15 Best Non-WWE Matches Of The Last Decade (According To Dave Meltzer)

Live from the Tokyo Dome.


The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer is famously exacting in his standards.

That's why WWE - by most measures, the world's number one wrestling promotion - has only earned one five-star rating from him in the last decade, CM Punk's clash with John Cena way back at Money in the Bank in 2011.

Impressing the purists has probably never been top of Vince McMahon's agenda, but that must rankle just a little bit when you consider that he has dished out 18* such ratings to matches that took place in promotions not named WWE (and, in most cases, named NJPW).

In fact, this year he awarded scores of six stars or more twice, on a scale that - we had presumed, at least - was only supposed to go up to five. And neither of them took place on American soil.

Does this mean there's wrestling to be found, and perhaps even enjoyed, outside of the WWE empire (shock, horror)? It's an odd and slightly worrying notion, but one that we're prepared to entertain if it means annoying Randy Orton.

*Ratings of five stars or more have been awarded 18 times, although there have only been 15 different match combinations. Separate matches that feature the same two wrestlers are merged together on this list.