WWE Match of the Decade Tournament: Finals


The finals of our WWE Match of the Decade tournament is here. We started with sixteen matches from the decade of WWE & NXT, and are down to our final four. For the finals, we had each of our writers rank the remaining matches from 1-4. First place gets four points, second gets three, etc. Check out the first rounds here (NXT) and here (WWE) and the second round here. Now onto the finals:

Evan Gomes, FPC Wrestling Managing Editor:

  • 1: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011
  • 2: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016
  • 3: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010
  • 4: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018

I honestly had a hard time deciding on number one between my top two. Cena and Punk had the best match in what was a relatively dry time for in-ring product. DIY & Revival put on one of the best showcases of tag team wrestling ever, and I was there in person. Removing my bias of being there live, Cena-Punk is the better story overall. DIY-Revival slides nicely into the number two spot. The legendary careers of Undertaker & Michaels allow it to slide into the third spot over Gargano & Ciampa. If we look back on the Unsanctioned match between the former DIY members in 10 years and their careers have been even close to Undertaker or Michaels, it may leapfrog it. For now, Gargano and Ciampa will have to settle in fourth place, and in two of the top four WWE matches of the decade. Not bad.

Javier Melo, FPC Wrestling Contributor:

  • 1: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011
  • 2: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016
  • 3: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010
  • 4: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018

Punk versus Cena is a pro wrestling masterpiece. Sparked by Punk’s “Pipebomb Promo”, this feud saw two of the best on the mic battling it out and threw in Vince McMahon for even more spice. Punk threatened to take the WWE title with him to the indies and you could believe it because his contract was actually running out. In fact, Punk had to sign to add on a couple of days or something like that because he was out of a deal by the time of the PPV. The match quality lived up to the hype and the right person won. It truly was a special time to be alive.

Next up: TAG. TEAM. WRESTLING. I already said my piece with this match, but the reason why I have it so highly, aside from the fact that Gargano/Cole was stolen from me, is because it really is the most satisfying moment of the decade for me, Kofi Kingston title victory aside. The Revival were nasty heels and DIY were babyfaces that everyone was invested in. These two were the best part of NXT during that era and they undoubtedly stole the show in Toronto.

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The build to Undertaker-Michaels was better than the match to me. Michaels was desperate to get another shot at beating Taker and his performance in that year’s Royal Rumble was one of the best of all time. Him failing and going insane to the point where at the Elimination Chamber, he interfered in the Elimination Chamber and cost Taker his title was the cherry on top. The beauty of this match was the build, but these guys gave their absolute everything and it paid off. The match quality isn’t as good as the Mania 25 match, but the build makes this one of the best matches of the decade.

I don’t have to say a lot more about the way I feel about Gargano-Ciampa. No respect, no honor. There is no honor among thieves in the first place. This match put hard times on me and my feelings. You don’t know what hard times are, daddy. Hard times are when Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano had the best match of the decade and everyone chose this over that match. Hard times are when the Street Fight at the next Takeover event was better than this match, but that match couldn’t make the list. And hard times are when it is so clear that Cole vs. Gargano is so much better, but my colleagues said “screw you Javier”, kicked me in the butt, and say “hey, this undeserving match is replacing the obvious choice.” That’s hard times. That’s hard times. And fellow FPC Wrestling contributors, you put hard times on this country by picking this match over Cole vs. Gargano.

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Jhalon Heath, FPC Wrestling Contributor:

  • 1: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011
  • 2: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010
  • 3: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018
  • 4: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016

Cena versus Punk was a classic. The first five star WWE match this decade, and the first since 1997. Punk was legitimately on his way out the door of the WWE. His contract was set to expire on July 17, 2011 at midnight. However, Punk was going to have one last match before he stepped his foot out the door, against none other than John Cena for the WWE championship. CM Punk was becoming a huge fan favorite with this match taking place weeks after his infamous “Pipe Bomb” on Raw. The atmosphere in Chicago was crazy all night long and when CM Punk won the WWE championship that night, the AllState Arena exploded. In all honesty, Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels was an excellent redemption match, but the Punk-Cena match set the tone for the WWE and although the decade ended a little weak, my 10 year old self at the time thought the WWE was going to be a whole different landscape because of this match.

The two combatants formerly known as DIY had a brutal match at Takeover New Orleans 2018. There were high stakes as these two embodied everything NXT is about; Brutality, heart, and the entertainment factor. 

Kaden Hanafi, FPC Wrestling Contributor:

  • 1: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018
  • 2: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011
  • 3: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016
  • 4: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010

I stick to my guns that Gargano-Ciampa was the best match of the decade. It had a fantastic storyline with Gargano having to win to be reinstated to NXT and was a great use of the unsanctioned stipulation. This was also the match that made me a huge fan of Ciampa. I rewatched Cena versus Punk on Christmas and it was better than I remembered. The one thing that bumps it down a spot is that they missed the knee sound on the GTS to end the match, causing it to not sound as impactful as it should be. I rewatched Taker-HBK on Christmas as well and I found myself not enjoying it as much. There are multiple matches from the decade I could put in this spot over HBK vs Taker. For that reason, I’m listing this legendary match as my lowest in the top 4 of the decade.

Ryan Adverderada, FPC Cardinals & 49ers Managing Editor:

  • 1: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010
  • 2: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011
  • 3: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016
  • 4: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018

Of the four final matches, the unsanctioned match is perhaps the least exciting of the bunch. While it told a great story, the match itself was beat by its predecessors. In the end it really came down to the 2010 Wrestlemania and 2011 MITB. Ultimately it was the overall meaning and significance of HBK and the Undertaker on the grandest stage of them all. Both men are synonymous with Wrestlemania and did their jobs in keeping the company afloat during the Monday Night Wars. As the old man of the group, this match will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Final Rankings:

  • Fourth Place: Gargano-Ciampa, NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 2018 (8 points)
  • Third Place: DIY-Revival, NXT TakeOver: Toronto, 2016 (11 Points)
  • Second Place: Undertaker-Michaels, Wrestlemania 26, 2010 (12 Points)
  • First Place: Cena-Punk, MITB 2011 (18 Points)

Our best match of the decade is CM Punk versus John Cena in Chicago at Money in the Bank 2011. Agree? Disagree? Have a vendetta like Javier about a match being eliminated too early? Let us know on Twitter at @FPC_Wrestling or in the comments below.


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