14 Greatest Rubber Matches In Wrestling History

As the saying goes, third time's a charm.

Be it a rivalry born out of mutual hatred, desire to win a title, or mere competitive spirit, many of wrestling's best feuds have ended with a rubber match. A final, definitive contest to decide who is the better competitor once and for all. As the saying goes, third time's a charm. The trope has been around for decades in wrestling, and given that two of 2015's most high profile matches were, at their core, rubbers, proves that they remain popular to this day. There were plenty others - some memorable, some less so - but last year's booking alone tells us that the concept has stood the test of time. A few ground rules for this one. Strictly speaking, a rubber match would be the third match in a trilogy of matches, acting as a tiebreaker to prove who the best competitor is. For the sake of making this an interesting list, the term 'rubber match' extends to something that settled an even feud, even if the number of victories each wrestler/team had were not exactly even. The 'third match in a trilogy' rule is there, where possible, but there are one or two exceptions it would have been remiss to exclude on a technicality.

14. Rey Mysterio Jr Vs. Ultimo Dragon - WCW Spring Stampede 1997

WCW had a great cruiserweight division, with its smaller wrestlers proving a significant attraction during the company's peak. Two of the stars who helped propel that division were Ultimo Dragon and, in particular, Rey Mysterio Jr. This feud was relatively straightforward. Their first encounter was a match at Hog Wild 1996 for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, which Mysterio successfully defended. The second was a match at World War 3 1996 for the J-Crown Championship, a unification of eight different championships from five different organisations in Japan and Mexico, which Ultimo Dragon won. This match was billed as a rubber match and an opportunity for either man to edge into contention for a shot at the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. On first impression it could be seen as filler on the Spring Stampede card, but this was a surprising contest. Ultimo and Mysterio spent the opening exchanges involved in a great display of technical mat wrestling, driven by psychology as Dragon tried to keep the match on the mat. As the bout went on the tempo increased and the two pulled off some spectacular moves. Ultimo Dragon was on top for large parts of the match, hitting a running sit-out powerbomb and even a tombstone piledriver. Despite Dragon's dominance, Mysterio mounted a comeback in typical high-flying fashion. The match finished with a great succession of counter-attacking spots before Mysterio hit a springboard head scissors to pin Dragon with a roll-up. A largely forgotten match, but one that showcased the reasons that people loved the cruiserweight division.

Tom, simple country boy, scarily close to his 30th birthday. A juxtaposition of sporty and active alpha male with TV and gaming nerd. Newcastle United fan who lives a LONG way away from Newcastle.