The WWE had a lot of great matches this year that showed wrestling is still a priority for the company. Here is SportsRageous’ list of the ten best WWE matches of 2016 featuring A.J. Styles and Sami Zayn.
10. The Revival vs. #DIY for the NXT Tag Team Titles at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II
It was like going back in time as Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson went old school wrestling with their tactics. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa worked great as faces trying to win the title as the match had a lot of false finishes. In the end, Dawson used a reverse figure four on Gargano’s injured leg to get the win.
9. Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander in the second round of the Cruiserweight Classic
This cruiserweight classic match was amazing because of the number of offensive moves they did. The crowd was into the match as Cedric Alexander came close to upsetting Kota Ibushi. However, The Golden Star’s experience came into play at the end as he advanced to the next round.
8. A.J. Styles vs. Dean Ambrose in a TLC Match for the WWE World Title at TLC
A.J. Styles as he put up great matches across the board this year and one of them is the TLC Match against Dean Ambrose. The match was full of dangerous spots that include an amazing 450 splash by Styles to Ambrose to the outside.
Styles proved in this match that he is indeed the best wrestler in the world today. He also won this match with a big hole in his tights, exposing his behind. This could have been higher if James Ellsworth did not interfere.
7. Roman Reigns vs. A.J. Styles in an Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Title at Extreme Rules
This match might be one of the best in Roman Reigns’ career and he should thank A.J. Styles for it. Huge spots, dangerous moves, and false finishes were prevalent but it added to the greatness of this match. The only complaint about this match is Reigns kicked out of the Styles Clash twice!
6. The Miz vs. Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn in a Fatal 4-Way Match for the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules
The Miz cemented his legacy as one of the best IC champs in this Fatal 4-Way match against three of the best wrestlers in the world. He was able to hang on for the win in a match filled with a lot of nearfalls. The Miz stealing the win perfectly closed this great match full of stories.
5. TJ Perkins vs. Kota Ibushi in the semifinals of the Cruiserweight Classic
Just like most matches on this list, Perkins vs. Ibushi had a lot of nearfalls and false finishes. The crowd being into the match made more amazing as their reactions were priceless when Perkins kicked out of The Golden Star Bomb and Ibushi tapped out to the knee bar.
4. The Revival vs. #DIY in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the NXT Tag Team Titles at NXT TakeOver: Toronto
Quite possibly the best tag team match in the past decade, The Revival and #DIY outdid themselves at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. It was a classic match that involved great storytelling, false finishes, nearfalls and heart-wrenching action.
In the end, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were able to overcome the dirty tactics of Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson. They won the match via submission after making The Revival tap out with their respective submission finishers.
3. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens at Battleground
One of the best rivalries this year was between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Their match at Battleground, which was built as the final chapter, lived up to the hype. The crowd was into it the whole time as they give Zayn and Owens a standing ovation.
Zayn needed to hit two Helluva Kicks to beat Owens but the storytelling they did inside the ring was remarkable. They have incredible chemistry which makes their match more amazing to watch.
2. A.J. Styles vs. John Cena at SummerSlam
The Phenomenal One officially arrived in the WWE with this career-defining win and match against John Cena. A.J. Styles and Mr. HLR exchanged moves after moves as they kick out of it every time. Styles even kicked out of top rope AA which has never been done.
Cena was put to rest after hitting the Styles Clash then following it up with The Phenomenal Forearm. It was nothing short of amazing. Great match from both superstars that stole SummerSlam earlier this year.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver: Dallas
The King of Strong Style introduced himself to the WWE Universe with a bang. His match against Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver: Dallas was a five-star classic. It might be one of the most physical and stiff matches in the history of WWE.
Nakamura and Zayn added technical wrestling to it but their brutal exchanges made it more realistic and amazing. The crowd was into the match as they chanted “Fight Forever” which described how great this match really was.
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