber (No Way Out 2009)
We wrapped up 2008 with Jeff Hardy as the WWE champ and then he goes and loses it to Edge at the Royal Rumble. The ironic part of that is Edge is pinned by Jeff during the first five minute period in this match which means we are guaranteed a new WWE champion that isn’t Edge. The unproven main eventer Vladimir Kozlov comes in and sucks the fun out of this match as the #3 guy. Big Show and Kozlov have their way with Jeff Hardy in a game of who-can-hurt-Jeff-the-most. I’m sure they were enjoying it, but it was the low point of the match. Triple H is *your* #5 man to enter the chamber. He has his troubles with the Big Show. In comes the Undertaker as the final man to enter the match. Kozlov tries to ten-count corner punch him, but you can’t do that to the Undertaker. Last Ride out of the corner sends Kozlov to the showers and away from the main event scene until present day. Big Show starts bullying everybody for a while. Jeff tries to escape by climbing up one of the pods, but Big Show yanks his foot down through the chain links. When he goes up to possibly chokeslam Jeff down, Undertaker stops Big Show and brings him to the mat with a superplex, followed by a Pedigree from HHH, and a Swanton from Jeff to get rid of the Big Show. Once HHH crotches Taker when he’s trying for Old Skool on Jeff Hardy, Jeff hits Poetry in Motion off Taker onto HHH on the outside. As Jeff staggers back, Taker flips him over the ropes into the ring for the Tombstone to eliminate Jeff. Pretty sweet finish there. And then there were two. One of the best finishes ever in a Elimination Chamber. It could have went either way as they continued to kick out of big moves. Of course they did it right by building up for their individual death blows with the big finish. Out on the steel, HHH eats a catapult into the wall. Taker goes for a Tombstone, but HHH tries to reverse by flipping back into the ring, but the momentum carries Taker back over on top of HHH as Taker plants him with the Tombstone. Just incredible. Probably should have won the match too. But then Taker kicks out of the Pedigree. HHH goes for the ten-count corner punch as he’s setting Taker up. When Taker goes for the Last Ride, HHH jumps over Taker’s head and hits the Pedigree for the win and his eleventh world championship. Like I said, it’s one of the best back and forth finishes in the history of the Elimination Chamber and one of the best exchanges Taker and HHH ever had.
- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Mike Knox vs. Kane vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho – Elimination Chamber (No Way Out 2009)
Originally, Kofi Kingston was scheduled in this match. As a man who was obsessed with being the world champion, Edge took care of him with a Conchairto on the ringside steps and jumped into Kofi’s pod. Jericho and Mysterio start us off as Rey gets his head ran into one of the bullet proof pods, but then gets crazy on Jericho by climbing walls and then dropping down on Jericho from the ceiling with a headscissors. WHO THINKS OF THIS STUFF? Next up, Kane enters the chamber and bullies the two smaller men around for a while. Rey ranas out of a chokeslam attempt which puts Kane in position for the 619, followed by a Codebreaker from Jericho. Once Kane is up, Rey comes off one of the pods onto him with a seated senton to eliminate Kane. From one big guy to another, in comes Mike Knox. Of course if you recall, he was always beating up Rey Mysterio for no reason. He ties Rey’s foot up in the cage wall and kicks away at him while keeping Jericho at bay. As Knox looks to put Rey away with the swinging reverse STO, Jericho stops Knox with the Codebreaker to eliminate him. Edge is the next guy released into the match. As Kingston’s buddy, Rey is right there to meet him for revenge. Jericho cuts off Rey a few times preventing the 619 on Edge. Not necessarily to help Edge, but he wants to put Mysterio away himself. The three pull off a TOWER OF DOOM spot and here comes the final man into the match: John Cena. He goes bang bam boom on everybody pulling out all his VINTAGE moves, but Jericho stops the FU with a Codebreaker. That knocks Cena in position for the 619, which staggers him around into a Spear by Edge to eliminate John Cena. He was in this match all of ninety seconds. On with the match, Rey looks to 619 both Edge & Jericho. Edge moves, but Jericho still takes the move. Edge misses a Spear into the ringpost which allows Rey to hit the West Coast Pop. Too bad Jericho blocked it with the Walls of Jericho, but then Rey wiggles out into a victory roll for the 1-2-3. Edge waits for Rey to stand up for the Spear, but Rey moves and schoolboys Edge for a nearfall. Springboard bodypress gets another two. Buzzsaw Kick gets another two. Quebrada into a tornado DDT gets a FOURTH nearfall! Rey heads up top, but Edge boots him down. Powerbomb fails as Rey goes all Billy Kidman on Edge and counters with a faceplant. Rey hits a 619 to the back of Edge’s head, but then gets launched face first into the pod. I LOVE IT. I mean they used to do that as a tag team. Now Edge uses it AGAINST Rey. Back inside the ring, the Spear from Edge gives him the win and his eighth world championship title reign in THREE years.
- The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – (WrestleMania 25)
Undertaker puts up his undefeated WrestleMania streak against a man who arguably has had the best series of matches in WrestleMania history. First of all, this match might have the two greatest contrast in entrances I have ever seen. It’s not just a theme or an attitude like HHH as Conan or Cena as a gangster at WrestleMania 22. These two entrances tell you exactly what these two men are all about without saying a word. What they managed to do was brilliant as they went through all of their established signature moves and stretched out the drama to over a 30 minute period. One day I will do PBP for this, but I doubt anybody hasn’t seen this match that’s reading this right now. It’s a definite ***** match (the best since Angle/HBK at WM 21 in my eyes) and the easy pick for match of the year and an overall top three WWE match of the decade.
- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Edge – Last Man Standing Match (Backlash 2009)
So the match is centered around John Cena taking a Conchairto on the previous Raw and how that could affect him in this match where the point is to KNOCK your opponent out. Nothing works for Edge to start. Cena comes back by tossing the steps on Edge. SUPER ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT! That gets a nine count. He cuts Cena off as he comes off the top with a spear. To the floor, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT INTO THE FANS! The fight continues over by the entrance ramp. Edge kills Cena with the Conchairto on the ramp. HERE COMES CENA! Big Show appears and CHOKESLAMS Cena through a spotlight! That will do and Edge wins his NINTH world championship in just over three years. Despite the comical finish, this was a great brawl for a low MOTYC.
- World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Jeff Hardy – Extreme Ladder Match (Extreme Rules 2009)
This is the LAST great match of the year from Edge who has been in every MOTYC so far excluding of course HBK/Taker. Edge does some innovative stuff in this one – including a ladder-assisted Sharpshooter. In a nasty spot, Jeff sets up a ladder upside down and then gives Edge a gourdbuster onto the spreader bar! Don’t know how that doesn’t cut up his stomach, but anyways. Out comes one of the 20 foot ladders. That never ends well. Jeff climbs up for a Swanton. When Edge moves away, Jeff tilts the ladder forward and grabs hold of what is holding up the title belt. Too bad all Edge has to do is pull Jeff down, which he does. Whisper in the Wind off the ladder! Now we go to the floor where Edge sets up a ladder scaffold between the ring and the barricade. That will become important later. Hardy is obsessed with coming off a ladder onto Edge and places him on the scaffold before climbing up a huge ladder. Edge meets him at the top and they both fall through the scaffold! That’s just no good. Back inside, they climb their own individual ladders. Edge thinks he’s going to Spear Jeff off the ladder like he always does, but Jeff counters the Spear with a TWIST OF FATE! Another climb up the ladder sees Edge get LITERALLY stuck in the rungs, allowing Jeff Hardy to win the world title. Right after this, CM Punk cashes in his MITB briefcase and robs Jeff Hardy of the belt, catapulting him into becoming the best heel of the year.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio – Title vs. Mask (The Bash 2009)
Jericho coming out of the stands as a Rey Mysterio mask wearing fan and beating the crap out of Rey is so awesome. This was the summer feud to bring back the prestige of the Intercontinental championship to a certain level it hadn’t had in years. Just a fast paced back and forth story with Jericho constantly countering hurracanranas with the Walls of Jericho. Once Jericho pulled off the mask (in a nod to Extreme Rules), Rey had another mask on underneath ala Mil Mascaras and hit the 619 followed by a springboard splash for the win. Great, great match.
- World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk – TLC Match (SummerSlam 2009)
At least for now, this would be Jeff Hardy’s final PPV, which meant he was going out with a bang. The tables and chairs come into play early as Punk slam dunks Hardy during a shot at Poetry in Motion onto the chair. Jeff tries splashing Punk through a table and completely regrets that decision. Up the ladder, Hardy avoids the GTS with a sunset flip powerbomb. Hardy takes a pretty nasty spill off as the ladder gets tipped over. SUPERPLEX ON THE LADDER! Oww. Hardy shoves off the running bulldog out of the corner and sends Punk through a table on the floor. I mean, why not. Next up, Hardy KO’s Punk with a chairshot and SWANTON BOMBS Punk onto the announce table off one of the 20 footers. Jeff denies medical assistance when he sees Punk about to grab his title belt. During the last struggle on the ladder, Punk knocks Hardy off and regains the world title belt. BONG! The Undertaker returns and chokeslams Punk. Me want title. You have title. I take title.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison – (Smackdown, 9/4/2009)
In my opinion, this was the TV match of the year. So Rey Mysterio got in trouble for violating the Wellness Policy (no kidding – the guy has put on 50 pounds of muscle since 2003) and then screwed up even more by crying about it in an interview with a Spanish publication. As if nobody else in WWE speaks Spanish. Come on! Winner gets Dolph Ziggler at Breaking Point. He’s watching on from backstage. This was fast paced as expected, but this time Mysterio laid back and let Morrison control the majority of the match hitting all his big moves. Mysterio could have been hard to work with here considering his problems with WWE, but he was a pro all the way.
- WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena – “I Quit” Match (Breaking Point 2009)
This was a pretty violent match that saw Orton flogging Cena with different weapons – specifically a Singapore cane and a steel chair – while he was handcuffed to the top rope. Brutal stuff. Cena eventually gets the handcuff key from around Orton’s neck to free himself. He makes the comeback and handcuffs himself to Orton. The weakest part of the match was the finish, which brought this down a bit for me when it could have been a lot better, but overall I would still consider it a MOTYC. Well, obviously I do. Easily the best match from the Cena-Orton series of 2009.
- ECW Champion Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin – Ladder Match (Tables Ladders and Chairs 2009)
I remember these two having a great match over the IC title years ago at Survivor Series. They went into this show promising to steal the show and that’s exactly what they did. Christian gets busted open early on and a medic comes down to check on the cut. This show takes place in San Antonio and Matt Striker tries to tell us that the Texas Athletic Commission has an issue with blood. Are you KIDDING me? Lawler screws up the cover up by saying it’s actually a rule in WWE now. No blood at any costs. They don’t let that stop them from having a great ladder match. There’s a few awkward moments, but overall everything was done well. Shelton shows off his amazing equilibrium and ability to balance himself in just impressive situations. The finish comes when Christian splashes Shelton through a ladder scaffold put in between the ring apron and an announce table and then he retrieves the belt with no problem. Definitely a low MOTYC, but still a great outing from ECW. I believe this was the only ECW title match in my top 100 list.
And that’s it. Hope you have enjoyed my column!
Posted on January 2, 2010, in WWE and tagged Big Show, Chris Jericho, Christian, CM Punk, Edge, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, John Morrison, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mike Knox, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, Shelton Benjamin, Triple H, Undertaker, Vladimir Kozlov. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.