Readers and Staff Agree. 2011's Match of The Year is...
By World Wrestling Insanity's Readers & Staff Dec 30, 2011 - 8:38 AM
No explanation is needed here. Every year, fans beging compiling lists of Match of the Year candidates as soon as the calendars switch. In 2011, one bout stood out as the greatest. Through storyline, execution, and conclusion, this one was the overwhelming favorite for 2011...
2011's Match of The Year is...
C.M. Punk vs. John Cena Money in The Bank
Readers 2nd Place: Undertaker vs. Triple H
(WrestleMania) 3rd Place:
Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards
(Best in The World)
Staff 2nd Place: Undertaker vs. Triple H
(WrestleMania) 3rd Place: (
"Every time I listen to the crowd before this match begins I get chills. Wonderful build with an awesome video package. A rabid crowd. Both wrestlers played their parts perfectly, and to top it all off, the match itself was pretty darn great. Definitely match of the year. This was the match that made CM Punk the top tier star he deserved to be, and began a very entertaining knew direction for the John Cena character." -Jeffrey W. Posson -
"The energy was off the hook. There were a couple of shaky spots but still it was brilliant." - Rick Lipman
"The build up for this PPV was fantastic (even if the aftermath was garbage) and I can't remember the last time I saw a crowd that hot. Punk and Cena have always worked well together and they were given a lot of time here. Not perfect by any means but I don't get a whole lot of time to watch ROH, PWG, or any Japanese shows anymore." - Brian Helmick
"Easily the match of the year as it was the only major "must see" match this year that could have ended at least five different ways. It really was a poor year for this specific industry." - Victor Bast
"No match other than HHH vs. Undertaker had the storyline, emotion, or crowd reaction. The ending was pitch perfect too with the Punk win and the Alberto Del Rio swerve being a further swerve with him getting knocked out and Punk blowing Vince a kiss before going off the air." - Trace Armstrong
The Undertaker vs. HHH was a truly epic match, no denying it. Despite the apparent crushing inevitability of Undertaker's streak being on-going, they managed to instill the notion more than possibly ever before that HHH was actually going to win. However, I personally think that the cataclysmic match between Cena & Punk at MITB was better for me. Cena, quite frankly undeservedly, was getting hassle online for "trying" to have a great match as if he had been previously entirely incapable, and the angle leading up to it was great. The follow up, not so much, but the build was awesome."
- - "This match may not win the popular vote compared to Triple H-Undertaker (JG Note: Nope), but it represented everything that's good about the business. There was drama, there was excitement, there was an unpredictable ending, and the match quality itself was top notch. Cena doesn't get nearly enough credit for consistently delivering in big-match situations, but here he was using the jeers to his advantage and using (gasp) psychology. Punk pulled out another fantastic performance against a backdrop of doing something unprecedented. And the outside interference by Vince McMahon and John Laurinitis was fairly minimal. I take nothing away from WrestleMania, but this year, Money In The Bank was truly the grandest stage of them all."
- "I honestly don't know if this was the greatest wrestling performance I've ever seen, but much like other "super over" matches (ex: Joe vs Kabashi, Cena vs RVD) the atmosphere made the match ten times better. In this particular case, the stars aligned and Vince McMahon pulled the trigger on the most improbable of finishes...making for an electric night all around. Without question, this was Match of the Year."-
ZAH - - "For “World Wrestling Insanity’s Resident ROHbot”, it’s not unusual for his pick for something as grand as “Match of the Year” to come down to at least two quality matches. One was the highly anticipated rematch between The American Wolves Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards at Ring of Honor’s “Best in the World” pay-per-view. And as great as that match was, something happened just a day later that turned everything upside down. A pipe bomb went off, and became the catalyst of change featuring CM Punk. But as the weeks progressed leading to Punk’s “final” match in WWE, no one knew what the future had in store for Punk or the WWE title.
The match that occurred that night was essentially the perfect storm. The always-vibrant pro-Punk hometown crowd added a unique atmosphere not seen in a WWE match since ECW One Night Stand 2006. Add that to the fact Punk and Cena were at their best in the ring as they delivered a match deserving of the accolades it garnered afterwards. Then the ending came. While everyone in the arena and a majority of the viewers watching at home hoped Punk would pull an ROH “Death Before Dishonor III” and walkout the new WWE champion, no one believed it would occur. But that’s exactly what happened.
Walking out of the arena after going through the face of the WWE, and surviving a failed Money in the Bank cash in by Alberto Del Rio, Punk was the most talked about wrestler in the world from a hardcore and, most importantly, a mainstream perspective. For the first time in years, wrestling was relevant thanks to one well-crafted story, one title victory, and one epic match that no fan - be it long-term or fly-by-night - will ever forget.