10 Awesome Wrestling Matches On Otherwise Terrible WWE Shows

If you think Fastlane 2023 looks a bit below-par, be grateful...

The Rock The Undertaker Kurt Angle
WWE

It's all but impossible for WWE to promote a terrible pay-per-view in 2023.

Triple H has developed an almost cynical failsafe formula for acclaim. Tony Khan could probably do with borrowing inspiration from his competition, to an extent. A WWE 'PLE' never outstays its welcome. It isn't an exhausting experience that all but guarantees that at least one match will almost be resented by the knackered crowd.

To ensure that a decent to excellent atmosphere is maintained throughout, Triple H tends to book his B-level events with a maximum of seven matches. He doesn't feel the need to put every key member of his roster on the show, and from a purely business standpoint, this correlates with impressive TV ratings. The big GUNTHER Intercontinental title defences are the preserve of Monday Night Raw. This detracts from the weekend experience, since GUNTHER is a top-five wrestler on the planet, but this allows a rewarding (or at least dryly intelligent) balance between TV and pay-per-view.

In keeping with Triple H's general philosophy, he doesn't pop your head off, but he has managed to avoid fatigue in the content farm era. He uses his excellent talent roster sparingly and can very easily hit a 7/10.

The days of utter dross are over, replaced by a bare minimum of solid, but even in those days, a great match saved the day...

10. Roman Reigns Vs. Braun Strowman - Fastlane 2017

The Rock The Undertaker Kurt Angle
WWE.com

Fastlane 2017 was yet another WWE pay-per-view in which Vince McMahon heard what fans wanted, and in response, sprinted all the way down to the away end with his hands behind his ears after scoring a last-minute against them. His audience!

The one time that fans didn't actually want Charlotte Flair to lose, Vince McMahon beat her, for the first time on PPV, a month before WrestleMania. Who needs huge stakes and a monumental win on the biggest show of the year?

The undercard reeked, incorporating two impromptu matches like it was some terrible, run-of-the-mill episode of Raw. Actually, the simile isn't required.

The main event was hilarious. Not exactly funny haha if you were Kevin Owens, who was squashed for the Universal title by Goldberg after a musical distraction from Chris Jericho, but on the bright side, it was this sort of b*llocks that created the conditions for AEW.

Roman Reigns Vs. Braun Strowman however was utterly fantastic. Roman, forever underrated as a babyface worker, took on the rising Strowman in an intoxicating bomb-lobber of a heavyweight sprint - the sort of magic, how-are-they-keeping-up-that-pace match that reduces you to a fist-pumping dumbass in your living room.

Contributor
Contributor

Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!