If nothing else, you can always count on WWE to provide some of the best wrestling matches in the world, thanks to their incredibly deep roster of the very best of the best wrestlers from around the globe. In 2016, WWE once again stepped up to the plate and hit their share of home runs from an in-ring perspective, some from the Superstars you’ve come to expect, as well as some from incredibly unlikely sources. In the very best matches of the year, all levels of WWE managed to be well-represented, from the World Title scene all the way down to NXT, including the burgeoning Women’s Division, the revived Cruiserweight Division, and even some important contributions from some very impressive tag teams. It was difficult, but after watching every single televised match to take place in WWE in the past year (yes, we really did, because we’re just that nuts) we managed to narrow this final list down to 15 of the company’s very best matches, all of which you definitely should make time to see if you haven’t already. Without any further ado, we present the cream of the crop, the absolute best matches of WWE in 2016.
15. Samoa Joe vs Shinsuke Nakamura, NXT TakeOver: Toronto
While it does seem likely that 2017 will see Joe’s rise to the main roster, we need to recognize the incredible work he did rebuilding himself in NXT after seemingly losing much of his motivation in recent years, which even bled into his early work for WWE’s developmental system. Joe’s feud with Balor began the process of reigniting the killer instinct in the Samoan Submission Machine, but it was against Shinsuke Nakamura where Joe truly got to shine, finding in Nakamura an opponent willing to take as much punishment as Joe wanted to dish out, and return it in kind. After their first match in Brooklyn was good, but slightly underwhelming, Joe and Nakamura upped the brutality in Toronto, resulting in a hard-hitting affair that saw Joe break out moves like the dangerous Chimeraplex, and ultimately captialize on a weakened Nakamura to become the first two-time NXT Champion in history. Joe’s second reign wouldn’t last long, and it’s all but certain that Toronto was his last TakeOver and final appearance in NXT outside of two re-matches with Nakamura at overseas live events that were televised in order to show him losing the championship back to the King of Strong Style, but his NXT swan song was an incredible one.