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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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Top 5: Ruthless Aggression Era Matches

By @peagle05 

Ruthless Aggression Week, I figured I'd do something a little different for me. I haven't done a list in a long time, but I feel like this is the way to go for this week, given the amount of classic in-ring material this time in the WWE gave us. So without further ado, here are my top 5 matches in the Ruthless Aggression Era.

5. Eddie Guerrero vs. The Rock 
RAW 7/22/02

-I gotta start this list with a personal favorite, as I always wanted to see Eddie and Rock go at it. I absolutely hate that we never got a real feud out of this, but these two had a solid TV match. This was pretty much right at the start of the RA Era and in my opinion, the start of The Rock's best WRESTLING work. In-ring wise, Rock was beginning to really do work at this point and Eddie as usual looked great wrestling someone he had never faced before... sadly, we'll never know if Eddie was Cheech or if he was Chong.

4. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell from No Mercy 2002

-Brutal. Just freaking brutal. That's the best way to describe this match. Taker was in the middle of his American Bad Ass Gimmick and was on the good side of it, he was in shape and putting on solid matches again. Brock Lesnar was the young beast, the champ, and at the time, WWE's future. The story with Undertaker's cast was perfect, as it sold Lesnar as the type of destructive force that even The Undertaker needed a little help to take on. From the moment the match began, it was a brawl in its truest form. From the blood to the consistent attack on Taker's cast and arm and of course Heyman freaking out at ringside, this was a match that truly helped to elevate Lesnar as a presence in the WWE.

3. Shawn Michaels vs John Cena RAW 4/23/07

-Here's a match closer to the end of the RA Era and a classic as HBK went nearly an hour in what was a WM rematch. An earlier career example of Cena being able to give a great performance when he has someone that can handle the heavy work in the ring. From beginning to end, these two put on one of the best TV matches ever, if not the best. Cena got his title win over a legend at WM, and HBK got his win back in an absolute classic. This is a must watch match for any and everyone.

2. The Rock vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18

-Some might disagree with this match being on this list, but screw it, it's my damn list. Not at all setting the world on fire in terms of work rate or even actual wrestling but this shit right here? This was about the MOMENTS. Rock and Hogan in a dream match. Billed as the Icon vs Icon match, it certainly did not disappoint. Even the opening stare down was electric as Hogan and Rock stood there for what seemed like hours just soaking the crowd up, understanding how big this match truly was. Hogan throwing Rock around and taunting him to overwhelming cheers and Rock selling it perfectly even though he was supposed to be the face in this match. Hulk-ups, Leg Drops, People's Elbows and Rock Bottoms and it all came down to the last moment after the match. Rock just being a fan and asking Hogan to pose for the people in a show of respect. Greatness.

1. Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar WrestleMania 19

-I mean...was there really any other choice? Two of the best pure wrestlers in the company, especially given their pedigrees. Lesnar a NCAA Champion and Angle an Olympic Gold Medalist. This match for the WWE Championship. What would follow is one of the best in-ring displays the company has ever seen as both wrestlers exchanged holds and throws at a ridiculous clip culminating in what could have been one of the biggest WM moments ever as Lesnar attempted a Shooting Star Press. Amazing for a guy his size to even be able to pull off the attempt, but his hesitation at the top of the rope and Angle's distance from the corner resulted in Lesnar missing and a concussion/neck injury. Safe to say if he lands that, it enhances the match even further. The fact that he finished the match however, is freakish in its own right. This is hands down, without a doubt the best match of the RA Era to me.

What would your choices be? Post them below in our comments section.



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