Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2015 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Match. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
(1) Bayley vs. Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn (43 percent)
(2) Brock Lensar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble (12 percent)
(3) Bayley vs. Sasha Banks Ironman match at NXT Takeover: Respect (9 percent)
(4) Kevin Owens vs. John Cena at Elimination Chamber (5 percent)
(5) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi at WrestleKingdom 9 (5 percent)
Others: 26 percent
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: For me, this is a tie. I’m sure that’s breaking some sacred .NET editorial rules, but I honestly can’t decide between Kota Ibushi and Shinuke Nakamura from WrestleKingdom 9, or Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. I’ve deleted this and rewritten it several times just to change my mind back and forth, and at this point I give up. They’re both great matches and fantastic stories and I appreciate them both equally.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: The challenge with this match was wether to vote with my head or my heart. My head says Kota Ibushi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura at NJPW Wrestling Kingdom 9 deserves to win. My heart rests with Bayley vs. Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. The best art makes you feel something special and, while Ibushi and Nakamura did something amazing, Bayley and Sasha took me on a better emotional ride than any match this year. I have to go with my heart here.
Zack Zimmerman’s Thoughts: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks from Takeover Brooklyn. This match gave me all of the feelings. Sure, maybe the moves weren’t as great as some other matches, or the work-rate was a step slower than your favorite PWG match, but no other match this year hit such a crescendo of story telling, fan reaction, and character positioning. Fans had bonded with both ladies and watched them develop from the jobbers of the division to the stars of the business revolutionizing the way many fans view women’s wrestling. Everything hit at just the right time to make this match truly memorable not only from an entertainment perspective, but from a level of emotional response that wrestling so rarely reaches in this era.
John Moore’s Thoughts: Sami Zayn vs. Neville was the best match in 2014, and Bayley vs. Sasha Banks in Brooklyn gets that nod here. NXT had a lot of patience telling the story of Bayley. Sasha Banks was also had to beat the best of the best to get to the top. Sasha sat in a throne as one of the best wrestlers in the world and Bayley has gone through both failure and success. Bayley had heart though, and Sasha had drive and talent. Having those two forces clash was the perfect setting. Once Bayley picked up the title, we all felt the emotions with her, the emotions of finishing a journey on the huge stage of the world.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: Oh I’ve been dreading this category. I will have to give a copout answer I’m afraid and give two answers, one from my own personal point of view and one from the point of view of the match that was technically and beautiful put together. For my personal choice it has to be EC3 against Rockstar Spud from TNA’s Impact from London Wembley Arena. Just watching this story from the beginning was a thing of beauty to the point that Spud turned babyface and the back and for that was going on between the two to the match which I was fortunate to be in attendance for. Watching the home country boy being beaten down but never giving up to fighting back just to be ultimately defeated was just beautiful. From an analysts point of view the three way between John Cena, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar from a week earlier at the Royal Rumble was the best match with all three men desperate to beat each other to the point that we saw the first Phoenix Splash in WWE just for Lesnar, broken ribs and all, to show super human abilities to eek out an F5 to win. Poetry in motion.
Darren Gutteridge’s Thoughts: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, Takeover: Brooklyn. It is beautiful poetry that the best story of 2015 – that of Bayley’s rise to the top of NXT – peaked with the best match of the year. Both women knew Brooklyn would go crazy for whatever they put out, but they didn’t rest on their laurels. They came out to win the night, and ended up winning the year. Everything we all love about wrestling is present in this match, and I can’t say it better than that.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: This is the toughest category most years and 2015 was no exception. I was wowed by Nakamura vs. Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 9 and I have no doubt that match would have received more votes than it did had it been seen by more of our readers. I don’t know what it would have passed Bayley vs. Sasha, though, and it’s hard to argue with that given the genuine emotions that match evoked and because it felt so meaningful. I am disappointed to see the WrestleMania main event fall outside the top five. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar had a hell of a match, and the largely unexpected finish with Seth Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank contract successfully was huge.