Much is made among the wrestling community about Dave Meltzer’s star rating system, and some of that is positive, while others are negative. New Japan Pro Wrestling have a staggering amount of 5-star matches, with Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada wrestling in three matches which Melzter rated 5-stars or more in 2017 alone, but what about the WWE? Melzter recently rated Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia 5-stars, and it was just the sixth time in WWE history that a match received that rating. So let’s take a look back on some WWE matches that we think should have garnered the 5-star rating.
First off is one that we all believe should be 5-stars, arguably the greatest match in WrestleMania history, Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at ‘Mania 25. Admittedly, the match did receive 4.75 stars, so it wasn’t far off, but it was the sole definition of the perfect WWE match. There was drama, it was paced perfectly, the story that was told was easy to engage with and the wrestling was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. There have been arguments made between this and their match at ‘Mania 26 as to which is better (it also received 4.75 stars), but I think this one is, and if any WrestleMania match deserves the perfect 5-stars, it was this one.
Next is another NXT match, this time a tag team bout between DIY and The Revival in 2/3 falls in Toronto, which I believe is the greatest tag team match in NXT history (Meltzer gave this one 4.5 stars). From start to finish, these four men had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands, and with all the false finishes, it was very hard to not be engrossed in the action. You can argue that several NXT matches should have been given 5-stars (Zayn vs. Nakamura, Bayley vs. Sasha, Dunne vs. Bate), but this one above all else deserved it, and proved just what a bright future Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson have in the WWE.
Next up is one of the best matches in WrestleMania history, and that’s from way back at WrestleMania 3. “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat did battle in an iconic encounter (Meltzer gave this one 4.5 stars). From start to finish, two of the greatest characters in wrestling history performed some of the greatest sequences and most enjoyable wrestling in any match we’ve ever seen, and for it’s time, it was quite innovative. The finish is something that some people have complained about, but at the end of the day, it was only one move that could separate these two. That’s just how it should have been, because they were equally matched as incredible in ring performers.
Lastly is one of the hardest hitting matches I’ve ever personally seen in my life, and it happened on free television no less. It was the Ironman match between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle on Smackdown way back in 2003 (Meltzer gave this one 4.25 stars). For 60 minutes the two brutalized each other, and with nine falls in the match, it was frantic from beginning to end with Lesnar managing to squeak out a victory to hold that WWE Championship high. It didn’t lack for drama either, as Angle held the Ankle Lock on Brock as the clock counted down, and it’s easily the best television match in WWE history. It is unquestionably one of the greatest Ironman matches to have ever happened in wrestling.
There are plenty of other matches with arguments that can be made for a 5-star ratings to be given. On top of the ones previously mentioned in NXT, there are classics like Angle vs. Michaels, Cena vs. Michaels, Punk vs. Hardy, Punk vs. 'Taker, Guerrero vs. Lesnar and many more. But it would take days to make arguments for all of those, so we’ve chosen the ones we believe are most worthy.
So what do you guys think? Should the WWE have more 5-star matches? Is Meltzer a bit biased towards Japanese wrestling? Which matches do you think deserve it? Is there any matches coming up you think could be 5-stars? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below.