Ranking 5-star matches from worst to best is really hard when you realize each match was rated 5-stars for a reason. Whether it be off the chart story telling, death defying in-ring ability, or an electric environment, every match to receive this honor brings something unique and special to the table. Ironically, the world’s biggest wrestling company, WWE, hasn’t had many matches receive this elusive honor, proving Meltzer’s rating system to be legitimate and exclusive. So, with that being said, here are all of WWE’s 5-star Matches, ranked from “worst” to best.
6. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart- Steel Cage Match- Summerslam 1994
I can only imagine how hard it was to achieve a 5-star rating while performing in a steel cage, however, Bret and Owen Hart made it look easy in 1994. Two of the best the WWF had to offer at the time, Bret and Owen’s feud was personal, real, and emotional. The two took shots at each other for months, both on the mic and in the ring, before their rivalry eventually culminated in a violent wrestling match in the cage. Both brothers left it all in the ring, but Bret would ultimately prevail.
5. Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Johnny Gargano- NXT Takeover: Philadelphia
My favorite part of this match was the fact that they didn’t rely on gimmicks or over the top interference to build tension and emotion during the bout. Because of that, this match was a showcase of the purest wrestling talent on the face of the earth. From start to finish, both men proved that they are two of the best overlooked talents in the world with their flashy offense, crisp movement, and technical prowess. Yet another genius display of athleticism all for the NXT Title was a great main event to a solid NXT PPV. This was WWE’s first match to receive the honor of 5-stars honor since 2011.
4. CM Punk vs John Cena- Money In The Bank 2011
This match simply had everything. Storytelling, top notch in-ring performance, and a hot Chicago crowd that was ready to riot if the outcome wasn’t in their favor. With a unique story leading up to the match, hometown hero CM Punk defended his WWE Championship against WWE Champion, John Cena. Yes, you read that right. With Punk’s contract expiring later that night, he vowed to become the real, undisputed Champion, and then leave the WWE as Champion.
The Chicago crowd was extremely vocal that night, just adding to the atmosphere of the matchup. On top of it all, CM Punk defeated John Cena, clean may I add, and made some of our wildest dreams come true with a shocking victory.
3. Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels- Ladder Match- Wrestlemania X
Although many people believe that this was WWE’s first ever ladder match, it wasn’t. However, it was WWE’s first televised ladder match and boy did it deliver. All over the Intercontinental Championship, this instant classic set the tone for future WWE ladder matches, no doubt shaping the ones we see today on a regular basis such as MITB. Besides HBK’s splash from the top, this match mostly relied on it’s stellar physicality, incredible story telling, and awe factor instead of a spotfest. That, I can appreciate.
2. Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker- Hell In A Cell- Badd Blood 1997
This match did the perfect job of introducing us fans to the concept of Hell In A Cell. Brutality, imprisonment, and shock were all a part of this match, not to mention the debut of Kane. The Undertaker and HBK absolutely tore each other apart, beating each other down with chairs, fists, and the cell itself. The match showcased how the cell can be used as a weapon, while not relying too hard on the gimmick of the match, creating a high quality in-ring performance. Between Michaels trying desperately to escape and The Deadman’s ties to the debuting Kane, fans knew they witnessed a classic before it was even over.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart- Wrestlemania 13
Some people call it the greatest match in WWE history and there certainly is an argument to be made by it. Featuring, without a doubt, the best double turn in pro wrestling history, the Chicago crowd was treated to a complete spectacle which included some of WWE’s best story telling ever. The capstone of the match came when Austin refused to tap out to Bret’s Sharpshooter, eventually passing out from the pain, and nearly drowning in a pool of his own blood. Although Austin technically lost, he never tapped out. The in-ring performance was a realistic fight, with emphasis on storytelling, ultimately creating the perfect balance between sports and entertainment.