Sportskeeda WWE Awards 2016: Match of the Year
With 2016 being an incredible year for wrestling for WWE, we finally narrow down a top 10.
In terms of pure wrestling quality, 2016 has been one of the best years in WWE’s history. From signing indie and foreign wrestlers like Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, Finn Balor Balor being poised for superstardom only to be injured to ground-breaking tournaments like the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, this has been one hell of a year. We’ve seen excellent wrestling up and down the card this year, with special mention to the brand split which has seen stars like Dolph Ziggler and The Miz doing some of the best work of their careers this year. NXT has also been putting on some excellent matches and have made it onto this list.
When we picked this list, it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to the final ‘top ten’ matches and needless to say, your favourite match may not have made the list. To determine the final rankings we conducted a poll on our Facebook page, and also considered the opinion of our writers.
10: Kota Ibushi vs Cedric Alexander – Cruiserweight Classic
Kota Ibushi and Cedric Alexander met in the pre-quarter finals of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. The match turned a relatively unknown wrestler – Cedric Alexander – into a star overnight. Facing Alexander in the opposite corner was one of the best wrestlers that Japan has ever produced, ‘The Goldenstar’ Kota Ibushi – a former 3-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.
Ibushi threw everything he had at Alexander, from his trademark ring-post Moonsault to standing Corkscrews and his patented kicks. Alexander took punishment but hit back every time some of the stiffest strikes we’ve seen in WWE this year, nearly knocking Ibushi’s lights out a number of times and coming within seconds of pinning his opponent.
The duo were met with chants of “Fight forever” before Ibushi finally finished the match off with a snap German Suplex and a Goldenstar Powerbomb. Both men earned the respect of the fans, who chanted for Ibushi as he showed his respect to Alexander and walked out.
Alexander, then left alone on the ramp, was met by louder chants than the man who defeated him as he made his way out. As he was about to leave the arena, the fans started to chant “Please sign Cedric” which not only brought Alexander to tears but made Triple H come out from the back and give a thumbs up to the crowd.
What a match. Needless to say, Cedric Alexander is on the WWE main roster now.