Dave Meltzer’s star ratings have become an important part of the wrestling community in his career. The success of Meltzer as a wrestling writer helped create a new aspect of media for the industry. Wrestling would get covered both for the information behind the scenes along with the reviewing of shows through a critical viewpoint. Meltzer used the five-star rating system to judge matches on how they ranked.
We will look back at all the matches to receive the 5+ star ratings. The matches were viewed as perfect in the world of Meltzer. Most fans tend to agree on the special matches that makes you feel something special All the WWE matches will be revealed and looked at in depth here. Find out which bouts you should go out of your way to find on WWE Network. Here is every match rated five stars by Dave Meltzer to come from WWE.
12 Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong vs Trent Seven and Tyler Bate (NXT TV: July 11, 2018)
One of the most recent five-star matches for WWE came during an episode of NXT TV in 2018. The rivalry between Mustache Mountain and Undisputed Era came to a head in this two vs two match involving Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish.
Fans were treated to a classic tag match with emotional storytelling. Fish and O’Reilly kept working on the body parts of their opponents. The comeback from Seven and Bate fell just short. O’Reilly and Fish brought the NXT Tag Team Championship back to Undisputed Era.
11 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Summerslam 1994)
The second five-star match in WWE history came in 1994 during the Summerslam WWE Championship match. Bret Hart and Owen Hart finally had a big stage to settle their rivalry that was building for about a year at that point.
Both wrestlers intensely tried to climb out of a cage thanks to the Cage Match stipulation. This match is polarizing today since newer fans are bored by watching them try to climb the cage the entire time. However, it was thrilling at the time and considered one of the best matches in WWE history.
10 Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT TakeOver New Orleans)
Johnny Gargano developed a reputation for having the best matches in the wrestling industry on the NXT TakeOver specials. The rivalry between Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa created amazing storytelling that played out in big matches.
NXT’s TakeOver: New Orleans show during WrestleMania 34 weekend allowed Gargano and Ciampa the stage to have their first major fight. Gargano won the classic in a street fight that earned the love of the fan base along with Meltzer’s five-star rating.
9 Walter vs. Tyler Bate (NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff)
The NXT UK chapter of WWE has the United Kingdom talents having their own weekly shows and TakeOver specials. Fans already have a choice for the top match in the promotion’s short history coming at the TakeOver: Cardiff show.
Walter and Tyler Bate squared off in a main event for the NXT UK Championship. The match went over 40 minutes with the crowd invested in every second of action. Walter pulled out the victory to add to his title reign. Meltzer even added an extra quarter star rating it 5.25 stars.
8 Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver: XXV)
2019 would see multiple classic matches between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. Gargano defended the title against Cole at TakeOver: XXV in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This was the first TakeOver in years not part of a WWE main roster PPV weekend.
Cole and Gargano put on a classic with Cole winning the NXT Championship. Fans were red-hot for the action and it added to the experience. Meltzer gave the match 5.25 stars making it one of the most beloved classics in NXT history.
7 Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 10)
WWE introduced the ladder match stipulation for the first time at WrestleMania 10. Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon both had claims as the rightful Intercontinental Championship. The best way to settle the drama was hanging the title above the ring with both men trying to grab it.
Michaels and Razor put on a classic that had the audience in absolute awe. The unbelievable spots with the ladder made the match stipulation a fixture in WWE when the timing called for it. Dave Meltzer made it his first-ever five-star rated match in WWE history.
6 Adam Cole vs. EC3 vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans)
Another ladder match to earn the five-star rating from Meltzer in the current era came at TakeOver: New Orleans during WrestleMania 34 weekend. Ricochet, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, Killian Dain, EC3 and Adam Cole all competed to become the first North American Champion.
NXT started the weekend for WWE with a bang as this opening TakeOver match was an instant classic. Cole won the match to make the title relevant from the start. There is no better way to introduce a new championship than having a great wrestler win a flawless match to start off the history of the belt.
5 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (In Your House: Badd Blood)
The first-ever Hell in a Cell match for WWE would see The Undertaker facing off against Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Badd Blood. Both men set the perfect scene to showcase the brutality and the captivating action to come from such a match.
Michaels falling off the cell through the table was one of the most shocking moments in WWE history at the time. The introduction of Undertaker’s brother Kane added a dramatic ending to the match with Michaels winning. Meltzer gave it the perfect five-star rating on this night.
4 Andrade vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver Philadelphia)
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia gave WWE one of the greatest matches in company history with the main event. Johnny Gargano challenged Andrade for the NXT Championship in front of a red-hot crowd. The match was a masterpiece from start to finish.
Every false finish had the audience believing Gargano would pull off the dream. Andrade eventually overcame the offense of Gargano to hit finisher and retain the title. Both men were bigger stars thanks to the match. Meltzer had no doubt he was giving this one five stars.
3 CM Punk vs. John Cena (Money in the Bank 2011)
John Cena and CM Punk had a special match that will be remembered by every fan that watched Money in the Bank 2011 live. It was the culmination of Punk’s storyline declaring he’d win the match and take the WWE Championship away when his contract expired.
The Chicago crowd was 100% in favor of Punk and the match was a huge hit. WWE found lightning in a bottle with the incredible emotion and the impressive action. Punk won the match to make the finish even come perfectly. Meltzer didn’t hesitate in going the full five stars for this match.
2 Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole (NXT TakeOver: New York)
The WrestleMania weekend TakeOver: New York show focused on crowning a new NXT Champion following a Tommaso Ciampa injury. Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole faced off in the main event with both men wanting to win their first NXT Championship.
The crowd started off pro Cole as the cooler character. However, the fight of Gargano won them over in the must-see match. Gargano pulled off the victory to win the title and get showed in love. Meltzer actually made this the highest rated WWE match ever with 5.5 stars.
1 Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (WrestleMania 13)
Dave Meltzer has always stated that Bret Hart vs Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 is the standard of all WWE matches. Both legends were at the top of their game for this submission match on the biggest stage with Ken Shamrock as the guest referee.
Austin’s blood pouring off his forehead while in the sharpshooter is a visual that fans will never forget. Hart won the match, but Austin became a main event star thanks to the performance. They also pulled off a masterful double turn with Bret now the top heel and Austin an edgier face following the five-star outing.