2020 wasn’t a fun year but we had plenty of good pro wrestling to take our minds off it. The sheer amount can be overwhelming. Lucky for you The Buzz makes me watch every wrestling match ever like some sort of a Clockwork Orange aversion therapy. So allow me to help you cut through debate and the star ratings by presenting our 20 best matches of 2020.
20) Thunder Rosa vs Serena Deeb (2/9/2020)
I wanted to put a “workers” match on 20 best matches of 2020 list. I love this AEW Dynamite match because it’s two professionals making the most of the time given. Not every match gets 30 plus minutes. It also must have impressed the powers that be because it led to Deeb winning the NWA World Women’s Championship from Thunder Rosa.
19) RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay vs Zack Sabre Jr. (C) (2/14/20)
This match was special because Ospreay spent the better part of the decade chasing the British Heavyweight Championship. Ospreay is considered by many to be the best worker in the world but ZSJ’s technical style is also second to none.
18) Shingo Takagi VS Kazuchika Okada (10/10/2020)
Shingo Takagi has been doing great work for a long time. This skill was even more evident when paired off against possibly the best in the world, Kazuchika Okada. Shingo was trying to prove he was equal, while Okada was out to prove that he was a cut above. Their motivations certainly made for a great match,
17) Intercontinental Title Tournament Final: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (6/12/20)
Say what you want about 2020 but it did give us this gem between two all-time great in-ring workers. This reminded me of the glory days of the IC title because of the flawless construction of this match.
16) GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (11/22/2020)
If you like strong style then this is your match. The two wrestlers chop and kick each other for what seems like an eternity. It also has one of the more dangerous apron spots of the year.
15) AEW World Tag Team Title: Young Bucks vs FTR (C) (11/7/2020)
FTR’s time in AEW has been a little rocky but we finally got to see them compete against the Young Bucks at AEW Full Gear. I think the build-up to the match doesn’t get enough credit because people aren’t looking at the entire picture. This match was a culmination of an inter-promotional quest to prove tag team wrestling is alive and well.
14) IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: WILL OSPREAY (C) VS HIROMU TAKAHASHI (1/4/2020)
This match is special because it’s between two of the best juniors in NJPW history. Hiromu recently came back from a broken neck, which provided a great comeback story for the match. There is a sequence in this match that I’ve watched at least 20 times because of how fast the action is.
13) “Greatest Match Ever”: Edge vs Randy Orton (7/14/2020)
I consider every Edge match a gift because of his miracle return from injury. I’m not sure the match lived up to the title’s lofty expectations but it still was very good. This classic brought all of the nostalgia. They even hit a Pedigree and Rock Bottom.
12) Parking Lot Brawl: Trent & Chuck Taylor vs Santana & Ortiz (9/16/2020)
I’ve always thought that most backstage brawls were letdowns but this one delivered. The silly build-up resulted in a well-constructed match that defended the honor of mothers everywhere.
11) Kagetsu Retirement Show: Meiko Satomura vs. Kagetsu (2/24/2020)
I love this match because the superior skill and emotion are noticeable. It’s a match that makes you say, “that’s how you f’n wrestle”. In the end, the two wrestlers were spamming their finishers like they both had full spirit meters. However, I still enjoyed it. If you’re going to go out, go out with a bang.
10) The 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble (1/26/2020)
This might go down as one of the most memorable Rumbles ever. The first half belonged to Brock Lesnar but he was upstaged by rising star, Drew McIntyre. This match also had many surprises, including a tear-inducing return by Edge.
9) Hell in a Cell: Sasha Banks vs Bayley (C) (10/25/2020)
It’s not easy to live up to the expectations of Hell in a Cell but these two wrestlers pulled it off. This match was filled with innovative offense. It was also the Bayley versus Banks match fans always wanted to see on the main roster.
8) The Boneyard Match: The Undertaker vs AJ Styles (4/4/2020)
This might be The Undertaker’s last match. It’s a shame because this match was so fun that it made fans believe Taker could milk another decade out of cinematic matches. Hell, I want a feature film.
7) NXT Championship: Kyle O’Reilly vs Finn Balor (C) (10/4/20)
I think Finn Balor’s return to NXT has been worth it because of this match alone. It reminds you of what WWE guys can do when they’re allowed to do their thing. O’Reilly couldn’t capture the NXT title but he proved he belongs in the main event.
6) IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (C) vs Kota Ibushi (1/4/2020):
Three very good matches decided the first-ever Double Gold Champion but this one is the best. These two wrestlers seem to have unlimited talent. Ibushi was looking to finally ascend to the top of NJPW but Okada played gatekeeper.
5) The Firefly Funhouse match: John Cena vs The Fiend (4/4/2020)
I rated this match so highly because of innovation. It certainly pushed the boundaries of what pro wrestling is. The match is a brilliant introspection of what was and what could’ve been. It resulted in some of the most surreal sights ever in WWE.
4) BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. 27 FINALS: Hiromu Takahashi def El Desperado (12/12/2020)
There may be some recency bias here but I think this match belongs in the 20 best matches of 2020. This match had dangerous maneuvers, long-term storytelling, and even an unmasking. The unmasking of Desperado was played out to perfection and one of the best wrestling moments of the year.
3) I Quit Match: Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso (10/25/2020)
If you loved the storytelling in last year’s MOTY between the Rhodes brothers, then this match is for you. The inter-family feud resulted in both wrestlers’ best work. The finish will be one of the lasting images of 2020.
2) WWE NXT United Kingdom Championship: Walter vs Ilja Dragunov (C) (10/29/2020)
This was a battle that could capture the attention of the most pessimistic viewer. This is because the punishment the two wrestlers absorb makes it feel like a real fight. The intensity in this match is even more impressive when you consider that there was no crowd.
1) AEW World Tag Team Title: Adam Page & Kenny Omega (C) vs The Young Bucks (2/29/2020)
Uncle Dave Meltzer is wrong a lot but this isn’t one of those times. This match deserves all the stars that it gets, which is why it tops our 20 best matches of 2020. This is because of the combination of pace and storytelling. The creative reversals and timing sold that this was a feud between friends who know each other better than anyone. Hangman Page’s take-charge attitude in this match certainly made him a star.