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10 Best TV Wrestling Matches Ever

Featuring 1999 WCW (!) and a match held in front of no fans (!).

AEW

A great wrestling match on TV is distinct from a great TV wrestling match, to which there is a real art all of its own.

It is not necessarily an attraction. It often functions to build to an ending without acting as the ending itself. It's a match that drives storylines or deepens the audience's investment in a performer, consciously or otherwise, to catalogue their career.

It's the perfect platform on which to get a talent over in spirited defeat, since the televised stage does not carry the stigma of the big show, the failures on which are magnetised.

AEW has consciously used this trope to inform the push of Darby Allin, who earned a very early shot at Chris Jericho's World Championship. He lost, but got himself over as a gutsy babyface who kept fighting underneath (creative and vicious) heel cruelty. He also lost to Jon Moxley, but the level of his opponents, and the limit to which he took them, indicated to the audience that he was a future star. With a strategic panache, Allin, over as hell, won his first AEW pay-per-view match.

The classic TV match is a chapter. Sometimes it's an angle and barely even a match. Sometimes, yes, it is just 15 minutes of life-affirming electricity.

The TV match, at its best, is a journey that enriches the destination.

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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!