If you were to compare pro wrestling history to the film industry, then it would be safe to state that the majority of fans best remember the matches that are comparable to the epic big-screen classics. The Godfather, The Dark Knight, and Titanic are three examples of celebrated movies that all have in common a length befitting of a thorough and complete story. Since the 1980s birthed The WrestleMania Era, it has been similarly lengthy dramas in sports entertainment that have drawn the most critical acclaim and fan adulation. Yet, what of those matches that were never intended to be epic? Are not their achievements of remaining memorable amidst a sea of lengthier counterparts just as if not more impressive? Today, we look back at twenty bouts that may not have been given the time to be matches for the ages, but wound up being epic all the same. Note: Only matches that were sub-14-minutes were considered.
20. X-Pac vs. DLo Brown (In Your House: Judgment Day 1998)
A name you should expect to see numerous times throughout this journey is X-Pac. 1998 was his year in WWE. He came back from WCW with a bigger name and used it to become a key member of Degeneration X at its Triple H-led peak. Known for his fast-paced matches and flashy move set, Pac had already made a name for himself in WWE in the mid-1990s as an entertaining mid-carder who easily filled air-time with aesthetically pleasing matches. Fast forward to 1998 and he had rounded into one of the industrys top workers. Quietly, DLo Brown had emerged as a high quality in-ring commodity in his own right. Brown vs. Pac was a spinoff from the DX vs. Nation of Domination feud that elevated Rock and HHH to the main-event. Often stealing the show out from underneath their leaders, Pac and DLo added considerable depth to the WWE roster and actually made the European Championship a hot property. In a match that saw Pac defeat Brown for the European title at In Your House: Judgment Day in highly entertaining fashion, the title, the men battling for it, and the WWE mid-card greatly benefited. It was essentially the last hurrah in the classic feud between DX and the Nation.
"The Doc" Chad Matthews has written wrestling columns for over a decade. A physician by trade, Matthews began writing about wrestling as a hobby, but it became a passion. After 30 years as a wrestling fan, "The Doc" gives an unmatched analytical perspective on pro wrestling in the modern era. He is a long-time columnist for Lordsofpain.net and hosts a weekly podcast on the LOP Radio Network called "The Doc Says." His first book - The WrestleMania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment - ranks the Top 90 wrestlers from 1983 to present day, was originally published in December 2013, and is now in its third edition.
Matthews lives in North Carolina with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.