- Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (NXT TakeOver: Dallas)
- Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander (CWC)
- John Cena vs. AJ Styles (SummerSlam)
- The Revival vs. DIY (NXT TakeOver: Toronto)
AND THE WINNER IS…
SAMI ZAYN VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (NXT TAKEOVER:DALLAS)
Before we acknowledge our winner for match of the year, let’s look at the names in the nominees. The roster has immensely improved in 2016 as a lot of talents from the independent scene have arrived in WWE and NXT and their ability to put on quality matches has benefited the WWE and the fans. Ibushi, Cedric Alexander, AJ Styles, Gargano and Ciampa are all strong in ring competitors who have captivated wrestling fans in various promotions so it is exciting to see how they’ve shaped the wrestling scene in 2016!
As for our winner, we were treated to a wrestling spectacle in early 2016. I am a very casual fan of New Japan Pro Wrestling but I was immediately captivated by Shinsuke Nakamura when I first saw him. At the beginning of the year there was rumblings that he was finished in Japan and possibly on his way to WWE. This was later confirmed on an episode of NXT and he was slated for a match versus the very talented Sami Zayn. My excitement to see Nakamura in the WWE was enough for me to be ecstatic to see this match. From his entrance, this match was already special. Fans were chanting this “This is Awesome” and “Fight Forever” and applauding everything these two men did. I thought they had an incredibly competitive match and although superstars rarely lose in their debut, I did bite on a few false finishes as Zayn looked to put away Nakamura. The strong style was on full display in this one as every hit could be felt through your screen. Like many Nakamura matches you’re left mesmerized by every look, grin, wink and the dreaded KINSHASA!