Every week, WWE posts a Top 10 countdown video on Youtube featuring different subjects. They’ve done this for years with different subjects. I figured it would be a good idea to check out their list every weekend, let you know the order they put them in and offer some brief thoughts on everything. To conclude, I’ll offer up some thoughts on the order.
This one is called “Controversial Conclusions” so they are match finishes that ended in controversy. They picked this theme because AJ Styles tapped out to two submissions at the same time at No Mercy and he didn’t lose the match.
10. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at Royal Rumble 1998
This was an odd choice for this. All they did was show the clip of Michaels hitting an elbow drop into the casket, so that he was in the casket at the same time as Undertaker. The referee closed the casket, but the match didn’t end there.
Michaels went on to win later thanks to Kane, which wasn’t shown.
9. Royal Rumble 1994 ending with Bret Hart and Lex Luger
The Royal Rumble match ended with Bret Hart and Lex Luger, two of the biggest faces in the match, landing on the floor at the same time. It was the first and only time there was a dual finish at the Royal Rumble. I thought this should have been higher on the list because it was a big deal.
It led to both guys getting WWE Title matches at WrestleMania 10 with Bret Hart leaving the event with the WWE Title.
8. Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe ends in a draw – NXT Feb. 17, 2016
It was a number one contender’s match to see who would face Finn Balor for the NXT Title. Zayn hit the Helluva Kick, then did an exhausted pin of Joe where he landed on his back so that both of their shoulders were down.
They went on to have a best 2 out of 3 match with Joe winning.
7. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins ends in a draw – Raw July 18, 2016
This is fresh in my mind because it was on the Raw before the brand split draft on Smackdown. Seth Rollins, who was the WWE Champion, gave Dean Ambrose a superplex, Ambrose hooked his legs after the landing and both guys had their shoulders down. The referee wasn’t able to make a decision.
The next night on Smackdown, they did the match again with Ambrose winning.
6. Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog ends in a draw at Beware of Dog 1996
It was May 1996 with Shawn Michaels as the WWE Champion. They did this spot where the original referee (Earl Hebner) was bumped. Mike Chioda was the replacement referee. Michaels did a bridging German Suplex leading to both guys having their shoulders on the mat. Chioda thought Bulldog won while Hebner thought Michaels won. The timing of it was really well done.
They went on to have a rematch at King of the Ring 1996 with Michaels retaining his title.
5. CM Punk and John Cena force Big Show to submit at SummerSlam 2012
In a triple threat match for CM Punk’s WWE Title, there was a spot where Punk had Show trapped in a Koji Clutch submission and Cena applied the STF. Show tapped out, so both guys thought they won. It was similar to what they did at No Mercy this year because the match can’t end with two winners.
The match was restarted by then General Manager AJ Lee, Cena hit the AA on Show, Punk sent Cena out of the ring and Punk covered Show to win.
4. John Cena and Ryback ends in a draw at Extreme Rules 2013
It was a Last Man Standing match for Cena’s WWE Title. Ryback had just turned heel so that he could be Cena’s post-WrestleMania feud. They did this big spot where Ryback picked up Cena and tackled him through the staging area as lights went off and the crowd went wild. Both guys were down backstage. The match ended in a draw.
They did the match again at Payback 2013 with Cena beating Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match. It was a forgettable feud, but the spot at Extreme Rules was pretty cool.
3. The Undertaker and Kurt Angle ends in a draw – Smackdown July 4, 2002
Undertaker was the WWE Undisputed Champion and they were having a great match. Angle applied a triangle choke submission hold around the head/neck of Undertaker. Undertaker also had Angle pinned, so as referee Mike Chioda (there he is again) counted the pin, Undertaker also tapped out at the same time as Chioda’s hand hit the mat for a third time.
As an interesting side note, I found this story from the day after the taping saying that they had to re-tape the finish. I don’t remember it that well.
Anyway, The Undertaker ended up retaining the title as a result of the draw. It led to a triple threat match at Vengeance 2002 with The Rock, which is a great match. The Rock left with the WWE Title that night.
2. The Undertaker and Batista ends in a draw in a Steel Cage Match – Smackdown May 8, 2007
They had a really good 20+ minute steel cage match. I liked this rivalry a lot because their matches were always really well done and both guys were put over at different times. For the finish, Undertaker climbed over the cage in one part of the ring and Batista did on the other side. They did a great job of having each guy land on the floor at the same time. The replays covered it well. The Undertaker ended up keeping the title due to the draw finish.
After the match, Mark Henry went to the ring to beat up Undertaker since he was exhausted. Then Edge showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase, he cashed it in and left with the World Heavyweight Title. It was a memorable night for Smackdown.
1. Batista beats John Cena to win the 2005 Royal Rumble after a controversial finish
This one is pretty well known with Cena and Batista as the two younger guys on the rise at the time. They did a spot with Batista going for a Powerbomb by the ropes, Cena tries to fight out of it, they end up tumbling over the top to the floor and landing at the same time. One referee raised Batista’s hand and another referee raised Cena’s hand. Vince McMahon walked out there, went into the ring and collapsed to the mat because he tore his quad. Then he was in a seated position, which looked so awkward. He ordered the refs to restart the match. Batista won shortly after.
A lot of people thought that was the planned finish, but it was not. The real finish was supposed to see Batista hold on during that spot by the ropes. He just wasn’t able to do it because it was difficult to do with Cena in his arms.
The winner didn’t matter anyway because Cena won the WWE Title at WrestleMania 21 and Batista won the World Title in the main event.
I think they did a good job on the list, but they are missing a really big one that would probably be first on my list. Here’s a video from The Main Event in February 1988 with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
The short version of the story is that the ref told Hogan that his shoulders were down for the finish even though he clearly had a shoulder up. It was later revealed that he was a ref paid by Ted Dibiase to give the title to Andre. That’s when we learned about twin referees Earl and Dave (the evil one) Hebner. Andre ended up surrendering the WWE Title to Ted Dibiase. This led to the WrestleMania 4 WWE Title tournament with Randy Savage winning the title for the first time.
Why did they leave this out of the list? Hulk Hogan, probably. Since WWE cut their ties with Hulk Hogan following his leaked racist comments, they really don’t want to put over Hogan moments even though this is really something that should be on a list like this.
The order they went with is fine except the finish of the 1994 Royal Rumble should have been in the top three. That was very significant at the time and it still stands out as the only tie to end a Royal Rumble.
Let me know what you think of this post. I will do them every Saturday going forward and may pick out their older top ten videos for mid-week content as well.