WWE Gets First 5-Star Match Rating In Seven Years

And only the sixth ever.

Johnny Gargano Andrade Almas TakeOver Philadelphia
WWE

Razor Ramon Vs. Shawn Michaels, WWF Intercontinental Title Ladder Match, WrestleMania X.

Bret Hart Vs. Owen Hart, Steel Cage Match, SummerSam 1994.

Bret Hart Vs. Steve Austin, Submission Match, WrestleMania 13.

The Undertaker Vs. Shawn Michaels, Hell In A Cell Match, In Your House: Badd Blood.

John Cena Vs. CM Punk, WWE Title Match, Money In The Bank 2011.

Until now, those were the only WWE matches Dave Meltzer, of the Wrestling Observer, deemed worthy of the uppermost echelon of his divisive star rating system - excepting, of course, the ultra-rare 5+ feats of Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito.

At NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, Andrade 'Cien' Almas retained his NXT Title at the expense of Johnny Gargano in a spellbinding effort from which the latter emerged as wrestling's greatest pure babyface in a ridiculously dramatic match built on convoluted sequences, advanced athleticism, and rich, escalating emotion. It was impossible not to invest, in your writer's opinion, such was Gargano's black-lipped, catatonic plight at the apex of a match structured to drain the audience of every last ember of support. Meltzer was similarly unable to resist holding this masterpiece in the highest (well, nearly) of esteem.

Whether you hold Meltzer himself in such esteem is another matter entirely - some see his ratings as an authoritative entry point into the diverse international scene, others see in it an inherent bias/preference with a compass pointing directly to the East. Regardless: many wrestling talents strive for the commendation, and Bret Hart is on record as taking pride in the venerable journo's praise.

Congratulations, then, to the two men involved - in order to break a dubious record, it must have been something special.

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Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!