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Hey, even the GOATs have an off day or two. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Worst Matches by Great WWE Wrestlers."
For this list, we'll be ranking the most mediocre or disappointing matches from WWE superstars who usually can be relied upon to deliver the technical goods within the squared circle. We're going to omitting matches which took place specifically within ECW or WCW, but allowing bouts which featured former alumni, so long as it took place after WWE acquired those companies. Also, both competitors don't need to be considered "great," just so long as one of them has earned a solid reputation over the years.
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#10: The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan "Judgment Day" (2002)
The Hulk Hogan who wrestled The Undertaker at "Judgment Day" 2002 wasn't the same performer who captivated the populous during the 1980s "Rock 'n Wrestling" explosion. At this point in the Hulkster's career, he was basically cruising around on heritage, a notion which was compounded by the fact that Hogan was never the most technically proficient wrestler. Conversely, The Undertaker could be relied upon to usually deliver the goods in the ring, but even he looked out of sorts as this match combined all of Hogan's trademark theatrics with a screwy finish to create something both competitors would likely rather forget.
#9: CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V "No Mercy" (2007)
They say that a win is a win, but this is ridiculous. A last minute bait-and-switch between Tommy Dreamer and Big Daddy V led to the latter meeting CM Punk at "No Mercy" 2007, vying for a spot in that year's Money in the Bank ladder match. The wrestler formerly known as Viscera and Mabel was never an exciting performer during the attitude era, with not much having changed by the time he stepped into the ring with Chicago's "Best in the World." Although Punk could usually have a good match with just about anyone, V's limited offense and methodical pace led to a count out victory, disappointing both fans and critics alike.
#8: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns "WrestleMania XXXIV (2018)
Can you say "beat the traffic?" Honestly, we wouldn't blame anyone who left the arena prior to this "WrestleMania XXXIV" main event, which pitted Roman Reigns against Brock Lesnar (AGAIN) for the Universal Championship. Now, we're not knocking the in-ring ability of both men here, as Lesnar and Reigns have proven time and time again that they can go, and go hard—even with eachother. The thing is, though, this match basically was just finishing move... after finishing move... after finishing move. Suplexes, spears, Superman Punches, F-Fives, oh my! It was tedious, repetitive, lacked the hype of their first encounter, and certainly was not the sort of thing which should headline the Grandest Stage of Them All.
#7: Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit "ECW One Night Stand" (2005)
Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were undoubtedly two of the finest pro wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots, but even the all time greats have an off night. For starters, the rowdy crowd at ECW's "One Night Stand" in 2005 wasn't particularly invested in the match, while the planned finish-which saw Guerrero tap out clean to Benoit- didn't sit well with Eddie, who had just come off of a hot program with Rey Mysterio. The bout was a by-the-numbers affair, far below the pair's usual standards, and the frustration could clearly be seen on the men's faces. Chalk this up to one majorly missed opportunity.
#6: Shunsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal "Summerslam" (2017)
Ok, so it IS possible to pull a decent match out of Jinder Mahal, as evidenced by his contest against AJ Styles at "Clash of Champions" 2017. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about this match between Mahal and WWE's resident puro star, Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura has been an electrifying performer long before he stepped into a WWE ring, but all of that ability and charisma seemed to go out the window in this plodding affair against Mahal. Sure, Shinsuke's move set in the WWE isn't as varied as it was in Japan, but Mahal's methodical style did nothing to help the fact that this bout was barely a blip on the 2017 pay-per-view calendar.
#5: Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jr. and Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara and Ezekiel Jackson "WWE Smackdown!" (1999-)
Can you say "Botch?" This match was more notable for its mish-mash lineup and lackadaisical action than anything remotely interesting... that is, until a referee error sent this "Smackdown" bout into true WTF territory. It starts when Daniel Bryan turns a hot tag into a series of normal offensive maneuvers, including a drop kick in the corner to Ted DiBiase, Jr. Strangely, the referee counts to three, despite DiBiase's corner sneaking up at the last second. It's a weird finish to what was also a terribly boring match, so.... "lose lose," we guess?
#4: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt "Extreme Rules" (2014)
Ok, first, the positives: Big Match John put over Bray Wyatt here in this steel cage match, a rare pay-per-view win for the Eater of Worlds. However, this "Extreme Rules" contest was filled with so many shenanigans and spooky antics that it severely derailed any sort of momentum earned by the actual wrestling. Cena pulled out all of the moves one might expect from the WWE legend, but the pair just didn't gel on this night. Oh, and that little kid serenading Cena as he attempted to escape the cage? The less said about it, the better.
#3: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg "WrestleMania XX" (2004)
Not even the presence of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as this match's special guest referee could save this blow off match from bombing at every conceivable level. For starters, Goldberg's explosive in ring style was best left as something quick, strong and impactful. The longer it went, the less impressive Bill's offense appeared, and this couldn't be saved by Brock Lesnar, even at his most competitive. Plus, the crowd was well aware of both men's imminent departure from the company, giving this match the sort of surreally sour atmosphere that made it memorable for all the wrong reasons.
#2: The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns "WrestleMania XXXIII" (2017)
The sting of Taker losing his Streak to Brock Lesnar at "WrestleMania XXX" was still fresh to fans, even though the Man in Black had since chalked up wins against Bray Wyatt and Shane McMahon. Perhaps that's why this loss against Roman Reigns at "WrestleMania XXXIII" seemed to pour salt on the wound. Reigns was certainly able to deliver in the ring, but his status as the company's golden child wasn't doing him any favors against a crowd firmly behind The Dead Man. The pair's contest was basic and by the numbers, with the outcome being easily telegraphed by anyone remotely aware of Reigns' place in WWE hierarchy at the time. We can only hope that, when Roman makes his return, the two can get a do-over that better showcases their talent.
#1: Triple H vs. Scott Steiner "Royal Rumble" (2003)
Triple H will always be a polarizing figure amongst pro wrestling fans, but this doesn't take away from the fact that The Game is one of the best WWE performers of all time. Trips can usually be counted upon to provide at least a fundamentally engaging encounter, but this was certainly NOT the case against Scott Steiner at the 2003 "Royal Rumble." Let's set aside the fact that this match also had a POSEDOWN angle between the pair going in, and you have what's basically a blueprint for Brock Lesnar's boring "Suplex City" gimmick. It's overlong, overdone and overwrought with Steiner's complete cluelessness. Oh, and did we mention suplexes?