By RJ Marceau
It’s been a great year so far to be a wrestling fan. All the pay-per-views on the WWE Network have been good, even the shows that are considered “B” shows. The year has had handful of good matches and I can’t wait to redo this list at the end of the year and see what my top 5 matches are of the year. All these matches were very good to great and 3-5 can be interchangeable.
5. Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan at Fastlane
After winning the Royal Rumble it seemed that Roman Reigns was on the “Fast Lane” to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXXI. The WWE Universe wasn’t too fond of Reigns winning and voiced their opinions to try and get Daniel Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania. The Authority decided to have Reigns face Bryan at Fastlane to decide the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns and Bryan had an amazing match that I thought Bryan would win but the WWE stayed with their decision to have Reigns face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXXI.
4. Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXXI
The WWE spanned this feud from late 2014 into 2015 with Rollins “kicking” Orton out of the Authority. Orton was off TV for months and returned after the Royal Rumble. These two finally met at WrestleMania XXXI and they didn’t disappoint. Rollins and Orton have amazing chemistry with a great back and forth action. J&J security interfered and it seemed that Rollins was going to steal a victory but Orton countered a curb stomp into the best RKO I have seen since Orton debuted in 2002. He shot Rollins off his back and hit an RKO mid air. Orton beating Rollins set up their match for the title at Extreme Rules after Rollins cashed in at WrestleMania XXXI.
3. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XXXI
Going into WrestleMania XXXI, the spotlight really wasn’t really on this match. Sting vs. HHH, Rusev vs. John Cena and Orton vs. Rollins had way more hype and TV time on the Raw and Smackdown shows leading to WrestleMania. Before Lesnar re-signed with the WWE, Roman Reigns was a lock to win the title. Lesnar dominated a majority of the match but Reigns kept fighting. The back and forth action at the end of the match with both guys hitting finishers and signature moves had me at the edge of my seat. I was a believer that Rollins could cash in after Reigns won but when his music hit myself and Graham jumped out of our seats like they were on fire.
Rollins ran down the ramp and cashed in. It seemed that he might fail with Reigns lying limp against the ropes. Rollins hit a curb stomp on Lesnar but didn’t cover. I was convinced he was going to lose and went for another curb stomp and got caught in a F5 similar to what happened at Royal Rumble. Right when Lesnar was going to F5 Rollins, Reigns speared Lesnar leading to Rollins curb stomping Reigns. This moment was amazing and my #1 WrestleMania moment.
2. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Royal Rumble
This match was announced to be Cena vs. Lesnar at first, which the WWE Universe wasn’t excited for. The Authority rewarded Rollins with a title opportunity. This match had triple threat tendencies with Rollins and Cena teaming up to take out Lesnar. Rollins hit a great elbow from the top rope on Lesnar through the Spanish announce table. Lesnar was down for the majority of the match after this elbow. Rollins and Cena had great in ring action.
Rollins debuted the Phoenix Splash that wowed the audience and myself. As Rollins went for the pinfall, Lesnar slid into the ring and suplexed him. Lesnar seemed like he was going to win until Rollins hit him with the MITB in the briefcase. Rollins went to curb stomp him on the briefcase but got caught into a F5 and Lesnar pinned Rollins to retain the title. This match was a great showing for all 3 men and showed how much of a beast Brock Lesnar is.
1. Kevin Owens vs. John Cena at Elimination Chamber
I thought the match at Royal Rumble would be really hard to beat but the clinic that Owens and Cena displayed last Sunday has to be my #1 match so far in 2015. Owens has been my favorite NXT superstar since his debut and I was excited to see how he would be booked on the main roster. Since the stipulation was Champion vs. Champion I thought Owens would win but not clean. Owens displayed amazing maneuvers especially the moonsault off the top rope.
The athleticism Owens has for a 270-pound man makes Neville’s move set look like a joke. Cena deserves great praise for his in ring action in this match and putting over Owens especially clean. Owens made a name for himself and should be one of the top heels on the main roster.