20-1 – The Wrestling Estate (2024)

With the success of ourTop 100 Matches of the Past 50 Years list, we’ve decided to go in another direction this year. We’re going to rank the top 100 wrestling PPVs of all time!

Our ranking differs from the PWI 500 because we use math. Well, at least we try to. Just as we did before, we all submitted our own list of the top matches of all time, and each ranking represents points. For example, #1 = 100 points, #2 = 99 points, etc. At the end, we’d calculate which had the most points and assign ranking from there.

Without further ado, here is the first set of the top 100 wrestling PPVs of all time.

20. Royal Rumble 1992 (291 points)

Even though we can all agree that Ric Flair isn’t aging gracefully, his in-ring accomplishments have been cemented. He and Bobby Heenan are responsible for the greatest Royal Rumble ever. The undercard is lacking except for Roddy Piper winning his first championship in WWE. – John Corrigan

19. SummerSlam 2000 (302 points)

In a show with the first TLC match, the biggest bump didn’t even occur in that match, and for that reason, this show makes the list. Shane McMahon being batted off the Titantron by Steve Blackman was just one part of the insanity of Summerslam 2000. The show also featured the aforementioned first TLC match which set the bar for future such matches astronomically high, and also a main event with Triple H, The Rock and Kurt Angle. Angle being legitimately knocked just minutes into the match, and somehow being able to finish the match, is an incredible and scary sight. – Chad Gelfand

18. WrestleMania XXIV (315 points)

It was around the time of WrestleMania XXIV that people began to notice a slow decline in the quality of WWE programming, but WrestleMania XXIV has to be an exception to this thinking. There was a lot going on and knowing where to start can be overwhelming, so I’ll just go for the low-hanging fruit: Flair vs. Michaels – incredible. It should have been a fitting way for Flair to end his career and ride off into the sunset, but Flair being Flair kind of wrecked that. Pay no mind – this match was incredible, and even more incredible if you were watching religiously at the time and can grasp the manner in which Flair overcame the odds at every turn to save his career, only to falter against The Heartbreak Kid on the grandest stage of them all.

Undertaker vs. Edge was also a great main event, maybe even top-10 as far as WrestleMania main events go. A student I work with was chatting me up about wrestling a little while ago, and he mentioned this being the match that kept him a lifelong wrestling fan. Can’t argue with that! This was peak Edge, and while I’m not sure when peak Undertaker truly was considering how good his longevity was, this match ruled.

The show was further ripe with star-making moments, like CM Punk winning Money in the Bank for the first time and the fun little “match” between a young Floyd Mayweather and The Big Show. It wasn’t perfect, though. I typically hate triple threat matches at WrestleMania and Triple H vs. Orton vs. Cena is made worse by hindsight. Orton would just go on to wrestle Triple H the following year under very different circ*mstances, and Cena would go on to work ANOTHER three-way dance, which was a massive waste of the top drawing star. Imagine if Hulk Hogan wrestled back-to-back triple threat matches in the ‘80s. Would he have been as revered heading into the ‘90s? – Jack Goodwillie

17. Royal Rumble 2000 (316 points)

The Royal Rumble was the sh*ts, but the undercard was great. Tazz debuted in the opener, choking out Kurt Angle. Then, there was the first tag team tables match between the Dudleyz and the Hardyz. Finally, Cactus Jack and Triple H went to war in a classic street fight. – John Corrigan

16. Wrestle Kingdom 11 (326 points)

This was one of the best Wrestle Kingdoms ever. Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega had one of their great matches they would put on that year. Adam Cole secured his record-setting third ROH World Title while Naito and the Guerrillas of Destiny would cement their place in New Japan. – Juan Bautista

15. WrestleMania 23 (329 points)

Before The Rock met Cena, WrestleMania 23 was the most bought wrestling pay-per-view in history. The Battle of the Billionaires played a huge role in that, as Donald Trump and Vince McMahon put their hair on the line for Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga. With Stone Cold as the ref, Shane O’Mac interfering, Trump tackling McMahon, this had all the bells and whistles. The two main championship matches overdelivered, too, as Batista and Undertaker tore the house down and Michaels added another feather to his Mr. WrestleMania cap with Cena. – John Corrigan

14. Heatwave 1998 (350 points)

One of best events ECW put on during its existence. This is the only major appearance by Hayabusa in the United States. Taz beat Bam Bam Bam Bigelow in a fun falls count anywhere match while Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka had one of their legendary battles. – Juan Bautista

13. Survivor Series 2002 (354 points)

2002 was a weird year for WWE. It was supposed to be a transitional year, and it put on some real stinkers earlier in the year, but by the time summer rolled around, it was firing on all cylinders like never before. That momentum continued into the fall with Survivor Series 2002, which, similar to SummerSlam that same year, was an all-around great card, only this time we got the inaugural Elimination Chamber match won by Shawn Michaels, completing a successful and improbable comeback for the Heartbreak Kid.

Although the show lacked the traditional Survivor Series format of eight-man and 10-man elimination matches, it went with a different approach of including elimination stipulations to multi-man matches, and the Elimination Chamber really felt like it was made for the event. Turns out, it was actually made for another pay-per-view, coincidentally known as “Elimination Chamber.” Jokes aside, this show was not lacking in content, and every match, whether long or short, entertained in some way.

I always liked the work Trish and Victoria did together, and this show was no exception. On top of that, we got Paul Heyman turning on Brock Lesnar to team up with Big Show, the Elimination Chamber match, of course, and a triple-threat Tag Team Championship match between Angle and Benoit, Los Guerreros and Mysterio and Edge in a rematch of the original WWE Tag Team Championship match on SmackDown. Plus, we got the WWE debut of “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner in an oft forgotten segment. This show is certainly in the running for best rendition of Survivor Series, thus making it a legitimate option for this list. – Jack Goodwillie

12. WrestleMania 21 (371 points)

The coronation of the two pillars of the Ruthless Aggression Era left a lot to be desired as John Cena vs. JBL felt like a SmackDown main event and Batista vs. Triple H was too long for The Animal to keep up. However, the rest of the show was tremendous with excellent action in Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle and Undertaker vs. Randy Orton, a demolition derby in the first Money in the Bank and a healthy dose of nostalgia with Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper and Stone Cold. – John Corrigan

11. WrestleMania X (374 points)

WrestleMania’s 10th edition produced two of the most enduring matches of all time in Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart and Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon in a ladder match. When your PPV has the greatest opening match in WrestleMania history and the ladder match that set the standard for those type of matches, you know you have a winner. – Chad Gelfand

10. WrestleMania XIX (396 points)

WrestleMania XIX is the greatest pro wrestling show of all time. Hell, I wrote an entire love letter to the event a couple years ago for The Wrestling Estate, and my opinions haven’t changed much since. Go check that out if you want some more hard-hitting analysis, but I will say this: A lot of people ride this event for the Triple H-Booker T match and the lack of prominence of The Undertaker, but neither of those things have swayed my thinking too much.

I didn’t love the build to Triple H vs Booker T and the match kind of sucked. That said, I do believe the right guy went over at the end, especially when you consider Shawn Michaels beat Chris Jericho earlier in the night, Brock Lesnar got his big babyface moment at the end of the show and Hulk Hogan gave Vince McMahon his comeuppance in one of my favorite matches ever.

Was it just kind of there? Yes. But sometimes, you need that buffer. Ideally, should it come from a world championship match? No. But WrestleMania X-8 really could have used Triple H vs. Booker T between Hogan-Rock, and, well, HHH-Jericho (Jazz-Trish-Lita could have gotten a little more time). And as for The Undertaker, while it may not have been the best use of him on this show, consider this: Undertaker had just had a hellacious feud with Lesnar back in the fall, and the company was very high on Nathan Jones. Hindsight being 20-20 is one thing, but the booking made sense at the time, and the Deadman did the very best he could in that spot. – Jack Goodwillie

9. One Night Stand 2005 (398 points)

The show that ended up reviving a promotion. This show is less about the matches and more about the incredible vibe that was created in the Hammerstein Ballroom. However, go out of your way to watch Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome have one of the most insane, hard-hitting matches ever. – Chad Gelfand

8. Royal Rumble 2001 (415 points)

I wore out the VCR with this one. This is as close to perfect as you can get. Aside from Chyna’s bizarre injury, every match delivered and had high stakes. The Dudleyz struck gold in a solid opener against rivals Edge & Christian. Chris Jericho beat rival Chris Benoit for the Intercontinental Championship in a brutal ladder match. Although neither man was necessarily a crowd favorite, Triple H and Kurt Angle put on quite the roller coaster.

And then there’s the Royal Rumble. Kane breaking the record for most eliminations, Honky Tonk Man dusting off his guitar, Big Show returning to wreak havoc, Stone Cold winning for a record-setting third time. What else could you ask for? – John Corrigan

7. WrestleMania XXX (423 points)

From a happening moment standpoint, WrestleMania XXX is one of the greatest nights of wrestling in the history of the sport, business, art form, whatever vernacular you prefer. Brock Lesnar made the entire Louisiana Superdome go silent when he ended The Undertaker’s vaunted WrestleMania streak, and Daniel Bryan stood atop the WWE Universe after overcoming immense obstacles, some even earlier in the night to defeat Batista and Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. It was a star-making night for Bryan, and had he not had the problems with concussions that he had, he could have main evented the next three or four WrestleManias and nobody would have batted an eye.

I still can’t believe he reached the heights he did in WWE considering his initial run on the inaugural NXT, plus the narrative that indie wrestlers making the jump to WWE had to deal with at the time, and when he retired, the messaging was that he would always have his crowning night at the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania, no less. Meanwhile, his crowning moment came on the SAME night that Brock Lesnar beat The Undertaker. Of course, John Corrigan was there, so I’m surprised he didn’t take this one.

The night also yielded Cesaro winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in what SHOULD have been a star-making moment, as well as John Cena’s weird match with Bray Wyatt and the Shield disposing of the New Age Outlaws in a solid showcase for the trio. Only seven matches made the show (excluding the preshow) which goes to show how quickly things have changed in WWE from even eight years ago when people were STILL calling them out of touch. – Jack Goodwillie

6. Great American Bash 1989 (439 points)

Widely considered the greatest wrestling pay-per-view aside from WrestleMania X-7, Great American Bash 1989 falls just short of the top spot on this list because of two non-clean finishes. Yes, Sting vs. Great Muta was a dream match at the time, and the action was fast and furious, but Muta’s shoulder not being down for the pin is a cheap cop-out. And while Ricky Steamboat carried Lex Luger to one of his best matches, the DQ taints what would have been a perfect match. Aside from those blemishes, this is still mandatory viewing with Ric Flair and Terry Funk in the main event, a brutal War Games, Scott Steiner’s PPV debut and the tuxedo match between Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman. – John Corrigan

5. SummerSlam 2002 (469 points)

A passing of the torch and a miraculous comeback cement this as the greatest SummerSlam ever. The star power is stacked with Hall of Famers and former world champions in every single match. Plus, there’s really only one match that was sh*tty, and two that would stand the test of time. If you want more backstory, it was covered somewhat recently on Something To Wrestle With. Highly recommended that you carve out three hours before fall arrives to enjoy the hottest action WWE has to offer. – John Corrigan

4. Canadian Stampede (487 points)

Quality over quantity. The WWF PPV you need to see from 1997. Just clocking in at around two-and-a half hours, this four-match show featured beautiful storytelling, a raucous crowd and a main event which is literally the most heated multi-man tag match to take place in the squared circle. – Steven Jackson

3. Money in the Bank 2011 (517 points)

“If Cena Wins, We Riot!” That CM Punk entrance alone is like nothing we’ll bear witness to ever again (sorry, AEW fans). A true “Main Event” match, Cena and Punk showed the world classic storytelling still does exist! But don’t overlook the rest of this show. Two incredible Money in the Bank ladder matches and the continuation of the Randy Orton vs. Christian feud round this show out for a blockbuster presentation. – Steven Jackson

2. Bash at the Beach 1996 (520 points)

The show that changed pro wrestling. Even if the undercard was just Joe Gomez vs. The Gambler for two hours, this would still be in the Top 20 because of Hulk Hogan being revealed as the Third Man. However, other matches such as Disco Inferno vs. Malenko and the double dog collar are fun, and the opener between Mysterio and Psychosis is bonkers. – John Corrigan

1. WrestleMania X-Seven (598 points)

The best WrestleMania of the Attitude Era and in many people’s minds the end of the Attitude Era. A card stacked from top to bottom featuring TLC II, the first Triple H-Undertaker match, a wild hardcore brawl between Raven, Kane and Big Show, Chyna’s final WrestleMania appearance, Shane vs. Vince, the Gimmick Battle Royal, and on and on. Of course, the main event featured one of the most ill-advised heel turns of all time, but everything leading up to that moment was excellent. – Chad Gelfand

20-1 – The Wrestling Estate (2024)
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