My initial thought after watching the above “Best cinematic matches of 2020” video from WWE’s Playlist series was... “wait, we’re counting the Street Profits/Viking Raiders basketball skit as a cinematic match?”
My second thought was “I guess it’s because these are ALL the cinematic matches and they wanted to pad out the list.”
But then I thought of at least two other mini-movies WWE produced during the pandemic era and thought, “dang, that’s cold.”
Here’s what they did include:
- Undertaker & AJ Styles’ Boneyard match from WrestleMania 36 (duh)
- Braun Strowman & Bray Wyatt’s Swamp Fight from Extreme Rules
- Adam Cole & Velveteen Dream’s Backlot Brawl from NXT TakeOver: In Your House
- Men’s & Women’s “Climb the corporate” Ladder matches from Money in the Bank
- Street Profits & Viking Raiders “Brawl in parking lot” from Backlash
- Bray Wyatt & John Cena’s Firefly Fun House match from WrestleMania 36
- Street Profits & Viking Raiders “Basketball game” from the May 11 Raw
- Cameron Grimes & Dexter Lumis’ Haunted House of Terror match from NXT Halloween Havoc
Really, this isn’t a great list. The two ‘Mania matches are no brainers, as is the Money in the Bank main event. Lumis and Grimes’ Havoc match was a blast, and (along with the Fun House match, which I will forever stan) showed that the problem with most of Wyatt’s cinematic affairs is that they take themselves too seriously.
Speaking of which, the inclusion of the Swamp Fight is where things start to go wrong. Other than cementing Alexa Bliss’ place in the Fiend-iverse, what was good about that one? That NXT title match from In Your House was also very forgettable.
And I guess I can see Profits and Raiders’ Backlash affair; it was fun, if not actually a match. But the Basketball game? Why not axe throwing or one of other skits? Go with miniature golfing for Montez Ford’s outfit alone!
Consider these other options:
- Edge & Randy Orton’s Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania 36
- Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano’s One Final Beat from the April 8 NXT
- Edge & Randy Orton’s Greatest Wrestling Match Ever at Backlash
- Jeff Hardy & Sheamus’ Bar Fight from the July 24 SmackDown
Were any of those great? They each had their moments, but probably not. They all involved multiple tapings/takes and would count as “cinematic” in my book*. And they were all more “matches” than “Basketball game”?
Let us know what you think, Cagesiders - about the choices and omissions - in the comments below.
* Maybe you can throw out the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever as not being “cinematic” enough, but the other three all have significant portions which take place outside a ring.