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The Contentious Ten 10.29.12: The Top 10 October WWE PPV Matches

October 29, 2012 | Posted by Gavin Napier

The Contentious Ten closes out the month of October with a retrospective on the best of the best WWE October pay per view matches. Next month is November, and the only thing that matters in November in the wrestling world is Survivor Series. As such, all of November in the Contentious Ten will be dedicated to WWE’s November tradition. Best teams, best matches, best wrestlers – we’ll cover all of it. For now, though, there’s one more list for October, so here is my criteria for The Top 10 October WWE PPV Matches so that we’re all on the same page:

-The matches must have taken place on pay per view
-The pay per views must have taken place in the month of October
-Quality of matches
-Historic significance
-Personal preference

Now, those first two are pretty self explanatory. No preshow matches, no dark matches, no Raw or Smackdown matches, no house show matches. Nothing from Summerslam or King of the Ring or Royal Rumble. Only matches that have appeared on WWE’s October Pay Per Views count. Those pay per views are:

WWF In Your House: Great White North
WWF In Your House: Buried Alive
WWF In Your House: Badd Blood
WWF In Your House: Judgment Day
WWF No Mercy 1999-2008
WWF Hell In A Cell 2009-2011

This column will be assembled and submitted prior to the end of WWE’s 2012 Hell In A Cell pay per view, so those matches aren’t eligible. The rest of the criteria are listed in descending order. The quality of the match comes before everything. After that, historic significance is the tiebreaker. Title changes, blowoffs for feuds, significant gimmick matches, and other such things constitute historic significance. Finally, as always, things come down to what I like and what I don’t. I’ll do my best to explain myself. As always, as many matches as possible come from DailyMotion to allow my readers to bypass work filters.

Matches that just missed the cut: JeriShow vs. Batista and Rey Mysterio (2009), Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison (2010), Kurt Angle vs. John Cena (2003), The Rock vs. Steve Austin (2000)

Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin vs. Rob Van Dam (2001)size=6>
No mercy 2001 – stone cold vs kurt angle vs rob… by rvdcenarulz54

As overbooked messes go, this one is pretty good.
-WWF World Title Match
-No Disqualification Triple Threat

In the early 2000’s, there was a distinct formula for WWE main events. Take two or three or four of the major stars at the time, and put them in a match. Let them do what they do for twenty minutes or so and then get the McMahon’s involved. It didn’t necessarily have to make sense, just get them in there. In fairness, Vince and Shane were still heat magnets and were willing to take bumps with the best of them. As overbooked messes go, this one is pretty good. Angle sells everything perfectly, Austin’s Stone Cole Stunner was always in the back of everyone’s mind as a potential match ender, and Rob Van Dam was near the height of his popularity. Good stuff all around.

The Rock vs. Chris Jericho (2001)size=6>
Chris Jericho vs The Rock, No Mercy 2001, Part 1. by akim93

Chris Jericho vs The Rock, No Mercy 2001, Part 2. by akim93

Chris Jericho vs The Rock, No Mercy 2001, Part 3. by akim93

The McMahon of choice for this match was Stephanie.
-WCW World Title Match

Remember that formula I mentioned above? Well, it still applies when there’s a double main event. This confrontation between Jericho and The Rock had been building for some time, and there was little doubt that these two would turn in an excellent match once given the opportunity. However, where there’s a main event, there’s a McMahon. The McMahon of choice for this match was Stephanie, and she took a Rock Bottom for her troubles. This was well before the PG era, when it was still okay for a 260 lbs. man to attack the daughter of the owner of the company. Even that couldn’t take away from the quality of match that Jericho and The Rock delivered, though.

William Regal vs. Chris Benoit (2006)size=6>
No Mercy 2006 – Chris Benoit vs William Regal by RatedREdgeHead316

I love the European style.
Ranked strictly on match quality

I know, I know. “He Who Shall Not Be Named.” Deal with it, because Benoit will be on this countdown one more time. Chris Benoit and William Regal were both at their very best when matched up with someone that employed a technically sound, ground based style to work off of. That made these two men perfect for each other, with a natural chemistry that led to an excellent match. The more of it I watch, the more I realize that I love the European style. It’s stiff, efficient, looks realistic, and usually leads to excellent matches. This is no exception. Regal and Benoit tee off on each other and work a smart match that is often overlooked and is unlikely to be seen again on a WWE DVD or On Demand programming. Or on that oft-rumored WWE Network that will likely never happen.

Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy (2008)size=6>
Wwe no mercy 2008 triple h vs jeff hardy part 1 by Xaristaker

Wwe no mercy 2008 triple h vs jeff hardy part 2 by Xaristaker

Triple H could still go in 2001, despite rumors to the contrary.
WWE Championship Match

After Triple H tore his quad, there was a belief that he could no longer work at an elite level. Actually, among the IWC, there’s a belief that because they don’t enjoy HHH’s politics it means he could never work. The IWC doesn’t know nearly as much as they think they do, though. Triple H could still go in 2001, despite rumors to the contrary. Triple H has also done a fair amount of work in helping to build people up. That’s not to say that he’s never been involved in keeping someone back, but matches like this definitely helped cement Jeff Hardy in the grand scheme of things. As evidenced by The Miz, there’s a big difference in becoming a main eventer and remaining a main eventer. Jeff Hardy was able to remain a main eventer. Triple H’s efforts in continuing to make him look like he belonged there is a part of that success.

Triple H vs. Chris Benoit (2000)size=6>
Chris Benoit vs. Triple-H by Stinger1981

There’s a first time for everything, right?
-Um…sorry about this.

So here’s the thing. The match that’s linked above obviously isn’t from a pay per view. Instead, it is Chris Benoit’s singles debut against Triple H. Why? Because after thirty minutes of searching, I can’t find the Triple H vs. Chris Benoit match from No Mercy 2000 anywhere online. Not DailyMotion, not YouTube, not any of those other random video sites. Not on a Google search, not on a Yahoo search, not on any kind of search. There’s a first time for everything, right? I will admit that I have the entire No Mercy 2000 pay per view at my disposal, but I don’t have the necessary software to cut the match out so that I can post it to YouTube for this column. You’ll have to take my word for it – the match is excellent. The crowd is nearly split down the middle on who to cheer for. Triple H would soon become a major heel, but at this point, he was flirting with a babyface run enough that he got some cheers against perennial favorite Chris Benoit. It took some shenanigans, but Triple H would defeat Chris Benoit, but it wouldn’t be the last classic pay per view confrontation between the two. Sorry about not being able to find the match, but me not having a link to it doesn’t make the match less good. Enjoy the Smackdown match above and try to forgive me.

Edge and Christian vs. The Hardyz (1999)size=6>
Edge & Christian vs Hardy Boyz part1 (No Mercy… by holywrestling

Edge & Christian vs Hardy Boyz part2 (No Mercy… by holywrestling

These guys and a ladder. Of course it was a classic.
-Terri Invitational
-Ladder Match

At this point in their careers, Edge and Christian were still affiliated with Gangrel, so they hadn’t quite broken out yet. With performances like this, though, everyone could tell that it wouldn’t be long before they did. The Hardyz were much the same. ECW had contributed to everyone’s affinity for a spotfest, and WWE capitalized. Edge, Christian, Matt, and Jeff were all willing to pull off insane spots, and beat themselves up for the enjoyment of paying customers. Watching things like this, it’s no wonder that two of them are out of the business, and one is constantly dinged up. The fact that Jeff is still relatively healthy is a minor miracle. These guys and a ladder. Of course it was a classic. Imagine my surprise when I realized it wasn’t even close to the best match in WWE’s October PPV history.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (1997)size=6>
Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker WWE Bad Blood 1997… by CelticSnake

Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker,hell in a WWE Bad… by CelticSnake

Historically significant, but it’s overrated in my opinion.
-Blowoff to Chapter 1 of Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
-Debut of Glen Jacobs as Kane

I’ll be the first to admit that this match is historically significant but it’s overrated in my opinion. Upon first and subsequent viewings, I’ve just never been able to get into this match like a lot of people seem to. While I’m willing to admit there’s a possibility that I’m underrating the match..this is my list. To me, this is where it fits. At the time, the match was full of huge bumps. They would later be topped by guys like Mankind and even Rikishi, but this was still pretty nerve wracking stuff for 1997, especially if you hadn’t been exposed to ECW yet. It was also supremely satisfying, as Shawn had been running from The Undertaker for seemingly forever, and most everyone wanted to see ‘Taker get his hands on him. Shawn took his beating, but Kane stopped Undertaker from getting total satisfaction. Shawn and ‘Taker would have more encounters in the future, but this was a nice start to their legacy together.

The Undertaker vs. Mankind (1996)size=6>
Undertaker vs Mankind Buried Alive Match by Shermie_Carnival

Easily the best of the Buried Alive matches.
-Buried Alive match

Mankind was creepy when he was first introduced. Moreso than The Undertaker or Kane, or most of WWE’s gimmicks that have been intended to make fans’ skin crawl, Mankind touched a nerve with people. The screeching, the rocking, the nervous ticks all played a part. So did his ability and willingness to take a beating. His Mandible Claw was an unsettling finisher. Everything about the guy was just off putting, and Mick Foley gets a ton of credit for playing the part so well. Mankind was used against the Undertaker by Paul Bearer, and the two had a great feud that stretched for a while. This was the first and easily the best of the Buried Alive matches, and not just because Terry Gordy made an appearance in a mask. Mick Foley is great at ring psychology, and The Undertaker has proven to be no slouch in that department himself. This was an entertaining brawl from start to finish that’s hurt somewhat by how long the actual “burial” dragged on.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (2008)size=6>
Wwe no mercy 2008 chris jericho vs shawn… by Xaristaker

Wwe no mercy 2008 chris jericho vs shawn… by Xaristaker

In my opinion, this was the second best feud in WWE history.
-World Heavyweight Title Match
-Ladder Match

I am a long standing and unashamed Jerichoholic. I’ve been open about it since his WCW run. Even more than his consistently great ring work, I admire his understanding of the business and willingness to put over other wrestlers in an attempt to build stars for the future and not slight people in the way that he was slighted in WCW. Shawn Michaels may well be the greatest worker in the history of the business. If not, he’s certainly in the discussion. When these two got together, it was pure magic. In my opinion, this was the second best feud in WWE history. It was smart, the matches were consistently great, there was believable motivation on both sides, and the World Heavyweight Championship added some drama and importance to this match. Picking a “best match” from this feud is like asking a colorblind guy to color coordinate your wardrobe – an almost impossible task. This one is just about as good as it gets, though.

Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio and Edgesize=6>
No.Mercy.2002 – Rey & Edge Vs Angle & Benoit -… by dido67

No.Mercy.2002 – Rey & Edge Vs Angle & Benoit -… by dido67

As good as modern tag team wrestling gets.
-WWE Tag Team Title Match

Simply put, this is as good as modern tag team wrestling gets. As an added bonus, this was a Chris Benoit match that I could actually find. I don’t even really know what to say about this match, other than it was even better than the Two Out Of Three Falls match these two teams had on Smackdown. That’s saying something. There are tag team matches that are just as good, usually involving Beer Money, Styles and Daniels, or The Briscoes. I have yet to see one better. You don’t need my commentary here, just watch and enjoy.

What did I forget? What’s out of order? Was this topic entirely asinine altogether? Let me know in the comment section below. Now with Disqus, it’s easier to comment and easier for me to interact. I enjoy hearing your thoughts and what your rankings would have looked like. Don’t be bashful. You can find me on Twitter @GavinNapier411 and I’ll be back here in 7..6..5..

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