8. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena – No Mercy
The first time Roman Reigns and John Cena went one on one was portrayed as a big deal. Not sure why this couldn’t take place at WrestleMania or something but oh well.
At No Mercy, they had a symbolic passing of the torch match. It had been a few years since Cena was the top guy of WWE and Reigns had been struggling greatly to carry the company. These were things that were weaved into the story of the rivalry and it made things feel much more real.
The match itself was also very strong as WWE was dead set on pushing Reigns hard. He kicked out of several AAs and the whole match had a very big feeling.
There was a lot more going on here than in their SummerSlam match four years later but the two are about equal in terms of quality.
7. Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles – Survivor Series
Brock Lesnar is awesome. Brock Lesnar can have great matches. And Brock Lesnar does his best work with smaller, agile opponents.
Enter AJ Styles. The original plan for this match was for Lesnar to face Jinder Mahal and boy would that match have been much different than what we got. Styles won the WWE Championship a week before Survivor Series and replaced Mahal as Lesnar’s opponent.
What we got was one of Lesnar’s best matches. Lesnar’s dynamic of being big and scary, throwing his opponent around works significantly better when his opponent is someone like Styles.
Not only does it make Lesnar’s offense look better, but when Styles can get his offense in, it looks better too. Both men came out of this match looking great and it was a perfect example of the best way to utilize Lesnar in the ring.
6. Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns – Royal Rumble
Chris Jericho had been interfering in so many of Kevin Owens’ matches in 2016 that he had to be suspended in a Shark Cage at the Royal Rumble for Owens’ match with Roman Reigns.
With Jericho (mostly) taken care of, Owens and Reigns were able to have a very entertaining No DQ Match. Owens got pushed through a giant stack of chairs at ringside and there was plenty of unique weapon usage.
Jericho still tried to get involved, dropping brass knuckles from the cage but it was Braun Strowman destroying Roman Reigns that allowed Owens to get the win.
This match was one of the highlights of Owens’ reign as Universal Champion and unfortunately, there weren’t that many matches on that list.
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