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WRESTLING COLUMNS

What Qualifies as The Greatest Match Ever"
July 1, 2004 by Chris Wood


There have been many discussions around the world of the greatest and most amazing wrestling match of all time. Many opinions discussed, hundreds of names mentioned but I'm not writing this column to share my views on the greatest, but on the reasons why a match can be classed as one for the ages.

Nowadays you must ask the question: what is professional wrestling" Well I highly doubt that anyone would disagree that the main emphasis on the sport is entertainment. So therefore finding what people find entertaining about a match is required.

First of all some of the typically mentioned best matches need to be mentioned; Hogan Vs Warrior, Bret Vs Austin, Flair Vs Steamboat. What do these matches have in common" Fantastic match structure! What is respected here is the wrestlers own skills and ability to structure a match and pay homage to their characters and the way in which they play their character. Of course this is what many of the older variety of wrestling fans look towards mainly because they understand it a lot more than the new generation.

The new generation will class some of the more new age of matches as there favourites; Foley Vs Taker HIAC, TLC matches etc that all require the big spots to work. This form of entertainment is purely on shock factor, what the wrestlers do that was never expected, how have they broke the mould. This makes it a valid excuse for an entry to the best match of all time discussion as the fans are entertained by the wrestlers drive to put on a great show.

Appropriately leading on from this is another case of shock value. The shock of witnessing an event to which was never deemed as great match on paper but shocked the fans and critics as being a great match up. A great example of this would be Kurt Angle Vs Shane o'Mac. Kurt had never done a hardcore match before and Shane had only really ever shown his ability to jump from the top of the arena. This match showed both men put on such a show that no one could believe, from Shane being thrown through glass, performing a shooting star press to the angle slam form the top of the turnbuckle. Fans we kept on the edge of their seats, as it was a match were it was apparent anything could happen.

The final match type that allows access to the discussion of best ever match is the feeling that the fan is watching history. Every fan has experienced the moment when watching a match they receive goose bumps through tension, excitement or pure disbelief. A fantastic example would be Hogan Vs Rock. Thousands of fans in the arena standing, chanting and basically going berserk for the match. The match hadn't even started and every fan watching was exhausted from seeing two men stare at each other, star at the crowd then back to each other. It's a memory I will never forget. The match itself may have blown but I doubt anyone cared, the match delivered what it set out to do.

In evaluation, its not how great the match was technically, or how many big spots were in the match, its how the fan was entertained. I suppose this leads to the old theory of people's own opinions but instead, gives people a reason for their opinion

by Chris Wood..


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