10 Best WWE Matches of The Year 2001
Many look at 2001 as being a bit of a dark year for wrestling. Both WCW and ECW went out of business within the first 3 months of the year, many consider the 'Attitude Era' to have ended when Stone Cold Steve Austin turned heel and joined forces with Vince McMahon, and the entire WWE vs. WCW/ECW Alliance storyline was a complete bust.
It wasn't all doom and gloom in my opinion though. One major saving grace for the year was the matches. I think 2001 had more than a dozen excellent encounters that should be a must-see on every wrestling fans list.
All-time greats like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and more all had some of their best ever matches in 2001 and even the mid-card provided several match of the year contenders.
Here are what I believe are the top 10 best WWE matches of 2001.
#10 Triple H & Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit - RAW, May 21
This was one of the best matches in the history of WWE Monday Night RAW. All four men were among the top five best performers in the company at the time and top 5 - 7 of the entire year.
Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit had won a Tag Team Turmoil match the previous evening at Judgement Day to earn this Tag Team Championship match with Steve Austin and Triple H. The action was so fast-paced and the crowd was red hot. Good heel work from the defending champions and the Chris duo were great at making comebacks.
They all had a good amount of time in the ring together each, lots of false finishes, submissions, counters and smooth wrestling. The MVP of the match has to be Triple H, who infamously tore his quad after delivering a clothesline to Jericho. The Game soldiered on for another 7 minutes in agony after it happened.
The match had a great ending when Triple H accidentally hit Austin with his sledgehammer, leading Jericho to cover Austin. The finish was supposed to lead to tension between Austin and Triple H, leading them to re-open their feud, but didn't happen due to Triple H missing the next 8 months of action. Now the new WWE Tag Team Champions, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit came off as mega main event players.