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Flashback 2018: Top 5 WWE matches of the year

By Raja
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch at Evolution (image courtesy WWE)

Bengaluru, December 27: WWE arranges many attractive matches throughout the year to sell out the weekly programme as well as the PPV events. The current roster members are perhaps the most talented the WWE has ever possessed. So they used the opportunity to the fullest and made the most of it to deliver several 'match of the year’ candidates.

The specialty of these matches is that the so-called marquee superstars do not feature in this list. Names like The Undertaker, John Cena, Roman Reigns or Triple H are a sure-shot when it comes to delivering big matches. But their age played a huge factor and that in turn allowed the young guns to steal the spotlight.

Fans love to watch pure wrestling based matches with a great storylines attached to it and that leads us to the top 5 WWE matches from 2018. (Note-We have counted only the main roster matches and not the NXT, 205 Live or UK divisions)

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - Last Man Standing WWE Championship Match (Money In the Bank)

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - Last Man Standing WWE Championship Match (Money In the Bank)

The dream feud between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura started around Wrestlemania 34. It continued until the summer arrived with repeated number of matches that turned out to be lackluster bouts. Thankfully, the final one at Money in the Bank saved the day for the two veterans.

Shinsuke Nakamura was in full control of the match and threatened Styles' WWE title run. One huge highlight of the match was Nakamura blasting the WWE Champion with a Kinshasa on the announce table. The King of Strong Styles followed that up with another throw to a table. AJ stayed alive in the match showing tremendous resiliency. He gave a low blow to Nakamura giving a taste of his own medicine. Thereafter, a Phenomenal Forearm got the job done in favor of the ‘face that runs the place'.

Six-pack challenge for the WWE championship (Fastlane)

Six-pack challenge for the WWE championship (Fastlane)

The lineup for this match featured some of the veteran wrestlers in the WWE scene and that guaranteed an incredible match. WWE writers added a great storyline to it to make it to the ‘match of the year' list. AJ Styles received the toughest challenge in his WWE Championship reign when he faced John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin.

The Cenation Leader was the main focus heading into the match and was poised to get a Wrestlemania spotlight. So he started the match with Attitude Adjustments to everyone in the match. Cena also put AJ Styles through the commentary table that was the best spot of the match.

Furthermore, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would have picked up the victory if Shane McMahon had not interfered. The Smackdown commissioner ruined their chance to set up a Wrestlemania matchup. We witnessed a predictable end where AJ pinned Cena with the Phenomenal Forearm to pick up big momentum ahead of the ‘show of shows'.

Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Wrestlemania 34)

Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Wrestlemania 34)

Charlotte vs. Asuka was the best match of Wrestlemania 34 match as per the fans as well as the critics. One of the most significant things about the match was that two women overshadowed the pro-wrestling legends that appeared at the biggest event of the year. Asuka's streak was on the line against the Queen and that added more hype to the match which was already the biggest fight WWE could have offered, at that point.

We could hardly blink once the match progressed and the roof out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was near blown out. Asuka almost won the championship by locking in the chokehold lock on her opponent. However, Charlotte not only came out of the lock, but also delivered a perfect moonsault to perform the best move of the match. The Queen then proceeded to pick up her 24th PPV win via the Figure-Eight leg lock.

Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (Survivor Series)

Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (Survivor Series)

This match was expected to remain as a fantasy match. Daniel Bryan had a lot of history with neck injuries which might have never allowed him to compete against Brock Lesnar. But 2018 was historic in terms of seeing dream matches. So the medical staff of the WWE did not fear to send Daniel Bryan into the Suplex City. And boy has he delivered a better match than this?

The new Daniel Bryan digested a tremendous amount of punishment at the beginning of the match. The beast incarnate showed no mercy as he delivered dozens of suplexes to his opponent. But Bryan hit a low blow to make a come back and followed up with the Running Knee. We almost felt that Lesnar could lose the bout at that moment. Bryan continued the assault with the LeBell Lock trying to pull off the shocker of the year. Ultimately, Brock Lesnar took advantage of his brute force to hit the F-5 on Bryan and become the winner. But the fans witnessed a one-of-a-kind roller-coaster ride like never before.

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch- Last Woman Standing match (Evolution)

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch- Last Woman Standing match (Evolution)

It's no coincidence that the benchmark women's division match and the best match of the year in WWE happened at the all-women PPV event. Evolution will always be remembered for the first of its kind show which let the fans know that women superstars can thrive in a chaotic environment, too. The Last Woman Standing match allowed the two pioneers of Women's Revolution to tear each other apart.

Becky Lynch might have won the match with the New York fans proving ‘The Man' nickname to be true but the fact is that Charlotte Flair was in control for most part of the match. She delivered a mesmerizing moonsault move off the top rope. But Becky Lynch delivered one of the best moves of the match when she leapt off the ladder on Charlotte through the announce table. In the end, we witnessed another move where Charlotte digested a huge powerbomb from Lynch through another table. Becky walked away as the winner of the match but it was women's wrestling that stood tall on that night.

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    Story first published: Thursday, December 27, 2018, 11:20 [IST]
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