The Wrestling Brain’s Favorite Five #Raw Matches – #Raw25

Monday Night Raw is 25 years old, and what a rollercoaster 25 years it’s been, it’s had its high points and low points, but one thing that’s remained constant is […]

Monday Night Raw is 25 years old, and what a rollercoaster 25 years it’s been, it’s had its high points and low points, but one thing that’s remained constant is that for the last 25 years on a Monday night, we’ve have been entertained by the likes of John Cena, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and many more.

I became a fan of WWE in early 2007, so that means I’ve followed and watched Raw for 11 years, and over that period there have been some great matches, and I’m going to list my top 5 Raw singles matches since I became a fan.

 

 

5) Dolph Ziggler vs Alberto Del Rio – World Heavyweight Championship (April 8th, 2013)
So this perhaps wasn’t a great match, but it was certainly a great moment, that’ll be etched in Raw history for a long time. It was the night after Wrestlemania 29, in New Jersey, and after just beating Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio required assistance to stand up due to a leg injury. Then all of a sudden, Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and he would cash-in his Money In the Bank briefcase and the reaction he got from the crowd inside the Izod Centre was unbelievable, and the moment he hit the ZigZag and became World Heavyweight Champion everybody including from me in my Grandad’s living room to AJ Lee and Big E Langston were celebrating.

 

 

4) Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns – Winner faces Seth Rollins at Summerslam (July 25th, 2016)
On Finn Balor’s first night on Monday Night Raw, he won a Fatal 4 Way featuring Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Rusev, then in the main event he beat Roman Reigns and straight away WWE had made a new star and in his match against Reigns, in particular, he made non-NXT fans understand the build and hype surrounding him. Very rarely on your debut night in WWE do you become a top tier star, but Balor was an exception. Unfortunately for Finn he got injured at Summerslam and has never really got that momentum back again.

 

 

3) John Cena vs Sami Zayn – WWE United States Championship (May 4th, 2015)
The whole of John Cena’s US title reign was an absolute joy to watch, week in and week out, on Raw John Cena would be involved in the match of the night, whether it be against Cesaro, Dean Ambrose or Neville, throughout a portion of 2015, Raw felt important as you’d see a great title match, featuring one of the biggest names in WWE.

The one match that sticks out for me in Cena’s 6-month reign, was his match against Montreal’s own Sami Zayn. Some may recall that before the match began, Zayn injured his shoulder, whilst doing his trademark throwing of his arms celebration, and despite that injury, Zayn carried on in his debut match on the main roster and had potentially one of his best main roster matches. Throughout the match, I believed Zayn could get the shock win, sadly he didn’t and he would miss the next 7 months, but ironically the non-scripted pre-match shoulder injury and the fact he managed to fight on made him more of an underdog than he ever was before turning heel in October 2017.

 

 

2) CM Punk vs John Cena – Winner faces The Rock at Wrestlemania 29 (February 25th, 2013)
This match makes me miss CM Punk a lot, as this would be the last ever time Punk and Cena clashed inside the ring before Punk left in early 2014. Punk and Cena have had excellent matches before this one, no-one will forget their classic at Money In The Bank 2011. But I think this was possibly the best wrestling match between each other, both men gave it their all and pulled out some never before seen moves.

I for certain had never seen a piledriver hit in a WWE ring before and I believe we’ve not seen one ever since this match. For anyone who believes Cena can’t wrestle, they should rewatch this match and for any new fans who haven’t watched CM Punk wrestle, watch this and you’ll see why a lot of people want him back in the squared circle.

 

 

1) John Cena vs Shawn Michaels (April 23rd, 2007)
This was the first really great wrestling match that I can remember, I would’ve been 9 and recorded on video Monday Night Raw (that’s a blast from the past). Waking up at six in the morning to watch Raw before going to primary school, and as a 9 year old I didn’t appreciate how damn good it was until I rewatched it a few months ago, and it just reminded me how much of a fan I was of Shawn Michaels when I was younger, as well as John Cena.

Fun story I remember watching No Way Out 07 with my brother and he was more of a Batista and Undertaker guy, so he was cheering for the Smackdown duo whereas I was rooting for HBK and Cena, and I remember hiding behind cushions whenever I thought my Raw guys would lose, thankfully they won and I was happy.

Anyway back to the match, which took place in London at The O2 Arena. This was a rematch from their epic at Wrestlemania 23 (my first Mania) and somehow they topped it. Whether it was the electric British crowd or the fact that every move was gold, Shawn Michaels and John Cena delivered a near 50-minute classic and considering Raw was only a 2-hour show in those days, the fact two guys were given practically half of the show was unheard of. When doing this list I watched this match again just to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake, I can honestly say I didn’t. I love this match as much now as I did in 2007 and I truly think this is what matters in wrestling, you always remember where you were when certain moments happen in wrestling.

For fans of the 80’s you remember where you were when Hogan slammed Andre, in the 90’s you remember where you were when Austin hit a Stunner on Vince, in the 2000’s you remember where you were when WWF bought WCW and in the last few years you remember where you were when Undertaker’s streak was broken. For me I will always remember being a 9-year-old kid, coming downstairs early on a Tuesday morning and putting on a video and sitting in front of the TV in awe, week after week, captivated from start till end, and the match between Shawn Michaels and John Cena, didn’t just make me a WWE fan, it made me a wrestling fan.

 

So there are my favourite five matches from Raw, what are yours? let me know in the comments section below.