What Are The Top WWE Matches of 2020? WWE Releases Official List

Published 12/29/2020, 8:31 AM EST
COLOGNE, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 07: A WWE Logo at the WWE Live Tryout at the Motorworld on November 7, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)


The year 2020 has not been great for the world of professional wrestling. The restrictions imposed by the global pandemic stifled promotions, and in the absence of fans, the aura around a wrestling live event took a major hit. However, WWE still captivated their fans with some incredible matches.

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The Vince McMahon led promotion just released its top 25 best matches of 2020.

NXT dominates best matches list

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Ten matches from NXT made their way into the top 25 list. That means nearly forty percent of the list comprises matches wrestled under the black and gold brand. This comes as no surprise as everyone knows that NXT has always outperformed the main roster in terms of match quality.

Two matches from NXT UK made the list: Walter vs Ilja Dragunov and Kay Lee Ray vs Toni Storm’s I Quit match. Keith Lee vs Adam Cole was the biggest NXT match of the year and finds itself at a handsome #11 position. Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher’s brutal Fight Pit match also made the list.

The NXT Women’s Division has had another stellar year. Matches like Io Shirai vs Candice Le Rae at Halloween Havoc (#16), Shirai vs Ripley vs Flair (#12) and Charlotte vs Rhea Ripley from WrestleMania (#9) highlighted the division’s success. Notable absentees from the list were- both War Games matches, Adam Cole vs Tomasso Ciampa, Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic, and Sasha Banks vs Io Shirai.

WWE and Universal Champions feature multiple times

Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns have featured on the list quite a bit. This does not come as a shock, given the amazing year both stars have had.

Both Reigns and McIntyre have four matches each on the list, including the Royal Rumble match (#14), where they were the final two competitors. Their Survivor Series classic is the highest rated match of either Superstar at #4.

Roman Reigns had some brilliant battles on PPV. His match with Jey Uso at Clash of Champions (#20) was one of the finest displays of perfect storytelling, although it is odd that WWE went with that match instead of their Hell in a Cell classic. The Tribal Chief’s brutal war with Kevin Owens (#13) at WWE TLC also makes the list.

Drew McIntyre’s WWE Title reign began with a stunning title defense against Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank (#17). The two cornerstones of Monday Night Raw put on a brilliant back-and-forth battle that would’ve been a five-star classic with a live audience. McIntyre’s Ambulance match (#7) win over Randy Orton is a surprising addition as their match at SummerSlam was far superior.

WWE Cinematic Matches steal the show

It is too far-fetched to say that WWE has perfected the art of cinematic matches. However, they have provided fans with a good amount of cinematic masterpieces for fans to enjoy mindlessly.

It might come as a shock to some, but Undertaker vs AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36 has been chosen as the best match of the year. The Boneyard match even won the Slammy Award in the same category.

The other cinematic matches featured on the list are the Money in the Bank matches and the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. MITB was a brilliant PPV and we have to give major props to WWE for putting on a highly entertaining affair.

Otis might have been an unpopular choice to win the match, but the action that preceded the win was entertaining enough to warrant such a prime place on the list (#15).

Edge vs Randy Orton was WWE’s best rivalry of 2020 by a longshot. No other rivalry came close to touching the intensity and hype generated by two of the greatest of all times.

Their match at Backlash (#3) ended up being bigger than the entire PPV. WWE added a touch of flair to this match, but it only added to its brilliance.

AJ Styles is the best wrestler of 2020

No one can deny that AJ Styles is a wrestling maestro. The Phenomenal One features five times on the list.

That is more than both Reigns and McIntyre (4), Daniel Bryan (4), Seth Rollins (3) and any of NXT’s best wrestlers. He has repeatedly proven that age is not a factor if you’re phenomenal, and AJ Styles is simply phenomenal.

Styles delivered a decent performance at the Royal Rumble, but made his mark at WrestleMania. He and Undertaker put together a brilliant main event for Day 1 of WrestleMania 36.

After being buried at ‘Mania, he and Daniel Bryan wrestled a technical classic on SmackDown for the Intercontinental Championship. Styles beat Bryan after nearly 40 minutes of brilliant action to win the IC Title.

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Styles was also a prominent figure in the Money in the Bank match. He was the glue that kept the chaotic match together. His brawl with Daniel Bryan inside Vince McMahon’s office was one of the coolest moments of the year. Styles also featured in a wild triple threat ladder match for the IC Title.

There are many matches that we haven’t analysed but deserve their place on this list. Bayley vs Sasha Banks at HIAC sits perfectly at #2. Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly from Takeover 31 (#10) was the best NXT match of 2020.

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Walter vs Ilja Dragunov might just be the best wrestling match of the decade, but has to settle with a humble #8 position. The list is controversial, but it perfectly reflects the wild year WWE had.

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Nathan Fulgado

866 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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