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2015 PW Awards

Fight Booth PW Awards: Top Ten Matches of 2015

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Winner: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn)

“This kind of category covers so much ground, it’s nearly impossible to say one match. There’s a lot out there in TNA/Lucha Underground etc that I didn’t see. However, of the matches I saw, none of them topped the NXT Takeover Brooklyn match between Sasha Banks and Bayley. That match had EVERYTHING, and I could watch it 100 times over and not be bored by it. Those two tore the house down and for my money, it is the clear winner.” – Dan Rose

“This should surprise no one after all of my picks thus far… Not much else I can say at this point.” – Chris Langevin

“This was the top match of the year for me followed by the Iron Man Match and Pentagon Jr. vs. Vampiro at Ultima Lucha. These are the three matches from 2015 that I know I’ll be going back to watch again and again for years to come searching for that same high they gave me the first time around.”  – Dave Reno

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Runner Up: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (Royal Rumble)

“INCREDIBLE match that I was very surprised and happy with. This was one that I was worried about them booking Seth to look weak in, but each man in this match looked equally like he was supposed to be there, and I think really established Seth to carry the flag for the WWE this year.” – Chris Langevin

“In 2014, before the Royal Rumble match left us with a bad taste in our mouth, we got a match of the year candidate between Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. This year, it was these three men who would save the show from being a complete disaster. Lesnar, Rollins and Cena all worked their tails off in what was a brutal match with some morbid spots. If his cash in at Mania made him a “made man,” this was the match that showed us that Rollins can hang with the big boys.” – Dave Reno

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3rd Place: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (NXT TakeOver: Respect IronMan Match)

“Bayley and Sasha Banks get 2 matches in the top 3? Really? Really. As I mentioned above, it came down to this match, the one in Brooklyn and Vampiro-Pentagon Jr. at Ultima Lucha for me in 2015. All of the accolades Bayley and Sasha Banks have gotten and continue to get for the work they did together last year in NXT will never be enough considering what they have done for women’s wrestling. This is one of those matches that only gets better with repeated viewings. I may or may not have cried with Sasha after it was all over.” – Dave Reno

4. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena (Elimination Chamber)

“For everyone that chants “Cena Sucks” or “You Can’t Wrestle”, I hope you’re just doing it because you think it’s “cool.” I mean… it’s not… but sure, I get it, you hate that Cena is the hype machine for WWE. They push him even when we don’t want to care about him, but saying you can’t wrestle, just because he has 5 moves and isn’t Daniel Bryan is stupid. This man year after year puts on amazing matches, and if you think I’m an idiot for saying this, watch all three of his PPV matches against Kevin Owens. They’re spectacular, and the Elimination Chamber match stands above all else. We didn’t expect this ending, but the whole buildup to get to the ending was flawless. They wrestled back and forth, both men looked like they belonged in the ring with one another, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Such a great match that made me feel like I was a kid again.” – Chris Langevin

“It’s hard to knock Cena when he shows up 4 times in a top 10 matches of the year list voted on by a panel of folks that all watched A LOT of wrestling in 2015. I think a big reason this match was so good (it also showed up in our Moment of the Year article) was that fans who had been watching Kevin Owens before he came up to WWE knew what he could do – and WWE gave him an opportunity to do it right away. Someone winning their PPV debut isn’t a huge deal, it’s how you give a superstar a chance to become exactly that. Winning your PPV debut against SuperCena? That’s a whole different story. Of course, Cena would go on to win the next two PPV matches between the two men but what were you really expecting?” – Dave Reno

5. Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong (Glory by Honor XIV)

“Every year there is one ROH match that really stands out and just makes me lose my shit. This was that match. Roderick Strong has been in ROH since 2003. That is 12 years that he has been in ROH leaving his mark. In that time, he has watched COUNTLESS superstars make the jump to WWE and he has always stuck around to continue on in Ring of Honor. This year, in my opinion, was his best year yet, and this was his best match of the year. This was just a flawless encounter between the two men that was a continuation of their draw from Death Before Dishonor, which was ANOTHER flawless encounter. They had great matches all year and I’d be an idiot for leaving this off my list.” – Chris Langevin

“I was lucky enough to be at this show and let me tell you – the crowd was hot for this one. No one expected Strong to end Lethal’s 567 day reign as World Television Champion at a TV taping in Kalamazoo, Michigan but that’s exactly what happened. So let this be a lesson learned, anytime ROH comes to your town, you better buy a damn ticket.” – Dave Reno

6. Pentagon Jr. vs. Vampiro (Ultima Lucha)

Full Cerdo Miedo Match Video

7. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi (Wrestle Kingdom 9)

“This may sound somewhat douche-y, but this was like watching poetry. Before I get into the match itself, let’s just remember that Jim Ross called this match… so that surely brought it up my list a few spots. That being said, I absolutely love watching Shinsuke Nakamura wrestle, and every time I can get him on my screen, I make sure I tune in. This was his best match this year… the story that these guys told across a 20 minute match was one of the reasons I got into wrestling, and still watch it to this day. I mean… again, I was on the edge of my seat, jumping on every near fall, and they had me in the palm of their hands the entire time. Such a great match, and if you didn’t see it, or if you only watch one NJPW match this year, make it this one.” – Chris Langevin

8. John Cena vs. Cesaro (7.6.15 episode – RAW U.S. Open Challenge)

9. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens (Money in the Bank)

10. Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo (6.17.15 episode – Iron Man Match)

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